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A submission on 'Government Proposals for Consultation: The Foreshore and Seabed of New Zealand' from Ben Griffiths.

As a Pakeha who was born and has lived all my life in this country I would like to make a submission on the foreshore and seabed issue. I oppose the Governments foreshore and seabed proposals for the following reasons.

Firstly and importantly, they do not honour article II of the Treaty of Waitangi which reaffirms to Iwi and Hapu the Tino Rangatiratanga of their lands, all their possessions and everything they hold precious. Legally, but also ethically, the Treaty must be honoured, which the proposed legislation does not do.

I believe the proposals are divisive and based upon irrational fears that Maori will restrict public access to beaches unless 'public domain' legislation is introduced. This fails to acknowledge the fact that since 1840 it has not been Iwi and Hapu who have denied public access to the foreshore and seabed but rather private owners, exploitative commercial enterprise and government agencies. Tangata Whenua have not excluded others, provided wahi tapu are respected and natural resources are not damaged or depleted.

The proposed format by the Government for making submissions on this proposal is also not appropriate in my opinion, as it provides only a narrow view of the issue, where a dissident voice is expected to fall within the set structure of the proposal which is inherently flawed, hence making it impossible to critique constructively. In other words, the whole philosophy of the proposal is not only flawed but also insulting.

Thank you for the opportunity to make this proposal,

Yours sincerely,
Ben Griffiths
1 October 2003

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