Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Maori Claim to Marine Areas a Mabo Problem for Gov

Maori Claim to Marine Areas a Mabo Problem for Government

The Court of Appeal's decision that customary rights can be a basis for the Maori Land Court to award ownership of foreshore, could confront the Government with problems as legally knotty as in Australia's Mabo uproar, ACT New Zealand Treaty Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"In effect the decision also means that reservations from settlement deals could have much more value for Maori than the Crown may have thought when it agreed that the settlements did not include claims under customary law, as an exception to `full and final settlement'.

"Successive Ministers were warned against leaving open these grounds for fresh claims.

"The real impact of the decision may not be great in direct financial payment terms - it is too soon to say. But the costs could be enormous in terms of new power to block development, to delay vital policy decisions on marine farming, to insist on `consultation' or perhaps compensation for not objecting, and interrupting the ordinary expectations and potential employment of thousands of New Zealanders.

"We already have an inkling of the predisposition of at least one important Judge of the Maori Land Court, which will now have the power to determine the claims. Chief Judge Joe Williams is also the acting chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal. The Tribunal recently issued a report which invited claimants to come back to them if they were disappointed by the outcome of the Court of Appeal case just decided. It is hard to imagine they would have if they had not expected to find that loss of foreshore and seabed represented a Treaty breach.

"Now Judge Williams will have a chance to decide just how much has been lost.

"This case may also test the new Treaty `principle', decided on the hoof by Prime Minister Helen Clark three weeks ago, when she first heard of the Tribunal's oil and gas decision. She rejected it on the grounds that the uncompensated 1937 expropriation of oil and gas was in the national interest. She also made it plain that the Tribunal's recommendation of compensation, would be rejected because it would not be "in the national interest".

"If the Government has anywhere near the same concern for all the users of our marine areas and foreshores, as they have for oil companies, she should now say immediately what the Government will do. Devastating years of uncertainty as the Maori Land Court works its way through the claims will not be in anyone's definition of the national interest", Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election