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Don Brash says seabed package is a fraud

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

07 April 2004

Don Brash says seabed package is a fraud

National Party Leader Don Brash says the Government's claim that it has delivered Crown ownership over our beaches and seabed is a gigantic fraud.

"The Government is telling all New Zealanders they own our beaches, but telling Maori they have control.

"This is merely a tired re-write of the package announced and widely rejected in December. This public relations exercise delivers no security and no certainty.

"It paves the way for dual management over our coast, with the words 'ancestral connection' merely substituted for the contentious concept of customary title. The Government has already said that will cover virtually the entire coastline.

"There are significant new powers for the Government to award 'ancestral connection' leading to co-management and ticket clipping. It paves the way for an extension of the Maori Land Court and will undoubtedly open the door on a whole new Treaty grievance industry.

"Although the word veto is gone, the reality is that any resource consent that would adversely affect the customary right would be declined - that is a veto in any other language.

"Maori would get new rights for consultation and rent seeking, while special RMA provisions would give greater weight to the Maori point of view.

"Clearly, this represents the Government's long-held belief that there are two standards of citizenship within New Zealand.

"This package will deliver effective control over virtually the entire coastline into a co-management arrangement between elected governments and Maori.

"All New Zealanders should be sceptical about this. As always with this Government - the devil is in the detail," says Dr Brash.

Ends

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