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Misinformation from Land Information Minister

Misinformation from Land Information Minister

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith is accusing the Land Information Minister of muddying the waters with a misinformation campaign on the beaches and seabed issue.

"Land Information Minister John Tamihere is deliberately spreading misinformation about the current ownership of New Zealand's foreshore in a bid to muddy the waters over controversial iwi claims.

"Mr Tamihere has been widely quoted as saying significant chunks of the foreshore are in private ownership and he stood by his comments in Parliament this week when I asked if he was 'talking thousands and not hundreds of kilometres of private title'. *

"Just last night Mr Tamihere repeated his claims 'I'm saying two thirds are in the public domain and at this stage one third ah ah... one third of the beaches are potentially privately owned'. ** "Mr Tamihere has gone on to accuse me of 'telling porkies' when I quoted from Official Conservation Department papers that say less than 1% of our foreshore is privately owned.

"I was quoting the top solicitor for DOC who's responsible for the foreshore, Timothy Mansfield, who gave the Planning and Development Select Committee in August 1993 a written briefing specifically on foreshore ownership," Dr Smith says.

"At the time she said 'the proportion of private title is probably very small (less than 1% of the coastline)'. ***

"Mr Tamihere has been deliberately confusing the issue of Queen's Chain above the high tide mark with the foreshore," Dr Smith says.

"He's trying to take some heat away from the Government's deal with Maori over ownership of the foreshore.

"It is spin out of control and it has back-fired.

We cannot have the Minister of Land Information spreading misinformation about land.

"He has to either deliver the proof to back up his claims or apologise to the Parliament and the people of New Zealand for his incorrect statements," Dr Smith says.

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