Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Get Carter

Chris Carter has done everyone a favour. He's made it clear even to the unwashed and unenlightened that meddling is in, that enterprise is out, that the separation of powers in this pathetic authoritarian backwater is non-existent, and that New Zealand operates not under the rule of law, but under the rule of men and women whose view of the people they rule is that of chattel. You are an underclass. Ballot fodder. And you just keep on taking it.

To clearly see his view of you and yours, consider what Carter said when delivering his verdict public announcement of the Whangamata veto, delivered yesterday afternoon:

"Mr Carter said he had serious concerns about aspects of the proposal..."

All of which had already been dealt with in court.

"Under the Resource Management Act, the Conservation Minister is the final decision-maker on restricted coastal activities."

In other words, I remind you we live under the rule of men, not of law, and I am the man -- and don't you forget it. Take your application through the courts all you want, just as the law requires, but in the end I am the final arbiter and my decision may be taken on whatever basis I wish, and whatever whim I might harbour.

"In my view it is apparent that the salt marsh is valuable... "

'Valuable,' to whom? The question of 'value' presupposes the question: valuable to whom and for what. If it's 'valuable' to Chris, then let him and any like-minded others show precisely the value they place on the salt marsh by investing in it. And if it's not that valuable, then let him stop speaking for the speechless and get the hell out of the way.

"I recognise that the Whangamata Marina Society has spent a great deal of time and money on this proposal and I sympathise with their frustration at my decision.."

Fine words that butter no parsnips. It's not sympathy theyr'e after, it's justice.

"New Zealand's coast is a spectacular asset..."

A marina would be a spectacular asset to the people of Whangamata, say the people of Whangamata. Yet Carter knows better, says Carter. New Zealanders' freedom and their property rights are (or were) a spectacular asset to them. Is that worth defending for future generations? Or has it already gone for good?

The Foreshore and Seabed Act removed whatever property rights attached to what is now considered 'public space.' The RMA has destroyed legal certainty, eviserated property rights, and nationalised New Zealanders' land. Incredibly however, "this decision destroys the credibility of the RMA," says the man without credibility, Nick Smith, about an Act whose credibility is long gone. "It is constitutionally outrageous and has never happened in the 15 years of the RMA," says the man with a short memory; the man who administered the RMA for three years without changing a thing; the man who brought in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act that, in conjunction with the RMA, allowed then-Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee to veto the Whitianga Waterways project -- a veto overturned only after vehement protest by Whitanga residents and a threat to send busloads of them down to fill the forecourt of Parliament.

"Chris Carter's actions today highlight the desperate need for substantive reform of the Resource Management Act," says Smith. No what his actions highlight is the desperate need to get the unproductive permanently out of the way of the productive, and to end the need for the latter to be permanently cap in hand to the former. Smith, who had ample opportunity to 'substantively reform' the RMA when he was a minister but chose not to -- "far-sighted environmental legislation" he called it then -- is now just posturing like the politician he is.

How bad is Carter really? Well, however bad Carter and Co might be and are, at least they'll tell you to your face when they're doing you over. Smith and Co wait until your back's turned before sticking the knife in, and then deny all knowledge. But between them and their colleagues they've got this country so tied up with legislation, regulation and bureaucratisation that we can barely breathe, and you lost just keep voting for more of the same. As Ayn Rand had a bureaucrat say in what was then a work of fiction:
You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.

Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone?

But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be
much easier to deal with.
How easy are you to deal with? How much more are you prepared to take? Have we reached a tipping point yet?

LINKS: Ministerial veto destroys RMA credibility
- New Zealand National Party - Scoop
Carter declines Whangamata Marina proposal - New Zealand Government - Scoop
Greens welcome Whangamata decision - Greens - Scoop
The advantage of speaking for the speechless - Peter Cresswell - Not PC
Waterways nigtmare is property rights disaster - Peter Cresswell - Scoop (2001)

TAGS: Environment, RMA, Politics-NZ, Politics-National, Politics-Labour

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