Nats bully bulldozer still running

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, February 11th, 2011 - 17 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, foreshore and seabed, national, Parliament - Tags: ,

The Nats regard parliamentary process as an inconvenience to which they must pay lip service, but nothing more. They started as soon as they took office, with repeated abuse of the mechanism of urgency. As early as December 2008 even their fans at The Herald were moved to rebuke them:

Bulldozed rush of legislation makes mockery of democracy

It [National] has adopted a bulldozing approach that is disturbingly at odds with democratic Government. Gerry Brownlee would not even name the bills to be passed under urgency, but only the subject areas that they canvassed. Worse, he refused to give Opposition parties advance copies of any of the bills, until just before they were to be debated in Parliament.

The fact that the matters were being dealt with under urgency already meant that there would be no chance for public submission; there is no room in the action plan for tedious details such as the select committee process, by which interested parties get to express their view about proposed legislation. … It is a state of affairs seriously at odds with the notion of a Parliamentary democracy. …

It is entirely possible that National is in the grip of a first flush of legislative enthusiasm. If so, it will adopt a more measured pace in the new year. If not, there is cause for concern. The Clark administration was often described as taking a “nanny state” approach – but it did consult widely; the Nats, by contrast, are looking remarkably like bullies.

In fact the misuse of urgency continued. The current disgraceful process over the foreshore & seabed legislation is just the latest instalment:

Anger mounts over foreshore and seabed bill

Anger continues to mount over the truncated consideration of the new foreshore and seabed legislation … Parliament’s Maori affairs select committee yesterday decided on a majority vote (National and Maori Party members) to send the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill back to Parliament two weeks early with no changes despite thousands of submissions against it. The committee recommended it be passed without major amendment.

Labour, Act and the Greens were outraged. …

Labour leader Phil Goff accused the Government of using internal Maori Party problems as a cover to push the bill through largely unchanged. …

ACT MP John Boscawen complained the committee got less than two hours to consider a 530 page report and said the Government had committed an “outrageous abuse of process”.

Green MP Metiria Turei and Labour’s David Parker accused the Government of wanting to clear the deck of a contentious issue in an election year. “They know it’s deeply unpopular with Maori voters in particular,” Ms Turei said. “What the Maori Party and National have done is very anti-democratic.”

And how do the Nats respond to the charges?

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson today implied there was no point to further deliberation. “Well everyone’s position was very well predetermined… I am not interested in a lot of beltway parliamentary noise I am interested in the issues of principle and dealing with those.”

Got that? The democratic process is just “beltway parliamentary noise”. The Nats have been trampling all over it since the day they took office, and they’ll keep on doing it until they get thrown right back out again. Don’t give these thugs another term.

17 comments on “Nats bully bulldozer still running”

  1. I get more and more appalled with this Government everytime they try and ram stuff through. They do understand that a good select committee process can iron out bugs and errors that are almost inevitably there. So putting to one side policy differences they are more likely to achieve what they want if they just let the process work through.

    Two recent examples were the Hobbit legislation which arguably does not change a thing and the Super City legislation which is full of bugs. Hide’s decision to have appointed and unelected but voting Maori representation on the various committees I am sure was not intended but it is the clear result.

    This continued rush will inevitably result in stuff ups but hey I am sure the legal profession are pleased …

    • TightyRighty 1.1

      Quelle horreur, mickysavage appalled by something the national government have done. Just as I am never surprised when you cheerlead for the labour party. You really should stop prefacing your comments with sentences that might imply you were apolitical to begin with. It makes you look like even more of a twat, if it was at all possible, than you already are.

      Labour was guilty of this too. Civil union bill and the efa being notable examples. I don’t like anyside using urgency, but at least Chris finlayson has hit the nail on the head saying lab greens and acts protests are just political beltway noise. Do you ever stop and think rob, what would it take to please all three of those parties simultaneously? Or do you just register indignation as first response?

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Ha TR. Wingnut rule No 1, if the Governement is caught cold do not address the subject and say repeatedly “but Helen did it too …”

        For your information both the Civil Union Bill and the EFA went through extensive select committee proceedings and there were from memory a number of changes made to both because of submissions.

        Not like here. Remind me again how much time did a select committee spend considering the Hobbit bill?

        And why would the FSA2 go through a select committee process and then the committee drops a report with a day or so to go and then decide to make no changes? Give me one example where Labour did that.

        You really should stop prefacing your comments with sentences that might imply you were apolitical to begin with.

        Hahahaha. Of course my pseudonym is such an apolitical one.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      So putting to one side policy differences they are more likely to achieve what they want if they just let the process work through.

      Probably not actually, then things like facts would have to taken into account and reality really does contraindicate Nationals policy.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Wee questions.

    Was Hone on the Maori affairs select committee? (he was deputy chair at one point)

    If yeah, did being suspended from caucus just before the committee vote change that fact?

    anti spam: strategys

  3. and just where are the right whingers to defend this? we’ll see..but i suspect not even they could defend this outrage. Have the Nats lost the plot in their arrogance?

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Pretty hard to defend the Nat’s now but then theirs those true to the religion, so tighty righty steps up to the plate and does the best he can and swings and misses at Mickey. Shit tighty is this the best you can do( shock horror Mickey Savage supports Labour) well bugger me who would have thought aye, your lot are looking more desperate day by day, one terms wonders Foreshore.

  4. The fore shore and seabed legislation has to be to the satisfaction of all members in Parliament due to the importance of it to every person who is a NZ citizen, a NZ resident or a visitor.

    The audacity of National, Act and the Maori party (with the exception of Hone) to think that they can walk all over a select committee and not consider all submitted submissions.

    There is NO loyalty from this coalition government as they are bullies, live on credit, give to their rich cohort and have turned their back on the most vulnerable groups in society the sick, the unemployed, the uneducated, the unhoused, the elderly and children who are not yet born who are being abused invitro.

    The May budget is going to confirm to me that the most vulnerable groups in society will have a bleak out look as their is NO leadership or voice from this government to instill confidence in their governance.

    • Treetop 4.1

      in vivo within the living organism not in vitro.

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      As much as I hate to defend ACT, they were against this as well..

      “ACT MP John Boscawen complained the committee got less than two hours to consider a 530 page report and said the Government had committed an “outrageous abuse of process”.

      • Treetop 4.2.1

        I spotted my error including Act being audacious after I posted the second time. Act are now in a position where they are unable to trust their coalition partner, a new LOW for the National party.

  5. JonL 5

    “Have the Nats lost the plot in their arrogance?”

    What plot?

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