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Party Questions Local Govt Land Access Decisions

9 August 2005

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia, today expressed dis-belief that three months after the draft dog control policy attracted controversy to Porirua City Council, that same Council has once again voted to support an individual farmer in restricting public access to the coastal area.

"Questions must be asked why the views of one individual count more than the majority of Porirua community members who enjoy walking along the coast of Pikarere Farm, adjoining the Public Reserve" said Mrs Turia today.

"From what we have heard, the environment committee of the council has agreed that the farmer can restrict members of the public from walking along that strip, if they are accompanied by dogs on a lead".

"This is ludicrous - it is meant to appear as if dogs are being discriminated against, when common sense tells us that it is actually responsible dog-owners that are the ones that are being prevented from their right to walk along the coast".

"People who take their dogs for a walk on a lead are hardly irresponsible dog owners" said Mrs Turia.

"This is about a farmer and a council acting in ways which deny access for members of public to the foreshore and seabed - when the Government has made out as if this is something that Maori would do".

"I am not at all surprised that the Porirua community has been preparing to attend the Council meeting tomorrow, and to present their petition of opposition to such a hair-brained proposal".

ENDS

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