The Government is being accused of ramming through foreshore and seabed legislation and blocking a parliamentary committee's access to legal advice.

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill was reported back today by Parliament's Maori affairs committee more than two weeks before it is due on February 25.

The committee made no changes to the bill and recommended it be passed without amendment.

The bill repeals the Foreshore and Seabed Act and replaces it with legislation that removes the foreshore and seabed from Crown ownership and allows iwi to seek customary title to parts of it through the courts or through negotiation with the Government.

The Labour, Green and ACT parties will all oppose the bill.

After receiving 4455 written submissions, many supplementary submissions, and 1520 form submissions, Labour leader Phil Goff said the committee ignored the "overwhelmingly" number opposed to the legislation.

He said the Government also blocked the committee from seeking legal advice on the proposed changes.

"This is desperation by the Government, they want to ram this through before the Maori Party implodes, but it's poor process," he said.

"This has been an absolute disgrace in terms of democratic process. They will not even provide the legal advice given to government to say what this bill actually means."

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, who sat on the Maori affairs committee, said the process had been a complete farce with the committee having no access to legal advice.

"We weren't able to make amendments to the legislation and it has just been rushed by National and by the Maori Party," she said.

"This is the National Party and the Maori Party wanting to get this confiscation over and done with contrary to the needs and wishes of Maori and the New Zealand public."

ACT leader Rodney Hide said he was surprised the committee reported so early, and assumed it was because of Maori party strife with MP Hone Harawira.

Mr Hide said he only received 16 hours' notice.

Prime Minister John Key said he would have to look into whether the committee was denied legal advice.

As for submissions being ignored, he said there was always a majority view among submitters.

"Often it is coming from one group that is more engaged and interested. We don't look at the numerical basis, we look at the arguments," he said.

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson welcomed the report and said the Government would be strengthening the bill's process for recognising customary marine title by providing parliamentary scrutiny.

"A number of people have raised concerns about recognising customary marine title by way of Order in Council.

"I will be recommending the House amends the bill to require any recognition of customary title through negotiated agreement be given effect through legislation," Mr Finlayson.

"This means that every such agreement will be subject to full parliamentary and public scrutiny. This will dispel any concerns about future governments doing shoddy deals."

Mr Finlayson said he plans to incorporated technical recommendations attached to the report into the bill.

- NZPA