Key Points:

The Government has introduced a bill to repeal sedition laws.

It said last month it would do this after four minor parties -- the Greens, United Future, ACT and the Maori Party -- made a joint appeal for the laws to be scrapped.

The Law Commission has also recommended repeal.

Justice Minister Mark Burton said today the Crimes (Repeal of Seditious Offences) Amendment Bill would repeal sections of the Crimes Act which set out seditious offences.

"The sedition provisions infringe on the principle of freedom of expression and have the potential for abuse," he said.

"The Government agrees with the Law commission's finding that the present law of sedition attacks the democratic value of free speech for no adequate public reason."

Sedition is an ancient law intended to protect the Crown from attempts to undermine its authority. In New Zealand it also covers the offences of inciting lawlessness and disorder.

The Law Commission reviewed the laws last year after a man was found guilty of sedition for putting an axe through the window of Prime minister Helen Clark's electorate office, and issuing a pamphlet calling on others to commit similar acts in response to the foreshore and seabed legislation.

Police last month decided to drop a sedition charge against a Dunedin pub manager who printed a promotional pamphlet for university Orientation Week featuring offers to swap petrol for beer and a prize of a fuel-soaked couch.

Police said they had insufficient evidence to prosecute.

- NZPA