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ACT Standing Up For Rural Property Rights

ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble today launched ACT's rural policy in Tariki,
just south of Inglewood, in Taranaki.

"Three years ago I came to Taranaki as the leader of a new party and told the
leasehold farmers at a public meeting in Eltham that ACT is a party that
believes in private property rights," said Hon Richard Prebble.

"ACT believes in the sanctity of contract and no Waitangi claim should be
settled at the expense of private property rights," he said.

"ACT and ACT alone opposed the unilateral alteration of farmers leases without
full compensation.

"The West Coast lessees have been battling to get reimbursed for their legal
costs incurred through the process of the Maori Reserved Lands Act. They are
still waiting to get a reply from the Government.

"Meanwhile, Alamein Kopu has got $28,000 from the Government, paid for by
taxpayers, for her legal costs. What the media hasn't reported is that the
Alliance also put in for legal costs.

"Farmers who have accepted a lump sum, have received between 35-40% of their
rightful compensation. Any claim that there is, is against the Crown.

"This is not an isolated case.

"Responding to urban extreme environmentalists the Government put legislation
through Parliament changing the property rights of South Island high country
farmers. There are only a handful of high country farmers. ACT stood alone in
Parliament fighting for their property rights.

"ACT pointed out that farmers have a better conservation record than the State.

"Again and again ACT has been the voice of rural New Zealand.

"The proposal put forward by Labour's Michael Cullen, and agreed to by
National's Bill English, that agriculture is a sunset industry, is rejected by

"Agriculture produces over half of our export income. There will always be a
demand for clean, green, top quality food.

"National and Labour's advancement of the knowledge industry as our future is a
cargo cult like "think big," "value added," and other election year slogans.

"There are challenges facing agriculture but it's primary production that
offers the best prospect for export growth. Our farmers have done the hard
yards. New Zealand farmers have never been more efficient.

"It's off farm costs from government and local government that are destroying
the profitability of our country's most important industry.

"The good news is, that it is within our governance to rectify. When ACT
arrived at Parliament, National and Labour were congratulating each other on
the Resource Management Act, the OSH Act, the Biosecurity Act, ACC and the rest
of the 5200 new laws and regulations affecting business and rural New Zealand
in particular. Rural New Zealand is in the global economy. Our producers
cannot pass on these costs.

"With just eight MPs, ACT has pushed through ACC reform, got Government to
remove Stamp Duty and the Broadcasting fee. With twenty MPs we could remove the
stifling red tape and bureaucracy so that our farmers are once again on an
international level playing field.

"ACT has on its list more farmers and primary producers than National, Labour
and the Alliance combined. ACT is offering rural New Zealand positive change.
Farmers do not want three more years like the last.

"Labour, in its betrayal of its loyalist supporters on the West Coast, has
served notice on heartland New Zealand. A Labour Government will impose 'feel
good' laws on rural New Zealand even when there is no scientific or sound
environmental reason. If Labour thinks there is votes in it - whether it be
requiring farmers to pay more to register their farm guns or to employ
engineers to get reports on a farm track - they will do it.

"Of course, the Alliance wants to be your unwanted partner in every farm.

"It appears that the militant Greens, who are fundamentally hostile to
commercial agriculture, may be part of a future Labour/Alliance/Green
government. Such a government would be rural New Zealand's worst nightmare.

"I know that many rural voters, to protest at the ignoring of rural issues by
the two major parties, voted New Zealand First. In office New Zealand First's
spending spree was a disaster for our export industries. Mr Peters has shown
again that he cannot pick good candidates. ACT says to New Zealand First
voters, look at ACT's policies and record:

· ACT alone confronts the Treaty issue
· ACT alone calls for welfare to be a hand up not a hand out
· ACT alone calls for truth in sentencing so we stop letting offenders out of
jail after just a third of their sentence
· ACT alone has stood against red tape and bureaucracy that is crippling our
export industries.

"Then I invite electors to look at ACT's list that does offer the heartland
real representation.

"I promise you the most effective representation of rural New Zealand that this
country has seen since the first National Government," said Hon Richard

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