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Process for considering foreshore & seabed issues

3 October 2003 Media Statement

Process for considering foreshore and seabed issues


Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today the government would now consider all submissions made on the seabed and foreshore issue.

Public submissions on the government’s proposal close today.

“The government has received more than 1000 submissions and officials will be analysing them. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is co-ordinating this process, assisted by a number of other agencies including Te Puni Kokiri, Crown Law, Conservation, Land Information and Local Government New Zealand,” Dr Cullen said.

“Officials will be reflecting not only on the submissions made at the 11 Government-Maori hui, but also the feedback from public meetings that government MPs have held throughout New Zealand, and the views of other interests in the community.

“There will be further consultation with relevant groups during the policy development phase, so that as wide a range of interests as possible have an input and that issues raised in the submission process are carefully considered.

“The government’s submission to the Waitangi Tribunal’s hearing into the Crown proposals will be our next public statement on this issue.

“When policy decisions have been agreed, legislation will be drafted to ensure that some basic principles are put beyond doubt.

The government’s twin objectives remain clear: we will act to uphold rights of public access to, and use of, the coastline and marine environment, while acting to protect Maori customary rights and ancestral connections.

“Our bottom line is that the government will govern for all New Zealanders while respecting the rights of tangata whenua. This is an important part of building a strong and confident nation,” Dr Cullen said.


ENDS

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