February 18, 2022
Shared exclusivity eases foreshore tension
Iwi and hapū from the eastern Bay of Plenty are in the High Court in Wellington next week for a two-week hearing designed to finalise customary marine title orders.
Maui Hudson from Te Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, which is representing some of the hapū, says the hearing will be closely watched for the precedents it is setting on the interpretation of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.
He says last year’s judgment granting customary title to Te Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tai and Ngāti Awa was significant because it was for the whole coastline, including areas affected by raupatu where people were not able to be in continuous occupation.
It also introduced the idea of shared exclusivity for hapū and iwi, which reflected the way the people access and use the resource.
“Granting of rights to a particular group over another one is always going to create some tension so this notion of shared exclusivity, which came out of a Canadian legal context, has been a way that a hapū rangatiratanga can be expressed but then within that shared space as an iwi body,” Mr Hudson says.
The hearing will determine which bodies which will hold the title for the various hapū and iwi.