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Look Out To Sea While We Steal Your Land

Look Out To Sea While We Steal Your Land

ACT New Zealand Maori Affairs Spokesman Stephen Franks today warned Maori throughout the country that, while Maori are wailing about foreshore they've never owned, Labour is preparing to steal their riverbanks.

"Maori fuming over the seabed and foreshore is distracting them from the true property theft they're about to suffer" Mr Franks said.

"Abolishing trespass law for properties alongside streams and rivers - even where there is no Queen's chain - is confiscation for public use, and a straightforward breach of the Treaty.

"Maori leaders have ignited ridiculous expectations of beach ownership out of court judgements that said they probably owned little - if any - foreshore, but should be able to test the evidence in court. ACT thinks the court's decision was wrong, but we uphold property rights and the rule of law by supporting Maori rights to proceed in court.

"Meanwhile, Maori seem blind to this imminent trashing of Article 2 of the Treaty. This is a real threat to real - not fanciful - Maori interests. As major owners of rural land, I hope they will wake up and unite to fight side-by-side with other landowners, and with ACT.

"This confiscation will have a huge impact on rural landowners - lifestyle farmers, farmers and iwi. They will be criminalised if they try to protect their businesses from the vandals, thieves and idiots who will, inevitably, be among the hordes lawfully wandering in and out of their property.

"Article 2 of the Treaty enshrined English property rights as part of the Crown promise to end `might is right' instead of title as the assurance of holding and enjoying property. Now Labour is trying to steal those rights. This will force some landowners to return to extra-legal threats to defend their use and occupancy rights.

"Taking away control of land they already own and manage will be more important to Maori than any fanciful claims to the foreshore and seabed. We've supported Maoridom's right to a day in court. Now it is time for Maoridom to join with us, and rural landowners, to defend the Treaty again," Mr Franks said.

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