Amazing NZ Govt funding for hundreds of groups claiming the coast and seas

A Kiwi sent me these stunning details of funding available through NZ Dept of Justice to pay for High Court applications under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011. The 5 page pdf can be downloaded but the Table of dollars on tap to claim (larger vers) is worth posting. Clearly Govt payouts could total many $millions over years. I posted below on – Now 550+ legal claims on New Zealand coast and seas by Maori organizations

5 thoughts on “Amazing NZ Govt funding for hundreds of groups claiming the coast and seas”

  1. Warwick,
    Very interesting. I didn’t know about this.

    However having been 14 years ago, on the wrong end of a similar application as sumarised in your table, the totals of between ~$160,000 and ~ $300,000 seem like peanuts to me.

    Of course it depends what the terms of any appeals are. Fighting an appeal is where most of the cash goes.

    At the time of my above mentioned application, appeals were basically free.
    Worse than that effectively, not only was the government was one of the appellants, but they supplied material and expertise to the other appellants as well.

    In any other country but NZ that would be called corruption.

    Of course, in this case it would be extremely politically risky to try and appeal against a native claim of any sort involving land/water and sand.

    I shall follow this somewhat horrifying use of tax payers money with interest.

    One day I may just write a book on my experiences 14 years ago. I have all the records which fill a large crate.


  2. Amazing, but not unprecedented. In our favourite field of global warming and other trendy hazards, the USA Environmental Protection Agency has got wonderful results by funding NGOs to sue them to “protect” the public. The result is that the EPA is “forced” by court order to introduce whatever regulations they wanted to introduce in the first place.

    I suppose the EPA was at least acting in its own interest in their shenanigans, whereas here the government seems to be just shooting itself and any private landowners involved in the foot. Presumably the pressure for such nonsense comes mainly from lawyers who will make a fortune determining whether some Maori or part-Maori shakedown artists can lay claim to a stretch of beach.

    The whole process of awarding rights based on ancestry is racist and divisive and should be abandoned. In the meantime the law should provide that any “native title” granted be used only for native purposes that were in existence before European colonisation, and with the government obliged to fully compensate any landowner disadvantaged by the process.

  3. How can anybody be “baffled” at the claim “Maori are not indigenous”. Surely what constitute indigenous is an arguable point.
    Maori arrived on canoes from other points in the Pacific around a thousand years ago!! And BTW – now there are not too many Moriori.

  4. On 2nd May I emailed the NZ High Court as follows –
    Subject: Extension of time required hundreds coast & sea claims
    Dear High Court Registrar,
    Extension of time required.
    I was wondering in view of the huge problem for thousands affected in responding to these unprecedented ambit claims in the short time allotted; can the court think about extending the time for those affected to file responses?
    I would think an extra two or three months would be required in view of the avalanche of work required, not least in your own registry.
    All the best,
    On Friday 12th May I got the following reply –

    Dear Mr Hughes,

    There is no express provision in the Marine & Coastal Area Act providing for an extension of time to file a Notice of Appearance.

    However, the Registry will not send back notices filed out of time, they will go on file and the Court will decide at a later date if there is an issue with timing.
    Kind regards,

  5. The legislation seems to be just a charter for harrassment and shakedown of legal owners.

    A government’s proper role is to protect property rights, not undermine them.

    I suppose the pollies’ answer will be they are only restoring rights undermined by white settlement. But that’s nonsense – you don’t give redress to people long dead by handing rights and money to their kin in later generations. Dispossessing current legal owners is not restoring a right but perpetrating another wrong.

    This is one absurdity that could probably only exist in the New World. In Europe or even in Asia people know that one civilisation has supplanted another for millennia and that it would be crazy to try to compensate any “traditional” owner for anything. Only ownership established in a system of modern law in the first place could provide a valid basis for a subsequent claim for redress.

    The NZ situation is doubly absurd since the Maori themselves displaced the “traditional owners” of New Zealand. The idea of giving a group of activists property rights over some beach on the basis that 200 years ago it was roamed by a tiny minority of their ancestors is nuts.

    Remember also that such land had negligible economic value at the time. It was only useful for access to fishing, sea shells for jewellery etc. Handing over modern property rights in a modern economy is triply absurd, as it is effectively conferring economic rights and advantages that would never have existed but for European settlelement.

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