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Sea Bed Case: One Law For All

Sea Bed Case: One Law For All

Saturday 6 Jul 2002 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today that his decision to campaign in Marlborough where he and fellow ACT MP Rodney Hide had been meeting with local fishermen was to highlight the threat to the public right to go to the beaches and enjoy the sea.

"The claim of local iwi to the foreshore and seabed of the Marlborough Sounds is a threat to the heritage of all New Zealanders - a day on the beach.

"The ACT MPs, after meeting with fishermen, are exploring the claimed area in a local fishing boat.

"The claim shows how the Treaty grievance industry just breeds more claims. The Crown paid hundreds of millions in settlement of South Island Treaty

claims, including valuable land and mineral deposits. Now we find a new claim. The case is in front of the Court of Appeal. If successful, it threatens access to beaches, and every recreational fisherman who just enjoys the kiwi's right to go fishing.

"The claim also threatens the livelihood of commercial fishermen and marine farmers. Marine farming is a bigger earner than the wine industry. The Government could have stopped this claim by saying that the Nga Tahu settlement was final - putting an amendment into the Statutes Amendment Bill. Instead, the Labour Government won't speak out for fear of offending its hold on the Maori seats.

"ACT is campaigning for One Law For All. ACT is the only party publicly opposing the seabed claims. We want a final settlement to settle all Waitangi claims. The Crown needs to say the nation's beaches and seas are there for all New Zealanders, and race-based claims to foreshore and seabed are simply unacceptable," Mr Prebble said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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