The day is named after Suzette Kelo, whose house and land was taken by her local council so a developer could build condominiums on it. [STORY HERE. Background here.]
If you think this "eminent domain" abuse is just an American abuse, think again. It's been ACT party policy for years. And as I pointed out earlier this year, both Helen Clark and John Key have now told us they want to force land-owners to build even when they're unwilling to build, or else.
Clark has signalled she intends to strip land-owners of their property if in the view of state goons and council planners their land isn't being used as the goons and the planners would like, and give that land to other developers to use. John Key agrees, just as he announced at last year's National Party conference.If you'd like to help the American Kelo project, then donate and then pass it on to the people you know. And maintain your vigilance here.
We knew that property rights were almost dead in New Zealand; we didn't know we'd be slapped in the face with that fact from both sides so soon. If you want a simple image of why this is wrong, think of Daryl Kerrigan in The Castle.
As is the case with the growing abuse of 'eminent domain' in the U.S., this is a signal for the government to play favourites with large private partners, giving them the power to steal from smaller property owners. Donald Trump used it to have the New Jersey legislature try and throw people out of their houses in Atlantic City, so that he could build a new parking lot for his casino. It was in the 'public interest' he argued. General Motors had Detroit City authorities condemn a whole neighbourhood to make way for a new auto plant. This too was in the 'public interest,' they argued. 70 families in Fort Trumbull, New Connecticut were targetted by the City of New London to make way for a 90 acre private development -- 'public interest' was once again (mis)quoted, and once again private interests used the government's gun to steal what they couldn't have acquired otherwise.