Blair has a good question
Trevor, do you think that there is a place for publicly owned land ie. parks and roads, or do you think it is possible for society to work well with only private ownership of these things?
I have an open mind on these things and would be interested in your perspective.
Ideally Blair, there would be no need for publicly owned land, beyond parliament, courthouses, prisons, military bases and other facilities needed by the very few legitimate organs of government.
Does this mean that Hagley Park, Central Park or Hyde Park would be turned into apartment blocks or car parks? Would your local playground be planted in spuds?
In a free society, virtually all land would be privately owned, by individuals, companies, businesses, charities, churches, trusts or body corporates.
Freed of town planning restrictions and the distortion and huge extra expense this entails, towns would be much easier and cheaper to build. That means more money would be available for adding value.
Mini parks, green belts, wetlands etc would be part and parcel of most successful developments, because it is what people want. Parks would not be confined to certain areas, but would be peppered amongst the urban sprawl.
Large parks would still exist and may be run by trusts, individuals or companies. Admission may be free, or by nominal charge, you may join your local park trust, which gives you free access to allied parks. The possibilities are endless..
As a former hunter and fisherman, I’m concerned about the great outdoors. How could I hunt deer, rabbits, ducks or quail, or catch a trout, salmon or snapper, if all the land and water was in private hands? What if I were poor, or didn’t know any friendly land owners?
I would envisage that outdoor recreation opportunities would be far greater than now.
Fish and game would be valuable commercial assets, not treated as vermin as is sometimes the case now.
Imagine huge game parks run by hunters trusts, leased from backcountry runholders and paid for by charging their members a nominal fee. Swamps specifically designed to promote waterfowl breeding and hunting opportunities, run by private companies, hunters trusts or sports clubs.
Private beaches, with purpose built reefs to attract game fish. Birdwatchers parks leased from farmers or mining companies or run by conservation trusts.
Kiwi and Takahe farms run by entrepreneurs selling breeding stock to the world’s animal parks. No commercially valuable animal has ever become extinct to my knowledge.
I believe that freed from the dead hand of state control, private landowners would improve our environment out of sight. There might be charges for access to some areas, but we pay licence and access fees now, to hunt or tramp on our own Department of Conservation land. Also our taxes would be minimal and our wealth greater. The demand for outdoor recreation would probably expand and entrepreneurs and volunteer groups would be falling over each other to meet it.
Capitalism has brought everyone a huge choice of food at a very low cost. Free up land and entrepeneurs and dedicated volunteers will bring everyone far more and better, outdoor recreation opportunities than most of us currently enjoy.
In a free society, towns would be greener and would expand naturally and organically, driven by demand, rather than choked by ‘planning”. Our rural and marine resources would be far better managed and utilised than they are now.
Imagine a stretch of privately owned beach. It supports a camping ground, an oyster farm, a water skiing area, a snapper reef, a marina, a patrolled swimming beach, a specially constucted surf break and a kelp farm. All designed so that each area enhances the next. Can you imagine DOC doing that?
Socialism degrades our environment as any Russian will tell you. Freedom will allow talented people to shape and improve our landscape in ways we cannot begin to conceive.
Do we need publicly owned land, roads, parks and the like?
The question should be…can we afford to allow such hugely valuable resources to be wasted, degraded and squandered by the state?