A quote from today's DomPost;
"We would be most disappointed if politicians were to encroach upon private property rights."
Sounds exactly like the sort of thing an ACT member would say. Or an ACT MP.
It is in fact the Chairman of Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu responding to ACT Leader, Rodney Hide, who has described their plans to levy fishermen on Lake Ellesmere as "appalling" and setting a bad precedent.
This I just cannot get my head around. Ngai Tahu own the lakebed just as Tuwharetoa own the lakebed of Taupo and have long received recompense from permits to fish.
It's user-pays in operation. The proposed fee, 8 percent, will go towards protection and restoration of the lake which Ngai Tahu currently pays $170,000 towards.
I am not even going to link to the many instances of ACT MPs, past and present, staunchly defending private property rights. It appears that the way Ngai Tahu has gone about imposing the fee has left a lot to be desired and I can understand the anger of long-time commercial fishers. Also there seems to be an ethical problem in that Ngai Tahu apparently assured users at the time of settlement they would not be 'impacted'. If these are the aspects Rodney is objecting to he has a point.
But again we come back to the heart of the matter. The principle. Are property rights only for some? High country farmers for instance?
Samizdata quote of the day
18 minutes ago