Recognition agreements and orders

Ngāti Pahauwera recognition agreement

The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, on behalf of the Crown, has offered to enter into a recognition agreement with Ngāti Pāhauwera recognising Customary Marine Title.

It is the first time this has occurred under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.

The offer to enter a recognition agreement follows a determination by the Minister in relation to Ngāti Pāhauwera's application for recognition of customary rights. The area where the Minister is satisfied that Customary Marine Title exists is a thin stretch of the common marine and coastal area, approximately 16km long, in rural Hawke's Bay.

Background to the decision

Ngāti Pahauwera's application was transferred in 2011 from a previous application under the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 (now repealed).

The application was for customary marine title, protected customary rights and protection of wāhi tapu.

Consideration of the application followed a rigorous and transparent process of evidence collection, including a public submissions process. During 2013/14 evidence was collected by the parties and assessed against the tests in the Act. Public submissions were sought and a report was also commissioned from a non-statutory Independent Assessor.

The Minister was satisfied the statutory test for customary marine title was met in part of the application area. He was not satisfied, on the basis of the evidence, that the tests for protected customary rights or wāhi tapu protection were met.

What happens next

Before any agreement is finalised the proposed recognition agreement must be ratified by Ngāti Pāhauwera.

If the proposed agreement is ratified then legislation recognising Ngāti Pāhauwera's customary rights will be introduced to Parliament. If this legislation is enacted by Parliament, bringing the recognition agreement into effect, it will confer on Ngāti Pāhauwera the specific rights of customary marine title set out in the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

Documents relating to the process of determination can be accessed through the links provided below.  This information has been published to assist with understanding of how the Act is being applied. Ngāti Pāhauwera have given permission for their affidavits to be published with some parts of the information withheld.

Decision and independent report

The Minister's decision and basis for reaching it. Ngati Pahauwera Letter of Determination 23 August 2016 [PDF, 866 KB]
Report by Hon John Priestley CNZM QC who independently advised the Minister on the extent to which the tests in the Act were met. Ngati Pahauwera Report of Independent Assessor December 2015 [PDF, 1.4 MB]


Affidavits and statements of evidence presented by Ngāti Pāhauwera to the Minister in support of their application for recognition of customary rights under the Act.

Ngati Pahauwera Affidavits 1 of 4 [PDF, 20 MB]
Ngati Pahauwera Affidavits 2 of 4 [PDF, 11 MB]
Ngati Pahauwera Affidavits 3 of 4 [PDF, 30 MB]
Ngati Pahauwera Affidavits 4 of 4 [PDF, 9.7 MB]
Ngati Pahauwera Affidavit on behalf of Trustees [PDF, 3.1 MB]
 - Ngati Pahauwera Affidavit on behalf of Trustees Exhibits A to H [PDF, 2.3 MB]
 - Ngati Pahauwera Affidavit on behalf of Trustees Exhibits J to NN [PDF, 15 MB]
Ngati Pahauwera Supplementary Affidavit on behalf of Trustees [PDF, 394 KB]
 - Ngati-Pahauwera-Supplementary-Affidavit-on-behalf-of-Trustees-Exhibits-B-to-H.pdf [PDF, 15 MB]
 - Ngati Pahauwera Supplementary Affidavit on behalf of Trustees Exhibits I to L [PDF, 20 MB]
A brief of evidence filed in the Māori Land Court in relation to rivers. This was provided to the Minister to assist him in considering the issue of extinction of customary rights in the Mōhaka River. Ngati Pahauwera Brief of Evidence in relation to rivers 12 October 2007 [PDF, 224 KB]
A report provided to the Minister that summarises evidence collected by the Ministry of Justice relevant to whether the tests under the Act were met by the evidence. Ngati Pahauwera Crown Summary Report November 2014 [PDF, 1.5 MB]