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Private Property Rights Must Be Upheld

Private Property Rights Must Be Upheld

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today that all landowners' property rights must be upheld - regardless of the findings of a working group's report on public access.

"Whatever the recommendations of the Government study group, under no circumstances should landowners accept the loss of their property rights. Even compensation to ensure greater access to the nation's rivers, beaches and mountains cannot be justified if private landowners wish to retain exclusive use and quiet enjoyment of their land," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The Labour Government must not invoke public encroachment over private land without a negotiated agreement with the affected landowner receiving appropriate replacement value for the loss of a property right.

"Regardless of the reference group's findings, private landowners should refuse to accept any findings that seek to appropriate their existing rights - which civilised society has long regarded as sacrosanct. This applies to all - regardless of race, colour or creed - and should equally apply to coastal property where ownership has been clearly defined.

"Should the working group's findings contain a `political good' - instead of respecting private property rights - then there will be an even greater uproar from rural and urban property owners alike.

"The redistribution of property rights this Labour Government is seeking to achieve is nothing more than socialism by any other name," Mr Eckhoff said.

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