Ten applicants have fallen at the first hurdle in their attempts to gain customary marine title to stretches of coastline.
The Crown has turned down their bids for rights to be recognised.
Under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, whanau, hapu and iwi can seek recognition and protection of long-standing customary interests.
On behalf of his family, Greg McDonald made an application for title to half a kilometre of foreshore and seabed in front of Pakiri Beach, north east of Auckland.
But his request did not make the cut.
Mr McDonald said as owners of a block of land on the coast, he and his family had every right to take title to part of the seabed in front of them.
He said he believed the Crown only wanted to deal with large, established trusts and runanga in the region.
The Government was considering other claims, and the Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations expects to start making decision on those applications in the middle of this year.
Applicants also have the right to take their claims to the High Court.