The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Submission on the Foreshore and Seabed Bill 2004


  • We support the government’s principle of access.
  • We are not satisfied that this Bill provides the only way of achieving this.
  • We believe public access and use rights may actually be weakened rather than strengthened by this legislation.
  • We would find more certainty in public access to foreshore and seabed through negotiated settlements such as that with Ngati Tuwharetoa over Lake Taupo.
  • We support the right and duty of the government to regulate use of marine resources, but this does not override other ownership claims and interests.
  • We are concerned that the government has not been sufficiently upfront about its intentions in regard to private use of coastal areas.
  • We strongly support the principle of protection.
  • The Bill does not sufficiently protect customary rights.
  • The exclusion of customary title from the Bill leads to claims of confiscation.
  • The principle of certainty should not override customary rights and human rights considerations.
  • The Bill fails to meet the government’s own objectives in providing certainty.
  • The lack of clarity in the Bill will lead to more litigation.
  • More certainty is available through the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation of “the longer conversation” than through the processes provided in this Bill.
  • We object to the Bill because it discriminates between land owners on the basis of ethnicity.
  • The Bill does not give sufficient weight to New Zealand human rights commitments and obligations.
  • We object to the Bill because it ignores the Treaty of Waitangi and its implementation which provides precedents and processes for resolving this kind of grievance.
  • We object to the lack of any reference to the Treaty of Waitangi in this legislation.
  • This Bill will undermine the slow growth of goodwill which has been developed through the settlements process in recent decades.
  • We object to the Bill on the basis of Catholic social teaching which upholds
    indigenous rights.
  • We object to the Bill on the basis of the Catholic social teaching rejection of
  • We believe the Bill will dispossess others of a right to property.
  • We believe the Bill will inevitably lead to conflict.

See also the 2009 submission on the Foreshore and Seabed Review, the 2010 submission on the Foreshore and Seabed Consultation, and the 2010 submission on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Read the full submission:

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust