17 Sep 2010

Bin Laden has more rights than Maori, says Harawira

2:16 pm on 17 September 2010

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says Osama bin Laden has more rights to the foreshore and seabed than Maori do.

Mr Harawira voted against the Marine and Coastal Area Bill earlier this week, despite his party's four other MPs voting to send it to a select committee for further consideration.

The bill repeals the contentious Foreshore and Seabed Act and restores the right of Maori to go to court to claim customary title.

Mr Harawira says he voted against it because there is very little difference between the bill and the act it would repeal.

If Osama bin Laden came to New Zealand to buy a piece of foreshore and seabed, Mr Harawira says, he would have more rights to it than Maori.

He says that in voting against the bill he represented the many Maori who oppose it.

The select committee considering submissions is not due to report back until the end of February next year.