Mahuta welcomes report which portends the local authority reforms (and Treaty partnerships) she seems keen to promote

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.

Continue reading “Mahuta welcomes report which portends the local authority reforms (and Treaty partnerships) she seems keen to promote”

Why you might be politically crackers to go gunning for quackers instead of trying to win their votes

Opposition politicians don’t seem to be getting the message.

When the government makes “wellbeing” a key objective of its social and economic programme, it is not thinking only of people.

Just recently it demonstrated this when it announced a ban on live cattle exports by sea, with a two-year period to phase out the trade.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said :

“The fact is, once animals leave New Zealand by sea we have very limited ability to ensure their wellbeing before they reach their destination … that is an unacceptable risk to New Zealand’s reputation.

“We must stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny.”

Today we learn how the government is caring for the welfare of deer, ducks and other creatures that might be the targets of the hunting set.

Our attention was drawn to this by statements from National and ACT politicians who do not share the government’s concerns in the animal welfare department.

They are bleating about bureaucratic delays in the procedure which would entitle hunters to legally arm themselves to do battle with their prey.

National’s statement was headed Govt hasn’t got its ducks in a row on firearms licensing

The Nats complain that the Government’s focus on hitting legal firearms owners with more costs and regulations has resulted in Kiwis keen to participate in the Roar and duck shooting season may miss out.

Opening weekend of duck shooting season is just around the corner and the Roar is drawing to a close but many hunters are still waiting for their paperwork to be processed in order for them to hunt legally, the statement says.

National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says police have been unable to get on top of the situation.

“Police are telling people it’s taking four months for a license renewal and six months for a new license. But in reality, for some it’s taking much longer than that.

“In December there was a backlog of 9700 applications, and as of last week that number was still up around 9600 as police struggle to deal with the inflow.

“If the Government spent more time targeting illegal firearms owners as it has law-abiding hunters then we wouldn’t have seen such a delay.”

National’s Conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says hunting groups had warned that legislation rushed through by the Government would lead to this situation.

“While police are promising to tackle the problem it is too little, too late for many.

“Hunters are understandably frustrated. After missing out last year due to the pandemic they were looking forward to this season and did the right thing by submitting their paperwork months ago.

“Many hunters take this opportunity to fill their freezers, along with those belonging to their family and friends. Missing out for the second year in a row because of an administration issue isn’t good enough.

“We want hunters to adhere to the rules but this system failure is unacceptable.”

ACT beat the Nats to the draw with its statement (posted on Scoop at the crack of dawn) headed Firearms Licencing Still Taking Too Long

Released in the name of ACT’s Fair Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee, it says:

“Thousands of New Zealand shooters could still miss out on duck shooting season because of unacceptable delays in processing firearms licencing applications.”

McKee recalls that “Police put out a press release this week claiming they are making “significant progress” in clearing application delays. But figures obtained by ACT show thousands of people are waiting months for both new applications and licence renewals.

“Police have said the most helpful thing to do is apply four months in advance, but the figures we obtained show almost 5,000 applications have taken longer than six months and 1,382 have taken 12 months or longer.”

McKee produced figures obtained by Written Parliamentary Question to the Minister of Police which show how long the delays are:

1 Month or Longer = 8,179

4 months or longer = 6,164

6 months or longer = 4,915

10 months or longer = 2,005

12 months or longer = 1,382

Duck shooting season starts next week, McKee notes.

And New Zealand has a proud tradition of hunting and shooting.

“Duck shooting season for many people is a chance to bond with friends or mates and provide food for the family”.

 After the mosque slaying in Christchurch, she acknowledged, the authorities needed to get better at vetting for gun licences – but “now the system is more broken than ever.”

But whoa there.

ACT and the Nats presumably are not setting their sights on winning electoral support from creatures that quack.

They should think again.

The Point of Order research team found this politically fascinating definition …  

Quackers

A fantasy prone mid teen to late 40 year old guy that wears flip flops, big dog t-shirts, sports a ponytail, and is more than likely to be overweight.

The name is derived from the duck like sound emitted from the voice box of this particular form of life.

Labour’s success in winning the support of this bloc pretty well would explain the result of the 2020 general election.