Rodney Hide

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

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Rodney has a point, even if he uses Jacinda to make it

Rodney Hide has a good point, even if he had to use Jacinda Ardern to make it.

Loo-gate provided new Labour deputy leader Jacinda Ardern an opportunity to stand for something and win some votes. She didn’t take it.

The mini-scandal was occasioned by her declaring her proudest DIY moment was installing a new toilet in her Pt Chev house.

The problem being that in her part of New Zealand that’s an offence under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act.

Following investigation by the board, Ardern apologised and escaped with a warning rather than a charge.

Read more »

Rodney Hide on Immigration

Rodney Hide discusses immigration:

The latest immigration statistics are good news. There’s nothing better than people wanting to come and live and work in your country. If it’s a problem, it’s a good one to have. Imagine the reverse. It’s only scary countries that build walls to keep people in, not out.

The statistics are a positive indicator that New Zealand is a good place to live and work.

And it’s not just foreigners thinking so but Kiwis, too. The net loss of New Zealanders was less than 2000 last year.

That compares with an average of over 25,000 for every year that Helen Clark was prime minister. The loss is not just economic and social. I well remember the concern when I was door-knocking that grandparents were losing out seeing their grandchildren grow up. It was sad. One proud grandad was worried his grandkids would be Wallabies, not All Blacks.

New Zealand is now a much more desirable place to live. Kiwis are voting for New Zealand with their feet.

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Rodney Hide on Climate Change

Rodney calls time on the busted flush that is the climate change industry:

The glaciers are retreating. The glaciers are retreating. Humans are cooking the planet!

Hang on, the glaciers are advancing. They’re advancing. Humans are cooking the planet!

That’s the conclusion of NIWA and Victoria University scientists in a paper published in Nature Communications this month. I am summarising their findings.

Here’s the background: at least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced for the 25 years between 1983 and 2008, with Fox and Franz Josef glaciers advancing almost continuously during the period.

That advance is neither here nor there in the debate about whether burning fossil fuels is dangerously cooking the planet.   Read more »

Hide on Little’s stinker week

Rodney Hide looks at Andrew Little’s stinker week:

Spare a thought for Labour Leader Andrew Little. His week’s been a stinker.

It started well. The pundits had been reporting a “good vibe”. It was more good news when it leaked that Little had poached Willie Jackson from the Maori Party. Pundits declared it “a deft strategic move”. Oh joy! Labour were up and on a roll.

Then Little and Jackson announced, that yes, it was true, Jackson was standing for Labour. And yes, Little had lured him with the promise of a high place on Labour’s list, writes Rodney Hide.

That was it. All hell broke loose. The “deft strategic move” proved a total train wreck.

The truly shocking thing was that Labour did it to themselves. Yes, feelings within caucus and the party were running hot but there was no need for that anger to bust out in public. Internal ding-dongs are best handled with the door shut. Especially in election year.

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Never, ever sign up to woolly-woofter political slogans

Rodney Hide on woolly-woofter political slogans:

Last week a local rag ran an opinion piece that gave Rod Drury and Sam Morgan a fair old shellacking.

Their crime was to support Peter Thiel, who in turn supports President Trump.

I kid you not.

“I’m calling them out … Drury, in particular, has been vocal on gender diversity… But then he supports someone who supports Trump … renowned for his sexism and bad treatment and attitudes towards women.”

We are now to be held to public account for our friend’s friend’s politics and behaviour.

Of course, it’s nonsense.

And yet here it is. The nonsense happening around us.

There is no limit to the contortions and ill-logic of those eager to signal their moral worthiness by taking offence and screaming outrage. Indeed, the more obscure and remote the offence the greater their worthiness. There is even opportunity to discover whole new offences thereby proving your sensitivity by spotting problems never seen before.

And so Mr Drury must disown Mr Thiel – and his investment – because Mr Thiel supported Donald Trump. That’s because “actions speak louder than words.”

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Spot on Rodney, now let’s see if the Greens can explain where all those te reo teachers are going to come from

Rodney Hide has spotted the massive flaws in the Greens plan for force all children into compulsory te reo classes.

I would love to be able to speak te reo fluently. I would also like to play the violin, solve Einstein’s field equations and run a sub-three hour marathon.

I can’t do any of these things. It’s not that I am lazy. It’s that I am busy. I figure the reward wouldn’t justify the required effort. My priorities are where the effort is less and the reward greater.

There in a nutshell is the problem with making te reo compulsory in schools.

It would be marvellous if all our children were fluent but it would come with a cost. Students don’t now have an hour a day at school with nothing to do. That means dropping something in their curriculum to make way for te reo.

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Peak hysteria? You ain’t see nothing yet

Rodney Hide reviews the New Zealand reactions to Trump this week

I am enjoying President Trump. He’s better than a night at the movies.

It’s not so much him but his opposition. The world’s best satirists locked in a room for a year could not produce better.

New Zealand’s political left hit peak hysteria this week even as he implements their most cherished policies.

They have been protesting, yelling, screaming, organising petitions and writing furious letters in the vain attempt to kill the Trans Pacific Partnership.

They failed miserably.

President Obama signed it and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejoiced in it: “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements.”

It’s true that on the campaign trail she opposed it but her constant flip-flops and zig-zags gave opponents no confidence she would kill it.

But their great satan President Trump lopped off its head on his first full day in office.

Such is the hysteria that his lefty achievement provided no respite in the caterwauling and wailing.

The total loss of perspective is readily seen by supposedly sober commentators calling Trump a fascist and comparing him to Hitler.

I appreciate that they don’t like him but to call the president of the United States a fascist is to fail high school history. It’s also dangerous to trivialise the Holocaust.

There is the left, and then there’s the media   Read more »

Rodney Hide on John Key’s no principle government

John Key governed for himself. There were only three things he wanted after becoming Prime Minister, he wanted four terms, to beat Sir Keith Holyoake as National’s longest serving Prime Minister and a knighthood.

Really, he was that shallow.

When it became apparent that he could get a fourth term but only if he cut a deal with Winston it all got too much for him. That nagged away at him and it also would have meant almost no chance of scoring his second ambition, to beat Sir Keith Holyoake’s record. So he cut a quiet deal with Bill English, gave him several months to set up his palace coup, so to speak, giving any other contenders almost no time to marshall the numbers. The deal is that Bill English will hold an election sometime after Queens Birthday Weekend. Why? Well because it would have been unseemly to give John Key his knighthood in the New Year’s honours, wouldn’t it?

So John Key will get his knighthood and not much else. He did, however, build a cult of personality around himself which Bill English is stupidly trying to insert himself into.

What did John Key leave us with policy wise?

Well, not much according to Rodney Hide.

John Key resigned after eight years as our most popular prime minister. He came in on a high and he stayed there.

There are many aspects to his great success but policy is of the most interest. It’s what government does that determines a nation’s success. Read more »

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Rodney Hide on John Key

Rodney Hide writes about John Key in his NBR column:

Leadership guru Warren Bennis declared, “leadership is like beauty: hard to define but you know it when you see it.” When you see Prime Minister John Key, you see a leader.

He has a perfect blend of charisma and confidence.

People gravitate to him and look to him for direction. He knows what to do without being bossy. He has the honesty and integrity that’s necessary to inspire confidence and trust. He’s warm and believes in people. He’s smart, super smart but, unlike most politicians, has no need to prove it.

He is our most popular prime minister by far and arguably our most successful. He leaves politics just as he entered: on his own terms and on a high.

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