Property rights for sure [update 3]
What could possibly be wrong with recognising the right of people to claim the property in which they have a right?
What could possibly be wrong with the protection of property in which people can prove that right?
Isn’t that all that a repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act will do?
I think this is a fantastic step forward for property rights. I think it’s a great way by which to privatise the commons. I just think there should be more than one race who has this right protected. As an individual right. You know, like One Law for All?
How ‘bout you?
UPDATE: Chris Trotter is continuing to repeat the big lie that Don Brash is somehow to blame for Labour’s panicked introduction of the Foreshore and Seabed Act. Journos such as Radio Live’s James Coleman, who I just heard taken in by Chris’s self-serving myth-building, should avail themselves of David Farrar’s timeline on the subject. As David points out, Don Brash wasn’t appointed National leader until some 127 days after Labour’s panicked announcement; and the Orewa Speech (which Trotter cites as proximate cause for the panic in an attempt to diminish what was said there) wasn’t delivered for a full 218 days after Clark and Wilson went for the “nuclear option.”
UPDATE 3: It always starts with common law. Readers who’d like to get their heads around this issue would be well advised to get to grips with the concept of common law, and the process by which common law can recognise long established use as a means by which to recognise a property right. Two of those methods, which you can read about in any book of tort law (or, no doubt, in any decent Google search) are acquisition by prescription, and by ‘the doctrine of lost modern grant.’
That’s the simple process which Ngati Apa had initiated in Marlborough, success in which caused the panic in Helen Clark’s private dressing room.
You would also do well to realise that this process of rights acquisition cuts both ways; that is, it’s eminently appropriate for both property owners and property users – which is to say, in this case, it’s an appropriate from by which the rights of both the owners of the foreshore and seabed and those who desire access to it can be registered and protected. If I may quote myself:
Common law. Common law has hundreds of years of demonstrated success in protecting property rights, as well as being practical and cost effective. It's common sense. [And it’s what Maori are asking for here.]
Under common law, the right of access is just one of many 'sticks' in the bundle of rights associated with your land. Groups (or individuals) can only acquire such rights by either purchase, or by long unchallenged use (as per 'prescription,' or the doctrine of 'lost modern grant'). Such groups might for example be tramping clubs, angling organisations, hunting clubs, skiing clubs, botanical societies, canoe clubs etc. Such rights, if they exist, would be specific, clearly defined and circumscribed, and would appear on title deeds as a specific easement in favour of specific groups, which property-owners would know about when property was purchased. Common law is clear, certain, and protects your property rights (the exact opposite of the RMA, for instance.) And best of all, common law is simple, and thus doesn't require hoards of bureaucrats to administer it.
I invite you to explore the concept.