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ACT supports property rights members bill

ACT supports property rights members bill

Thursday 7 Apr 2005

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Other

ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks today pledged ACT's full support for United Future MP Gordon Copeland's member's Bill to extend the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 to protect property rights.

"No reputable human rights code or statement omits property rights as a foundation," Mr Franks said. "Some historians and scholars make a strong case for property rights being more essential than democracy to establishing freedom, and more valuable in preserving it.

"Six years ago Act MP Owen Jennings tried to achieve the same thing in a bill of the same name but Labour and National ganged up against it. When Sir Geoffrey Palmer put through the Bill of Rights Act, the omission of property rights showed his political correctness more than anything else he did."

Mr Franks said Mr Copeland's bill is elegantly crafted.

"Mr Copeland has my unqualified praise for selecting this as the topic for his bid in the member's ballot," Mr Franks said. "It is precisely the kind of important issue that the member's bill procedure should put on Parliament's agenda, despite the embarrassment it will cause to the establishment parties.

"This Bill should get unqualified support from all Maori MPs. Classical English property rights were promised to New Zealanders in Article 2 of the Treaty, but Labour and National governments have trashed them. Disguised confiscation under the RMA has devalued land owned by Maori just as it has for other New Zealanders.

United Future should make it a condition of any support they give to next month's Labour election budget, that the Bill not be allowed to lapse when Parliament rises for the election. It should be part of the carryover motion," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

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