Sunday, April 23, 2023

Stuart Smith: We Must Fight to Retain Our Democracy

Democracy in New Zealand is being challenged from within.

And those who fought and died to protect our freedom would never have believed that the biggest threat to our democracy is not a foreign power, but our very own government.

The Three Waters rebranding is a strategy aimed at diverting attention from the true intent of the policy and reducing the intensity of the ongoing debate.

On assuming the role of Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins sent Nanaia Mahuta overseas – and she is likely to remain there for as long as possible – due to the negative impact caused by the revelation of her family members occupying influential and profitable positions within the Three Waters initiative.

Where nepotism goes, corruption soon follows.

But it was the hapless Kieran McAnulty, whose honesty was a welcome change on TVNZ’s Q & A program when he conceded that the Three Waters reform moved away from a one-person, one-vote sense of democracy.

McAnulty went on to say that the Treaty of Waitangi required antidemocratic representation. Well, this will be news to most of us given that article three of the Treaty states:

“In consideration thereof, Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Waitangi Tribunal, who are not known for their conservatism, state the meaning of article three as:

“In Article 3, the Crown promised to Maori the benefits of royal protection and full citizenship. This text emphasises equality.”

Clearly, the Treaty of Waitangi does not require any antidemocratic representation, in fact, it is to the contrary: it guarantees equal citizenship – and, by default, one person, one vote and each vote of the same value.

McAnulty went on to claim that their reform is the only way to achieve cost savings! Just how cost savings can be achieved, given that the reservoirs, pipes and treatment plants cannot be aggregated, is a mystery.

He also claimed that the only way to achieve balance sheet separation for water infrastructure is with their plan. This is errant nonsense and another attempt at distraction.

There is no doubt that some councils have managed their infrastructure very badly. Wellington City Council, for one, is a great example. They have for many years spent ratepayers’ money on vanity projects and neglected vital infrastructure. Is McAnulty saying then, that, with their plan, ratepayers whose councils have managed their infrastructure wisely should have to pay to fix the likes of Wellington’s mess?

All that aside, what must be stopped is the potential loss of democracy!

If the Labour Party want to ignore the equal citizenship provision in the Treaty of Waitangi, and base voting rights on ethnicity, then they should put it to the people in a referendum.

I will fight for democracy and one person, one vote. Will you?

Stuart Smith is a N Z National Party politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives for the KaikĊura electorate since 2014. This article was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

Good on you Stuart, but not sure your woke boss will agree? McAnulty, Hipkins et al, are all promulgators of lies, and Mahuta, her husband, sister and other rellies, along with Tuku 'Underpants' etc, are all snout deep in the public trough over this. It should be the end of Labour - but it's there for National to lose.

Anonymous said...

Each ANZAC Day we remember the 30,000 NZers who died protecting our democracy.
Then Ardern announces in NZ Parliament "Democracy is too simple, we need to be more sophisticated than that." and the media don't print it as a headline banner.
Their eternal shame.
Our extreme lefties have taken that as a cue to destroy the remnants of our democracy taking us down the path to apartheid.
Their eternal shame.
We will remember them - lest we forget.

mudbayripper said...

What really baffles me Stuart is you're not the only National MP to pop up on sites like this with similar views.
Why then is it, the official perception is one of firmly sitting on the fence.
The only conclusion the public can take from this is division within the party.
Your leader seems incapable of making a true commitment to the full dismantling of race base policy based on the known corrupt reinterpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Many are waiting and time is running out.

Anonymous said...

Yes we will fight for democracy. Many people on this site have said they are ready to fight for this.
Starting with the election. The opposition needs prodding to state what their bottom line is. Over to you Stuart. Do you have colleagues who back you on this?
We could petition for referenda on issues and we could raise some awesome protests.

Terry Morrissey said...

Well said Stuart. Any chance of you running a few courses on democracy, AGW, co-governance, apartheid etc for the benefit of your party leaders? You and some of your collegues appear to be getting some enlightenment now we just need the tail to wag the dog.
I would imagine that you will be dumped on for expressing your opinion but please do not back down.
Also an article or two in the Ferald and Stuffed pointing out the above would be good, but good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Why does any one believe that National believes in democracy? Or that National can see through the veil of chaos? Or that they have the capacity to do anything? Or that they have any credibility? Words are easy Stuart but with Potaka now in your midst I would be worried … very worried.

Rob Beechey said...

It’s ironic, on the eve of ANZAC day, where we pay tribute to those that paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedoms that this police report was tabled pertaining to our right to free speech. Ardern openly condemned the freedom of speech during her UN delivery describing this as “weapons of war”. In just 77 years following Germany’s capitulation we witnessed unprovoked brutality resembling the very violence that our fathers and grandfathers defended us from.
And what’s more disturbing, NOT A SINGLE sitting parliamentarian had the courage to meet with the protestors.
Where were you Stuart?

AlanG said...

Great article Stuart and I agree wholeheartedly. But are you a lone voice in your party, because this isn't what the general public see as National policy and the polls are showing that what the public is seeing, they aren't too impressed by. I believe hudreds of thousands of Kiwis are waiting to see if National are going to challenge the woke racist rubbish that is being forced on the majority by a tiny minority. And - as a Party, you are not being clear that you will. The clock is ticking and NZ's future lies in your hands. No pressure, but please, please, please, as a Party, stand up for us and fight.

Anonymous said...

Now you are concerned about democracy?
The time to have been concerned about democracy was when Judith Collins wanted to bring the secretive apartheid He Puapua document to the public forum while it was still in it's infancy.