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Govt approach resolving foreshore & seabed issues

Summary of government approach to resolving foreshore and seabed issues

The essential elements of the government position are:

The government will act to uphold rights of public access to, and use of, the foreshore and seabed;

The government will also act to protect Maori customary rights, to the extent they are not already;

A group of senior ministers will be discussing with the Maori caucus, which has an electoral mandate to represent Maori, how to reconcile these two interests;

The objective is to acknowledge and protect Maori customary rights while also protecting the public interest, including the ability to enjoy traditional access to the foreshore;

The government is looking for a win-win solution where both sides feel that justice has been done;

Resolving these issues will require legislation, but the exact form of that has yet to be determined;

Work is being done on a statutory framework which ensures that private, exclusive titles are not created over what has always been regarded as the public domain;

Customary rights will be provided for in that framework. The question is how they, and the broader public’s rights and interests, can be reconciled;

With goodwill between the Treaty partners, the government believes an outcome that is fair to all can be achieved.

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