The beach and the sea

First listen to Who owns the beach and sea?

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. Next the Governor-General has to sign it. Then it becomes the Marine and Coastal Act and is the law.

The voting in Parliament was 63 to 56. The Maori Party joined the National Party in voting for the Bill.

In 2004, when the Labour government passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act, Tariana Turia was so angry that she left the Labour Party and formed the Maori Party. When the National Party won the 2008 election, the Maori Party agreed to be a partner in Parliament if the government would get rid of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Hone Harawira was so angry about the Marine and Coastal Area Bill that he left the Maori Party and became an Independent MP. He said that nearly 90% of Maori are against this Bill. He voted against it in Parliament. A number of protesters marched to Parliament from Northland to protest against the Bill. Maori called this march a hikoi.

The Bill says that Maori can go to court to claim customary rights if they have owned and lived at that beach since 1840. Hone Harawira says it is too hard to prove they have been there for 171 years. Besides, court cases cost money.

If a tribe (iwi) can claim customary rights, the Bill gives them ownership from the high tide mark on the beach to 26km in the sea. They must allow people access to the beach. They can stop other people from building a wharf or a marina but the tribe can build these themselves and make money from them.

marine – sea e.g. a marine animal is one that lives in the sea
get rid of – throw away
customary – usual or traditional
a right – the law allows you to do this
access – allow people to use the beach for swimming
marina – a safe place to tie up boats in a harbour

“she was so angry that she left the Labour Party”. This structure is a good way to show a result. “I was so tired that I fell asleep quickly.”
Finish these sentences: I / She/ He was so busy / lazy / untidy / tall / …. It was so difficult that …
Now make your own sentences using an adjective plus a result.

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