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Complex role for regional and unitary councils

MEDIA RELEASE

Complex role for regional and unitary councils in seabed and foreshore issue, says Local Government New Zealand

For immediate release on 17 December 2003

“We recognise the complexity but also the importance for all New Zealanders in the role proposed for regional and unitary councils in the Government’s recent announcement on the foreshore and seabed issue,” says Local Government New Zealand President Basil Morrison.

“Local Government New Zealand will consult widely with its membership to develop a workable basis for consultation in the proposed 16 regional meetings,” says Mr Morrison.

Neil Clarke, national spokesperson for the regional and unitary councils, says that local government needs to work closely with the Government on this complex issue.

“Under the Resource Management Act 1991, regional and unitary councils have responsibility for making decisions about the regulation of many of the activities that take place on the foreshore and seabed,” says Mr Clarke.

“The process will be a significant challenge for regional and unitary councils but it will enable them to build on the good relationships that they have established with Maori over the last decade.

“We acknowledge the key role of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in leading this process,” says Mr Clarke.

Consultations will take place with Maori about how to achieve effective participation of Maori in the making of regulatory decisions affecting activities taking place in the seabed and foreshore.

Ends

Local Government New Zealand is the national voice of all 86 councils of New Zealand.

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