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Update on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill

An update on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill

ACT launches new website –
For those of you who made a submission, who told your local MP what you thought, who explained to friends and family why this Bill is so dangerous – thank you.

At our end we are working hard to stop this Bill. We have set up a website dedicated to stopping this Bill. While it’s still a work in progress I invite you to take a look; it currently contains background papers on the foreshore issue, a copy of our petition to download and share, and details of current beach invasions that will only become more frequent if this Bill passes.

Select Committee hearings

The Māori Affairs Select Committee has now heard over 500 oral submissions. John Boscawen and I are ACT’s representatives on the Committee; we can listen and ask questions but we cannot vote.

The Committee travelled to Christchurch, Blenheim, Auckland, Tauranga and Whangarei. No matter where we were, the message from submitters – Māori and non-Māori – has been the same: scrap this Bill NOW.

People are increasingly concerned about the plan to negotiate claims behind closed doors instead of in court. Property rights must not be handed out in secret. The first that most New Zealanders will know of these negotiations is when the Government issues an Order-in-Council declaring parts of the coastline to be under full customary title or customary rights.

Small iwi are worried they will lose their legitimate property rights to larger iwi, because the latter may be able to offer the Government a more politically favourable outcome.

Marine industries want to know what’s going to happen to their businesses when their leases expire – will they be allowed to stay? How much might customary rights holders charge them in order to be allowed to stay?

More than anything, people want to know if they will still be allowed to do the activities many have done since birth – be it sunbathing, swimming, sailing, scuba-diving, or even just catching a fish.

ACT’s position has always been the same: repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 and let Māori argue their case in court, as any other New Zealander is able to do.

Just last week the Labour Party, after hearing submitters’ opposition, changed their mind and signed up to ACT’s position. Where there is common ground ACT will work with Labour and any other party to get this Bill scrapped.

We need your help

The submission process may be closed but there is still a great deal you can do to help:

Download a copy of ACT’s petition calling on Parliament to oppose the Marine and Coastal Area Bill. Get your friends and family to sign it, then send it back to me Freepost at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. The more signatures we get, the more the Government has to listen.

• Write to your local National MP at the same address, or drop them an email at If you have done this already, it never hurts to remind your MP just what they risk losing if they vote for this Bill.

Go to our website dedicated to the foreshore and seabed. Learn more about the history behind the issue, and why ACT believes it’s a matter for the High Court. Share the link with your friends.

Send me an email and let me know what else you can do to help, and how we can assist.
We are confident that we can convince the Government of the futility of their position, and the moral strength of ours. If this Bill passes despite the opposition of Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders alike, then others will revisit this issue again and again in the future.

ACT wants an enduring solution. We believe our goal must be one law for all New Zealanders. Please help us achieve this.

Kind regards
Hilary Calvert MP
ACT’s Spokesperson for the Foreshore and Seabed

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