The illusion of consultation

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, August 4th, 2012 - 22 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, national, Privatisation, water - Tags: , , , ,

The Nats are in a hurry:

We’re not waiting, Govt tells tribunal

Mr English said he had asked the tribunal to deliver its findings by August 24 because the Government would need to make decisions by the first week of September if it were to proceed with the partial float of Mighty River Power this year.

He said the Government would make its decision then whether it had the tribunal’s findings or not, “on the basis of all the information available to us at that time, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s memorandum of July 30”. …

[Maori Council lawyer Felix Geiringer] asked why Mr English was now referring to a two-year programme for state asset sales when the Treasury and the Crown had previously said it was expected to be done over four to five years.

A two-year programme for sales all of a sudden. Two years. Gosh, can anyone think of a reason why the Nats would be in such a hurry to get this done within two years? What a mystery.

With this self imposed deadline the Nats don’t have any time to waste on niceties like proper consultation with Maori. Their cheerleaders in the media are lining up with the nudge nudge wink wink support to charge on regardless.

Anyone in any doubt as to how this will play out might be informed by some recent history – the issue of Maori seats on the Auckland “Supercity” Council. I’m going to quote stuff in some detail as a reminder:

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.”

Soothing words. Keep calm and the government will listen. Due process and respect. Much like what we’re hearing now. And here’s how it turned out:

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.

Consultation with Maori, National style. And with the emphasis on tight timetables and rush rush rush there is every indication that “consultation” over water rights is headed down the same path.

22 comments on “The illusion of consultation”

  1. mike e 1

    this is the same argument national lost over the airwaves.
    so they know they can make themselves look good at the expense of the country

  2. “Consultation” over water rights can continue (it’s being happening for some time through the Land and Water Forum) separate to the MOM Bill, it’s a wider issue.

    If there are found to be any valid claims for compensation for water in relation to the power SOEs the Government has to pay anyway, regardless of whether some shares are sold or not.

    • mike e 2.1

      Not necessarily the power companies should be paying to use the water .

    • Pushing the sales ahead before this decision is done undermines the rationale for the sales even further – that being that apparently the government thought they could make a decent parcel off the power companies- but the government will have to sell shares much cheaper if there’s no guarantee power companies won’t have to pay additional fees for water usage.

      The government is not the one liable for those fees if Maori have a legitimate claim to them, it’s whoever uses the water, ie. the power companies, which makes the equation for selling them look even more stupid.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        As it was never about the sales being a good idea I doubt if the parties selling us out care.

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    The illusion of democracy.
     
    We live in a parliamentary dictatorship.  We can never win playing on their field by their rules.  Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King knew that, which is why they organized the people.  We must do the same.
     
    Penny Bright had a brilliant idea for disrupting the sale of Mighty River Power by getting consumers to switch from using Mercury to one of the two remaining state owned companies (Genesis and Meridian).  THIS WILL WORK!

    • tc 3.1

      Doubt it. The retail side makes peanuts compared to generation and Gerry/Stevie/Bill etc will just dip into consumers/taxpayers pockets to shore up any required shortfall.

      All you do is shift your business to another retailer, owned by a generator….see where this is going ?

      • AmaKiwi 3.1.1

        As someone with 40 years experience in share markets, I assure you no investor is interested in taking a chance on a company which is hated by its consumers.
         
        I invite you to propose a better tactic, but it must be around organizing people. Their system depends on the consumers being obedient. As a sign held up by a teenager protesting Nike’s use of sweatshop labor read: “Nike, we made you. We can break you.”

  4. The Land and Water Forum…

    Who participates in the Land and Water Forum?

    The Land and Water Forum brings together a range of industry groups, electricity generators, environmental and recreational NGOs, iwi, scientists, and other organisations with a stake in freshwater and land management. They are joined by central and local government observers in developing a common direction for freshwater management in New Zealand and provide advice to the Government.

    The Land and Water Forum is the trading name for the Land and Water Trust. A Small Group, with representatives from 21 organisations, meets on a monthly basis and reports to the Plenary, which has a membership of 62 organisations. The Small Group is joined by active observers from local and central government. The Land and Water Forum members are assisted in their work by a Secretariat.
    The Forum’s Process

    The first phase of the Forum’s work lasted from August 2009 to August 2010 and resulted in the report A Fresh Start for Freshwater, which identifies a set of outcomes and goals for freshwater management and recommends a number of policy changes to achieve those. Public meetings to discuss the Forum’s Report were held around the country at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.

    The government issued a response to the Forum’s recommendations in September 2011, and asked that it carries on its consensus-building work and come up with recommendations on the methods, tools and governance processes required for setting and managing limits on water quality and quantity.

    The Land and Water Forum will report to Government in the course of 2012, first on a general framework for setting limits, including the governance arrangements which would ensure the successful involvement of all stakeholders and in particular of iwi, and second on the methods and strategies required to achieve and manage those limits, through better land use management and improved allocation mechanisms.

    http://www.landandwater.org.nz/Site/About_Us/default.aspx

    …seems to be more than an illusio and seems to be consulting.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      That forum is about allocating the use of freshwater. Not whether or not National can sell off the water resource to foreigners as an intrinsic part of its asset sales.

    • bbfloyd 4.2

      looks more like an exercise in pr than any meaningful actions…. You can’t possibly be that thick to think this is genuine a consultative action from the asset stripper party….. they are simply using this as a decoy…. hence the ongoing timetable being recommended by the chief corporate raiders…

      As you well know, by the time they have come out with their next set of “guidelines” it will have become yet another pointless exercise in misdirection….which can then be quietly shelved, and forgotten about….

      Again…. you aren’t so thick to believe this is a sincere attempt to do right by the people….so the obvious conclusion is that you are, once more, attempting to make excuses for united futures complicity in the theft of the countries asset base…..

      I look forward to singing campfire songs with the huge crowd sitting around the bonfire as the effigies of the “bad hair” tribe burn…..

  5. MrSmith 5

    This issue is hurting the Nat’s, they will be trying to get it to court ASAP, the courts final decision win or lose will either enforce there mandate (well thats’ how they will betray it) or it will give them a reason to scrap the sales, so saving face, saying, look at us we listened to the people.

    This interesting thing will be to see if the public get in behind and support the Maori, to the same degree that people oppose these sales.

  6. Matthew 6

    Sounds like the way they treated the select committee process on the MOM asset sales.

    It is time the Attorney-General becomes an apolitical appointment in this country, so the Government can be reminded of their actual obligation to take this process seriously.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Consultation with Maori, National style.

    Didn’t need the Māori in that sentence. National only ever consults it’s navel fluff (otherwise known as Treasury) as was shown by the asset sales select committee process.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    When our parliamentary masters (of BOTH parties) repeatedly ignore what the majority of the people want, they condition us to internalize helplessness.
     
    Yes, we are largely helpless against parliamentary actions, but we are NOT helpless to influence social and political changes.
     
    National party “individualism” is blind to the degree to which we ALL depend on each other.  The least wealthy amongst us can thoroughly screw up the system by refusing to collect our garbage or clean the bedpans of our elderly or operate our trucks and buses and trains, etc.
     
    It is time to take back control from this government and from the Labour Party caucus.  The country belongs to all of us, not them.  We are all entitled to an equal say.
     
     

  9. Lloyd 9

    Since the National-Banks government is in such a hurry to sell off the people’s power companies they are pressing the Waitangi Tribunal to hurry their decision. Surely the same could apply to the government. Can’t we ask that the government hurry up the next election so that we can vote them out?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Damn good link. Describes modern representative democracy well.

      Wolin believes that the democracy of the United States is sanitized of political participation and refers to it as managed democracy. Managed democracy is “a political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control”.[10] Under managed democracy, the electorate is prevented from having a significant impact on policies adopted by the state through the continuous employment of public relations techniques

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        You know, I’m pretty sure this one was a reply to 8.2 last night…

        • blue leopard 9.1.1.1

          DTB

          Yeah, I thought it was a pretty good description of what we are facing.

          Another link, although directed at American issues, is becoming, sadly, easy to draw parallels here 🙁 ( I may post on this the “postcards” thread too)

          http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/democracy_in_america_is_a_useful_fiction_20100124/

          “And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.”

  10. As has been pointed out elsewhere, National’s asset sales programme is it’s make-or-break moment. After several back-downs, it can’t afford to look weak in the public eye, so it will pay lip-service to “consultation” (which is a farce, as has been shown) and then proceed anyway.

    But I propose an alternative scenario. It may not please everyone, but it retains state ownership (in a form) as well as generating the income that National desires; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/investing-in-someone-elses-future/

    And in a funny way, it could save Key’s arse from a humilkiating electoral defeat…

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    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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