INDEPENDENT NEWS

No deals on beaches and seabed

Published: Mon 21 Jul 2003 03:04 PM
No deals on beaches and seabed
In a bid to encourage more open debate on Maori claims to ownership of New Zealand's beaches and seabed, the National Party is launching a web-site that discusses the issue.
The site, www.beachesforall.co.nz features an online petition as well as a hard-copy version of the petition which can be downloaded and signed by other beach loving Kiwis.
"Since Labour is determined to continue talks in secret, the National Party wants to encourage a wider public debate about the Government's handling of the beaches issue and other Treaty claims," says National Party Leader Bill English.
"We're hoping to get feedback from a wide range of New Zealanders, because politicians should know what the public think about plans to compromise on the ownership of our treasured coast.
"I've been travelling around the country in the past few weeks and it has been made abundantly clear to me that New Zealanders think we all own the beaches and seabed.
"There can be no compromise on Crown title," says Mr English.
"But there's an underlying distrust about how the Government is negotiating secretly with its own Maori MPs.
"The National Party believes we all deserve a say on the future ownership of our foreshore.
"National would support legislation that guarantees Crown ownership of the beaches and seabed so that we can all continue to enjoy it without having to negotiate a maze of political correctness based on race," Mr English says.

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