The Coastal Coalition is urging the public to send a clear message to the Prime Minister that they want the coast to remain in public (Crown) ownership.
Dr Hugh Barr and Dr Muriel Newman are promoting a Citizens Initiated Referendum to repeal the divisive Marine and Coastal Area Act, and replace it with new legislation that restores Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed. The petition and a call for support has been published in suburban papers throughout the country this week. If 10 percent of registered voters support the petition by the end of June, a nation-wide referendum of all voters will be triggered.
The Marine and Coastal Area Act was controversial from the outset. The Prime Minister, John Key, went on record saying that Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed would not be changed unless the public were in support. Yet in spite of 90% of submitters being opposed to the new law - including the majority of Maori - he changed it anyway, without any form of public mandate.
Dr Hugh Barr is urging New Zealand voters, who do not want their beaches privatised and good fishing spots declared out of bound through 'wahi tapu', to sign the petition, and get others to do so as well. The petition will only succeed in forcing a referendum if the public get behind it in support.
Dr Barr reminds voters that the new legislation is so extreme and divisive, that decisions on privatising the coast to tribal groups will be decided through secret deals with Ministers, locking locals and other interested parties completely out of the process, and then rubber-stamped in Parliament by the National party and its support parties.
Petition forms and further information can be found on the Coastal Coalition website at: www.CoastalCoalition.co.nz
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