In 2011, the National-led government passed the 2011 Marine and Coastal Area Act (MACA). Prime Minister John Key and Attorney General Chris Finlayson assured concerned Kiwis that the legislation would result in very few successful claims for our coastline, and that our concerns over the loose legislation were unfounded.
Predictably, the 2017 deadline resulted in opportunistic claims being lodged for the entirety of New Zealand’s coastline. Currently, 200 of these are cluttering up the High Court and another 385 are subject to behind-doors negotiation with Government. The ongoing consequences are draining the time and coffers of self-funding counterclaimants, Councils, RMA applicants, and taxpayers, who are obliged to fund all Māori claimants. There are ongoing community disputes at several beaches around the country.
How these cases are handled by the courts has gone far beyond even what Kiwis were concerned about back in 2011. The Court of Appeal has recently supported an earlier ruling that deemed that the requirement for claimants to have ‘exclusively occupied’ an area has no connection to any dictionary definition or even what was intended and that the highly variable ‘tikanga’ must be an overarching consideration in the hearing of claims.
These interpretations of the law will facilitate much of our country’s coastline, beaches, estuaries, harbours, and territorial sea passing into the control of various groups which identify as Māori. This control extends to the airspace above, the water space, plus the subsoil, bedrock, and mineral wealth below.
This impacts our country’s sovereignty, economic development, business costs and efficiency, corruption levels, conservation efforts, citizens’ recreation, law and order, and race relations.
The new National-led Government must reverse the ill-conceived MACA legislation of an earlier National Government.
PETITION: We, the undersigned New Zealanders, call on Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and the National-led Government to reverse the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 and secure New Zealand's coast, beaches, estuaries, harbours, and territorial sea under Crown control for the benefit and enjoyment of all Kiwis.