Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register
Parliament

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

 

Cullen submits Labour’s foreshore proposals

Hon Michael Cullen
List MP

21 April 2009 Media Statement

Cullen submits Labour’s foreshore proposals

Restoring the ability of iwi to apply for an award of customary title to the foreshore and seabed is being proposed by Labour, says Labour List MP Michael Cullen.

The recommendation is included in a submission made by Dr Cullen on behalf of the Labour Party to the Ministerial Review Panel on the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which recommends changes to, but not repeal of, the Act.

The submission also recommends that the Act retain the current codification of access rights, navigation and other usage rights for New Zealanders.

“Any customary title awarded should not be able to be converted into freehold title, which would enable its sale. Applications should in the first instance be made to the Maori Land Court, with rights of appeal to the High Court,” Dr Cullen says.

“My submission proposes that the statutory codification of the common law tests established under the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which measures the extent of customary interests in the foreshore and seabed, should be retained.

“Under the current Act, the High Court uses the codifications to determine whether a group may have gained a customary title (called ‘territorial customary rights’ in the Act), under common law, if the Act hadn’t removed the ability to award one.

“I have also suggested that the panel might consider removing the provision in the Act for customary rights applications to be sought by non-Maori,” Dr Cullen says.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“There appear likely to be no groups that would qualify for this provision in any case.

“Labour believed at the time of the Ngati Apa decision that it would have been unacceptable not to respond to the Court of Appeal ruling in a definitive way. The finding created widespread uncertainty that a responsible Government needed to address.

“We responded with the best solution possible at the time. But I have always regretted the fact that National and other parties refused to enter into proper discussions on this issue, so that a broad political consensus – as has been established with the Treaty settlement process - could be reached.

“As a result compromises were required. The review provides a chance to revisit the Act and Labour won’t use the issue as a political football,” says Dr Cullen.


“The matter must be resolved once and for all. Now that National claims to have disavowed its previous ‘Iwi vs Kiwi’ stance and a review has been established, the potential for that broad consensus to be reached appears possible.

“Further thought needs to be given to what powers the possession of a customary title would involve. Labour believes the provisions in the Act relating to a foreshore and seabed reserve and the agreement reached with Ngati Porou by the Labour Government provide a good template.

“The current agreement with Ngati Porou should be maintained but adjusted to reflect the ability to gain customary title without the need for further court action.

“It must be remembered that the Ngati Apa ruling never said, nor implied, the oft-repeated assertion that Maori ‘owned’ most or all of the foreshore and seabed under the common law,” Dr Cullen says.

“On the contrary, it found there would be many hurdles in fact and in law before any such claim could be upheld.

“The reality is that while iwi and hapu around the country will be able to establish they have certain customary rights to the foreshore and seabed, in most cases it is unlikely that this bundle or rights would amount to a customary title.

“The submission proposes public access rights must be retained and there should be an explicit ban on charging of access fees and the right to sell any foreshore or seabed held under customary title.

“It should be stated that any foreshore and seabed held under customary title should be administered for the common use and benefit of all New Zealanders. It is further proposed it be stated that the Crown title to the foreshore and seabed should be administered for the common use and benefit of all New Zealanders,” Dr Cullen says.

ENDS

See... Foreshore_and_Seabed_Submission.doc

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On National Passing Bad Policies Under Urgency


If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold in contempt.
For example: Under urgency, the government has decided to index benefit increases in future to inflation, rather than to wages...
More


 
 
Government: Budget Will Be Delivered On 30 May

Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence, and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, says Nicola Willis. More


Government: Ministers Reaffirm Pacific Connections

Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti reaffirmed the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands, & Samoa. More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said. More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.