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Labour doesn't respect property rights

It's official: Labour doesn't respect property rights

Wednesday 22 Dec 2004 Gerry Eckhoff

Press Releases - Rural - ACT Rural Website

ACT Rural Affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today accused the Labour Government of stripping New Zealand farmers of their long-standing right to exclusive use of all their land.

Mr Eckhoff was responding to the unveiling of the Government's policy on public access to private land.

"Today's announcement is yet another poke in the eye for rural New Zealand and proves, if nothing else, that Labour doesn't give a damn about farmers and their property rights," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Despite Labour's spin, this policy is still all about compulsion and confiscation. Farmers will still be forced to give up their property rights - that hasn't changed.

"There is no need for this policy. Ninety-two percent of farmers in a recent survey said they allowed public access through their land if asked first.

"Legislation will guarantee the erosion of the goodwill that has existed between farmers and recreationalists for several generations.

"Further, rural crime will skyrocket when the Government's policy is implemented as farmers' personal security and that of their property become more exposed to unwelcome visitors.

Mr Eckhoff said the issue had always been about private property rights - not denying access.

"ACT applauds and encourages farmers allowing public access through their property. But landowners must retain their right to stop unfettered access over their land if they choose.

"I call on farmers to join ACT in standing up for their property rights. Helen Clark must not be permitted to steal the very rights that are at the foundation of New Zealand as a free, democratic nation.

"ACT will make property rights a major election year issue," Mr Eckhoff said.


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