Hone Harawira believes that 98 per cent of Maori will fail to meet the threshold to gain ownership of the foreshore and seabed under pending Government legislation.

The Marine and Coastal Act passed its first reading this week.

The bill replaces the controversial Foreshore and Seabed law which saw the Crown gain ownership of the wet sand out to the 12 nautical mile limit and denied Maori from going to court to prove claims to the area.

It restores the right to go to court and creates a "common space" over the area meaning no one owns. That changes however, if Maori gain customary title, a limited form of ownership which can't be sold.

Unlike his four other Maori Party colleagues the member for Te Tai Tokerau voted against the bill.

This morning at a media conference at Waipapa Marae in Auckland he told reporters the party's own research had made it clear that few would pass tests which include exclusive use and occupation of foreshore since 1840.

Comparing the 2004 and current bill showed that very little had changed. Except for maybe the "spelling" of the laws' names.

Asked if he wondered whether the repeal process was pointless - if by his own account - so few would qualify he said: "Kind of. It makes it very very difficult to clap about the restoration of the right to go to court when you actually open the door and there's a great big bloody brick and a tiny little hole at the top and that's the only way to get through it."

The last time Hone Harawira gave a media conference at the marae was in the wake of the "white mofo" emails to Buddy Mikaere who questioned his tiki tour trip to Paris with his wife while on a taxpayer funded trip.

Then he was a man clearly under pressure, his confidence and ordinary swagger gone.

His party nearly kicked him out because of the fiasco.

This morning though Mr Harawira refuted any suggestions that voting against the act was causing division within the party.

Party leaders Dr Pita Sharples, Tariana Turia as well as Te Ururoa Flavell had all said that while they were voting for the act, Maori may challenge it in the future.

"For all those that are preaching this thing about division the division isn't there at all.

"All I'm doing is voting the way all of my colleagues feel and voting the way a lot of Maori feel about this second piece of legislation."

He also reiterated earlier comments made on Breakfast this morning that Osama Bin Laden had more rights if he bought a piece of the foreshore than Maori.

"That's simply unacceptable."