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Govt pays price for creating false expectations

Govt pays price for creating false expectations

The Government is today reaping the consequences of its policies that create false expectations among Maori, says National Party Leader Bill English.

"Labour should not be surprised that Maori think yesterday's sidestep on foreshore and seabed ownership does not meet their expectations.

"Ever since they became the Government, Labour have encouraged unrealistic Maori expectations with false hopes," Mr English says.

"There has been endless talk of partnership.

"The entire Government structure is steeped in this belief. It is deliberately being spread to schools and institutions.

"And now Labour's claiming its way is the middle ground. It is not," says Mr English.

"The Government's seabed and foreshore package is a confusing and complicated attempt to appease the Labour Maori caucus and to bridge Labour's factions.

"Three months ago even Helen Clark, like most New Zealanders, thought the Crown owned the beaches and seabed. That's the middle ground.

"But yesterday Labour jumped for a different solution and missed, " he says.

"Since ownership hasn't been clarified it opens up greater scope for the exploration of customary rights.

"National would legislate to ensure exclusive Crown title and deal with customary rights as they arose in the normal manner.

"Without ownership there will always be questions about who has ultimate control over the rights," says Mr English.

"National would legislate to ensure Crown ownership, because without it the Government is setting up a never-ending new area of grievance and litigation.

"These claims will be dealt with by an expanded Maori Land Court with the power to make real decisions. This new Maori Land Court will be a Waitangi Tribunal with teeth."

"Labour's giving the green light to a whole new raft of foreshore claims and creating a settlement process which will go on for years.

"The future of our beaches is by no means certain," Mr English says

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