A group that opposes the Marine and Coastal Act has been granted permission to be heard on an iwi's application for customary marine title in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.
Pauline Tangiora, on behalf of Rongomaiwahine, filed an application with the High Court last year for recognition of protected customary rights and marine title of an area around the Mahia Peninsula coastline.
Since the new Marine and Coastal Act repealed the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2011, gaining recognised customary marine title has not yet been tested in a High Court.
Ms Tangiora's application relates to an area from Whareongaoga to the mouth of the Nuhaka River.
The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations asked to be heard on the matter because it said it had genuine interests in issues that affect recreational opportunities.
Ms Tangiora said the council should not be permitted to appear as it does not represent people directly affected by her application.
However, Justice Mallon has ruled that the council should not be struck out. She said it was too early to say it had no legitmate interest.
In the council's submission against the Act in 2010, it called for the retention of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which did not recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi.