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New Zealanders Will Own Foreshore And Seabed

Media Release – Rt Hon Winston Peters – General debate

10 November 2004

New Zealanders Will Own Foreshore And Seabed

Today I have good news and bad news about the foreshore and seabed.

The good news is for ninety nine percent of New Zealanders who will go to the beach this summer safe and secure in their knowledge that they own it – and will own it forever.

The bad news is for the doom merchants, the mischief makers, the alarmists, the extremists and the unhappy band of the bemused and bewildered to my right and left.

It doesn’t matter whether you are going to the beach for a barbeque or a boil up, for sausages and eggs or pork and puha – the Crown will own the foreshore on your behalf forever and ever.

This was an issue that should have united this Parliament to act in the interest of all New Zealanders.

This was a chance for MPs to show the people who elected them to put aside their prejudices and act in the common good.

Is that really too much to hope for?

However as you all know New Zealand First has an enviable record for fixing things. And this foreshore and seabed issue is going to be fixed.

Let me tell you in concrete terms what this will mean.

The beach won’t, can’t and will never be sold to a bunch of foreigners – full stop.

Port companies will get certainty of tenure – We are confident they will be happy with the outcome we have secured for them.

And, customary rights will be protected. Maori have nothing to fear and anyone who says otherwise is simply making mischief.

The only people who will miss out will be the stirrers, the radicals and the shroud wavers and prejudice peddlers in the National Party.

National has apparently agreed with the concept of customary rights – but in their case it will be more like their last rites.

This is just another signal of their weak and confused leadership.

There was a time when National was a party that acted in the national interest.

Now they are little more than puppets for the interest groups which prop them up. And they can’t even do that very well.

For the past few weeks and months we have been subjected to the wildest nonsense about the foreshore and seabed – nonsense peddled by people with a vested interest.

It is time to set the record straight – It is time for some straight talking and commonsense.

Watch my lips. New Zealanders will own the foreshore and seabed forever and there will be free access for everyone.

While others tried to make political gain out of this issue, we worked toward a constructive solution.

Those who played politics at all stages of the foreshore and seabed bill, including in the select committee, have lost the chance to act in the interests of all New Zealanders.

People will remember at the beaches this Christmas that it was New Zealand First that secured it for them and future generations.

There have been no special deals – there is one law for everybody.

Some talk – some act!

ENDS

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