20 Oct 2010

MPs again reassured over free access to beaches

10:37 pm on 20 October 2010

The Attorney-General has again reassured Parliament that replacement legislation for the Foreshore and Seabed Act will guarantee free public access to beaches.

But Chris Finlayson is still considering introducing his own amendment to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill to make that absolutely clear.

ACT is the only political party which is agitating over the bill, suggesting that in areas where Maori gain customary title they will be able to charge the public to go to the beach.

In Parliament on Wednesday, ACT MP Hilary Calvert asked Mr Finlayson whether the proposed amendment to the bill would mean mum, dad and the children would still be able to go to the beach for a picnic, a paddle and to build a sandcastle without being charged.

Mr Finlayson replied the bill, as it is already written, would ensure that, but he is considering adding an amendment to make that absolutely clear.