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Seabed and Foreshore

17/02/2008

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Today’s editorial in the NZ Herald lauds the recent agreement reached by the Government with Ngati Porou. On reading the item I was impelled to think again of some misgivings I had when this agreement was first made public some days ago.

Superficially it looks very fine, but what does it mean?

Does it effectively confer a veto right on any development?

Does it mean that the public can be warned off certain areas?

What, if any, controls exist to ensure the iwi rights are not exercised to the detriment of the majority, for example restricting growth and employment opportunities?

What limitations are provided to ensure that the iwi do not themselves undertake inappropriate activities ?

This agreement hatched between the Government and an ethnic group has many disturbing implications and may in the long-term cause many more problems than it resolves.

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