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Submission on the Foreshore and Seabed Review

© Peter Zohrab 2010

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(This is an edited version of my answers entered on the Government's submission form.)

 

The Act should be repealed for the reasons stated in the Government's Consultation Document Reviewing the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, as follows:

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The 2004 Act should be repealed, purely and simply, and the exact same rights of recourse to the courts pertaining after Attorney-General v Ngati Apa should be restored, unless existing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.

 

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