Crown Ignores Property Rights Sends Victim To Jail

Published: Mon 3 Nov 2003 08:50 AM
Crown Ignores Property Rights, Sends Victim To Jail
Clearing private land for personal use and enjoyment can now attract a jail term of five months ranking it alongside sentences for serious crimes, ACT Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.
"The jailing of a businessman for using his own land for his own purpose indicates the law has little regard for the rights of the individual, and regards land clearance in the same light as habitual drink driving, possession of a deadly weapon, indecent assault, theft by fraud and sex with minors," Mr Eckhoff said.
"If the Waitakere City Council is so desperate to protect the land Mr Borrett cleared - let the Council buy the land from him or compensate him in other ways. Anything else is theft by the Government or City Council.
"ACT New Zealand doesn't condone the wilful ignoring of a court order, but it is nevertheless difficult to see why turning a property owner into a criminal for exercising their rights of ownership can be justified in any way.
"I can only but wonder if Waitakere City Council environment chair Penny Hulse, who appears to be captured by the eco-fundamentalists, has ever changed her personal environment to suit her needs.
"Perhaps the Council should now encourage children to dob in their parents for the crime of altering the natural environment," Mr Eckhoff said.

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