About the legislation

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 guarantees free public access in, on or over the common marine and coastal area subject to the exceptions below. It is an offence for anyone to interfere with free public access. The public can continue to go to the beach and walk, swim, sail, kayak, fish or have a picnic.

Public access is prohibited or restricted in the common marine and coastal area only to allow commercial developments to operate viably and safely– for example, ports, naval bases, marine farms and marinas. In future, holders of customary marine title (CMT) will also be able to exclude the public from wāhi tapu. These are areas such as burial grounds or battle sites which are sacred to a CMT holder.

Under the Act, whānau, hapū and iwi can seek recognition and protection of longstanding customary interests.

The Act also preserves and protects existing recreational fishing rights, navigation rights and all other existing uses.

Read a summary of the Act, view some frequently asked questions, or read about reviewing the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, which this Act replaces.

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