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Mass Turnout Highlights Public Concern

Mass Turnout Highlights Public Concern

The enormous turnout for my public meeting on foreshore and seabed - so large that the hall at Tauranga's Bureta Park Motor Inn was completely filled - reflects the widespread public concern at the Labour Government's handling of this issue, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"I called the public meeting after several people expressed concern to me over the Government holding its taxpayer-funded consultation hui on marae, in remote fishing villages, at inconvenient times of the day when most people were attempting to earn a living," Mr Shirley said.

"The response to my meeting was staggering, with standing room only 15 minutes before it began and crowds spilling into the foyer and carpark. The mood of the meeting was tolerant and constructive, but the public is clearly bewildered by Labour's lack of leadership - as well as the uncertainty created by its failure to assert Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed on behalf of all New Zealanders.

"The public is rightfully nervous and fearful of Labour's propensity to be unduly influenced - by narrow interest groups - into passing inappropriate laws that will lead us down a blind alley and heighten social divisions. There is a clear wish for more such meetings, which I am now arranging throughout the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region," Mr Shirley said.

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