Nick Smith

How to negate the waka jumping bill

In the midst of an explanation about the pleasures of rat-swallowing during the third reading of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill , James Shaw made an interesting observation.  I am presuming that Shaw’s interpretation of the clause in question is correct. Quote.

[…] One of the things that has been overlooked in much of the debate is that there is a clause in this bill [55D (d)] that says that the party constitutions must be complied with; otherwise, it’s invalid. Now, if you don’t like this—if you do not want your party to exercise or have the ability to exercise the provisions in this bill—you can include a clause in your party constitution barring you from doing so.

Marama Davidson and I have written to the Green Party executive and asked them to consider, as part of the ongoing constitutional review, whether or not they should include that clause barring us from using that. End of quote.

It will be interesting to see the result of that.

Shaw went on to lay down a challenge to the National Party: Quote. Read more »

The irrelevance of the Magna Carta

Andrew Little’s arrogance got the better of himself once again during question 9 in the House, 8 August 2018.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Quote.

Does he stand by his statements on the bill in Parliament last night that the Bill of Rights was—and I quote directly—”a pretty nasty device” and “There wasn’t anything particularly noble about [it]”, given the fact that it is the founding principle of free elections of MPs, free speech of MPs, and Parliament’s exclusive right to pass laws and impose taxes?  End of quote.

Hon ANDREW LITTLE: Quote.

All those principles are incredibly important and highly valued; just as the principles contained in the Magna Carta requiring open trials, the right to hear your accuser, and all those sorts of things, but bearing in mind that the Magna Carta was a document to entrench the power of aristocrats at the expense of peasants and poor people. We should continue to take the true historical context of these founding documents into account, and we should not be afraid to criticise the historical relevance of those documents. End of quote.

Andrew studied Law at Victoria University but obviously slept through a number of lectures if he honestly thinks that the Magna Carta was a document to entrench the power of aristocrats at the expense of peasants and poor people. Quote.

Read more »

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 »