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Land access issue on the backburner

Land access issue on the backburner

Labour's plan to free up private land for public access has effectively been put on the backburner, says National's Rural Affairs Spokesman, David Carter.

"In response to a written question in December last year, the Minister of Rural Affairs Minister said he expected to report back to Cabinet by 31 March on the submissions received for the Land Access Ministerial Reference Group Report," Mr Carter says.

"Now, with 31 March just under a fortnight away, the minister seems to be procrastinating by claiming he is still waiting on a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

"Land access is a major issue for all farmers. Freeing up private land for public access will put private property rights in danger - a basic feature of a democratic society.

"In light of the recent political developments and the Government's ever-changing plans for the foreshore and seabed, the farming community needs certainty over land access.

"Farmers must have firm rights as to who can access their land and under what circumstances. At the moment they are paying the price for the Government's flip-flops and have nothing but uncertainty as to what the future will hold.

"The rural community has every right to be nervous as they face the erosion of their rights and the undermining of their livelihood.

"Such an important issue needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later," says Mr Carter.

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