Quake used as foreshore cover

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, March 8th, 2011 - 9 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags:

Today Parliament sits in full for the first time since the second earthquake. There’s lots to attend to: the government is required to explain the state of national emergency, change the census law, create a one-off provincial holiday, and alter the law on school zoning. But it looks like the Nats are more concerned with slipping through their foreshore and seabed bill.

As I/S at No Right Turn points out, prior to the earthquake the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill was well down the Order Paper. Now, it’s jumped up the a place where it should be debated this week. As I/S says: “They have, post-earthquake, consciously decided to prioritise it. If it’s not their intention to use the earthquake as cover, they’re doing a bloody good impression of it.”

Remember, this law is meant to be the full and final settlement of the foreshore and seabed issue. Slipping it through with a bare majority (58 Nats and 4 Maori Party MPs – maybe Peter Dunne) under the cover of the quake is hardly a recipe for a stable and enduring solution.

It’s perplexing that National doesn’t appear to have reassessed any of its policies. It is just using the earthquake as cover for things wouldn’t have thought it could get away with before, which is the most cynical politics – the shock doctrine.

Just as the earthquake was an opportunity for Key to become a statesman, so the quake was a chance for the Nats to rethink long-term, as such a massive rebuild requires. Instead, their moves have been labeled ‘opportunistic’ by the media and ministers are spending too much time putting out PR fires arising from their own pig-headed comments.

Why has National said it remains committed to public sector reforms, an expensive game of musical chairs, with few chairs left after all the restructuring stops, and asset sales, which even in National’s rose-tinted scenario are enormous and complicated transactions that create only marginal benefits?

Why not take a deep breath and reassess what the country needs in the light of these changed circumstances? I doubt tinkering with welfare and the public service would rank as a good use of government’s time, money, and resources in such an analysis. Nor would rushing a new foreshore and seabed law through while no-one is paying attention be a priority.

9 comments on “Quake used as foreshore cover”

  1. lprent 1

    Maybe we should ask Hone for a guest post?

  2. bbfloyd 2

    i second that.

  3. tc 3

    ‘It’s perplexing that National doesn’t appear to have reassessed any of its policies. It is just using the earthquake as cover for things wouldn’t have thought it could get away with before..’

    The word predictable should replace perplexing in that statement and as the MSM are still busy with chch there’s never been a better time in the NACT eyes.

    Not that the MSM would be any different if Chch wasn’t there as they never followed up the fact the ACC funds now recovered (crises what crises), PEDA, Beemers, Pansy n John’s hovercraft dealings, Bennetts breach of privacy, carters personal gains from ECAN etc etc

    Sadly chch may act as a giant rug for plenty to be swept under…..lets hope that’s not the case.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4


    The bill is set down for its second reading, and has the support of National and the Maori Party, meaning it will pass with just a two-vote majority.

    It will then have to pass through committee stages and a third reading before becoming law.

    Prime Minister John Key says the Government has not considered delaying the passage bill through Parliament because of the Christchurch earthquake.

    Labour Party leader Phil Goff has urged the Government to delay its passage, saying the legislation is intensely divisive and there is no rush to bring it back to Parliament.

    Mr Goff believes it should be put off for at least a month, while the focus is still on Christchurch and the aftermath of the devastating quake on 22 February.


    Knock knock Labour. wakey wakey.

    Should read:

    Labour Party leader Phil Goff said it is not a question of whether the Bill should be delayed, but rather a question of why it has been brought forward.

    but doesn’t.

  5. Fisiani 5

    The Coastal and Marine Bill has been delayed by the earthquake not brought forward by it. You are just making things up yet again………it gets tiring.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      They had a list of legislation in general order of the importance before the EQ.
      After the EQ the order has changed appreciably, instead of being further down the list due to urgent EQ legislation
      it has moved so far up its likely it will be done this week

  6. And they are at it. Parker and Metiria spoke well, Metiria especially so.

    Quinn seems to think that dropping a 500 page report days before the report back and refusing to allow for legal advice to the committee is somehow acceptable.

    This is the most cynical use of Parliamentary procedure I can think of.

    The opposition sit quietly when the Government and Maori MPs speak, the nats have taken the leash off Quinn and Henare and they are truely appalling.

  7. What’s going on with Hone not voting in the house last night for the second reading of the Marine and Coastal Area Bill?

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