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Labour Comment Inaccurate And 'Cheap'

Labour Comment Inaccurate And 'Cheap'

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today criticised Prime Minister Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen for their cheap swipe at the Marlborough District Council, and said their comments were both inaccurate and offensive.

"Their suggestion that Maori foreshore claims probably wouldn't have occurred if top of the South iwi had been properly involved in aquaculture discussion, is patently absurd," Mr Shirley said.

"Everyone associated with this issue over recent years knows that an amalgam of top of the South iwi have long endeavoured to muscle into the lucrative shellfish industry, through the back door, in order to control access and `clip the ticket' of highly successful commercial enterprises.

"The 1992 `Sealord' settlement expunged any commercial fishing claim with this full and final Treaty settlement, transferring more than $1 billion worth of assets to Maori ownership. This was always intended to be used to facilitate Maori into commercial fishing ventures.

"The regulating framework that controls aquaculture is a nightmare, and in desperate need of amendment. Like all laws, however, it should be neutral for all players - irrespective of when one of their ancestors may have arrived in a particular locality," Mr Shirley said.

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