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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Access arrow Seabed act 'needs weeding'
Seabed act 'needs weeding' PDF Print
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Articles - Access
Written by Mike Barrington, The Northern Advocate   
Monday, 06 July 2009

Public access to the foreshore is a No 1 priority. Picture/supplied

Repealing the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act "holus-bolus" would not be good for race relations in New Zealand, Ngapuhi Runanga chairman Sonny Tau said yesterday.

He wanted to see "obnoxious" sections weeded from the act - particularly the parts limiting Maori access to High Court action to resolve property ownership issues.

"But public access [to the foreshore] is No1. The Maori Party say they would never interfere with that but I think the way it is spelled out in legislation is a good point," Mr Tau said.

He was commenting on a review of the act which says it should be repealed.

The review panel recommended the Government recognise Maori with traditional coastal interests had some form of customary title and the public had an interest in access and navigation.

A 150-page report produced by the review panel - former High Court judge and Waitangi Tribunal chairman Eddie Durie, barrister Richard Boast and Maori culture specialist Hana O'Regan - said the law failed to recognise Maori property rights as acknowledged by the courts.

The act also advanced the general interests of the public at the expense of Maori, the report said.

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