Sunday, May 14, 2006

'Recognise rights in river' says PC

Sometimes recycling works. Here's an example in the form of a press release. The Government are about to close a deal to return the Waikato River to Tainui. The Whig The Tory has a good discussion and a link to the 1999 Maori Law Review article discussing an earlier proposal to return the Whanganui River from the perspective of common law property rights. Sample:
English common law presumed that non-tidal waterways were held by the owners of adjoining land to the centre line, with no general public right of use or access... While the popular view was that rivers are ‘public property’, there is no legal basis for that view, apart from places where the Crown retained ownership of adjoining lands eg., in national parks etc.
Quite right, as I said in a press release at the time on behalf of the Libz:

‘Give Tribe Full Ownership of River’ says Libertarianz

Libertarianz supports full ownership of the Whanganui River being transferred to the Atihaunui A Paparangi tribe - not the so-called ‘partnership’ of state and tribe the Waitangi tribunal recommends, but the full and final creation of ownership rights in this river, and in every other river, lake, forest, mountain and waterway in New Zealand.

“The main issue to me is not to whom property rights in the river are transferred to,” says Libertarianz Environment Deregulation Spokesman Peter Cresswell, “the important thing is that transferrable property rights in the river be created.”

Property rights protect the interests of the property owners – as people who have had their land confiscated should understand – and protects the environment in the process. The environment needs to be de-politicised as crucially as does the economy. Creating property rights in rivers – and getting the state out of them - would be a crucial first step.
The important words were and still are "transferable," and "property rights" -- as long as rights in the river are made both secure and transferrable -- and as long as no other existing property rights are violated -- then those rights will end up in the hands of those who value them the most, as they should be, and out of the hands of Government, where they shouldn't.

Sadly, that doesn't quite appear to be what's proposed here.

LINKS: Government set to return Waikato to Tainui - NZ Herald
Rodney Hide missteps - The Tory

TAGS: Property_Rights, Maoritanga, Libz, Politics-NZ, Environment

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Tim Sturm said...

Yes, the political principle should be that the Courts should be instructed/left to establish property rights in a politics-free environment.

But you shouldn't simply bypass due process. The decision about who to allocate property rights to - while not the main *political* issue - is still a significant one and must be seen to be have been addressed properly.

5/14/2006 08:49:00 pm  

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