15 Sep 2010

New foreshore and seabed bill passes first hurdle

9:47 pm on 15 September 2010

Replacement legislation for the Foreshore and Seabed Act passed its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday.

The Green Party, the ACT Party and Maori Party MP Hone Harawira have said they will vote against the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Although the Maori Party is supporting the bill, co-leader Tariana Turia has suggested it will not bring the controversy over the foreshore and seabed to an end.

The Labour Party's shadow Attorney-General, David Parker, is questioning why the Maori Party will not concede that the new legislation will be a full and final settlement on the issue.

"They're pretending that this settles issues when they're saying it doesn't. I don't want to call them hypocrites; we've been very careful not to use divisive language around this.

"But there are some issues which need to be settled for the sake of good race relations in New Zealand - and this is one of them."

The Labour Party is voting to refer the legislation to the select committee, although it questions whether the bill makes any real change to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Greens say it will vote against the bill because it repeats the injustice of the original law.