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Walking access in New Zealand

Media release from the Property Law Section, New Zealand Law Society
14 June 2005 For immediate release

Walking access in New Zealand

The Property Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society welcomes Associate Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton’s comments on Friday (10 June) that compensation has not been ruled out in the Government’s walking access policy.

“What the policy proposes is, in effect, an unregistered easement over land and should not be granted without compensation,” Property Law Section Chair Chris Moore said today.

“The Section supports the aim of providing better public access to the margins of the sea, lakes, rivers and streams, but advocates a more tailored approach than that proposed by the Government.

“Areas where access is limited or inadequate should be identified and specifically addressed on a case-by-case basis. The Section opposes a blanket approach that would see (subject to certain exceptions) all New Zealand’s waterways and waterfront subject to compulsory easements.

“The New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill, a Member’s Bill currently before Parliament, proposes recognising property rights in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. It would also grant a right to compensation in the event of deprivation of property, a principle that the Section welcomes,” Chris Moore said.


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