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ACT Will Welcome The Hikoi

ACT Will Welcome The Hikoi

ACT New Zealand Maori Affairs Spokesman Stephen Franks today confirmed that ACT Parliamentarians will welcome the hikoi when it reaches Parliament.

"I've been with the marchers at their assembly point this morning and, while many of their reasons for opposing the Bill are wrong-headed, it is clear that their experience is leading to an appreciation of the fundamental importance of property rights," Mr Franks said.

"If given the opportunity, we will tell them of ACT's commitment to oppose this legislation, of our agreement that it treats them as having second class property rights, and that it denies them equality before the law.

"But we will also make absolutely clear that an equally important reason for stopping the Bill is that it creates ancestral connection orders. These have no historical justification, and will poison race relations in all our coastal towns for generations.

"They offer nothing but the shadow of ownership to Maori, and the certainty of standover tactics, obstruction and frustration to pakeha.

"Maori do not own the beaches and seabed by first claim. At most - as the Court of Appeal warned - they should own the rare places where there has been unbroken customary use since 1840. They must be assured their day in court, to establish those claims, but no more," Mr Franks said.

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