Friday, December 31, 2010

Frank Newman: Do councils do what they say they will do?

The Local Government Amendment Act 2002 brought sweeping changes to local authorities. Most significantly councils were given the powers of “general competency” and their mandate widened to encompass environmental, economic, cultural and social “well-beings”.

But it also prescribed the manner in which councils would engage with the public, including the need to prepare a 10 year plan (called a Long Term Council Community Plan or LTCCP). Presumably the purpose of the LTCCP was to enable the community to see with some degree of certainly what their council was planning to do over the next decade as guardians of their community assets and what it was likely to cost them as ratepayers.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frank Newman: News flash! Foreshore and seabed protest march

TVNZ reports; “Anger over Maori claims on the seabed and foreshore has brought hundreds of people onto the streets of Nelson. The march was organised by the government's political ally United Future party which believes the issue could divide the country. Those involved said they fear becoming second class citizens if claims to the foreshore are successful.

“If we create rights for some New Zealanders and not others, then we start down a very sure and slippery slope to anarchy,"
says leader Peter Dunne.

That story was dated July 28, 2003,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Karl du Fresne: Thanks for setting it out so clearly, Tuku

In Friday’s Dominion Post, Tainui iwi chairman Tukoiroirangi "Underpants" Morgan obligingly provides all the reason anyone needs to be deeply suspicious of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

Commenting on the announcement that Labour had withdrawn its support for the government’s Marine and Coastal Area Bill, Morgan reiterated that the legislation still had Tainui’s backing.

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley: The Abdication of the West

From Cancun, Mexico, Dec 10, 2010: I usually add some gentle humor to these reports. Not today. Read this and weep. Notwithstanding the carefully-orchestrated propaganda to the effect that nothing much will be decided at the UN climate conference here in Cancun, the decisions to be made here this week signal nothing less than the abdication of the West. The governing class in what was once proudly known as the Free World is silently, casually letting go of liberty, prosperity, and even democracy itself. No one in the mainstream media will tell you this, not so much because they do not see as because they do not bl**dy care.

Frank Newman: Foreshore and seabed hearings a farce - outcome predetermined

Saturday’s Dominion Post reports, “While some changes would be recommended to the [Coastal Area Bill] the bill reported back from the committee would be fundamentally the same, he [Te Ururoa Flavell] said.”

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.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ron Smith: Korea: the war that never left

Seoul is a bustling modern city of 12 million people, with a veritable forest of sky scrapers and a sleek modern transportation system. It is also the capital and undoubted hub of the 12th largest economy in the world, with a GDP per capita of nearly $30,000 (which is slightly larger than that of New Zealand – though, of course, the size of the South Korean economy is much larger).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Allan Peachey: You be the judge!

I am going to do something a little bit different for this edition of “Breaking Views”. I am going to report on two things I came across while overseas recently, one from the United States and the other from the United Kingdom. I shall report on them without comment and allow readers to draw their own conclusions or make up their own minds.

Owen McShane: Retro Rail Alert

The New Zealand Government recently decided to follow the example of Montreal and Toronto by amalgamating the six City councils and the single Regional Council of the Auckland Region to create a united “Super City” of 1.4 million people.
Like similar amalgamated bodies, the new Auckland Council, which came into being on the 1st November, 2010, has fallen for the notion of regionally determined smart growth built around a huge investment in heavy rail.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mike Butler: How can the troubled coastal area bill bring lasting peace on the foreshore?

Some Maori Party supporters claim the customary title criteria in the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill are too tough, the Human Rights Commission says the bill is discriminatory, and the Coastal Coalition claims customary title criteria are too easy. Why? A closer look reveals that the bill is worded in such a way that it can be interpreted as both tough and easy. The word “exclusive”, for instance, has been redefined to allow a wide range of other users, and “uninterrupted” allows interruptions. Even the word “tikanga”, or the Maori way of doing things, allows for evolution, so that tikanga in 2010 includes things unimagined in 1840.