Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mike Butler: Ten new coastal rights for tribes


A comment by a Mahia bach owner that tribes that win customary marine title over an area of foreshore and seabed get significant rights prompted a closer look at the Marine and Coastal Area Act. John McLean, who chaired a meeting of 120 bach owners and claimants at Mahia on January 2 found 10 rights that lucky claimant tribes can benefit from that everyone else does not have.

A further a public meeting with take place at the Napier Sailing Club at 7pm on Monday, February 2, where Dr Hugh Barr, of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand, will explain how the Act has opened up the entire coastal area to claim by tribal groups.
Those special new rights are:

1. Unlike others, lucky claimant tribes do not have to pay coastal occupation charges under the Resource Management Act or royalties for taking sand and shingle from the beach - Section 60 (b).

2. Tribes gain the sole right to issue permits for watching marine mammals like whales - for a fee, of course. S. 62 (1) (d)

3. Tribes can issue, change, review and revoke a New Zealand coastal policy statement - S. 62 (1) (d).

4. Anyone who gets permission under the Resource Management Act to carry out an activity in a customary marine title area - e.g. building or extending a boatshed on piles like those in Auckland's Orakei Basin and at Paremata and Evans Bay in Wellington, must also get the permission of the tribe that holds customary marine title over the area - again for a fee. If you build such a structure without tribal permission, you can be IMPRISONED for up to two years or fined up to $300,000, of which only 10% of the fine goes to the Crown while the other 90% goes to the tribe, thus giving the tribe a huge financial incentive for vigorous, if not vindictive, policing - S. 69.

5. The tribe can veto DoC proposlas within the customary marine title area - S. 72 (1) - and there is no right of appeal against any refusal of permission by the tribe - S. 73 (3) (b).

6. The tribe can declare any part of its customary marine title area to be "wahi tapu" - S. 78 (1) - to which it can restrict or FORBID public access - Section 26 (2) and (3) and Section 79 (1) (b). "Wahi tapu" means any place alleged to be "sacred to Maori in a traditional, spiritual, religious, ritual or mythological sense" - S. 9. So, allowing "wahi tapu" to be declared on the basis of myth opens the way for the tribe to close off the best fishing grounds and surf breaks to the public for any reason they can dream up on the grounds of a conveniently concocted myth.

7. To enforce a "wahi tapu" ban against the anglers, boaties, surfers, dog walkers and other beach users "trespassing"on these formerly publicly owned areas, tribal wardens can enforce fines of up to $5,000. Yes, a fine of $5,000 for walking on or swiming in an area that used to be publicly owned - S. 81 (2).

8. A tribe with customary marine title owns all the minerals on or under the seabed - out to 22.2km - except for petroleum, gold, silver and uranium, and can charge royalties for their extraction - money that used to go to the Treasury to help finance things such as health and education but under the Act are now for the sole benefit of the numerically small tribe. The most common and valuable mineral under the sea is ironsands, for which these lucky tribal members will get the benefits based on nothing more than happening to be born with a particular (and privileged) bloodline - S. 62 (1) (f) and S. 83.

9. Tribes with customary marine title can also charge royalties to councils and others for taking sand and shingle from the beach - S. 84 (2) (b)

10. The tribe can make its own planning document - S. 62 (1) (g) and S. 85 - which impose obligations on the Director-General of Conservation in formulating policy (S. 90), on the Minister of Fisheries in settling or varying sustainability measures (S. 91), and on regional councils (S. 93).

1 comment:

Bill Mockridge said...

Chris Finlayson has set up a legalised Mafia