Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Access leader bars Government entry to property

News Media Release from Public Access New Zealand Inc. 13 June 2005

Access leader bars Government entry to property

A campaign by farmers to close private land to public access for one week is lamentable but understandable, according to Public Access New Zealand. However Federated Farmers, rather than alienating the public by shutting them out, should be targeting the source of the problem - the Government.

PANZ spokesman Bruce Mason says that there is no widespread support within the recreational community for Government's proposal to impose without compensation 'footways' over privately owned water margins. "I don't know of anyone who asked for this measure before it was announced". Angling clubs, potentially the main beneficiaries, have rejected it.

A 5 metre wide right of access along river banks is not going to provide practical access in most situations and will not preclude obstruction by fencing and buildings. Officials have admitted that all Government intends, in effect, is to provide 'paper rights' of access exercisable only if unobstructed. As recently as 10 June Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said, "if you are a deer farmer, you can keep your big fences all the way to the waterway."

"I believe these 'footways' are an election year scam designed to hoodwink urban voters," Mason said.

There are plenty of alternatives that could be taken within existing law to improve public access if Government were serious. These would result in security and practicality of access while avoiding gross infringement of private property rights.

Today, Bruce Mason launched a 'No Government Access' protest on his rural property.

"All Government MPs, their election campaigners, as well as government officials, are barred from my property until further notice". A 'No Government Access' sign is now hung on my front gate along with an orange ribbon. Unlike the Federated Farmers' protest my sign will remain indefinitely until 'footways' are dropped from Government's agenda."

If Government is prepared to entertain gross infringement of private property rights, for no good purpose, it is even more liable to infringe public property.

Labour's failure to honour repeated election pledges to extend the Queen's Chain, consisting of marginal strips, roads and reserves, may be an omen of future intent. A token access provision by way of footways would provide a convenient future pretext for privatisation of the 70 per cent of water margins currently in public ownership. Mr. Sutton wants consistency of access everywhere. This could be achieved by privatising the Queen's Chain and only retaining limited public rights as 'footways'.

Massive public opposition back in 1989 prevented Labour from disposing of marginal strips. There is hope that renewed public concern can do it again.

Everyone concerned about town-country relations and protecting both public and private property is invited to erect a 'No Government Access' sign and orange ribbon on their front gate. The greatest need is in urban areas, especially marginal electorates.

"This is a personal statement, easily taken, and potentially of greater effect than voting. Fear of the electorate prior to an election is a more potent force in shaping political behaviour than afterwards," Mason concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>




Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election