web analytics

On the foreshore

Written By: - Date published: 3:21 pm, October 30th, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, Maori Issues, maori party - Tags:

Seems like the Maori Party conference is off to a rocky start. Likely to get even rockier as they move on to the main event, the vexed foreshore and seabed situation.

The Maori Party, even within its parliamentary wing, is divided on the issue. It certainly hasn’t helped that ACT has been sticking its oar in to ratchet up the tension. Is the Maori Party going to put up with meddling by the “little fat redneck” Rodney Hide? For a while it was looking like the final straw. But currently Pita Sharples at least seems to have fallen back in to line:

National has said it will scrap the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill if the Maori Party pulls support for it, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has warned members.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Hastings, Dr Sharples said he agreed the bill did not go far enough to give Maori right over coastal land, but opposing it would mean the existing law would remain for years.

The bill replaces the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which removed the right of Maori to seek customary title to beaches and seaside areas.

There’s the central claim of the whole dispute over the Foreshore and Seabed Act — that it “removed the right of Maori to seek customary title to beaches and seaside areas”. This claim is repeated as fact by almost every protagonist and commentator involved in the debate. Apart from mickysavage here I can’t recall ever seeing it challenged. But as I have said before and I will say again, it seems to be nothing more than bogus semantics.

The existing Foreshore and Seabed Act uses the language of “customary territorial rights”. The Act (here or here) says:

33 High Court may find that a group held territorial customary rights

The High Court may, on the application of a group, or on the application of a person authorised by the court to represent the group, make a finding that the group (or any members of that group) would, but for the vesting of the full legal and beneficial ownership of the public foreshore and seabed in the Crown by section 13(1), have held territorial customary rights to a particular area of the public foreshore and seabed at common law.

If you’re feeling keen, trace from Clause 33 through to 36, 40 – 44. The Act lays out a mechanism for Maori to establish territorial customary rights, set up a Board to act as “guardians” and administer a “Foreshore and Seabed Reserve” the purpose of which is: “to acknowledge the exercise of kaitiakitanga by the applicant group over the specified area of the public foreshore and seabed in respect of which a finding is made by the High Court under section 33” (40(1)(a)).

The proposed replacement Marine and Coastal Areas Bill uses the language of “customary title”. How is this different from “customary territorial rights”? The difference appears to be whatever you want it to be. It’s pure semantics. Ex National Minister in Charge of Treaty Negotiations Doug Grahamn, in his “A layman’s guide to understanding customary title”, completely conflates the two concepts:

What are customary rights and a customary title?

The common law has always recognised the right of indigenous people to carry on practising their customs. These may be non-territorial customary rights such as fishing and hunting, or a territorial customary title where they actually lived. …

Is a customary title like my freehold title?

No. Customary title is unique and quite unlike freehold land. It is normally communally owned and exists to permit the indigenous people to practise their customary activities on it. My freehold title is a Crown grant.

Spot the difference between customary territorial rights and customary title? Me neither. Neither, apparently, do some iwi. Ngati Porou secured rights under the existing Act that created a precedent that other Iwi now hope to be able to match under the new legislation:

FORESHORE MANAGEMENT MODEL HARD TO MATCH

Te Arawa leader Toby Curtis says there is a lot of hard work ahead for iwi if they want to make today’s deal on the Foreshore and Seabed Act reform work for them. … Mr Curtis says what iwi want is the sort of coastal management powers which Ngati Porou secured through negotiations with the previous government…

Naturally the current minister, Chris Finlayson, would have us believe that there is a difference, but the extent of “ownership” conferred by customary title appears to be so restricted that it amounts to the same thing as customary rights (the newly included mineral rights could just as easily have been included within the scope of either Act). No one else much sees a difference. Key said (and stands by) “I don’t think people will notice a lot of change.” Tariana Turia calls the new Bill “a small step along the way”. And Hone Harawira told reporters: “Comparing the 2004 and current bill showed that very little had changed. Except for maybe the “spelling” of the laws’ names”.

In short, the differences between customary territorial rights and customary title, and therefore between the defining characteristics of the existing Act and the new Bill, seem to be pretty much whatever we want them to be. It’s all about symbols. As legal expert Andrew Geddis put it:

So what we have here is a classic case of “legislation as symbol”. The content of that legislation may not appreciably change the way the world works, or really alter the rights and obligations of the people who live in that world to any great degree. But its very creation and passage sends a message about whose will prevails and whose interests are considered important.

So what does the symbol of the new legislation mean? And is the symbol alone enough for the Maori Party? I guess that this weekend we get to find out…

11 comments on “On the foreshore ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Hmmm, early in their conference yet me thinks. Will be interesting how the mood and the interpersonal dynamics go tomorrow.

    Regardless, the LP needs to pay more attention to relationships with the MP in preparation for various manoeuverings next year. Not just to the Members of Parliament, but those influential in the party as well.

  2. ianmac 2

    The Maori Party Conference is not carefully orchestrated like the National Party Conference. We do get to see their disagreements out in the open so they must get credit and understanding for that.

    Key : Take it, or we will leave the Act as it is.
    Dr Sharples: It is slightly better than nothing, so we said the 2004 Act would be repealed, and now we can say we succeeded.
    Does it sound like blackmail to you or bargaining in good faith?
    (Thinks also: Warner/Hobbits/Key/blackmail)

  3. Good post r0b

    This whole threat of key’s to leave everything the way it is if the maori party don’t support the bill says it all IMO. There is only one way to go and the maori party will be getting that message for sure. The maori party have to forget about legacies and realise, like most battles for maori, it won’t take two days to sort out (like the payoff to warners), more like generations. So be it – it’s not really a big surprise. We just get on with the job of moving the centre of balance. Trailblazers are fondly remembered by maori and that is the ultimate legacy and honour for this iteration of the maori party.

  4. Ari 4

    Not sure that fat-hating on Rodney really advances your point…

  5. Good post R0b. I always struggled to understand why what Labour did was so terrible and yet what is being proposed now is so much better. The difference is minimal and semantic.

    Of course I could be accused of bias …

  6. Rob 6

    Ngati Porou didn’t get title they got a right to consultation on environmental issues. The act’s previous legal test was too high for most Maori to satisfy to get territorial rights. Even if they did what they got was not a title it would be things like a right to consult on some issues. This process will leave Maori able to say the land has returned to their ownership and they can use the resources on it as they wish so long as they still provide for public access, it is a different title. The new act is a somewhat lower standard for the test but still there may be no Maori who could satisfy it. The process for non-territorial rights has also now been made more worthwhile to do. The legislation does not make a huge difference but it does soften it enough that it is possible there would be a successful claim using it. The distinction you are highlighting in those few words is not a crucial distinction you are right because it isn’t one of the major changes.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Strengthening NZ-UK people, science and trade connections
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London overnight, and together took a number of steps to strengthen the already close ties between our two countries, and promote our common interests in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. “The UK is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest and closest friends and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson
    Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together: Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson 1. New Zealand and the United Kingdom are old friends and close partners. Our relationship rests on a bedrock of history, shared values, and deep people-to-people links, extending across almost all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM’s Chatham House
    Director Sir Robin Niblett, distinguished guests. What an honour it is to be back in London, and to be here at Chatham house. This visit represents much for me. The reopening of borders and resumption of travel after a difficult few years. The chance to bring life to the UK ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Foreign Policy School, opening address
    Manawa maiea te pūtanga o Matariki Manawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Manawa maiea te mātahi o te tau! Introduction I’m pleased to join you for my second address at the 56th Annual Otago Foreign Policy School.  The topic for this year is Space. Given that we are in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government launches new Ministry of Disabled People
    New Ministry will officially be called Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People Public Service Commission have appointed Geraldine Woods as Interim Chief Executive Office for Disability Issues to be folded into the new Ministry In what is a milestone day, the Government has launched Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Whaikaha ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further Investment to support rangatahi to overcome barriers to employment
    Nine new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes have been approved funding.  These programmes will provide work-readiness, training and employment initiatives for over 820 rangatahi NEETS (not in education, employment or training), across Aotearoa New Zealand.  "He Poutama Rangatahi has proven to be a very successful initiative which supports rangatahi to overcome ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown appointments to Ihumātao Steering Committee
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today announced the appointment of Crown representatives, Dr Charlotte Severne and Mr Bernie O’Donnell, to the Steering Committee that will determine the future of the Ihumātao land.   “I’m pleased to have made the Crown appointments. Both Dr Severne and Mr O’Donnell have extensive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little's address to first joint meeting of the boards of Te Whatu Ora &#...
    I begin by thanking each of you for accepting appointment to these boards. You’ve each been on the Ministerial committee that established Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority and I express my appreciation for the enormous task you collectively ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hong Kong National Security Law
    Aotearoa New Zealand has reiterated its concerns over the continued erosion of rights, freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong. On the second anniversary of the introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law, the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says developments in Hong Kong remain a cause for worry. “Two years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Europol Agreement will assist New Zealand law enforcement in tackling serious crime
    The Europol Agreement signed is a significant milestone for New Zealand and the European Union’s relationship, and reflects our shared principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. The Prime Minister attended a signature ceremony in Brussels, as part of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New era for better health in Aotearoa New Zealand
    ·       New nationwide public health system ·       20 district health boards disestablished and deficits wiped ·       82,000 health employees directly employed by Health New Zealand ·       $24 billion health budget this year – up 43% since Labour took office in 2017 – in addition to separate funding for the new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New chairs appointed to the Teaching Council and Te Kura
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced appointments to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Board of Trustees of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura). “Robyn Baker ONZM has been appointed as the chair of the Teaching Council. She has considerable governance experience and is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint media release on the occasion of the meeting between European Commission President von der Ley...
    European Commission President von der Leyen and Prime Minister of New Zealand Ardern met in Brussels on 30 June 2022. The encounter provided an opportunity to reaffirm that the European Union and Aotearoa New Zealand are longstanding partners with shared democratic values and interests, aligned positions on key international and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand secures major free trade deal with European Union
    Export revenue to the EU to grow by up to $1.8 billion annually on full implementation. Duty-free access on 97% of New Zealand’s current exports to the EU; with over 91% being removed the day the FTA comes into force. NZ exporters set to save approx. $110 million per annum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Biggest Year for Clean Cars on Record
    57,000 EVs and Hybrid registered in first year of clean car scheme, 56% increase on previous year EVs and Non Plug-in Hybrids made up 20% of new passenger car sales in March/April 2022 The Government’s Clean Car Discount Scheme has been a success, with more than 57,000 light-electric and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Wing 355 includes the highest ever proportion of Wāhine Māori
    Police Minister Chris Hipkins congratulates the newest Police wing – wing 355 – which graduated today in Porirua. “These 70 new constables heading for the frontline bring the total number of new officers since Labour took office to 3,303 and is the latest mark of our commitment to the Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New RBNZ board takes up role from 1 July
    Members with a range of governance, financial and technical skills have been appointed to the Reserve Bank Board as part of the shift to strengthen the Bank’s decision-making and accountability arrangements. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 comes into force on 1 July 2022, with the establishment of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New measures to help manage COVID-19 as country stays at Orange
    New Zealand to remain at Orange as case numbers start to creep up 50 child-size masks made available to every year 4-7 student in New Zealand 20,000-30,000 masks provided a week to all other students and school staff Extra funding to schools and early childhood services to supports better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ to join International Court of Justice case against Russia
    Aotearoa New Zealand will join Ukraine’s case against Russia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which challenges Russia’s spurious attempt to justify its invasion under international law. Ukraine filed a case at the ICJ in February arguing Russia has falsely claimed genocide had occurred in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New advisory group provides enduring Māori expertise for Te Aorerekura delivery
    The Government has taken another step forward in its work to eliminate family violence and sexual violence with the announcement today of a new Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group. A team of 11 experts in whānau Māori wellbeing will provide the Government independent advice on shaping family violence and sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making work better for Kiwi women
    Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine: Women’s Employment Action Plan was launched today by Minister for Women Jan Tinetti – with the goal of ensuring New Zealand is a great place for women to work. “This Government is committed to improving women’s working lives. The current reality is that women have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Good Employer Awards celebrate food and fibre sector
    The food and fibre sector acknowledged its people and leadership at last night’s 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, a time to celebrate their passion towards supporting employees by putting their health, welfare and wellbeing first,” Acting Minister of Agriculture Meka Whairiti said. “Award winners were selected from an extraordinary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM's comments to NATO session
    Kia ora koutou katoa.  It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation.   New Zealand is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Veterans Minister announces new focus on mental health for veterans and their whānau
    Te Arataki mō te Hauora Ngākau mō ngā Mōrehu a Tū me ō rātou Whānau, The Veteran, Family and Whānau Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy Framework “We ask a lot of those who serve in the military – and we ask a lot of the families and whānau who support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister to advocate for Small Island States
    Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio has been appointed by the United Nations and Commonwealth as Aotearoa New Zealand’s advocacy champion for Small Island States.  “Aotearoa New Zealand as a Pacific country is particularly focused on the interests of Pacific Small Island Developing States in our region.  “This is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Increased support for households to pay local council rates
    An estimated 100,000 low income households will be eligible for increased support to pay their council rates, with changes to the rates rebate scheme taking effect from 1 July. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced increases to both the maximum value of the rates rebate, and the income threshold ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • He Oranga Poutama expanded into four new regions
    A long-standing physical activity programme that focuses on outcomes for Maori has been expanded to four new regions with Government investment almost doubled to increase its reach. He Oranga Poutama is managed by a combination of hapū, iwi, hauora and regional providers.   An increase in funding from $1.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wellington’s rapid transit option progresses to next stage
    The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay, a new tunnel through Mt Victoria for public transport, and walking and cycling, and upgrades to improve traffic flow at the Basin Reserve. “Where previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • On June 28, 2022, a meeting took place in Madrid between the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who was visiting Spain to participate in the Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More young Kiwis able to travel and work in Spain
    A six-fold increase in the Aotearoa New Zealand-Spain working holiday scheme gives a huge boost to the number of young people who can live and work in each other’s countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Jacinda Ardern and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón made the Working Holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme announcement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting local government candidates
    A significant barrier has been removed for people who want to stand in local government elections, with a change to the requirement to publish personal details in election advertising. The Associate Local Government Minister Kieran McAnulty has taken the Local Electoral (Advertising) Amendment Bill through its final stages in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt passes law to protect consumers in banking and insurance sector
    New financial conduct scheme will ensure customers are treated fairly Banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers to be licensed by the FMA in relation to their general conduct Sales incentives based on volume or value targets like bonuses for selling a certain number of financial products banned The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New law paves way for greater supermarket competition
    Legislation that bans major supermarkets from blocking their competitors’ access to land to set up new stores paves the way for greater competition in the sector, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The new law is the first in a suite of measures the Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Vaccine mandate for border and corrections workers to end
    The Government has announced an end to the requirement for border workers and corrections staff to be fully vaccinated. This will come into place from 2 July 2022. 100 per cent of corrections staff in prisons, and as of 23 June 2022 97 per cent of active border workers were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand's Commonwealth relationships strengthened at CHOGM
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded a visit to Rwanda reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement in the Commonwealth and meeting with key counterparts. “I would like to thank President Kagame and the people of Rwanda for their manaakitanga and expert hosting of this important meeting,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “CHOGM ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Emergency monitoring centre opened to keep New Zealand safer
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty officially launched the new Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting (MAR) Centre at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today. The Government has stood up the centre in response to recommendations from the 2018 Ministerial Review following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and 2017 Port Hills fire, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway speed limit to change to 110km/h
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the announcement that a 110km/hr speed limit has been set for the SH1 Waikato Expressway, between Hampton Downs and Tamahere. “The Waikato Expressway is a key transport route for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of the central North ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government listening to sector on NCEA
    Following feedback from the sector, Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti, today confirmed that new literacy and numeracy | te reo matatini me te pāngarau standards will be aligned with wider NCEA changes. “The education sector has asked for more time to put the literacy and numeracy | te reo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine
    $4.5 million to provide Ukraine with additional non-lethal equipment and supplies such as medical kit for the Ukrainian Army Deployments extended for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) intelligence, logistics and liaison officers in the UK, Germany, and Belgium Secondment of a senior New Zealand military officer to support International ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago