Young John Hartevelt has obviously decided it’s a good idea to cozy up to our new dictator. How else to explain the fawning piece in today’s Sunday Star-Times?
Brownlee has learnt from the post-September response, where there was a rush to set up powers but then a failure to use them practically
So far, so good. Brownlee got dictatorial powers under CERRA but failed to do anything, even what he could have done with ordinary powers, for the people of Christchurch. But isn’t the lesson from this that extraordinary powers are unnecessary? Apparently, no.
He has been keen to get things moving, but he has also tried to be a bit more inclusive. He did not, for instance, have to set up a select committee process to quickly scrutinise his latest post-quake laws, but he did.
A select committee, be still my beating heart! Oh what a treat, what a rare privilege, that King Brownlee deigned to bestow on us – a half day select committee that didn’t take submissions from the public. Maybe Hartevelt is too young to remember, but before National came to power nearly everything went to select committee
And he didn’t have to pay any attention to the suggestions from the committee, but he did. The trouble was that agreeing to those things turned the whole legislative process into a living hell for Brownlee. Towards the end, he admitted regret because of the trouble it had caused.
Yes, if there’s one thing Brownlee doesn’t like, it’s work. The poor fellow. He had to sit there as Parliament voted him even more powers to top the ones he already has. It must have been quite a strain. He must have regretted that he simply didn’t use his powers under CERRA to transform some obsolete Act into CERA and bypass the whole tedium of Parliament.
The risk is that his blood pressure has been permanently elevated by this latest legislative experience so much that he turns his back on more inclusive gestures in future.
Such a difficult legislative process – ignoring all nearly all the valid criticisms and laughing as the simpering opposition whines that Brownlee cannot be trusted with so much power and then votes for it. If keeping the CERA legislation under wraps until the last moment and then slamming it through Parliament in just over 48 hours is inclusive, what is high-handed in Hartevelt’s book?
The other wild card is Christchurch East’s Lianne Dalziel. She has infuriated Brownlee’s office by, on the one hand, complaining the government is neglecting the eastern suburbs, but on the other repeatedly slamming proposals for government assistance.
What a shocker! How dare an MP both complain that help isn’t coming and criticise the nature of the proposals. The eastern suburbs should be bloody grateful for whatever Brownlee eventually decides to send their way. Hartevelt obviously knows logic better than Dalziel: ‘The eastern suburbs help. This is something purporting to be help. Therefore it is adequate and optimal help and anyone who complains is a commie bitch who is just making trouble for the hell of it’
At least Hartevelt pulls his head out of Brownlee’s arse long enough to get one paragraph right:
The earthquake response structure Brownlee erected last week puts him at the heart of every driven nail, every sealed tile, and every laid pipe in Christchurch. If it goes down, he goes down with it.
Given that National’s rebuilding plan so far is to build 300 temporary houses in a couple of months time when there a thousands of homes that are unliveable, it’s pretty clear that Brownlee is steering Christchurch toward disaster. His only real hope is that the media chooses to suck up to him like Hartevelt, rather than report the facts on the ground.