Monday, 24 August 2020

Public meeting to address Government’s attacks on property rights

A public meeting in Lower Hutt will address the Government’s attacks on property rights.

“The Government’s Urban Development Act and the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity will totally undermine private property rights in New Zealand,” says ACT’s Environment Spokesperson Simon Court.

“The Urban Development Act allows Kāinga Ora to compulsorily acquire private land for housing developments and other projects. Even government officials told then Housing Minister Phil Twyford:

• ‘There is a risk that giving the UDA [Urban Development Authority, Kāinga Ora] access to compulsory acquisition will increase the frequency with which these powers are used. This could potentially reduce public confidence in property rights.’
• ‘… giving the UDA access to compulsory acquisition could have a detrimental impact on private property rights.’

“There are normally between 40 and 60 compulsory acquisitions in any given year and this legislation could see that number increase.

“On the West Coast, and in other parts of the country, a massive government land grab is going on. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity will require councils to identify Significant Natural Areas on private property and will prevent landowners from being able to develop them.

“No compensation will be provided. It’s theft. 15 percent of West Coast land could be locked up by the council. Not only will it prevent economic development, but it’s dumb from a conservation point of view.

“If you take away property rights there’s no incentive to be a conservationist. Who would be a conservationist on their own land if the reward for doing it well is getting your land confiscated? It’s probably the single dumbest idea this Government has had, actively punishing people if they look after their wetlands.”

“Secure property rights are fundamental to a well-functioning economy. New Zealanders need to have confidence that their property will be secure from arbitrary seizure if they’re to use it productively. Why would people bother developing land if there’s a chance the government could barge in and demand it?”

A public meeting on “Property Rights and the Environment” will be held at the Angus Inn in Lower Hutt on at 6pm on Thursday, 27 August. ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden and ACT’s Environment Spokesperson Simon Court will speak.