A bill to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act was released recently.  The Bill called the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) will remove the foreshore and seabed from Crown ownership and will become a common space with public access guaranteed.  Other features of the Bill include:

  • Existing private titles will not be affected but there will not be any new ones.
  • Iwi who can prove exclusive use and occupation since 1840 will be able to seek customary title through negotiation with the Crown or through the High Court.
  • Provision for certain customary rights (for example collecting hangi stones or launching waka) of Maori to be recognised and protected.
  • Rights of public access, fishing, navigation and existing uses are to be guaranteed.
  • Land held under customary title can not be sold, but will include ownership of certain minerals and the right to permit or decline activities requiring a resource consent.
  • Land held under customary title will extend from the wet area of the beach to 12 nautical miles from the shore.

It is important to note that all applications for customary title or customary rights in the marine and coastal area must be filed within 6 years of the enactment of the Bill.

If you would like more information please contact Peter Johnston.