Already, we are seeing the signs of a highly centralised economic and political system reminiscent of the failed Soviet Union under communism in the latter half of the twentieth century. Water, health services, local authorities, social welfare and polytechnics to name a few, are all in the process of being centralised.
Once established, communism is maintained by force and coercion. Communism resulted in the deaths of countless millions of otherwise innocent lives in the 20th Century under such tyrants as Stalin and Mao. Such is the legacy of communism and neo-Marxism. It has utterly failed as a political system wherever it has been implemented. Such then are the lessons of history, within our own lifetimes.
So, why is New Zealand under Ardern drifting down the socialist track towards Marxist totalitarianism? Nonsense, you say? Alarmist scaremongering?
Well, it is now very clear that the direction of the Ardern-led Labour government is focused on increased centralisation and control - with half of that control to be divested in an ethnic minority numbering a mere 16% of the population. How has this state of affairs come about? How come we the people know nothing about all this?
Let us briefly review the history and development of New Zealand’s constitutional and political arrangements:
1. THE NEW ZEALAND CONSTITUTION
The New Zealand Constitution is one of perhaps only two unwritten constitutions in the developed Western world, the other being the Constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Our New Zealand Constitution comprises formal Acts – the main one being the New Zealand Constitutional Act of 1986, plus various legal documents and a number of “conventions” which have no legal status and are therefore legally unenforceable. Amongst these conventions are references to the Treaty of Waitangi and it’s undefined, ever-increasing numbers of various “principles”. Whilst changes to the Parliamentary term and the electoral system must be subject to a referendum, our constitution can otherwise be changed or amended by a simple majority in Parliament. The Ardern government was accorded a Parliamentary majority in the 2020 election by the people of New Zealand.
It can therefore introduce constitutional change at will and is proceeding to do just that with the introduction of Maori wards in local and regional authorities, and the Maori Health Authority with veto power against HEALTHNZ policies and decisions, amongst other changes. Whilst our constitution, being unwritten has some advantages, a mere parliamentary majority makes it extremely vulnerable.
There is a considerable literature on New Zealand’s Constitution online. (See Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, et al.)
2. THE NEW ZEALAND POLITICAL SYSTEM
- Pre 1840 politics
Prior to the arrival of European settlers following the signing of the treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the peoples of New Zealand, overwhelmingly Maori in numbers, were subject to the system of control known as “tribalism”, an hierarchical, male-dominated system in which women are considered, in the main, inferior and individualism is suppressed. The operating model in relationships between the various tribes was, according to prominent Maori leaders today, one of “conquest and subjugation” (or “take raupatu”) in te Reo, including slavery and the appropriation of others’ property, including land. This was the excuse given by descendants of Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama who invaded the Chatham Islands in 1835, slaughtered most of the pacifist Moriori people and enslaved the rest. These invaders still occupy (or is that now own?) the majority of lands in the Chathams. Many iwi still harbour deep, inter-generational grievances towards other iwi who appropriated their traditional lands prior to the treaty of 1840.
- The Arrival of Parliamentary Democracy (Westminster System) in 1840
With the signing of the Treaty, New Zealand embraced aspects of the British Westminster parliamentary model which subsequently included the franchise for women and abandoned the requirement for property ownership as a condition of voting. This system (decried today as “colonisation”) has stood the test of time and served New Zealand well, up until the introduction of the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system for which New Zealanders voted, in 1993. However, to accord this time-tested political system any positives is to invite howls of protest from cultural activists such as Waititi (te Paati Maori) – “dangerous”, and Davidson (Greens) - “disgusting”.
- The Mixed Member Proportional MMP system, 1993
There is considerable doubt as to whether the majority of those who voted to change the system from one-person, one vote, majority rules (or First Past the Post, FPP) to MMP, really understood the ramifications of what they voted for. Under MMP, any political party which achieves 5% or more of the total votes cast, results in seats in the House of Representatives, proportional to the percentage of votes achieved. This excludes the Maori seats which are not affected by the popular vote, but are also proportional depending on the number of people who identify as Maori and are registered on the Maori Electoral Roll. The other feature of the MMP is that fully 50% of those elected to parliament following a General Election, are not elected by their constituency of voters but are personally selected by their particular political party. The public have NO say in the choice of these “list” MPs and have no opportunity to quiz them as in a traditional electoral environment.
This abrogation of traditional democratic practice (one person, one vote, majority rules) has suddenly morphed into one person, two votes (the electoral candidate and the party vote), minority rules, thereby sidestepping the need for “list” MPs to convince their electorate that they are indeed worthy candidates.
An example of the stupidity and farcical nature of this system is that New Zealand inherited a “list” MP in the person of Jacinda Ardern, who had stood in Auckland electorates several times, but was never elected. A political novice, she became a “list” MP and subsequently became Prime Minister of New Zealand in 2017. The other questionable aspect of MMP may be termed “minority rule”. In a situation where two major political parties have similar numbers of MPs but one may have a majority (the highest polling party in an election), a minority party can exercise the balance of power, by incorporating a further minority voice, thereby negating the will of a majority! This has recently occurred three times, with the Maori Party aligning with the National government of John Key; the NZ First and Green parties aligning with the Labour Party in 2017; and again in 2020 (Labour and Greens).
As a result of MMP, New Zealand has been governed for the last 28 years by minority governments needing to align with other minority parties (except in 2020). Did the New Zealand electorate fully appreciate these political outcomes when they voted for MMP? It is difficult today to find somebody who admits not only voting for MMP but also being fully aware of the downstream implications.
- The Maori seats in Parliament
No change occurred regarding the Maori seats in parliament when MMP was introduced. This New Zealand peculiarity now translates into an over-representation of our Maori people in parliament – the 7 or 8 Maori only seats, plus seats allocated to the Maori Party or Te Paati Maori (currently two seats but has been higher as in the Key government. In addition to these two avenues for Maori representation in parliament, there are also a number of people of Maori descent who stood or stand in constituencies and are elected purely upon their merits, not needing to rely on their ethnicity for electoral success. Examples include Dr Shane Reti, Simon Bridges and former National Party Deputy Leader Paula Bennett, amongst others. Indeed, up until the 2020 election, ALL political party leaders (excluding 2) and Deputy Leaders of the five parties in parliament were Maori - that is 8 of the 10 senior politicians in the New Zealand parliament in 2020 were Maori. The retention of the ethnically-based Maori seats has been raised from time to time. The Royal Commission on the Electoral System recommended they be abolished as they provide an additional avenue into parliament. Under MMP, Maori today have four shots at being in parliament - via a “list” appointment for a major party; as an electorate MP voted in by ALL voters, on their individual merits; via a Maori seat: and via Te Paati Maori. That’s four avenues compared to everyone else’s two. Uh?
4. REFORMING THE NEW ZEALAND CONSTITUTION 2021
Vociferous demands to increase this already generous degree of over-representation by replacing our Constitution with a co-governance 50/50 parliamentary model (the He Puapua report) is reaching ominous levels-and still the Ardern government stays silent.
A working group (called the Declaration Working Group) was commissioned by the Ardern government in 2019 to look at how New Zealand (referred to as “Aotearoa”), should implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to which New Zealand, under a Key Government/Maori Party agreement, signed in2010, on the grounds that the declaration was symbolic, aspirational, and non-binding - ie it could not undermine any New Zealand policy of legislation. Ha ha! Really?
The DWG report, He Puapua, was presented to the Ardern government in 2019, prior to the general election of that year; was not released publicly; and was withheld from the Labour Party’s MMP ally in parliament, NZ First. It’s existence has only recently been admitted.
He Puapua recommends, amongst other things:
A Maori court system; a separate Maori health system (now confirmed as the Maori Health Authority), with veto powers over the new, centralised HEALTHNZ system; Maori wards (now implemented); retention of the Maori seats in Parliament (which abolition was recommended by the Royal Commission on The Electoral System, when MMP was implemented (see also Professor Philip Joseph’s: The Maori Seats in Parliament, Business Roundtable, 2008); compulsory te Reo Maori and NZ history in schools (a new politicised history curriculum is being prepared for introduction in schools in 2022); joint governance bodies across all government agencies (already confirmed for Water Services NZ and a wide range of local and regional authorities); making the Treaty of Waitangi legal ( it is currently not a legal document) and therefore enforceable. On this point, New Zealand’s iconic, most prominent, intellectual giant, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, proposes a written constitution which, inter alia, would entrench the Treaty as supreme law. He has already written a constitution for us! Oh, and by the way, he is also on record as opposing citizens-initiated referenda and referenda generally as giving far too much importance to the voice of the people. Referenda apparently weaken the power of Parliament!
Work that one out!
He Puapua also recommends a separate Maori Parliament and an Upper House (the Treaty House) which would have the ultimate power to sign off or veto all legislation.
He Puapua has three precedents: the Building the Constitution Conference at Parliament in 2000; the Constitutional Review of 2013: and the Maori-only Constitutional Review which produced the report Matike Mai Aotearoa in 2016.
A conference of iwi leaders took place in February 2021 to consider and expedite the recommendations contained in Matike Mai Aotearoa for constitutional changes, which are reflected in He Puapua.
So, there is a great deal going on under the radar, away from the public gaze, which is designed to replace out democratic parliamentary system with dual parliaments overseen by an upper (Treaty) house, by 2040.This model was first proposed by Professor Whatarangi Winiata at the Building the Constitution Conference in 2000.
It is appalling that the Ardern government has had these reports for some years and has completely failed to present them for public discussion. Not only that, but it has ensured they were not to be considered prior to the 2020 election, even to their parliamentary allies, NZ First.
Well, they say that often things come back to bite you on the b#m!
Andrea Vance, a 20-year veteran journalist and notably Left-wing, posted an article on Stuff (6th June 2021) complaining about how hard it is for journalists today to prise information out of the Ardern government. She mentions how this government is micro-managing all information flows including a weekly session for political editors - obviously to “set the scene” for the week. She points out that the number of PR staff now engaged by government (what’s the bet most are ex-journos?), has blown out to unbelievably proportions. Every Minister has two Press Secretaries, Ardern has four. MBIE PR staff have increased to sixty-four whereas the Transport Agency/Waka Kotahi now employs a whopping seventy-two PR staff! What on earth do these people do all day? Manipulation of the media? Too right-and how!
Her comment: “in my 20 years as a journalist, this government is the most thin-skinned and secretive I have ever experienced”.
But more ominously, the Ardern government is using racism as the primary vehicle for justifying the implementation of a whole raft of constitutional, social and political changes within our education system. This includes teaching concepts such as “white supremacy” and “white privilege”.(see for example the opinion piece by Margaret Mutu, a prominent academic promoting the use of these labels, in Newshub of 3 June 2021). Acknowledging minority ethnic mores and values buys votes - lots of votes. Claims of racism shuts down discussion and debate. Result? Much political mileage.
According to a letter in the Whanganui Chronicle of 5 June 2021, a Whangarei child was required to stand up and admit and condemn his ethnic faults of “white privilege and white supremacy”. Teachers are now required to undergo Maori cultural conditioning including a compulsory course in te Reo if they wish to gain or retain teacher registration. There is a new “app” – “Unteach Racism”- which is becoming a requirement in our schools, along with teaching a proposed warped, biased history of colonisation.
Racism is the justification for and the vehicle by which, these constitutional changes are being and will continue to be implemented, together with a carefully orchestrated control of the media. Much more important than going to the people. Shush - be quiet!
New Zealand is at the constitutional crossroads, facing ominous division and separatism along racial lines and yet our pathetic politicians will not even talk about it.
COME CLEAN, ARDERN!