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Government Position Untenable

Government Position Untenable

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today called the Government's advanced negotiations to transfer ownership of 14 Rotorua lakebeds and foreshores to local Maori untenable.

"This move is inconsistent with Labour's recently stated intention to reassert Crown ownership of the coastal foreshore and seabed, while recognising and making provision for customary use," Mr Shirley said.

"The only consistent position would be for the Government to defer its lakebed and shoreline negotiations, and consider all customary use claims for water bodies together.

"ACT New Zealand believes that all foreshores and water bodies are like the Queen's Chain and belong to us all. Labour's search for a middle ground is wrong, and can only lead to social division and conflict.

"No class of New Zealander should be able to assert or be granted privileged use over the public estate held by the Crown based solely on the arrival date of one or more of their forebears," Mr Shirley said.

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