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U-turn on submission smells of backroom deal

Thu, 30 Sep 2004

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

30 September 2004

U-turn on submission smells of backroom deal

"The Government U-turn to allow Nanaia Mahuta to give evidence at the select committee considering the foreshore and seabed legislation smells like a secret deal," says National's Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

Earlier this month, the chair of the select committee hearing submissions, Labour MP Russell Fairbrother, told Parliament there were no plans to hear the Tainui MP in person.

"This pretty much confirms National's suspicion that Labour is prepared to do all it can to keep Tainui happy while it chases a secret deal with the iwi," says Mr Brownlee.

"The negotiations with Tainui are thought to involve significant sections of the foreshore and seabed around the Waikato coast. Any deal would be excluded from likely legislation.

"Only 16 days ago Mr Fairbrother answered a question in Parliament saying there was no room for Nanaia Mahuta to give her oral submission," says Mr Brownlee.

Then Russell Fairbrother told Parliament that Nanaia Mahuta's submission did not meet deadline criteria and it 'was received outside the parameters set by the committee'.

"National is pleased that Mr Fairbrother has found select committee time to hear from his aggrieved colleague.

"However, Labour has made sure there are many other submitters who will not get the same chance to speak as it foolishly rushes to sweep the issue under the carpet before the end of the year," says Mr Brownlee.

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Inquiries: Gerry Brownlee (021) 349 675

(Attached Answer to Parliamentary Question Tuesday, 14 September 2004) <>


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PMs: Question 1 - Foreshore and Seabed Bill-Submissions
Press Release by Office of the Clerk at 18:23, 14-09-2004 (Uncorrected transcript-subject to correction and further editing.) Tuesday, 14 September 2004

Questions for Oral Answer
Questions to Members

1. GERRY BROWNLEE (Deputy Leader-National) to the Chairperson of the Fisheries and Other Sea-related Legislation Committee: How much time has the committee set aside to listen to submissions on the Foreshore and Seabed Bill?

RUSSELL FAIRBROTHER (Chairperson of the Fisheries and Other Sea-related Legislation Committee): Yesterday the committee confirmed the dates of 15 September, 16 September, 20 September, and 4 October to hear submissions.

Gerry Brownlee: On which of those dates will Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta present her oral submission to the committee?

RUSSELL FAIRBROTHER: The committee resolved to receive late submissions with a cut-off date of 12 August, and to receive no submissions after that. Ms Mahuta's submission was received on 26 August.

Mr SPEAKER: The member was asked on what date the submission would be heard.

RUSSELL FAIRBROTHER: It was received outside the parameters set by the committee, so at this stage there is no date set.

Hon Ken Shirley: Could the chairman tell the House how Nanaia Mahuta's submission managed to meet the criteria, when some 3,000 submitters were denied the opportunity to be heard by the committee?

RUSSELL FAIRBROTHER: It did not meet the criteria.

Mr SPEAKER: The member said that it was not going to be heard. He said it did not meet the criteria.

ENDS

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