Richard Boast, ‘Property Rights and Public Law Traditions in New Zealand’

This article is about the public law aspect of New Zealand’s land law system. It seeks to discover the broad characteristics of New Zealand land law from the standpoint of public policy and the country’s distinctive legal history. The article suggests that while components of the New Zealand system have been borrowed from elsewhere, such as the Torrens system (devised in South Australia) or the nationalisation of petroleum in 1937 (based on similar legislation in the United Kingdom), the particular combination of these components that mark the legal framework in place today is unique. This combination also includes some features not found elsewhere, including the concept of Maori freehold land and the creation of a new vesting regime for the foreshore and seabed in 2011. It is also argued that any proposal to reform or remodel New Zealand’s system of property law (including through reforms to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990) should take the existing framework into account.

Boast, Richard, Property Rights and Public Law Traditions in New Zealand (2013). (2013) 11(1) New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law Special Issue: 21st Birthday of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act pp 161-182.

First posted 2015-03-13 06:53:39

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