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Greens welcome chance to revisit Foreshore issue

13 October 2006

Greens welcome chance to revisit Foreshore and Seabed issue

The Green Party has congratulated the Maori Party on the selection of their Foreshore and Seabed Repeal Bill, pulled out of the private members ballot yesterday.

"The Greens fought the original Foreshore and Seabed legislation all the way, and we are very pleased to have another opportunity to get this unjust act off the law books. There was widespread community opposition to the legislation, but this was completely ignored by the Government.

"The Foreshore and Seabed Act was passed in 2004, and it prevents customary collective title to the seabed and foreshore from being investigated. It was widely condemned as a confiscation similar to the land grabs of Maori land during the 19th century.

"We expect that the bill should pass at least its first reading, given the current make-up of Parliament. Only Labour, New Zealand First and Jim Anderton support the current situation, and they don't have the votes to reject the bill. This will expose Labour, NZ First and the Progressives once again as parties which reject the collective property rights of the mana whenua.

"Indeed, given Winston Peters rejection of the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples yesterday, it is clear that NZ First and the Labour Government will go to any lengths to deny indigenous peoples their rights. It makes Peters' attacks on Don Brash's divisive comments seem laughable and duplicitous."

"We will support the Maori Party and the campaign to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed legislation with enthusiasm and look forward to the rest of the New Zealand community joining us, as they did before."


ENDS

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