Nau mai haere mai e te whānau!

Muaūpoko whānau are invited to join a hui to hear about the preparations that Muaūpoko Tribal Authority has made for the High Court hearing of MACA (Marine and Coastal Act) applications between Whareroa (south of Kapiti Island) to the Rangitīkei River mouth, which begins on 6 May 2024.

What is MACA?

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (MACA Act) restores the right of iwi, hapu and whānau to have our customary rights recognised in specific parts of the Common Marine and Coastal Area (CMCA), through “Customary Marine Titles” (CMTs) and “Protected Customary Rights” (PCRs).

Customary Marine Title gives iwi effective control over all activities in the foreshore and seabed that they cover, apart from fishing (which is already dealt with in the fisheries settlement) and ordinary public uses. So any new structures such as marine farms, wind turbines etc would require iwi consent before they could proceed.

Protected Customary Rights prevents any interference in particular uses at particular places such as:

  • Traditional fishing not part of the1992 settlement
  • Gathering traditional resources eg driftwood, sand, rocks, shell, art materials, indigenous plants and shells, firewood
  • Kaitaikitanga activities (incl planting, monitoring, rubbish collection)
  • Gathering for rongoā purposes, wānanga, hui, tangihanga, burying of whenua
  • Launching of boats and waka

MTA have lodged an application under this act for the coastline between Whareroa (south of Kapiti Island) to the Rangitīkei River mouth.

We have also made an application for the coastline South of Kapiti through to Wellington harbour, this application will be heard on a separate date and we will run additional hui for this.

Why do we need this hui?

Before these hearings begin, we want to hear from our whānau about the current management of activities on the coast and future management if CMT or PCR orders are issued that allow Muaūpoko to control future activities on this coast, either on our own or in cooperation with other iwi.

Join us
10am – 12pm, Saturday 24 February 2024
10am – 12pm, Saturday 23 March 2024

Kohuturoa Marae

Online Only hui 8pm-9pm, Saturday 23 March 2024.

Please register your attendance by calling the MTA whare on 06 367 3311 or by emailing

Learn more about The Takutai Moana Act

Te tai rā, te tai rā,                                 The tide it flows,
E pari ana te tai ki hea,                       Where does the tide flow,
Ki Te Moana o Raukawakawa,          To the ocean of Raukawakawa,
Ki Te Tai o Rehua,                                To the tides of Rehua,
Ki te takere o Kurahaupō,                   To the hull of Kurahaupō,
Whakahono kia tū kaha Muaūpoko,  Muaūpoko united and standing strong,
Kia eke, eke Muaūpoko,                       Rise Muaūpoko,
Hui e taiki e.                                            It is done.

Since the time of Maui, Kupe, and the Kurahaupō our tūpuna have left their tohu on the whenua and Te Moana o Raukawakawa and Te Tai o Rehua.

Over generations, our people established a rich heritage along the coastline. Our tūpuna left signs of their ahi kā – their occupation, access, and use of the rohe. Today this heritage is found in wāhi tapu (archaeological sites), taonga tūturu (artefacts), Kōiwi tūpuna (ancestral remains); Korero tuku iho (stories, histories, myths. Legends, and narratives), taunaha – places names which we have continued to maintain the physical location and their origin stories. We are the kaitiaki of this heritage – it does not belong to Iwi who came in the 1820s and 1830s. Several pieces of legislation will recognise the kaitiakitanga of our heritage – The Takutai Moana Act is one of them.

The Takutai Moana Act will recognise our traditional and contemporary continued access and use of the Moana under tikanga for Te Moana o Raukawakawa and Te Tai o Rehua, and our role, obligation, and responsibility as kaitiaki – for today’s and tomorrow’s generations.

Our application overlaps other Iwi, hapū and whanau applications. We see this as an opportunity to understand each other’s coastal aspirations, and where possible to share in the role of kaitiaki. Both types of Takutai Moana titles will provide for the kaitiakitanga of our taonga tuku iho (heritage), Taiao (environment), tikanga (customs and practices), and the future coastal aspiration of our people, in dealing with climate change, a thriving coastal ecology, balanced with future economic development.

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Takutai Moana application
The Takutai Moana (MaCA) Act provides for two types of recognition of customary interest,
1. Protected Customary Rights (PCR) and
2. Customary Marine Title (CMT).

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority has a Takutai Moana claim lodged with Te Arawhiti.

Before customary interests can be recognised, applicant groups will need to meet certain tests. These tests will depend on the type of customary interest the applicant group is seeking recognition for.

There are two pathways to receive both recognised customary marine titles on behalf of iwi and hapū groups – directly with the Crown, or through the High Court. Applications under the Act to the High Court can only make decisions on applications that were made to the High Court, and the Crown can only make decisions on applications that were made to the Crown. This becomes problematic when there are applications by groups using both processes for the same area because the Act does not say how this should work.

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority has made an application for the Kapiti to Whanganui coastline (Te Tai o Rehua) through the High Court process. Discussions are still underway on the process for Te Whanganui a Tara / Te Moana o Raukawakawa (Wellington / Cook Strait area).

What is a Customary Marine Title (CMT)?
Customary marine title is a different sort of title from fee simple title. It comes from a common law concept that recognises the property rights of indigenous people that have continued since or before the acquisition of Crown sovereignty to the present day. The customary marine title is inalienable – the land cannot be sold. Customary marine titles cannot be converted to freehold title. It recognises the relationship that has existed and will continue to exist, between iwi, hapū, and whānau and the common marine and coastal area.

What are the “tests” for a Customary Marine Title
To obtain recognition of customary marine title over a specified area of the common marine and coastal area, an applicant group must prove that it:

  • holds the specified area in accordance with tikanga; and
  • has exclusively used and occupied the specified area:
    • from 1840 to the present day, without substantial interruption; or
    • from the time of a customary transfer until the present day, without substantial interruption.

Certain matters may be considered in determining whether customary marine title exists. These are:

  • ownership of land abutting all or part of the specified area
  • the exercise of non-commercial customary fishing rights in the specified area.

The use of part of the common marine and coastal area for fishing or navigation does not necessarily preclude an applicant group from establishing customary marine title.

What is a Protected Customary Rights (PCR)?
Protected customary rights provide recognition and protection of customary activities,
uses, and practices that are exercised in the common marine and coastal areas.

What are the “tests” for a Protected Customary Right
For a protected customary right, it must be shown:

  • an applicant group has exercised the right since 1840; and
  • the applicant group continues to exercise the right in accordance with tikanga, whether it continues to be exercised in the same or similar way, or evolves over time; and

the right has not been extinguished.

The applicant group does not need to own land in or abutting the specified part of the common marine and coastal area to establish protected customary rights.

An applicant can apply to the High Court for an order recognising a protected customary right or customary marine title.


Further Reading
Ministry of Justice, High Court, Marine, and Coastal Act applications;

Te Arawhiti, The office for Maori Crown Relations;

Te Ara, The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, Marine and Coastal Act;

Te Puni Kōkiri Ministry of Māori Development;, Te Mangai Kahui; Te Moana o Raukawa Iwi,


Muaūpoko Tribal Authority,

Ministry of Justice, Waitangi Tribunal report on the Crown foreshore and seabed policy; 2020