About the Author

Avatar photo

Dr Muriel Newman

Warning Shots Over Foreshore and Seabed Claims

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted on

Last month a Te Awamutu father, his fourteen year old son and a friend were shot at while surfing at Albatross Point near Taharoa. They had launched their jetskis in the Kawhia Harbour and travelled 20 minutes south to the Waikato coast surf break, when they heard gunshots.

The trio said the first two shots sounded further away, but the third shot landed just metres from where the boys were surfing.

Fearing for their safety, they fled back to Kawhia and laid a complaint with the local Police.

This is not the first time visitors to the area have been shot at. Earlier this year, someone fired at a fisherman and his diving companion, which they too reported to the Police at Kawhia.

Meanwhile, local Police have condemned the latest shooting, saying “There’s a massive risk for this kind of offending. It’s just intolerable. We are not in a war zone.”

Despite those grave words, no arrests have been made to date and there’s a view that more could be done. Local Police would know who owns firearms and they should act because the area is becoming a war zone.

It’s not just near Kawhia that such threats are occurring. More and more stories are now emerging of local bullies, who claim to ‘own’ the coast, threatening and intimidating those using the area. There are real fears that if such groups gain ‘title’ to the coast, they will take the law into their own hands and assert their ownership rights by menacing those they regard as “trespassers”.

While the public have a legal right of access to the beaches and the sea, the reality is that few will argue legal niceties when confronted with threats and intimidation. Most will simple stay away and the great Kiwi love-affair with New Zealand’s coast, will slowly but surely come to an end.

Growing numbers of people now believe that National’s Marine and Coastal Area Act has been a colossal mistake. They want it repealed and Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed restored.

Part of the problem is that the Act was not brought in because the existing law was failing – but for political advantage. After the 2008 election, new Prime Minister John Key wanted the Maori Party as part of his coalition government – and they wanted their tribal supporters to have control of the coast.

It wasn’t even as if National needed the Maori Party, as they already had the numbers to govern with United Future and ACT. In effect, the Maori Party’s 5 votes were an insurance policy for National – and tribal ownership of the coast was the price New Zealanders were expected to pay.

So how did we get into this mess – and more importantly, how can we get out of it?

Like many legislative disasters, the problem had a complex gestation.

It started in 1997 when a local council turned down a tribal application for a marine farm. The applicants appealed the decision to the Maori Land Court, claiming that they had a customary right to the area. The Court found in their favour. But the Crown appealed the case to the High Court – and won. The claimants then appealed it to the Court of Appeal, and they won, with the Court ruling that customary rights in the foreshore and seabed might exist, and that the Maori Land Court had the jurisdiction to deal with the claims.

Mindful of how serious the implication of this were – since it could have led to the wholesale privatisation of the coast – under normal circumstances, the Crown would have appealed the case to the Privy Council. But since the Labour Government was in the throes of establishing the Supreme Court and had closed down access to the Privy Council, legislation was needed instead.

The Court of Appeal’s 2003 decision was extremely controversial. Not only did it contravene convention by overturning an earlier Court of Appeal ruling – that under common law the country’s foreshore and seabed were owned by the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders – but since the Maori Land Court had the power to transfer customary title to general title, it gave any tribal claimants who succeeded in gaining customary title to the coast, the option of privatising their title and selling the coast.

As a result of the Court of Appeal’s ruling, tribal claims for the coast flooded in. Most went out 12-nautical miles to the edge of the Territorial Sea, while others included the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone as well.

With the support of New Zealand First and the Progressives, Labour passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2004. The new law, which re-affirmed Crown ownership of the beaches and the sea, extinguished the Maori Land Court applications, but allowed tribal groups to claim coastal management rights instead – subject to strict conditions.

As expected, the law change was contentious. Labour Minister Tariana Turia resigned and formed the Maori Party. At the 2005 election they gained 4 seats on the promise of repealing Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed, and at the 2008 election, they won 5 seats.

National’s plan to repeal Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed came with a solemn promise from Prime Minister John Key that the public had nothing to fear – he said there would be no law change unless New Zealanders agreed. But despite the public being overwhelmingly opposed to a law change, National went ahead anyway. They replaced Crown ownership with a no man’s land to allow tribal groups to claim customary title and rights – all the while reassuring the public that the claims would cover only a small area of the coast.

Customary Marine Title afforded tribal claimants rights akin to ownership. They were far reaching and lucrative in that they allowed the exploitation of the coast. Tribal owners could charge commercial operators for using their area, they could mine and sell non-nationalised minerals, and they could lease out their area – such as to the Chinese wanting to extract rare earths. They had the right to impose coastal plans on councils, to veto anyone wanting a resource consent, and to designate wahi tapu and rahui to keep the public out – with fines for trespass set at $5,000.

National also made it easier for groups to claim the coast. Under Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act, only tribes owning land adjoining their claims could lodge an application – but the new law removed that restriction.

National’s Marine and Coastal Area Act gave tribal groups six years to lodge their claims, and as the 3 April 2017 deadline approached it appeared there would only be 40 or 50 claims in total. But in the last few days, almost 600 hundred more poured in.

There are now 202 cases clogging up the High Court, with the first of those High Court hearings – for a claim lodged in 2011 – not scheduled until July 2019. In addition, 380 cases have choked up Crown Engagement, to the point where the Minister of Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little expects it will be 18 months before he can determine which claims to engage with.

Meanwhile to appease the Maori Party, National included in the Act a requirement for anyone wanting a resource consent in the coastal marine area to have to consult all groups whose claims cover the area concerned. With some parts of the coast having more than 20 overlapping claims, the costs of engaging with iwi “stakeholders” is causing applicants to walk away from their developments.

The cost to taxpayers is also enormous. Over $100 million is likely to be spent on grants to tribal lawyers alone – to help them prepare cases, with up to $412,000 for each of the 380 Crown Engagement claims and up to $316,000 for the 202 High Court claims.

Meanwhile, those opposing the claims and defending the public interest are forced to pay all of the costs themselves – including a $110 High Court filing fee for each claim.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is Rex Beer, a keen fisherman who registered as an interested party in one of the claims because he doesn’t want to see any restrictions on the public’s right to fish. After studying the Marine and Coastal Area Act, he has huge concerns about the lack of clarity in the law and the way it’s being administered. He’s worried about the use of coercion and intimidation to prevent public access to the coast and wonders where it will all lead:

“It would be naïve, to expect that, if Customary Title is granted, some Maori will not seek to gain greater control than they are legally entitled. Further, some tribal groups will no doubt seek to obtain legal powers beyond what this Act provides. In other words, customary rights to the coast will be treated as a ‘foot in the door’ – for other New Zealanders, things could get worse later, as once this door is opened, it will be very hard (probably impossible) to close.”

Rex explains that the High Court applications (you can read them all HERE) lack the detail required by the Act. This point has also been strongly made by the Attorney General, who has reviewed all applications and found they did not provide sufficient evidence to show that the applicants have met the statutory test for establishing a customary marine title or rights – namely that they have ‘exclusively used and occupied the area from 1840 to the present day’.

In addition, the Attorney General believes that the existence of overlapping claims confirms that applicants cannot meet the ‘exclusive use and occupation’ test. He also found applications did not properly describe the rights being applied for, nor the areas being claimed.

As a result of pointing out these deficiencies in the claim applications, the Attorney General is now under attack. Many claimants are trying to restrict his role to that of being an observer in the claims process rather than an advocate for the public interest – a role he has held since the High Court claims process was first established in 2011. 

If this challenge becomes a matter for a pre-trial hearing, it will be vital that the best possible legal arguments are presented to ensure the Attorney General can act on behalf of all New Zealanders without restriction. And that’s why the NZCPR is continuing to fundraise HERE for a fighting fund, to ensure the public’s voice in the claims process is as strong as possible.

Overall, the Marine and Coastal Area Act has become a disaster for New Zealand.

If the MPs who voted to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act had known what the effects would be, most would not have supported a law change.

Furthermore, if tribal groups succeed in preventing the Attorney General from opposing the claims in the public interest, there is a very real possibility that vast tracts of New Zealand’s coastline will end up under tribal control – at risk of becoming no-go zones for free public access, with commercial operators forced to pay rent seekers each time they use the area.

The situation is now out of control. The Marine and Coastal Area Act is failing the New Zealand public and must go. Restoring the Foreshore and Seabed Act, to reaffirm Crown ownership and extinguish the claims, is the only way forward.

The point is that the public never supported this law change in the first place – and with multiple overlapping claims covering the entire coast, the soothing words of the then National Government, that the claims would be limited to remote areas of the coast, have been shown to be a lie.

When laws fail, Parliament must step in. In this case, there is no time to lose. The law must be changed before damage is done to the very fabric of New Zealand – free and unfettered Kiwi access to the coast must be protected.

So, who will lead the charge? Will National recognise their error in changing the law and try to put it right? Will Labour realise that as the majority party in Government it is their responsibility? Or will Winston Peters take a lead?

Whoever it is, urgent action is needed now.


Should the Marine and Coastal Area Act be repealed and Crown ownership restored through the reintroduction of the Foreshore and Seabed Act?


*Poll comments are posted below.


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


Click to view x 120


Repealing this divisive law should be a priority. Racially pitting one citizen against another, can only end badly. It seems shooting at the public, intimidation and treats in public parks/beaches to keep people away has not reached it;s threshold to change course. What will it take? The nation grows more divided and resentful. Iwi entitlement grows. Sam
I am sick and tired of having my rights and heritage as a New Zealander undermined by a minority of Maori who constantly have their hand out. Carol
If you wanton argument, pick another subject. Bob
This matter is now completely out of control. We have seen how Maori treat access to areas that we could ALL once enjoy and no longer can. They are fierce and intimidating Sylvia
The beaches and foreshore belong to all New Zealanders and should be available for them and visitors to this country to enjoy. This position needs to be irrevocably ensconced n legislation once and for all. Peter
This shambles of a government cannot pass non-politically-correct laws now so how would they cope with that one? Monica
I find it hard to believe our politicians could contemplate such divisive legislation. Our grandchildren will suffer from the chilling effects if this can not be halted. Irvine
There is only one crown authority. Maurice
Ownership of the foreshore and sea bed should definatly be returned to crown ownership James
It should never been introduced in the first place Peter
The current political situation is very fluid; Winston Peters is the de facto Prime Minister, because he holds the sword of Damocles over Jacinda Ardern’s head. Consider his position on the Maori seats, for example: he has moved the Bill to the Select Committee stage so that he can there insist on the insertion of a clause mandating a binding referendum (on his terms, of course). So his stance on the seabed/foreshore issue will be crucial, and I predict that it won’t go the way that the iwi leaders (his natural enemies) would want. The Maori gun-toting roughnecks can jump up and down as much as they like, but nothing will be done and dusted without Peters’ say-so. Graham
By way of a national referendum so all New Zealanders can have a say. Allan
Similar intimidation of fishermen has been happening off the coast of Porirua, where a group of Maoris circled a family at speed demanding that they should stop fishing and another instance of a family being boarded and their fish being stolen. The Porirua Mayor Mike Tana has been silent on the matter. Rex
All Kiwis should have access to the coast Maori have no more rights than anyone else John
It belongs to every New Zealander John
Their will never be any satisfaction on this matter because all previous governments are so pathetically weak. It should have never got to this stage . Rick
This law should never been allowed it must be repealed immediately. Wendy
We are meant to be a democratic country with ONE Law for all.This logically should extend to equal funding for challenging any of the existing claims before the Courts. Mike
Our current condition was predictable, when National FAILED the people of NZ. by changing the Foreshore legislation, just to gain political security that it did not need. SHAME on those members of National, for creating another solid step towards Racial Discrimination in NZ. And why is it that only Europeans are accused of Racism, anyway ? ? National’s version of the Marine & Coastal Areas Act is blatant Racism against the majority of NZ people. Will Labour change it back ? Nah, it’s already too late. MervB
How long will it be before the greed of these trible I Want It group will employ the policies of the mad Mugabe and take farms by force with the support of the just as mad politicians of the once great land called New Zealand Murray
No one person or group should have exclusive right to any area of coastline or seabed. What happened to the Queens Chain ? Phil
A definite yes Robert
Yes Crown ownership has to be restored. BUT !!! Due to the appeasement policies of all established parties we as a country have arrived at a point of no return( almost) The tribal elite has mobilized all legal resources ( handed to them on a golden platter by above mentioned political rubbernecks) to deliver the deathblow and establish another pillar to reign over us all. The fact that Tribal claimants can get up to 400 K of taxpayers money whereas any non Maori claimant has to pay court fees is a powerful statement of how the political establishment has handed over any control over future developments quite some time ago . The NZ public has either been kept utterly in the dark by a compliant MSM or — what meagre information there was deseminated — been totally misinformed. A long as we have a apathetic and complacent populace with generally no interest in politics whatsoever and happily going along with everything— even if racially driven propaganda starts brainwashing their own children in schools ,poly techs and universities— the we can well and truly say the point of no return has come already. Michael
racist Donal
NO ONE owns nature. The Government should be in charge. Sue
Maoris must be stopped on owning the foreshore it must be for all Nzers Anon
The whole process is based on false claims, false values and a document that has been rewritten to accommodate the wishes of the Tribal Governance advocates. It is just another way to transfer control of the countries resources into the hands of a few. Another step towards Tribal Dictatorship. Bruce
The coast is for all New Zealander. Or do we accept that NZ is going down the Apathied road Tony
Of course repeal this stupid Act. All beaches for All New Zealanders. Gerard
If the claims process was upheld it would be all right Leigh
Crown ownership is the only way our coastlines can be saved so all NZers can have free and open access. Robert
Yes this needs to be repealed! Sarah
Biggest mistake John Key ever made Bryan
It is all about greed and money, no one should own the beaches. Ann
Madness! Why can’t Maori see the actual resentment these claims are creating. Reg
I just wonder if our socalled politicians ever read any of these comments, or do they think that we are all a bunch of no hopers who just want to shit stir? Bill
Just another land grab Jeff
One of the 2 correct things the Clark Govt did. (no smoking in bars or restaurants the other) Geoff
Its getting out of hand Jimmy
New Zealand is rapidly becoming a them and us Country with 15% of the population ruling against a majority. What has happened to a united Country? GONE to the dogs by a greedy few…..out to bleed many dry through their own laws NOT N Z Laws MARYLIN
A most definite ‘yes’. George
As a young student 45 years ago, I always tthought it was pretty cool and very fair that in general no one owned the foreshore, and everybody had equal access. So yes, bring back the Foreshore and Seabed act. Chris
The foreshore and seabed must remain the property of New Zealand meaning all New Zealanders, not just a few who claim (often with little real justification) to be “Maori.” Rob
How can any Government allow anyone apart from the Crown the Ownership of the Marine Coast and Seabed it’s absolutely ridiculous Frank
Belongs to all New Zealanders June
Time for this stupidity to be put right. Allowing this Act to proceed is going to cause damage to New Zealand, the like of which has not been seen before. Neil
Sea bad and coast legislation passed by NZN is a part of a wider agenda promoted by UN. It’s intimately related to Global Warming which according to their “understanding” should benefit from transformation of our civil society into a tribal one. It is a direct attack against its institutions and its liberties. And let me not forget to mention a new legislation which in the phase of discussion in the parliament about compulsory learning of Maori language in school. Dave
No one owns the foreshore & seabed. Stop this nonsence. Ross
Yes pretty obvious John Key only wanted power and the knighthood eh !! Nevkath
This act is illegal – there is tons of evidence, including photographs of early settlers using the land which is now being claimed ILLEGALLY. When will our justice system deliver REAL JUSTICE instead of continually pampering to UNJUST AND UNRIGHTEOUS claims? We are burdened by an unjust plan delivered by the previous minister who took it upon himself to day yes, yes, yes without checking the background of each claim. He set in place the path to apartheid, killing democracy which is the foundation of our nation. CM
Another J Key mess. Bill
By the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi all land became Crown Land. A freehold title is the best lease you can get from the Crown, Donald
National supporters should hang their heads in shame (not in the sand). Put the FS&SB back into crown ownership for EVERYONE Mark
Absolutely Ian
This is just another failure of the political system we have, that allows laws to be changed for nothing more than the will to stay in power. The current coalition is no different, just another set of “we promise” to stay in power. Barry
Absolutely. A travesty of justice in the first place. Phil
Yes it would hideous to have an individual ownership of the marine and coastal area John
The whole episode should have been stopped with a “NO” from the beginning. Tribal elite propaganda must be stopped. David
Maori have already used the strong arm tactics up at Te Kaha. Charging NZ citizens to launch their boats off the beach. Don’t pay and you come back to your vehicle tyres cut and gouge marks over all vehicles panels Wayne
Absolutely William
The J Key led Gov’t stuffed up what was put in place by the Clark led Labor Gov’t. This should be the Commonwealth of all NZ citizens. Norm
what a ‘buggers muddle this is” Larry 
Well argued and correct conclusion. Jo 
Unfettered access of course…but all users of the foreshore need to respect a finite rahui period if it applies to everyone and has a reasonable foundation for its application Richard
Convince the PM of this. There is nothing she could do that would make her more popular. All fair minded NZs would love her. Roger
Absolutely. The Treaty Grievance Industry is making an absolute mockery of this by claiming ownership of all NZ coastline. Tony
colour blind is the only way forward ! Brian
Time to put things right John
Which party has the spine to do this? Barbara
Is the situation arising here going to be any different from what us happening in Sth Africa land seizures? Brian
Soon we will have to pay to walk along the beach and if this happens we may also find we have to pay rates to Maori – after all it is their land – it is never-ending. Fiona
Thanks Mr Key !!!!(the rat has left the sinking ship). Whats this country coming to. Mark
Lets Do It, Priority number three after we shed the Apartheid seats (priority one) and terminate the Treaty Industry (priority two) then after that we can move to; Rescind the RMA, Remove the Climate nonsense and its fake Ministry and remove all mention of bogus partnership and reference to TOW in our Law. If we saved the Climate scam fees off fuel tax, abandoned the fool Carbon tax on forestry and ceased to pay lockstep fawning to the UN we might save our economy b ut we would need to reject the UN blighted concept of all religions and go back to the Christianity of our pioneers before we see and improvement in the nations wealth. We could repay the corrupt international fiat bankers with their own fiat script by taxing the International bankers on their holdings here. Richard
This is the only reason National lost our family’s votes at the last election!- and will continue to do so until this ownership is returned to the crown. John
Immediately or as near as possible. This little slice of heaven can’t afford the internal fighting. Lets get real and back to all living peacefully together. Laurel
No brainer, or we will not get near a beach in the future without opening our wallets. Mark
Key got a Knighthood for this treachery – aided by that idiot Finlayson. They both ought to be castigated for it. Aunty Podes
The seabed and foreshore is for all New Zealanders Bev
The only way forward out of this mess. Really only goes to emphasis the title of the very well written column by last weeks guest speaker Dr Kerry McDonald “2 decades of shocking failure in political leadership’ Rex
A sound and just move to do the right thing in the interest of all New Zealanders. Barry
Why does commonsense and practicalities go out the door in such cases like this Joe
People will die and their deaths will be laid fairly and squarely on John Keys head. Sense must prevail. Peter
All beaches should be in public ownership. The English coastal walkway system should be emulated. Keith
I URGE EVERY-ONE to email jacinda,winston & Simon [after all it was National who is the cause of this]EMAIL NOW DONT WAIT. Cindy
If successive governments keep handing money to the iwi elite to pay for claims there will be conflict Murray
Let us all be New Zealanders with avaricious no group claiming divisive ethnic rights, and the largest share of the nation’s wealth Bryan
Most certainly. There are no Maoris left as they are all more some other blood other than Maori. I cannot understand where they are coming from. If they get control of the coastline,what will be next. They will never be satisfied. Peter
There must be a neutral official to legislate on the validity of claims and as far as I am concerned the Attorney General fits the bill. This stupidness has as you said been brought about by the National Party wanting to cling to power against the wishes of the public. Pity there wasn’t a party that listened and acted for all. Dennis
Part of the Hon Christopher Findlayson’s legacy; that in all probability cost National the last election. Martin
Those responsible for this shocking lack of respect for the average NZer should be charged with treason Michael
Cancel all legislation by race Maurice
This is just one example of Maori taking over this country. Tony
One law for all. Equal access and ownership of all coastal areas for all New,Zealanders of all races. No Maori apartheid privledges. Angela
Nobody should own something by right of color or creed We are after all all New Zealaners Pat
This current furore is but one act in a long play called “Theft of the Peoples Common s”. It is a tragedy of deceit, greed, poison ideology and manipulation without a thread of decency, integrity or principle anywhere. The plot is the capture of the Peoples Commons resources under a customary title that gets turned to Freehold title and is then traded for leasehold backhands or cash to the enrich of a few at the loss of all citizens. Gross deceit born of Apartheid measures and communist ideology, to which no respectable political party nor any honorable justice institution should be party. This mess cannot be cleaned up that the fake Apartheid MMP seats are not also addressed and the appropriation of all commons forced through Parliament as a process. Richard
Absolutely … why should part maori be given rights over and above all New Zealanders. Robbie
These acrs will only get worse and need squashing in the bud Colin
Unbelieable!!! Chris
When is some MP or Minister with guts going to say “NO”. It,s becoming ridiculous and way beyond any damn Treaty meaning and intention. Alan
You bet it should. That behaviour recently in Kawhia is a disgrace and the arms defenders should should be brought in if necessary to root out the perpetraters Robert
What an unmitigated disaster this Act is in its present form for NZ and our democracy Carolyn
If we, the majority of people living and paying tax,loose control of our coastline and seabed, which is about to happen what would stop these people claiming and getting control of the land between the coastline, sorry, they have already claims in for the land and only part control so far? I can’t understand why all this is allowed to happen, are we now a banana republic? Can we trust our politicians? Are our politicians accountable? Using logic and common sense has long ago left our shores. Winston Peters laughs as he is enjoying his last stint at the trof as top pig. One nation, one race, the human race please. Leonard
It is an absolute mess and eventually the coastal and marine seabed will be owned by the Maori. David
It’s every kiwi’s right, whatever race, colour or creed, to have access to New Zealand’s coastal land and seashore. Anything less than this would be call Apartheid, racism or even communism. Graeme
The Crown must own the seabed for all New Zealanders – not some group who is not entitled. Jim
Yes!! Another fine mess you’ve got us into, John! When are our politicians going to grow a pair and and start opposing the rampant racism that is spreading like a cancerous growth throughout all levels of New Zealand society. Why do so many politicians have a problem with the concepts of racial equality and one law for all? Unless things change, New Zealand will face civil unrest in the not too distant future! Les
I wonder how John Key feels now over this when he sees the total mess National under his leadership has handed down to ALL Kiwis? – Perhaps he could give one of his millions to help bring things back to where they were? Ted
The Sea Marine and coastal Area should be crown owned and available to all NZ Cherryl
Yes, absolutely, and the sooner the better. Alan
Racial division is becoming a very serious threat to the harmony of public life in this country. Wake up new Zealand, put a stop to it before it is too late! TOBY
I have been to Vanuatu where you have to pay to go on the beach. Beware this is coming to NZ . A few years ago I was told that I could not visit Ketatahi Hot Springs and that I had to pay. It belongs to all NZers. Cathedral Cove in the Catlans, Otago you have to pay to visit. It should belong to us all. Andrew
Without a doubt.This is one country where everyone must have equal rights. If some Maori do not agree then they must be brought to heel accordingly Tom
Without a doubt! Henry
National sold us down the river on this. A fix is required urgently. Peter
Just check out the racist sign at Whale Bay near Raglan if you require evidence of how these claimants intend treating New Zealanders who venture near their so called claims. “Nobody is allowed to set foot below high tide mark. To do so will result in a $5000 fine imposed by the signatory to this sign. Scary threats. Chris
This whole thing is so weird. We are surely the only country in the world with active and state sponsored ‘reverse racism’. NO WAY should any one race control aspects of.NZ. We are ALL descendants of immigrants or born here…there is no ‘native’….so why on Gods green earth is so much biased crap promulgated as legit race based decision making and even getting ensconced as law. Have our politicians truly completely lost their minds? Their back-bone? Their perspective? If it wasn’t so serious now it would be funny… Mike
Crown ownership MUST be restored through reintroduction of the Foreshore and Seabed Act and the sooner the better for most NZ citizens Ernest
Absolutely-John Key just kicked such errors down the road so that someone else would have to deal with the mess. NOW is the time to deal with it by saying clearly NO! Roger
Should never have been entertained. Wayne
Unless it is repealed, this surely will ultimately be one of the most divisive and destructive elements in New Zealand’s history. The worst bit is, I think a good portion of New Zealanders are unaware of what’s brewing… Mark
The coastal regions of NZ should be owned by all New Zealanders Tony
Why, oh Why, cannot Parliament as a whole see the extreme danger in this. Greedy Maori claimants will push their barrow as far and fast as they can, filling it with money at every stage. It is a stupid situation when Iwi can get financial help to claim something that the majority of citizens see as nothing more than a land grab, while opponents have to foot their own costs. No right-minded M.P. should accept that as good legislation. Carl
One law for all. No extra rights for anyone. Daphne
This will start a race war Dave
The alternative will lead to unending racial strife Rob
The divisions with the Maori extremists (and elites) against the pakeha must be stopped immediately. Go backwards for once and get some sanity into this process! Hilary
Maoris NEVER owned the Coastline, Seabed or Foreshore! … any dickhead should know that! Des
It never should have been introduced in the first place. The NZ govt. is infested with racist/liberal politicians, who have been allowed to create a society which is heavily prejudiced against the white populace. No one in the country, appears to be willing or able, to put a stop to this. John
Yes I definitely agree, this whole thing is out of control. Ann
Can’t argue with common sense Marie
it should never have been changed in the first place ,white people of NZ will have to pay to go swimming ,walk on the beach etc, if they get ownership , we have to stop it , . John Key should be brought in to this ,he let them have this in the first place Graeme
The Act is a National disgrace. Get rid of it. Coast for ALL Kiwis. Donald
What an unholy mess useless politicians trying to protect their pockets have got us into. I bet the lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank. Mark
This is the biggest rort in the history of our country and we must restore the original act. That a bunch of mixed race people can imagine they are entitled to control our lives, begars belief. Denis
It should have never been instituted William
Put an end to threats and intimidation once and for all. This land is for all to enjoy. Judith
There should be no doubt that the foreshore and seabed is owned by the crown and freely available for all New Zealanders in perpetuity. John
This is the last chance before the stable door gets trampled and the horse has bolted. Kerry
A no brainer Bryan
Things have definately got out of hand and THESE people are only flexing their muscles.A lot more to happen unfortunately.Thishas to stop. Daniel
Without doubt!!!! Monty
Extremely important!!! Peter
We have to change legislation that permits about 20% of the population to claim, ownership of the entire coastline of New Zealand and probably close access to the other 80% Terry
The Treaty Of Waitangi and those exploiting it has become a blight on New Zealand as a whole and is creating a racial divide. Greedy politicians chasing party support for power cannot be trusted to have the best intesrest of all in their hands. What National did is a classic example of this and political parties must be stopped from making any more race based law Trevor
It needs more national news coverage. Many people are completely unaware of the situation. Kabe
What a wonderful legacy the ‘Key’ led National government have left us. Signing of TPP, effectively an open boarder approval document.. Signing the Paris climate scam accord, opening the door to eliminate agriculture in this country. But the best one of all, implementing apartheid, to appease a mixed race group of descendants of Maori. Why did a once proud ‘Party’ do all this? To satisfy their GLOBALIST masters of course. No-wonder John became Sir John. Now watch the current bunch of puppets that we call a government, take us even further down the road to bankruptcy.. A.G.R.
There was no mandate to the national to pass this bill initially — I bellieve winston Peters the only one strong enough to stand up and repeal t – if so he gets my vote as New Zealander John
I stopped voting National who I have almost always voted for when they repealed The Foreshore and Seabed Act. I smelled Corruption. Roger
All coastal areas should revert back to Crown ownership. National in passing the Act simply prostituted themselves to Maori Any surprise to that? Maori greed ,fraud ,child and welfare abuse is out of control and their people as they like to say cannot be trusted in any shape or form.Wont be long before white Kiwis shoot back at the Maori scumbags who threaten some areas.Im proud to be white and would be ashamed if I was brown Don
Absolutely!! Sheena
The madness of APARTHEID in NZ is getting more intense. And still the sheeple snooze. Geoff
one people – one law Simplify & reduce burden on Courts Doug
Similar thing in Fiji was one reason the last Bainimarama took over Don
Crazy to change it anyway, general public must have freedom of access to all coastal areas not otherwise restricted. Graham
Restore the act for all NZ rs Ian
It would be intensely sad if, in 50 years time, our children asked “Grandad, why can’t we walk on the beach and swim in the sea? Who stopped us?” and for the grandfather to have to answer “We did, by not opposing draconian laws when we had the opportunity.” Alan
Another example of the increasing fragmentation that is happening in NZ. The relatively peaceful co-existence that New Zealanders enjoyed is being pushed aside by assertive self-interest. Jacob
But strengthened to remove all racist prilivage via the Treaty of Waitangi claims or the Maori Land Court as the foreshore is not EXCLUSIVE Maori lands John
Stop the madness Kevin
With urgency. It is natural justice. Chris
It will be a move in the right direction for future NZ Generations Pierre
Getting rather sick of these indigenous impostors. Dave
Absolutely. The quicker we can have this referendum the better. The idiotic but cunning Iwi will continue to screw every possible amount of money out of the taxpayer until they are gone Colin
There are many areas where Maori restrict access to the coastline and lakes already. In their minds they already own it. They use force and the Police turn a blind eye. I have witnessed this on several occasions Philip
Most definitely. Trevor
…and we all know who the ‘Traitors ‘ are that pushed this load of garbage Act… they remain on the run and nobody seems to care !! CHowes
Without a doubt! Should never have been changed. Elizabeth
Maori elders have been given far too much power via treaty settlements very little of which was used to help low income and unemployed Maori which is why so many Maori youth are in prison where their elders should be. Jonathon
Can common sense prevail please. Andrew
By their action Maori reinforce the fact that they can’t be Trusted, that they lie. If shots were fired, by a Pakeha at a Maori father and his children, anywhere in this country, there would be an Armed Offenders call out and mass condemnation by Maori leaders. Where is the Justice. Maori are only 17% of the New Zealand population, for those who are mathematically challenged, for each Maori that wants to hurt Pakeha, there are four Pakeha to hurt back. Maybe now is a good time for the war. George
For the benefit of ALL NZer’s Leon
The law is a complete ass. Crown ownership is the only way to go. Jim
And the sooner the better! Pam
Just Maori wanting more and more and getting it Allan
The act should be set in stone so retard MP can ever change it Rowan
New Zealand for ALL New Zealanders. 2nd here does not make you native or indigenous Rick
Urgently. Glenn
Of course the act should be repealed but which of the political parties has the guts to oppose activist Maori. John
How did this happen in the first place it is there for all to enjoy what’s wrong with this county and these people shoot at surfers where are our law enforcement officers I bet they know who they are are they frightened of them Imagine if they were to get certain right to the sea shore would they be allowed to just shoot trespassing people Peter
Crown ownership should never have been taken away. Seems to me everyone is scared of Maori intimidation Graeme
Yes – the quicker the better Ian
It must be repealed or future generations of Kiwis will miss out on what we had.N.Z. is a group of Islands surrounded by the sea no one should own any part of the coast,Look what happened to Lake Taupo, it is just pure greed from bullying iwi groups who never really did anything with the coast but raped & pillaged it & they still are. Allen
Enough is enough from the Maori radicals! Donald
Absolutely should be repealed Gillian
Maoris own nothing, never did Norm
Apartheid all over again! Ethnicity should NEVER define privilege. It was a catastrophe in South Africa, why would it be any different in NZ? Peter
Absoltuely. David
Absolutely, without doubt! Brian
Yes definitely! Save our beaches for future generations. Jack
An important part of being a New Zealander is our access to the beach and the shore John
Everyone should have access to all beaches for fishing, swimming. or any other beach activity as it was before National’s hugely faulted Marine and Coastal Area Act. The fact that people have been shot at – in this country – demonstrates the ego for ownership of the beaches and their potential for making money. It is not being treated seriously enough – maybe someone has to die before the police treat it as a few naughty boys trying totake over. Liz
The trouble is we pakeha roll over to easily in my opinion , i am sure when its all gone there will be no turning back, Maori must be rubbing there hands with glee. Richard
Definitely YES. I was an objector at the Tribunal and was treated terribly, so don’t think there will be any change. Good luck with that, I do believe that it should be totally repealed. It was, in my opinion, the best law introduced by Helen Clark, who would not be bullied, pity the following prime ministers did not have the same back bone strength. Audrey
While they are at it remove the purely Maori seats. All NZ’ers are equal according to the Treaty! Peter
If (as I would expect with the current crop of lawmaking judges and no appeal to the Privy Council) a large number of these claims succeed, there will be all-out war on our beaches and many will be killed. Our politicians were bad enough before MMP but now they%u2019ve completely lost the plot and with the list system we can%u2019t get rid of them. Alan
Without a doubt. The present situation will finish up in civil revolt. It is almost upon us right now. David
Of course the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be repealed. We must guarantee free public access to all of NZ’s coastline for all NZers. It is ludicrous to even contemplate handing our coastline and seabed access to a small group of Maori radicals whose overlapping territorial claims is testimony to what a giant can of worms that this policy has become. How much more taxpayer’s money will be wasted as we are forced to subsidise all future claims, counter-claims and appeals as Iwi take their new territory battles to the courts. Get our foreshore and seabed back to the Crown NOW. Steve
National should never have passed this dreadful law. The coast belongs to all New Zealanders. It has never been owned by anyone, and nor should it be in the future. The Foreshore and Seabed Act to restore Crown ownership of the coast must be introduced.  Hillary
It is getting out of control in some areas of the country. Local Maori activists are threatening people who use the beaches, but even if complaints are made to the Police, they do nothing.  Murray
Fancy the claimants attacking the Attorney General for telling them their claims do not stack up! I hope he convinces the Judge to rule them all out of order. Graeme
Winston Peters should definitely pick up on repealing the present law and reintroducing the Foreshore and Seabed Act and make it a campaign promise for the next election. The problem is that we saw what happened to his promise to hold a referendum on the Maori seats – it didn’t even get a mention in the coalition talks! Stuart
Good on you Rex Beer for opposing the claims. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this disastrous law! Mike