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Maori protesting over the 'Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004'.
The government passed this law which gave ownership of New Zealand's coastline to the state. This confirmed what most New Zealanders believed, which was the coastline was there for all New Zealanders to enjoy. However this belief was initially put in doubt when Maori tried to claim the coastline under the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding document of the nation. Coupled with Labour's pro-Maori treatment on Treaty of Waitangi issues, Labour drew up a plan that was rejected my mainstream New Zealand. Due to loss in popularity for Labour and a gain in the National Party over this issue, Labour reneged and eventually passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which guaranteed that the coastline belonged to all New Zealanders.
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