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Maori Gain Control Of The Beaches

Dr Wayne Mapp MP National Party Constitutional and Treaty of Waitangi Issues Spokesman

18 December 2003

Maori Gain Control Of The Beaches

"The Government's decision to create customary title for Maori to sit alongside 'public domain', sets a time bomb ticking," says National Party Constitutional and Treaty of Waitangi Issues spokesman Wayne Mapp.

"Far from guaranteed public access, the public right will be slowly eroded. The Government has clearly broken its promise to guarantee access.

"Title means control. The customary title will allow commercial development that will inevitably mean reduced public access.

"The proposals go far beyond the Court of Appeal, which concluded customary title would be very difficult to prove," says Dr Mapp.

"All that is now required is "mana and ancestral connection". It is likely most of the coastline will now end up subject to customary title claims.

"In addition, the 16 new committees will allow Maori co-management of the entire seabed and foreshore," Dr Mapp says.

"In order to bring peace with its Maori MP's, the Government has sold the birthright of all New Zealanders.

"For more than 160 years we all believed Crown title 'vested the foreshore and seabed in the people'.

"National fears this will only serve to create a greater injustice and set New Zealander against New Zealander," says Dr Mapp.

Ends




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