Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Commission urges changes to reduce discrimination

Human Rights Commission

Media release

Thursday, 25 November, 2010

Commission urges changes to reduce discrimination in marine and coastal law

The Human Rights Commission has recommended four significant changes to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to reduce the discrimination issues that remain.

Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said, “ The bill goes some way to overcoming the injustices in the Foreshore and Seabed Act but there remain significant issues that have to be addressed if the law is to provide a just and durable solution.”

Ms Noonan, with Commissioners Joris de Bres and Karen Johansen, was presenting the Commission’s submission to the Māori Affairs Select Committee today.

The first two recommendations from the Commission address issues of fairness and potential discrimination faced by any group seeking customary title.

1. Revise the high threshold of exclusive use and occupation without substantial interruptions since 1840 for those seeking customary title to be consistent with the flexibility exercised in the settlement of historical treaty claims.

2. Remove the requirement that those seeking customary title have to file their claim within six years or lose the right to make the claim

The Commission considers “exclusive use” a substantial barrier that ensures recognition of customary rights will be extremely difficult to obtain. It says those seeking customary title to marine and coastal areas face a similar situation to those making Treaty claims which do not depend on the high hurdle of exclusive and unbroken occupation. The Commission says customary title claims to the marine and coastal area should meet the same standard required of Treaty claims. The six year time limit effectively extinguishes any further acknowledgement of customary title at an arbitrary point in time, no matter how sound a later claim might prove to be, creating further cause for grievance.
3. Expand the common space. The common marine and coastal area is something in which all New Zealanders have interests, aside from the portion held in private hands. The Commission says the Government should be guided by the principle of expanding the common space to include conservation areas and private land when it becomes available.

4. Co-management. The Commission recommends that the bill be amended to better recognise the mana of iwi and hapū. This could be demonstrated by sharing governance and administration of the marine and coastal area between local iwi and hapū and local and central government.

The final two recommendations suggest a way forward in responding to the strongly held expectations about what should happen with common marine and coastal areas. The common area (the “common space”) will not, and cannot, be owned by anyone including the Crown. The Crown and public authorities are divested of any title held in that area. However the Minister of Conservation will be responsible for managing the area. The Commission’s recommendation for a co-management arrangement reflects the ideals of the Treaty partnership and offers a firmer basis for a just and more durable solution.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Coronavirus: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees, And A Possible Future For RNZ Concert

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban extending until next Monday at least, presumably dependent to some extent on what Morrison decides to do later this week.
Our universities are now asking for an exemption to the travel ban for their Chinese students, who would still, the universities assure us, be subjected to strict quarantine procedures upon arrival. Given how the inability of the university system to care for its own students on campus made world news last year, that promise may not do much to reduce the coronavirus fears among the wider New Zealand public. More>>


Water Woes: Wellington Reflects National Problem

Water utilities right across the country face major challenges to upgrade and maintain their underground three waters network. Water New Zealand’s Technical Manager, Noel Roberts says Wellington’s waste water woes are not unique to the capital city... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Local Government NZ: New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing

A report released today by LGNZ provides a roadmap for councils finding their way through the complex policy, regulatory and market tools available to help enable more affordable housing developments for New Zealanders. With demand soaring, rents ... More>>


“Can Do Better”: Sallies Election Year Report Card

This year’s State of the Nation report by The Salvation Army offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress - but also an ambitious list of “can do better”. Government action is delivering limited improvements... More>>






InfoPages News Channels