As we enter the New Year, while basking in the sun on the beach and listening to our cricket team laying waste to all comers (unfortunately that is the only way to follow our heroes for most of the populace - unbelievably bad decision by NZ Cricket), at a time when most would want to forget the horrors of 2020, it is non-the-less appropriate that we spend some time taking stock of the things we should have learned from those debilitating 12 months.
For most of us, just surviving the virus would seem an achievement in itself and for that the Government can take credit - after all, that is the number one responsibility of any government when its people are under threat. But that responsibility is not a singular requirement of those who occupy the treasury benches - the other equally important role is to manage any crisis in a way that keeps us safe economically as well.
We don’t have to look far to see the government’s Machiavellian intent in the policies currently being drafted - some already becoming part of the “pay back” scenario that has historically been put on hold. You can’t make this up.
Here’s a short list of what we have witnessed in the few months since the election:
* The Ihumateo settlement which has set a dangerous precedent for other similarly sensitive deals that will ride roughshod over the democratic rights of most kiwis.
* The drafting of a bill that will deny most of us the right to push back against “Orders in Council” ie. the establishment of Maori wards at Local Government level.
* Implementation of the Government’s draconian carbon neutral policy which could have an unnecessary drastic effect on the viability of this country’s largest export industry.
* A return to other contentious programmes that will be given the green light - eg. Issues of ownership of the nations natural resources such as fresh water allocation which should be seen only as a “dual administration solution”- even when looked at in light of the most liberal interpretation of the relevant clauses in the Treaty of Waitangi.
Make no mistake - these guys are emboldened by their electoral success and see it as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to settle old scores - irrespective of the damage it will do to democracy in this country.
I hope that we as a nation, when being rewarding of competent management during this past year are equally enthusiastic about holding our leaders to account in areas that will have lasting effects for us all. If we don’t, as sure as God made little apples, our temporary deluded state will have ramifications that will come back to haunt us. But by then it will be too late - the horse will have bolted.
We must come to our senses now and insist on Government by the people for all the people.
Believe me - this is not what the current administration has in mind.
They don’t give a toss!
Sad but true!
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.