INDEPENDENT NEWS

Petition on foreshore and recreation

Published: Thu 13 Nov 2003 04:44 PM
Petition on foreshore and recreation presented to Parliament
A petition was presented to Parliament today calling for Crown ownership and control, and secure public recreation rights, over the foreshore and seabed.
Initiated by Public Access New Zealand (PANZ) prior to Government announcing its proposal for a 'public domain', it drew 7820 signatures from throughout New Zealand. "This is a modest but heartening response", according to petition organiser Bruce Mason.
"We fail to see how a 'public domain' can truly be such without the Crown, representing all New Zealanders, in control". Government's proposals for a 'public domain' without anyone owning it and with divided responsibilities is a recipe for irreparable social division. "If the public domain approach were modified to achieve the aims of the petitioners, I believe their concerns would be addressed", Mr. Mason said.
Public Access New Zealand hopes that what Government has heard so far from the wider public on this topic has been cause to rethink the official approach. "We also hope that consideration of this petition will necessitate Government reevaluating its proposals. "The petition should be referred for consideration to a select committee with wider allegiances than just Maori affairs. After all, the foreshore and seabed is everyone's affair".
PANZ is grateful to its many supporters who freely gave their time collecting signatures. Without their individual effort the petition would not have happened.
The petition was presented to Parliament by Otago MP David Parker. It asks Parliament to "pass legislation that clearly establishes inalienable, sole Crown title, ownership, and authority over New Zealand's beaches, foreshore and seabed and guaranteed secure rights of recreation for all New Zealanders".
Bruce Mason is to receive a briefing next week from the Deputy Prime Minister on Government's current foreshore proposals.

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