26 November 2003
Don't Walk Over Property Rights
Proposals to increase walking access to private property are coercive, unprincipled and amount to an erosion of private
property rights, New Zealand Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr said today.
Mr Kerr made his comments as the Business Roundtable released its submission on the Land Access Ministerial Reference
Group's report, Walking Access in New Zealand .
"The proposals entail a substantial erosion of secure private property rights which is detrimental to prosperity. The
right of exclusion is central to the concept of private property. There are compelling grounds for the government to
compensate individuals and firms if private property rights are appropriated. This requirement would force the
government to weight up the costs and benefits of its proposals.
"Land-based industries such as farming, forestry and tourism will be directly affected by weakened property rights. The
plan would coerce private property owners to provide access to their land.
"The public can access vast areas of the country without encroaching on private property rights, and recreationalists
are commonly granted permission to enter on private land provided they act responsibly.
"Private property rights should be strengthened in the interests of promoting prosperity and social cohesion - these
proposals would do the opposite," Mr Kerr said.
The New Zealand Business Roundtable's submission is available online at http://www.nzbr.org.nz/documents/submissions/submissions-2003/walking_ac cess.pdf