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Property Rights for the Foreshore and Seabed

Thu, 29 Jul 2004

Property Rights for the Foreshore and Seabed

Libertarianz spokesman for the deregulation of Mäori Affairs Tim Wikiriwhi today released the party's submission on the Foreshore and Seabed Bill. He declared the submission "a clarion call for property rights and for the granting and sale of rights in the Foreshore and Seabed".

"The nationalisation of the Foreshore and Seabed as proposed by Labour, Jim Anderton, the Alliance and the United Future is wholeheartedly opposed by Libertarianz, as is the unprincipled pandering to fear by National on this issue" said Mr Wikiriwhi.

The Libertarianz submission on the Bill argues "the Government should investigate means to develop property rights in the foreshore and seabed, and options to transfer it to private ownership. This can be done in several ways. Title could be granted in some cases for those demonstrating continuous usage, as some Mäori and non-Mäori could claim. It could be granted to those with adjoining property rights, and some could simply be sold, with the proceeds used to help eliminate state debt (and the interest that tax-victims pay on it)."

Wikiriwhi emphasised that "this would be a complicated exercise and require much work. However, there is ample evidence that private property rights generate the greatest incentives to protect the environment - few owners want their property to devalue and very few wish to be sued by neighbouring property owners for allowing their pollution to trespass or be a nuisance. Officials should work on these issues, and report back to the Government"

"Libertarianz believes wholeheartedly in the defence of private property rights and the use of private property rights as a tool to enhance the environment for people," Wikiriwhi concluded.

The submission will be available for download later today on the Libertarianz website, www.libertarianz.org.nz .


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