Landowners Urged To Send Govt The Message Wednesday, Sep 24, 2003
ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today urged landowners to attend a series of Government-organised public meetings to discuss the Land Access Ministerial Reference Group's recent report - or risk losing their property rights by default.
"There is little doubt that the Government sees private land as an impediment to its collectivisation of recreational opportunity," Mr Eckhoff said.
"Labour is promoting the foreshore and seabed as being in the public domain, where political patronage will soon be the only guarantee of access. It is clear the Government wants something similar to apply to rivers and lakes.
"Chaired by John Acland, the Reference Group had absolutely no mandate to recommend the removal of landowners' rights, just to accommodate Labour's agenda. It is quite erroneous of Mr Acland to insist that New Zealanders have a problem in accessing the great outdoors because of the changing attitudes of farmers and landowners.
"Maybe recreationalists with an access problem should take a long hard look at themselves and learn to respect the rights of landowners, whose past generosity is coming back to bite them," Mr Eckhoff said.