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


Maori Land Court Judge Appears Confused

Media Release

28 March 2005

Maori Land Court Judge Appears Confused

Chief Maori Land Court Judge Joe Williams has no jurisdiction to hear claims by a small Opotiki iwi for control of 50km of Eastern Bay of Plenty coastline, says New Zealand First law and justice spokesperson Dail Jones.

Mr Jones was on the select committee that considered the foreshore and seabed legislation, helped redraft parts of the bill, and as a lawyer has undertaken Maori Land Court work.

He explained today that the Maori Land Court could not consider hearing Whakatohea's claims of rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga (authority and guardianship) over the coastline.

“Only the High Court can do this and by taking such a case Judge Williams is being either mischievous or does not understand the law. The Maori Land Court can only rule on a customary use like launching a waka or collecting stones for a hangi.

“The iwi also cannot bar anyone from the foreshore and seabed. It is entrenched in law that all New Zealanders have lawful, unimpeded access and that no fees are payable by anyone. The media are simply scaremongering on this.”

Mr Jones said that gathering kaimoana and fishing did not come within the jurisdiction of the bill either as this was governed by the Fisheries Act. The foreshore and seabed legislation had nothing to do with Treaty claims.

“Judge Williams appears to be heading on a collision course with Parliament. He disagreed personally with the legislation as he pointed out in submissions to the select committee.

“It is difficult to see how long the Government or the judiciary can continue tolerating a judge who either ignores the law or deliberately flouts it because he disagrees with it,” said Mr Jones.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news