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Sutton Just A little Bit Pregnant

Sutton Just A little Bit Pregnant

Friday 5 Nov 2004

Gerry Eckhoff - Press Releases - Rural

Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton is trying to appear just `a little bit pregnant' on the land access issue, but he must come clean: either he is stealing land from landowners, or he isn't, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"Mr Sutton cannot expect people to believe that, in ruling out right to roam, he is somehow appearing to be the farmer's friend by only stealing a lesser part of their property," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The Labour Government is attempting to placate rural New Zealand with soothing noises, by saying the right to roam is not on the agenda. It most certainly is on the agenda, along with access to every named water body - except on Maori land, which is to be exempt.

"All the Minister is ruling out at this time is the right to roam away from significant water bodies. Future amendments are a racecourse certainty. Mr Sutton is determined to make rural people squatters on their own land.

"As rural New Zealand's only advocate in Cabinet, Mr Sutton's legacy will be one of abuse, discrimination and confrontation. The right to walk down waterways may currently be confined to a 20-metre strip either side of a main stream, but this will still impact on the property rights of those who purchased their land in order to enjoy the privacy that the right of purchase and personal investment brings.

"The Labour Government is thoroughly unprincipled over this pending property right abuse," Mr Eckhoff said.

ENDS


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