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Public shut out again from foreshore issue

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

16 November 2004

Public shut out again from foreshore issue

"Labour, with the help of New Zealand First, is showing utter contempt for the public by again shutting them out of important decisions on the foreshore and seabed," says National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"No hui, no select committee hearings, no public meetings, no nothing - just a backroom deal negotiated in secret and rammed down our throats under urgency.

"The public should not be forced to accept this 'take it or leave it' approach to dealing with an issue of national importance, an issue which generates such strong emotions among all Kiwis.

"National has learned from experience that Labour cannot be trusted to deal honestly and transparently with Maori issues. With Labour, the devil is always in the detail and we will examine that detail closely on behalf of all New Zealanders.

"We also know that the Government earlier made promises to exempt some Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed from the law. That has the potential to become ownership by direct negotiation - or by stealth.

"Labour has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep the public and opposition parties in the dark about its proposed law. The arrogance is breath-taking," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS

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