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The beaches belong to everyone

The beaches belong to everyone

National Party Leader Don Brash says the next National Government will reclaim the beaches, and the seabed for all New Zealanders.

“Today I am drawing a line in the sand. A National Government will amend Labour’s flawed foreshore and seabed law and reign in the grievance industry that it has spawned.”

Dr Brash made the comments during a media briefing at Waiotahi Beach on the East Coast. It is part of a 50km stretch of coastline being claimed by the Whakatohea iwi under customary rights provisions in the foreshore and seabed law.

“The Whakatohea claim is just the tip of the iceberg. If it is successful, there will be a Treaty lawyer coming to a beach near you before too long.

“National has warned constantly that Labour’s ‘all spin no substance’ foreshore and seabed law is full of holes and the Whakatohea claim proves that.”

If the claim is successful, Whakatohea will have guardianship over the coast. That could hand them the right of veto over development.

“As far as most New Zealanders are concerned, this was never the intention of the legislation. Labour fuelled these expectations by telling non-Maori that their beaches were safe; while at the same time they were doing secret deals with Maori.

“Labour is now busy working the phones trying to convince other Maori groups to keep their claims quiet until after the election.

“This kind of double-dealing betrays the will of the public and proves what a joke Labour’s legislation is. Labour can’t be trusted to deal with this issue openly and fairly.

“National says the beaches must belong to all of us, without the strings that Labour has attached. We will amend this bungled legislation to ensure this remains the case,” says Dr Brash.


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