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Govt Buckles to Waitangi Tribunal Threat

Nick Smith National Conservation and Environment Spokesperson

22 May 2001

Govt Buckles to Waitangi Tribunal Threat

Smith Lodges Contempt of Parliament Complaint

Opposition Conservation spokesperson, Nick Smith, is outraged that the Government has broken its commitment to pass legislation today to resolve the problem of retrospective application of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act to the Whitianga Waterways Development.

"The acting Prime Minister told the people of Whitianga that this matter would be resolved today. The Government has reneged on that commitment and it has subsequently been revealed that Ngati Maru has lodged a Waitangi Tribunal claim seeking to halt Parliament's attempts to resolve this problem.

"This is a contempt of Parliament and democratic Government. The Waitangi Tribunal has no business attempting to usurp the right of Parliament to pass laws. It is a constitutional outrage that Russell McVeagh would even attempt such an action and as a consequence I will be lodging a complaint with the Privileges Committee 'of contempt of Parliament'.

"This latest chapter in the Whitianga Waterways fisaco shows the Government is dancing to the tune of iwi and ignoring the wishes of the people of Whitianga," Dr Smith said.

Ends

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