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Land Access Could Cost Property Owners Millions

Land Access Could Cost Property Owners Millions

Tuesday 2 Nov 2004

Gerry Eckhoff - Press Releases - Rural

The Labour Government's land access proposals are likely to deny landowners the use of parts of their land, and cost millions of dollars in lost earnings and re-sale values, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff predicted today.

"A media report today has highlighted the case of Marlborough viticulturist Ian Leonard, who stands to lose the use of land valued at $158,000 and a drop in income of at least $18,000 per year, if Labour's `right to roam' policy becomes law," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Under this legislation, Mr Leonard will be forced to allow the public access through land that includes 143 rows of vines. This, despite the viticulturist already providing public access - within reason - when asked.

"I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Leonard: that it would be totally unacceptable for the public to be granted unfettered access through his crops - especially a high value, edible one such as grapes.

"Yet this is exactly what Labour is proposing: the complete erosion of Mr Leonard's, and every other landowners', property rights - or, as he describes it in the latest Rural News, `outright theft' by the Government.

"There's little doubt that Mr Leonard's case isn't an isolated one. Throughout the country, landowners are already counting the potential cost of Labour's Mugabe-style land grab.

"I urge everyone concerned about the land access issue to join me in opposing it. If enough people stand-up against Labour's dopey proposals, the more likely the Government will have to listen and scrap it - just like it did with the `fart tax'," Mr Eckhoff said.

Gerry will be visiting Buller, the West Coast and Nelson this week as part of his land access bus tour.

ENDS

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