31 Oct 2010

PM confident Maori Party will support foreshore bill

9:57 am on 31 October 2010

Prime Minister John Key says he is confident the Maori Party will support the Marine and Coastal Area Bill despite some oppostion from party members at their annual meeting.

New Maori Party president Pem Bird supports the bill, but others believe it will further alienate Maori from the foreshore and seabed.

Mr Key says he's confident the Maori Party will back the bill because it will give Maori access to justice.

He says the bill allows Maori to test their cultural rights to the coastline in the highcourt.

Mr Key says it was never the Government's job to make the tests easy, but at least the bill will allow the tests to be made.