Property RightsThursday, Feb 20, 2003
Aspects of the Government’s review of land access rights featured again in Parliament today. Questions were asked on guarantees that farmers will not be disadvantaged by Government imposed regulations - In this instance the application of occupational safety and health rules under new legislated access rights..
While the Minister acknowledged that the committee may not recommend increased access to private land in its final report. It does show that any legislation on access rights will have a ripple effect on how land owners are able to manage their properties
Property rights have been an important component of the development of New Zealand and settlers in the 1800’s had a clear understanding of absolute rights, independence of action and security of tenure that absolute ownership gave family farmers.
The continued chipping away at rural property rights in the guise of claimed benefits to the “greater good” of society should concern all members of rural communities.
There is clear an urban bias in the elected members of recent NZ Parliaments.
Some of the legislation can be seen as based on a form of petulant envy of the right to access to an environment that the urbanites abandoned in there haste to embrace a better and more comfortable urban lifestyle.
The urbanites selective intrusion on rural NZ is taking on some aspects of European approach to subsidising farmers – it enables the countryside to be kept in a pretty condition for an occasional visit – except in NZ’s instance the urbanites don’t want to pay to access the theme park!
New Zealand’s system of land tenure and property rights is a major contributor to its successful agriculture. Changes at the expense of that success will be a disaster for both county and city folk.