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United Future seeks foreshore views


United Future seeks foreshore views

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, says the party's MPs are eager to hear from all New Zealanders what they think about who owns the country's foreshores sand seabeds.

"I therefore urge all kiwis to make their views known through the party's website " he said. "United Future's views have been well-articulated before. We are proposing: No person or entity shall hold a legal fee simple property right to a foreshore or seabed, unless such a right already exists.

Ownership of the foreshores and seabeds, where it does not conflict with current legal rights, shall be vested explicitly by legislation in the Crown, on behalf of all New Zealanders.

The Queen's Chain shall be defined in law and free public access to the Chain shall be defined in law, except where it adversely affects the rights of adjoining private property owners. In such cases, the Crown shall use all its best endeavours to provide public access to the Chain.

Noting the confusion over the definition of phrases such as 'customary rights, customary title and customary usage', the government will ask Parliament to define them by legislation after exhaustive public consultation.

When Parliament has determined the meaning of those terms, the Maori Land Court will be permitted to hear claims from Maori as to their rights over the foreshores and seabeds, on the clear understanding that no fee simple rights will be capable of being granted.

"I want to emphasize that we believe all citizens' rights should be protected under law and there should never be any impediment to New Zealanders' basic right to access our beaches and seas without hindrance," said Mr Dunne.

"All the views of New Zealanders on this issue will be co-ordinated by the party's caucus and used to develop the party's final position on any legislation the government proposes to bring in to resolve this fundamental issue of our nationhood.

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