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Statement needs to recognise landowner rights

26 August 2008

Coastal Policy Statement needs to recognise landowner rights

The Draft New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement needs to pay better regard to the rights of the owners of private property in the coastal environment, Federated Farmers president, Don Nicolson said today.

Mr Nicolson was presenting Federated Farmers' submission to the Board of Inquiry appointed to carry out public consultation on the new national policy statement, which will guide the use and development of land along New Zealand's coastline.

"We want it recognised that land in the coastal environment is often productive pasture or in some cases may be used for arable land," Mr Nicolson said.

"We also want it better recognised that many land owners have a long association with their land. It is concerning that, while the policy statement provides for tangata whenua association with the land, there are no provisions in the case of other people who have had a long association with their land," Mr Nicolson said.

Mr Nicolson said Federated Farmers generally supports there being a New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, but he added that Federated Farmers has concerns with some of the policies proposed.

"We want a better definition of the extent of the coastal environment and the recognition that some areas of the coastal environment derive their character and amenity value from the rural activities that take place in those areas," he said.

"There needs to be a clear definition of what 'natural character' is in the context of the coastal environment, and the recognition that rural activities such as farming and forestry are a normal part of the coastal environment.

"Most of all, we think it is extremely important for the Coastal Policy Statement to contain sufficient safeguards so it will work to everyone's benefit. In particular when policies are implemented for the benefit of the public, the cost borne by land owners needs to be recognised and compensated," Mr Nicolson concluded.


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