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NRT: National’s new Muldoonism

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, July 13th, 2017 - 7 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, national, sustainability, useless - Tags: , , , ,

I/S at No Right Turn:


National’s new Muldoonism

What’s National’s plan for the economy? Apparently, it is to suspend all environmental law for their cronies:

Forest & Bird can reveal that for 18 months, the Government investigated creating ‘Special Economic Zones’ to push through contentious developments, including coal mining on the Buller Plateau.

Special economic zone legislation would give the Government powers to take conservation land and private land, provide tax breaks for favoured developers, and override overseas investment and immigration controls.

“We’re talking about zones where normal environmental, social and democratic safeguards don’t apply,” says Mr Hague.

National has already pulled this stunt once, with “Special Housing Areas” giving free licence to property developers (who then sat on the approvals and didn’t build anything, or if they did build something, sold it all to speculators). But SHAs only short-circuited the usual RMA process. SEZ’s go much further, and effectively equate to a total suspension of all law which might interfere with business. The protections of the Conservation Act, Reserves Act, National Parks Act and Crown Minerals Act against mining on protected land? Gone. RMA requirements to consider and mitigate adverse environmental impacts? Gone. Ignoring the Immigration Act (which prevents people from simply importing a cheap workforce from overseas) or Overseas Investment Act (preventing investments by foreign criminals and money launders) is just the icing on the cake.

Back in the 80’s, Muldoon passed special enabling legislation for the Clyde Dam, his pet project. But this goes much further. It’s Clyde Dam 2.0, a general framework for central government to support the projects of favoured projects in defiance of the law. And it shows the same arrogance and disregard for the environment and the rule of law as piggy did all those years ago.

As for those wondering (as National pollster DPF mischievously did yesterday) why the Greens can’t work with National, this is why: because at its core, the National Party is an anti-environment party, dedicated to destroying our natural heritage and impoverishing future generations for the profit of their cronies. And until that mindset fundamentally changes, no party dedicated to protecting the environment can possibly work with them. It is that simple.

7 comments on “NRT: National’s new Muldoonism ”

  1. Andre 1

    The Trots makes a bunch of similar points on Bowelly Road.

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/07/damning-dam.html

    Since today’s Nats really are the true heirs to Muldoonism, it makes me wonder about those commenters here that are so nostalgic for the later 70s early 80s.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I suppose that would depend upon which part of the late 70s and early 80s.

  2. Ad 2

    A developer tried anything on that scale these days, they would find sugar in their petrol tanks fairly quickly. National remembers the protest against proposals to mine in Great Barrier. They would also get reminded about the last time a coal mine was opened near a national park.

    National would do better by letting its newly-minted RMA prove its effects.

    Otherwise they will have burnt all that political capital with the Maori Party just two months ago, for nothing.

  3. Philj 3

    The Local Government Exec, Mr Alexander, has quickly fallen into line and is very supportive of greater power (Central and local) to do stuff, with less regulation. All done behind closed doors eh. Thank goodness for OIA’S.

  4. ‘ Forest & Bird can reveal that for 18 months, the Government investigated creating ‘Special Economic Zones’ to push through contentious developments, including coal mining on the Buller Plateau. ‘

    Ha! ,… I wrote about and drew attention to this weeks ago.

    This from the guy who was called the ‘climate denier’…

    * snort *

  5. Ad 5

    Well away from yesterday’s unhelpful “gotcha” from Forest & Bird and Chris Trotter about Muldoonist economic zones, here’s what an actual government plan for economic development for the West Coast looks like:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1707/S00200/west-coast-tackles-economic-growth-with-new-368m-plan.htm

    The actual money items are here:

    – Regional Research Institute $11,000,000

    – Replacement of one of the last single-lane bridges in the region – Ahaura Bridge on State Highway 7 between Greymouth and Springs Junction – with a new two lane bridge $15,000,000

    – Stony Creek Bridge $3,500,000

    – Development of the Oparara Arches as an iconic visitor attraction or building the Kawatiri (Charleston to Westport) Coastal Trail $3,000,000

    – Feasibility Tourism projects (Kawatiri, Oparara and Paparoa) $150,000

    – Future-proofing Punakaiki infrastructure $1,800,000

    – Funding the Digital Economy Action Plan $1,000,000

    – Extension of Hokitika Gorge track $850,000

    – Franz Josef future proofing against flooding and earthquakes investigation $220,000

    – Research into establishing a sustainable whitebait fishery, with co-funding from the region $125,000

    – Maori Tourism Strategy $70,000

    – Economic Development Arrangements on West Coast $70,000

    – Horticulture-based social enterprise initiative $35,000

    Total $36,820,000

    Regional contribution is: $1.890 million, including $1.175 million from Development West Coast

    The Government’s Regional Growth Programme can be found at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/regions-cities/regional-growth-programme/west-coast

    The above takes a lot of organising over a couple of years, so it’s hardly a knee-jerk response to Winston Peters. It also shows Joyce and Bridges are getting deeper into managing parts of the nuts and bolts of the economy – just like Labour governments of old. The last time the West Coast got a plan was under Jim Anderton, which was a wee while ago.

  6. Graeme 6

    “Replacement of one of the last single-lane bridges in the region”

    What are they on? I started at Makarora and ran out of fingers before I got to Hoki. There’s no shortage of one lane bridges on the Coast. Perhaps they are ignoring the bit south of Greymouth.

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