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National hopes foreshore views swamp committee

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

20 May 2004

National hopes foreshore views swamp committee

The National Party is making it easier for people to have their say on the
future of New Zealand's beaches through its website www.foreshore.co.nz

Deputy Leader and Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee has today
launched a new initiative which will fast-track submissions on the
Foreshore and Seabed Bill.

"Parekura Horomia and John Tamihere, in particular, have signalled that
they believe there is room to move on this legislation at the select
committee level.

"That can only mean more concessions that effectively give one race rights
over and above those of others," says Mr Brownlee.

"It's in everyone's interests for the committee to be presented with a
balanced range of views, because some Maori have already indicated they
plan to target this Bill at the select committee stage.

"National is voting against this legislation because it perpetuates
Labour's view that there are two sets of rules in New Zealand - one for
Maori and another for non-Maori.

"That approach is made even more farcical by Victoria University research
which suggests that 'on current trends, in 200 years, everybody is going
to have virtually some Maori ancestry'.

"That makes mockery of virtually all policies that set out to divide this
nation on the basis of race. That's precisely why the foreshore and
seabed should be vested in the Crown - but without all the fishhooks of
Labour's flawed plan.

"National does not support the notion that because you are Maori you
automatically have a more special connection to the coast than fifth or
sixth generation New Zealanders.

"It's therefore important that all New Zealanders - regardless of race -
exercise their democratic rights and have their say," says Mr Brownlee.

To make a submission visit: www.foreshore.co.nz or www.national.org.nz


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