In January 2017, nga hapu o Ngati Porou will gather to discuss final sign-off on the Nga Hapu o Ngati Porou Foreshore and Seabed Deed of Agreement negotiated with the Crown eight years ago.
Recently the deed has been updated to better reflect improvements made in the wake of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011, which replaced the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004.
The amended deed will give legal protection to the enduring cultural and economic interests of coastal hapu of Ngati Porou, while upholding the public’s right of access to marine areas. The amended deed, once ratified, looks set to simplify the way the Crown acknowledges customary rights from in the takutai moana.
Seven Ngati Porou hapu clusters have been set up to manage customary interests under the deed. These management groupings will be formally listed as the entities responsible for implementing the deed’s provisions.
The amended deed will be put before nga hapu o Ngati Porou at the upcoming hui to seek ratification.
Among the improvements to the deed are matters of process relating to Customary Marine Title, co-management, local body protocols and relationships with Crown ministries.Amendments also relate to the legal framework of covenants, overlays and other mechanisms available to nga hapu o Ngati Porou under the provisions of the deed
Ngati Porou Foreshore and Seabed Implementation Committee chairman Rei Kohere says the amended deed gives hapu more power to approve or withhold approval for activities that have a damaging impact on their coastal resources and ecosystems.
“It will therefore enable our hapu to exercise their mana as kaitiaki over our coastline while ensuring our whanau can still gather kaimoana and enjoy our customary rights and access to our kapata kai,” says Mr Kohere. Te Whanau a Tuwhakairiora kaumatua Hal Hovell says: “We hope something comes out of the Foreshore and Seabed agreement that gives our rahui teeth. Then we can put in place management measures that have the backing of the law.”
After the amended deed is ratified, the Nga Rohe Moana o Nga Hapu o Ngati Porou Bill will be reintroduced into Parliament. An Act is required to give legal effect to the amended deed.
For further information go to www.ngatiporou.com/takutaimoana