Auckland City’s draft Unitary Plan (UP) juggernaut has been forced to swerve this month. Maximum permitted height limitations proposed for buildings in Panmure, Onehunga and Pakuranga were lowered after concerted agitation by local residents. Much more needs to be done yet, not least because the UP has widespread ramifications for New Zealand’s economic performance.
The deadline for feedback on the draft Auckland Unitary Plan closed on Friday, 31 May. Assuming Aucklanders can navigate their way around the council’s Unitary Plan website and delve into its labyrinthine text and maps successfully, they will discover many hidden marvels such as the raft of policies that racially privilege Maori over all other Auckland residents.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Maori water rights issue that is fouling the National minority government’s mixed ownership model (MOM) partial selloff of state-owned hydroelectric power generators worse than didymo, think again. More serious problems are quietly emerging, despite the apparent truce that has descended since the hooey hui the government jacked up to pretend it was consulting Maori over MOM-related sweetheart deals.
“Just say no,” was a famous catch phrase sponsored by former US presidential first lady Nancy Reagan to persuade American children not to engage in violence, premarital sex, and illicit drug abuse. We could well revive that campaign here in New Zealand, but applied to the government’s response to Maori tribal demands for water rights and ownership in the lead up to partial privatisation of mining and energy state-owned enterprises.
The great Maori language rort is one of a series of frauds being perpetrated on New Zealanders by part-Maori looters of taxpayer funds and Crown assets (or in the case of the foreshore and seabed, ex-Crown assets).
In the cop spoof comedy “Sledgehammer”, the policeman hero Mike Hammer used to pull out a huge silver gun in the presence of frightened women and children and say, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” The National-led government is in the same position with attempting to force the Marine and Coastal (Takutai Moana) Bill through Parliament as soon as it can get away with it.
The National-led government’s attempts to sanitize its controversial “remedy” to the Foreshore and Seabed Act (2004) grow ever more curious and contradictory by the day. It is quite clear that the government and Maori interests already do not see eye-to-eye over what the proposed replacement legislation will mean in practice, and that the government cannot hold a consistent line when explaining to the wider public what will happen when Maori tribes lay claims to title over the foreshore and seabed.