The Landowners Coalition is a non-profit incorporated society dedicated to the protection of property rights. We advocate on behalf of the public on matters of public interest, and on behalf of individuals when the property rights are related to private property. We are funded entirely by supporter donations. No funding is received from business interests, political parties, or government agencies. The group was established in 2013 and formalised as an incorporated society in 2014.
Golden Bay farmers ‘overwhelmed’ by raft of reforms
This is typical of the effect SNAs are having on rural communities nationwide. It requires a united response.
The Act Party has said it would remove the requirement for councils to identify Significant Natural Areas through the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity, It would instead offer financial incentives for landowners to improve the green environment.
This is a position the Landowners Coalition has argued since its inception. We believe imposing heavy-handed regulation onto landowners is counterproductive and will provide less long-term benefit for the green environment than a regime based on positive incentives.
From what our supporters are telling us, we know anecdotally that some landowners are making a decision NOT to return pasture to native bush because they fear the councils would designate that area to be of “significance” and take away their rights to manage that land as the landowner wishes.
Notice to Supporters
Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising campaign to refer the Hgh Court decision in the Edwards case to the Court of Appeal.
A notice of appeal has been filed. A number of Applicants to the High Court case have also appealed, essentially arguing that the High Court should have been granted customary title to certain groups. The Attorney General has joined the appeal as an “intervenor”.
Our fundraising appeal is continuing, and your support would be greatly appreciated. Unlike other parties to the appeal, the Landowners Coalition Inc does not receive any financial assistance from the government to pursue this matter of public interest.
Donations may be made to our bank account: ASB Bank 12-3099-0067259-00
“The previous National Government’s decision to include references to tikanga in the Marine and Coastal Area Act has come home to roost because it has resulted in a complete distortion of the common law.”, says Act NZ.
To read the full press release see: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2106/S00040/is-tikanga-now-the-law.htm
Does this mean we now have Kupe’s law (tikunga) and Cook’s law (common law)?
NOTE: The Attorney General will join the appeal to the Court of Appeal as what’s known as an “intervenor”. See http://www.landownerscoalition.co.nz/2021/06/05/191/
Crown decides against appealing latest foreshore and seabed decision
4 Jun, 2021 04:31 PM
“The Crown has decided not to lodge an appeal in the first major foreshore and seabed decision under the current law which awarded customary title in three parts of Eastern Bay of Plenty to six hapu of Whakatohea. Instead, the Crown has applied to be an “intervenor” in the case.” See full article… https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/crown-decides-against-appealing-latest-foreshore-and-seabed-decision/SV3JXYO6ZPU42MAXOFQCFGOVFI/
Although the Herald has stated the Crown has not appealed the case, the office of the Attorney General will play an important role in the Appeal as an “intervenor”. The Law Commission describes that role as: “The role of an intervener is closely related to that of an amicus curiae. Interveners are also not parties to the case but they can be permitted to participate in the proceedings if it is in the public interest or, less commonly, for their own private interest”.
An Amicus curiae, (Latin for “friend of the court”) is one who assists the court by furnishing information or advice regarding questions of law or fact.
That is an important role in this case as there are key questions of law that arise from the judgment that directly affects the public. The case has particular importance as it is the first of hundreds of claims for title to the foreshore and seabed and acts as a precedent.
Some are describing it as a land grab. Others are saying it’s confiscation by stealth. However it is described, almost half of the land area of the Far North District Council will be affected if the proposed designation of significant natural areas (SNAs) goes ahead.
This is not the first time the council has proposed SNAs. The Landowners Coalition has been down this path a number of times and represented landowners interests. We will do so again. We have expressed an interest in the issue with the FNDC and will make a submission during the formal stages of the process.
Here’s the reality for landowners. The submission and appeal process is such that it is beyond the means of most people – time and time again those with a genuine grievance being burnt off by the process. That’s where the Landownes Coalition Inc can assist. We have a solid support base to assist in meeting the legal costs and we have in house experience in planning matters.
Maori say it should not apply to Maori land – because it will affect the productive use of the land and, of course, because of the obligations councils have under the Treaty of Waitangi and the partnership that they say was created at the time. These groups are well funded, and in some cases receive central government funding that is not available to others.
Please contact us should you like assistance through the submission process and possible representation should the plan change ends up before the Environment Court, as is likely.
Notice to supporters
As you will be aware Justice Churchman has delivered his decision in the Edwards case, the first of 202 cases before the High Court seeling customary title to the foreshore and seabed. As you also know, the Landowners Coalition is what’s referred to as an Interested Party in all 202 claims. We have done so on behalf of the public interest and our supporters who do not have the means or ability to undertake these initiatives themselves.
The Churchman decision has granted customary title to a number of applicants for areas that are generally just south of Whakatane. While we believe there are cases where there are valid claims for a customary title, the advice we have is that those areas are likely to be relatively small. At the time the legislation was passed into law the then Attorney General indicated it would be around 4% of the coastline.
The judgment in the Edwards case takes a much more liberal view of the law, and we believe it has not been applied in a manner that was intended by Parliament.
A large number of supporters have raised the prospect of an appeal, and thank you for your moral and financial support to do so. An appeal is currently being considered.
POST NOTE: An appeal has been lodged by the Landowners Coalition.
This ANZAC day our nation pays our respects to the millions of young lives lost in the two World Wars, sacrificed in defence of democracy, our way of life and freedom from tyranny.
Our Northland Councils and Labour Government have completely undermined that sacrifice in cancelling the right of citizens to have their say about race based on our Councils.
Over 15,000 signatures were collected in Northland to have a referendum (well over the number required), which demonstrate the opposition to communities being divided by race. However, the Labour government ran roughshod over those rights and our local councils have ignored the +15,000 people who signed the petitions.
This is not democracy, this is a dictatorship, a “we know best” philosophy of Russia or China where the will of a few is imposed on the majority.
Our Anzac’s fought for democracy – not oppression, or tyranny.
When our representatives attend dawn parades to pay respect to those who have paid the ultimate price so we can live in a democracy, let’s hope our leaders use the moment of silence and solitude to reflect on what democracy means.
The Landowners Coalition has filed an appeal with the Environment Court.
The Whangarei District Council is progressing ten plan changes to the District Plan, which will affect every landowner outside of the urban areas. The plan changes divide the rural (countryside) area into seven “Environments” with “Resource area” overlays, each with their own rules that dictate the full gambit of activity in the rural area: the size, location, and colour of buildings; subdivision lot sizes, vegetation removal, earthworks, forestry, everything.
A panel of three independent commissioners heard submissions to the plan changes and recently released their report. As is typical, they did not make any changes of great substance. In general, they accepted the recommendations of council staff and tinkered with wording.
What remains is a significant erosion of private property rights by transferring discretion about what one does on one’s own property from the property owner to council staff, who presume to represent the values of the community at large. This will significantly increase costs and uncertainty to those who wish to do something on their land.
Besides the underlying assumption that landowners can’t be trusted, the plan changes attempt to solve “problems” that are more imaginary than real. This is contrary to the great things landowners have been doing, and continue to do, to improve the environment. Literally millions of native trees have been planted in our region in recent years by private landowners and the positive effects are plain to see. Instead of recognising those good deeds, planners, aided by indifferent and pro-regulation councillors, want to have greater say about what you can and (more importantly) can’t do on your own private property.
However, we now have a situation where the three ‘wise’ men presiding over the future rules of our district have agreed with Council planners that not only do they know what the community wants, but that what the community thinks a landowner should do on their property is more important than what landowners think.
Our Appeal to the Environment Court is wide-ranging.
There is now a window of opportunity (some 15 working days) for submitters to join our appeal in support of any part of that appeal. That would give a submitter the opportunity to participate in mediation, without cost.
Contact us (Frank 021 718 478 or 09 4343 836) if you would like guidance on joining our action as a S274 party.
Mediation is likely to be a lengthy process, but significant changes – for better or worse – will be made during mediation.
POST NOTE: The Landowners Coalition took part in mediation that lasted some 3 weeks. As a result of our engagement council planning staff made changes to the District Plan that brought some common sense to certain issues. However, we believe the plan change is largely anti-landowner and largely represents the will of council staff to transfer property rights to them. We remain of the view that the WDC’s planning rules are largely self-serving to the detriment of private property owners.
We were horrified at the degree of “horse-trading” that went on between council staff and some parties to mediation that was done on the pretence of public interest when in reality was nothing more than self-interest.