Word of the day

30/11/2022

Tattie-bogle – scarecrow.


Sowell says

30/11/2022


Rural round-up

30/11/2022

New Zealand’s meat processors and exporters call for change to emissions pricing proposal :

New Zealand’s red meat processing and exporting sector is urging the Government to make changes to its agricultural emissions pricing proposal.

The Meat Industry Association (MIA) rejects the Government’s proposed interim processor-level levy, wants changes to the emissions price-setting process, proper recognition for genuine sequestration happening on New Zealand’s sheep and beef farms, and levy relief for those farmers disproportionately impacted by emissions pricing.

“The red meat sector has a role to play in addressing climate change and we support an approach to pricing that would reduce emissions but not at the expense of massive production losses and hurting rural communities,” says Nathan Guy, chairman of MIA.

“The He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership’s recommended proposal was carefully calibrated to ensure that disproportionate impacts were minimised across sectors, particularly for the sheep and beef industry. . . 

Thinking gets even woollier – Sally Rae:

Amanda Dorset has gone fully woolly.

And that should come as music to the ears of strong wool growers, as the Wanaka businesswoman — co-founder of Wilson and Dorset with her husband, Ben Wilson — is a passionate advocate for the fibre.

For 16 years, the couple have made sheepskin furnishings, having spied an opportunity to do something “cool” with New Zealand sheepskins.

Having been looking to buy a sheepskin, she found it hard to find a suitable one. “Some fleeces may as well have been synthetic, they were so over-processed,” she recalled. . . 

What reception will PM Jacinda Ardern and Labour get at Fieldays – Jamie Mackay :

If tractor sales are the barometer of success for Fieldays exhibitors this week, then adoring throngs gathered are the equivalent for politicians.

I’ve been a regular attendee at Fieldays since the mid-90s, meaning I’ve seen Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark, John Key, Bill English and Jacinda Ardern come and go. And it would be fair to say that only two of those prime ministers, past and present, have enjoyed rock star status at Mystery Creek.

I fondly (sort of, if you excuse the fog diversion from Hamilton airport), remember picking up a fellow stranded traveller for the drive down to the ‘Tron from Auckland. It must have been about 2012 or 2013, because David Shearer was the then leader of the Labour Party.

Like me, and any number of other passengers who were diverted to Auckland, he needed to make his way to Fieldays. We had a rental car. He was (in true egalitarian Labour fashion) going to take a bus. We had a spare seat. I insisted he hitch a ride. He obliged and we thoroughly enjoyed his company, even stopping to broadcast our midday radio show on the side of the road somewhere near Huntly. . . 

A kick in the guts for rural nurses – rural general practice nurses once again overlooked by the Minister :

Today Minister Little announced action planned by the Government to provide pay parity for health workers. In his statement he made two conflicting statements:

“The Government is committed to ensuring health workers are paid fairly and receive parity with others doing the same or similar work, especially given the current cost of living pressures workers and their families are under”,

and then in the next breath,

“However, I have to be clear that this package will not mean significant change immediately for those working in GP practices.” . . 

The deer dairy diaries – Tony Benny :

When deer scientist Geoff Asher and colleague Jason Archer suggested collecting milk samples from milk hinds for a research project at AgResearch’s campus at Invermay near Dunedin, some were sceptical but they found a way to make it work. Now, decades later, deer milk (tia miraka) is not only harvested routinely, it’s a key component of high-value cosmetics.

“We got a lot of commentary thrown at us, ‘I hope you get a new set of teeth soon because you will get your current ones kicked out!’, and various things like that,” Asher says.

“It was kind of considered in the very, very hard basket but we were not been daunted by that. Sometimes you just need determination and a touch of stupidity.” 

Invermay recently celebrated 50 years of deer farming science by AgResearch and its predecessors, always in partnership with the deer industry and farmers. The research on lactation was typical of their studies, which included major advances in understanding deer nutrition, health, behaviour and genetics and the development of products such as venison, velvet and milk that are exported around the world. . . 

New Zealand dairy industry pioneer’s original farm place on the open market for the first time :

A prime cattle grazing block once owned by a former New Zealand dairy industry leader and one of the Hauraki Plains’ earliest farming founders has been placed on the market for sale.

One of the titles in this 81.6-hectare block at Kopuarahi was owned by former dairy industry leader Sir William Hale who not only represented New Zealand’s farming sector on the world stage for its meat and diary products, but also ensured the industry was in a healthy state domestically.

Born in Thames in 1883, William Hale left school at an early age, and took up farming work at Puriri, before he drew a property allocation at Kopuarahi in the first land ballot in 1910. William Hale lived on the same farm until his death in 1968, being the only person of the first ballot to be still living on his property at the time of his death.

William Hale’s long associations with Hauraki Plains local body affairs commenced in 1914 and he served for 18-years as a member of the Thames Hospital Board, 13 of these being chairman. In 1916 he became a director of the Thames Valley Co-operative Dairy Company. . . 


Slàinte mhath

30/11/2022

Slàinte mhath and happy St Andrew’s Day, especially to those who have tartan genes.


Who’s in charge?

30/11/2022

Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins both say they knew nothing about entrenching a clause in the Three Five Waters legislation until after it was done:

. . . Remarks from Ardern and Leader of the House Chris Hipkins on Monday made it clear that there were mixed levels of knowledge of the amendment among Labour’s leadership, despite Labour voting in support of the amendment.

“The last I had heard was for a 75 per cent entrenchment which would have failed with only Labour and the Greens supporting it,” Ardern said.

“I wasn’t aware until after the fact that that had been lowered to 60 per cent – I wasn’t in the House when it happened,” Hipkins said. . . 

That begs the question who did know?:

. . . Nanaia Mahuta as the responsible minister, however, knew exactly what was going on.

“We know that while this particular SOP [supplementary order paper] may not pass the constitutional threshold, there is a moral obligation of people who believe that privatisation should not occur to support that particular SOP,” she told the House at the time. . . 

That begs another question: why, when it was such a controversial move, that conflicted with official advice and set a very dangerous precedent, didn’t she tell her leader?

Given that she didn’t, why not and what are the repercussions?

Can you imagine what former Prime Ministers Bill English, John Key, Helen Clark, Jenny Shipley, Jim Bolger  . . . would have said and done had a Minister slipped a sly and anti-democratic move into any  Bill, let alone legislation that is so unpopular?

The current PM has said and done nothing publicly to indicate that she’s doing anything at all to haul Mahuta back and she’s dissembling over the debacle:

The Prime Minister is deliberately dissembling over the Three Waters entrenchment debacle and should simply admit Labour’s mistake and fix it, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says.

“After constitutional law experts publicly admonished Labour for its use of an unconstitutional entrenchment provision in the Three Waters legislation, the Prime Minister should have admitted the mistake and said Labour would fix it.

“Instead, Jacinda Ardern not only attempted to confuse the issue, but she also attempted to make it one for Parliament’s Business Committee.

“The Business Committee has nothing to do with this. It is Labour and the Greens’ mistake, and they need to fix it.

“Entrenchment should only be used for constitutional matters, and only after careful thought and debate, not during a rushed process like this was.

“The Prime Minister needs to stop the dissembling. She is misleading the public, and protecting Labour Ministers and Members who created this problem.

“Labour should refer the Water Services Entities Bill back to Parliament to remove the offensive entrenchment provision.

“The fact that Ms Ardern and Mr Hipkins claim they were not aware of the provisions is a further sign that the Three Waters legislation has been a rushed, sloppy process. Not only are they not across the legislation, but they are also clearly not in control of their caucus, which voted for the Green Party’s proposal in the first place.

“Labour could resolve the issue quickly. Instead, it seems determined to deny it has made a mistake in the legislation which would set a dangerous precedent and undermine New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.”

The lack of any action against the Minister and the dissembling over the debacle begs another question: who’s in charge?

It looks more and more that it is Mahuta and her Maori caucus colleagues and that they hold disproportionate power in government.


Word of the day

29/11/2022

Entrench – establish (an attitude, habit, or belief) so firmly that change is very difficult or unlikely; to firmly establish something, especially an idea or a problem, so that it cannot be changed; establish (a military force) in trenches or other fortified positions;  to place within or surround with a trench especially for defence;  to place (oneself) in a strong defensive position.


Sowell says

29/11/2022


Rural round-up

29/11/2022

‘I don’t want to be farming here by myself’ – Richard Walker :

On Tuesday, Dani Darke has a ram sale, a board subcommittee meeting and a pony club meeting. Her neighbour up the valley, Natasha Cave, has an online business seminar in the morning and sheep crutching in the afternoon. On Sunday, Cave and her husband Alan crutched 800 ewes and lambs. Tuesday will be less, though still in the hundreds.

On Monday, both women attended their kids’ school athletics morning, Darke helped her husband on the farm and took her daughter to tutoring.

It’s a busy life. It’s a good life. And it’s a life the two Aria women fear is at risk. Pine trees are starting to arrive in the picturesque King Country, and they’re likely to keep coming. That does nothing for local communities. The plantations are company owned, and the workers are bussed in from who knows where.

Natasha Cave was driven to write an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern almost a year ago after another King Country farm was sold to trees. . . 

Emissions research a black hole – Steven Cranston:

A giant black hole is emerging within the wider agricultural industry. It has been there for some time but has mostly flown under the radar.

To date, it has sucked in over $200 million of industry and government money into its vortex, but – as is the case with black holes – nothing has come out. Most of that funding will be lost forever and if the agricultural industry does not start providing more critical oversight of emissions research spending, many hundreds of millions more will disappear into oblivion.

The consensus now is that solutions to ruminant methane emissions will not be market-ready any time soon; certainly not in time to help offset the Government’s proposed tax on farm emissions due to roll out in 2025. This has only prompted the black hole to expand. The Minister for Agriculture has recently announced another $338.7 million over the next four years to disappear, and the National Party is right behind them with big plans to drive further R&D investment.

The researchers behind these technologies have made bold claims about their potential: Bovaer has been shown to reduce emissions by 30% in Europe and AgResearch has identified a 12% variance between low and high methane breeding lines. . . 

Zespri lowers fruit returns forecast, downgrades FY23 corporate profit outlook – Andrea Fox:

Higher-than-estimated kiwifruit quality issue costs and ongoing challenges have squeezed some of the juice out of global marketer Zespri’s earnings and profit forecasts for this season.

Chairman Bruce Cameron has told the company’s 2800 New Zealand growers in a forecast update that tray returns for the best-seller SunGold kiwifruit and its organic counterpart are now below the June orchard gate return guidance.

The forecast range of corporate net profit after tax for the financial year ending March 31 was now $225 million to $235m, including grower licence income.

Corporate profit after tax in 2021-2022 was $361.5m. . . 

 

Time to celebrate Kiwi farmers – Todd Muller:

National Party acting spokesman for agriculture, Todd Muller, reflects on a difficult year for New Zealand farmers and reckons it’s time to celebrate our food and fibre sector.

This has been a bloody tough year for farmers.

While our export prices have been solid, the costs imposed on the home front have been shocking.

Continually growing farm inputs costs such as fuel, feed, labour and fertiliser are squeezing margins and causing immeasurable stress. . . 

New chapter for Fonterra as parliament passes DIRA amending Bill but a fresh climate challenge looms – Point of Order :

NZ dairy giant Fonterra expects to have its  new capital structure in place by March after Parliament gave a final reading  this week to the Dairy  Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill. It had the support of Labour, National, and Act, with the Greens and Te Pati Maori  voting against it,  as they did during the first two readings. 

It marks a new chapter for the big co-op at a time when the industry has been hit by soaring inflation-driven farm costs and the Ardern government’s move to tax farm methane emissions.

Fonterra  as a key element  of the dairy industry  has made significant progress with its turnaround 2030 business strategy; and the proposed capital restructure is designed to  ensure its many processing  sites remain full in flatlining, and predicted to decline, national milk production.

The  restructure needed Parliament’s approval because  Fonterra was created by enabling legislation in 2001, and because  a feature of it, delinking the farmer share market and the unit market, could have faced legal challenges. . . 

 

The blessing of harvest completed – Terry Wanzek  :

Abraham Lincoln issued America’s first Thanksgiving proclamation in a time of violence. The year was 1863, and the president found it appropriate to give thanks even though America was torn by “a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity.”

War was on my mind earlier this month, as I harvested corn on our family farm in North Dakota. It occurred to me that I’m fortunate to farm in peace.

We take so many things for granted—but as Thanksgiving approaches, we should count our blessings and express our thanks.

Let’s start with this simple fact of peace. I could offer that farmers wage war every day, as we battle the elements. A few years ago, a wet fall turned our fields to mud and made it nearly impossible to run our combines. We had to let a lot of corn stand through the winter and complete our job the following February and March. It felt like a war of attrition. . . 


Mandate makes a difference

29/11/2022

Eugenie Sage tried to justify her move to entrench part of the Three Five Waters legislation by referring back to National ignoring a referendum.

She ignores a very important point.

National campaigned on the partial privatisation of a few state assets, won the election and so had a mandate to carry out that policy.

Labour didn’t campaign on Three Five Waters.

She also tries to justify the move by saying the entrenchment clause responds to public submissions.

That justification also holds no water because tens of thousands of submissions weren’t even considered because they came via a Taxpayers’ Union tool, even though many were personalised; and the overwhelming number of submissions against the legislation were ignored.

The entrenchment is a constitutional outrage, the policy is a very expensive mistake and no attempts to justify either can make them right.


Admission of defeat

29/11/2022

Labour could have reversed the entrenchment clause in the Three Five Waters BIll.

Instead it’s referring it to parliament’s Business Committee.

Labour is in the early stages of a backdown on its controversial decision to entrench parts of the Three Waters legislation – a move constitutional experts said set a “dangerous precedent”.

The move came as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Leader of the House Chris Hipkins admitted to not being aware that a fresh move to entrench a part of the bill had been put until after it was passed. Official advice provided to Local Government minister Nanaia Mahuta more than a year ago warned that even Labour’s original entrenchment proposal could be constitutionally damaging.

Ardern said Cabinet considered the issue of the entrenchment clause on Monday and resolved to kick the matter back to Parliament’s Business Committee – a cross-party group of MPs that discuss the running of Parliament. . . 

This will ensure the matter stays in the news for longer giving the many critics even more ammunition against the whole proposal.

Labour dug itself a hole over this from the start and has kept on digging in spite of overwhelming opposition from the councils which own the assets the government plans to take and the majority of people in several polls.

Why, instead of slowing the whole process down and trying to take councils and the public with it, is it bulldozing it through under urgency and why did it try to entrench some parts of the legislation?

Could it be an admission of defeat?

Could it be that it knows it can’t win next year and is trying to get as much done, and done as soon as it can and in such a way as to make it harder for the new National-led government to undo it?

Fortunately the undoing will be possible and Stephen Franks has helpfully drafted a way it could be done.

It’s just a pity that even more millions of dollars will be wasted on the bulldozing before that can happen.


Word of the day

28/11/2022

Apophenia – the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things; the human tendency to see patterns and meaning in random information; patternicity.


Sowell says

28/11/2022


Rural round-up

28/11/2022

HWEN wants govt review of methane targets – Neal Wallace:

The primary sector has asked the government to review its methane targets and the method by which it sets those targets before it starts pricing agricultural greenhouse gases.

In its submission in response to government proposals on pricing emissions, the He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) partnership is asking for the Climate Change Commission to take another look at the 2050 emission reduction targets to reset methane levels using the GWP* calculation.

HWEN chair Sarah Paterson said this reflects feedback from farmers and growers during consultation on the government’s proposals.

HWEN chief executive Kelly Forster said it “really is a call to ensure the [commission’s] review takes into account the latest science”. . . 

Setting a standard: How our beef and lamb footprint measures up against the world avatar – Liam Rātana :

New research has found that the carbon footprint of Aotearoa-produced beef and lamb is among the lowest in the world. We took a deeper look at what the report says, and why it matters.

So what is this research?

Commissioned by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association, and conducted by AgResearch, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study looked at on-farm emissions – which allowed for direct comparisons with other countries – but also went further, looking at the full “cradle to grave” footprint (ie including on-farm, processing and post-processing emissions). The report’s findings showed that despite the additional emissions involved with exporting product, our total footprint was still lower than the majority of countries – even those who had domestically produced meat.

While the report acknowledges that differences in methodologies make it difficult to accurately compare countries’ footprints across the entire process, particularly notable is the difference in the liveweight footprint of our stock. This metric, used to measure emissions before an animal is processed, shows that New Zealand’s average carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) per kilogram of sheep meat is less than half the international average, and about 30% lower than the international average for beef. . .

Immigration red tape frustrates short-staffed farmers  – Robin Martin :

A Northland farmer fears immigration red tape will see an experienced German dairy hand walk away from a job vacancy that she desperately needs to fill.

Katrina Pearson said applying for a work visa under the Accredited Employer Scheme had been a bureaucratic nightmare.

She runs a 250-hectare dairy farm west of Whangārei, milking nearly 500 cows.

Pearson needs two full-time staff, but she is struggling to recruit. . . 

Father and son named national ambassadors :

Ashburton father and son, Phillip and Paul Everest have been named as the new National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing and the recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy.

The announcement was made earlier this week at the National Sustainability Showcase at Te Pae in Christchurch.

The event was attended by all the regional supreme winners from the 2022 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA). The BFEA is an annual celebration and promotion of sustainable farming and growing practices hosted by the New Zealand Environment Farm Trust (NZEFT) where regional supreme winners come together to share ideas and information.

The Everest family run Flemington Farm in Ashburton where they’ve expanded the255ha property into a sustainable dairy and beef farm. They were named the 2022 Regional Supreme winners in the Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment awards in July this year. . .

Fonterra confirms timeline for Capital Structure implementation :

Fonterra can today confirm that its new Flexible Shareholding capital structure is set to be implemented in late March 2023, subject to the Board being satisfied that the relevant preparations are completed before then.

The structure, which is laid out in a step-by-step tool for shareholders as well as this Guide to Flexible Shareholding, is intended to make it easier for new farmers to join the Co-operative and for existing farmers to remain, by allowing greater flexibility in the level of investment required.

Chairman Peter McBride says Flexible Shareholding will support Fonterra’s strategy by helping to maintain a sustainable milk supply, protecting farmer ownership and control, and supporting a stable balance sheet.

“Our Co-operative is already making good progress towards our 2030 strategic goals, and we believe moving to our Flexible Shareholding structure will help ensure that we stay on track,” says Mr McBride. . .

 

Innovative uses of forestry and wood products unveiled at Fieldays :

New and innovative uses of forestry and wood products will be on display at 35 stands in the Fieldays Forestry Hub near Hamilton between 30 November and 3 December, including a revolutionary treatment for radiata pine, a super carbon-storer – biochar – and cutting-edge research exploring using woody biomass for aviation fuel.

Planted trees are the raw material for more than 5,000 products we use every day. They also form the foundation of New Zealand’s next-generation bioeconomy, with the demand for new biomaterials only set to grow as fossil fuel-based products are replaced with renewable alternatives.

The revolutionary treatment for radiata pine allows it to be used in place of imported hardwood timber for decking, interior bench tops and as a fortified exterior cladding.

Called Sicaro, this timber treatment technology is being distributed by Motueka-based architectural company Genia. It uses a fortification process that replaces water within the cell structure with a water-borne solution that cures to a resin. . . 


“Dangerous precedent”

28/11/2022

The open letter from the public law experts:

 


Bulldozing democracy

28/11/2022

Labour has gone to great lengths to counter accusations they are taking assets from councils.

They keep telling us all, that councils will still own their assets.

A legal opinion from Franks Ogilvie states that is wrong:

Ministers have repeatedly asserted that Councils will have “ownership” of the four new “entities” (actually bespoke statutory corporations) to take over three waters assets under Minister Mahuta’s scheme. The Water Services Entities Bill (the “Bill”)contains statements that Councils will “co-own” the corporations in “shares” to be allocated to them. In this opinion the assertions that Councils will share ownership are referred to as the “Claims”.

The claims are false, misleading and deceptive. The Councils will have none of the bundle of rights that define and are conferred by ownership in any sense familiar to lawyers, or understood as the common significance of ownership. Councils are expressly denied the rights of possession, control, derivation of benefits, and disposition that are the defining attributes of ownership. . . 

In spite of this, the government keeps telling us that councils will still own the assets.

However, by entrenching the clause in the Water Services Entities Bill (the one that was about Three Waters and is now about Five Waters), that stops the entities being sold, it loses that argument.

If the councils still own the assets whose business is it if they wanted to sell them?

Its theirs, their ratepayers’ and residents’ business, not the government’s.

If it’s not the business of councils, ratepayers and residents, but the government’s, the government admitting that councils won’t continue to own their assets.

That is an important issue, but not as important as the government’s entrenching the clause and thereby attempting to bind future government’s to a partisan and deeply unpopular measure.

Entrenchment has until now been for constitutional matters. Requiring a super majority for them is a democratic safeguard.

Entrenching a highly contentious and politically partisan measure like this is an attempt to bind future government’s to the current one’s will and that is the antithesis of democracy.

Law professor Andrew Geddis explains what happens when MPs entrench legislation and why it matters and concludes :

. . . The point being, what happened on Wednesday was a potentially momentous broadening out of an existing wrinkle in our system of parliamentary governance. Since 1956, our law has said that some key bits of our electoral system are so at risk of partisan gaming that we can’t trust a bare majority of MPs to decide them. Now, the amended three waters legislation also says that there is a basic policy issue that is so overwhelmingly important as to justify today’s MPs placing handcuffs on tomorrow’s MPs when dealing with it.

If that is indeed the case, what other sorts of issues might a supermajority of MPs think rise to that level? And, in this brave new world, what happens to our system of parliamentary law-making, based as it is on the assumption that the view of the current majority is always subject to revision by the future’s?

David Farrar has a few suggestions for policies past governments could have entrenched and  future government could entrench.

There would be an uproar if a future National-led government attempted to entrench these or any other partisan policies which illustrates just how dangerous the precedent Labour, aided by the Greens whose MP Eugenie Sage moved the Supplementary Order Paper to include entrenchment.

There is an uproar on social media, and the issue was discussed on NewsTalkZB yesterday afternoon it ought to be making headlines everywhere.

Labour has been bulldozing Five Waters with no concern for democracy from the start but until now there was the knowledge that a change of government could easily repeal the legislation and replace it with something far, far better in proper consultation with the councils which own the assets.

Entrenching the clause has made that a bit harder and shown how little regard Labour and the Greens have for democracy.

Garrick Tremain says it all:


Word of the day

27/11/2022

Olfaction – the ability to smell; action of, or capacity for, smelling; the sense of smell.

 


Milne muses

27/11/2022


Beautifying the blogosphere

27/11/2022


Maya muses

27/11/2022


Disdain for democracy

27/11/2022

Three Waters was bad, Five Waters is worse and a sneaky addition has made it worse still:

The Government has been caught sneaking a rarely-used legal provision into the proposed Three Waters legislation which will make it harder for Parliament to overturn, National Justice Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith and Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts say.

This week, while Parliament sat under urgency pushing legislation through, Labour and the Greens added a provision that means once Three Waters becomes law, it would take 60 per cent of MPs to overturn it, instead of a simple majority which applies to almost every law passed, except for a few constitutional matters.

That is a very high threshold.

Applying it to non-constitutional matters sets a very dangerous precedent that any future government could follow.

“Entrenched provisions are used rarely in New Zealand for good reason and until now they have been reserved for core constitutional issues like parts of the Electoral Act,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Labour and the Greens have now colluded to entrench in law a contentious policy position, without any real debate and while the House was sitting under urgency.

“Entrenched provisions in law should be reserved for matters largely above politics, and when used they should be subject to careful scrutiny and debate. The exact opposite has happened in this case.

“As constitutional lawyer Dr Dean Knight has said, “this is unusual and doesn’t sit well with our current constitutional traditions… it’s regrettable this significant constitutional development only came to light in committee of the whole stage and was not subject to scrutiny and public submission”.

“The passing of this SOP sets a very dangerous precedent. If a National Government had passed a provision like this over, say, for example, the three strikes sentencing regime, Labour and the Greens would be outraged,” Mr Goldsmith says.

Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts said Labour has used the veil of urgency to ram through an unconstitutional clause to block future changes to a broken bill, which National will repeal and replace.

“Labour and the Greens need to immediately walk this move back. When the House resumes in December, National will move to recommit the Water Services Entities Bill back to the committee of the Whole House Stage to excise this unconstitutional and undemocratic clause. We urge the government to vote for it and for cool heads to prevail.”

The headline to this media release calls it skulduggery.

It is also constitutionally dodgy.

It’s a very dangerous game that could be played by future governments.

Three Five Waters has steamrolled over democracy and democratic conventions from the start.

From the lies in the advertisements, through reversing the promise that councils wouldn’t be compelled to be part of the scheme and not even looking at  tens of thousands of submissions to this.

Labour has the numbers to push the legislation through and given its disregard for even the most reasonable attempts to dilute the damage it’s inflicting with this legislation, it will.

The only way to undo the damage and get a government with far higher regard for democracy is to vote this lot out next year.


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