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Dr Muriel Newman

Return the Coast to Public Ownership

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“Cletus Maanu Paul, on behalf of all Maori, has applied for recognition of customary marine title and protected customary rights over the entire area of Aotearoa New Zealand, including all islands to the outer limits of the territorial sea; and, the Marine and Coastal Area surrounding all islands and reefs lying off shore from the coastline to a distance of 12 nautical miles; and, the entire foreshore and territorial waters of New Zealand under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011”.

That was one of the 200 newspaper advertisements notifying that claims for the coast had been lodged in the High Court under the National Government’s Marine and Coastal Area Act. Most were filed just days ahead of last year’s six-year April 3rd deadline. A further 380 applications were lodged with the Minister of Treaty Negotiations for secret deals through the separate Crown engagement process.

Since, to succeed under the law, claimants have to show that they have used the claimed area ‘exclusively’ since 1840, the ‘whole of New Zealand’ application was clearly grandstanding by Maori sovereignty supporters. The fact that it wasn’t thrown out, and that instead, the claimants are now receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funding to prepare their case, demonstrates not only how badly misled New Zealanders were about the claims process, but that the law itself is fundamentally flawed and should be thrown out!

Let’s look at how we got to this situation.

Under British Common law, the foreshore and seabed were owned by the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders. In the 1963 Ninety Mile Beach case, the Court of Appeal affirmed that no common law ‘customary title’ existed in the foreshore and seabed.

However, in 2003, the Court of Appeal’s activist Chief Justice overturned that ruling, to find that customary title in the foreshore and seabed might exist, and that such rights should be tested in the Maori Land Court. This highly controversial decision set the scene for the privatisation of the coast to Maori, forcing the Labour Government to legislate to re-affirm Crown ownership through their 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act.

When National was elected to Government in 2008, the Maori Party agreed to join their coalition on condition that Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act was repealed. Since National had not campaigned on such a law change, then Prime Minister John Key went to some lengths to reassure the public. He launched a review, saying a law change would only go ahead if there was widespread public support. But in spite of 91 percent of submissions opposing their change, National pressed ahead anyway.

Attorney General, Christopher Finlayson, justified their actions by claiming Labour had extinguished 164 years of Maori customary title when they passed their 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act.

But Canterbury University Treaty expert and law lecturer David Round disagreed: “It is completely untrue that the law of New Zealand recognised these rights for 164 years. The Ninety Mile Beach Case in 1963 held that these rights no longer existed, and that case came to that decision on the basis of the Harbours Act 1878 and the common sense idea – repeated by one of the 2003 judges, J. Gault – that once the Maori Land Court had decided on title to dry land, that was an end of its jurisdiction, and there could be no other Maori owners to the foreshore.”

New Zealanders were led to believe that the “customary title” introduced in the new law was an ancient right that had always existed, when instead, it was a new property right created for the Maori Party – to enable their supporters to control the coast.

As David Round explained, “Only since 2003 has the ‘common law right’ Finlayson speaks of existed in our law. It was remade then by the judges. But even that Court of Appeal made it clear that it would only be in rare and remote cases that a Maori claimant would be successful.”

An iwi spokesman outlined the situation to Radio NZ: “Until now there’s never ever been such things as customary title and from our point of view it’s a new one for New Zealand legislation and in so many ways it’s been untried and untested. We know lots about customary interest about how they’ve been expressed in the past but never before has the state gone outside the Westminster paradigm to create a new form of title. So for us it’s a new territory and I’m sure it is for the government as well and we have to really feel our way into it.”

Chris Finlayson went even further down the appeasement path by including ‘tikanga’ – defined as “Maori customary values and practices” – in the law’s main statutory test: Section 58 states, “Customary marine title exists in a specified area of the common marine and coastal area if the applicant group holds the specified area in accordance with tikanga; and has exclusively used and occupied it from 1840 to the present day without substantial interruption.”

David Round explained that because of its varied meaning ‘tikanga’ should never have been included in the law, and warned, “that ‘tikanga’ will actually say that Maori still own a part of the foreshore and seabed even if other people visit it!”

Indeed, that’s exactly what has happened. In the only Crown Engagement case to have been finalised under the new law, Ngati Pahauwera successfully claimed that they had held an area of Hawke’s Bay coastline between Napier and Gisborne – that had been used as a public road for over 100 years – exclusively and continuously since 1840 in accordance with tikanga.

Minister Chris Finlayson, in granting the Customary Marine Title, was clearly swayed by the reference to ‘tikanga’ – as he explained in a letter to the iwi: “The submissions received do not demonstrate intensive third party use of the application area, and Ngati Pahauwera evidence asserts that third parties are not excluded provided they abide by Ngati Pahauwera tikanga. Contemporary third party activities that take place in the CMCA (common marine and coastal area) in the Ngati Pahauwera application area include surfcasting, surfing and offshore fishing and recreational boating using boats launched outside of the application area. Historically, the CMCA has been used for commercial navigation including the landing of goods and people, travel along the foreshore between Napier and Wairoa and small scale gravel and shingle extraction.”

He continued, “I am satisfied that the combined historical and contemporary third party activities are not of sufficient intensity and scale to amount to a substantial interruption of any exclusive use and occupation that Ngati Pahauwera are able to establish. These activities often take place in small, confined parts of the CMCA and do not, of themselves, interrupt use and occupation by the applicant group.”

What’s clear from the Minister’s decision is that by referring to tikanga the claimants were able to satisfy the statutory test of ‘exclusive’ use and occupation – even though the area had been continually used by many other people – because the claimants’ own use of the area had not been interrupted.

If the Judges hearing the High Court claims take a similar view then it is likely that virtually the whole coast will pass into tribal hands.

Looking back, New Zealanders were essentially duped by the National Government into believing that the statutory tests in the new law were so onerous that few claims would succeed.  

It now appears they were badly misled.

But there is more bad news.

The Attorney General, who most people had thought would oppose the High Court claims in the public interest, recently clarified that this in not his role: “To be clear, the Attorney-General does not consider it is his role to oppose applications in the public interest”.

While he then went on to explain that he will act as an interested party in each claim to ensure that the statutory tests are met, it seems there is no guarantee that the claims will be opposed.

With tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ funding filling the legal war chests of claimants, and without a guarantee that our elected Government will defend the public interest in the coast, there is an increasing chance that even spurious claims will succeed.

Furthermore, while the public may have been reassured by the fact that since all of the claims overlap, they would fail the ‘exclusive’ use and occupation test, this too may have been premature. Claimants are being asked to resolve the boundary issues ‘according to tikanga’, so that by the time their claims progress to a hearing, they will no longer overlap.

As a result, claimants are now busy carving up the coast between themselves ahead of advancing their exclusive use arguments. Many tribal groups believe it is only a matter of time before the coast is theirs.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Professor Barend Vlaardingerbroek of the American University of Beirut, and formerly, Otago University, provides a broader picture of the danger to nation-states of separatism – or ‘micronationalism’ as he calls it. He warns that New Zealand needs “to stop the slide to political immaturity through the encouragement of micronationalism. The ‘great leap backwards’ that this represents needs to be checked or we will be wiping out the democratic gains of the past two centuries.”

Barend is right – if National had stood up for equal rights and rejected the Maori Party’s separatist law, New Zealanders’ democratic rights to the coast would not be under threat from tribalism.  

To be charitable, one can speculate that National too was duped over the law change. They seemed to genuinely believe that no more than 10 percent of the coast would be claimed and it is said they were as shocked as the rest of New Zealand when 600 claims were lodged on the eve of the deadline.

So there we have it. In spite of assurances given by the National Government that under their new law, there would only be claims for remote areas of the coast, that would not impact on most Kiwis, it now appears increasingly likely that New Zealand’s entire coastline could end up under tribal control.

Bizarrely, this is not unlike the situation the Labour Government faced in 2003, when tribal groups were claiming the whole coastline, and the ownership of this strategically crucial part of New Zealand was in the hands of a Judge. Their response was to legislate in favour of Crown ownership. We need them to do the same again.

The situation, as it stands, is not what Parliament intended when the law was changed. Nor is it what was sold to the New Zealand public.

Parliament needs to fix this problem before the troubles begin and belligerent tribal groups – exercising their ‘rights’ to the coast – drive the public away, demand extortionate payments from commercial operators, and begin exploiting the minerals and natural resource wealth in their claimed areas.

With the first High Court claim set down for a hearing next June, and Crown Engagement claims still some months away, there is a window of opportunity for a law change.

Will you help?

We need every New Zealander who cares about the future to join the call for the coast to be returned to public ownership. Tell everyone you know and ask them to help too.

As a first step, three letters need to be sent to Parliament.

The first to the Prime Minister saying that since the failure of National’s law could lead to much of our coast ending up in tribal hands, the Government needs to rescue the situation by restoring Crown ownership.

The second to the leader of the Opposition saying that since claimants have abused the law and the public is in danger of losing the coast to tribal control, National needs to step up and put it right by calling for the repeal of their Marine and Coastal Area Act.

And a third to Winston Peters, who has always opposed racial privilege, calling for him to take a lead in repealing the law, extinguishing the claims, and restoring public ownership of the coastal marine area for every New Zealander.

Further details on the claims process can be found on the NZCPR website at NZCPR.com/claims 


Should New Zealand’s coast be returned to public ownership? 


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Most definitely. An enormous injustice has been done to the rest of us by the Key-led Government. Helen Clarke got it right for once with the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. Key should hang his head in shame but he got what he wanted – a Knighthood and doesn’t seem to care one iota about the damage he has done to the country. Helen
YES and QUICKLY, Athol
The coast does not belong to anyone, especially racist opportunists that are bleeding the country dry with their made up bullshit. Steve
Winston needs to get a spine Gary
Once again duped by Maori, oh how they must be laughing behind our backs. The government needs to stand up to this, but will they, I seriously doubt it. Fraser
The outcome of selective ownership of the foreshore and seabed will unfortunately result in violence. Ray
No brainer, without doubt the coastline should be for the use of all New Zealanders as it has been, or was, for many, many years. Go kiwis get your foreshore back for us All. Good luck to us all. Audrey
Without a doubt John
This is another example of bad government politicians trying to protect their backs and selling us short to avoid contentious issued. Mark
Civil war if it does not happen, maori will be the end losers. Norman
We need a transformational shift in our society away from identity politics and socialistic pc. The problem is we have no strong leaders to take it to the racists like US Pres. Donald Trump does. Ardern & Greens certainly won’t and National need to change their leader from Bridges to Collins now. Where is the damn media? Monica
Maori are either a part of the public of New Zealand or they are apart from it. If they are a part, then they have equal share of the public ownership. If they are apart then they have no claim to ownership. Murray
It always has been and always should be in public ownership. Bob
Absolutely. Maori property ownership should be limited to prison cells JR
Absolutely Dave
The Government needs to take strong action against Maori claimants, as I see this as just another devious step along the way to total Maori control over NZ. Parliament might be next!! William
There should be no maoris, just New Zealanders. The only maoris should prove they are 100 % Maori. I would guess less than 1 % of the population Ian
Words fail me when I attempt to express my disgust over the alarming fact that our politicians have been sucked in by this appalling affront to the democratic rights of the great majority of New Zealanders. We are desperately in need of a Government with a backbone and principals, that will stop pandering to a small number of Maori tribalists and govern in the best interests of ALL NZ citizens. The current state of the parties does not looking promising. NZ First was our main hope for a change in direction but Winston appears to have gone cold on following through on his earlier promises. Les
The whole coast should remain in PublicOwnership, it is where the foreshore and coast line belongs It is ridiculous that this situation should ever have got to the stage it is currently at and stupid politicians and idiot judges and lawyers are the major contributors to the problem.and they are to blame for sad state that we are currently in. William
The coastal area is Crown land and always should be. The silly nonsense of the last two decades does not alter this fact.. We have debated this matter each time it has arisen and ti should have been settled long ago. We do not wish to pay Maoris to visit our beach for the day nor do we expect to have firearms discharged in our direction if we dare to ‘trespass’ on our own beaches. Chris
Of course the coast must be owned by the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders. We’ve already heard of deranged Maori firing guns at surfers, fishermen and camper vans near Raglan. This cannot be allowed to go on. John
Absolutely yes. Jo
It makes me feel angry and physically sick that things have gotten so far away from what is right for the general public of New Zealand. It seems we have to keep looking over our shoulder to see what the government is doing to bring about their own agenda. Marilyn
Treaty of Waitangi made all people equal under the law therefore the Coastal area should be for all to enjoy Lee
The Crown should own the coastal area for all New Zealanders. Enough of this rubbish. Ross
The situation is absurd The beaches are for all New Zealanders and not one group Tony
Maori ownership is a just another land grab. Jeff
The claims by so-called Maori have been negated over the years as intermarriage with “foreigners” has destroyed their tribal purity and hence the Treaty is worthless as a legal document. John
Yes. But to be fair to Maori Claimants the return to public ownership must also include those areas of NZ coastline that have been in private ownership/exclusive access, since early european colonization eg: a number of large coastal farms in the Wairarapa and further on the east coast of NZ and probably many more coastal tracts of NZ. “What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander.” Gary
There is the well known story about the emperor’s new clothes. Political correctness goes hand in hand with dumbing down. Reality is under siege. All of the so-called maori rights – including the coastal claims – are part of the same fantasy – and more importantly this fantasy not recognise the FACT that New Zealand is a democracy, in which we are all equal. Even calling yourself a maori is simply racism. The problem is that if enough idiots believe something which isn’t true then in some way it sort of becomes true. Fuelled by stupid political correctness and it’s half-truths, New Zealand society is charging full pelt to the edge of the cliff. At the bottom of the cliff lie the hard rocks of reality. Crash, bang, wallop, ouch. Who is going to get hurt? We all are. Bob
Yes return New Zealand coast line to public ownership. Its time this bull shit was stop. make it Law in public ownership. To much give give to the Maori. Time it was stop. Its costing this country millions of dollars. Maori would not care what it cost. Robert
yes, yes , yes… this falling over to Maori self interest needs to be arrested urgently. Jeremy
This stupid political deceitful behaviour is going to divide us into the most racist society in the world, based on greed. Brianb
For all People. One Country ..One Nation !! Geoff
and sooner the better. Mark
No one group of people can own nature. It is just there. How the hell do people justify owning all of NZ now Sue
Maoris don’t own this Bob
I find the formulation of this question interesting. It sounds like the ownership of Nz’s coastline has passed into tribal ownership a long time ago and that we want to have it back. Considering all that treacherous groundwork done by past and present Governments, we are facing a pseudo legal TOW network defending questionable claims combined with outright distorted and fabricated historical views( facts is a word not to be used in this case) and all that at the courtesy of the tax payer. This situation has turned into a grotesque farce defying any common sense . All you readers out there who love to repeat the phrase ‘We are all one people’ should start to think again. Michael
All one can say is that we need real strong leadership in this country to overcome all of this B/S Roy
The coast, the foreshore and seabed, of New Zealand belongs to ALL New Zealanders, not only to one race, and must be returned to public ownership. Catherine
Equal rights for all NZers and no racial laws. Maurice
The coastal strip is for all New Zealanders not just for the privileged few who can exploit the rest of the population. Tony
Definitely Albert
yes, for sure, for ALL NZ people no matter what colour.of the skin. Gerard
Little is turning out to be another Finlayson, the only way to sort this out is for Govt to pass in parliament that all people who have citizenship are New Zealanders regardless of race or creed, nothing else will be acceptable. Jacinda HAS to deal with IT. Graham
Basically you are saying the cousie elite own this country, NOW WAY, how can 12% of the population dictate to the rest, they are racist to the extreme. Graham
This is terrible National have screwed us re the coastline Ian
Too angry to comment William
We are now multi-cultural. One law for all. No racial privilege warranted. Doug
No one person or group should own any part of any coast !!!!!!! ALL have rights to it no matter what. Alan
The sooner we are all one people the better for us all Robin
This could (and perhaps should) result in inter-racial war: as a result of judicial activism, and media complicity in this FRAUD by not reporting these claims. David
Most definitely, why is this info not in the Main stream press why are there not making a song a dance about it. Geoff
The coast of our country should be accessible to all New Zealanders regardless of racial origin. Ownership should not be based on a particular race. Gifford
It is totally bizarre that he Maori who are not the first people here should think they can have what they want for such a small minority group Govt give every thing they want it is a crime Russell
Absolutely. It belongs to everyone. William
Any so called “justification” for removal of public ownership is totally bogus, and should never have happened. This is one issue on which we have been badly let down by our politicians, and it must be rectified. John
YES!!! Peter
Absolutely. The whole fiasco should have been squashed from the beginning. Burn the Treaty I say! Graeme
Andrew Little needs to front up and say what his definition of exclusive is, I have asked him 12 times without reply Arthur
An excellent article posted on this web-site a couple of weeks ago, posted by Dr Kerry McDonald, headed; PARADISE LOST! TWO DECADES of SHOCKING FAILURE IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP – says it all. Yet the voters continue to back the globalist agenda ‘Parties’ who are determined to take us down the slippery slope to division & chaos.. A.G.R.
Our beaches belong to us all and should never have been”sold” to Maori.How dare they try to take our natural heritage from us and for politicians to listen to Maori propaganda in this respect is a disgrace. Hands off Maori – we are all New Zealanders, no matter what colour or background. Barbra
If not the next thing will be WATER. You have to admit the Maori are being very clever, much more so than the rest of us. WE ARE BLIND – let’s all share. Deborah
A natural resource cannot be “owned” in either the literal or the traditional sense. To advance this proposition, as has been done, defies logic, as does the claiming of the seabed out to the 200nm EEZ. The hysterical claims to the foreshore and seabed, and the fisheries, should be discounted as a fiction, as they are based entirely on oral myth and legend. It is past high time that greedy, self-serving tribal elites must be told to go away, having received all they are going to receive in so-called “full and final settlement of historic grievances”. All the tribal agitators are doing is creating more grievances among the majority population. Andrew
Absolutely. The ordinary New Zealander is going to wake up one day when the greedy Maori IWI will want to charge to go to the beach and anything else their devious minds can think up. This present pack of useless idiots wont have the guts to stop them as they have too many Maori members who want to held their people by increasing their benefits with other people’s money. No more of these dubious claims from the increasing maligned Treaty of Waitangi. It should be renamed The Maori Book of how to screw the rest of The population in New Zealand Colin
Our taxes pay for MP,s & govt. its time they did what what WE WANT.Let Jacinda know NO MORE HUI NOW ITS TIME TO DOEY FOR N.ZEALANDERS Cindy
Yes definitely! Jane
There is no place in NZ for racial privilege in our laws Bud
New Zealand’s coastline must be returned to the Crown, and public ownership. Giving Maori the unlawful and unjust ownership will result in wars all around the nation;s coast. How would this degrade NZ world wide? We will be the epitome of weak willed stupid people to have allowed the situation to even begin. The population will take up arms and fight for justice. We will see civil wars all over the nation because the rest of us will NOT stand for it. This government has to stand up and say NO, NO, NO, to all claims – paid and finished as from now with no rights of renewal, EVER!. CM
Definitely yes. Our coastline is owned by all NZers and must remain so Keith
About time, long overdue Dave
It belongs to all New Zealanders. William
I was never in favour of losing the public Ownership of our beaches which was working well for everyone! Cyril
Absolutely yes. The key led National Gov’t really stuffed up here. Helen Clarks lot got it right. It should be the Commonwealth of all New Zealanders. Norm
For sure Key was just after the title and look at the mess he left. nev kath
Of course it should be. If the politicians we elect have any brains at all, they will move in a positive direction to amend this stupid problem that should have never occurred in the first place! Bruce
This Tribalism cuddly good feeling thing has totally got out of hand, There would be civil war up and down the country. The problem is most of this stuff is hidden from the general public’s eye and wham o. Its thrown at them but too late. New Zealand is now totally ruled by some greedy maori that will never stop holding their hands out for more money Wayne
No one other than all New Zealand residents should own our sea shores, it should remain in Govt Hands. William
We rarely use the beaches but it is a point of principle Chris
Of course. Governments should not be able to make decisions about ownership unless they receive over 75% in a binding referendum. Dennis
To which has always been the case Ronald
NZ’s coast belongs to all ! Charles
The Labour Party must act now and legislate again to make sure the coast is retained as Crown land, to counter these, what could be considered nothing but racist claims. Roy
The coast belongs to all New Zealanders. Kabe
The population has been duped by PC politicians and is in great danger of losing its rights to quiet enjoyment of its foreshore. Stop this nonsense and return our coast to us. Irvine
The coastline should belong to ALL New Zealanders. We do not want our people split into warring divisions; and that is exactly what will happen as more and more of the coastline is ‘grabbed’ by tribal greed. Diana
Absolutely, it should be for everybody Carolyn
Should never have been given to maori in the first place Graeme
I believe this is the major issue threatening the future peace of this country – shocking! Janet
The coast should be owned by ALL New Zealanders not split up for minorities to own and control allowing exclusion of the majority Peter
When nations natural resources ownership, management , or control is by other than the people (government) then anarchy follows such as we see in tribalism and ,religion. Loss of public ownership is replaced by sectarian power grabs. We need look no further than dictatorships ,Afghanistan, Iran, Syria to name a few. John
Refer to Don Brash. One Nation. Colin
I am not going to be locked out of the beach just because these people think they are better than us. They don’t own the water or the sea and I’m so over the greed that I see every day something new Sue
None of us own the coastline – we are guardians for a short while. Keep it preserved under Public Ownership until we as a Nation can make inclusive decisions rather than divisive ones. KK
No one has the right to own nature? IAN
Public ownership of the coast et al ought never to have been in question. It was thanks to the arrogant assumption of illegal power that the interfering so-called ‘Justice’ that it was put up for grabs by the ever voracious Maori. Finlayson, that unelected product of the same ‘profession’ who has made his fortune from backing Maori interests made it worst. The grinning Cheshire cat ‘Do nothing Key’, bent on placating Maori activists, did his usual – grinned and walked on. It is high time this nonsense was buried – deep under a concrete slab. Ron
It’s a no brainer, of course it should. And I believe we can thank National (Christopher Finlayson) for this enormous error. What a c-ck up!! Maddi
It is not the right of Part Maori’s to own our Coast ahead of all NZers under dubious arguments. Kent 
The Seabed & Foreshore Belongs to every New Zealand Citizen. Traditionally I’m a National Voter but John Keys repeal of the Seabed & Foreshore Law would go down as one of the worst pieces of legislation in my 71 years on this planet Peter
ABSOLUTELY!!! Let us not forget that this is a legacy of John Key. Murray
“The Great Leap Backwards”, yes good old New Zealand. So slow to get anything sorted!! Can’t even manage to ban smoking in cars with children present – which should have been done ages ago! Marianne
There will be turmoil and ongoing unrest if the government continue to pander to the self-seeking and totally unrealistic demands of a minority racial group in order to further their own, less than transparent, political ambitions. The maoris have no justifiable claim to own the seashore. None! TOBY
The small majority MAORI have far too much to say in all that goes on in New Zealand and all our governments are to blame .We are all KIWIS ,ONE LAW FOR ALL John
MUST read: Forbidden History. 2016 print. John Dudley Aldworth publication!! Rodney
Yet another example of the stupidity of National being duped by the maori party. How much damage will these actions cause for current and future generations of Kiwis? Chris
One country, one people, we are meant to live in a Democracy Nan
Public ownership is the only way. It will not divide up the country David
In practice they have not used the coastal resource any more than anyone else. In fact the maori have probably spent more time in dole queues Maurice
Definitely yes their should be no interference from Maori what so ever.NZ is hopefully going to be free of b/s from these individuals or parties that want only for their maori culture & nothing for European nzers (pakeha) who were born here.. Rex
Yes the coast should be for ALL NZers not just a few. Please do not let it be for the tribes who will dictate when and where we can go that is if they are not arguing about who should control it Cherryl
Of course they should be Richard
Absolutely. The current law as it stands is racist to the extreme. Where are all the lefties running to the international courts now?? John
The law is an ass again,: but the blame is on the National party. Lest we forget. Max
Get on and return to public ownership full stop. No more playing games with word meanings. Tim
I want my grandchildren and their children to be able to FREELY walk, swim, and fish on the beach in the future.. Also any resources should be for National, not tribal benefit, similar to the national parks. Tim
There will be civil war if this lunacy is not stopped in its tracks. John
Incomprehensible that we should even have to ask the question ! Michael
In 2004 a Maori delegation attended the International Court of The Hague and were refused “Indigenous Status”. The Hague rulled, “Maori are native to New Zealand, not indigenous”. When MP. Pita Sharples gained “indigenous status” at the UN, proof was neither asked for nor necessary. The Treaty of Waitangi was ruled “a simple nullity” by Chief Justice James Prendergast in 1877 and this ruling still stands. Our true founding document is Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840 which separated us for New South Wales and gave us our first constitution, English law only (English language made official) and our flag, which is older than Australia’s. Contrary to flag changers propaganda the Australian flag is like ours. George
The New Zealand coast belongs to all New Zealanders regardless of race,culture or who ever thought they occupied this country first. Darryl
I disgusts me how little the NZ public has been told about this subject. The seabed and foreshore should belong to everyone and not just a racially selected few. Roger
100% sure – public ownership ! Ian
Most certainly, there are no grounds for separatism in favour of any one section of society. Graham
ALL New Zealanders own N.Z. Anne
The coast & Sea should be accessible free for all New Zealanders Pierre
Tribal ownership is a nasty symptom of Apartheid in NZ. Geoff
I adamantly oppose any tribal control John
Because ever since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, it has been shared equally by all citizens of New Zealand, democratically and equally. QED Don
the foreshore belongs to all, not just an elite few! Gene
stand up to these greedy bullies before it is too late ! Stewart
Coastal and marine for ALL kiwis, Maoris are NOT more equal than me!!! Brian
WE are being betrayed Bruce
It is my right to walk or swim on any beach. George
I will never vote again as the government ignores the will of the people. Rex
The Treaty of Waitangi made all equal and the foreshore is publicly owned. There is no place for tribalism in New Zealand. They make up only 20% of the population – no full blooded Maoris now exist -and, as a race cost the country more than any other group of people and return the least to society. They are already a privileged minority that New Zealand can ill afford Garry
Absolutely yes.That Maori were given rights shame on National but then our Pollies only act on votes .Will it change under this rabble of a government-no chance and Maori influence will continue to flourish.Thank goodness it’s ok to be white Don
Yes. Without question – otherwise all New Zealanders – more than before – will continue their proverbial slide into the racial sea. Stuart
Of course it should. Remember that Maori were not the first inhabitants of this land, having murdered the true first inhabitants. Why we have to even listen to them is beyond understanding as this is a country where all are equal. Tom
The coastline should be for all New Zealanders and not owned by a selected portion of the population. Adele
It is so bleeding obvious – our great-grandchildren will never forgive us if the maori claimants succeed in claiming, and raping, the beautiful coast of New Zealand. Carl
The Coastline belongs to ALL New Zealanders – not 14% of the population! Donald
My oath it should. Clark
A no brainer Ian
Immediately Ann
surely ALL NZ’ers own the coast John
Why should the coast and foreshore (and all other community owned areas such as parks and reserves) be passed from a well managed, tax payer financed, access to all NZ’ers be passed to the hands of a few who will deny access to all but a chosen few, demand continual funding which will not be used on the resource it was meant for????? Bruce
Anything else will lead to immense social unrest. NZ does not need that – one country, many cultures no divisions. Lawrie
Placing coastline in “Maori” hands will also place democracy and the fabric of New Zealand society in jeopardy. It will cause conflict the like of which has not been seen since the 1800s Neil
Now! David
yes but who owns it now? please reply James
It should have always been in public ownership if it’s going to be given to the tribes can we sue them if the sea walls fail and our property floods and roads wash out ? Peter
Thieving bloody Maoris NEVER owned the coastline in the first place! … end of story! Des
All and I repeat ALL of New Zealand should be and must be and should be belong to ALL and not to any so called tribal group. All New Zealand people own ALL of their country. Johan
This country should be for all to enjoy – not just one favoured section of society Rob
We are all NZers living in year 2018. To keep claiming ‘rights’ from way back in a (mythical) past. Would lead us all back to conditions in 1880 before colonisation! Who wants that? Jo
I’m not a fan of State ownership of most things, but our natural environment has got to be an exception. Our shores are too precious to be used to play political football, or to be delivered into the hands of a self-interested group who have no legitimate claim to them. The tragedy is that neither of the major political parties seems to have the will to do anything about this outrageous attempted land-grab. Graham
Nobody and certainly not the Maori own NZ’s coasts Kevin
If Maori get their way this is not democracy it is racism Dave
This should belong to all NZs Kim
It belongs to all New Zealanders not just maoris David
one people one nation Jan
Of course it should. To suggest it shouldn’t is blatant racism. Robbie
The present act MUST be repealed David
National have made a huge mistake and Helen Clark should be commended for her earlier action in retaining State ownership. Winston seems to have lost some of his steam lately! Tom
Our coastline should never have been transferred from Crown ownership to the public domain. Another traitorous gesture from the despicable Finlayson. I’m a great believer that our nations major decisions should be determined by binding referenda as is done in Switzerland. Tony
The foreshore and seabed must be owned by the public of New Zealand regardless of race and other considerations. Paul
SCRAP all present and future Maori Claims, for the benefit of all who live in New Zealand. No one can own the sea, the air, the water or the coast. It belongs to us all. Reg
Yes definitely!! Jack
Early settlers should have no more right than the settlers that came later – there is nothing indigenous in NZ except birds, fish, reptiles and plants Tom
We are one people and legislation like this is divisive. One of the reasons behind the Treaty was to unite all NZers as one. Lucy
When will the physical reaction start and innocent folk be killed because of the self serving actions of the racists? Kelvin
This regurgitated lie about rights of an imaginary justification to wrest the coast from all Kiwis had gone on long enough. Time to dump it completely. Collin
This is govt incompetence on a grand scale. I can see a civil war brewing here Rod
It is appalling that a National government allowed this to happen. Utterly appalling. Jim
This rubbish from Maori has gone on too long for this part-Maori Kiwi. Dayal
It’s time all treaty nonsense was extinguished because the treaty’s being distorted from what it was intended to mean. MMP has allowed this to be accelerated due to politicians greed for power. Trevor
Immediately … no fine print or strings attached. Free access to all our coastline to all New Zealanders. Steve
This is one of the most important issues for New Zealanders. Chris
Should be for all New Zealanders Alan
Yes, yes yes. There is no question that this is the ONLY answer. Bruce
Enough Maori crap !! Mike
The sheer avarice of part-Maori elitists is disgusting and they talk of White Privilege Bryan
We do not need segregation in our country, and I am soundly of the view that 80% of New Zealand citizens would whole heartedly agree with this position. If the foreshore is lost to crown ownership, I fear there will be serious repercussions for NZ. It is high time a few greedy individuals came to the realisation that we are on this earth (NZ) as caretakers only. Suck it up and enjoy our country as one people. Chris
No racial privileges, equal rights for all! Mark
As a former National supporter I have for some time felt disenfranchised. If I vote for National they will believe I endorse their policies, I don’t. And there is no other party (with the possible exception of Act) which is even vaguely on the same wavelength as me. National needs to go back to its roots to regain credibility. As it is they’re a useless pack of b***s and haven’t a hope in hell of regaining the treasury benches any time soon. Peters hates them and will never support them while doing any deal with the Greens will compound their problems and make the even more unelectable. Alan
Of course it should. John
This makes me very angry at the Govt whoever it is as their children will be the ones who miss out under these stupid sneaky laws by Maori. Who is Maori anyway we are all one and interbred. Barbara
Whatever is required, it should not be carved up in to Maori tribal groups or Tikanga,: a dangerous concept to associate with NZs coastline at all! Frank
Definitely and sooner rather than later. All legislators need to get their collective skates on and fix it. They messed it up now they need to clean it up. Laurel
Definitely, no question. I do not relish the idea of walking along the beach to be ordered off by an aggressive tattooed little Hitler David
It belongs to all for the access and use of. Ray
It belongs to us all Nigel
Treachery by the National Gov. Key/Finlayson CHowes
New Zealand belongs to all citizens Kim 
Absolutely David
We are being shafted again by exploitive Maori radicals Graham
End this farce. Grant
Regardless of ethnicity, New Zealand assets belong to all New Zealand Residents not a small % of them. Mike
Yes – the coast should never have been taken out of Crown ownership. The National Party were taken for fools by iwi.  Graham
National lost my support over the whole foreshore and seabed fiasco. If they campaign on repealing their law, I might consider supporting them again. But somehow I suspect egos will get in the way!  Rupert
The whole episode has been disgraceful. What other country would allow tribal groups to control the coast. They would probably even try to charge the Navy for passing through their waters! The whole thing has been a disaster and the sooner the law is changed back to Crown ownership, the better.  Don
If this law is not changed, it will only be a matter of time before Kiwis no longer feel welcome at the beach. How a seemingly responsible government could allow this to happen is beyond me. The Maori Party should have been told the foreshore and seabed belong to ALL New Zealanders – end of story.   Michael
I will write to those three politicians along the lines advised in the newsletter. I won’t hold my breath, but at least I will be doing something! ‘ll try to get others to do so as well. If they each received hundreds or thousands of letters, it might make a difference. Karen