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United Attempting to Horse Trade Property Rights

United Future Attempting to Horse Trade Property Rights

"Sanford calls on all MPs to think again before voting to support a proposal by Larry Baldock to overturn a Government decision to place Kahawai in the Quota management System" said Eric Barratt, Sanford CEO. "This proposal will expropriate private property rights"

Mr Barratt agreed that there was disappointment about the Kahawai decision on both sides. He commented, "Commercial and recreational fishers are both unhappy about the actual quotas approved by the Minister. But that is no longer the real issue. Once a species goes into the QMS a property right is created. It is constitutionally repugnant for a property right to be simply legislated away. And in this case it would be all the more inappropriate for such a measure to be introduced as a last minute trade off in a Bill dealing with completely different matters."

He explained that Sanford believes that adopting the United Future proposal would create a dreadful precedent. "Once Parliament has legislated out of existence property rights for one fish species, how long before the precedent will be used, on equally tenuous political grounds, to justify destruction of commercial rights in other QMS species," asked Mr Barratt. "It is important to take a stand in support of longstanding constitutional principle and commercial commonsense. New Zealand cannot afford to get a reputation as a country whose Parliament will at the drop of a hat expropriate private property rights. It is bad for business and it is very bad for investment."

"The Government is right to be saying that it will support the integrity of the QMS system. We call on other parties who support business and the importance of protecting property rights to ensure that this proposal is not enacted into law"

Eric Barratt
Managing Director

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