Unity and nationhood during foreshore debate
For immediate release
Thursday, 6 May 2004
Dunne urges unity and nationhood during foreshore debate
United Future leader, Peter Dunne, warned Parliament today that the country risked being torn apart, unless the House could speak unequivocally on the Government’s foreshore and seabed legislation.
He said the legislation would lack a moral mandate if it was passed with a narrow majority.
He warned that if Parliament could not achieve a positive result that would allow the nation to go forward, then “we won’t have a nation to be proud of”.
Mr Dunne criticised the Labour caucus for its inability to control its own numbers in order to gather support for the legislation, but made a point of praising the government’s chief negotiator, Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Michael Cullen, for his openness, integrity, honesty and straightforwardness in his dealings with United Future during the drawing-up of the Bill.
United Future opposes the Bill, because the concept of the foreshore and seabed being in the public domain has been dropped, opening up the possibility of future Governments being able to sell or otherwise dispose of those assets.