INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cullen submits Labour’s foreshore proposals

Published: Tue 21 Apr 2009 04:14 PM
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.
“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

Next in New Zealand politics

Statement From Police Commissioner Mike Bush Following Guilty Pleas In Operation Deans Prosecution
By: New Zealand Police
Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2
By: New Zealand Government
Cabinet Approves Business Continuity Package In Response To COVID-19
By: New Zealand Government
Record transport investment in Draft GPS 2021
By: New Zealand Government
On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones
By: Gordon Campbell
On The Oil Price Smackdown, And On National’s Fatuous Crusade Against Red Tape
By: Gordon Campbell
Predator Free 2050 Strategy - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Land, Air And Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade
By: New Zealand Government
Statement On Guilty Plea Of March 15 Terrorist
By: New Zealand Government
Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman pleads guilty to all charges
By: RNZ
PM on mosque attacks anniversary: 'A year on gives us a chance as a nation to reflect'
By: RNZ
Dunne Speaks: Nothing Much Has Changed Since March 15
By: Peter Dunne
Statement On Guilty Plea
By: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Attack on ChCh
Guilty Plea By Accused In Christchurch Mosque Attacks
By: Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand
Life In Prison Looms For Australia's Christchurch Gunman, Now NZ's First Convicted Terrorist
By: The Conversation
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media