Labour will take a fresh look at foreshore and seabed legislation after winning the general election, party leader David Cunliffe claimed in Whangarei yesterday.

The controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act, enacted by Labour in 2004, led to the formation of the Maori Party and Labour loss of Maori seats. National repealed and replaced it with the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011.

Mr Cunliffe told about 45 people at a kuia and kaumatua hui at Te Renga Paraoa Marae in Whangarei he thought Labour would today admit it was wrong with its foreshore and seabed laws denying court challenges and as the party came back into power it would take a fresh look at the issue.

During a meeting mainly rallying the faithful to register and vote for Labour candidates Kelvin Davis (Te Tai Tokerau electorate), Willow-Jean Prime (Northland) and Kelly Ellis (Whangarei), Mr Cunliffe pointed to unemployment increasing by 50 per cent to 9 per cent of Northland's work-age population since National came to office and pledged Labour would do better for the region.


Tai Tokerau was going backward under National, with hope dying in the eyes of tamariki, Mr Cunliffe said.

Too much drink and electric puha and not enough jobs had taken their toll.

"I've been in whares where the people are listless, hopeless," Mr Cunliffe said.

Labour had the numbers to win seats in the North. It needed volunteers to ensure registered voters made it to the polling booth to change the Government.

Mr Cunliffe said a new Labour Government would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour before Christmas and boost it again next April.

Within its first 100 days in office Labour would dump legislation allowing employers 90 days to fire new staff, banning smoko breaks, removing protection for contract workers and other controversial measures.

Hinerangi Cooper-Puru, of Panguru, said Crown recognition of the Tuhoronuku mandate to negotiate a Treaty grievance settlement for Ngapuhi took mana from her hapu.

She called for mana for the hapu "and for Maori women who are the movers and shakers".