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The Act acknowledges the importance to all New Zealanders of the marine and coastal area (that is, the area between mean high water mark and 12 nautical miles from shore).
It also provides for the recognition of the customary rights of Māori in parts of the marine and costal area that aren’t already in private ownership or part of a conservation area (that is, the common marine and coastal area).
The Act guarantees public access to and use of the common marine and coastal area for activities such as recreational fishing and swimming.
To have their customary interests in a common area officially recognised, iwi, hapū or whānau could apply by 3 April 2017 in two ways: by applying to the High Court and/or by directly engaging with the Crown.
The Court received about 190 applications. Applicants were required to publish public notices within 20 working days.
For information about applications to directly engage with the Crown, visit the Marine and Coastal Area Act page.
Anyone who wants to have their say in Court to support or oppose an application for recognition of customary interests must file a notice of appearance with the High Court.
Your notice of appearance will need to include the reference number (CIV number) of the application, or the name of the group or person who applied to the High Court to have their customary interests recognised. These details will be in the public notice that was published by the applicant.
You must sign the Notice of Appearance and file it with the Registrar of the High Court at Wellington (PO Box 1091, Wellington 6140). You will need to complete a separate notice of appearance, and pay the appropriate fee, for each individual application you are interested in. The Court cannot accept a notice of appearance that quotes multiple applications
A filing fee of $110 must be sent with each notice of appearance. You can apply for a fee waiver.
The deadline for filing notices of appearance will be in the Public Notice of the application.
You’ll need to check the Public Notices section of your local newspaper or relevant national paper. You could also ask your local library to help you find out if a public notice has been published in the newspaper.