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Hartevelt hearts Brownlee

Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, April 17th, 2011 - 21 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, Media - Tags: ,

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.

21 comments on “Hartevelt hearts Brownlee”

  1. Just watched ‘The Shock Doctrine’ last night it is the sort of movie I watch with my face half turned away from the TV. It had me thinking ‘What have they got planed’, we are surly heading for some savage shocks, Chili was a democratic country for 41 years.

    In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.  http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

    captcha useless ……. ya kind of feel that way after watching TSD

    • They can do it because we let them. Don’t run scared from their ‘plans’, know your enemy and plan to defeat them. You read the book, watched the film, now work out your moves.

  2. I read that article. I don’t think he could have squeezed in any more “leftists” or “radicals” when talking about the Greens. He made full use of every opportunity, including at least one “leftist, soft-radical”….combining both dog whistling terms into one. 

    I’ll have to ask him what he means when he uses these terms. He uses them a lot, but never, ever defines them.

    But we’re supposed to get the idea it’s bad, whatever it is.

    Classic MSM loaded language. You’d think you were reading TIME magazine, fer chrissake.

  3. Dave: The problem is the Sheeple don’t have a clue…and don’t want one. The Shock Doctrinaires rely on that.

    From the Sheeple’s point of view, being responsible is scary. If one doesn’t know anything, nothing that happens can possibly be one’s fault.

  4. South Paw 4

    “risk is that his blood pressure has been permanently elevated”

    That’s a laugh, looking at the Bully Boy’s ummm ‘full figure’ I think his blood pressure has been at the outer limits for a long time already.

  5. Sookie 5

    This is the same douche whose new column on Stuff was the subject of much derision this week. When munters on Stuff are calling you a biased stooge for the Nats, then you must really be bad.

  6. There was an interesting couple of sentences towards the end which I think says a lot about the confusion over Christchurch and its problems.

    “She [Dalziel] admits she has not even seen the state of Christchurch’s CBD yet she professes wisdom about how the recovery should be ordered. Brownlee, we know, will not shrink from such apparent non sequiturs (he won’t call them non sequiturs).”

    First, I fail to see how not having seen the CBD yet believing she understands how “the recovery should be ordered” is a non sequitur. Unless Harevelt means that Brownlee would be committing a non sequitur by arguing, in effect, that Dalziel hasn’t seen the CBD therefore she cannot know how the recovery should be ordered. That’s the non sequitur in this situation – i.e., it does not follow that since Dalziel hasn’t seen the CBD she can’t know how the recovery should be ordered. [As an aside, Dalziel presumably hasn’t been able to see the CBD because she is only a Christchurch MP as opposed to, for example, a young singer, a young royal, an Israeli ambassador, Dave Henderson (who had a free 24/7 pass to everywhere in the CBD for some odd reason), Kevin Rudd …]

    Second, the Christchurch City Council is required to come up with a plan for the CBD and present it to CERA within a certain timeframe (about nine months?). Planning for everywhere else – including Dalziel’s electorate in the east – will be done by CERA. How CERA operates will be central to the eastern suburbs. Therefore, how the recovery is ordered (whatever that means) by CERA is what is particularly essential for her electorate.

    On a related note, the CCC presumably gets to have a go at the CBD because of all the capital that is ‘sunk’ there by a few property-owning families – notably those with direct representation on the council. Is this another favour for some ‘rich mates’ – a (relatively) free pass from direct CERA oversight (especially in the event of a change in government)? The CBD, it should be remembered, is largely privately owned by commercial property developers/owners.

    • Swampy 6.1

      “As an aside, Dalziel presumably hasn’t been able to see the CBD because she is only a Christchurch MP as opposed to”… Helen Clark, for example.

      As far Dalziel’s electorate goes – is it more vital than other affected electorates? Were there suburbs affected in other electorates – YES. Of course.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Don’t be ridiculous. Key, Brownlee, Parker and the rest of the sightseers have done nothing but get in the way and use the CBD as photo-ops.
        As for Dalziel’s electorate, you conveniently ignore the fact it is one of the hardest hit with many of the city’s most unlivable/abandoned homes.

  7. Galeandra 7

    Pissed I was so I sent him an email. Reply will be posted if and when.

    Dear John, I consider your Brownlee piece of today’s SST lacked the objectivity I’d expect of an experienced political journalist, and a lot of comments in the blogsphere say likewise. As Fairfax are pulling the pin on NZPA I guess we are going to have to rely a great deal more on the work of you and your colleagues. I hope that we won’t have to be fobbed with puff pieces like yours was today from now on. We can only hope Fairfax put their service to the community ahead of their profit line and give us access to information and viewpoints that will contribute to our national well-being, and not just to their own partisan needs.

    Poor Brownlee. The man\’s been given extraordinary powers (wrongly so, most mature commentators seem to argue) on the back of what is a very serious but not exceptional civil disaster, one that we can expect to be repeated every century or so, and you take at face value the feelings he has of being put upon when his inaction, muddleheadedness and failure to adequately consult are questioned .Pshaw.

     Your comments about Dalziel are absolutely contestable; apparently she ‘professes wisdom about…’ what exactly? The failure to provide emergency toilet/sanitation etc to suburb-wide areas weeks-into-months after the disaster. Those issues are quite unrelated to the massive  inner city rescue/retrieval effort, and as service to the living not the dead would suggest, needed at the least to be conducted in parallel with the other work. Presumably you are satisfied with the ‘proposals for government assistance’  (by you unspecified) which in some way ( by you unspecified) she is ‘slamming’.
    Frankly, your piece was an embarrassment  and suggests either youthful inexperience or a desire to proseletyse on behalf of the government.
    For your information, this is the first such letter I’ve ever written to a practising journalist(columnist). Perhaps your brief is to have ‘opinions’ of your own? If so, declare your position and offer substantial arguments.

    • Swampy 7.1

      Do you understand that portaloos had to be flown in from around the world?

      Do you have any understanding that in order to preserve a fiction that there is a partially working wastewater system across the East, large pumps at strategic locations all around the river banks are busy pumping forty million litres a day of raw sewage straight into those rivers?

      One of the pumps in Bexley has been there since September 2010.

      Perhaps that will give you some idea of the scale of the problem and the massive efforts that have been put into solving it.

      I live on a main road and while I understand and sympathise that people in back streets didn’t get them for quite a while, we didn’t get them any faster than anyone else. And there weren’t actually that many to begin with. About as many as there are the green tanks we’re supposed to empty our chemical toilets into.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Perhaps that will give you some idea of the scale of the problem and the massive efforts that have been put into solving it.

        Get over defending shit performance about shit.

        You are talking about what has FINALLY happened.

        After weeks of delays and huge numbers of people having to put up with horrendous sanitation conditions. Numerous complaints and outcries from people and MP’s before the situation improved.

        Next debacle in progress: winter deaths in Christchurch rising due to how slowly new housing is being built.

        we didn’t get them any faster than anyone else.

        And how exactly would you know that pray tell.

  8. Bob 8

    What part of dry humping JERRYS leg does John think is pleasurable ? 
    Could be the pat on the head plus the tissues ?
    This is what we have come to expect from the MSM

  9. Swampy 9

    The problem is, as someone who lives in the east of Christchurch, that we get sick of hearing about the east-west divide. Whilst it is true it does exist, at times you would almost think the east was set up in advance by the council to be the worst affected in this earthquake. The problem for the Member is that she has a mixed record as a minister in the previous government, and is one of those lefties who are busy claiming that every response of the present government to this crisis has been political.

    The only answer for people who claim that, is that they are really obsessed with their out and out loathing of the Prime Minister and the National Government. The government’s role is to lead the country. It is expected they would take the steps they have in the nation’s interests. Spinning political motives out of _everything_ they do, as Dalziel has done, actually makes it more difficult for her constituents to get their needs met, so it is counterproductive.

    The truth is, for the majority of the City Council and its councillors, of all hues, is that few are willing to overtly support Dalziel’s line, apart from one well-known loose cannon. Most of the councillors have been too busy getting their sleeves rolled up and their hands dirty getting stuff done for their constituents to get involved in the politics.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Whilst it is true it does exist, at times you would almost think the east was set up in advance by the council to be the worst affected in this earthquake.

      That’s what happens when you have a council which lets property developers build shitty developments on shitty land.

  10. Swampy 10

    So Dalziel claims that the government is neglecting the eastern suburbs. She also claims that everything the government does is political. This is conspiracy theory stuff. John Key must have really flown down here in his helicopter to make sure the minions were giving the eastern suburbs a really hard time, instead of going to Bexley to congratulate the substation workers who were working really hard to get the power back on in record time.

    If you were to come down here now you’d realise that the substation (as an example) and the rest of the power supply are really held together by bits of string, as the boss of Orion puts it. He is not a politician and managed to get his points across a darn sight better than Dalziel ever could.

    The problem for Dalziel in attacking the role of the council is that it is just too politically convenient to scapegoat them. Her loathing of the Mayor is a bit too obvious. There are some obvious failings of the council relevant to this situation that Labour could have fixed and did not, so I actually think it is a bit rich for the council to be attacked by the Member, given the strong links between Labour and local government.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      So Dalziel claims that the government is neglecting the eastern suburbs. She also claims that everything the government does is political. This is conspiracy theory stuff.

      Bullshit. Its not a “conspiracy theory” because its blatantly obvious that everything the Key govt does is political.
      From using the earthquake as cover to ram through asset sales, to choosing the RWC as cover for the elections.
      You are being naive – or thinking that we are.

      The problem for Dalziel in attacking the role of the council is that it is just too politically convenient to scapegoat them. Her loathing of the Mayor is a bit too obvious. There are some obvious failings of the council relevant to this situation that Labour could have fixed and did not

      Oh forget these rubbish attack lines, Labour is in OPPOSITION at the moment, if you say there are obvious failings of the council, what exactly do you mean?
      And why has the GOVERNMENT failed to fix them? After all it’s NATIONAL in power at the moment, they (and esp Brownlee) have the power to enact change, not Dalziel.
      You are being disingenuous and political.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    I reckon Dalziel is hitting very close to the mark with her criticisms and ol Swampy is on a panic mission to try and contain the damage with classic rubbish distractions and rotten red herrings.

  12. Jim Nald 12

    Young John Hartevelt is doing such a fantastic job that he will soon have a career beyond the Sunday Star Times and will be set to be parachuted into jobs like the kind given to Old Brad Tattersfield.

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