OUTDOOR ACCESS FOR KIWIS MUST COME FIRST
A river and trout fishing advocacy has welcomed news that the new Labour-led Government will tighten rules around farm purchases by foreign buyers. Graham Carter President of the Federation of Freshwater Anglers said many New Zealanders would be delighted at the Labour-led government’s decision.
“Tightening the rules around is well overdue and very welcome,” he said.
The announcement live by Environment Minister David Parker along with Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage was that the new government had pledged to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act.
"The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has fallen short in many of its obligations over recent year and in particular has affected those Kiwi recreational users wanting access to areas some of which have been closed off by the new foreign owners wanting exclusive capture of the public's recreational resources of these areas,” said Graham Carter.
The national government had many opportunities to act and failed to do so which created considerable frustration among the outdoor recreation sector who were saddened at the privatisation of many of New Zealand's wild places.
In recent years oversea buyers have been to the forefront in restricting public access to the freshwater areas that have been cooperatively used by a wide range of recreational users for over 150 years. The 'reigning in' of these foreign buyers is vital for the preservation of the outdoors culture which is a part of the Kiwi Psyche."
"This exclusive capture of our recreational access and resources shows how the National government has bullied its way into a ‘scratch the back’ of those wealthy overseas hunters and fishers that supported National’s way of doing business."
It was very important that the new Minister ensured that the rights of kiwi hunters and fishers came first and foremost and that the OIO in future must properly implement the law governing sales of sensitive land to foreign buyers.
"Locking kiwi’s out of their own backyard is deplorable,” said Graham Carter.
Graham Carter President NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers Inc 021 02600437