Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Removing legal impediments: A model that should be followed more often

Put someone under pressure or offer them temptation and you do see what they truly value. The stadium saga has indicated what some politicians truly value -- despite their usual flim flam -- and there's something to be learned here from how they intend to proceed with what they nobly call "our national stadium."

The Clark Government wants New Zealand to be "sustainable," they say, "inclusive," they say, and to take climate change seriously, they say. Yet it turns out that when push comes to shove they're just as derisive of those politically-correct concepts as the rest of us.
  • When the Resource Management Act slows down or holds up the construction of hydro schemes, housing projects, shopping malls, town centres and power generators, the Clark Government airily waves its hands and talks about the need for sustainable management. Hold up a project of their own, however, and the Clark Government announces that they intend to pass legislation to avoid following the Act they say they consider so important.
  • "Consultation" is a buzzword of modern New Zealand government, and a requirement of the Local Government Act, as Dean Knight explains: "Mallard is dreaming if he thinks that the Auckland City Council and Auckland Regional Council can make a decision about the stadium in 2 weeks. There’s a little legal obligation called participatory democracy that will stand in their way..." Turns out the Clark Government's true opinion of consultation and participatory democracy as your's or mine's when it comes to getting their own projects through the hoops.
  • Climate change is so important, Helen Clark said the other week, that we have to get Al Gore out to scare us back into the Stone Age. Temperatures are going to rise, she said -- reflecting her hero Al Gore -- weather events are going to harass us, she suggested, and sea levels are going to flood us: up to 6m of sea level rise, we were told. But the Clark Government no more believes that then you or I do, or they wouldn't even consider putting a billion-dollar stadium down there in their supposed climate-change flood-plain.
It's clear enough that when push comes to shove they really believe very little of what they say, do they.

How wonderful it would be if politicians were more honest, and they just said what they really believe instead of giving lip service to nonsense in the pursuit of power as they normally do. It would be pleasant to think that the usual impediments to development could be removed for all of us just as easily as the Government removes them for themselves -- and when it's clear that they no more believe the nostrums about legislation like the RMA than we do, why can't they just be honest and get rid of the impediments altogether.

Could it be, perhaps because they like the power that legislation like the RMA gives them?

LINKS: Stadium Aotearoa - LAWS 179: Elephants & the Law (Dean Knight)

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Stadium, RMA


  1. Power, its pursuit and the exercise therof is their entire reason for existence.
    They'll lie and spin and steal and ruin lives in pursuit of it.
    They don't "represent" us--the rule us and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

  2. Helen Clark said the other week...
    [...we have to get Al Gore out to scare us back into the Stone Age. Temperatures are going to rise, she said -- reflecting her hero Al Gore -- weather events are going to harass us]

    I saw Al Gore at University of Auckland just coming out from one of the lecture theaters at the Engineering School. I assume that they were Green Peace treehuggers standing just outside at the entrance to the School of Engineering with a huge banner where 3 females with no top (bare breast) were dancing to entertain Al Gore when he arrived.


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