Support Foreshore And Seabed Legislation
16 November 2004
All Parties Should Support Foreshore And Seabed Legislation
New Zealand First has urged all parties to support the foreshore and seabed legislation when it goes before Parliament for its second reading today.
Rt Hon Winston Peters said the final shape of the bill sets out to vest ownership of the foreshore and seabed in the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders and it protects customary rights for everyone.
“This legislation achieves what we set out as our position in June last year. It is fair to all New Zealanders, irrespective of race, and all are treated equally before the law.
“Over the past months, and especially the last few days there has been wild speculation over the shape of the legislation and the mischief makers have been working overtime.
“Let me give an assurance that nobody is disadvantaged and Maori have lost nothing. For some reason, the radicals tried to persuade Maori that they owned the foreshore and seabed but this was a cruel hoax.
“This new law will simply confirm what everybody already believed, and what was the case, that the Crown owns the foreshore and seabed for all of us in perpetuity.
“There has been some last minute political grandstanding by other parties. That is sad. They should put aside their perceived differences, and act in the interests of all New Zealanders.
“By the New Year 2005, New Zealanders will be enjoying the beaches and the sea, wondering what all the fuss was about.
“We said we would fix it - and we have,” said Mr Peters.