Sunday, December 12, 2010
Frank Newman: Foreshore and seabed hearings a farce - outcome predetermined
This is outrageous comment from the Maori Party Whip and member of the Maori Affairs Select Committee. How is it that Mr Flavell is able to state that outcome when the committee is still hearing submissions? It’s because Mr Flavell and the other voting members of the Select Committee have already made up their minds. It’s probably more accurate to say he has never changed his mind, despite the almost total opposition for the Bill.
This whole fiasco shows not only his - and their - utter disregard for the democratic process, but also their utter disrespect of the thousands of people who made submissions on the Bill and the hundreds that took the time, and had the courage, to make their submissions in person.
Mr Flavell is engaged is a process with political self interest firmly in mind. He, the Maori Party, and the National Party, have a great deal to lose if the substantive provisions in the Bill are not carried through to law. His comments reaffirm the belief of many that this very import matter of great concern to all New Zealanders should not have been placed before the Maori Affairs Select Committee. Those suspicions of bias have now been confirmed. Clearly the Maori Affairs Select Committee is representing the views of some Maori - they are not representing the views of all New Zealanders.
Surely, those whose job it is to protect our democratic process can’t sit by and let this farce continue when the breach of process is so glaring? To turn a convenient blind eye now would leave the door wide open for other activist politicians to further erode the quality of our democracy.
at 7:16 AM