Labour Leader David Cunliffe's hints of an apology to Maori over the Foreshore and Seabed Act do not go far enough, a former Treaty of Waitangi lawyer says.
At a Marae in Whangarei last week, Mr Cunliffe said he believed the Labour government at the time should have consulted more with Maori and should not have removed their right to a legal process.
The controversial Act stripped iwi rights to seek customary title to marine and coastal areas.
Joshua Hitchcock, who is now a business consultant, said an apology would send a strong message that the Labour Party took Maori concerns seriously.
He said the party talked a lot about respecting Maori rights and this was a chance to put that into action.