Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust | Takutai Moana Applications



Ngāti Pāhauwera protested the Foreshore and Seabed Act, then on various different stages of the Foreshore and Seabed Act review. Our focus was trying to ensure that any changes to that Act or any new Act include better legal mechanisms to support the fact that our moana is ours as kaitiaki and we cannot concede it anyone.

The Foreshore and Seabed Act was passed and in 2005 Wayne T Taylor on behalf of Ngāti Pāhauwera filed an application for a Customary Rights Order. Ngāti Pāhauwera decided to test whether we could achieve anything by obtaining a Customary Rights Order. We are the only group to have had an application heard in the Māori Land Court, in February 2008 at Mohaka. Less than a month after the hearing at Mohaka, the Crown wrote to us to discuss the settlement of our Treaty of Waitangi and Foreshore and Seabed claims.

The three sets of litigation (remedies, section 30 order review and customary rights order applications) were adjourned and Ngāti Pāhauwera and the Crown signed Terms of Negotiations in May 2008, beginning formal negotiations. In 2010, the Ngāti Pāhauwera Deed of Settlement was passed. In 2011, the Marine and Coastal (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 was passed and in 2012, Ngāti Pāhauwera resumed discussions with the Crown regarding our Takutai Moana application, rather than taking the case to the High Court.


Our obligations of kaitiakitanga are absolute. We will use every means we can to protect our tāonga for future generations which is why this application is so important. From the beginning the focus of the Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust has been protection of our awa, moana, and whenua. Our awa and the moana are polluted and over-fished, the aim is not to exclude others from coming in to the area it is for them to be aware of our tikanga and to respect the awa and moana in our rohe.


Engagement with the Crown

Ngāti Pāhauwera applied under Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 for:

  • Customary Marine Title (CMT)
  • Protected Customary Rights (PCRs)
  • Wāhi Tapu protection

Click here for map of the area under application.

The current application is for a defined area with no shared interests from Poututu Stream to the Pōnui Stream and out 12 nautical miles (22km) to sea.

Ngāti Pāhauwera evidence includes:

  • Previous Waitangi Inquiries, dating back to 1990 (affidavits, research reports, video evidence)
  • New evidence from 2013 and 2014 (affidavits, research and video evidence)
  • Joint Report agreed to by both Ngāti Pāhauwera and the Crown (includes results from third party enquiry (e.g. neighbouring tribes, recreational and public users)
  • Legal arguments

The Minister has made the Trustees an offer and we are finalising details,   then we expect to have the Minister’s offer made public in May 2017.

High Court

We have lodged a further application for a wider area including the Waikare river and south to the Esk, based on the korero from Te Kahu o Te Rangi. This will involve neighbouring hapu/iwi with shared traditional and current interests.

Click here for a map of the area under application

For more information:

On the Takutai Moana Act

A copy of the Act itself

The Ngāti Pāhauwera application

Please contact the Trust at with further queries.


Radio New Zealand 11 May 2017  Click here 

News on handover of evidence (December 2014) below


Ngāti Pāhauwera could be the first iwi to secure customary rights over a marine area if its evidence is accepted by Attorney General and Minister of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson.

It has taken Ngāti Pāhauwera nearly a decade to have its customary use claim heard under the Takutai Moana Act (Coastal and Marine Areas Act, 2011). It presented its evidence to an independent assessor at Mohaka Marae on Friday.

Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust chairperson Toro Waaka said having to provide evidence that you had rights over something you never sold, or gave away the rights to, was a “very humbling” process.

“It’s likely that Pāhauwera will be the first to have a customary rights order and acknowledgement in terms of our marine area.”

The assessor — former High Court judge the Honourable John Priestley QC — received their report after visiting significant areas in the claim. He also received the Crown’s submission and additional material from the public.

After assessing the evidence, Mr Priestley will make a recommendation to Mr Finlayson on whether Ngāti Pāhauwera meets the tests under the act for customary and marine title, wahi tapu and protected customary rights.

Declaring his fascination and love of history, Mr Priestley said his non-binding report and recommendations were likely to be the first of many for the region’s coastline, and every one would be different.

Crown Office Treaty Settlements team manger Harley Spence said he was working with other groups following in Pāhauwera’s footsteps and acknowledged the significance of the conversations shared on Friday.

He also thanked Pāhauwera for its patience and for working constructively with the Crown.

Ngāti Pāhauwera is the first group to use a project manager to manage the evidence collection and process rather than rely on lawyers.

Project manager Bonny Hatami received high praise from the Crown for the value she added.

In the lead-up to Friday’s historic handover of evidence, Ngāti Pāhauwera lawyer Roimata Smail said it was the only group to have had a hearing under the original Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2008.

That was followed by its joint Treaty of Waitangi settlement and foreshore and seabed negotiations.

Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations at the time, Sir Michael Cullen, suggested they completed the Treaty settlements first and put the foreshore and seabed negotiations on hold while the Government reviewed the act.

Ngāti Pāhauwera completed its $70 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement late in 2010.

After the Marine Coastal Area Taku Taimoana Act was passed in 2011, the Crown was ready to engage in late 2012, Ms Smail said. The Act restored the rights of hapu and iwi to explore customary title to the wet sand area down to the low tide mark, provided the land abutting the foreshore had remained in tribal ownership since 1840.

The law guarantees full and free public access to all beaches bar 6500km under existing riparian titles, almost one-third of the country’s coastline. — The Wairoa Star

Vanessa Rare
Wed, Jan 7, 2015
Congratulations Ngāti Pāhauwera.  You have blazed a trail that no other within the Treaty settlement process has: to not be swayed by the primary structures of the settlement process and assume other more innovative, practical and more precise options to gain a truer reality of incidence, justice and redress within the Treaty process. A path set by your light in the dark, which now, everyone can follow. Instead of the basic quick fix, sweep over that the Crown expects us to voluntarily accept as the best and only option.