7 Sep 2010

New foreshore bill best deal for now - Maori Party

10:48 am on 7 September 2010

The Maori Party is refusing to rule out re-negotiating the foreshore and seabed issue, but says the replacement legislation is the best it can ask for at the moment.

The Marine and Coastal Area Bill will repeal the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The new bill, which was tabled in Parliament on Monday, makes coastal areas so-called common space and restores the right of iwi to go to court to claim customary title.

Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell says the bill is good enough for the party at the moment, and is the best it could achieve in its negotiations.

He understands all five Maori Party MPs will support the legislation.

The bill will have its first reading on Thursday.

The Maori Party is not ruling out re-negotiation at a later date.

But Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says that's not an option. He expects the bill to be implemented early next year.