Next stage in Ngati Porou’s foreshore bill

Select committee here Monday

Select committee here Monday

Submissions on a bill regarding Ngati Porou customary title and rights over the foreshore and seabed along the East Coast will be heard in Gisborne next week.

The Nga Rohe Moana o Ngati Porou Act (No 2) had its first reading in Parliament in May.

A Maori Affairs Select Committee hearing on the bill will be held on Monday in the Jesus Christ Repentance Church at Kaiti Mall from 8.30am.

If the bill is passed, Ngati Porou will be the first iwi to secure a settlement over the foreshore and seabed, establishing customary title and giving it some veto rights over the uses of those areas.

Among the submitters scheduled for the hearing are hapu within the rohe boundary who did not sign up to the bill, commercial fishermen, Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, Gisborne District Council, Gisborne Fisheries Limited, Tairawhiti Rock Lobster Industry Association and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.

It has been a long road for Ngati Porou, who first negotiated a settlement in 2008 under Labour after the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act was enacted.

Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri is pleased with the number of submitters and says it gives them an opportunity to voice their opinion, particularly those who opted out of supporting the bill.

She offered some advice to submitters.

“I encourage you to make sure that your korero is short, clear and concise.

“Get straight to the point because the committee members will be able to pick up your korero better.

“Don’t read your entire written submission, because they already have that in front of them.

“If you’ve been given 10 minutes to talk, speak for five and leave the remaining time for the select committee to ask you questions.

“From past experience, I know that the best submissions are those that are short, sharp and clear. Give yourself a good shot.

“But above all, I want to make sure that everyone is heard and dealt with appropriately.”

Ngati Porou’s settlement could give it customary title over a significant part of the East Coast coastline down to Gisborne, as well as customary rights such as fishing and protection of wahi tapu (sacred areas).

The iwi’s consent will also be required for resource consent applications in the areas over which it has customary title, as well as any proposals such as tourism ventures, the creation of a marine reserve, marine mammal sanctuary or conservation protected areas.

It will also be able to propose bylaws to restrict or ban fishing for either sustainability or cultural reasons, such as to enforce a rahui (a ban on fishing or swimming, such as after a drowning).

It will also have ownership of any minerals in the area, other than nationalised minerals of petroleum, gold, silver and uranium.​

Submissions on a bill regarding Ngati Porou customary title and rights over the foreshore and seabed along the East Coast will be heard in Gisborne next week.

The Nga Rohe Moana o Ngati Porou Act (No 2) had its first reading in Parliament in May.

A Maori Affairs Select Committee hearing on the bill will be held on Monday in the Jesus Christ Repentance Church at Kaiti Mall from 8.30am.

If the bill is passed, Ngati Porou will be the first iwi to secure a settlement over the foreshore and seabed, establishing customary title and giving it some veto rights over the uses of those areas.

Among the submitters scheduled for the hearing are hapu within the rohe boundary who did not sign up to the bill, commercial fishermen, Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, Gisborne District Council, Gisborne Fisheries Limited, Tairawhiti Rock Lobster Industry Association and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.

It has been a long road for Ngati Porou, who first negotiated a settlement in 2008 under Labour after the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act was enacted.

Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri is pleased with the number of submitters and says it gives them an opportunity to voice their opinion, particularly those who opted out of supporting the bill.

She offered some advice to submitters.

“I encourage you to make sure that your korero is short, clear and concise.

“Get straight to the point because the committee members will be able to pick up your korero better.

“Don’t read your entire written submission, because they already have that in front of them.

“If you’ve been given 10 minutes to talk, speak for five and leave the remaining time for the select committee to ask you questions.

“From past experience, I know that the best submissions are those that are short, sharp and clear. Give yourself a good shot.

“But above all, I want to make sure that everyone is heard and dealt with appropriately.”

Ngati Porou’s settlement could give it customary title over a significant part of the East Coast coastline down to Gisborne, as well as customary rights such as fishing and protection of wahi tapu (sacred areas).

The iwi’s consent will also be required for resource consent applications in the areas over which it has customary title, as well as any proposals such as tourism ventures, the creation of a marine reserve, marine mammal sanctuary or conservation protected areas.

It will also be able to propose bylaws to restrict or ban fishing for either sustainability or cultural reasons, such as to enforce a rahui (a ban on fishing or swimming, such as after a drowning).

It will also have ownership of any minerals in the area, other than nationalised minerals of petroleum, gold, silver and uranium.​

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