Ngāti Manuhiri man outraged over Crown refusal

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

An applicant is outraged after his claim for customary title to the foreshore and seabed was turned down by the Crown.  He is one of 10 applicants whose application under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011, was declined. 

Māori have customary rights under common English law but here in NZ they have already been confiscated.

Greg McDonald (Ngāti Manuhiri) says the Crown doesn't understand the genealogical links of local families and clans to this area and prefer dealing with third-party interests like large land trusts and rūnanga on the matter.  

McDonald's ancestress Rahui Te Kiri was famous for swimming from Little Barrier Island to her marae on the mainland.  

That was until the late 1800s when she was forcibly removed from her own island by the Crown and her partner jailed for resisting eviction.  

But the Crown's not interested in hearing past grievances. 

These are customary rights that were confiscated by the Labour Government in recent years which bought about the rise of the Māori Party who have tried to patch up the legislation.  

But McDonald's says the whole issue of customary rights has been turned on its head.

Under the law there is only limited time for Māori to apply for their customary rights before it closes.