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Beaches for Recreation Petition launched

Beaches for Recreation Petition launched

A petition to Parliament concerning the ownership of New Zealand's beaches, foreshore and seabed has been launched by recreational lobby group Public Access New Zealand (PANZ).

Petition organiser Bruce Mason says that official mishandling of this issue has the potential to be a Government-breaker. "The depth of public feeling is phenomenal, This threat to New Zealanders' most popular outdoor recreation setting strikes at the heart of personal liberties".

PANZ believes that the current challenge to Crown ownership must be over-ruled by legislative action. In this regard, says Mason, Parliament has a right and a duty to all citizens.

Legal rights of recreation must be created, reinforced by assured Crown ownership. The latter provides the only certainty that all New Zealanders, irrespective of race or material circumstances will be able to enjoy unrestricted use of our beaches, foreshore and seabed.

While the National Party's initiative in launching a petition on the same issue is welcome, all political parties need to be strongly reminded of the electorate's wishes. PANZ believes that the issue should be advanced independently of party political agendas.

The PANZ petition reads- "That the House of Representatives pass legislation that clearly establishes inalienable, sole Crown title, ownership, and authority over New Zealand's beaches, foreshore and seabed and guaranteed secure rights of recreation for all New Zealanders".

Unfortunately, the National Party petition is deficient in that it does not state an intention to pass legislation that guarantees Crown ownership or to create statutory rights of recreation. The PANZ petition seeks to rectify this.

"This campaign is about public ownership and recreation for all New Zealanders," Mr. Mason concluded.

The petition can be signed either on paper or on-line, and can accessed from: www.PublicAccessNewZealand.org

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