Category: Weekly Column
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People need to take action to defend a community’s democratic right to call a referendum if their local council decides to establish a Maori ward, since Local Government New Zealand is attempting to have this important public power abolished.
On October 23rd last year New Zealand First leader Winston Peters announced that he’d chosen the most radical left wing coalition in this country’s history to become our new Government.
Last month Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, the President of Local Government New Zealand wrote to the coalition Government calling for the removal of the petition rights that allow local residents and ratepayers to demand a poll if their Council unilaterally decides to establish Maori wards.