INDEPENDENT NEWS

Dunne: Government should have been bolder

Published: Mon 18 Aug 2003 03:07 PM
Dunne: Government should have been bolder
United Future today gave a luke-warm reception to the Government's foreshore and seabed proposal, with leader Peter Dunne saying it was a move in the right direction, but that much bolder steps now needed to be taken.
"It's a start - and really, that's all you can say at this point," Mr Dunne said.
"It's disappointing that the Government hasn't been bold enough to tackle the definitions of 'customary usage' and 'customary title', and to just declare outright that ownership of the foreshores and seabeds, where not conflicting with current legal rights, will be vested explicitly in the Crown," he said.
United Future had previously called upon the Government to move on those issues.
"Obviously, the Government has moved in the right direction by indicating that the rights of all New Zealanders to use and enjoy the country's coastal areas would be protected.
"This was a given, and it needs to be the platform from which we move on this issue."
United Future welcomed the move to public consultation after months of closed-door negotiations, which Mr Dunne had previously criticised: "Opening up this issue is well overdue."
"Handled properly, we can work through this issue to the satisfaction of reasonable people. And the way to do this is with questioning and informed public debate," Mr Dunne said.

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