Massive claim made for Maori foreshore and seabed rights

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A massive claim for customary rights of New Zealand’s foreshore and sea beds has been lodged in the High Court at Rotorua by a local iwi leader.

The application by New Zealand Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul – made on behalf of all Maori – wants recognition of customary marine title and protected customary rights over the New Zealand coast and the entire foreshore and territorial waters of New Zealand.

“Our position is quite simple, the government has been in charge since 1840. They’ve made a mess of the water, they’ve made a mess of the environment, our clean green image is about to be destroyed and we’re saying we’ve had a guts full of this poor management,” he said.

Under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 claims had to be filed within six years – applications closed on Sunday. One-hundred-and-fifty claims for ownership, for thousands of kilometres of New Zealand’s coastline were filed in high courts around the country.