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Don't Walk Over Property Rights

26 November 2003

Don't Walk Over Property Rights

Proposals to increase walking access to private property are coercive, unprincipled and amount to an erosion of private property rights, New Zealand Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr said today.

Mr Kerr made his comments as the Business Roundtable released its submission on the Land Access Ministerial Reference Group's report, Walking Access in New Zealand .

"The proposals entail a substantial erosion of secure private property rights which is detrimental to prosperity. The right of exclusion is central to the concept of private property. There are compelling grounds for the government to compensate individuals and firms if private property rights are appropriated. This requirement would force the government to weight up the costs and benefits of its proposals.

"Land-based industries such as farming, forestry and tourism will be directly affected by weakened property rights. The plan would coerce private property owners to provide access to their land.

"The public can access vast areas of the country without encroaching on private property rights, and recreationalists are commonly granted permission to enter on private land provided they act responsibly.

"Private property rights should be strengthened in the interests of promoting prosperity and social cohesion - these proposals would do the opposite," Mr Kerr said.

The New Zealand Business Roundtable's submission is available online at cess.pdf

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