Further Ngāti Porou customary marine titles recognised

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

The Crown has recognised four new customary marine title areas along the East Cape and East Coast in ngā rohe moana o Ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou.

This recognition adds Hautai Beach, Port Awanui, Tūpāroa and Waipiro Bay to the areas already recognised in 2021.

“Eighteen customary marine titles are now recognised in nga rohe moana o Ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou since they reached agreement with the Crown in 2008 about recognition of their customary rights and interests in the marine and coastal area,” Andrew Little said.

“Ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou have contributed extensive research and collection of historical evidence to assist the Crown with the legal tests for customary marine title in these areas.”

Customary marine title is legal recognition of the long-held interests of iwi, hapū and whānau in specific areas.

Holders of customary marine title can exercise legal rights in those areas through involvement in resource management and conservation processes, customary fisheries management, protection of wāhi tapu (sacred places), and the ownership of non-Crown minerals and taonga tūturu (protected items) in the title area.

All areas are described in the Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou (Recognition of Customary Marine Title) Order 2020.

“Public access will not change. Both Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Act and the Takutai Moana Act ensure free public access in the common marine and coastal area,” Andrew Little said.

Note to Editors: Customary marine title

  • Customary marine title is recognised in accordance with strict legal tests.
  • It is not fee simple ownership, but an expression of customary rights and interests in part of the common marine and coastal area. The common marine and coastal area is the area from the line of mean high-water springs out to the outer limit of the territorial sea. In more general terms, the common marine and coastal areas can be described as the “wet part” of the beach, and out to 12 nautical miles. 
  • Customary marine title does not affect general public access, fishing (subject to bylaws being made to protect customary fishing areas), or navigation rights. However, public access does not give any new rights for the public to cross private land without permission to reach these marine and coastal areas.
  • The new customary marine titles for ngā hapū o Ngāti Porou came into effect on 13 April 2023.