Story: Law of the foreshore and seabed

Public land, coast of Otago Peninsula

Public land, coast of Otago Peninsula

The widely-held belief in a Queen’s chain providing universal access to the coast above the high water mark is largely a myth. In this map of the water margins along Otago Peninsula, the public land represents 66.71 kilometres or 61.6% of the coastal strip. The rest is in private ownership. Even in the publicly-owned land, 32.19 kilometres (29.8% of the total) have restrictions, such as a sea wall, or steep topography, which make access impossible.

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Source: E. L. Clark and M. J. Hilton, ‘Measuring and reporting changing public access to and along the coast.’ New Zealand Geographer 59, no. 1 (2003): 7

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How to cite this page:

Mark Hickford, 'Law of the foreshore and seabed - Public access', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 12 December 2023)

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