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Public Picnic on Private Pakeha Property

February 25, 2005

Public Picnic on Private Pakeha Property

Members of the Whangarei Anti-Racism Coalition will be occupying the beach on Ngunguru Sandspit tomorrow, Saturday February 26th, at noon.

The group wants the foreshore and seabed law to be repealed, and says the country needs a constitution which protects Treaty rights, to prevent further divisive and racist Bills from becoming law.

The group will be handing out information on how the seabed law breaches the Human Rights Act, and the need to repeal it, at the Ngunguru shopping centre.

Spokeswoman Ange Jones says the picnic protest is an act of passive resistance to the racist law, which came into effect on January 17. She says customary collective ownership of seabed resources, removed from tangata whenua by the law, should be restored.

The group is responding to a provocative political survey, recently publicised by Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen, purporting to show a tiny sample of people are mostly happy with the new law.

The group welcomes others to join them for the afternoon on the sandspit, for the peaceful "hands across the Treaty breach" action.

Note: The sandspit, which is currently up for tender, includes riparian rights, which means the beach right down to the high tide mark is privately owned. The group will only be deemed to be trespassing, should the owners make a complaint to the police.

ENDS

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