INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bullying no way to start Foreshore and Seabed

Published: Wed 31 Mar 2010 02:10 PM
Bullying no way to start Foreshore and Seabed consultation
John Key’s threat to retain the current foreshore and seabed legislation if Māori don’t like his proposals is a patronising and inappropriate way to begin consultation, said the Green Party today.
“Starting the consultation period with the threat to retain the hated Foreshore and Seabed Act is an attempt to bully people into accepting the proposals,” said Metiria Turei, Green Party Co-Leader.
The Government released a Foreshore and Seabed proposals paper for consultation today.
“A consultation period of four weeks is far too short, especially for smaller groups like hapū who have limited resources and whose rights will be directly affected by these proposals.
“It is crucial that any new foreshore and seabed legislation respects Māori customary rights,” added Mrs Turei.
“The National Party has an atrocious record on issues that effect Māori. I’m really worried that any new legislation that they develop will undermine Māori interests and access to justice.”
The Green Party has always opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 because it fails to provide environmental protection and is a confiscation of Māori customary title.
“Our position has always been that Māori should have the right to go to Court to have their customary rights confirmed. While, of course, public access to beaches should be maintained, this does not mean that Māori should be singled out to have their legal rights removed.
“We have argued from the start that Te Ture Whenua Māori Act should be amended to make sure that foreshore and seabed land can never be sold. Hapū are fighting for their mana moana and do not want it sold off. The last thing Māori or Pakeha want is for our beaches to fall into foreign, private ownership.” said Mrs Turei.
ENDS

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