Water woes

Column of the day by Jim Hopkins:

He starts:

Oh, darn. “Once more unto the beach, dear friends.” Well, not the beach, more like the river, puddle, rill, and stream. But the principle’s the same. And the issue’s the same. And the argument’s the same. And the reaction’s the same. And the reaction to the reaction is the same.

And here we go again – another fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Because we have.

This is our favourite faction replay, the old and festering sore, inflamed by good intentions and false expectations, and it just keeps on keeping on – dragging us back to Groundhog Day over and over again. Although, this time, it’s more Waterhog Day than Groundhog Day. . .

He concludes:

. . . This is something for the Crown to settle, in due and thoughtful course, with those citizens who feel they’re entitled to a specified piece of the water rights action.

Good luck to all involved. But the larger question is what price do those citizens – and their neighbours – pay to achieve that benefit.

Abraham Lincoln said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” In which case, how long can we stand dividing our house against itself? That’s the nub of all these matters. And the matter no tribunal can resolve.

John Key has been accused of dog whistle politics for stating, correctly, that Waitangi Tribunal rulings aren’t binding on the government.

Sadly the bigots have seized on the excuse to voice their opinions.

Funny though, that no-one calls it dog-whistling when those on the other end of the political and race/identity spectrum make equally extreme comments.

What those making the fuss from that side overlook is that the tribunal might find in favour of the government’s stance. They would be quite happy for it to ignore the findings then.

But whatever the tribunal rules and whatever follows, which could well be court action, Lincoln was right about the dangers of continued division.











One Response to Water woes

  1. Chris Bird says:

    It is interesting to hear on radio this morning about the worry of the Rakaia river flooding because of heavy rain in the southern Alps.
    Who is going to pay for the damage this water supposedly owned by somebody when it causes problems?
    this is a classic example of where there should be a massive storage facility in the hills to collect the surplus to use in time of need.


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