Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Private property bill dead

The Justice and Electoral select committee has finally reported back [PDF] on Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill and recommended that it not proceed. The bill would have inserted two clauses into the BORA - one affirming a right to own property, and the other that no-one was to be deprived of the "use or enjoyment" of their property without just compensation. While being supportive of the idea behind the bill, the committee thought that it was vague, would have a profound impact on existing legislation, and impose unknown costs on central and local government. Which was of course the point - Copeland's initial press release made it pretty clear that this was aimed at gutting the RMA by intimidating local bodies with the cost of litigation and uncertain damages. And it's telling that even the National Party - who aren't exactly fond of the RMA - thought this was a bad idea.

So, so much for Copeland's attempt to establish Libertarianism by stealth. I wonder what he'll do next?