NRT: Voting against democracy

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 7th, 2012 - 14 comments
Categories: accountability, act, democracy under attack, maori party, national - Tags: , , ,

No Right Turn on another sad chapter for democracy in NZ.

Voting against democracy

Two years ago, the National Party repealed democracy in Canterbury, replacing the elected Canterbury Regional Council with a clique of unelected dictators. Last night, Labour finally managed to bring a bill to reverse that situation and force immediate elections for ECan to the floor of the House.

National, ACT, Peter Dunne and the Maori Party voted it down.

National’s vote isn’t really so surprising. They’ve consistently shown that their default solution to any problem is dictatorship, and they’re not going to surrender power back to the people until that dictatorship has irreversibly given away the regions water to their farmer-cronies. Banks and Dunne are just sock-puppets. But the Maori Party? What do they have against the people of Canterbury? And do they really think that “Maori should have guaranteed political representation while the people of Canterbury should have none” is a sustainable position?

I am, as usual, disgusted. This is a fundamental democratic right. Our Parliament has just voted against it, for the second time. They’re really not showing themselves to be good guardians of our democracy, and its another argument for an enforceable Bill of Rights to keep them in line.

Meanwhile, think about this: democratic means to restore democracy in Canterbury have just failed. What option does that leave now?

14 comments on “NRT: Voting against democracy”

  1. felix 1

    Pete George.

    Every single United Future mp voted against this. All of them.

    Surely you, as a defender of democracy, can no longer support the party.

  2. Vivienne 2

    Is this Bill English, John Key et al redirecting the contry/economy as Colin James described it on The Nation this morning?

    And is this new direction to a dictatorship for the benefit of the high rolling gamblers who are propped up through socilisation of their loses?

    New Zealand’s new direction. Ugly.

    • seeker 2.1

      +1 Vivienne, unfortunately….especially “New Zealand’s new direction. Ugly.” And “ugly” are the people who support this frighteningly ugly government.

  3. burt 3

    So is this the same NRT who supported 14 years of retrospective validation for an unknown amount of misspent money for political advertising now complaining about democracy. Sensational, no wonder comments are not permitted on his blog.

    • Mel 3.1


      Ad hominem responses do not enrich the debate at all but merely try to sideline the issue.


      Yes the new direction of New Zealand is ugly.

      By denying democracy to Cantabrians, NACT, United Future and the Maori Party have shown the true colours of our current Government. A government in which laws are enacted to benefit the rich and any consequent losses are socialised and paid for by others.

      We have moved from democracy to plutocracy some time ago. Hopefully, more and more ordinary New Zealanders are waking up to the fact the National’s ‘Brighter Future’ was only for the rich.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    Quite right Mel, but is it realistic to hope that more ordinary New Zealanders are waking up? Still, they seem to be sound asleep and oblivious to what is happening all around them. This calls for a lot of patience, as change for the better might yet be a long way off. Problem is, that those who do wake up, set off for a happier life in Australia.

  5. Galeandra 5

    Peeeeete! Peeeete!
    Nope, still too busy Easter trading.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Still no sign of Pete George. Strange, he’s normally all over this place like a bad rash.

      • felix 5.1.1

        Yeah it’s odd alright. He’s been all over the other threads since this one’s been up too.

        Guess he just missed it.

  6. Red Rosa 6

    The ECan sacking was all about irrigation water for dairying in Canterbury, via the Central Plains and Hurunui schemes.

    Ngai Tahu have about 10k hectares adjacent to the Hurunui they are keen to develop for dairy, along the lines of their Eyrewell development next to the Waimak.

    So the National and Maori parties not such strange bedfellows on this one.

    And government promises of $00m’s to fund Canterbury irrigation run in tandem with asset sales on the same scale.

    Seems clear enough.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yep, selling out of NZ for the gain of the few.

    • bad12 6.2

      Not nearly that clear at all, We dont want to start a drag the debate into the gutter,but, will defend in this instance Ngai Tahu and it,s right to have as much a share in the Canterbury water resource as is given to any other farming entity,

      Obviously the Canterbury aquifer is not an infinite supply of water and while SOMETHING needs to occur in planning for allocation between both ”town” and ”country” AND the protection of the aquifers integrity singling out Ngai Tahu for ”special” treatment is to say the least ”unhelpful”,

      The Maori Party in terms of electorate seats no longer hold the Te Tai Tonga seat which encompasses the Ngai Tahu rohe, and, We expended a certain amount of mana in a number of forums to ensure this occurred and will continue to occur,

      We simply view the Maori Party as being trapped in it’s current relationship with the National party by one of it’s members intransigent dislike of the other options available,

      Barking occassional dislike of some small slight from the National Party in an attempt to cling onto what support it has left is small comfort for the Maori in the wider society negatively effected by the National Governments economics and We ”see” the point being at the next election the Maori Party having Parliamentary representation of 1,

      However,as above,denoting the users of the Canterbury aquifer or the proposed users by ”race” is hardly helpful to the debate, Ngai Tahu in effect are like us all captured by the system of political and economic management that we labour under and We hardly expect Ngai Tahu to simply not engage in business and in effect remain the flax skirt wearers fimly locked into the have nots decile…

      • Puddleglum 6.2.1

        allocation between both ”town” and ”country”

        Someone might be able to put me right, but my understanding is that 90-95% of water use in Canterbury is outside of Christchurch.

        So, it’s not really a townie versus cockie stoush. It’s about the increasing amounts of water rights being granted for farming (especially dairying). 

  7. Too many New Zealanders are still under the influence of our worst attitude: “She’ll Be Right”. It is an attitude that I think will cost us dearly in the near future. We are slipping on most respectable scales of economic, social and national development.

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