It’s about property rights

Waikato farmer Steve Meier isn’t the best advertisement for landowners in the debate with Transpower over pylons on their land.

Auckland lost power for several hours and if reports are correct, his actions may have been at least in part to blame.

But moving from the details of that farm and that farmer, to the general principle, do farmers have a point in the on-going debate with Transpower?

The Herald editorial doesn’t think so:

It is the luck of the draw that the pylons are on their land and that more will come in the planned $830m network upgrade. Like the homeowners who will be uprooted by the Waterview Connection roading project, the farmers are paying the price of living in the middle of the route to the future; unlike the homeowners, they are not entitled to compensation, which is hardly unfair, since their actual loss is minimal.

But it’s not the actual loss that’s in question. It’s property rights.

If any landowner has to put up with other people, or the state, doing or putting things on their property, it compromises their property rights, regardless of whether it’s a quarter acre section in town or several thousand acres in the country.

4 Responses to It’s about property rights

  1. showmethetaxcut says:

    Property rights are not absolute. Never have been – never will be.

    Property rights are compromised or interfered with for all manner of reasons and public good without compensation (other than similar intervention in other peoples rights for the same reasons or public good).

  2. Robert says:

    Yeh well Hone doesn’t think so. He wants the rights to the beaches back.

    The farmer and his grandfather have done nothing wrong but have been trampled over since the 1940’s by a bully state. Now contrast that with a bit of road around Lake Taupo which is a blot on The State Highway network. Belongs to the Maori and their property rights are sacrosanct as they should be. The road won’t be fixed until agreement is reached with the owners and that is how property rights should be treated. With respect.

  3. gravedodger says:

    Recently Mrs GD was surprised to find a hiker/tourist at our front door who having walked up the 400 meters of our drive which to most, would be considered a private drive, asking where he could continue up over the hills when it was bleedingly obvious that he had arrived at a residence with its garden and the drive terminated at the garage.
    He prevaricated for some minutes that he had the right to continue across our land and was extremely reluctant to accept that in Mrs GD’s opinion he had reached the end and should turn around and retrace his steps to the no exit shingle road we live on.
    Now there are some well signposted walking tracks for the visitors who enjoy our little bit of paradise on a short term basis but this fella was somewhat alarming in his attitude and continued to mouth off until out of earshot. I hasten to add that having farmed two properties with significant river/creek through them and now our retirement land we never denied access to anyone with a genuine reason to enter our land if they were polite enough to ask.
    I have often considered finding the address of people who entered our property without asking, mushrooms, fishing, shooting and picnicing and paid them a return visit with gun/rifle, dogs, hamper etc and occupied their front lawn , left my rubbish, dogs@#t and record their reaction on film.
    I never did and am too feeble to risk it now but it is strange how people’s attitude to property rights changes when they leave their castle in the town and enter the world of the landed gentry.
    Sort of like welfare really, entitlement and rich prick syndrome I s’pose.
    ps I noted that Mr Strange (uhuh) claimed to be a “farmer” in one of the interviews he gave TV but host didn’t follow it up as to scale size or if it had Pylons, also it was sad that Mier was portrayed to me as having “bought the land” when it was clear to me it was 3rd generation and had there been dispute before he inherited. I agree he did rural dwellers no favours but as my old friend Johnie Corbet used to say there are 3 sides to every story ; yours, mine and the truth and it is rare to get the entire picture.

  4. Pharmachick says:

    While the law in NZ, as it currently stands; does not provide absolute rights to land owners … it **does** require absolute liability from them (see ACC regs for farmers).

    IMHO, herein lies the crux for much of the problem … if the NZ Govt. is happy to hold the landowner at fault/risk for any random Noddy that [tres]passes their land, wherefore then do landowners have recourse to reduced value/livliehood/increased liability caused by said Noddy’s (big business plonkers included).

    This is one of the [obvious] problems with a mixed/managed economy… in the “mixing” sometimes individual rights (e.g. landowners rights) get trampled by the businesses (e.g. Transpower) in the name of “combining” socialism with capitalism.


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