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Labour Promotes Racial Disharmony

Labour Promotes Racial Disharmony

The conviction of four Bay of Plenty men, of kidnapping and demanding that hunters surrender part of their kill to the local marae, is the type of behaviour we can expect to see more of if Labour changes the status of Crown lands, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"From their own statements to police, it is clear that these Tuhoe tribesmen believe they hold custodial control over the adjacent Urewera National Park, and are therefore entitled to a proportion of what hunters or fishers might harvest," Mr Shirley said.

"More and more reports are revealing that fishermen are being harassed around Lake Taupo. Many local Maori believe that the 1993 transfer of the lakebed's ownership, from the Crown to Tuwharetoa, guaranteed such rights - even though a condition of that transfer provided that all recreational pursuits could be undertaken without fee.

"The Government's stated intention of not asserting Crown ownership over the commons, and instead redefining it as `public domain', can only lead to an increase in this type of conflict and social disharmony," Mr Shirley said.

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