web analytics

Snake oil

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, August 25th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, john key, local government, maori party, Maori seats, national/act government, same old national, slippery - Tags:


I’m surprised that the Maori Party have rolled over so easily on the issue of Maori seats on the Auckland council. I will be even more surprised if the Maori people follow suit. Because they have every right to be angry. Remember what Key said of the Hikoi?

The hikoi was sparked over the dumping of the Maori seats from the Auckland super city proposal – in contrast to a Royal Commission recommendation. Mr Key was asked on TV One’s Breakfast show what he thought about the protest and the disruption it would cause.

“Obviously people have a right to protest and we respect that,” he said. “(But) I can’t help but wonder if they are a little bit ahead of themselves.” The right forum to raise concerns was through the parliamentary process, he said. The select committee soon to start looking at legislation setting up the council would consider the issues raised by the protest, Mr Key said. It would look at the governance structure, how councillors were elected and issues around Maori representation.

“I don’t think the hikoi of itself will make any difference really…we are going to go through the select committee process, that’s not a white wash we are actually going to listen to what happens there. We are trying to work on getting an outcome that works for everyone.”

What complete and utter bullshit that turned out to be. John Key snake oil of the most patronising and lying kind. The people who trusted John’s word just got shafted:

Ngati Whatua spokesman Ngarimu Blair has criticised the Government for not allowing democracy to run its course. He said Maori had followed the democratic process – going through a Royal Commission which recommended Maori seats, then going through the select committee where Mr Blair claimed 90 per cent of submitters had supported Maori seats. Yet the Government had made a decision on Maori seats before the select committee process was finished.

“We have participated in the democratic process and done everything we were asked to. We are disappointed that the crown didn’t hold up its end. All that we can ask is that they at least follow their own processes.” But he said Ngati Whatua were glad they at least knew the Government’s views now rather than continue a “masquerade” of consultation.

Before the select committee process was even finished. That’s not a even a white wash, it’s just naked contempt.
— r0b

18 comments on “Snake oil ”

  1. Onehunga 1

    Yes, I agree that announcing this decision before the select committee process ended was not a good look at all.

    I’m not sure if you are quite fair in your portrayal of Key on this issue though. The leaked email about National’s internal debate shows that the decision was far from a whitewash. The announcement of the decision was probably more due to the leaked email than out of some contempt for democracy.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      Bollocks. Of course the select committee process was a white wash. Does anyone seriously think that there were ever going to be Maori seats?

  2. bobo 2

    Key is fast becoming a cop out prime minister looking weak and uncomfortable, arguing that having Maori seats on the supercity is not consistent with the rest of NZ when he knows full well of the tribal representation on the current council and separate Maori electorates by his own logic should be cut next.

    Also they have the arrogance to chop lesser populated parts of the Auckland region off to cut down on any maintenance costs, let Dargiville pay for it..

    As much as I like dislike Tau at least he is shit stirring a bit with Rodney which is a risky thing being a list MP. I can see this getting ugly fast.

  3. Ianmac 3

    Today in Question time Key said “we did listen at the Select Committee but that doesn’t mean that we have to agree with what is said.”

  4. johnsa 4

    It is interesting, to say the least, how so many agree it is OK to radically change Auckland local bodies without having a clear mandate and democratic process in place.

    The result of the Royal Commission was a foregone conclusion because these commissioners were selected to do a job and they deliver precisely the decision that was required of them.

    You would think such a fundamental change to governance would need a referendum.

    Maori have the balls to get out and protest while the rest of the population lies down to get shafted. But remember the Maori party are pragmatists and have as few scruples as their National and ACT partners. Yes they embrace PPP and carve ups of public property – as long as they get their cut. Meanwhile everyone else gets quietly fleeced.

    The point I make is, where is the democratic process for all New Zealanders when a minister of a minority coalition partner suspends democracy so he can bulldoze dictorial local body “reforms”?

    It sickens me to see how compliant everyone is in allowing such a rotten process to be foisted on Aucklanders and eventually the rest of New Zealand.
    That ain’t democracy.

    Meanwhile we just had our first “Trans-Tasman cabinet meeting’ naturally enough coupled with a big cigar business meeting. Who voted for that?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      normally, there would be a referendum, it’s in the Local Government Act but National has avoided that.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Wouldn’t it be great if there could be a huge “Listen to the People” protest at Parliament, urging Key to heed Select Committee processes and referenda outcomes? But the Police would need to fence off two halves and the groups would end up doing more shouting at one another than at their arrogant government.

    I’m not being a smart-arse here… ironically, this government’s actions on last weekend’s referendum results and the whole “supercity” fiasco, coming as they do back-to-back, provides a rare opportunity for an across-the-lines message to politicians that people are sick of being ruled over like they’re in some feudal system which gets to choose between Kings and Queens once every three years.

    If the anti-Bradfordites and the anti-Hideistas could just accept that demanding their right to be heard while denying the same thing to the other camp was intellectually dishonest and pathetically partisan, then there might be some hope that the ruling classes got the message that people have had enough of being patronised by faux democracy that consults, then ignores.

    • r0b 5.1

      The difference being of course, that in one case what is being ignored is a Royal Commission, a Hikoi, and a select committee (the standard mechanism of democracy) which the PM promised to heed. In the other case it is a single appallingly leading referendum question (compare with a non leading question) from which no conclusions can be drawn and which the PM long ago indicated he would ignore.

      Not all causes / processes are created equal Rex.

      (Love to stay and argue but prob. gone till near midnight)

      • Rex Widerstrom 5.1.1

        Not all causes, perhaps, but all consultation processes in a democracy deserve to be accorded respect, or changed or abolished — not capriciously ignored when it suits.

        Find me a perfect democracy and you’ll have discovered utopia. A referendum in which 1.4 million people expressed an opinion could equally be argued as “more equal” than a Select Committee / Royal Commission process which attracted the opinions of a fraction of that number.

        Point is, they’re both accepted mechanisms within our democracy. If we don’t like the way they’re operating (and I certainly don’t like our referenda method or legislation) then we need to change it, not pick and choose the bits of our democracy we want to heed simply because we agree with their outcomes and reject others because we can draw assumptions (and that’s all they’ll ever be) about how people were thinking when they voted.

        • r0b

          Not all causes, perhaps, but all consultation processes in a democracy deserve to be accorded respect, or changed or abolished

          In the way that the Weatherstone case made obvious the flaws of the “provocation” defence (which will likely be abolished), this referendum has made obvious the flaws of the citizens initiated referendum process (which will likely be changed or abolished).

          not capriciously ignored when it suits.

          If the question had been a balanced, sensible question than I would agree with you. But you can’t varnish a turd, which is what that question was. Ignoring it isn’t capricious, it’s the rational thing to do.

          A sensible question would have got a different result – this is not just whinging – have you read the “non leading question” article linked to above yet? Draw any conclusions?

          Hypothetical. What if some of the tax cut fanatics (that used to be so plentiful just a year ago) had got a million dollars in funding from fundamentalists in America and organised a referendum. The question: “Should the government be able to steal money straight out of your pay packet and give it to unmarried mothers for smokes and lotto”? The result: an 88% NO vote. Would you be here arguing that the government should listen, and do away with personal income tax? Because, translating back in to the real world, that’s pretty much what has happened here.

          • luva

            Just out of interest what do you think the sensible question should have been?

            • r0b

              Just out of interest what do you think the sensible question should have been?

              How about “Should repeatedly beating a child as part of a violent temperamental outburst be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”.

              Nah just kidding, that question is as bad as the one that was asked.

              I’d suggest something based on the neutral question that I have linked to several times above: “Do you agree with the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act?”.

  6. Nick 6

    Calm down everyone, you’ll get your chance to have a say properly in 2011. The Left is just pissed off that it’s sidelined in this process, that’s all.

    And to that I say: diddums.

    • Armchair Critic 6.1

      Nah, the 2008 election was the best one to lose (if losing an election is ever good) since about 1987, or 1990.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago