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Foreshore and Seabed attitudes hardening. Really?
"Hone Harawira, Maori Party MP, says proposed customary rights which are determined by Crown are hardly what Maori want.
Maori attitudes towards the Government's foreshore and seabed proposals may be hardening if feedback given to Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is anything to go by.
The major elements of proposals being discussed include vesting the zone as a public domain and allowing Maori to go through the courts to establish customary title.
Last month Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples spoke positively about how customary title could work for and potentially be accepted by, iwi.
"If they get customary title basically, they've got the run of the roost over all decision of occupations and control over the beach."
However, MP Hone Harawira, says Maori he has spoken to makes it clear that Maori want property title resolved in the final legislation.
"As long as those customary rights can be determined by the Crown and extinguished by the Crown, then they are hardly the customary rights that Maori want anywhere in the country."
Consultation on the foreshore and seabed proposals is due to finish at the end of this month."
The question that should be asked is: Which Maori attitudes are hardening? Nobody should own land below the high water mark. The majority of Maori live away from their home maraes and wouldn't be regularly involved in their affairs. It is the Maori Party, which has a minority of the total Maori vote, that is pushing the Foreshore and Seabed Act change. Maori do not have the legal right to ownership of the F&S. Maori are not indigenous to New Zealand; they are the first immigrants to this country. Maori are entitled to continued customary usage and perhaps a role as guardian and caretaker of the lands therein. Non-Maori are also legally entitled to access to the beaches and coasts that they have enjoyed since 1840 as well.
It is the State not the so-called Crown, that should own and mange the Foreshore and Seabed. The public domain is a legally wishy washy sort of title for the land below the high water mark in my opinion.
Acknowledgements: © 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB