Democracy, the Treaty and the coup that is embedding tribal rule into our regulatory and legislative framework

By Muriel Newman

Finally, the mainstream media is reporting that a coup is under way in New Zealand – by the Māori tribal elite.

Admittedly that observation was penned by former Labour Minister and ACT Party leader Richard Prebble in an opinion piece for the Herald – but the newspaper published it and Radio NZ reported it.

The on-line Herald headline read “Three Waters is a coup — an attack on democracy”.

That bold and compelling headline, however, didn’t last. It was changed to remove the words “a coup” and now reads: “Three Waters is an attack on democracy”.

The obvious question is why?

A clue comes from an article written last year by political journalist Andrea Vance, about Jacinda Ardern’s PR machine:

The Government’s iron grip on the control of information has tightened. At every level, the Government manipulates the flow of information.”

She then explained,

“And the prime minister’s office makes sure its audience is captured, starting the week and cementing the agenda with a conference call with political editors.”

So, did a member of the Prime Minister’s Office contact the Herald and ask them to change the headline? Continue reading “Democracy, the Treaty and the coup that is embedding tribal rule into our regulatory and legislative framework”

The weight of numbers (and opinions) on the bench in Roe v Wade is instructive when we consider the meaning of “treaty partnership”

The way in which judges can grant rights – or remove them – has been glaringly illuminated by the leaked draft opinion of the United States Supreme Court that strikes down Roe v Wade.

A spokesperson for the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand said the ruling was a stark reminder that women’s rights – and reproductive rights more broadly – were “vulnerable to erosion”.

True.  Or, on another day in another court, those rights might be expanded.

Roe v Wade had been a landmark decision in 1973, when the US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

As Wikipedia notes, this decision struck down many US federal and state abortion laws and fuelled an ongoing abortion debate in the United States about whether or to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, and what the role of moral and religious views in the political sphere should be.

Critics of the ruling also contended it was an example of judicial activism Continue reading “The weight of numbers (and opinions) on the bench in Roe v Wade is instructive when we consider the meaning of “treaty partnership””

$4.95m will be spent but how will the restoration of mauri in waterways be measured – and who will do the measuring?

Millions will be spent – but who will measure whether the objective is achieved and mauri is restored to waterways around Gisborne?

We ask because a $4.95 million project intended to significantly enhance the urban stream networks that drain into the Tūranganui estuary – including the Taruheru, Waikanae, and Waimata waterways – was announced on Friday by the Gisborne District Council. 

This followed the Ministry for the Environment announcing it will grant $2.25 million for the project, called Restoring the Mauri and Ora of the Tūranganui Estuary System.

The council will contribute the balance through existing budgets.

The project involves (a) the melding of science and spirituality and (b) council/iwi partnership.

Council Chief of Strategy and Science Joanna Noble says, “We are delighted that MfE has agreed to support this project, which will use mātauranga Māori and western science to help restore the mauri and ora of the Tūranganui estuary system.”

And:

Council partnered with the KIWA Group (tangata whenua technical reference group) to make a joint application to MfE’s Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) last year.

The project will be completed by the end of June 2026, which implies that within four years the mauri will have been restored to those waterways. Continue reading “$4.95m will be spent but how will the restoration of mauri in waterways be measured – and who will do the measuring?”

Most media are tuned into the border reopening; only some have picked up on ‘partnership’ being pushed (with $32m) into IT

At least one speech writer and two Beehive press officers – as well as all the health experts who provided advice and the ministers who digested it – were involved in the announcement that the border is being reopened.

Point of Order expects this will be widely reported by mainstream media.

Another press statement from the Beehive – in contrast – doesn’t seem to have attracted too many headlines, although Business Desk reports it involves a deal that will give an ongoing allocation of 20% of future national commercial radio spectrum allocations at no cost to a Māori spectrum entity.

Seeding funding of $32 million will be given to the new entity, too, over five years.

But first (hurrah!), the opening of the border.

The decision means the end of managed isolation and quarantine. Continue reading “Most media are tuned into the border reopening; only some have picked up on ‘partnership’ being pushed (with $32m) into IT”