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Labour misjudging beaches issue

Labour misjudging beaches issue

The Labour Government is underestimating the strong feelings New Zealanders have over the future ownership of our beaches and seabed, says National Leader Bill English.

"The Government needs to get on and move to bring in legislation regarding this issue.

"The Maori Affairs Minister's warnings to Maori today not to get carried away with how much they will be able to claim, shows the Government wants to dampen down this issue.

"It won't be that easy. The overwhelming strength of feeling at the meeting of 300 people I addressed in Whangarei last week is a warning to the Government that it can't afford to leave a vacuum of indecision over who owns the beaches and seabed.

"The longer it leaves this up in the air, the more people's feelings will become entrenched, and manifest towards anger. "The ownership and continued access of beaches is important to all New Zealanders. It is a wonderful part of this country that everyone should be able to enjoy.

"It is the birthright of every New Zealander to go to the beach, walk the coast, and throw a fishing line in the water.

"National will see that our beaches, coastline and seabed remain in the hands of New Zealanders. Labour must act to ensure this now," Mr English said.

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