Resource Consents in the Marine and Coastal Area

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 creates special rules for people applying for resource consent in areas where customary interests are, or might be, recognised. This information will be useful if you are interested in applying for resource consent in the common marine and coastal area.

As per Section 62 of the Marine and Coastal Area Act, before a person may lodge an application that relates to a right conferred by a customary marine title order or agreement, that person must:

  1. Notify the applicant group about the application; and
  2. Seek the views of the group on the application. 

The Act acknowledges the importance of the marine and coastal area to all New Zealanders and provides for the recognition of the customary rights of iwi, hapū and whānau in the common marine and coastal area. Public access to the common marine and coastal area is guaranteed by the Act. Mechanisms for recognition include the following:

  • Protected Customary Rights (PCR) – allows certain traditional practices to be exercised without undue regulatory constraint
  • Customary Marine Title (CMT) – a mechanism similar to (but not) ownership

Applications for PCRs or CMT can be made under MACA by one or more iwi, hapῡ or whanaῡ group, and can be made by a legal entity or natural person appointed as representative of one or more of those groups.

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.

There have been numerous applications for PCRs and/or CMT made since MACA came into force, the majority of these being lodged in the weeks preceding the close of the statutory application period on 3 April 2017.

What areas are affected and who needs to be notified?

A list of applicants for direct engagement in the Wellington region can be found on the Ministry of Justice’s website. This includes a map of the application area for each application. 

Unfortunately the same information has not been made available in relation to applications to the High Court.

GWRC have compiled a list of customary marine title applicants within the GWRC boundaries based on current information held (PDF 339 KB) (for both direct engagement and high court applications). Please note that this is subject to change if applications are withdrawn or we become aware of additional applications.

New swing mooring licence system

As of July 31st 2019, GWRC are introducing a swing mooring licence system to replace the existing resource consent process. 

Current resource consents will be honoured until their expiry date. 

Please visit the Swing Moorings page for more information. 

Updated July 5, 2022 at 9:08 AM

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