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

I am a second generation Pakeha New Zealander.

I am opposed to the Government's proposals on the foreshore and seabed and am surprised that they have been put forward by what has seemed, until now, an essentially fair administration.

I believe the proposals are unnecessary and unfair and that they are a significant set back in the progress made towards honouring the Treaty of Waitangi and redressing the damage inflicted on Maori by colonialism.

As a part-time resident of Lake Tarawera I must say I also find the proposals extraordinary in that around that lake there are many places to which access to the lake is denied by wealthy landowners whom I am fairly certain are not Maori. Why then this punitive proposal towards Maori when it seems to be OK for wealthy non-Maori to deny other New Zealanders' access to a lake front? I urge the Government to think seriously before pursing these proposals which I believe will form the basis of a serious and deserved grievance on the part of Maori, and which will have repercussions long into the future.

I also fail to understand why this matter has to be addressed with such speed. Surely something this important should be debated in the public domain for some time before legislation is considered? Every branch of Government now makes explicit and public statements of commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. These proposals seem to be very much at odds with the principles of the Treaty. The Government should use this opportunity to develop a model of working with Tangata Whenua rather than imposing an inappropriate solution on the country - something that has been done to our cost in the past.

I urge the Government not to rush through these ill-conceived proposals.

Helena Barwick
29 September 2003

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