Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers for stories on issues affecting our freedom.
This week: Sewage and SWAT teams.
- Auckland: Our failing city – A rising population, overloaded infrastructure, bigger houses “putting pressure on city limits”, and increasing amounts of rubbish ending up at the landfills. Doom and gloom merchants warn of problems ahead for the “Super” City (should we call it Hide Park?). One of the main problems seems to be antiquated sewage and stormwater drainage systems with overflow sometimes causing sewage to flow into the sea. City councils have presided over deteriorating services for well over a hundred years. Why do we persist in leaving management of sewage and other infrastructure in the hands of local government, who have thus far done a woefully inadequate job? To protect the environment, I say let’s introduce user pays for sewage disposal – perhaps metered and charged to the household depending on use. Allow private competitors into the urban sewage disposal business; allow people to use septic tanks and on urban properties. In other words, give Aucklanders the choice of opting out of the failing government-provided systems and give them a rate rebate (read: tax refund).
- Twelve arrested in drugs busts – Heavily armed police executed home invasions of several Tauranga properties over the past 4 days, to arrest people for possessing and cultivating recreational drugs. The Armed Offenders Squad was used to intimidate the arrested people. Nowhere in the news item is it implied or suggested that the occupants of the properties were brandishing firearms at innocent people. Where will the AOS be deployed next -- at IRD searches of businesses and homes? At public appearances by the Prime Minister? Where will this end? Clearly, use of the AOS is now discretionary –- to be called upon any time there is a possibility that someone somewhere in the vicinity of government activity might own a firearm. And let’s face it, there is a high rate of gun ownership in New Zealand, so the AOS could turn up in your town soon, for any reason the government see fit. Am I being a bit paranoid? Or could New Zealand end up like Maryland, where there are 4.5 SWAT team raids per day?
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the
government fear the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson