Story: Law of the foreshore and seabed

Māori at Porirua Harbour, around 1842

Māori at Porirua Harbour, around 1842

Many Māori communities were based on the coast, as can be seen in this watercolour of Porirua Harbour (north of Wellington) by Samuel Brees. It was probably painted looking from Plimmerton. Some Māori are collecting shellfish from the rocks, others perhaps are fishing from the canoe on the water, while on the distant beach near the entrance to the harbour, a number of canoes are drawn up. In the light of such widespread use, Māori assumed they had customary rights to coastal areas.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-031-028
Ink and watercolour sketch by Samuel Charles Brees

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Hickford, 'Law of the foreshore and seabed - Māori rights', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Mark Hickford, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 1 Jan 2015