ACT Urges Maori Party To Oppose Foreshore Bill

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ACT Deputy Leader John Boscawen today urged the Maori Party to pull all support from the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill after both Te Atiawa and Ngati Tama made public submissions condemning the Bill and added to the mounting evidence that Maori do not support it.


“I predict that the Maori Affairs Select Committee will encounter this theme throughout the country.  Clearly there is no public mandate for this Bill, which is opposed by both Maori and non-Maori,” Mr Boscawen said.


“By allowing the Attorney-General to grant customary title in backroom deals, this Bill sets the stage for political considerations to take precedence over due process, fairness, accountability and transparency.  Non-Maori will be pitted against Maori, and iwi will be pitted against iwi.


“What we currently have is an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past; to fix the mistake that Labour made when it used legislation to remove the rights of iwi and hapu to have their claims to the foreshore and seabed heard in open court by an independent judge.


“Why waste that opportunity by simply passing more divisive legislation when we could simply repeal the 2004 Act and restore the rights that Labour stole?


“The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill purports to support the rights of iwi and hapu – but many iwi and hapu stand to lose if it is passed.  As such, it is a recipe for disaster and I urge the Maori Party to oppose it,” Mr Boscawen said.