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Prime Minister's Lament

Prime Minister's Lament

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today asked why Prime Minister Helen Clark would not publicly release the working group's report on public access, but today issued a press statement lamenting the erosion of the Queens Chain.

"It is clear that the Prime Minister is sitting on this report while softening up the public for a new assault on property rights," Mr Shirley said.

"Ms Clark's assertion that the mythical Queens Chain has been eroded is quite wrong. The state's ability to appropriate marginal strips along significant waterways, and to take a 20-metre esplanade reserve above mean high water spring tide, was enhanced considerably with the passage of the Resource Management Act.

"These appropriations have expanded over the past decade, with any subdivision of land triggering the reserve formation.

"The Prime Minister's lament is clearly being driven by the foreshore and seabed furore. She is laying the ground for the confiscation of freehold private property rights, to assuage and deflect public attention from her Government's intended recognition of uncertain - and sometimes spurious - customary use rights over our beaches and seabed," Mr Shirley said.

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