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Treaty Of Waitangi Threatened By RMA

The Resource Management Act has been accused by constitutional commentator Stephen Franks of attacking Maori property rights established by the Treaty of Waitangi.

ACT MP Stephen Franks told a conference on Public Law and the Treaty in Wellington that the undermining of property rights permitted by the Resource Management Act, is a gross breach of the Treaty.

“Property rights are the institution most necessarily associated with respect for life and liberty. They are under direct challenge by the RMA. We are experiencing denial of compensation for de facto expropriations, collectivised control of use and disposition of property, and loss of property value by land use controls.

“All New Zealanders are threatened by these attacks on personal freedom and ownership, yet they are not limited to the RMA. Our property rights are being assaulted on all sides, recent examples being the Property Relationships Act, the new Takeovers Code, the law on employment and restrictions on harvesting forests,”.

“Use of the claims process through the Waitangi Tribunal could re-establish and uphold property rights. Restoring the Treaty as a defence of Maori property rights would serve to reinforce the supremacy of property rights overall and would rank the Treaty with the Magna Carta in terms of benefit to Maori and Pakeha.

“Without property rights we cannot have our “castle” or “turangawaewae” from which to express our cultural freedom. Cultural liberty and respect for the environment are underpinned by the right to own property and control its use,” Stephen Franks said.


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