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National expands seabed and foreshore petition

Nick Smith MP for Nelson

27 July 2003

National expands seabed and foreshore petition

National Leader Bill English and Nelson MP Nick Smith today launched a hard-copy version of Dr Smith's seabed and foreshore petition to ensure all New Zealanders can have a say on the issue.

Commodore Kim Harris of the Nelson Yacht Club joined the pair in launching the petition in Nelson.

"Public anger on this issue grows every day as the Government equivocates. Ordinary New Zealanders, who have shown a remarkable degree of tolerance to Treaty claims and spending on Maori issues, have had enough," says Dr Smith.

"The foreshore and seabed claim has become a line in the sand that many New Zealanders don't want to cross."

The petition, in the name of Nick Smith, states "That the House of Representatives pass legislation that retains Crown title of New Zealand's beaches, foreshore and seabed, protecting access rights to these areas for all New Zealanders."

It follows National's launch of the website incorporating an online petition earlier this week.

"There has been a phenomenal response to the website petition with over 35 thousand email signatures. But there are many New Zealanders who don't have access to the web who also want to send a message to the Government - hence the hard-copy version of the petition," says Dr Smith.

The petition will be distributed to boating, fishing, yachting, tramping and other recreational clubs around New Zealand. It will also be distributed at marches, like one planned in Nelson on Monday.

"The Government must get a clear and unequivocal message from the public - our beaches and seabed cannot be negotiated away," says Dr Smith.


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