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English stinging attack on foreshore claim

English launches stinging attack on foreshore claim

Opposition Leader Bill English says Labour must introduce legislation to protect full public access to New Zealand's foreshore and seabed "otherwise National will do it for them." "Let me make it clear, here and now, for National, one standard of citizenship is our path to the future," he told a gathering of more than 400 faithful at the National Party Conference in Christchurch.

"National will see that the coastline and the beaches of New Zealand remain in the hands of all New Zealanders.

"Three weeks ago the Government promised legislation to settle this issue - they have been backtracking ever since," Mr English says.

"But they will have to bring in legislation to safeguard our rights otherwise we will do it for them to settle this issue once and for all. "We will support the right legislation. But we won't back Helen Clark on any compromise over the ownership of our foreshore.

"Maori organisations now own a majority of the fishing industry - in time they'll own a large part of our forestry industry," he says.

"They are large successful players in farming and tourism. National stands with them - we have enormous respect for the pride and self-determination that can thrive in New Zealand.

"That's why a National-led government will abolish the Maori seats. It's an act of faith, that a minority no longer needs this protection from the majority," Mr English says.

"National will also close the books on new historical treaty settlements within one year of becoming the Government - and we will move to clear up the 900 claims within five years of closing the books on those new claims.

"We can work with other centre-right parties, but a strong National Party is essential if we are to reverse the social engineering," Mr English says.

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