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Where Is The Public Responsibility?

Where Is The Public Responsibility?

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today called on the New Zealand public to accept some responsibility for the fencing of rivers and streams to negate the alleged impact of dairying.

"Recreational groups point out that there is a Queen's Chain, or marginal strips, on 70 percent of all New Zealand rivers and streams in New Zealand which, essentially, makes this area public land - what, then, is their responsibility and what is the dairy farmer's?" Mr Eckhoff said.

"If the public demands more rights to - and benefits from - rural land, it should also pick up some of the costs.

"The entire farming industry is aware of its environmental responsibilities, yet the public does not appear to accept its responsibility of land ownership per courtesy of the Queen's Chain. The landowner may well have some grazing rights to the Queen's Chain, but fences between neighbours (landowner and public) is a shared cost.

"If the public wants these areas fenced, it should at least meet half the cost of labour and materials - as well as maintenance after the inevitable flood. Fonterra is perfectly correct to require that sensible environmental standards are met, but should also call upon the public to accept its responsibilities as well," Mr Eckhoff said.

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