Greens welcome Labour change of heart on the foreshore

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2010 04:22 PM
9 December 2010
Greens welcome Labour change of heart on the foreshore
The Labour Party has announced today that it will essentially be adopting the Green Party position on the foreshore and seabed.
“It is great that Labour is now endorsing our position that their 2004 Foreshore Act should be repealed,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“The Green Party has been consistent in its position since 2003. Maori should be able to freely access the courts, and public access needs to be guaranteed to the entire foreshore not just the parts associated with Maori.
“We have argued from the start that Te Ture Whenua Maori Act should be amended to make sure that foreshore and seabed land can never be sold. Hapu are fighting for their mana moana and do not want it sold off. The last thing Maori or Pakeha want is for our beaches to fall into foreign, private ownership," said Mrs Turei.
“National’s revised legislation on the foreshore and seabed is discriminatory and repeats the injustice of the original Foreshore and Seabed Act.
“National’s bill is essentially the same as Labour’s Act. It undermines the Treaty relationship, and sets down a unreasonably high threshold for proving Maori customary rights. It doesn’t really restore access to the courts because it overrules the common law and replaces it with restrictive tests.
“We welcome Labour’s change of heart today and their recognition that their 2004 Act was deeply flawed. We look forward to working with them to repeal the 2004 Act and stopping the progress of National’s equally flawed bill.
“We hope that both the ACT and the Maori parties will work with us to stop the Marine Coastal Area Bill and ensure genuine justice for Maori.
“The Green Party has had a Members’ Bill ready since July last year that will repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act and amend Te Ture Whenua Maori Act to stop foreshore being on-sold. We hope the other parties will support this bill, said Mrs Turei.

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