April 04, 2017
Runanga demands crown prove title
Te Runanga a iwi o Ngati Kahu has responded to the deadline for claiming customary rights to the foreshore and seabed by demanding the crown prove its own title.
A public notice says to have any rights in the Ngati Kahu rohe recognised, the crown needs to give evidence it holds title in accordance with Ngati Kahu tikanga, and it has exclusively used and occupied the area.
Chair Margaret Mutu says the Maori Party-backed Marine and Coastal Areas (Takutai Moana) Act, which set a similar test for Maori claimants, was worse than Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.
She says her runanga is not going to be bullied by the crown.
"When they set out a process where we had to go to them we said 'No. You come to us. We are the rightful owners. You have never demonstrated you have any right whatsover in our area and that is the status quo. If you wish to change the status quo they you need to apply to us,'" Professor Mutu says.
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