When National passed the Marine & Coastal Area Act in March last year, they guaranteed free access for all New Zealanders to the facilities that nature has bestowed upon this country and which we all enjoy . How then, can a group calling themselves Ngati Kura Inc turn up at Matauri Bay and clamp four cars belonging to students who were there for a surfing lesson? The group, armed with a portable Eftpos machine, demanded $800 from John Smith, the principal of Kamo Intermediate School and only unclamped the students’ cars after he had paid up!
This is nothing short of extortion and I challenge the National Party to give a logical explanation and a refund!
Despite the assurances of free public access for all New Zealanders, an Official Information Act request reveals iwi and whanau are seeking title over areas of foreshore and seabed all the way from the far North to Stewart Island. The claims are from three separate iwi relating to the lower half of Ninety Mile Beach and the coast from Ahipara to Hokianga Harbour, Kennedy Bay and the Mohaka River mouth.
Maori are claiming under what they allude to as “customary title”. There are no such words in the Treaty of 1840 and the term was dreamt up by the Maori Party. In the future when visiting these idyllic spots, are we going to be met with belligerent Maori armed with portable Eftpos machines?
Mary Brooks, Avenues.