The announcement we were expecting yesterday came later in the day, but not from the PM. Rather, it came from Ayesha Verrall, Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation, who said government and businesses are working together to pilot the use of rapid antigen testing in workplaces.
But readers who believe that all citizens in a democracy should have the same entitlements and voting rights and the same ability to hold to account the people who govern us should look beyond Covid to another threat.
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.
In her press statement, she says
“.. our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future.”
You could say it has been fast evolving already (or eroding, perhaps) on Mahuta’s watch in the local government portfolio. She has been instrumental in
removing the rights of citizens to challenge electoral arrangements which displease them, such as the introduction of Maori wards by local council; and
pushing on with the highly contentious Three Waters reforms, which include arrangements for Maori to become co-governors (unaccountable to the majority of citizens) of four new water-administering authorities.
Vaccine announcements have dominated news from the Beehive over the past few days, but while the vaccine deals to Covid, the Treaty of Waitangi has been prescribed to deal to family violence.
ACC minister Carmel Sepuloni announced the ACC is investing $44.9 million over four years to establish “a fit-for-purpose sexual violence primary prevention system”.
This is bound to be successful because it is based on the Treaty, a document signed in 1840 comprising just three articles. But when interpreted by the Ardern governmnent, this document holds the key to ridding us (apparently) of pretty well anything from warts to citizens’ rights to challenge local authorities’ race-based governance proposals.
“The new Te-Tiriti-informed primary prevention system announced today, will provide long-term, sustained investment and enhance our Government’s effort to prevent sexual violence.
“The package includes $11.715 million of targeted investment for kaupapa Māori approaches. It will enhance the primary prevention system in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Who provides the money?
Most of us, we imagine, although when it comes to determining who should be given priority in the spending of this money, the government unabashedly brings race into calculations.