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Radio Waves, Oil & Gas, Foreshore, Seabed...

Radio Waves, Oil And Gas, The Foreshore, The Seabed, What Next? Asks Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters has again warned that New Zealand faces many decades of divisive arguments over Maori claims for environmental resources.

He said today that the Government’s argument with Maori over the foreshore and seabed was inevitable, given the policies of preferment followed by successive Labour and National governments over the past twenty years.

“The present situation which is tearing the Labour caucus apart and aggrieving Maori throughout the country has been caused by the policy that some citizens have special or antecedent rights and privileges extending over every natural resource in this land and the surrounding sea.

“We cannot function if there is politically and legally sanctioned racial preferment for one group based on an outdated document that has no legal status whatsoever in the 21st century.”

Mr Peters said New Zealand First will support any move to ensure that the Crown has legal title to the foreshore and seabed but will also seek assurances that legal title extends to other parts of the environment where ownership could be disputed.

“We are referring to minerals, flora and fauna, forests, landscapes and whatever natural resources are accepted as being the common treasures of all of us.

“Maori traditional rights of use can still be protected this way, but these rights cannot be extended to property ownership of these resources on the basis of race. Wherever this has happened in the world, it has caused social disaster.

“The tragedy of New Zealand’s recent political history is the number of woolly thinking politicians from both Labour and National who thought that they could construct laws based on three Treaty of Waitangi articles which were never, and could never, be a basis for sound constitutional government.

“Now the chickens are all coming home to roost and it is important for all New Zealanders to remember who it was that hatched them.”

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