In announcing the Government is seeking public feedback on options to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act, Prime Minister John Key says it is important for all New Zealanders to see the matter resolved effectively once and for all.
"The reality is the current legislation created widespread grievance among Maori, not least because their ability to go to the courts to seek recognition of their rights was taken away.
"Just as resolving outstanding Treaty claims in a reasonable timeframe is central to dealing with past grievances and thereby allowing Maori and the Crown alike to move forward to focus on the future rather than dwell on the past, so too the foreshore and seabed issue needs to be resolved fairly and in every New Zealander's interest."
Mr Key says the discussion document sets out the Government's preferred option, under which its bottom line principle of public access for all to the foreshore and seabed is protected, while putting in place a mechanism for iwi to have their interests recognised.
"This debate has too often focused on the issue of ownership - even though the vast majority of New Zealanders, Maori and Pakeha, consider the foreshore and seabed to be a public space for all of us to share and enjoy. That is what the Government's preferred option will achieve.
"I am pleased that after considerable work by Ministers, and active co-operation between the National Party and the Maori Party, we are getting closer to achieving a positive result.
"This work was well-signalled in the Confidence and Supply agreement both parties signed after the last election and, while progress has been steady rather than quick, all New Zealanders can be confident that with continued goodwill we are getting close to a lasting solution that will put this long-standing issue behind us," says Mr Key.
Foreshore & Seabed: Towards an Enduring Solution (pdf, 492 Kb)
31 March 2010
PM made patron of All Whites' World Cup bid
Prime Minister John Key has agreed to become Patron of the All Whites for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Campaign.
The offer was extended to Mr Key by the Chairman of New Zealand Football, Frank van Hattum and CEO Michael Glading.
Mr Key says, "Like all New Zealanders, I am enormously proud of what the All Whites have achieved in qualifying for the World Cup.
"It is an honour to be asked to be Patron and I have accepted with pleasure.
"Ricki Herbert and the team have inspired and motivated a whole new generation of footballers and this will pay big dividends for the future of the game in New Zealand."
New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum says, "New Zealand Football is thrilled to have this support from the Prime Minister.
"This is an exciting time for the players, the public and the game in this country. The groundswell of support from everyday New Zealanders has been amazing and for it now to extend publicly to the highest level of government is huge.
"The Prime Minister loves his sport and his support is a tremendous boost to our campaign and to growing the sport in New Zealand.''Tweet
30 March 2010
Phil Heatley to be reinstated as a Minister
Prime Minister John Key has announced that, following the receipt of the Auditor-General's report into expenditure by Phil Heatley, he has decided to reinstate Mr Heatley as a Minister in the National-led government.
"I have spoken to the Governor-General and advised him of my wish to have Mr Heatley reappointed.
"Mr Heatley has acknowledged that he has made mistakes, but the report by the Auditor-General makes it clear that although some expenditure was outside the rules, it was not deliberate.
"The report also acknowledges that some of the rules were confusing.
"However, this case has demonstrated an important lesson for all Ministers and MPs: they must be very careful in the handling of public money."
Mr Heatley's portfolios will be Housing and ‘Fisheries & Aquaculture'.
"The change of title for the Fisheries portfolio reflects the importance of aquaculture in driving economic performance. We will be making further announcements on aquaculture in the near future," says Mr Key.
Mr Heatley's reinstatement to Cabinet will take effect from Thursday.Tweet
29 March 2010
PM heads to Washington and Ottawa
Prime Minister John Key leaves for the US next week for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (12/13 April).
One objective of this Summit is to focus attention at the highest levels of government on the threat of nuclear terrorism.
"The Nuclear Security Summit is part of the vision laid out by President Obama in Prague to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
"This process has been given added impetus with the agreement of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between Russia and the US in the past few days.
"The START is a positive step forward for nuclear disarmament efforts and sends a strong signal for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May."
My Key also plans to use the opportunity to have a number of bi-lateral meetings with some of the leaders of 46 countries invited to the Summit.
Mr Key spends two days in Washington before flying to Ottawa for a bilateral visit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
This is expected to focus on building on the already strong relationships between the two countries.
He will also meet with key Cabinet members and business leaders.
Mr Key returns to New Zealand on 18 April.Tweet