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Hobsons Pledge reports

NZ’s largest resource grab at a beach near you

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little and the High Court are poised to grant new property over vast swathes of New Zealand’s coastline to private private trusts. The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 enables one of the biggest race-based claims in living memory.


  • National’s Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act (the MACA) opened the way for New Zealanders with Maori ancestors to claim title to the foreshore and seabed
  • Hundreds of private tribal trusts have applied for recognition of Customary Rights and for Customary Marine Title over 10 million hectares of beaches and seabed out to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres), all harbours and estuaries, the airspace above and many of the minerals below
  • The area claimed is equivalent to over one third of New Zealand’s total land area.

Customary Marine Title gives major property rights to any tribal group that has “exclusively used and occupied the coastal area from 1840 to the present day, without substantial interruption” Section 58

A Protected Customary Right is a tribal right,such as collecting hangi stones from the beach, selling gravel etc. (without being subject to RMA requirements), which the applicant group has practised according to tikanga since 1840 Section 51

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  1. If there is an issue here, it is opportunist politicians playing with matters they have no deep understanding off. Not thinking about the ramifications, long or short term past immediate political gain for themselves.

    Setting up a proposal that enabled one man to make a claim on behalf of a group for the entire coastline of New Zealand is not clever. I cannot blame the man for having a go. His claim will have to be taken seriously in terms of the legislative provisions enacted.

    Maori organisations will consider the words uttered by politicians and legislation enacted carefully. Maori leadership will lobby and act for long term gain for their people. The example is in the matter before us. I think it will be complex now to reverse the situation reached. Great integrity by negotiating parties will be essential to avoid dissension between Maori, and Maori and the wider community, as a consequence of decisions made.

    While we have politicians working to improve and maintain their positions, they will respond to lobbying and the most noise. That is not coming from the average New Zealander struggling to meet mortgage dues, pay rates, raise a family or run a small business.



    • Passed in 2011 as a favour to their mates in Da Maori Pardy.

      What a high cost for no benefit that was.
      In the third term they ended up with the feral Marama Fox -who hated National- and the insipid Flavell.



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