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Foreshore committee hears objections

28 July 2004

The Select Committee on seabed legislation will hear a mountain of submissions, most of them opposing the bill

The Government is taking a hammering in the foreshore and seabed select committee at Parliament.

The committee is expected to hear a mountain of submissions between now and November and most of them are expected to oppose the bill.

The New Zealand Business Roundtable told the committee it is a sledgehammer approach and the courts should have been allowed to run their course.

Executive Director of the Roundtable Roger Kerr says it will create more trouble that it resolves.

He says the Bill should be scrapped and the Government should wait for the Appeal Court decision to proceed through the Privy Council.

He says cases should then be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Mr Kerr told the MPs the Government reacted too quickly to the Court of Appeal's decision in the first place, opening the way for claims to the Maori Land Court.

And a Wellington iwi has pleaded with the select committee to unreservedly reject the Bill.

Ngati Tama's Helmut Modlick says the legislation is totally flawed.

He says it clearly strips Maori of their customary rights and perversely, puts the onus on tangata whenua to prove a customary right.

Mr Modlick sounded a warning to the committee.

He says dispossession without redress will only come back to haunt them.

Ngati Tama has asked the MPs to put justice ahead of politics.

© IRN, 2004 NZCity

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