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National’s flawed RMA ripoff still failing

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, March 15th, 2017 - 13 comments
Categories: housing, im/migration, local government, maori party, marama fox, national, nick smith, same old national - Tags: , , ,

Politik reports this morning that the “Maori Party threatens Government

Last minute negotiations between the Maori Party and the Government are continuing as Environment Minister Nick Smith bids for the party’s support for his landmark Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.

Maori Party Co-Leader, Marama Fox, told POLITIK last night that unless the party gets Smith’s agreement to change a clause in the Bill relating to GE-free regions, the party will withdraw its support for the Bill altogether.

Basically it sounds like Nick Smith is doing his characteristic shuffle to try to weasel out of previous commitments. The fool is incompetent and a disgrace as a minister. Mind you, the Maori party appear to wish to look like suckers.

It has been negotiating with the Maori Party for nearly two years now, and it was thought an agreement had been reached.

But the Maori Party were surprised by the final draft of the Bill and are arguing that it does not meet their demands to remove the power of the Minister to over rule local authorities who declare themselves GE free.

“There are some things that we would still like to negotiate with the Minister, because the drafting does not completely match the anticipated decisions that we came to and the agreements that we came to around policy,” Fox told Parliament yesterday afternoon.

“So in good faith today we are going to vote for this, on the guarantee that we continue to have those conversations to put forward the policies of not just the Māori Party but yes, regions such as the Hawke’s Bay, regions such as Te Tai Tokerau, and regions within Te Wai Pounamu, which are advocating for a GE-free stance.”

Ah good faith bargaining with National’s Nick Smith. What a concept!

Over the last eight years, the central government has proven itself to quite incompetent at balancing between the demands for a clean NZ and the dirty demands of the farming and immigration industries. And Nick Smith tends to be in the centre of the worst excesses of incompetence. The most extreme instances were

Nick Smith is usually knee-deep in dubious duplicity with every portfolio he is involved in and to every group he ‘works’ with. I am surprised that the Maori Party fell for it. However they apparently got what they thought were significiant concessions for the Iwi.

They probably need to look at those more closely again.

13 comments on “National’s flawed RMA ripoff still failing”

  1. Ad 1

    I have been tracking that RMA-Maori Party negotiation for a bit now. Parliament is so finely balanced that we could still see clauses of this Bill killed at its second reading. Such a relatively minor policy point to develop a spine on, makes me think the Maori Party have got some unusual intellectual heft working in the background on it.

    The broader debate for the next government is Ministerial powers to call in District Plan proposals that it doesn’t like and overturn them. I agree with the right of a region to determine whether a plan should be GE-free in the field. But I can see Smith’s point, if you apply the same principle to fresh water quality and riparian rights.

    Local government is now facing the worst of all worlds, being tasked with enforcing water quality standards that are unlovable – so they will be very unevenly enforced if at all. There is a place for the Minister to step in and alter dumb and unworkable district plans. And also take away the enforcement powers if they don’t do the job of regulator, and simply hand them over to a national water regulator and enforcer.

    So those call-in powers might come in useful.

  2. Nick 2

    Ultimately, for the generalized settings of the country, up to and including, maybe, GE-free status (although this is usually likely to be symbolic only, given the nature of genetic propagation) we have elections. The RMA can establish a few guidelines, but those guidelines should be subject to political influence. That, again, is why we have elections.

    If we want settings that support continuity and environmental health, we must select representatives who support those goals. But if we want those goals to be permanent features of the New Zealand environment, it isn’t an election win alone that will achieve it. It can only be approached through consensus-building. And that inevitably, and somewhat dauntingly, requires a very different strategy.

  3. I really hope the negotiations break down on this. It seems like a monster of a bill that any self-interested Māori political party (or just anyone with a smidge of common sense, really) shouldn’t want passed, but I’ve given up being surprised at how far the MP will go to preserve its “relationship” with National.

    • weka 3.1

      If they vote against National on this what would be the impact on the relationship?

      • I think it wouldn’t be good, but then again, I don’t view their relationship with National as particularly healthy in the first place. What it mostly gets them is “ignored” as opposed to having the National Party act like Don Brash is in charge again, and what it requires them to do is ridiculous things like defending the new ETS settings or gutting the RMA.

        Honestly, in this context, I could care less about their relationship. The main thing I want is for the Māori Party to blow up this bill before we have a National Minister vetoing every RMA safeguard whenever it’s inconvenient for a developer.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I was thinking more along the lines of whether it would break down the relationship and make the Mp more likely to consider Labour next time round.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.1.1

            I think the MP know that it’s in their best interest to favour Labour if they get the choice anyway, but they’re being “diplomatic” to National to preserve that option into the future for some strange reason.

  4. saveNZ 4

    National trying to screw up the environment before they get booted out, (hopefully by a landslide).

    Hopefully the Maori Party awake from their stupor and say Fuck off. (And what better person to say it too, than Nick Smith the environmental antichrist.).

    By the way, they are still stealing our water for export, Judith leads the way.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/14/why-are-we-allowing-china-to-take-our-water-and-where-have-i-heard-oravida-from-again/

  5. ropata 5

    Not forgetting Nick Smith’s threats and bullying of the Fish and Game council. He should have resigned years ago. Shameful behaviour, others have been kicked out of Parliament for less (Aaron Gilmore)
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/archive/fish-and-game-call-for-nick-smith-to-resign-6039275

  6. michelle 6

    haere ra to the Maori Party

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Totally agree with you, lprent.

    If the Maori Party MPs really believe they can continue to negotiate with Nick Smith, then – as you say – they’ve been had as “suckers”.

    They’ve voted in the second Reading for that Bill to go ahead – and it continues to contain a number of clauses which will eventually allow the Minister Smith to do whatever he wants, wherever he wants – looming disaster for our environment, and for our good trading name overseas where more and more people are wanting GE-free produce.

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