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Come Clean Over Crown Ownership Dr Cullen

Media Release

7 July 2003

Come Clean Over Crown Ownership Dr Cullen

Rt Hon Winston Peters has warned the Government not to enter into any secret deals with its Maori MPs over the ownership of the foreshore and seabed around New Zealand.

Mr Peters said today that all New Zealanders had the right to know the details of any negotiations taking place between the deputy-Prime Minister and the Labour Maori MPs.

“The Labour Party does not own the foreshore and seabed and therefore has no right to negotiate away any part of it, or any right of access to it.

“Most New Zealanders would be appalled to learn that deals are being entered into that appear to give one group of New Zealanders rights that others do not enjoy.

“This subject is too important to be left to a handful of cabinet ministers and a few MPs. All New Zealanders have, as a birthright, the right to have their say on this important subject.”

Mr Peters said no one would tolerate a situation where the Government entered a special deal over the foreshore and seabed, which did not take into account public knowledge and acceptance.

“Labour’s Maori MPs are particularly naïve if they don’t understand that alongside the rest of New Zealand’s population, Maori already had a right to marine farming, and how the Labour Maori MPs could be duped into somehow thinking that Dr Cullen could use this as a bargaining chip is simply beyond me,” concluded Mr Peters.


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