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Landowners Must Deliver Strong Message

Landowners Must Deliver Strong Message

Wednesday 17 Sep 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today urged landowners to deliver a strong, concise message to Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton that they must retain the climate sanction of refusing access to their land if they so choose.

"Mr Sutton's announcement, seeking public feedback on the recent Land Access Ministerial Reference Group report, will be landowners' last chance to stand up for their property rights," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Failure to do so will result in trespass offences becoming nothing more than a misdemeanour if a recreational activity is being undertaken as recommended by the report. This `foot in the door' will also lead to expansion of public rights on the property rights of the owner with absolutely no prospect of compensation.

"Labour continues to ignore the traditional and cultural rights of all New Zealand landowners, in favour of the politically powerful lobby led by New Zealand's foremost tramper: Prime Minister Helen Clark.

"This politically-inspired move cuts across the good relationship that has developed over the years between rural landowners and those seeking to enjoy the great outdoors. This will inevitably result in angry confrontations throughout New Zealand, as landowners realise just how much their quiet enjoyment of their private land has been compromised.

"Mr Sutton's latest initiative shows he is no friend of rural New Zealand. His latest attempt to whack the farming community must be meet with the same strident opposition that was directed at the absurd `Flatulence Tax' proposal, Mr Eckhoff said.


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