Hearings on Foreshore Bill start today

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Parliament’s Maori affairs select committee will open public hearings tomorrow on the legislation that will replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

This comes after TangataWhenua.com has heard of a great deal of problems with the public submission process, including errors via the Online Submission form which is available to all New Zealanders.

Some iwi don’t like the terms of the replacement legislation — the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill — and they will get their chance to explain why.

The Government reached a deal with the Maori Party on the bill and isn’t going to change its core principles.

It has said that if the Maori Party withdrew its support, the Foreshore and Seabed Act would remain in force.

The replacement legislation returns to Maori the right to seek customary title over parts of the coast through the courts or through negotiation with the Government.

The main concern of dissenting iwi is that the test for that is uninterrupted use and occupation since 1840, which they say is too high and will rule out many applications.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira and his supporters say Maori should have automatic right to title.

The select committee will hold hearings in Parliament tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday before moving to to Blenheim, Christchurch, Whangarei, Hamilton, Waiariki and Auckland.

(Kia ora to Voxy for this)

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