Ardern was accorded an election victory in November 2020 with 50% of the total vote. But 50% did NOT vote for Ardern.
New Zealand embraces the voting system of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). Under MMP minorities can collectively form a majority by attracting a range of minority interest groups. MMP allows one person to have two votes - one for an electorate candidate and another for a political party. But 50% of all New Zealand MPs are NOT elected, they are selected and appointed to a "list" by their party, so that the electorate has no say or direct input into the appointment of 50% of our representatives. Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little were both rejected by their electorates on several occasions, but by being "listed" by their party, both now occupy high political office.
But the unrest referred to is not just a result of the undemocratic MMP system. No, the unrest is occasioned by a dishonest and highly duplicitous government introducing profound constitutional and executive changes whilst the attention of the New Zealand population is diverted elsewhere - upon Covid19 issues. An environment of deception, fear and concern is daily stoked by pantomime-style “briefings” headed by a photogenic prime minister who uses these “briefings” to enhance her personal image and political popularity. Fear and confusion dominate these briefings which include an ever-increasing array of “experts” - a Covid Response Minister; Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister; two Associate Health Ministers; two Directors-General of Health and Public Health; an MIQ Director; Senior Defence Force officers; and now “modellers” and “digital media” spokespeople! The absolutely farcical nature of this daily pantomime is that all of the subjects are to do with a public health pandemic, so should not the Minister of Health himself, Hon Andrew Little, be fronting any public statements? Hell, NO. Little is nowhere to be seen! Why?
So, with such an impressively overwhelming array of different spokespeople, and no Health Minister to be seen, the attention of the public is clearly riveted on Covid19 and the personal, social, and economic pressures of total “lockdown”. The failed strategy of Covid elimination has finally been realised with Ardern promoting a confusing array of restrictions and “freedoms”, such as being able to buy takeaways and coffees, but not use public toilets! Wow! Yet the daily infection rate continues to climb.
What is happening away from the public gaze whilst all of this attention is focused on the pandemic, and why is the population of New Zealand being denied both information and the opportunity to discuss these serious constitutional, social and economic matters?
There are several profoundly important matters which need to be brought out into the open and discussed and debated by all New Zealanders, but which are being purposely suppressed by the Ardern government.
1. Centralised services. The Neo-Marxist Ardern government is centralising a range of public amenities and services in the name of “efficiency”, but the public of New Zealand is not permitted to debate these changes.
- Centralisation of all Polytechnic institutions into one monolithic agency.
- Scrapping of District Health Boards and the formation of a centralised, race-based separatist health system by creating Health NZ and a separate Maori Health Authority. The Maori Health Authority will have the right of veto over all Health NZ policies
- The appropriation of all council-owned water services-drinking water, waste water and storm water systems - into a centralised water services agency consisting of a water standards authority (Taumata Arowai, comprising a ministerially-appointed 50/50 board of iwi Maori and “others”) and four regional “entities which will also be co-governed by a board comprising 50% iwi Maori and 50% “others”. (Did you know that? Most do not!).
2. Education. The Ardern government is creating substantial changes to the New Zealand education system in several ways, using funding and other coercive measures:
- At least two New Zealand universities now declare themselves to be “Treaty-led” (Massey) or New Zealand’s first “Treaty University” (Canterbury). In both of these tertiary institutions, the adoption of tikanga Maori and te Ao Maori (the Maori world view) is being forcibly introduced, requiring staff and students to display their capability in tikanga and to demonstrate their commitment to and understanding of, the principles (nowhere defined) of the Treaty of Waitangi-which is not a legal document. If a person declines to adopt these cultural requirements or opposes their forced introduction, their careers and in some cases, their ability to graduate, is compromised. The case of Anna Penn, a nursing student at Christchurch Polytechnic was the first public case of a student objecting to enforced acculturation. She was denied graduation and had to complete her studies in Australia. No public or institutional discussion preceded these implementations. And to cap it all, the Tertiary Education Council is now (October 2021) demanding that pass rates in our universities provide “parity” between Maori and all other students!
- A revised New Zealand Schools Histories curriculum which is focused on local Maori tribal histories to the exclusion of 200 years of shared colonial history. Whole periods, (for example the first 600 years of habitation by migrants from Eastern Polynesia) have been omitted from the draft. No reference is made of other migrant ethnic groups, such as our Asian citizens or Pacific peoples, both of which exceed (at 26%) the total population claiming Maori descent (16%). The whole curriculum is to be “revised”.
- The negation of colonial history by several agencies of state, Otago Regional Museum and The Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa) for example, which decline to present true stories in their displays.
- The compulsory requirement for all teachers at all levels to undergo courses in tikanga (Maori customs) and the Maori language (te Reo), in order to seek or renew their teacher registration.
- The scientific community in our universities is now required to accept that traditional Maori knowledge (matauranga Maori) is accorded the same, equal status as “science”.
One wonders what contribution matauranga Maori has made to the basic science of Covid19 vaccines, electric vehicles, and digital technology? There is no doubt that the study of te Ao Maori might well contribute to those areas of the Social Sciences such as Anthropology and Sociology which study the make-up and mores of primitive societies, but to elevate such” knowledge” to the realms of scientific method and outcomes is ridiculous. A group of Auckland University scientists who objected to this ridiculous, stupid assertion, were pilloried and vilified for daring to uphold what is commonly held, world-wide, as scientific excellence.
3. Welfare. Considerable changes are in the process of being implemented in New Zealand’s welfare system, particularly in regard to Child, Youth and Family (Oranga Tamariki). This agency is responsible for ensuring the well-being of all at-risk children, the vast majority of whom are Maori children. So, this duplicitous government has now structured the agency to be managed and controlled entirely by Maori-even though a proportion of these children are not of Maori descent. Domestic and sexual violence statistics which are heavily weighted in favour of Maori, were used to justify this approach. Given that 50% of all domestic and sexual violence occurs in Maori families, there may be some value in this approach but favouring ethnicity over merit in appointing boards, executives and even foster families must be challenged. One judge of the Family Court, Peter Callinicos, who declined to order the removal of a young Maori girl (Moana), from a loving Pakeha foster family (where she is very happy, apparently) to a Maori foster location, has been vilified to an extraordinary degree by cultural activists and members of the Judiciary, including the Chief Justice herself! For God’s sake (and Moana’s), what on earth is going on here?
4. Gangs. There is an ever-increasing degree of criminal gang activity, drug running and crimes of violence throughout New Zealand today. Virtually every day, the media reports yet another violent gang-related crime, often resulting in a homicide, especially in Auckland. Gangs freely contravene and ignore the Covid19 rules on numbers relating to gatherings such as funerals-where the police, obviously outnumbered, simply “use their discretion”. The establishment of illegal roadblocks during earlier lockdowns, by local iwi, were ignored by the police. Deputy Prime Minister Robertson expressed his “disappointment”. Oh, dear. Gangs are reputedly contributing to the spread of Covid19 in Auckland and Waikato through their illegal activities. To cap it all, Ardern provided $2.5 million of public funding to assist “drug rehabilitation programmes” in gangs. Stories of gang lords pocketing the funds whilst encouraging younger gang members to continue their criminal activities, have surfaced. On 6th October, Covid Response Minister Hipkins advised that senior gang officials from the Mongrel Mob and Black Power have been granted exemption warrants allowing them to travel between the various geographic locations where their members reside, in order to “encourage” communities to get vaccinated. One wonders if the police will be looking into these cross-border forays for “items of interest”?
Winston Peters (9 October) is adamant Northland has been returned to Level 3 due to gang members travelling whilst infected - denied of course by government.
5. Justice. Our justice system is condemned as being “systemically racist” and highly biased against Maori, who make up 57% of those in prison for serious crimes. One of the more ridiculous explanations for this statistic is that 90% of judges are not Maori - the obvious implication is that non-Maori judges imprison more Maori because the judges are Pakeha or “other”. Such absurd reasoning is permeating our justice system, so obviously it will have to undergo significant change, eh? Another claim is that Maori are unfairly treated by the existing Corrections environment, needing culturally appropriate programmes to turn their lives around. Yet the rate of recidivism amongst Maori criminals is 55%, the highest rate for any ethnic group, including “Europeans”. Oh, and a late item - “Christchurch, Gisborne and Wanganui do not have a single Maori Crown Prosecutor”. Really? Does one now have to be of a particular ethnicity to be appointed to this role? Or perhaps the item was referring to their marital status - which is equally stupid and utterly absurd.
6. Profound changes to New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements are currently being discussed with Maori under the He Puapua and Matike Mai Aotearoa reports commissioned by the Ardern government. These reports have been in government hands for at least three years but are not allowed to be openly discussed with the New Zealand public. He Puapua recommends inter alia that New Zealand be co-governed by a coalition of 50% iwi Maori (comprising 16% of the total population) and 50% of other citizens (comprising 84% of the total New Zealand population) by 2040, the bi-centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The basis for this proposal is that the Treaty established an equal partnership between the Crown and Maori, in 1840. There is ample evidence which totally negates any such arrangement, but the Ardern government persists in claiming that a “partnership” exists. Most New Zealanders can easily see the fallacy in this claim, but the Ardern government is in no way dissuaded.
Why are we, the people, not allowed to discuss He Puapua and Matike Mai Aotearoa? Why, Ardern?
7. Local Government Reform. Very few New Zealanders are aware of a central government plan to totally review and re-organise local authorities. Along with the intended plan to appropriate all of the water systems in New Zealand, Minister of Internal Affairs Mahuta implemented the Future of Local Government Review which will report on this basic form of local democracy. I am not aware of any invitation for the public to contribute to this Review.
8. Politicisation of the media is now almost complete. In a disgraceful capitulation, the major media companies are almost totally committed to propping up this socialist regime, having been “sweetened” by a $55million fund to promote “public interest” journalism. Many New Zealanders are totally disgusted at the degree to which the New Zealand media has been captured by the Ardern government. The daily 1pm “Mork and Cindy” pantomime is puerile to say the least. Grant Robertson is on first name terms with the few “journalists” who attend these farcical “briefings”. That he continually confuses the names of the journos he invites questions from (“Mitch” is confused with “Zane”) demonstrates the infantile excuses for these “briefings”. And yes, he is not averse to providing a weather forecast at these briefing, either.
It is not just these examples of political corruption, ethnic favouritism and daily dishonest statements which are contributing to the considerable degree of unrest. There are larger ethnic groups in New Zealand such as our Asian and Pasifika communities, which combined, far outnumber people claiming Maori descent. Their particular needs and wants also demand suitable attention from our politicians, surely? But no, only Maori are to be considered.
Underlying the current situation in New Zealand is the considerable degree of fear-mongering perpetrated by the Ardern government. Not only is the population confronted daily with ominous predictions about Covid19 decimating the population, but also horrendous advertising claiming all of our water services are bordering on disaster - infantile TV advertisements showing our drinking water producing green sludge is obviously designed to create a situation of disgust, only salvageable by assigning all water resources to joint government-iwi control.
Then there is the other fearful cloud on the horizon - climate change. There is an almost religious fervour amongst the Labour and Greens parties to dump on farmers and agriculture and their “cavalier” approach to environmental contamination. Farmers are guilty of contaminating waterways with animal effluent and fertiliser leaching. They contribute to greenhouse gasses via methane-belching cows. They are under fire from animal rights groups, as well as iwi, who vilify their “appropriation” of Maori land - forgetting of course that Maori legally sold the lands they occupied (in many cases having usurped the same land from weaker iwi using “take raupatu’ or conquest and subjugation). Having studied the international research on climate change, any thinking person must conclude that the science of climate change is equivocal. The US Institute of Physics reports that the influence of the sun on global warming is not only well-established but is also predictably cyclical and is the primary contributor to global temperature. Whilst mankind must of course take responsibility for much of the pollution problems we face, it cannot possibly be the sole fault of the farming community - but tell that to Ardern, Shaw and co.
Just what other profound intentions is this dishonest and duplicitous government developing out of sight of the public?
Little attention is being accorded to what must surely be the looming economic crisis caused by continual government lockdowns. Economists such as Cameron Bagrie (October12th) are forecasting major economic problems due to political ineptitude. Whole industries have been severely impacted by this government’s autocratic shutdown of economic activity. International tourism, hospitality and international education industries are finished. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are struggling to survive. Robertson and co are distributing billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up their now-discredited elimination strategy. At some point in the very near future, these disasters will adversely impact on the economy for sure, but the government brushes aside any such concerns. At the crunch point, Ardern and co will simply walk away, as did their predecessors like David Lange and Helen Clarke, with no regrets or any admission of failure-after all, that will be for historians to deal with.
Perhaps the most unsettling aspect of life in New Zealand today is the inexorable drift towards an apartheid state where separate development and division is being increasingly adopted. Masquerading as a mythical “partnership obligation” under the Treaty of Waitangi, substantial political, social and economic resources are being poured into reforms which in the end, can only lead to a failing country divided by racial separatism. Is this what New Zealanders as a whole, want to see?
I am an older New Zealander who has proudly committed most of my life to the service of my country. My ancestors came here in the mid-19th century with nothing but hope and worked hard all their lives in the belief that their children might have a better future. They never owned any land. They, and my generation, always respected our Maori colleagues, at school and university, on the rugby field, in the Armed Forces and at work.
But all of this has changed. I, my family and my ancestors are now despised by racists such as Ngarewa-Packer, Waititi, Tamihere, Ngata and Mutu. We are evil colonisers who have created a society in which Maori today are totally disadvantaged. But what about those other more recent migrants from Asia and the Pacific who now exceed the Maori population in numbers? Are they completely disadvantaged too? Do they also despise the Pakeha colonisers? What future can they look forward to under a race-based, separatist, bi-cultural society? What will the future hold for their children and my own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren? Will they too be hated and despised by a racist minority?
It need not be like this. If sections of the community are disadvantaged for socio-economic reasons, we can fix them - solutions can be found if there is a will. But please do not insult the majority of decent, hardworking people of all cultures (including many decent Maori), by implementing a regime of co-governance based on untruths and cultural diversity. We are all human beings, with similar hopes and aspirations. We must learn to live in harmony as a nation, surely?
Once I was proud to call myself a “New Zealander”. Not any more. I have lost all respect for, and confidence in, the leadership of this country and the arrogant disregard it has for we, the people. We are governed by the most deceitful, dishonest and immoral government I can recall in my lifetime. One day, after I have gone, the people will rise up and claim back this beautiful country from the morons who are now in charge. I can but hope that the revolution (for that is what it will be), is not violent - but I cannot believe New Zealanders will give up all of what they and their ancestors have worked and died for, without a bloody good fight. Bring it on!
Henry Armstrong is retired, follows politics, and writes.