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Labour Must Accept Blame For Seabed Shambles

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

08 March 2004

Labour Must Accept Blame For Seabed Shambles

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Labour only has itself to blame for the shambles which is now swirling around the future ownership of our foreshore and seabed.

"The Government is the architect of its own misfortune," he says.

"It should have stayed with Crown ownership of the seabed and foreshore, which is what National has proposed all along and is the situation that everyone assumed prevailed previously.

"It is also what Helen Clark and Margaret Wilson intended before they were tugged down this dangerous road by their Maori caucus."

Mr Brownlee is commenting in the wake of a Waitangi Tribunal report that's been highly critical of the way the Government has managed the seabed and foreshore issue.

"The Waitangi Tribunal members are politically-appointed enthusiasts, they are not jurists.

"What this is showing all New Zealanders is that the sooner we settle outstanding Treaty claims the better, so the Waitangi Tribunal can be disbanded and we can all move forward.

"Unless this issue is resolved properly now, future generations will be left to pick up the pieces," says Mr Brownlee.


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