Something Being Done About Property Rights – “Bravo, Gordon Copeland”

12 August 2005 10:59:00

Environment/Bill of Rights

“When property rights are under attack both here in New Zealand and around the world, it’s a pleasure for once to support a move in a direction that protects property rights,” says Peter Cresswell this morning as he confirms his party’s submission on Gordon Copeland’s Private Members Bill to add property rights to New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act.

Cresswell, Libertarianz spokesman to deregulate the environment, says that he had previously considered Copeland and his party to be an empty waste of space, but this Members Bill has caused him to at least partially revise his opinion. “Copeland’s private member’s bill proposes that property rights be put into the Bill of Rights where they belong, and where they should have been long ago. As Copeland argues ‘the rights to own private property dated back to the Magna Carta in 1215, and extended through New Zealand’s common law tradition,’ and of course, he’s right, they did, at least until those rights were buried under law such as the Resource Management Act.”

“I’ve long argued that the Resource Management Act is a disaster for the property rights of New Zealanders,” says Cresswell, “and that the only solution is a stake through its heart. The RMA would not have been able to have property rights buried in the manner it did if property rights were included at the heart of our Bill of Rights, particularly if that Bill of Rights were to be given real teeth.”

“Copeland can’t do much about the latter,” says Cresswell, “but he is at least trying on the former and I applaud him for that. Our submission in support of his Bill argues in part that ‘As time passes, it becomes more evident that private property rights are an omission from the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. They are among the most fundamental and most valuable rights. As Leon Trotsky long ago pointed out with glee, where there is no private ownership, individuals can be easily bent to the will of the state. It is high time that individuals were given proper legal protection against the abuses of the state,” concludes Cresswell. “This Private Members Bill is a start.”

Libertarianz complete submission can be found at:

To hear this press release being read by the author, please visit:

Peter Cresswell

Phone: (09) 631 0034, (021) 1209443
Email: [email protected]

Libertarianz: More Freedom – Less Government