Private ownership in foreshore protected
Private ownership in foreshore protected while Maori rights undermined
John Key’s foreshore and seabed proposals protect saleable private title in the foreshore and seabed while undermining Maori customary rights, said the Green Party today.
“Why is John Key saying that it is ok for there to be 12,500 private titles over the foreshore and seabed but Maori customary rights have to be restricted by legislation? This is unfair and creates a legal double standard with Maori customary rights being treated as inferior,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“There is nothing in this proposal that will stop owners of private title restricting access or selling the foreshore into foreign ownership.
“If Maori customary rights are put into “public space” it is only fair that all the foreshore and seabed is.
“John Key's proposal is essentially the same as the Labour regime and fundamentally undermines Maori rights.”
“The repealing of the 2004 Act is a just a symbolic gesture from John Key’s Government. Maori want to see change on the ground, not empty gestures,” Mrs Turei said.
The Green Party has always opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 because it fails to provide environmental protection and is a confiscation of Maori customary title.
“Our position has always been that Maori should have the right to go to Court to have their customary rights confirmed,” said Mrs Turei.
“While, of course, public access to beaches should be maintained, this does not mean that Maori should be singled out to have their legal rights removed.
“We have argued from the start that Te Ture Whenua Maori Act should be amended to make sure that foreshore and seabed land can never be sold. Hapu are fighting for their mana moana and do not want it sold off. The last thing Maori or Pakeha want is for our beaches to fall into foreign, private ownership,” said Mrs Turei.