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Respect Māori rights in any new foreshore law

2 November 2009

Respect Māori rights in any new foreshore law

It is crucial that any new foreshore and seabed legislation respects Māori customary rights, said the Green Party today.

“It is vital that Māori customary rights are protected under any new foreshore and seabed legislation. It is great news that the Foreshore and Seabed Act is likely to be repealed but what comes next is now the issue,” said Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

The Government is likely to announce a repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act later today.

“The National Party has an atrocious record on issues that effect Māori. For example, it opposes Māori being represented in Auckland and refuses to recognise the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Mrs Turei.

“I’m really worried that any new legislation that they develop will undermine Māori interests and access to justice.

“John Key is on the record as saying Māori ‘have had nothing taken off them’ by Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act. This is clearly untrue and if he still thinks this, then any new legislation he develops could spell trouble for Māori.”

The Green Party has always opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 because it fails to provide environmental protection and is a confiscation of Māori customary title.

“We have argued from the start that Te Ture Whenua Māori Act should be amended to make sure that the foreshore and seabed land can never be sold. This would address the public concern that this treasured land could be sold to private interests,” said Mrs Turei.

For further details

Green Party submission to the Foreshore and Seabed Review Panel at www.greens.org.nz/node/20913

ENDS

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