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Protect property rights - Party Vote ACT

Protect property rights - Party Vote ACT

Gerry Eckhoff
Tuesday, 26 July 2005
Speeches - Rural

Address to Federated Farmers National Conference; Tainui Novotel,
Hamilton; 26 July 2005.

There are a few people in our rural industries that have any appreciation of what lies ahead.

The command and control economy that we are experiencing today will become even more of a threat tomorrow.

The natural authority of the landowner over their own property will be replaced by the local and central authority of malevolent government.

We will soon need annual resource consent to farm our lands. Why?

To many New Zealanders have come to accept their property rights losses without murmur or defiance, despite notable exceptions.

We tolerate property rights abuse of our neighbour without realisation that we too are somebody's neighbour.

We have failed to demand answers to fundamental questions as to why our principles should be relegated behind the fashion statements of those who seek to rewrite the laws of our land for self-interest.

Too many remain silent on issues that are important to us.

Holding your ground is never easy, against those who profess to represent public opinion.

But letting go of a principle is an action of the moment that lasts forever.

ACT and I totally reject the belief in collectivism or socialism. The belief that the government or community always knows best is wrong.

We trust the men and women who are prepared to risk their capital on the strength of their determination to succeed.

That surely is the basis upon which this country was founded and prospered.

We reject the wisdom of bureaucracies.

And we embrace the right of the individual to manage their resources to the benefit of themselves, their family and their society.

I have been called an extremist, a crackpot. I have no fear of labels.

But I do fear the stigma of compliance and conformity.

I approach my task as a rural representative - not as a deal maker or a compromiser.

But as one who passionately believes in the rights and freedoms of the individual, especially for you, the people of the land.

On issues that are important to me I chose to lead and not to follow.

I do not wait to see which way the political wind blows.

That is the way of ACT.

It is important to speak out against government abuse in all its forms, especially as it pertains to private property, even if you are not personally affected.

In the 1960s a German by the name of Martin Niemoller famously spoke of abuses in Germany in the 1930s:

"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up, because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up, because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was not a Catholic.

Then they came for me and by that time there was nobody left to speak up for me."

Let me now paraphrase that famous statement in today's reality here in rural New Zealand.

"First they came for the native trees and bush on private land, but I did not speak up because all my bush and trees had been cleared.

Then they took my development rights, but I didn't speak up because my farm was fully developed.

Then they identified landscape values, but I didn't speak out because by land was flat.

Then they took or regulated wetland, but I didn't speak up because my land was drained.

Then they took the 'carbon credits' off farm foresters, but I didn't speak out because I had no woodlots.

Then they wanted to take a 5-metre strip around water bodies, but still I did not speak out because I had no rivers or streams or lakes on my land.

Then one day, they will come for that which is mine but by then nobody will speak up for me and why should I be surprised?"

While the courts in North America have restricted their government's right to make regulatory demand without compensation, the Labour Government sees such abuse as a positive virtue and vote winner.

ACT New Zealand will hold its ground on this and all issues of principle. We are prepared to fly the standard where the standard never flew.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your properties today are worth millions of dollars. Your best insurance against property rights abuse by government, any government, is to give your Party Vote to ACT.

We stand alone in our determination to stop the growth of government and their bureaucracies.

We live in the best country in the world. ACT wants your children and their children to have the same opportunities you and I once had.

This land is your land - not the Labour Party's. It's worth fighting for.


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