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Labour's Foreshore Framework A Threat To NZ

Labour's Foreshore Framework A Threat To NZ

Tuesday 27 Jan 2004 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

ACT New Zealand MP Dr Muriel Newman today expressed her concerns over the Labour Government's proposed seabed and foreshore framework, and warned that this complex document could have far-reaching ramifications for New Zealand.

"The framework outlines Labour's intention to abolish Crown ownership and control of the beaches and the sea. Instead of ownership staying with all New Zealanders, Labour wants to give control - and the rights and benefits of ownership - to Maori," Dr Newman said.

"The dangers can already be seen in Northland, where the Northland Regional Council and local Ratepayer Associations have conducted consultation over marine farming. This consultation could be undermined and wasted, as the proposed framework gives Maori the right to create aquaculture management areas regardless of the community's wishes.

"It is clear from the furore raised by the NRC's proposed AMAs that communities do not want marine farming in highly-populated areas. Yet, under the framework, Maori could place huge marine farms in the Whangarei Harbour, Bream Bay and Ngunguru Coast, as of right.

"That right supersedes the public's right to object under the RMA, which are limited only to `sustainability' issues: `The Resource Management Act processes will only be able to restrict the customary activity for the purposes of ensuring sustainability of the environment'.

"Therefore, the public has no say on the location of commercial marine enterprises. There will be no comeback with respect to the recreational amenity, navigation hazards, water quality or any of the dozens of other concerns locals raise about marine farming.

"Labour rushed its consultation over foreshore and seabed proposals - a critical issue for New Zealand - in just a few weeks. Maori were consulted, but not the wider community, and the only opportunity left for the public to have its say is during the Select Committee process.

"I am writing to local Ratepayer Associations to encourage public participation in that process. Enclosed will be a copy of the framework, so they understand that Labour's proposed Maori customary rights could have far greater implications and adverse effects on our coastline than AMAs like those being planned by the NRC," Dr Newman 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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