Maori Party MP Hone Harawira will not support legislation replacing the Foreshore and Seabed Act, Prime Minister John Key has confirmed.
(Stuff | Andrea Vance) Mr Key said Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia told him this morning that “they’d lost one of the sheep in the flock.” It didn’t take long to guess it was Mr Harawira, he said.
The other four Maori MPs will support the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, which is due to have its first reading in Parliament this week.
It’s highly predictable and quite frankly we would never be able to pass legislation that would satisfy Hone Harawira,” Mr Key said. “Nor should we, because that would not reflect the views of the majority of New Zealanders.
“If he doesn’t vote for it, I don’t care.”
Mr Harawira said this week the new Bill was not the substitute Maori want. He indicated he would vote for the bill at first reading but wanted extensive changes at select committee stage.
“It was always a risk that Hone would peel off,” Mr Key said. “He always has the more extreme views and I want legislation that is enduring and that the majority of New Zealanders can support.
“The fact that Hone is not going to vote for it probably confirms that.”
The new law will restore the right of Maori to go to court to claim customary title, but they must prove exclusive use since 1840.