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This Land Is Your Land - Not Labour's

This Land Is Your Land - Not Labour's

Gerry Eckhoff
Thursday, 23 June 2005
Press Releases - Rural

Address to Land Access protest; Parliament Grounds, Wellington; Thursday, 23 June 2005; 1pm.

This land is your land, not the Labour’s Party’s.

Thank you all for coming to Parliament to deliver that message to Helen Clark and her Labour Party caucus today.

Labour’s land grab is the biggest threat rural New Zealand has faced in recent times. It’s a direct attack on the property rights of farmers.

This anti-farmer government has treated farmers like a cash cow it can milk whenever it likes. It has failed rural communities.

Remember the Fart Tax? School closures? The 111 debacle? Hiked up ACC levies? Petrol taxes going up and up? And now land access.

This issue isn’t about public access to private land. That’s already happening. It is about property rights, and a government that wants to remove, by legislation, the right of farmers to say who may or may not enter their property.

Last Friday Helen Clark said the access legislation wouldn’t impact on the property rights of farmers. That’s rubbish! Comments like that go to show just how out of touch Labour is with the rural community.

How would Helen Clark like it if a government passed legislation allowing people to walk all over her Mt Albert property? Answer: She wouldn’t! And there’s a word for that and its starts with H.

Helen Clark’s land grab would make Robert Mugabe and his mob in Zimbabwe blush! She is stealing you and your family’s right to quiet enjoyment of your property, with compensation all but ruled out.

That’s theft!

Helen Clark is endangering farmers’ personal safety and security - and that of their families, by pushing through this legislation. It’s ludicrous for Labour to say it won’t lead to an increase in rural crime - just ask Peter Bentley and Agnes Nicholas, who both attended an ACT public meeting on rural crime in Rotoura earlier this month. It’s good to see Agnes here supporting today’s protest.

Labour says they have consulted farmers over land access. That’s a lie. How do I know that? Because ACT wrote to 180,000 farmers and asked them whether Labour had consulted them. Ninety-seven precent wrote back and said they hadn’t heard a peep.

Let’s take a moment to examine where the other parties stand on land access. I’m not going to bother about Labour, we know their position. United Future supports Labour’s land grab, while NZ First is on record in the Rural News as saying access is nothing more than a side issue.

National, if it were really serious about property rights, would oppose Nick Smith’s Overseas Investment (Queen’s Chain Extension) Amendment Bill, which is itself a land grab. National, alongside Labour and Green MPs, voted for this bill which requires ‘consideration to be given to issues of public access’.

That leaves ACT. We stand foursquare with farmers against Labour’s attack on property rights. After all, ACT is the property rights party. Standing up for private property rights for ACT is a matter of principle. It’s not something that we do just because it’s election year. It’s why I stood for Parliament in the first place.

ACT is the only party that backs private property rights 100 percent. We have a plan to protect farmers’ land from the greedy grasp of Helen Clark and her Fish & Game mates. We won't let them get away with daylight robbery. ACT will continue to stand up for Rural New Zealand.

This election you have two votes. ACT is only asking for one of them - the Party Vote. A Party Vote for ACT is a vote for the protection of property rights and a vote for change.

Thank you.


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