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Storm Clouds Gather Over Foreshore Policy

Storm Clouds Gather Over Foreshore Policy

Wednesday 3 Sep 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Treaty of Waitangi & Maori Affairs

Residents' fears in Port Waikato are well-founded - and are merely the harbinger of what we can expect to see more of in the political, social and legal vacuum created by this Government, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"In the absence of clear property rights, there are many groups who will attempt to assert ownership - some of whom will resort to thuggery to pursue their ends," Mr Shirley said.

"If this is unchecked, we will revert to the worst aspect of tribalism, where might is right. In the Port Waikato instance, it is clear that Maori trusts own the land. Their property rights must be protected and upheld in law. It is unacceptable for other iwi trusts to muscle in. If they have a legal dispute, they should take it to the courts.

"Similar situations have developed around the shores of Lake Taupo, following the Crown transfer of ownership to Tuwharetoa. While the conditions of the transfer were clear - that public access would be maintained for all recreational pursuits at no fee - the details have been ignored by those who simply wish to assert ownership and control.

"I am calling on the Labour Government to re-think its policy, in order to prevent an escalation of these types of conflicts," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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