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Claim for Maori control of NZ foreshore

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017
VARIOUS New Zealand, South Pacific Ocean, Mangawhai Heads, Surf beach © Rex Images VARIOUS New Zealand, South Pacific Ocean, Mangawhai Heads, Surf beach

A Rotorua iwi leader has lodged a huge claim for customary rights of New Zealand's foreshore and sea beds.

New Zealand Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul lodged the claim on behalf of all Maori, at the High Court in Rotorua, for recognition of customary marine title and protected customary rights over the coast and the entire foreshore and territorial waters of New Zealand.

Close to 150 claims were filed at High Courts around the country when applications closed on Sunday, as claims had to be filed within six years under the 2011 Marine and Coastal Area Act.

The Act allows Maori to seek recognition and protection of beaches and waterlines, and replaced the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed law.

Mr Paul told RNZ the Crown had failed in its responsibility to protect the environment and it was time Maori were given back their rights.

"Maori should have control over the taking of fish, council emergency overflows onto the foreshore, and oil fracking."

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