Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has shrugged off a call for his resignation over the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, saying he is balancing a range of interests in the law change.
Mr Finlayson faced about 250 people in New Plymouth on Friday night at a meeting called to discuss the replacement of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
Kevin Moratti of the Coastal Coalition said the minister should resign, because during submissions on the Marine and Coastal Area Bill he showed bias by calling the coalition a bunch of clowns and saying he wouldn't be beaten.
Mr Finlayson says he was criticising not Maori but people who believe Greeks and Phoenicians feature in New Zealand's prehistory.
He says a number of groups, including recreational users of the coast, and local and central government, have legitimate interests to be dealt with.