Saturday, August 20, 2005

Searching for property rights

"A major revamp of the popular Quality Planning website was launched [Thursday] by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs. The website www.qualityplanning.org.nz provides a fast, one-stop shop for people who work with the Resource Management Act."

We know this is all true because Marian said so. And she wouldn't lie, would she now. In truth, the website does offer a comprehensive collation of all the legislation in New Zealand affecting property.

So, just for the hell of it, I searched for the phrase "property rights." The results of the search were not, I'm afraid, very encouraging. Not at all. Just 4 hits, none talking about protection of property rights -- to be fair, this is four more references than appear in the Resource Management Act itself, so we mustn't grumble.

So then I searched for a few other terms and phrases: "Impose" had 75 hits; "restrictions" 52; "confiscation" 2; "seizure" 5; "conviction" 5; "imprisonment" 5; "fines" 34; "levy"14; "penalties" 7; "charges" 79; there were 28 hits for "Waitangi," and finally there were exactly 16 hits for "kaitiakitanga," and 216 for the word "enforcement."

Thanks for the website Marian. I think the nature of this country's planning legislation is now very clear -- all too clear. I'm only pleased there were no hits for the word "jackboot." Need I say again that this country's planning law needs a stake through the heart.

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