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Port Marlborough drops Privy Council foreshore appeal

19 October 2004

Port Marlborough has withdrawn its appeal to the Privy Council over Maori claims of ownership of the Marlborough seabed and foreshore. Port Marlborough chief executive Sean Bolt said today the decision to withdraw had been difficult in the current fluid political climate. However, the Government's intention to go ahead with its controversial seabed and foreshore legislation, regardless of any Privy Council decision, made the appeal process effectively redundant.

The port company lodged the appeal to the London-based Privy Council last year.

Also influencing the withdrawal of the appeal was favourable reaction from the Government regarding section 100 of the bill, which had been a major concern for port companies around New Zealand.

Port Marlborough was concerned about the section because future investment in port infrastructure and land titles would have been unclear Section 100 as drafted would have meant the Government would not issue private titles to newly reclaimed land and would only give out leases of up to 50 years.

Mr Bolt said the directors also believed that if the Privy Council case had been lost it would have been a massive cost to the shareholder.

Robert Adin
The Marlborough Gazette

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