Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Point of Order: Who said Shane Jones was all washed-up? Three Waters (and co-governance) have flushed him back into politicking

Shane Jones — remember him?- — has re-emerged into public life and thrown a hand grenade at the Labour government on its Three Waters policy. He has done so in a think-piece for the op-ed page in the NZ Herald at a time when the Ardern government thought it had recaptured the high ground in the nation’s politics, with its measures to take the sting out of inflation.

But Jones’ intervention has widened the battleground.

The implications, separately, are interesting. Does it foreshadow Jones, a close ally of NZ First leader Winston Peters, stepping back into politics? Could it be that Jones senses that here is the issue that could revive NZ First from its moribund state?

Of course, Jones may have compiled his explosive piece on his own initiative, but as a minister in the Labour-NZ First coalition from 1917 to 2020, he and Winston Peters always worked very closely together. It was as if they were soul-mates: each had the gift of hitting a political nerve.

This is the one Jones played on in his NZ Herald article:

“Just as there is ignorance about the exact origins of Covid, the public does not recall giving the Labour Party permission to impose its Treaty of Waitangi co-governance master plan. A dogma that thrives where visibility is weak, debates are shallow and agendas are murky. Take for example the bog known as Three Waters, a reform designed to avoid a repeat of the 2016 Havelock North drinking water crisis.

“Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has a superior agenda in mind which will be in our best interests, not only for drinking water but also storm and wastewater – providing it goes through her Treaty purification plant.The Government wants to forcibly transfer all our publicly-owned water assets into four jumbo corporations and then hand over 50 per cent control to iwi – a radical move from contaminated water to toxic politics”.

Jones goes on:

“According to the Government, this is necessary to satisfy Treaty articles of faith and accommodate the fractious iwi leaders collective, who should stick to their rūnanga knitting rather than whinging in Wellington.”

He reckons it is high time to call time on how the Treaty of Waitangi is being dragged into policy areas where it is of dubious value, alienates people, and eats away the goodwill of past decades.

And in this paragraph you hear the authentic Jones talking:

“The Māori Party boasts that when choosing who to work with in the 2023 government, it will have to be Treaty-centric. No doubt we will recognise this ego-centricity when pigs fly by. It is essential that any further extension of Treaty statutory references and co-governance agendas be subject to an electoral mandate.”

He believes it is critical that the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal be reviewed and changed.

“It is no longer fit for purpose, it indiscriminately strays into matters where it lacks competence and adds no value. Whilst the legal truffle hunters may encourage it to be expansive, it is overdue a political pruning. In 2025, which will be in the next electoral cycle, the tribunal will have existed for 50 years. Why should it still exist and for what purpose?

“Treaty co-governance is being grafted onto our political system without any public consent or informed debate. Labour did not seek the approval of the electorate in 2020 for this divisive agenda. Quite the opposite. The wellbeing statistics for whānau remain woeful but the political leadership is pitiful.

“Rather than deal to the Tribesmen gang, which now appears to own the Waikato Expressway, our Māori MPs encourage tribal ambitions to control the health system. The case for establishing a separate Māori Health Authority with budgetary veto powers has not been made. The same for the proposed Māori Education Authority.No doubt these structural changes will lead to more statutory Treaty references which then leads to more litigation whilst the gang nephews run amok”.

Jones says the pressing issues confronting the average rangatahi are very basic. Rather than tribalised Three Waters, they need three affordable staples, veges, meat and milk.

These whānau want practical results, not superficial linguistics where everything gets a Māori title but whānau circumstances don’t markedly improve.

Kāinga Ora is a case in point, where the Māori grammar is inversely related to the actual housing outcomes for Maori. Rather than indulging the Mongrel Mob tenants, put them in a tent until they learn to respect their neighbours”.

This is the passage which strikes home across the political divide:

“Tiriti co-governance is an artifice that will hobble economic activity and worsen statutory processes such as those in the Resource Management Act. A developer’s deathtrap bogged down with red-tape, surrounded by loose hapū cannons that threaten to spike economic development unless their two cents worth is handsomely paid for. Consultation is a part of democracy, however, it needs to be tightly defined and not allowed to morph into either green or brown mail”.

Jones insists The Three Waters project is doomed to fail because it is not sustainable in NZ’s democracy for a $185 billion public utility programme to be 50 per cent controlled by iwi.

“These are public assets, not tribal baubles.The current Government can shroud its agenda with artfulness but the result will be the same. Any iwi co-governance legislation it arrogantly forces through Parliament will be undone by a future government”.

Does he mean a government which has a NZ First component?

A final sentence contains a hint of what a resuscitated NZ First might do:

“Such a government should be formed on the clear basis that there will never be political privileges such as the iwi co-governance plot”.

Shane Jones, it has to be remembered, played a key role in Treaty relationships in the 1990’s particularly with the Maori fisheries settlement.

Point of Order will be keeping a close watch on whether the seeds he has planted with his Herald thinkpiece flourish—or wither on the vine.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton.


MC said...

Finally the NZ Herald publishes something substantial. The unofficial Ministry of Stealth has been sprung for what they are, "A devious lying pack of Bastards". And spot on for the Treaty, a Heads of Agreement, at best a Memorandum Of Understanding. Maori won't get anywhere with their narcissistic victomology, howls of woke outrage and incessant accusations of racism. Call a spade a spade, Maori are the most racist political group New Zealand has. The Maori Caucus is in fact an unofficial Maori Party, that has used the current Labour Government as a Trojan Horse, to usurp democratic process and steal rights and assets from the people of New Zealand. What loathsome scum.

Anna Mouse said...

Finally we have some break through in the media on this corruption of democracy.

This needs to be be spoken about daily as the deconstruction of our nation continues for the feathering of a tribal elite nest.

What that elite do not comprehend yet(nor Labours regime) is that the disunity and dislocation of national pride in our democracy due to the division this will cause will create an inflamed animosity that will in the end burn very hot and be uncrontrolled until it flames out.

I cannot envisage a situation where the agrieved 85% will accept the massive tribalist oligachic takeover.

Doug Longmire said...

The end of freedom in New Zealand. The destruction of democracy.
"Co-governance" is quite simply racist, apartheid rule being imposed on this nation, by an activist tribal elite.
Welcome to New Zimbabwe !!!

DeeM said...

While I agree with Shane regarding co-governance and He Puapua, his track record in parliament is patchy at best, as demonstrated by his dodgy management of the provincial growth fund.
NZ First have had their day, in my view. Peters and Jones have demonstrated they can't be trusted and are past their sell-by-date.

Let's hope we don't see them back as kingmakers in the future.
Next we need to see the permanent demise of the Maori Party and hopefully the Greens. I can but dream!

Don said...

Add to your dreams DeeM the abolishment of the Maori seats in Parliament.
As New Zealanders we deserve equal standing and many Maori Members have demonstrated they are quite capable of holding seats on the General roll Without resorting to racism. At the moment there is a double whammy resulting in many more Maori MPs than their share of the population warrants.