The 2004 Act has proved to be anything but an enduring solution.
Significant numbers of New Zealanders have complained and continue to complain
that the 2004 Act is unfair and discriminatory.
However, there is a blatant contradiction between the Government's stated
aim of removing discrimination, on the one hand, and the retention of discrimination
by treating the parts of the foreshore and seabed which are already held in
private title more favourably than the rest of the foreshore and seabed, on
the other. Any solution must treat all parts of the
seabed and foreshore in a similar, equal, just, and equitable manner.
Therefore, EITHER the situation prevailing between the time of the Ngati
Apa decision and the passing of the 2004 Act should be reverted to, OR new
legislation should be drafted which treats existing private title to the seabed
and foreshore in exactly the same way as the rest of the foreshore and seabed
-- irrespective of whether it is currently in private hands or not. For example,
if the Government sees it as necessary to guarantee free and unfettered public
access to the seabed and foreshore, that should apply to the parts of it which
are already in private hands, as well.
The 2004 Act should be repealed, purely and simply, and the exact same rights
of recourse to the courts pertaining after Attorney-General v Ngati Apa
should be restored, unless existing private title to the foreshore and seabed
is treated under legislation in a similar way to the rest. In other
words, I do not agree with the Government's preferred option, Option four:
‘public domain/takiwa- iwi wha-nui’. My preference
is for Option one: Crown notional title, or for including privately
held land in the Government's preferred option.
The Government treats private land as private land
-- unless it is (potentially) Maori land. Maori land it treats as public
land. That is racist and discriminatory.