24 March 2011
Citizens Initiated Referendum over Marine & Coastal Area Act
The Coastal Coalition has responded to the passing of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill through its final
stages in Parliament, by announcing it will launch a Citizen's Initiated Referendum to repeal the new Act.
Dr Hugh Barr and Dr Muriel Newman, joint Coastal Coalition spokespeople said, "We have decided to proceed with the
referendum because the majority of New Zealanders are strongly opposed to the Bill. Kiwis want to be treated as one
people not two.
"While most people agree with the principle of settling outstanding historical Treaty injustices, they believe that
repealing public ownership of the foreshore and seabed - so it can be privatised and gifted to Maori - is a step too
"The public believed the Prime Minister when he promised that, if the new law did not receive popular support, he would
not push it through. The Marine and Coastal Area Bill has almost no public support - over 95 percent of submitters were
opposed. Yet today the Prime Minister is pushing it through. He has broken his promise and betrayed the New Zealand
"The Coastal Coalition's campaign to oppose the Marine and Coastal Area Bill has been supported by tens of thousands of
New Zealanders from all walks of life, all ethnic groups and all political persuasions. This Referendum will be launched
on their behalf and will give all New Zealanders a chance to say that they do not want a bar of this new law.
"The Coastal Coalition believes all people should be treated equally under the law and that New Zealand should be one
country not two. We strongly oppose this law change. We look forward to giving New Zealanders a chance to have their say
on this divisive legislation", Dr Barr and Dr Newman said.