For as long as this government stays in power and the courts continue to be populated with activist judges “not particularly learned in the detail of the law” New Zealand stands at a dangerous fork in the road.
Will the Prime Minister continue her authoritarian divide and rule, or will she realise that in a democracy true leadership involves protecting rights, not trampling them into the ground.
Ardern did think she was teaching the rest of the world how to cope with a pandemic. She has been brought down to Earth with a very loud bump.
Since the election, one out of every seven people who voted for Labour have shifted their support to another party. All it takes is another one out of every seven to do the same and its game over for Labour and He Puapua.
Councils now own drinking water, wastewater and stormwater assets, directly or indirectly. That will change. Only iwi/Māori will have ownership rights. Directly in some respects, indirectly in others. Local authorities will have none.
Let’s make no mistake about the situation we face. Under the cover of the Covid crisis, the government is pushing ahead with reforms that will fundamentally change our society from an open democracy based on the equality of all, to a tribal apartheid system that allocates resources and grants rights according to a person's heritage and the colour of their skin.
As it stands the Three Waters proposal is irrational from every perspective, but one. The only rational reason for this deeply flawed upheaval is to use it as a smokescreen to pass ownership and control of water to Maori tribal interests. The Government has no mandate for that course of action – it is completely unacceptable.