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Business is right to question foreshore plan

Business is right to question foreshore plan

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Wellington businesses are right to question the Government's foreshore and seabed plan.

"Overwhelming numbers of those surveyed in a poll out this morning share the National Party's fear that Labour's seabed plan is unlikely to lay the issue to rest once and for all."

According to the Sherwin Chan & Walsh BRC poll, 80% of Wellington firms believe foreshore and seabed issues will continue to plague New Zealand.

"The National Party has said right from the outset that Labour is poised to create a whole new grievance industry that future generations of New Zealanders will be left to deal with.

"Labour's plan tells all New Zealanders they own the beaches (through Crown title) but it is telling Maori they have control through 'ancestral connection'.

"The Government has already said that will cover virtually the entire coastline.

"The rights attached to the untested concept of 'ancestral connection' are not constrained in the Bill. However, where it is established, the Bill directs 'redress' (code for compensation) for lost opportunity. "There will be an extension of the Maori Land Court to deal with 'redress', which will undoubtedly open the door on a whole new Treaty grievance industry.

"Maori will get new rights for consultation and rent seeking, while special RMA provisions would give greater weight to the Maori point of view.

"The Labour Government's indecision on this issue has fanned unrealistic Maori expectations. Businesses, like all New Zealanders, should indeed be worried," Mr Brownlee says.

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