The Ihumatao issue has not yet been resolved, but one of the biggest concerns over this particular matter is the thorny issue of private property rights. The fact that a bunch of thugs can occupy a piece of privately owned land and make demands that the land be gifted back to the aforementioned thugs (and the government seems to agree) sends a shiver down the spines of those of us who value property rights. That case is bad enough, but now there is another one and this one, if anything, is actually worse.

An elderly West Coast man has appealed to the Government not to take his land after more than 70 per cent of it was classed as a significant natural area (SNA).

Under the new biodiversity rules, he and subsequent owners would need resource consent with Department of Conservation (DOC) approval to fell trees, run stock, convert to dairy and possibly to pick moss.

Please remember that this land is his own land. It is NOT DoC land.

In his submission on the Government’s draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPSIB), Tony Barrett said the SNA designation effectively took most of his farm away from him.

“As an elderly New Zealander that has worked hard all my life, paid my taxes diligently and in general tried to contribute positively to society, I am saddened whilst in the sunset stage of my life to have to deal with this blatant attack on my property rights.

Don’t be silly, Mr Barrett. It doesn’t matter how much you have contributed to your country. You are pale, male and stale. If you were a coffee-coloured, one-legged unmarried mother on welfare, your submission just might stand a chance. As it is, there is no hope whatsoever.

Barret said because of the land-use restrictions to be placed on SNAs he was faced with the strong likelihood that his land would be virtually worthless.

“Who is going to pay market value on land when only 30 per cent is available to be productively used? Any coast estate agents will confirm that rural land with stands of trees, and creeks on it command lower buyer interest because of the realities of the [Resource Management Act] and now this National Policy Statement. “

Absolutely correct. His land has been rendered virtually worthless, thanks to the Department of Conservation.

While he had no interest in selling his land, Barrett asked if the Government’s actions were morally defensible.

“This is our family farm and as such it holds particular value and meaning to me. I object to being told by faceless people that I am not allowed to manage my farm responsibly as I and those before me have done.”

Stuff.

It doesn’t matter if he wants to sell it or not. Eventually, someone will want to sell it, and its value is significantly reduced. It is also worth mentioning that, as this is on the West Coast of the South Island, an area that is depressed economically so it is just another blow to the prospects for the region.

The BFD.

Earlier today, we were discussing whether or not this is an act of fascism or communism by our government. I picked communism because in communist countries, the state owns all the land. The other view was that fascists don’t necessarily confiscate land, but they tell the owners what they can do with it. I will leave you to decide whether our government is fascist or communist, but I lean towards communism. After all, our Dear Leader is a former President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. That is all you need to know.

The BFD.

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