Review recommends repeal of Foreshore law

The foreshore and seabed review panel has reported back. The report is 163 pages.

I blogged in March that I thought the appointment of the panel would lead to a recommendation the law be toasted, and I was right.

They make the point that the Government should have appealed the case to the Privy Council – something I have always said. Clark and Wilson ruled that out and decided to legislate (after just four days!) because they didn’t like the politics of appealing to a court they had said they would abolish.

They recommend the Act be repealed, and offer four options for consideration:

  1. Do nothing further – leave the Court of Appeal decision intact and allow claims to be made to the Maori Land Court.  This option is not favoured.
  2. Have a staged settlement with negotiations between Hapu/Iwi and the Crown – basically add this to the historic grievances to be settled. They say if this happens, there needs to be provision for public input to safeguard rights of access etc.
  3. A national settlement along the lines of the fisheries and aquaculture settlements.
  4. A mixed model that combines a number of discrete components: a national settlement, allocation of rights and interests, local co-management, and an ability to gain more specific access and use rights. This is preferred.

I’ve only skimmed the report but they seem to have gone to great lengths to stress that any settlement must guarantee access for all.

There are probably some considerable fish-hooks ahead, but at first glance the panel looks to have come up with a workable way forward. Legislating to remove property rights should be a last resort, not a first resort – as it was for Labour.

Comments (88)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment