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Bill will strengthen Kiwis’ hold on property

Thursday, 7 April 2005

Copeland Bill will strengthen Kiwis’ hold on their property

United Future whip Gordon Copeland’s Bill to bolster New Zealanders’ shaky grip on their private property was today drawn from Parliament’s Members’ Bill ballot system.

“In this age of foreshore, seabeds and the all-powerful Resource Management Act etc., the average Kiwi needs to know that his or her property rights are safe and secure,” he said of his New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill.

“Property ownership is a bottom line right, but it is one that has been eroded in many ways, and this is about remedying that.

“This is remarkably timely and I hope it will get wide support from all those who want New Zealanders to feel secure in their homes. I have no doubt that most Kiwis would back it,” he said.

Mr Copeland said the right to own private property dates back to the Magna Carta in 1215, and extends right through our Common Law tradition.

“Unfortunately, the vagaries of the Bill of Rights have cast that into doubt in New Zealand in recent years,” he said.

The Bill would insert two new sections into the Bill of Rights, explicitly stating the right to own property, whether individually or with others, and the right to compensation in the event of being deprived of that property.

“If you’re a farmer, and under the RMA, you’re told you can’t build your woolshed where you want, today you’re lumbered with the cost of putting it up half a mile down the road,” Mr Copeland said.

“This Bill is about redressing the balance; it is about getting back to what private property ownership has always been about - the right to enjoy the full and free use of your land and to sleep soundly in your home at night.” Ends.

ENDS

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