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Waterfront assets at risk throughout New Zealand

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP National Party Environment Spokesman

08 August 2004

Waterfront assets at risk throughout New Zealand

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith is crying foul over the Government's Foreshore and Seabed legislation, saying it breaks contracts and will undermine investments in coastal infrastructure all over New Zealand.

"This Bill has disastrous consequences for communities and companies that have invested in coastal infrastructure with the expectation they will gain title for reclaimed land."

The Ports of Auckland, Auckland International Airport Ltd and the America's Cup Village Ltd have complained independently that the Foreshore and Seabed legislation undermines investments of $229 million.

"This problem is not isolated to Auckland. This law will also adversely affect waterfront developments in Wellington, Nelson, New Plymouth, Tauranga and Whangarei.

"The Government is poised to re-neg on contractual obligations given to communities and companies all over New Zealand.

"This is not some minor issue, and despite the tortuous process in getting this Bill to the House, it is still fundamentally flawed.

"If this prohibition had been law for the past 100 years coastal cities like Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin, and many regional centres, would never have developed.

"People will not build quality infrastructure facilities or buildings on leasehold land. This Bill is a recipe for shabby waterfronts in the future.

"The Government must move immediately to restore the Crown's commercial reputation.

"The Bill must be changed to protect substantial infrastructural investments and it must also allow freehold titles to be granted over future reclamations," says Dr Smith.


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