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Labour rips open beaches debate

Hon Bill English MP National Party Leader

11 September 2003

Labour rips open beaches debate

"Labour has ripped open the beaches and foreshore debate by refusing to rule out Maori rights to control access to our beaches," says National Party Leader Bill English.

"In Parliament today, Margaret Wilson was asked to rule out customary title including rights to control access.

"But she has refused to rule it out," Mr English says.

"She confirmed only that Labour would prevent fee simple title which might allow beaches to be sold.

"But the public had a completely different impression," he says.

"Up until now Labour's statements and publications have clearly stated that access rights are not up for negotiation.

"Today Margaret Wilson revealed that access rights are on the table.

"This is why Labour can't be trusted. After just three of the 11 hui Helen Clark's resolve has melted away," says Mr English.

"Every time this Government takes a stand, they back off under pressure.

"This can only lend weight to growing public suspicion that Labour is prepared to do deals with what many consider a Kiwi birthright," Mr English says.

Ends

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