Saturday, April 20, 2024

Customary interests of Ngāti Porou hapū recognised

The Crown has recognised 14 customary marine title areas along the East Cape and East Coast in ngā rohe moana o ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. 

This recognition reflects the determination of ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou to safeguard their longstanding customary rights and the continued exercise of mana by ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou in their rohe moana.

Customary marine title recognises customary rights and interests that whānau, hapū or iwi can show they have had in an area of the takutai moana (common marine and coastal area) from 1840, in accordance with strict legal tests. 

“I would like to thank ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou for their commitment through this long journey since reaching agreement with the Crown to recognise their customary rights and interests in the marine and coastal area in 2008,” Minister Little said.

“Ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou have contributed extensive research and collection of historical evidence which, along with the Crown’s historical research and public consultation, assisted the Crown in being satisfied the legal tests for customary marine title were met in these areas.”

Ngāti Porou were the only iwi that reached an agreement with the Crown under the now-repealed Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. When that Act was reviewed and repealed, the Crown undertook to honour its existing commitments to Ngāti Porou. Following the passage of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act in 2011, the original agreement was updated to reflect features of the new Act, including the new legal test for customary marine title. The agreement was given effect by Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Act 2019.

Customary marine title enables the holders to exercise certain rights through involvement in resource consent and Conservation Act processes, customary fisheries management, the ownership of non-Crown minerals and taonga tūturu in the title area, and protection of wāhi tapu, such as urupā (grave sites).

The customary marine title orders take effect today.

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