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Police Should Drop Foreshore Trespass Threat

Nick Smith
MP for Nelson

3 February 2005

Police should drop foreshore trespass threat

Nelson MP Nick Smith has challenged police to drop a threat to issue trespass notices to people accessing the Wakapuaka Estuary, after a report tabled today in Parliament by Land Information New Zealand showed iwi did not have title.

"Police must withdraw their threat to prosecute people for accessing this public space.

"People are fearful of visiting the estuary because of incorrect police statements. I want an absolute assurance from police that any person using this area will not be issued with a trespass notice," says Dr Smith.

On 28 December, Tasman Police District Acting Commander Brian McGurk said police were prepared to order people from Wakapuaka Estuary and issue trespass notices on behalf of local iwi.

A report released today by Parliament's Local Government and Environment Select Committee from Land Information New Zealand showed iwi did not have title to the area. LINZ has not registered decisions of the Maori Land Court and the report states that the old 19th Century titles never included the estuary.

"Iwi are trying to get title to this area of foreshore, but it is quite wrong of police to pre-empt the court process by threatening the public with trespass orders.

"It is in everyone's interests that the High Court resolve the ownership dispute as soon as possible, but in the meantime the police should not take sides.

"It flies in the face of all the guarantees the public has been given by the Government about access to the foreshore for all New Zealanders," says Dr Smith.

Ends

Available on request:
-Landonline title search provided to select committee 7/01/05
-LINZ report to select committee on ownership of estuary
-Historic titles from 1885 showing estuary excluded
-Police statement threatening to trespass users of estuary


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