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Strengthening grip on their patch of Godzone

UF Bill strengthens Kiwis' grip on their patch of Godzone

A Bill to protect New Zealanders' shaky grip on their private property was today entered into Parliament's Members' Bill ballot system.

"In this age of wahi tapu and the all-powerful Resource Management Act, the average Kiwi needs to know that his or her property rights are safe and secure," United Future MP Gordon Copeland said in bringing the Bill to the House.

"That is what this Bill would achieve, and for that reason alone, I think it would have the backing of the vast majority of people in this country," he said.

The New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill would help fill a gaping hole in the Bill of Rights that leaves many Kiwis nervous about their hold over their own homes and farms.

"The right to own private property dates back to the Magna Carta in 1215, and extends right through our Common Law tradition. The vagaries of the Bill of Rights have cast that into doubt in New Zealand in recent years," he said.

The Bill would insert two new sections into the Bill of Rights, explicitly stating the right to own property, whether individually or with others, and the right to compensation in the event of being deprived of that property.

"If a local authority moves on your property tomorrow, with a pronouncement that it is wahi tapu, you have no guarantee of compensation.

"If you're a farmer, and under the RMA, you're told you can't build your woolshed where you want, today you're lumbered with the cost of putting it up half a mile down the road," Mr Copeland said.

"This Bill is about redressing the balance; it is about getting back to what private property ownership has always been about - the right to enjoy the full and free use of your land and to sleep soundly in your home at night."


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