28 May 2013

Inquiry into Ngati Porou's marine rights

8:07 pm on 28 May 2013

The Government is to decide if Ngati Porou has rights to a marine and coastal area on the East Coast.

An inquiry has been launched along a stretch of shoreline - roughly between Lottin Point and the Pouawa River in the Gisborne district - near Cape Runaway.

Officials are asking for feedback from recreational and commercial users and the general public.

Te Runanganui O Ngati Porou is also having its say.

The information will be use to determine whether Ngati Porou has the rights to customary marine title.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson has appointed a former High Court judge, Dame Justice judith Potter to make an independent assessment but the Government will have the final say.

The Marine and Coastal Area - or Takutai Moana - Act guarantees free public access along the sea shore except where there are ports, naval bases and recognised burial grounds.

Otherwise, anyone can continue to go to the beach and walk, swim, sail, kayak, fish or have a picnic.

Under the Act, whanau, hapu and iwi can seek recognition and protection of long-standing customary interests.