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Time to repeal seabed and foreshore laws is now

17 November 2008

Time to repeal seabed and foreshore laws is now: Greens

The Green Party is calling on the new National-led Government to immediately repeal the controversial foreshore and seabed legislation.

All four of the Government parties - National, Act, United Future and the Maori Party - voted against the foreshore and seabed legislation but nobody has agreed to repeal it, Green Party Maori Issues Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"Thousands of us fought against that legislation and the cost to Maori was enormous. Tariana Turia even left Labour and formed the Maori Party because of it.

"Given that the Maori Party has now negotiated significant positions within the Government, Tariana's member's bill could be taken as a Government bill so there are no barriers to repealing it before Christmas," Mrs Turei says.

"We've always said we'd support her private member's bill to repeal this legislation and now seems an opportune time to ditch this massively underused and pointless legislation. We can undo the gross confiscation of land and abuse of Maori treaty rights.

"Maori communities that have traditionally exercised a kaitiakitanga role over their coastal areas - looking after the environment - have rightly felt disempowered, undervalued and resentful. The Green Party has been tireless in our advocacy for the right of Maori to seek customary title so we call for this legislation to be scrapped now."

ENDS

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