Role of local authorities under the Act
- The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 does not fundamentally change the role and functions of local authorities.
- Local authorities will continue environmental management of the marine and coastal area in line with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
- Local authorities will retain control over occupation of space and extraction of sand, shingle and other material in the common marine and coastal area (see consequential change to section 30(1)(d)(ii) of the RMA). This will change in areas of the marine and coastal area which remain in Crown ownership (e.g. conservation areas) where the Minister of Conservation will have jurisdiction.
- There are a number of provisions in the Act that are of particular relevance to local authorities.
Applications for the recognition of customary interests
- All applications for protected customary rights or customary marine title are to be lodged by 3 April 2017 – this will provide local authorities with certainty over the extent of claims. Current applications can be found at current marine and coastal applications.
- Local authorities will:
- be informed of claims lodged with the High Court. The Government, through the Ministry of Justice, will inform local authorities when negotiations with applicant groups are entered into
- play a role in providing information to the court or Crown on resource consents when customary marine title is claimed and local authorities can participate in proceedings
- have new specific roles and responsibilities in relation to protected customary rights and customary marine title areas once these areas have been recognised by the court or Crown (for example via a customary marine title group’s Planning Document)
- play a role in consent, approval and permit consultation requirements. When a group has applied for, but not yet been granted, customary marine title over a particular area, then any resource consent, permit or approval applicants will have to notify the group and seek its views on the consent application prior to lodging. The customary marine title applicant’s views may be considered in the Council’s decision.