People are starting to notice that the Nats are taking us into banana republic territory:
Official reports open up NZ to ‘banana republic’ allegations
Several official reports out this week raise questions about the integrity of public life in New Zealand. The latest is the report on the raids in the Ureweras and elsewhere in 2007, which has resulted in embarrassment for a number of people and institutions. …
The other major report ‘out’ this week was that by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, who has officially ‘cleared’ the GCSB of acting unlawfully. The most interesting commentary on this comes from Matthew Hooton who says the report should be thrown in the bin, and that it’s findings are an ‘outrageous piece of spin from a judicial officer’ – see: Labour, Greens right on GCSB report. In contrast, Hooton gives praise to the Independent Police Conduct Authority for it’s Urewera report. …
A theme of suppressed reports is emerging at the moment, which has led the Waikato Times to declare that ‘The Government is fast exposing a distasteful authoritarian streak, by keeping official reports and advice under wraps – hiding them from the country’s elected representatives in Parliament’ – see Reports kept under wraps. On The Standard there is an intelligent discussion of whether we still have the rule of law in New Zealand – see Michael Valley’s The rule of law.
Much of this relates to Andrew Geddis’ recently publicised concerns about the Government’s abrogation of the Constitution, which he’s reprised in a number of newspaper columns – see: We owe it to ourselves to be outraged. Also voicing outrage is the Herald with Disability bill demonstrates contempt for due process, Brian Rudman with Law protecting Government, not disabled, and Gordon Campbell with On the government’s trampling on the rights of family carers.
On Pundit Tim Watkin asks:
More bad process – is this the new National normal?
A week of poor process continues for the government as it side-steps consultation with its decision to approve mining on the Denniston Plateau …
The government’s legislative agenda has been appallingly flippant in the past week or so and I’m delighted Pundit bloggers have taken such a stand. Many of us have been concerned about this government’s approach to process this year. I blogged in February,March and April about the Prime Minister’s focus on outcomes over process and I’ve long opined that the everyman casualness that he built his political career on will one day be his undoing.
That’s not what we’re seeing this week; it will take some poor process in a realm that directly effects middle New Zealand to really wound him. But this week’s urgencies and unwillingness to listen to the people is part of a damaging narrative. New Zealanders don’t like being taken for granted.
Even Nat fan John Armstrong has been uneasy lately:
Naked self-interest rules
Naked self-interest rules, pure and simple.
Well may the Government try to blame a lack of consensus amongst Parliament’s component parties as reason for not implementing the recommendations of the Electoral Commission-conducted review of MMP.
That rationale is just a little too convenient, however. When it comes to consensus, National is the one which refused to budge in its opposition to arguably the commission’s most important and most controversial finding – that the anomalous, outdated one-seat threshold under which minor party list candidates can coat-tail into Parliament on the back of a MP winning an electorate seat should be abolished.
National has refused to budge because retention of the one-seat threshold gives it greater chance of getting enough backing by way of minor party seats sufficient to give it a majority in the next Parliament.
Such a stance is totally indefensible. But it is also completely understandable.
The day our Govt stifled the judiciary
The Government last Friday rode roughshod over New Zealand’s constitution, writes Prof Andrew Geddis.
Given our constitution’s unwritten and often opaque nature, it is easy to take it for granted. That fact makes it all the more important to take notice when one of the fundamental pillars of that constitutional arrangement starts getting chipped away.
The National Government did just that last Friday, in the guise of a law stripping people of their right to go to court to challenge the legality of its actions.
… and so on, an abominable display of arrogance and self-interst that in fact goes all the way back to their first months in office.
John Key, the Nats, and those that spin for them, are turning NZ into a banana republic before our eyes – but none of them care as long as they perceive themselves to be “winning”.