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Reason and respect will prevail on seabed issue

Reason and respect will prevail on seabed issue

There is no doubt that respect, calm and reason will prevail over the foreshore and seabed issue, says Progressive leader, Jim Anderton.

"New Zealand is a shining example of tolerance and success within the international community when it comes to the management of competing claims between different groups within society.

"In this country we have a long history of meaningfully addressing the sometimes competing claims between pakeha and tangata whenua in rational ways which also enhance the wellbeing of the whole of society," Jim Anderton said at a meeting with community groups organized by the Progressive Party in Porirua.

Jim Anderton said many of the public comments made by opposition parties over the issue in recent days have been extraordinary.

"We've head a lot of red herrings, seen a lot of strawmen arguments advanced and seen plenty of language used which doesn't do anyone any good. If you listened to some of the statements that have been made, you'd think there was some serious disagreement when there isn't any need for it.

"What we do know is that everyone is committed to maintaining existing public access to the foreshore and seabed. There is a world of difference between someone who wants to fish from a coastline they have always fished off and someone on the very extremes of the political spectrum claiming exclusive rights all the way to South America.

"In recent decades, New Zealand has always been able to successfully find a way through difficult issues that respects the integrity of all of our people. We will succeed again and we'll do it by rationally and openly discussing where we have come from and where we are going," he added.

"New Zealand's most challenging goal is to push our country up into the first rank of nations, and take every New Zealander with us as we travel there. The more successful our economic development initiatives are, and the more people that are placed in work or training instead of welfare, the less chance there will be for any political party or lobby group to try to create divisions between different sections of our community," Jim Anderton said.

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