Statement from Coastal Coalition:
This summer could be special for thousands of kiwi families because it might be the last one they enjoy with free and open access to their favourite beach.
By next summer, the National Government hopes its Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill will have become law, giving Maori all the tools they need to lay claim to vast areas of New Zealand's seabed and foreshore.
There are only three days remaining for you to make a submission to the select committee to stop this Bill becoming law.
Because once customary title is granted - and the Bill sets the bar very low to allow this to happen - then all major decisions over the foreshore and seabed will be made by one group, Maori.
Customary title is not some wishy-washy form of ownership, it is a significant property right.
If this Bill becomes law, it will:
Remove Crown (that is, you and me) ownership of the seabed and foreshore and put it up for grabs by any iwi group that claims a customary interest
Allow iwi to lay claim for customary title and have it granted by Treaty Minister Chris Finlayson - in secret and without any right by anyone to an appeal
Allow iwi who own no adjoining land in an area to still claim customary title
Allow iwi to charge for access to the seabed and foreshore because the right to free access is not enshrined in this Bill
Allow the creation of wahi tapu areas where the public can be banned
There is still time to make a public submission to the select committee but it must be received by Friday, November 19.
To make a submission, go to our website, www.CoastalCoalition.co.nz for full details. It doesn't have to take long, just tell the Government the coast must stay in Crown ownership and this Bill must be withdrawn.
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