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Hurunui Water Project shows vulnerability of property rights

Published: Fri 28 Jul 2017 02:02 PM
Hurunui Water Project shows vulnerability of property rights
Property owners such as the North Canterbury farmers affected by the Hurunui Water Project need assurance that their property rights will be respected, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Compulsory acquisition of land is a power that must be used with an enormous sense of responsibility. There needs to be due process and proper and acceptable compensation.
“A private developer shouldn’t be able to use the Government as its bully-boy – that’s an unacceptable breach of property rights.
“You can expect the Green left to bully farmers, but a National Government should know better."
“This case seems to go against promises made during earlier by executives for Hurunui Water,” says ACT Rangitata candidate, Tom Corbett.
According to minutes of a meeting of the Peaks/Upper Waitohi Community Group on
October 16, 2013, two HWP executives ‘repeatedly stated that HWP will not be seeking requiring authority’.
“These farmers are reasonable people. As they say:
‘A requiring authority can be a pretty brutal instrument and it is something that people are scared of. It will be brutal on people who don't understand how it works. . . It is reasonable if it’s used fairly and transparently. Our understanding of the Hurunui Water Project doesn't lead us to believe that they will use it in a good way. . .We live in a community and we know irrigation would be good for people, but we want to make sure no one is disadvantaged and it is good for everyone.’
“A stronger ACT will ensure National respects the rights of farmers and property owners.”
ENDS

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