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Govt dodging Parliament to hide foreshore seabed

Govt dodging Parliament to hide foreshore and seabed rift

The Government's intention to announce proposals to settle the foreshore and seabed issue after Parliament closes for the year is an unacceptable abuse of the democratic process, says National's Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee.

The Government has decided to shut Parliament on Tuesday, a day before it will reveal its plans for foreshore and seabed ownership.

"This is an issue of great constitutional significance, and any proposals should be debated in Parliament so that the views of all New Zealanders can be represented," says Mr Brownlee.

"The Government is falsely claiming there is no time available to debate the issue.

"It's clearly too risky for the Government when a number of its MPs, including at least one cabinet minister, are unsatisfied with how it's handling the issue.

"National is prepared to make time available to ensure the proposals get a hearing. This issue is far too important to be slipped through without proper scrutiny," says Mr Brownlee.

"National proposes to waive the traditional two hour adjournment debate, taking it as read, in favour of devoting the two hour slot to debate the foreshore and seabed issue.

"This is a genuine offer that leaves the Government without an excuse for not debating the issue.

"New Zealanders have a right to know who owns the beaches they'll be sitting on over summer," says Mr Brownlee.

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