Politics, Indigenous Rights and Resource Ownership: Māori Customary Rights to the Foreshore, Seabed and Fresh Water in New Zealand

Ann Sullivan


Māori customary rights to natural resources are a contentious issue between Māori and the New Zealand government and between Maori and non-Māori. The values and principles inherent in a treaty signed in 1840 between Māori and the British Crown have been undermined by the government’s refusal to allow Māori the right to go to the courts to determine proprietary rights to the foreshore, seabed and fresh water. Discriminatory Crown actions highlight the argument that when an injustice occurs then reparations should be made. The United Nations has chided the New Zealand government for its discriminatory behaviour and failure to provide guaranteed redress but it has had little effect.


Indigenous peoples; Maori (New Zealand people); Indigenous peoples--Civil rights; Water; Right of property

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18193/sah.v3i2.105

ISSN 2009-8278 (Online)
ISSN 2009-826X (Print)

Publisher: SAHkartell (Editorial Team & DBS Library)

Creative Commons License