The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 [New Zealand Legislation website] was passed on 1 April 2011. The Act guarantees access in, on or over the entire common marine and coastal area [Ministry of Justice website] and makes it an offence for anyone to interfere with free public access. Anyone can continue to go to the beach and walk, swim, sail, kayak, fish or have a picnic.
The only restrictions on public access in the common marine and coastal area are the reasonable ones that already exist – for example, to working port areas or naval bases, or on recognised burial grounds.
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.
Find out more about the Act on the Ministry of Justice website.
Last updated: 2 September 2011