Private Property Still Sacrosanct - Eckhoff Thursday, Jul 17, 2003
ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today that he did not condone the actions of any private individual closing access to public areas - however - Mr Koers' repositioning of the gateway to his property, and closing it to the public, would appear to be entirely justified under the circumstances.
"The question of public access through private land has long been one that has been negotiated fairly, and achieved with sensible outcomes that benefit both sides - that has been, and is, the New Zealand way," Mr Eckhoff said.
"Public abuse of the commons is a worldwide problem. It must be recognised that overuse of any public facility - whether it be coastline, or inland walking tracks - can often lead to the destruction of the very values we all seek to protect.
"It should also be understood that the Department of Conservation also refuses to allow open public access to land under its jurisdiction. It would appear that Mr Koers' actions are similar to that of the department.
"I applaud Mr Koers' generosity in the past for allowing access through his private property. I would encourage the South Wairarapa District Council, DOC, and affected interest groups to respect his rights - and to negotiate this matter with goodwill so that a suitable arrangement, that caters to everyone's needs, can be reached," Mr Eckhoff said.