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Government Supports Wholesale Land Grabbing

Thursday 23rd Nov 2000 Penny Webster Media Release -- Environment

Labour Environment spokesman Marion Hobbs’ speech in the House last night over the Resource Management Consultation Bill was bizarre, said ACT MP and farmer Penny Webster.

Parliament was debating the Resource Management (consultation with Landowners) Amendment Bill, promoted by ACT Environment Spokesman Owen Jennings. The Bill required local authorities to consult with all affected landowners before creating protection areas (SNA’s) on private land.

“The Minister felt landowners who wanted notification that their land was being designated a Significant National Area (SNA) were asking to be "favourites".

“All around the country landowners are having their land stolen off them, while still being held responsible for paying all the costs of mortgages, rates and even fencing and pest control.

“To add insult to injury the Minister who is supposed to represent their interests is calling them "favourites", and comparing their rights with those of trampers and duck shooters.

“Her speech was the most condescending I have heard in this house. Marion Hobbs obviously has no idea what pressures individual landowners and their families go through with SNA's and councils.

“Marion Hobbs’ comments last night, and those of other opposition members prove that the single greatest threat to biosdiversity in New Zealand is the badly informed mind-set of this government. Dover Samuels, who crossed the floor to support the bill, was the only Labour MP that understood the situation due to his experience with SNA designation in the Far North.

“This government clearly supports wholesale land grabbing,” said Penny Webster.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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