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Private land under threat

David Carter National Agriculture Spokesperson

23 January 2003

Private land under threat

A Government group set up to study land access is the first step to opening up farms to pedestrian traffic, says National Agriculture Spokesman David Carter.

Labour has announced a 'reference group' to study public access over private land.

"This is a done deal. The government will go ahead with opening up access to farmland regardless of what the reference group finds," Mr Carter said. "This reference group is nothing more than a stalking horse for this Government nationalising private land for public access. Like all the Government's committees it is being used to bring in these changes, regardless of what feedback the committee gets.

"Farmers rather than the government should have the first say on who goes on their land and under what circumstances.

"This is a re-run of the Labour government of the 1980s starting the Treaty of Waitangi grievance industry which is now dominating nearly all legislation. Changes around access to private land will do the same.

"Jim Sutton is at pains to say that no decisions have yet been made over access to private land. This is because he knows the issue will be a real hot potato. He is already trying to soften the blow of these changes by setting up another committee.

"I have no problem with the make up of the reference group - these people are simply being used to bring in the change. It is the government's agenda that is the issue," says David Carter.


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