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UF caucus supports foreshore legislation

UF caucus supports foreshore legislation

Following today’s United Future caucus meeting, the 8 MP’s announced their support for the Government’s proposed foreshore and seabed legislation, due to be introduced in Parliament later this week.

Leader Peter Dunne said the caucus was pleased that its consistent and steadfast support for public ownership of, and access to, the beaches and seabed for all New Zealanders was well reflected in the proposed legislation.

“Since last July, United Future has been calling for the Government to make it clear that the foreshore and seabed are the public domain of all New Zealanders, and that Crown ownership is simply the practical exercise of that fundamental right. We are pleased the Government has now come round to that view,” he said.

“We also argued that the Maori Land Court should not be able to determine ownership and customary rights issues, as last year’s Court of Appeal decision would have allowed, and are pleased that this legislation puts in place clear statutory criteria for determining customary rights and usage.

“United Future takes pride in the fact that, alone among the other parties in Parliament, we have not played political games on this issue, nor have we flip-flopped around on our fundamental beliefs.

“This whole debate has been a classic example of how a small, principled party can provide certainty and surety to a Government when it is buffeted by the winds of competing factions and political expediency,” said Mr Dunne.

He said the caucus had confirmed it would support the legislation through to consideration by the special select committee. Support after that would depend on the nature and magnitude of any proposed changes.

“We want this legislation to resolve this critical issue and not bring about a new round of grievance claims.”

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