Foreshore and seabed Deed of Agreement
Thursday 7 August 2008 Media Statement
Foreshore and seabed Deed of Agreement with Ngati Porou
The government today initialled a Foreshore and Seabed Deed of Agreement with negotiating representatives of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou, on behalf of certain hapu of Ngati Porou.
The Deed of Agreement includes a number of innovative mechanisms designed to recognise and protect the long standing customary interests of the hapu of Ngati Porou, while preserving the public foreshore and seabed for all New Zealanders.
The Deed follows a Heads of Agreement signed in February 2008 which set out the broad outlines of the agreement that was signed in Wellington day.
“This is a significant milestone for all New Zealanders. This Deed of Agreement shows the commitment of both Ngati Porou negotiators and the Crown and the benefits of a good faith approach to foreshore and seabed negotiations,” Dr Cullen said.
In 2004, during the public debate on the foreshore and seabed, the government made a commitment to protect the enduring rights of Maori that have been exercised without substantial interruption since 1840 and the initialling of a Deed of Agreement today honours that commitment and recognises and protects the interests of nga hapu o Ngati Porou for the future.
The Deed of Agreement will now be subject to a ratification process.
Once ratified, appointed representatives of the hapu of Ngati Porou (that ratify) will file an application in the High Court for confirmation that the requirements for a finding by the High Court under section 96 of the Foreshore and Seabed Act have been satisfied.
Legislation will also be required to give effect to the Deed of Agreement.