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Rights must be respected – Cullen

Rights must be respected – Cullen

“The government will uphold equally the rights of access to the foreshore and seabed and the right to lawful, peaceful protest by those who wish to express opposition to the new legislation,” says Acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen.

“New Zealand is a democracy in which we are governed by the rule of law.

“That means that once the new Foreshore and Seabed Act comes into effect, the rights of access contained within it will be enforced. Attempts to prevent that will meet the full force of the law.

“Equally, people have the right to peaceful protest. Provided that protest does not interfere with the rights of others, it should be respected and it is the government’s duty to uphold it.

“People should also remember the new law provides access rights in, on, over and across the foreshore and seabed. It does not provide access to it across privately held land, including that held in Maori freehold or customary title. Landowners still have their existing rights in that respect.

“I urge all politicians to avoid provoking people into breaking the law,” Dr Cullen said.

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