Thursday, April 25, 2024

JC: PM Needs to Don His Hard Hat

First, let me say I think overall the Prime Minister is doing a good job. He didn’t disappoint in executing his 100-day plan. He and his ministers have been getting on with the job, and publishing a plan for the next few months was a good move. I do however have one area of concern. Christopher Luxon appears to not want to offend those who would seek to derail his well-intentioned ambitions. I refer, in the first instance, to that august body (well, that appears to be how they think of themselves), the Waitangi Tribunal.

It says, of itself, that it is a standing commission of inquiry. It makes recommendations on claims brought by Maori relating to legislation, policies, actions or omissions of the Crown that are alleged to ‘breach’ the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi. In fulfilling this role, the Waitangi Tribunal has exclusive authority to determine the meaning and effect of the Treaty. It can decide on issues raised by the differences between the Maori and English texts of the Treaty.

Now I don’t know about you, but for my money that is a licence to disrupt every facet of what this Government is trying to achieve. I have no doubt this is what was exercising the minds of Shane Jones and David Seymour when they voiced their concerns regarding the Tribunal overstepping its authority. They have every right to speak out, and it was more than a little disappointing to hear the Prime Minister describe their utterances as “ill-considered”.

Christopher Luxon would do well to reflect on the reasons his Government was elected. One was to sort this sort of nonsense out. Shane and David have done nothing more than give those voters confidence that that is their intention. For Christopher to label the remarks as he did is to sow doubt in the voters’ minds as to how serious he is about dealing with the matter. The government inquiry into the role of the Waitangi Tribunal needs to be done as expeditiously as possible.

Along with the public service, the Waitangi Tribunal will not be a friend of this Government: far from it. They overstepped their boundaries in summoning the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour for a grilling after she expressed her desire to do what’s best for a child regardless of race. Her policy is not for the Waitangi Tribunal to determine; it is for the elected government to judge. Now that the Labour Party Maori caucus has lost its power it appears the Waitangi Tribunal sees itself taking over that role. This must not be allowed.

Given an inch, the Tribunal will take a mile, trying to stymie our Government in every possible way. It will try to get its evil claws into any area it sees fit: housing, infrastructure, oil and gas exploration, mining, in fact anywhere it might hinder the Government’s objectives. If allowed, it will stall this country’s path back to prosperity.

Once again, the Prime Minister has to show without doubt that he is on board and holds the same views as Shane and David. They will have the public’s backing and they need his too.

I have read that those involved in Maori legal matters are expressing reservations about the fast-track legislation. That raises the inevitable question of how many taniwha there are between Whangarei and Tauranga. This is 2024 and if we are to look anything faintly like a first-world country the Prime Minister will have to come down hard on these people.

At the moment it looks like ACT and New Zealand First are taking the lead. Even if it is not so, it will certainly be the public’s perception. National, as the biggest party in the coalition, must be seen to be as staunch as its partners. At the end of the day the Waitangi Tribunal is only an advisory body that makes recommendations to governments. These recommendations are not even required to be acted on. It should not be within the purview of the Waitangi Tribunal to determine legislation or demand Ministers attend their supposed halls of power to be interrogated.

The enacting of legislation and the form it takes is solely the prerogative and responsibility of the government, as Shane Jones has already stated. The Waitangi Tribunal is giving every indication it thinks otherwise. It is to be hoped that the handbrake New Zealand First was to Labour can now be applied to this outfit and that they are either suitably reined in, or preferably, dispensed with.

JC is a right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. This article was first published HERE


Ian Bradford said...

Simeon Brown and Tim Grosser have indicated the following: 1. National will not withdraw from UNDRIPP
2. National has no intention to close the Waitangi Tribunal.
3. National will not amend the Foreshore and Seabed Act
4. National will not resign from the Paris Climate Accord.
National intends to continue with Co-Governance arrangements inside our Universities.
And of course David Seymour's Treaty Principles bill has faded into the background.
I'm afraid I see Luxon as a real problem. If Maori take over all the coastline then what do you think the reaction of fishermen will be? It won't be pretty.

Anonymous said...

National need to change it's name to the Apartheid party, as they don't represent the majority eh.

Ray S said...

Yes Ian @ 3:48 and probably quite bloody.