Friday 20 February 2009


Mattthew Hooton's company Exceltium has some seriously big clients and one of the smartest teams in PR/Government Relations sector. So it is no surprise that he has published a paper in his company newsletter which examines New Zealands woeful record on extinguising property rights via a raft of decisions made under Labour.

The solution, the authors say is to insert property rights into a Bill of Rights.
Here's an excerpt from Exceltiums client newsletter.

This edition highlights a paper being published today by Professor Lewis Evans and Professor Neil Quigley of the Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation at Victoria University of Wellington, along with NERA Economic Consulting, entitled “Protection of Private Property Rights and Just Compensation: An Economic Analysis of the Most Fundamental Human Right Not Provided in New Zealand”.

The paper compares New Zealand’s record on human rights with the rest of the OECD; finds our record to be among the worst in the developed world; details the economic harm being done to all New Zealanders as a result; and proposes a legislative solution involving an amendment to the Bill of Rights Act to ensure a canary in the mine exists to alert the public if and when future parliaments seek to confiscate property rights without compensation.

Case studies of the harm done by the current lack of protection of property rights are outlined, including:

· the confiscation of the value of crown pastoral leases

· the destruction of Maori land value by Crown pre-emption rights

· the nationalisation of petroleum

· the confiscation of the foreshore and seabed

· the destruction of value of pre-1990 forests under the Emissions Trading Scheme

· the attack on the value of shares in Auckland International Airport Ltd

The paper and newsletter are being published in advance of next week’s Jobs Summit. Simply put, they demonstrate that if the new Government moves to protect property rights, there will be more jobs in our economy than otherwise. We expect the paper to attract significant interest from the new Government, including the Maori Party; the Human Rights Commission; and business groups including Business New Zealand, Federated Farmers and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

The full paper can be found at and it was also previewed on page six of today’s National Business Review.

We think it should provide some gravitas to the Job summit. We had feared that it would be a once over lightly, but with this sort of thinking going into the mix, some inspirational ideas from Maori, a proposal to use some of the dead millions sitting the Maori Trustee, it could well come up with some innovative solutions.

We were also bemused to think that Labour was under the impression that they should be invited - considering the fact that all they have proved is they can turn a good money into no money - its a bit rich..


Sally said...

They should be hanged, drawn and quartered. Until 1790 this was the punishment for men who committed treason, i.e. the violation by a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state.

Women traitors were burned at the stake. The punishment was most often meted out for high treason - acts of betrayal...

Anonymous said...

Hah. If we're talking adding to the bill of rights, the right to food, water, clothing, shelter, energy, transport and communications come far ahead of some amorphous category of "property".

I see Mr Quigley's credentials: Agent Renumeration Strategies;
Product Design Issues in Insurance Markets; Bank Mergers; Competition Policy; Governance and Regulation in Financial Markets-

Given the current economic clime, I think he has an ideology to tape up before he goes playing in unfamiliar waters, like democracy.