Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Green Party announces its public access position

24 November 2004

Green Party announces its public access position

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is calling for the restoration of access over public "paper" roads - land surveyed and owned as a road but not formed or marked.

“Too many paper roads are fenced off by adjoining landowners who fail to signpost them. Farmers can graze them at no cost to themselves. While this is fine, assuming exclusive ownership is not," Ms Fitzsimons said.

“Local authorities are responsible for enforcing access over paper roads and putting signs up where needed. However, despite clear penalties within the legislation, this is such a low priority it doesn't usually happen.”

Ms Fitzsimons said the public access across private land debate had become increasingly contentious since the release of the Acland report, produced by a committee chaired by Canterbury farmer John Acland.

“The days when New Zealanders enjoyed a shared culture in favour of public access seem to have gone. Landowners are afraid of crime and interference with stock. People who want to enjoy traditional access to the great outdoors to tramp, fish and mountain bike are seeing more doors closed to them. We need to find a process for negotiation and conflict resolution to restore both access and trust."

Ms Fitzsimons said the Greens wanted to see a commissioner with an independent budget appointed to negotiate public access. They believe the commissioner should be located in the Department of Internal Affairs which was responsible for local government, or in DOC.

The Commissioner's role would be to:

Help restore a culture of public access, building trust among landowners and responsibility among users.

Develop a code of conduct for people using access ways on private land with strong penalties for those who do not respect the land or its owners

Receive complaints about closure of paper roads and work with councils to assist them to enforce the law and provide signs;

Collect information from the public about how common is the refusal of access across private land, whether some parts of the country are particularly affected, and reasons given for refusals;

Negotiate, and hold on behalf of the public, written access agreements with landowners;

Report to Parliament in 2 years on whether refusal of access is so common that there is a need for legislation, and if so what form that legislation should take.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election