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Women Call for the Repeal of the Foreshore Act

2 October 2006

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Women Call for the Repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act

On Saturday, the National Council of Women of New Zealand passed two new resolutions; a call for Government to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and a call for the Government to increase funding to Residential Homes and Hospitals for the care of older persons, to enable sustainable service provision, and to ensure that this funding is applied according to the designated purpose.

Matters raised during the debate on the Foreshore and Seabed included the importance of people not stepping back from such an issue, because it was considered too complex or controversial. Some indicated that they felt the Government had blatantly ignored feedback from the community during the initial consultation on the Foreshore and Seabed. It was also felt that the urgency with which the Government had wanted to resolve this issue increased divisiveness and negated any possible facilitation for education that might have allayed the publics misgivings about the legislation and its implications.

Delegates indicated that all New Zealanders feel a special connection with the land. The Conference recognised the discrimination against the human rights of Maori and that there was an obligation to uphold human rights for all.

Working with Maori to resolve this issue will be critical. Modelling derived from existing precedence, where multiple interests (customary rights and public access – Canadian Law) have been accommodated, was suggested.

NCWNZ will be lobbying Government for the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The final resolution passed by the conference centred around funding for the care of older persons.

Currently, it appeared to the Conference that although money has been allocated to the Rest Homes, in many cases, this money had not yet been received from the DHB. The Conference emphasised the importance of money tagged for specific purposes, being passed on to the service providers in a timely manner.

Pay parity for community services, e.g. Rest Homes and Hospice nurses, has not been forthcoming, which adds further pressure and on recruitment and retention of appropriately trained staff.

ENDS

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