Mahuta heads overseas (but have non-Maori been left out of her delegation?) while Luxon gushes about Nats’ Three Waters plans

Buzz from the Beehive

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s latest travel plans have been posted on the Beehive website today, advising she is packing her bags to travel to Japan and Singapore tomorrow “to strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s connections with Indo-Pacific partners”.

But it seems she is strengthening the connections only for some New Zealanders.

The press statement says:

She will be accompanied by a Maori delegation which will strengthen Maori business and people-to-people links.

“I am looking to promote opportunities to further grow Māori commercial and cultural opportunities with Japanese partners.”

No mention is made of non-Maori business people accompanying the Minister.

Perhaps they have been included but the press statement has been crafted to pitch to Mahuta’s Maori supporters and voters.

Continue reading “Mahuta heads overseas (but have non-Maori been left out of her delegation?) while Luxon gushes about Nats’ Three Waters plans”

Pulling the plug on Three Waters: PM is going to wash this plan right out of his hair (by sneakily giving it another name)

Buzz  from the Beehive

This update of governmental news gleaned from our Beehive monitoring owes plenty to Stuff and to Kiwiblog, who have highlighted news based on Chris Hipkins’ first speech to Parliament as Prime Minister.

The speech has not been recorded on Beehive.govt.nz, the official website of the New Zealand Government. But our readers can find a full record of the speech HERE on Parliament’s website.

Moreover, the news in this case is not about what the speech contained.  It is about what the speech did not contain. Continue reading “Pulling the plug on Three Waters: PM is going to wash this plan right out of his hair (by sneakily giving it another name)”

Chris Trotter: The privatisation two-step – is Three Waters a masterpiece of misdirection?

  • Chris Trotter writes – 

IF CABINET FAILS to scrap Three Waters and start again, New Zealand may very quickly come to resemble Bolivia. Not the Bolivia of today, where a socialist government elected by a huge majority holds sway, but the Bolivia of 1997. That Bolivia had been ordered by the World Bank to privatise its water – on pain of being refused the loans it so desperately needed to keep its economy afloat.

Taken over by French and American corporations, Bolivia’s water resources were very quickly priced beyond the reach of its poorest – that is to say, its indigenous – citizens.

Unsurprisingly, the Bolivian Government soon found itself in the grip of a massive popular uprising. In 2005, after five years of unrelenting struggle, the indigenous Bolivians forced their government to terminate the concessions granted to the French and the Americans. Continue reading “Chris Trotter: The privatisation two-step – is Three Waters a masterpiece of misdirection?”

Brian Easton: Co-Governance

THE (new) Prime Minister said nobody understands what co-governance means, later modified to that there were so many varying interpretations that there was no common understanding.  BRIAN EASTON writes:

Co-governance cannot be derived from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It does not use the word. It refers to ‘government’ on only three occasions.

Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions. (Article 4)

The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration … (Article 41) Continue reading “Brian Easton: Co-Governance”

Brian Easton:  Christmas briefing papers — what was the PM reading in the runup to Election Year?

Dr Brian Easton writes:

It’s the summer break. Everyone settles down with family, books, the sun and some fishing. But the Prime Minister has a pile of briefing papers prepared just before Christmas, which have to be worked through.

I haven’t seen them. Here is my guess at some of the headline items – in alphabetical order. (The identified ministers are those who were responsible at Christmas.)

Co-governance is being taken out of the active political policy process – ‘kicked down the road’ – until after the election. But it won’t go away.

Everyone has different understandings of what ‘co-governance’ means. It appears to be giving Māori a privileged role in the government of the country, which seems to undermine some central tenets of liberal democracy. Continue reading “Brian Easton:  Christmas briefing papers — what was the PM reading in the runup to Election Year?”

Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup:  Labour shifts focus from Grey Lynn to West Auckland

  • Dr Bryce Edwards writes:

The days of the Labour Government being associated with middle class social liberalism look to be numbered. Soon-to-be Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni are heralding a major shift in emphasis away from the constituencies and ideologies of liberal Grey Lynn and Wellington Central towards the working class politics of West Auckland and the Hutt Valley, where the two new leaders are based.

Hipkins and Sepuloni were elected yesterday and immediately started repositioning their Government away from what might be called the affluent “woking class” towards the “working class”. Gone is an emphasis on cultural politics, and in its place is a laser-like focus on the economy and delivery of better public services to ordinary citizens.

In his first speech, Hipkins said:

“My focus will be on the here and now and the bread and butter issues that people care about.”

He explained his big priority is dealing with the cost of living crisis, followed by jobs, crime, education, and health. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup:  Labour shifts focus from Grey Lynn to West Auckland”

Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: National can’t be allowed to sleepwalk to victory

DR BRYCE EDWARDS writes – 

Christopher Luxon’s National Party are the odds-on favourites to win the general election this year. They have been consistently ahead of Labour in the polls in recent months, and have a firm coalition partner in Act, which is often polling about 10 per cent.

Betting agencies can’t take bets on politics in New Zealand, but in Australia the TAB is paying $1.60 on National becoming the government after the election – implying that National has a 63 per cent probability of winning. That seems to be in line with most political commentary, which sees this election as National’s to lose.

But broadcaster Duncan Garner reminds us this week that MMP mathematics are such that even a good showing doesn’t ensure victory. So, although National is sometimes polling around 40 per cent, it’s worth remembering that when Bill English lost power in 2017, his party had won 44 per cent of the vote. And in 2023, Garner says

“National could get a whopping 52 seats and Act 7 and that doesn’t govern.”

Continue reading “Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: National can’t be allowed to sleepwalk to victory”

Mahuta’s Three Waters law was promoted as a health measure as well as a cost-saver – but whose figures should we use?

After the Water Services Entities Bill passed its third reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said it was the first of three bills that will ensure affordable drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services can be provided to New Zealanders now and into the future.

Everyone agreed that change was needed to ensure communities have safe, reliable drinking water at an affordable price, she said.

“We are already seeing what is at stake with over 34,000 New Zealanders getting sick from drinking water each year.”

Point of Order has been dipping into the most recent data we could find on the Massey University-based Environmental Health Intelligence NZ website.

This provides information and intelligence on how the environment affects the health of New Zealand’s population.

We focused on a factsheet (dated May this year) headed Notifications of potentially waterborne diseases. Continue reading “Mahuta’s Three Waters law was promoted as a health measure as well as a cost-saver – but whose figures should we use?”

Mahuta’s Three Waters bill flows through the third reading stage – but only Labour MPs voted in support of it

Buzz from the Beehive

The most triumphal statement posted on the Beehive website today came from Nanaia Mahuta, to bray about the Water Services Entities Bill passing its third reading in Parliament.

The Bill was supported only by Labour MPs, but they have enough numbers in Parliament to turn it into law regardless of the weight of public opposition and the objections of other political parties in the House of Representatives.  

As Minister of Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta issued a statement to note that this is the first of three bills intended to ensure affordable drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services is provided to New Zealanders “now and into the future

Next steps in securing affordable water services for New Zealanders

The Government has laid foundations for safe and affordable water services with the Water Services Entities Bill passing its third reading in Parliament. Continue reading “Mahuta’s Three Waters bill flows through the third reading stage – but only Labour MPs voted in support of it”

BRYCE EDWARDS’ Political Roundup: Labour needs Mahuta to go, but she’s too powerful

  • BRYCE EDWARDS writes – 

The pressure on Jacinda Ardern to sack Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta is building. But Mahuta is too powerful within the Labour Party to get rid of easily.
 
The Three Waters reforms have become one of the Labour Government’s greatest liabilities. While there is widespread consensus on the need for significant reform of water infrastructure, including from opposition political parties and local government, the specific reforms the Government have dogmatically pursued remain unconvincing to most, if not downright offensive to many.
 
Poll after poll has shown that the public are opposed to the reforms. While everyone wants to see water fixed, the Minister has presented a reform programme that has been botched from the start. Mahuta has failed to convince the public of all the contentious elements of the reforms – from co-governance element through to legal entrenchment of the anti-privatisation provisions. Continue reading “BRYCE EDWARDS’ Political Roundup: Labour needs Mahuta to go, but she’s too powerful”