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National jumping at shadows

7 April 2005

National jumping at shadows

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen today rubbished National’s “policy statement” that it would reclaim the beaches for all New Zealanders.

“There is nothing to be reclaimed.

“The Foreshore and Seabed Act states clearly that the Crown is the full and beneficial owner of the public foreshore and seabed.

“The Act also clearly also provides [Section 55] that the Maori Land Court must not make customary rights orders that restrict or have the effect of restricting public access rights or rights of navigation,” Dr Cullen said.

“At this stage, the Whakatohea claim before the Maori Land Court is at the interlocutory stage only.

“The Crown will be taking a vigorous stance before the Court in support of Parliament’s intentions in the Act and will appeal the judgement if we believe that is justified.

“The government is satisfied that the legislation achieves an appropriate balance between the rights of all New Zealanders to enjoy the coastline and Maori customary interests as the tangata whenua of this country.

“I think most New Zealanders share that view,” Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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