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MP Welcomes Opportunity To Present Petition

National MP Max Bradford said today that he would be happy to present the petition to parliament being promoted by the Rotorua Lakes Protection Group.

"Steve Chadwick has compromised herself by throwing her total support behind the proposal that the Rotorua Lakes should go from public into private ownership.

"The surveys the Daily Post and we have done in Rotorua show there is massive support for leaving the lakes in public ownership as was generously agreed by Te Arawa in 1922.

"The rejection of the Government's proposal by Albie Tahana, chair of the Trust Board, shows that he has designs on public access which he is not prepared to reveal.

"In these circumstances I am appalled Mrs Chadwick is supporting Mr Tahana's claim that negotiations should take place in secrecy. She says the public will be informed when a deal has been done.

"The Te Arawa claim simply does not have the same legitimacy as other claims by Maori who were faced with confiscation and scurrilous activity by Government agents in the 1800s.

"The 1922 agreement with Te Arawa was quite different. It was a willing agreement between local Maori and the Crown to ensure that the public at large enjoyed the lakes, which were ceded in perpetuity to public ownership.

"Mr Tahana is seeking to overturn that historic agreement, for reasons he isn't prepared to reveal to New Zealanders" Mr Bradford said.


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