Nick Smith

Tits for hands

Nick Smith really does have tits for hands.

John Armstrong explains:

With the countdown to polling day about to be measured in weeks rather than months, Bill English, while keeping his fingers strictly crossed, has had reason to feel increasingly confident that he will not fall victim to the tide of populism which has engulfed neo-liberal leaders like him across the globe.

The opinion polls still have National enjoying just as comfortable a margin over its rivals as had been the case before the change in prime ministers.

The economy continues to hum along nicely. There is no discernible mood for change.

Enter Nick Smith. The Environment Minister’s extraordinarily inept handling of the acutely sensitive matters arising from the export of bottled water invited the very backlash that English would have thought he was escaping.   Read more »

The problem with tribalism and government encouragement of the same

Rodney Hide highlights the problems successive governments have with enabling the treaty settlement process with iwi.

The approach by successive governments to Maori economic development is a triumph of hope over understanding and experience.

More darkly, it’s the triumph of politics over what is good and just.

The policy is to pump tribalism as a viable form of economic organisation. The tribal structures themselves would hardly exist outside of state mandate and massive subsidy.

The result is a long list of constitutional outrages and economic sabotage. The latest is the legislative chicanery to enable multiple iwi authorities to invite themselves into co-governance with local councils that as reported last week by NBR‘s On the Money columnist Michael Coote.

The problem is straightforward: Tribalism is the worst form of economic organisation. It’s collectivist, it lacks incentive to perform, the principals can’t readily sack their agents and there’s invariably a complete lack of transparency and hence accountability.

The structure works to the advantage of tribal bosses, not members.

In modern society that shouldn’t matter but the state’s mandating and subsidising of tribes gives tribal bosses financial and political clout they otherwise would not enjoy.

Which is why individual Maori see nothing from settlements. They blame the government but they should really look at their leaders.

It was bad when tribes were being fattened with Treaty settlements but, as Mr Coote well describes, tribal leaders are now being granted unaccountable power through co-governance arrangements. Their political and economic clout extends beyond the tribe.

And Nick Smith is front and centre in perpetuating this situation.

There’s also a despicable loop as tribal leaders back MPs in the race-based seats who in turn back the tribal leaders. The co-governance arrangements of latest concern were introduced at the behest of the Maori Party after public submissions were heard.

The Maori Party is supported by tribal leaders and, in return, supports the tribal leaders.

There should be no surprise in this: tribalism stands in direct opposition to democracy and capitalism.

It’s the nature of politics to think in terms of groups from polling through to lobby groups and interest groups. It’s easy to “meet with Maori” when there are pumped up tribal leaders. The very concept of meeting with European New Zealanders is a nonsense.

The individuals of the tribe in such fashion are politically and financially disempowered.

The endless push and move centimetre by centimetre to co-governance is entrenching power and corrupting the body politic. Not least, there is a complete conflict of interests between a tribe engaging in business while occupying a privileged position deciding both the use of natural resources and town planning process.

Politics, tribal politics and business are hopelessly intertwined and conflicted.

It’s easily fixed. Tribal members should be allocated fully tradeable shares in their tribal financial interests. That would ensure transparency and accountability. The members would be empowered, not the bosses.

The favoured legal status of the tribes in resource planning would not be politically sustainable. Our politics would also be cleaned up. It won’t happen: the present failed and corrupt arrangement suits politicians and tribal leaders all too well.

And being extended by Nick Smith in his cosy deal to “reform” the Resource Management Act.

 

– NBR

Tagged:

I bet Dunne and Seymour feel like right nancies about now

Peter Dunne and David Seymour thought they’d help out Nick Smith with RMA reform.

Unfortunately for them he spat in their faces and preferred a solution that caves in to brownmail.

The Government and the Maori Party have struck a deal to back Resource Management Act reforms, despite a last-ditch bid from other parties to provide a better offer.

The announcement ensures the controversial Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, intended to speed up planning and consent laws, will pass into law after years of delays.

In a statement on Thursday, Maori Party co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell announced they had reached agreement to support the final stages of the legislation.

“We’ve worked hard on the outcomes to reach an agreement that we are satisfied with,” Flavell said.

Read more »

Nick Smith risks it all in election year

There are two people who will cost National the election. They are Bill English and Nick Smith, and they are wedded to each other.

Nick Smith is the proverbial omnishambles.

The next stage of the Government’s attempts to change the Resource Management Act with a massive 300-page amendment bill are likely to be one of the biggest tests of MMP we have seen.

There is now no guarantee that Environment Minister Nick Smith can get the legislation — or critical parts of it – through the House as both the Maori Party and Act threaten to vote with the Opposition.

No Government has been defeated since MMP was introduced on a piece of landmark  legislation in the Chamber because its coalition partners have voted against parts of it.

That is what could happen here.   Read more »

The opposition are waterboarding Nick Smith

Peter Wilson writes

Labour, the Greens and NZ First know they’re on the front foot.

Environment Minister Nick Smith’s clean rivers announcement was a muddy mix-up and now the scene has shifted to something just as emotive – the export for profit of bottled water.

It should be clear to the government, and probably is, that public opinion is running with the opposition.

The Greens launched the campaign back in April last year.

They said 74 companies around the country were exporting millions of litres of water every year and weren’t paying anything for it.

There was a protest march in Ashburton, where the council wanted to sell a 10ha site with the right to extract 40 billion litres of water from the local aquifer over the next 30 years.

In July the council backed off.

Winston Peters was quick to identify an issue that could be exploited.

“When that water is sent overseas for profit, by a New Zealand or a foreign-owned company, then that water should command a royalty collected by the Crown on behalf of the people to whom this common property belongs,” he said.

The NZ First leader vowed that if his party was “in a position of influence” after the next election, he would make sure a royalty was imposed.

The then prime minister, John Key, wouldn’t have a bar of it.

Read more »

National overjoyed at landlord conviction

If you need a current example of the National party championing the downtrodden against everyday people, here’s one for you.

Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith has welcomed the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team’s first successful prosecution of a landlord for renting a substandard property, under the Government’s tenancy law reform passed last year.

“This prosecution is significant in that it is the first time the Government has pursued a landlord for failing to provide a warm, dry, safe home. Last year’s tenancy reforms enabled the ministry to directly prosecute landlords rather than relying on tenants to take an action in the Tribunal. The law change also introduced a requirement for smoke alarms, home insulation by July 2019 and strengthened tenancy protection when taking Tribunal cases over substandard rentals,” Dr Smith says. Read more »

He’s exactly like Malcolm Tucker’s coffee machine

Nick Smith is exactly like Malcolm Tucker’s coffee machine.

Nick Smith has screwed up again.

Last minute negotiations between the Maori Party and the Government are continuing as Environment Minister Nick Smith bids for the party’s support for his landmark Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.

Maori Party Co-Leader, Marama Fox, told POLITIK last night that unless the party gets Smith’s agreement to change a clause in the Bill relating to GE-free regions, the party will withdraw its support for the Bill altogether.

That would be a major embarrassment for the Government over what is one of its legislation show pieces.

Fox appears to be suggesting that Smith renegged on an undertaking he had given the party.   Read more »

Gareth should stick to killing cats

Gareth Morgan should stick to killing cats, but somehow I bet he’s never killed a single one and his campaign is just like everything else he does and is just slogans.

He’s decided to wade into the water debate. As usual starts off good then he goes off on a Maori rant.

Around New Zealand today there will be protests about fresh water. And rightly so, our once wonderful rivers and lakes are now degraded, particularly in lowland areas. To add insult to injury, businesses are allowed to take what little pure water is left in our aquifers and export it for profit. The only cost they face is getting the consent.

The man is an idiot. He makes it sound like the only clean water left is being taken offshore.    Read more »

Nick Smith and his bullshit over water will cost National votes

Looks swimmable to me

Nick Smith has tits for hands. Everything he touches turns out to be a disaster.

His latest cock-up is to change the goal posts on water quality and raise the nutrient allowances while claiming at the same time that he has cut them in half.

If I was a water campaigner I’d find a body of water that meets his swimmable standard and that is also a health hazard and challenge the dickhead to have a swim in it.

That is precisely what has happened.

A waterway that Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith once deemed “impossible” to improve to a swimmable condition would be considered swimmable under proposed new standards.

Several other waterways – including dry shingle beds and rivers with toxic algal blooms – would also meet the swimmable standard, despite clearly being unsuitable for swimming.   Read more »

1080 opponents have pesky facts on their side

Bill Wallace, leader of the Ban 1080 political party, who made a submission, said the consultation process was a farce.

“They tell you what they’re going to do, there’s never been consultation.

“We’ve been using it for 64 years and not a single native bird has actually increased in numbers in that 64 years – in fact we should call it streamlining the extinction of kea,” he said.

Mr Wallace said 1080 was a cop-out approach to conservation and self-setting traps would do a better job.

He was also uneasy about the lack of independent oversight when it came to discussions about 1080.

The problem is that for the majority of our rugged landscapes, 1080 is the best worst tool we have.  But as we’ve seen, claims that it only kills target species is… specious.   Read more »

Tagged: