Although the Oxford dictionary specifically refers to the segregationist policies of former South African governments when describing the meaning of the word “apartheid”, that shouldn’t mean that those same policies should not fit the description when operated in counties like our own.
In fact, the worst aspect of the current tidal wave of legislation being rushed through the House is the attempt by our government to hoodwink all citizens into believing that we need to have separate development for some sections of society in order to achieve the aspirational goals of a minority.
It is plain bullshit and we should totally reject this “apartheid by stealth” before it becomes permanently cemented in the laws of our homeland.
My concerns are that the current political climate is such that we will only wake up to this disgraceful denial of majority rights when it is too late.
Already we see an emboldened administration riding roughshod over the civil liberties of the bulk of the populace in order to satisfy the needs of a few groups operating in an atmosphere that is a reflection of a sense of entitlement that can’t be justified.
In normal circumstances, I believe the government’s main responsibility is in safeguarding individual security and equal opportunity for all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, political persuasion or position on society’s social ladder. We should all have equal access to and benefit from the nation’s natural resources but because some of us are more able to take advantage of our own circumstances than others, the system that re-distributes the basic necessities in a democracy like ours has to prioritise the services it delivers on a “needs” basis. And it can do that without the race-based segregationist policies this current mob is trying to foist on an, as yet, unsuspecting population.
However, that is not what we are being offered even though it damn well should be!
For our survival as a sovereign nation, we must ensure that whatever systems are developed to accommodate the needs of a modern society, they must fairly represent the aspirations of all groups whether they be crucial to our survival or not.
Obviously, some groups do play a more important role in the maintenance of orderly communities, but it shouldn’t be that one section of society is being constantly blamed for the poor performances of others. Sooner or later, the weaker or disadvantaged members have to take full responsibility for doing it themselves. The current system allows for us to help them do that. A “help up” is always better than a “hand out.” It allows the ones in need to retain their dignity.
While accepting that we are “our brother’s keeper”, it isn’t necessary to deny the aspirations of one group in order to help another achieve theirs.
If we truly believe that we are all equal under the law, then it follows that we each have responsibilities for those less fortunate, especially if their circumstances are of no fault of their own.
My experience suggest that this nation’s peoples are amongst the most generous, compassionate and humanitarian on the planet.
In most instances they are quick to recognise special needs and are happy to see the government allocate resources to meet those needs. But there are limits.
Our whole welfare system has developed on the back of individuals “who can” helping those “who can’t” and generally it has worked well over a long period of time.
But we will not make it better by segregating some with “special needs” from a system that should be made to work for all.
I suspect that the new framework for local government operations, whether it be healthcare or fresh water delivery, has its basis in the demand for a system that provides unlimited funds without accountability - at least that is what it looks like to me. Ironically, where that type of reallocation has been tried, it has failed dismally to achieve its objectives - simply because no one is held responsible when the taxpayers’ money is spent with nothing to show for it. We can’t afford that type of “lolly scramble” yet it is too often accepted by those who should know better as being a necessary evil.
Surely it has been well proven that is the kernel that leads to separate development.
I’m sure most Kiwis don’t want a bar of that but unfortunately that is what we are about to get. More of the same!
Wake up New Zealand. Your birthright is being stolen.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.