The use of alarmism to justify the introduction of damaging new laws and regulations is a political strategy that sadly, is much more commonly used in New Zealand today than most people realise. The methamphetamine decontamination scandal is a classic case, where over-the-top scare tactics have been used to justify heavy-handed and overly restrictive regulation.
The big methamphetamine clean-up scam that was spectacularly busted last week is a story of a government’s failure to use evidence to create policy. It is also a story of politics. The bust came from the PM's chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, who reported that there's never been a documented case of someone getting sick from third-hand exposure to meth.
After months of procedural work, developments relating to the Marine and Coastal Area Act claims process are coming thick and fast. They include a new Bill in front of Parliament, a series of High Court case management conferences, the notification of priority claims for Crown Engagement, and a Waitangi Tribunal inquiry.
A very surprising Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 10 May. The Bill is surprising in that it was originally brought forward under the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, which was abolished by the 2011 Marine & Coastal Area (MACA) Act of 2011.
Last week the final referendum results for the five councils that had decided to introduce Maori wards against the wishes of their local electors were released. In each case, the public voted against their decision. The message from the results is that most New Zealanders do not want local government defined by race.
Over recent years the people of New Zealand have repeatedly spoken through binding polls held under the auspices of the Local Electoral Act concerning establishment of separate Maori representation in their local governments. As of May 19, five binding polls decisively vetoed Maori wards that elected representatives on their local councils tried to foist upon them.
In the lead up to the last election, Labour’s policy manifesto signalled a dramatic change in direction for the country if they became the Government. The broad signs are already there that the new coalition’s unusual cocktail of radicalism and popularism is the greatest risk that this country has faced in years.
A strong and growing economy is the real story behind the Coalition Government's 2018 Budget. This is very evident from the Time Series of Fiscal and Economic Indicators which projects Gross Domestic Product to grow $17 billion in the year ended 30 June 2018, from $274 billion last year to $291 billion.
The Craggy Range walking track debacle is an excellent example of why iwi tribal groups should have no more power than the rest of society. They are bullies, and the best way to deal with a bully is to stand your ground.
Let me see if I’ve got this straight. The Hawke’s Bay winery Craggy Range spent $300,000 creating a walking track up the eastern side of Te Mata Peak. It owned the land and did everything by the book. It was only after the track had been built that people started objecting.