Saturday, January 27, 2024

Clive Bibby: The Government is only answerable to those who voted for them

Promises made on the campaign trail only apply to those who accepted them at face value and voted accordingly believing that the new Government would honour them.

Like most kiwis who just want the Coalition to get on with the difficult job of restoring the democratic process to most of the institutions we depend on, l am frustrated at the amount of time being spent arguing the toss with all those groups who aren’t at all interested in our search for a truly egalitarian society. In fact, they wouldn’t recognise a communal effort that requires contributions from all who would benefit if they fell over it.

They have been allowed to prosper in a climate that promotes minorities who have an exaggerated opinion of their own self worth and consequently expect to receive an unequal governing share of the nation’s natural resources.

When confronted with this slow creep of favouritism for unelected individuals with inadequate attitudinal and financial skills, the people spoke overwhelmingly at the ballot box to reject this clandestine operation exposed as a betrayal of the authority invested in the previous government.

It is a bit rich now for those groups who had so much to gain from this selective indulgence and so much to lose if and when it was taken away, to be now saying they have been robbed of something that was never rightfully theirs.

This current round of navel gazing and confrontation, aided and abetted by the political parties who were rejected in a massive defeat at the polls, should be ignored as the personification of the racial tag so freely used to badger the democratically elected government.

Let them wallow in their own self pity and spend their own money (probably won’t be) testing their false narratives in court - and l’m not talking about the Waitangi Tribunal which has ceased to be recognised as an independent arbiter of what our statutes should mean. That institution has long since demonstrated an inability to adjudicate on matters of history that form the basis of our laws. It would appear that, as far as the Tribunal is concerned, the only interpretation of the Treaty that matters is the one accepted on the basis of ethnic heritage. The original document (whether it be the Hobson version or it’s Maori version counterpart) appears to have been discarded in the race to see who can interpret the words to suit their own selfish interests before this debate is settled in the Supreme Court.

And if we accept the threats emerging from these minority gatherings (which l reckon aren’t representative of the ordinary Maori or pakeha who live in communities where peaceful coexistence had been a hallmark of society for centuries), then acknowledging their misplaced mana is a mistake we should avoid.

Smoke without fire is a relatively easy phenomenon to deal with but stoking the flames will almost certainly ensure that these unrepresentative groups are emboldened enough to threaten the peace.

We should just let it die a natural death and leave the government to get on with honouring their pledges.

Simple really.

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.


Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about this article. Much of the substance I agree with. But we don't run a one-party political system in New Zealand. Any government of the day is answerable to all its people, regardless of whether they voted for the current government or not. Opposition parties are there to hold the government to account. Sometimes a minority opinion isn't without merit, too.

What we are lacking at present is respectful, well-reasoned and helpful engagement from opposing groups.

Clive Bibby said...

Not suggesting we do adopt a one party state but l am concerned the democratically elected government is spending too much of its time currying favour with minorities who are opposed to everything it promised the electorate and are threatening to unlawfully obstruct the implementation of those policies.
To my mind, these political agitators have forgone any rights they may have had to a peaceful protest.
They keep telling the people of this country that the government has bought a fight and so we shouldn’t be surprised if legitimate protest within the law turns to anarchy or something approaching that type of wilful unlawful disruption .
My suggestion is that the government doesn’t engage.
The worst that can happen is that a few flags will be burnt and a lot of insulting language will be directed at a target that has given up respectfully responding because it simply has more important things to do that will benefit all of the people you refer to.

Rob Beechey said...

Well put Clive. The election result has shaped the path sought by the majority of voters. The new government must forge ahead with the popular mandate urgently for New Zealand has been seriously damaged by an ideological driven govt. Peoples feelings may be hurt in the process tough, there is a job to do.

Anonymous said...

With respect, please do not use the Maori word "pakeha" to refer to those of us with a European racial background. One of the accepted meanings of that word is "pig". Its a slur and I'm not having it applied to me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous again from 10:12am.

Clive, I think we both share a concern that National will get pressured to turn away from its election pledges. It can be a fine line, however, between being a decisive government and becoming an autocratic one. One (of several) things the previous government got wrong was not listening to respectful opposing voices; because of their FPP-type absolute majority, they pushed ahead with policies regardless of widespread opposition. Also, although agitators like to couch things in extremes, at its best the Westminster political system seeks to find workable and principled solutions. Part of the way the system achieves this is through permitting, indeed encouraging, opposition voices. So I do disagree with your comment about peaceful protest: this is always legitimate even if most would disagree with the protesters' point of view. It's best to provide the sanitation of the open air than let such views fester in the dark.

The larger problem I see right now is the clear bias of the MSM and its unwillingness to critique the dubious statements or downright unfounded propaganda of the agitators.

To my mind, though, so far National seems to be threading the needle quite well, but time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Whilst the Government needs to listen it also needs to be aware of its mandate and not short change the voters who elected it. The problem with the previous Government was (a) the secrecy of their policies (b) their lack of informed advice (c) their extremism and excessive accommodation of and kowtowing to a small but belligerent minority (d) consequently alienating the masses.

It behoves the current government to listen to the full electorate and respond to its mandate. Regrettably there will always be noise around the fringes - democracy allows that - but the noise does not rule no matter how good it’s propoganda nor how loud its threats. .