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Maori Party foreshore ‘policy’ empty - Cullen

5 May 2005

Maori Party foreshore ‘policy’ empty - Cullen

“The Maori Party’s foreshore and seabed ‘policy’ is so lacking in detail that it is difficult to make any meaningful comment on it,” Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“All they are offering is a series of empty generalisations most of which do not bear close scrutiny.

“The Foreshore and Seabed Act was not rushed through. It was the subject of extensive and almost continuous consultation from 18 August 2003 when the government released its discussion document to 18 November last year when the bill was finally passed.

“The legislation protects public access and prevents alienation while also recognising Maori customary rights.

“It provides a mechanism for redress where territorial customary rights might have been found to exist had the Act not vested full and beneficial ownership of the foreshore and seabed in the Crown.

“This was never an issue which could be dealt with on a winner-takes-all basis. It required a careful balancing of competing rights and interests. I am confident the Act achieves that balance,” Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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