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Pressure Mounts To Rid South Island Of Farmers

Pressure Mounts To Rid South Island Of Farmers

Tuesday 21 Oct 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today said past comments by environmentalists, referring to sheep as maggots on the hillsides, appears to be paying off as pressure mounts from all sides to rid the South Island high country of farming.

"Recent calls by Forest and Bird to halt tenure review because `only' half of many properties are going into the DOC estate is bad enough. Now Fish and Game want any prospect of subdivision on the remaining and newly freehold land to cease," Mr Eckhoff said.

"This comes on top of Land Minister John Tamihere threatening farmers who don't wish to enter tenure with huge increases in rental, while restricting their ability to pay with constraints on production. What has happened to the rights of farmers?

"The contract with the Crown gave exclusive use and quiet enjoyment along with secure tenure, in perpetuity. That contract is now worthless.

It is little wonder high country families now totally empathise with white farmers from Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who also only seek the right to exist in the country they love. What ever happened to property rights in this country?" Mr Eckhoff said.


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