18 Oct 2010

Grandstanding by ACT seen in possible bill changes

6:38 am on 18 October 2010

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he's disappointed the Attorney General is considering late changes to the Marine & Coastal Areas Bill to rule out charges for beach access.

Dr Sharples told Waatea News that Chris Finlayson is pandering to grandstanding by the ACT Party.

He says in the spirit of inclusiveness, the Maori Party has already conceded that customary title did not allow limits on access, but ACT leader Rodney Hide is twisting the issue around.

"It's deliberate because he knows access given by Maori is complete and free," he said.

Dr Sharples said Mr Hide is keen to stop Maori customary owners charging for beach access, but he is not prepared to put the same limits on people who have freehold title to coastal areas.