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Dr Muriel Newman

Tribal Control of the Coast

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Earlier this month a public wharf on Matakana Island, off the Tauranga Coast, was blockaded with barbed wire and fence posts. A sign placed at the front of the Panepane wharf read, “This is the tribal boundary of Tauwhao, Te Ngare, Tamawhariua, Tauairi, and Tuwhiwhia.” It was in the name of “Bob Rolleston, Kaumatua, Hapu Elder”.

The sign said, “Bugga Off.”

A tour boat operator who regularly visits the island called it an act of aggression. He said locals often shout “racist comments at people on board the boat. They call out horrible things to Indians and Chinese people as well as westerners. It’s very disrespectful towards everyone in Tauranga.”

His tour now bypasses the island.

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council cleared the blockade, but the next day it was rebuilt. It was again cleared and remains clear – at least at the time of writing. It seems tribal leaders realised that the protest action might jeopardise their negotiations with the Council for the ownership of the 200ha block of land that surrounds the Panepane Point wharf.

Under the proposed agreement, the transferred land would become a reserve, with access guaranteed, not only for the maintenance of harbour navigation aids, but also for the public.

But given that tribal members clearly want to keep visitors out, questions remain over whether they will honour the public access guarantee once they own the land – or whether the blockade will return, either as a physical barrier or as wahi tapu or rahui.

Matakana Island has always been a popular picnic spot, but the tribal members who want to block public access claim that visitors leave a mess.

Protecting the coastline from the impact of visitors is also being used to justify the widespread use of wahi tapu by tribal groups making claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

One such claimant group calling for blanket wahi tapu protection for their entire claimed area was Ngati Pahauwera. Their claim application, which, ironically, was for an area of coastline that had been used as a public road for over 100 years, stated, “The whole application area is a wahi tapu… The whole application area is also vital to continuing our traditional way of life.”

They wanted to use wahi tapu to keep the public out of the area, not only to protect their ‘traditional’ customs and use, but to ensure visitors could not “pollute or litter or gut their fish onto the beach or into the water”.

They clearly did not want the public there at all – an attitude that appears to be widespread. Given the opportunity, there’s little doubt that some tribal groups want to use wahi tapu as a device to assert their authority and keep the public away from the coast.

In the Ngati Pahauwera case, former Minister Chris Finlayson declined wahi tapu protection under section 78 of the Act, pointing out that concerns relating to pollution or litter in the marine environment were the responsibility of the Regional Council, and could not be used to justify wahi tapu restrictions.

Future Ministers or Judges may be more lenient. Most of the applications for ownership of the coast that have been lodged with the High Court specify wahi tapu. If granted, substantial areas of our coastline will be ruled out of bounds to the public. But even if claimants don’t get official recognition of wahi tapu, there’s always rahui.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Frank Newman, a columnist and former local body councillor, has been questioning the increasing use of rahui and the heavy handedness that often accompanies it. He explains:

“To place a rahui on something is to restrict or prohibit access – normally temporary to allow replenishment.  The essential issue here is that a rahui in itself has no legislative powers. It needs to be backed up by an Act of Parliament to confer the power of enforcement.”

Frank outlines a number of recent cases, but this month’s rahui at Cable Bay in Northland, imposed after a drowning, got nasty:

“It is reported that a man and his family playing touch rugby on the beach were told by a local to ‘Clear off…You can’t swim here, you can’t fish here, you can’t play on the beach, so get out of here’.

“Two days later the man’s wife took their young kids to play in the stream at the Bay, but were ordered by another man to leave. When the wife said they were only playing on the beach and not going into the sea, the man reportedly threatened to bring some more people to the beach to remove them. It was a bit of a scene – upset wife, upset kids, not nice.

“A spokesman from the local marae said, ‘…We have to put these rahui in place for protection of our culture…’

“But my response is since when did conforming to other people’s culture become compulsory? Why should those who don’t believe in spiritualism be forced to abide by the spiritual beliefs of others? Why it is now compulsory for those who are not Maori, or even Maori for that matter, to live by Maori culture?  The whole thing is an absurdity, yet it is becoming the norm.”

It is an absurdity but under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, the absurdity is going to become a whole lot more common as tribal owners of the coast use rahui to keep the public away – claiming environmental protection, of course, as the excuse.

So what are the chances that tribal groups will end up in control of large tracts of our coastline?

To answer that question we need to look at the number of claims and the statutory tests.

Prior to the 3rd of April 2017 six-year deadline for submitting claims, around 50 or so had been lodged across the two pathways specified in the Act – the High Court, and Crown Engagement with the Minister of Treaty Negotiations.

However, just before the deadline, another 580 claims were submitted – 200 to the High Court and 380 for Crown engagement. As could be expected, the large number of claims increases the chance that significant portions of the coast will go under tribal control.

But, the key factor is the statutory test: have claimants used the area exclusively and continuously from 1840 to the present day without substantial interruption.

Only one case has been resolved in the High Court. Judge Mallon stated in her Customary Marine Title finding, “The evidence that has been presented of exclusive use and occupation of the Tītī Islands by Rakiura Māori from 1840 without substantial interruption is overwhelming.”

She also explained, “This makes it unnecessary to consider in detail what may or may not constitute exclusive use and occupation without substantial interruption for the purposes of s 58 of the Act.”

In other words, there has been no judicial determination, as yet, regarding the meaning of “exclusive use”.

If a literal interpretation is made, that the applicant group can be the only group to use and occupy the specified area of coastline – apart from those involved in fishing and navigation, who are excluded under section 59 (3) of the Act – then only remote areas of the coastline would qualify for tribal control.

But on the other hand, if a lenient interpretation is made, then it is likely that claimants would succeed in gaining title to a significant proportion of the coast.

In the only case of Crown Engagement to be resolved by the former Minister, the leniency of his approach was so extreme that an urgent review of his decision should be undertaken by the new Government, lest it becomes the standard for the hundreds of new claims in the pipeline.

In that case, the Minister offered a Customary Marine Title to Ngati Pahauwera for an area of coastline that they claimed to have held “exclusively” since 1840, but which was used as the main route of travel and trade between the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne for over 100 years.

By taking a lenient approach and ignoring historical facts in favour of tribal “oral history”, the former Minister has set a dangerous precedent that could see most of the coastline go under tribal control.

 If that was to occur, what would it mean?

Under the Act, tribal owners of the coast would have many rights. These include the right of veto over all Resource Management Act applications and Conservation Department activities in their area, the right of ownership of all non-Crown minerals – including the right to mine and sell them – and the right to prohibit public access through wahi tapu and rahui. Claimants would also have the right to charge anyone using their area for business purposes.

The multitude of the other rights being sought, that can be seen in the High Court applications, includes wanting to ‘take’ and use all animal and plant life, including whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.

If you are concerned about these developments, what can be done?

The first priority is to encourage people to oppose the claims that have been lodged in the High Court, since without opposition the claims are more likely to succeed. That means registering a ‘Notice of Appearance’ with the High Court for each of the claims covering the areas of interest.

The problem is that most New Zealanders have no idea that their local beach has been claimed – many times over – by tribal groups, who, despite clear evidence to the contrary, are alleging that they have held the area “exclusively” since 1840.

When National was in government, they went to great pains to advertise in newspapers all around the country that the claims process was underway. Their advertising was targeted at tribal groups to encourage them to make claims and become engaged in the process.

The new Government should do the same, but this time the advertising should target all New Zealanders, inviting them to engage in the claims process. The public needs to know that their beaches are all being claimed and that they too can register and become involved.

But the second priority it to help raise the awareness of the new Government about the fact that the current claims process is denying New Zealanders their right to natural justice, by making it almost impossible to find out the detail of claims.

To be fair, the process that was put in place by the former Minister was probably adequate for a small number of claims. But it is completely inadequate for almost 600 claims and it urgently needs to be changed.

Accurate maps of the claims need to be posted on Government websites, along with all of the High Court claim applications, and clear instructions on how to find the information needed to register a Notice of Appearance.

We are writing to all of the Ministers involved – the Attorney General, David Parker, who is a party to all of the claims, the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Andrew Little, who is responsible for the process and for deciding the 380 claims registered for Crown engagement, as well as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters – to point out that the system needs to be urgently overhauled if fairness and natural justice are to be restored.

If you share our concerns, we would urge you to do the same. MP email addresses can be found HERE.

I will leave the last word to Frank: “This issue is important. If you think access to beaches and harbours will remain freely available as they are now, then think again. It will be at the whim of the Maori owners whether there is a rahui in place and you too will be confronted by an individual saying, ‘Clear off…You can’t swim here, you can’t fish here, you can’t play on the beach, so get out of here’.


Do you believe the coastal claims process as it stands is a barrier for those who wish to object to the claims?


*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


New Zealand is becoming a divided Country with 15% of the population ruining/running same and until we have a Government plus others that stands up and “Says enough is enough” it will stay divided Marylin
It is difficult to follow the processing & find out results Jenny
It is loaded against objections. Ross
Another change – another version of the treaty wording to suit thieir thievery. If maori continue to bully other NZers ordering them off public land they are guilty of inciting a war. All the coastal lands are owned by private individuals with title deeds or the Crown. The sovereignty activists are risking treason by claiming Crown lands. To say they have had uninterrupted use of many areas is outright lies and treachery. Even our oceans were pathways for new settlers with Crown permission. It’s time to frame the treaty and consign it to a museum – past and finished – with full proof of multi billions of compensation in their pockets – but not for their families – no – to fund extravagant lifestyles for the leaders.Where are our lawyers? We need them to work toward documenting proof of the full illegality of their rort on the nation. CM
Trouble is the amount of lovers of the bunch of half caste will give them any and everything to win favour untill crunch time comes and they end up being screwed just like the rest of us, new zealanders dont exist ,its them or us now Richard
Absolutely the public dose not know whats going on  John
Yes, not only financially but the process is very heavily weighted in favour of Maori as no one wants to upset them by wanting NZ to be for ALL New Zealanders, unless of course its privately owned property. I attended the Foreshore and Seabed hearings as an objector and was definitely ignored and treated with contempt that I would even want to protest, and ignored totally whilst addressing the court. So in that regard any protest or objections will probably be the same, unless its Maori against Maori, then it will be interesting to say the least. Audrey
It is deeply concerning that our beaches are being handed gratuitously to tribal groups who can sort of claim long-term association with them! It MUST be stopped. David
The not so thin edge of the wedge, How long will it be before the rest of us have to beg to sign a treaty. ( but then that would be a waste of time , they would only renege on there end )  Stan
We should definitely have free access to our beaches. Jackie
“To be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.”- Jordan Peterson. We, as New Zealanders need to speak out and be offensive about all these backward Maori so-called belief systems – it is plunging us into dangerous tribalism. Of course, the stupid Tooth Fairy PM who should not be PM will not do anything except do her vacant grin. Monica
Now National have lost power they may well be persuaded to change policy since they no longer have Maori Party propping them up in government. They have intimated this with their new Te Reo language in schools policy. John
Its another rip off of Kiwi rights! Hugh
This has the potential to start racial strife John
No one I speak to know about such claims. In my view both the Government and the media choose to keep it that way dividing New Zealander again New Zealander.  Sam
just a sneaky way to try and outfox normal people Barry
This has all been carefully arranged by Finlayson, Key and co to assist their Maori mates to rip the rest of us off. It’s no wonder Key suddenly decided that he needed to do something else. The pigeons are coming home to roost. Folks, if we don’y wake up and force binding referendum to become the law of the country our politicians, either because of lack of courage or straight out corruption will continue to make these types of decisions because we the voters have no other real way of stopping them. If we want to retain some version of a stable, open and honest country we have to bring binding referendum in. It works great for the Swiss and has done so for at least the last 150 years. Ronmac
We can only hope that Andrew Little as more sense than Chris Findlayson. But don’t hold your breath. Kevin
The whole coast of NZ and its beaches must remain in the ownership of the Crown and available for the use of all persons living in NZ. It is time that NZ became one nation, one people without any separate recognition of race or gender. Jens
This will go ahead no matter what the huge majority say — the same as other false claims that have been successfully lodged behind the public’s back. Just read FACTUAL HISTORY !!!!!! Alan
Just like a claim, for a couple of area’s on the manukau harbour. Then years later a claim for the whole of the harbour. Now a claim for the harbour and outer reaches of the Tasman ocean along the west coast,  Arthur
It beggars belief that in this day and age the majority of our Politicians accept the undemocratic idea that because a race of primitive people once inhabited this land, they need so much continual help. Even after their celebrated voyages in reaching this country, they started well by butchering the only available major meat supply into oblivion! They then resorted to cannibalism, slaughtering tribal warfare and virtually progressed no further than the very early Stone Age people. After receiving the benefits of Western Civilisation, an act which saved them from extinction; they are demanding that they alone, should be regarded as some sort of chosen people, who have priority over the rest. For decades our political masters have cravenly acceded to these incessant settlements; financial and otherwise, by totally ignoring the democratic process of simply referring to the majority of New Zealanders. Maori grievances, claims, and demands outstrip common sense and now just an excuse for use of common blackmail in the pursuit of more and more money. Furthermore Iwi are too lazy or incompetent, to generate by themselves income for, or even to share it with their people. Without the use of ongoing Government subsidies and racial preferences; that have overridden all non Maori; most Maori have benefitted poorly from the Iwi corporations vast handouts, and racial tax avoidance avenues. However their leaders and so-called historians, still abuse the British Colonialism that lifted them out of the mire of the uncivilised. They should have had a choice, and tried the German South West Africa one!! The continual ‘crying Wolf’ is all too often used, and it is time it was called to account.  Brian
Just WHO are maori ? What makes an IWI,?. How can anyone of Mixed ancestry claim to be of one reace and not of another?. One Rule for ALL. Don
The whole system is geared to reap Maori elite money, while Maori-in-the-street go wanting and all because Governments (plural) warp our history. The Treaty was judged “a simple nullity” by Chief Judge Prendergast, in 1877, a judgement that still stands apart from the ignorant that are not interested in finding out the result of “Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington. The sleepy population who are quite content to let Governments bully them deserve to be bullied George
it is wrong Tom
This shouldn’t even be happening, the coast belongs to all who live in NZ !! end of story. Simon
That this situation has arisen is an absurdity  Grace
Yes —I represent 36 Others on the Coromandel Peninsula, who have paid the $110 Fee to oppose one Claim, however there are actually eight overlapping Claims lodged so far for the same Area–to oppose them all would cost a further $770 , with no guarantee of being heard in the High Court.!!! Noting it is well understood that the Claimants Costs come out of Pool funded by the Taxpayers of NZ. A Travesty against Natural Justice. Jack
The cost alone is most unfair. Many people who wish to object will not do so because of this cost. Clive
Natural justice should prevail Jim
Yes it is a barrier. But what we have got is a pack of useless useless useless politicians who are cosying up to Maori because they are to damn scared to do anything about it. This country is going to finish up as another Zimbabwee Mike 
Stacked in favour of the claimants as per normal for the politicians when it comes to treaty issues. The same rules should apply to the objectors – legal assistance. But then we should not be in this position in the first place. John Keys government is wholly to blame for this farcical shambles. But don’t hold your breath for the “Tooth Fairy’s” lot to fix it. Where is Winston’s anti separatist voice? Rex
Not only are these radical a problem MP`s are equally as bad. All this money that these iwi`s have and make, pay no tax get equal right the same as New Zealanders is rubbish. What is the value of the betterment that Maori has enjoyed due to the settlers and present day New Zealanders?. If taken into consideration would out value all settlements and a debt owing by the treaty of Waitangi. Robert
YES Fiona
The whole thing is a farce. Time these people started to live in the real world and at peace with their fellow citizens. Again I say are we not all New Zealanders especially if we were born here? Laurel
It is loaded against an open and reasonable process. If it runs its course the future of New Zealand as a safe and equal society is under serious threat. Frank
Almost no one I speak to is aware of the whole process. The MSM is largely to blame for this level of ignorance. Roger
This whole process is like a horrible dream where Europeans and all other non Maoris are being deprived of all coastal recreation areas by a Government hell bent on handing everything to the insatiable gimme, gimme, gimme of the Maoris. At the same time the tribes are being handed a fourth or fifth ‘full and final’ payment of $370 million. This Labour Government will in the end bankrupt the country. Chris
I wonder how much Maori culture has been modified to suit present circumstances. Some of this stuff is just crazy. John
All New Zealanders should have equal access to the process for handling claims. At the moment the playing field appears to be sorely biased. Bruce
This needs to be sorted at Priminsterial level. Jacinda was heavily sponsored and supported by the Free Masons of NZ in her tertiary studies, As Masons we believe all people to be equal, there fore one law for all regardless of race or creed .or whatever. Jacinda should deal with it no matter however hard it may be for the benifite of all New Zealanders. Graham
Maories should stop being greedy Gerard
I do not have the finance to object to the claims so therefore they will of course continue in favour of Maori rachism of the highest order Andrew
yes Simon
As in other similar situations the lack of transparency and the lack of access to relevant information hinders fair process where all parties involved can participate without prejudice. Pieter
when is this all going to end.Its costing the tax payer so much. Carl
Of course. It’s loaded in favour of the descendants of our earlier settlers or coffee coloured bros. Alan
Of course it is a barrier. The whole process is a farce. Millions chucked at these maori groups to help them formulate claims, and charging those who wish to dispute the claims. Absolutely disgraceful. Neil
Yes, it is difficult to find information on it. However the most gauling part of the whole process is that Maori can put in claims which are paid for by the govrnment but opposition claims have to be paid for by the claimants. How fair is that. Dennis
It’s discriminating Nev kath
Get this sorted out quickly before the moaris are allowed to take it over. This should never happen.  Clark
The whole matter is an absurdity, ill conceived, and in most cases, without merit. It is without doubt, detrimental to the very vast majority of New Zealanders. The question is will the Labour government have the back-bone to put it right??  Chris
Democracy Edward
It only needs one claim to be passed and then all hell will let loose Dave
There is almost zero public awareness of these spurious claims … it is simply part of the headlong plunge of our country into Maori Domination, with the able assistance of people like Doug Graham, Geoffrey Palmer, Chris Findlayson et al. There is a massive push for Maori to paint themselves as compassionate, loving and conservation minded people. True History tells us they a no such thing. Current prison populations and the evidence of battered, beaten, neglected and murdered children are clear evidence otherwise. Imagine if you will, how New Zealand would be under the heel of Maori. Look at their behaviour now that they have a sniff of domination. Dianna
The use of the beaches and other public coastal areas must remain sacrosanct and totally free of false claims by pseudo-Maori who wish only to make large sums of money from the citizens of this fair land. The new Government must end this unqualified greed immediately and for all time. John
This all so very one sided. Stop this nonsense Frank
Those Maori who want to make these claims get government money to help fund the costs of their claims But the suckers who oppose their claims have to fund their own legal costs How unfair can you get. The Maori’s have been adequately compensated for the so called injustices of the 19th Century yet these bloody greedy Iwi want more and more with their ever more devious claims Colin
All one Mike
This travisty of a process must be made known to All New Zealanders. The Government has a responsibility in this regard as do Main Stream Media. Tony
Another blatant example of favouritism to Maori – the Govt has sure been hijacked by this impure minority group  Russell
Surely it is unjust to publicly fund only those persons wishing to establish a claim to an area of the foreshore and seabed and not those persons who would oppose such a claim. I do believe the coastal claim process as it stands is a barrier to all objectors to the claims. Michael
The whole process is designed to make it difficult for ordinary kiwis to object. No doubts the last National Government and Finlayson are responsible for this.Just another reward for the Maori coalition support.Kiwis had better start to realise the increasing rights of control by Maori which ultimately will create an apartheid situation with white Kiwis at the disadvantage.Dr Newman deserves much more support toward her efforts for equality but sadly the pathetic apathy which exists means this won’t happen.When Maori achieve major controls those same Kiwis will be just scratching their head and saying what happened. Please real Kiwis stand up and be counted. Don
It’s completely biased towards the Maori Terry
For sure David
Absolutely. National will forever claim that this and other legislation of their making was inclusive. Sadly, the reverse is what we’ve got. Martin
The fecking RACIST MOARI Nga’s better learn themselves some manners and some before we start shooting them fullahs Mark
What happened to the Crown owning all seashores. This system allows all people access to our seashores.We are being being kept in the dark by our legal representives and information is only coming to light through the likes of this newsletter and the likes. Ross
From comments read, clearly this is the case. What a can of worms this is going to be. Barbara
Where has the fair go attitude and expectancy for all NZers gone? We are becoming an apartheid state. Kevin
As a reward for taking over beaches we present them with millions of additional TS koha! Brian
It is, and always will be the intention to make it difficult for any objections to these rorts. Owen
Where are we going as “New Zealanders” !!! Mark
No public advertising, no government funding for objectors. A process totally biased in favour of maori claimants. Mark
Another racial process Gareth
Yes – but none of this should be happening in the first place. It is almost as if there is something going on behind the scenes to create dissension and division within our Nation for some, as yet, unknown, nefarious purpose, using racist policies to bring it about. The evident bias in the Claims process would seem to suggest some degree of complicity on the part of Government as a whole – not just any one political party. This needs to be resolved ASAP – otherwise there will be trouble! Scott 
More racial discord  Ian
The media need to be called to account as there has been next to nothing written and no news items( apart from the one in the Tauranga paper) regarding this Important agenda which will affect EVERY New Zealander! Joan
More claims more land grabbing that should be available for ALL New Zealanders to use and enjoy without abuse and having to pay to access beaches which in some areas are already happening. Digby
The Coastal Claims Process certainly appears to be used as a barrier to those of us who object to our beaches being given to a racial minority of our population. Regardless of aledged past issues every beach should belong to the Government and be open to ALL members of the public. Ernest
Discrimination by way of cost. Peter
Unfairly biased financially toward claimants & very expensive for those against. Nicholas
Traditional life as commonly stated by Maori means what? Exclusive use since 1840 means just that. No one else has been near! Errol
All of the is PC ‘Racist’ rubbish – stop the Maori claims and restore the basis of NZ being ‘one people’  Hylton
The previous Government didn’t have a clue as to what the outcome of their idiotic decisions will mean for the wider beach loving public. Barry
This is theft by stealth. Alan
If it was just a case of signing a petition, I’d gladly do it, but all the fuss of making a submission or going to a hearing is over the top for the average jo-blow Ted
As the Maori of today are a mixed breed ,just like the rest of us, with no true Maori left, the claims are ridiculous .This is one country where all are equal. Tom
To much rubbish re Claims on fore shore and seabed we are all New Zealanders. Let us have more binding referendums on same ? Ross
There is no basis for the claims. The coast has been used by all New Zealanders for all time. Andrew
We need to be one nation, not divided Bryan
New Zealand has an on going activist racial sector determined to ‘take over New Zealand’ – now it’s coastal areas. Politicians are feeble – look at Nationals Manofesto! Look at the on going Treaty Settlements. The Tribes ran rings around the pathetic PC Politicians resulting in continuous ‘top ups’ to settlements after signing Full & Final Settlements!!!  Stuart
With a left leading government the conditions are ripe for the picking especially with the number of Maori in and out of caucus and Andrew(No seat ) Little as the conductor. John
Cancel ALL outstanding maori claims and drown the bastards. NZ,s have had enough of this maori bullshit and greed. Des
The greed of Maori has now got completely out of hand. They themselves are the biggest rapist of the ocean and I have witnessed that pillaging over my many year fishing from all parts of the NZ coastline. They want the coastline so they can charge the general NZ Public to use the beach which is against the partnership. Wayne
All the early settlers to this country came here by boat of some sort. This country has no indigenous people. Way past time to get rid of the Tangata whenua/Waitangi rort. No matter what race colour or creed when you cut yourself your blood all runs red.  Rod
Yes apparently. And especially since generous legal aid is available for the claimants, but none for those who object – they have to pay their own application costs. Colin
It needs to be advertised extensively in all media to raise awareness.  Dave
The whole concept is a farce and a massive attempted rip-off against all New Zealanders .. Finlayson & the previous National Govt should be held to account for this mess!  Donald
What a rort Roger
The coast and beaches of New Zealand belong to ALL New Zealanders not to just a particular group or tribe of people. Giving people or tribes exclusive control of any area of our coasts or beaches causes division and racialism . Any person born in this country or naturalised is a New Zealander. We are ALL one people. Diana
The balance was deliberately tipped by the previous government, in favour of Maori. They receive huge financial largess from the public purse, whilst those who oppose them have to dig deep into their own pockets. As an aside: Frank Newman states, correctly, that rahui has no legal force – it is merely a Maori custom that is being converted into a quasi-statutory power. Less well known, I suspect, is the fact that the Treaty of Waitangi has, likewise, no legal standing. It has never entered the statute books and, what’s more, no government has ever ratified it. The only reason that it is secondarily referred to in other pieces of legislation is that left-leaning judges, and Maori activists, have pushed for it; the former have far exceeded their official brief in doing so ( for example, by inventing the nonsense of a ‘Treaty partnership”), and the latter have depended on bully-boy tactics to achieve their end. It’s time that some light was shone on this legerdemain. Which politician has the guts to do so? Graham
How do we do it. It should be free !! David
It is time all this info went out to the press to help they seem to been scared to do anything. Geoff
Is there ever going to be an end to this part Maori rubbish . If something isn’t done to stop all this time wasting rubbish the country will soon be racially divided and then comes a whole lot more problems The whole Maori thing seems endless just look at the latest huge treaty settlement top ups and as they said there is more to come . FULL and FINAL I don’t think so . Jock
It is going to get worse! Bruce
If the government have any guts at all they must rule in favour of access to all, you cannot have a nation split in half by racist demands Brianb
Wake up nz before its too late . Anthony
Why are our Governments allowing themselves to be ‘pushed’ into decisions detrimental to our country where 75% of the public are forced to kowtow to a 25% minority of the population ? Or should those making the final decisions in these cases, NOT be in Parliament in the first place ???  Robyn
I believe that nobody should own the coastal rights exclusively especially since we do not have any true blooded Maoris  Pat
This will end in bloodshed Dave
It has cost me $110 to register a defense against a claim and that is only the start. How many other people will do the same ? Arthur 
…this nation of New Zealand is being divided day by day by a bunch of cavemen with a dead language , which the govt handout billions of $$$ in so called false treaty claims. ChrisH
I hate to be cynical but one can’t help but feel that the lack of transparency by govt is entirely intentional and meant to discourage public enquiry.  Steve
APARTHEID in NZ. Evil, insidious and divisive. Geoff
If the Maoris want the island so badly, let them have it and move them all on to it. Let them live there with no aid from the mainland. If they want to live like there ancestors take away what the white man gave them, then lets see how they survive. Reg
Extreme racial bias initiated by that perverted traitorous Phinlayson!! Tony
I have not been given money from the Govt, unlike Maoris, to enable me to afford the process of objection. Jill
Let’s stop all this nonsense now the whole thing is out of hand no beach should be privately owned ever. Peter
All of New Zealand should be for ALL New Zealand. If you do want your own seperate peace of land for your sole use go and try to find a place where you are wanted. You are notmy tribal elder so what right do you have to tell me where to walk or not to walk  Johan
If claimants receive taxpayer funding for their claims – as they do – why cannot objectors receive the same privilege?? Seems to me the deck is stacked – as always! Andrew
The whole process of this issue should be made public by national publications and main television affairs programs. William
Unless I read the NZCPR Weekly which I do I haven’t heard much about these claims and what to do to object. It is unbelievable in this day and age to be told you cannot go on the beach or go in the sea for a swim. I can’t see this happening in another country or allowed to happen. Kerin
Absolutely. It’s hard for us who aren’t too familiar with legal proceedings to state our feelings and we would dearly like the coastline to remain available to our grandchildren and their grandchildren as New Zealanders.  Alan
If the Maori wishes to place a rahui on anything which is public then they alone should follow their own beliefs. and allow others to carry on the business of living. I was at Cable Bay the day after the drowning and had I not heard that a drowning had occurred I would have little idea of anything having happened at this public, lovely Northland beach. Let’s get some realism. Elizabeth
Apartheid in reverse ? Brian
Very tough. Andrew
There should be no bans it should remain in Govt hands for ever Colin
Stop pandering to Maori groups Kevin
It’s getting out of hand they think they are inferior Jimmy
As someone who has registered an application to be heard I know it is a difficult and daunting and costly process. One really needs to be a lawyer to participate. Mark
For Gods sake, the iwi pay no taxes on their profits, get preferential treatment at university and who knows what else they have their snouts into the taxpayers trough. Enough is enough Sam
Matakana Island is just the start Beaches are for all New Zealanders Ian
Despite the wilful, nonsensical manipulations of Geoffrey Palmer in the ’80s, the fact that virtually all of this process has been attributable to MMP and the consequent indulgence of National governments allowing its Maori Party tail to wag its “dog” is sickening as a realisation. The fact too, that Maori/non-Maori relations, along with our former tolerance and understanding of the other’s position, have deteriorated so much since the absurdity of that totally unjustifiable 3rd round of “Treaty” settlements. That fact alone underlines and indicts the utter failure of the sought objective. Jim
Maori elders are getting ideas above their station all of which is due to John Key and his cronies.  Jon
Repeal it and all claims settled under the former Minister Finlayson. David
Absolutely it’s a barrier. The fee should be removed as well.  Sarah
I tried to find the claims near our batch and it was impossible. The whole process should be suspended while proper information is provided for those who deserve, in the interests of natural justice, to have a say.  Brian
I wonder if it was it a deliberate ploy by National to make the process so difficult for people to object to the claims that more tribes would gain control of the coast? Michael
The system is screwed against Kiwi families wanting to enjoy the coast. The whole thing is a disgrace. Alex
Labour needs to sort this mess out pronto.  Rosalyn