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A submission on 'Government Proposals for Consultation: The Foreshore and Seabed of New Zealand' from Betsan Martin.

This is a brief submission with a broad outline proposal.

Support is given for the view that customary title of iwi and hapu / tangata whenua has not been extinguished – that is continues in Common Law

Hapu and Iwi Customary title to be retained, without the need to proceed to Maori Land Court to have title affirmed, other than in situations which hapu and iwi consider to be necessary.

I consider that iwi and hapu should not have to proceed to the Maori Land Court to have customary title verified or affirmed. It is continuous with aboriginal title.

I support the proposal for the Foreshore and Seabed to become a Commons, to be jointly regulated by the ‘crown’ and Iwi/hapu on a Te Tiriti –based framework.

While I agree there should be no further private ‘alienable’ title to Foreshore and Seabed, there needs to be provision for full retention and recognition of collective customary title, and facilitation of commercial development aspects within customary title.

Propose that a National Foreshore and Seabed governing body be established, such as a commission, and that commissioners be appointed through appropriate mechanisms devised by hapu, and by representatives of general population interests in Foreshore and Seabed.

The proposal for the administration of the Foreshore and Seabed as a co-managed Commons, could be envisaged as being effected through a national body and through local-level boards, again comprised of iwi/hapu representatives and general interest representatives/local or regional council representatives.

At the Government consultations, reference was made to the inadequacies of local bodies as Treaty partners. Any participation by local body representatives will need to be supported by Treaty of Waitangi capacity building processes and resources.

Respectful relationship building over time will need to be incorporated into any co-management arrangements.

There may need to be provision for the alignment of iwi rohe with regional authority areas.

There will need to be provision for capacity building for all non-Maori representatives/commissioners to give effect the customary rights.

Public Access to the Foreshore and Seabed can be negotiated with hapu and iwi, and with private property owners.

That environmental and ecological priorities of the coastal areas determine regulation and management of Foreshore and Seabed, and that conservation and kaitiakitanga responsibilities are prioritized over public access and commercial development.

Provisions for commercial developments, under the regulation of the RMA, Conservation act and Fisheries act to move toward co-management, with shared governance and decision-making, with a view to equitable access to marine resources.

That a full inquiry into models of co-regulation or co-management be undertaken in order to resource the establishment of a system of co-management.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer this submission. I would be willing to add further to these concepts if requested.

Yours faithfully,
Betsan Martin
1 October 2003

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