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Labour puts public access back on table

David Carter National Party Agriculture Spokesman

22 July 2005

Labour puts public access back on table

National Party Agriculture spokesman David Carter is pleased that Labour intends to make its public access "land grab" proposals an election issue.

"Chris Carter's put this back on the agenda, with his promise to railroad the land access legislation through Parliament after the election.

"Clearly, Labour plans to use the election as a mandate to press ahead with this land grab," says David Carter.

David Carter is commenting after the Conservation Minister told Wellington's Forest and Bird Protection Society that Labour would pass legislation after the election requiring private landowners to give access along rivers and lakes.

"That completely contradicts Jim Sutton, who has been busy assuring private property owners that Labour had shelved the idea," says David Carter.

National's Nick Smith was at the meeting and says, "Chris Carter was quite explicit. There was no mention of further consultation with farmers or the proposal being watered down.

"He explicitly stated said Labour will pass a new law after the election requiring landowners to give access along 5 metre strips next to rivers and lakes."

David Carter says these comments are astounding.

"On June the 29th Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton gave an assurance to New Zealanders that the proposals were on hold and more consultation was required.

"Cynical Labour is telling conservationists one thing and farmers another.

"Helen Clark must come clean and tell us whose version is accurate," David Carter says.

ENDS

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