The New Zealand Parliament passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act in November 2004. The bill overruled a June 2003 court ruling that found Maori may have customary interests in the foreshore, which could allow granting of title by the Maori Land Court. The new legislation effectively extinguishes this native title, and opened the way for extensive public protest. In May 2004, a hikoi (protest march) of 20,000 people marched from the north of New Zealand's North Island to the capital Wellington. Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia resigned from the government and has formed a new Maori Party, receiving a significant upsurge of indigenous support in the lead-up to national elections in late 2005.

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