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Land access will lead to more farmer vigilantism

Land access will lead to more farmer vigilantism

ACT Rural Affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today called on the Labour Government to scrap its plan to force farmers to open up their land to public access, in light of Northland farmer Paul McIntyre being acquitted on firearms charges.

"The farming community will take great heart from the McIntyre ruling which essentially said the use of force in the protection of private property by the owner was entirely justified," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Labour's plan to impose public access along water bodies on private land by a nebulous concept called `deeming access' which is, in fact, an unregistered easement, will result in a hardening of attitude towards the public.

"Landowners will not accept anything other than freely negotiated access with registered easements and generous compensation. If the Government believes deeming access around farmhouses and sheds will be acceptable to rural New Zealand, they need look no further than the McIntyre case.

"The public who enter private land without permission of the property owner now do so at their peril," Mr Eckhoff said.


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