Restore NZ beaches to public ownership
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Treaty Minister Andrew Little and the High Court are about to surrender ownership rights over massive stretches of New Zealand's coastline to private Maori interests.
What you need to know:
- until recently the Crown owned the foreshore and seabed on behalf of ALL New Zealanders
- in 2011 National passed a new racist law, the Marine and Coastal Area Act, which confiscated public ownership and created Customary Marine Title, which only Maori could claim
- the 580 claims lodged will take decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to process
- the law allows claims to be negotiated by a Minister without scrutiny
- former Prime Minister John Key reassured us that hardly any claims would succeed as claimants had to prove that they had used the area "exclusively" since 1840. But the first Agreement awards a tribe title to 15km of beach, even though the public had used the beach for fishing, swimming, hiking and the like since 1840.
Why does it matter?
- the new law will create and enrich a coastal-owning tribal aristocracy, which may gain ownership of valuable seabed minerals, charge for boat ramps, block competitors wanting to set up businesses such as mussel farms, and charge fees for cultural "consultancy", which nobody wants or needs.
- “sacred areas” will become off-limits to non-tribal members, enforceable by fines, and tribes will be able to ban coastal activities according to unwritten tribal law
- some tribal members have already illegally blocked access to “their” beaches
- competing claims will create tension between Maori, which will linger for generations
If the law isn't changed, we face a future filled with resentment, with arguments in Court and fights on beaches.
The only way out of this mess is to change the law to:
- restore full rights of public ownership over the foreshore and seabed
- affirm the right of tribes to continue customary activities
- repeal Customary Marine Title
- end secret deals with the Minister by moving all claims to the High Court
- allow tribes to enjoy the same rights (no more, no less) as those enjoyed by other private groups seeking to protect the environment
- provide compensation to anyone who would be out of pocket as a result of these changes
Petition to the New Zealand Parliament:
We the below signed urge Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 as mentioned above so as to restore full legal and beneficial ownership of the public foreshore and seabed to the people of New Zealand.
Thank you for your support.
Please SIGN and SHARE our petition to Restore NZ beaches to public ownership.
You do not have to be a New Zealand citizen to petition the New Zealand Parliament.
For more information, please visit hobsonspledge.nz/maca
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