Three Customary Interests

 Mana tuku iho is a customary interest on the whole of the New Zealand coastline that is conferred on iwi on application, and enables participation in conservation processes involving marine reserves, marine mammal sanctuaries, and conservation protected areas, as well as applications for concessions operating in the area including marine mammal watching.

Protected Customary Rights can be awarded through negotiation with a Minister - or by the High Court - for rights that have been exercised since 1840 and continue to be exercised in accordance with tikanga by the applicant group - whether it continues to be exercised in exactly the same or a similar way, or evolves over time.

In other words, protected customary rights can be conferred to groups that have changed their so-called 'customary' activity as long as they claim it has been changed in accordance with tikanga.

Holders of the right have the power to veto RMA consent applications, while their own commercial activities are not regulated by the RMA and can be delegated or transferred to others.

This powerful title, WHICH IS AKIN TO OWNERSHIP WITHOUT THE RIGHT TO SELL THE LAND, can be gained if iwi can persuade a Minister that they have "exclusively used and occupied the area from 1840 without substantial interruption".

HOWEVER, since the Bill introduces 'CUSTOMARY TRANSFERS' to allow the area being claimed to have been transferred to the claimants from a completely separate group, THE QUALIFYING CRITERIA BECOMES VIRTUALLY MEANINGLESS and the process a sham: compared to the current law (Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004),

* iwi no longer need to prove their claim in court,

* they no longer need to own the land abutting their claim,

* and they no longer need to have exclusively used and occupied the area since 1840!

It is no wonder the government wants Ministers to be able to award these sham titles in secret, rather than expose them to full public view in an open court of law!

Clauses 64-91 Customary Marine Title Rights: The following rights are conferred on title holders:

* the right to develop the area for commercial benefit and

* the right to delegate or transfer those rights;

* the absolute right of veto over RMA applications with a fine of up to $600,000 or 2 years in prison for violations (with iwi receiving most of the restitution),

* the right of veto over marine reserves and conservation protected areas;

* the right to decide marine mammal watching permits;

* the right to prepare coastal plans that can extend to areas outside that covered by their title, that must be taken into account in the New Zealand coastal policy statement and that can impose obligations on government agencies local government, Historic places, conservation and fisheries;

* the prima facie ownership of any newly found taonga tuturu; and

* the ownership of minerals other than nationalised minerals and pounamu with royalties from existing operations being redirected from the Crown to iwi from the date of application of the claim.

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