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Hold The Hauraki Marine Park Bill

Media Release

10 August 1999

HOLD THE HAURAKI MARINE PARK BILL UNTIL HAURAKI CLAIM RESOLVED

New Zealand First has called for the Hauraki Marine Park Bill to be delayed until the Waitangi Tribunal has resolved the ownership and property rights to the foreshore and seabed for Hauraki Maori.

Maori Affairs spokesperson Tutekawa Wyllie said today that evidence given on the effect of the Hauraki Marine Park Bill was deemed inadmissible at the final week of Waitangi Tribunal hearings of the Hauraki iwi claim.

"Iwi claim that this bill could have disastrous effects on their property rights and they have not been able to express those fears to the Tribunal because the bill is before Parliament", he said.

"This bill should not proceed through Parliament while the fundamental issue of ownership of the seabed and foreshore remains unresolved in front of the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal".

Tutekawa Wyllie said that while New Zealand First MPs support the concept of a National Park in the Hauraki Gulf, they had no choice but to oppose the bill at this time.

"The precedent of Parliament pre-determining the outcome of a Waitangi Tribunal hearing is unconscionable. Hauraki are being denied their basic right to their day in court. This will simply create another grievance," said Mr Wyllie.

"Both Labour and National have chosen to disregard the rights of Maori for their own political gain by forcing the passage of this bill.

"We ask that all political parties respect the Hauraki claim and await the outcome before passing this bill," said Mr Wyllie.

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