December 23, 2016
Muttonbirders win foreshore and seabed claim
The High Court has made its first order under the 2011 Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act, recognising customary marine title to a fishing area on one of the Titi Islands southwest of Rakiura Stewart Island.
Muttonbirder Denis Tipene made the application on behalf of all Rakiura Maori with customary interests in Tamaitemioka, where his whanau has the only house, and on its neighbour Pohowaitai, which has 11 houses.
The application was opposed by the Attorney General, who said the application group was insufficiently specified and Mr Tipene did not have a mandate.
Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu took a similiar position.
Justice Mallon said Mr Tipene is supported by the whanau on the islands, and those whanau have a sufficient mandate to bring the application on behalf of all those who whakapapa to the islands.
He says those who exercise the fires of occupation make the decisions.
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