Game-Changer.

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KIERAN MCANULTY has changed the game in a way only open to authentic political leaders. Instead of shying away from the challenges of co-governance, he has leaned into them. Instead of hiding behind the obfuscating language of official communications, he has demonstrated the extraordinary power of a simple “Yes” or “No”. What’s more, he has done all this in the accents of an ordinary Kiwi bloke. Kieran McAnulty is the person Chris Hipkins is trying to be.

Sticking up for the Treaty of Waitangi was always the winning response for the Sixth Labour Government. Most New Zealanders are justifiably proud of their country’s efforts to offer the indigenous Māori a measure of redress for the injustices heaped upon them during the creation of the settler-state of New Zealand. It is, of course, true that not all New Zealanders feel this way, but those who reject the promises of the Treaty grow fewer in number with every passing year. Young New Zealand, the demographic fast embracing “Aotearoa” as their nation, believe in the Treaty – and will fight for it.

McAnulty gets this because, at just 38 years-of-age, he’s a member of that younger demographic. The Baby Boom generation came of political age under the shadow of a racist majority. The majority Rob Muldoon knew he could count on in 1975 and 1981. The reactionary social formation that was still there in great numbers back in 2004 when Don Brash delivered his in/famous Orewa Speech. The motivational force behind Helen Clark’s ruthless response to the Court of Appeal’s decision on the foreshore and seabed. But McAnulty, alongside many others in Labour’s caucus, is two generations away from the politicians who were young in the 1960s and 70s. That world has gone – just as gaslight and gaiters had gone from the world of the post-war generation.

So why didn’t Gen-Xers like Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins lean-in to the co-governance debate like McAnulty? One possible explanation is that they were never able to shake-off their fear that the big racist monster was still out there, still capable of upending progressive governments. They had, after all, seen at close hand Clark’s reaction to the post-Orewa polls. They had been witnesses, not only to the Labour leader’s fear of a Pakeha racist backlash, but also to her antipathy towards the “haters and wreckers” of Māori nationalism. Those sort of experiences leave a deep impression.

For McAnulty, however, those are yesterday’s political calculations. Either through careful sociological study, or by pure intuition, he has grasped what so many of his colleagues have not. That a substantial number – maybe even a majority – of the Baby Boomers can be won away from their fear of the big racist monster. That the people who marched against the Vietnam War, protested the Springbok Tour, and organised for a nuclear-free New Zealand no longer have to worry about what the older generation will say or do – because most of the RSA Generation are dead and buried. Its their kids and their grandkids that they should be thinking of now.

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McAnulty’s other key insight is that when younger New Zealanders hear the word “democracy” their reaction is often quite different from that of their parents and grandparents. Democracy was what the Baby Boomers parents had fought for during the Second World War. It was the precious heirloom of the “Free World” through all the years of the Cold War. For the young New Zealanders who grew up in the shadow of Roger Douglas and Ruth Ricardson, however, democracy has been subjected to an altogether more robust interrogation.

It was under democracy that the New Zealand trade union movement was gutted, and never allowed to recover. It was under democracy that the welfare state became as cold as charity. It was democracy that looked at global warming – and did nothing. Democracy that denied an entire generation their own affordable home. Democracy that allowed big corporations to wreck the New Zealand environment, and send their profits offshore. Sure, you could vote, once every three years, but nothing ever seemed to change. Democracy might have done plenty for their grandparents’ and parents’ generations, but it has done bugger-all for theirs.

When older New Zealanders look at co-governance they are prone to see the demise of one-person, one-vote. But young New Zealanders look at the mess local government has made of their cities and towns, rivers and forests; they think about the way farming and business interests always seem to get what they want – often at the expense of everybody and everything else; and they ask themselves: Could the Māori make a worse job of looking after Aotearoa than Pakeha democracy? Could co-governance with mana whenua be any worse than co-governance with capitalists?

McAnulty has, quite rightly, pointed out that New Zealand has developed its own version of democracy. That it is steadily moving towards a way of governing that sees achieving consensus as preferable to, and certainly more sensible than, a 50 percent+1 tyranny of the majority. Both Māori and Pakeha are talking about a constitution based on the Treaty of Waitangi, rather than the Westminster system. A way forward that follows the paths already laid down in numerous Treaty settlements. A system of governance based on the peoples we are becoming, rather than the far-from-democratic institutions which the British colonisers brought with them.

If McAnulty’s colleagues have the courage to follow his lead, then the looming election may yet become an historical turning point. With National and Act offering nothing more than more of the same, Labour, the Greens, and Te Pāti Māori have been given the chance to join the most progressive elements of the older generations with the hopes and aspirations of younger New Zealanders, thereby forging an electoral alliance equal to the challenges of an uncertain and demanding future.

More than quarter-of-a-century ago, I concluded a feature article entitled “The Struggle For Sovereignty”, written for New Zealand Political Review, with the following sentences:

New Zealanders are heading into a great storm of change. Much that is precious to us will pass away. As Pakeha we have grown accustomed to being the colonisers rather than the colonised. Loss of power will be a new experience for us. As the second great wave of colonisation washes over us, our best chance of survival will be to reach out for the hands of the tangata whenua – whose feet are sunk deepest in the earth of Aotearoa. In the storm of change that is coming, the strength which that position gives to Māori will make them the only solid point around which everything else twists and turns. If we, as Pakeha, do not reach out and grasp that strength, the fury of the storm will blow us far away.

That storm is now upon us.

176 COMMENTS

  1. Under democracy, the younger generations have seen NZ Superannuation become the untouchable, unalterable burden they have to pay for with their taxes and hollowed-out services, while knowing their own welfare is means-tested, their houses are needlessly expensive thanks to elderly NIMBYS and supine Councillors, and their own futures are hollowed out.

    If I was a young New Zealander, I’d question who democracy is working for, because it doesn’t look like it protects the young from the Boomer generation.

    • Remember the time you or your parents were part of the younger generation.
      Do not confuse democracy with capitalism.
      Super is social welfare. Rest assured not all those on super fare all that well.
      Super is pretty average for those who have not saved from their after tax earnings during their working lives.
      And the younger generation needs to appreciate that otherwise they will endure pretty average lives once they can no longer find employment.

    • Absolute bollocks.

      Most of my generation wants to protect the pension because we want it to still be around in 30-40 years when we will need it.

      The people who want to reform pension are almost exclusively upper middle class office workers who have never worked a hard day in their lives wanting to tell manual labour workers whose bodies are stuffed by the time they hit 50s, that they’ll have to work til their 70s.

      Naaaa we won’t be throwing our parents and our future selves under the bus to make overpaid office workers and economists happy.

      The only people I see playing the generational warfare game are middle to upper middle class to rich types who wanna sound progressive but hate the working class.

    • Don’t know how old you are Ada but your barely hidden contempt for so called boomers brings a smile to my 71 year old face. I would love to be around when you reach the age for receiving Superannuation that you have paid into ALL your working life. I would love to hear you screaming not to put the age up to whatever. Time goes quickly Ada and soon you will be one of us. Whether super stays in its present form will be up to your generation. Of course many of the younger generation who have never worked will still receive it. I believe it will still be there when you come of age all be it at an older age. And yes means testing will come in but in reality that will be penalising the successful who have contributed the most towards their future. You can’t please everyone, isn’t that so Ada.

      • I’m 55, so nearly a Boomer myself.
        It is the Boomers’ iron-bound sense of entitlement that they are more worthy than anyone else for government funds that is grating.

        Thankfully, the young and able New Zealanders are voting with their feet and leaving for richer nations, while being replaced by immigrants desperate to be anywhere that has the rule of law.

        • Ada, I guess many of the well off super recipients might argue , if I’m not going to receive Superannuation to the same level as a less well off person, why disadvantage me by taxing me for it all my working life. You might argue why shouldn’t the well off support the less well off. The well off might then argue that they do already support those who don’t work, or don’t earn much to contribute to Super through taxes. In other words the most successful of us already contribute the most to Super. those earning $0 to $16,800 annually pay 10.5% of earnings
          Those earning over $216000 are taxed at 39% on their earnings. Also as has been pointed out by Corey those who sit on their backsides all day maybe can work a few years longer but others with worn out bodies can’t. Will you choose who will work longer without receiving Super.?

        • I choose NZ because of social policies.
          I will stay in NZ despite our social policies.

          I hope my children and grandchildren do not choose to leave NZ because of our social and economic policies.

      • No, it just made you think about the fairness of leaving the retirement age locked while the life expectancy shot upwards.

        • Life expectancy may have risen for certain groups, some people may be able to work productively well into their 70s and beyond, but many people, especially poorer people in labouring trades may be worn out in their 50s. Plenty of people die before they turn 60.

          • There has always been a very strong case for a disability pension (with the same payment) that would go to workers who were completely crocked before 65.

        • We need better policies to acknowledge the healthier lives that some have been blessed with as a result of ever improving conditions on this planet, but also accomodate those individuals who were not fortunate enough to reap the benefits of this good fortune.

          Life on average has improved but there are just as many below average as above it.

    • and as the younger demographic gets older after working shithouse jobs their entire life and theirs little or no provision what then ada?

      • I want Superannuation means-tested and the age to move upwards to reflect longer life-spans, not its abolishment.

        • People working past the retirement age is the exception. Not the rule. The vast majority of people aged over 65 will need extensive medical care to extend their lives from heart bypasses to hip replacements and more. And we don’t want old people hogging all the high paying jobs. Just take a cruise.

        • Our taxation system has developed around the principles of fairness, care and equity and meets principles of progressiveness.
          Granted – the flavour of care, fairness, progressiveness and equity does not suit us all but it is better than we often imagine.

          Outrage, envy, jealousy ….. is never a good starting point when one look at public good outcomes that we want to achieve.

        • Means testing apparently eats more money that it actually saves, and so is actually a false economy.

    • If the “younger generation” decides that they won’t get a pension, and so cuts it or makes it unobtainable now, then they guarantee they won’t get Government support when they get old. Also given that super currently only really works for people who already have a freehold house, and preferably some additional savings, then the generations who have been priced out of the housing market & can’t afford to save now, are really going to be screwed when they want to retire. Add to that, we are potentially looking at a big shake up in the jobs market due to AI etc, many more people will be looking at some very bleak futures, especially as they age (see South Korea for an example of the more severe end of elder poverty https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Asia-Insight/No-country-for-old-Koreans-Moon-faces-senior-poverty-crisis).

      Alternatively you could take up base jumping and not have to worry about your long term future.

  2. A very interesting and insightful article. And probably an accurate summation of the trend. It may or may not be fully reflected i the 2023 election, but ultimately change of this nature will occur, irrespective of which major party leads the government.

    There is a sense of an unstoppable force, both on the nature of governance, but also climate change policy. You only have to read comments on conservative blogs, notably Kiwiblog, to understand the hard right know they have lost the argument against climate change. Their refuge is to retreat deeper into denialism.

    • Do not mistake rational thinking for ignorance.
      Please introduce me to a climate change denier and I will show you an unadulterated fool.

      Universal truth!
      One cannot explain that what one does not understand.

        • Correct. Climate concerns is very different from climate change. Of course we have to deal with climate change risks.
          There are many options on the table. Some better than others and some utterly useless.

    • Actually the climate change denialists are more of a function of age and traditional status, rather than being hard right in an ideological sense. Many of the commenters on Kiwiblog are older, typically retired. Quite a number of them note that their children and grandchildren have a different view on climate change issues. They usually accuse their children and grandchildren of being swept up by a trend and are ignoring “real” science. Of course they don’t think climatologists are real scientists, so they quite comfortable in ignoring them. However, you do get the sense they know they have lost the argument, and that power has moved away from them.
      Anyone remotely interested in politics knows, at least as far as New Zealand is concerned, political power has irrevocably moved away from the baby boomers. Though not yet in the United States, though surely that is only 4 or 6 years away.

      • You continue to confuse denialism with rational thinking.
        Old people often have a wealth of experience at hand to help inform their opinions. Information is available in equal measures to us all but experience works differently.

  3. Trouble is there is no co governance in the treaty.

    But there is the promise of equal rights.
    Removing the very basis of a democracy – one person one vote, unmandated is wrong and should be criminal-in fact it’s actively working against the principle of equal rights which IS enshrined in the treaty.

    • I don’t think you would find a legal point of view that agreed with you in terms of what obligations are under the treaty. The one person one vote line is probably not based on reality either.

    • Keepcalmcarryon, to answer your ill advised comment, firstly you’d have to learn Maori to get the deeper meaning of Maori worldview. But there are literal translation of Maori if you don’t share nor care to understand that worldview?

      Article 2 Maori version signed by more than 500 chiefs (only a handful signed the pakeha version) specifically promises “Tino rangatiratanga” control ova their own affairs! I think there’s a bit in their that has to do with co-governance.

    • “Trouble is there is no co governance in the treaty”.. There doesn’t need to be.. It is a philosophical shift rather than a line by line enactment that is being mooted..
      Did you honestly think that people who would pull the “bait and switch” on a whole race of people would have been stupid enough to give them any contestable stake in their power base? Seriously?
      Your point is a purely bureaucratic one…

        • Yes indeed.
          The principles of TeTiriti will create better outcomes for our tamariki. Really?

          Granted, one can reinterpret the Te Titiriti to create better outcomes but that can be done using other philosophies as well.

          To date democracy has served humans and the wellbeing of this planet better than any alternative.

    • If a person or group is deemed to have a right to something, then a majority, even if they don’t like it, cannot really contravene that right. That seems implicit in the meaning of the term “right”. So democracy is irrelevant in that context.

  4. Probably not the game changer Labour want you to believe, actually, the one they tried so hard to hide! McAnulty let the cat out of the bag, he and his government have abandoned one person one vote. Don’t recall them campaigning on that? Wonder why?

    But I’m sure PW Botha used to wax lyrical on a special South African type democracy too!

    Sorry to disagree but for all it’s faults and that we all don’t always get what we want, one person one vote is far superior to anything else going, bar none! Especially something as vague as this “kiwi” styles thing.

    • Die Groot Krokodil sure did that and fooled many.
      Democracy allows one to share. Blame the ones who do the sharing, not the principle.

      Far too many confuse democracy with capitalism.

  5. Chris may be on the money. McNulty has a presence and a way with words. Is he genuine and not just a politician, I’m not so sure. His friendly laid back nature along with intelligence has taken him a long way from his Ute to a cabinet minister. He’s an observer like chippy, so is this a genuine liking he has for co government or was his statements referring to “ one person one vote as being academic “ just openly towing the party line in a way he hopes will get him back into parliament as part of the government. He’s ambitious imo. Chris may also be correct in his assuming the younger generation don’t see “ one person one vote “ in the same light as us older types, but where the reality starts and the romantic stops, is Chris asking “ could Maori do a worse job of looking after Aotearoa than Pakeha”. I say, at present, yes, they could do a worse job. I can’t see much evidence to the contrary. Maori businesses that have done ok don’t share their success to less fortunate Maori that I can see. Not so different to Pakeha. The Maori are already well represented in parliament at 32% when 17% of the population. That means Māori are already well involved in all the bad decisions being made. And let’s look at the possible scenario of complete co governance where any sort of voting is meaningless because Maori, who make up 17% of the population have 50% of the say. Maybe I’m just racist but that doesn’t look right to me. Chris may relish the brave new world of co government but I’m not so enthusiastic.

    • Well said New+view. I am so tired of the futile, simple-minded obsession with dividing the human race by sex, race, culture, wealth – and increasing these days by age. If you must be divisive Chris, how about those who try to think for themselves as distinct from those who just take their opinions third/fourth-hand?

    • While pakeha see land and its features as a source of profit, the Maori, I think, see these as taonga and needing care and nurture. I would therefor rather trust Maori oversight of our water sources than pakeha oversight.

  6. Chris – I reckon he said it without thinking..he is not a deep thinker…evidence? Cyclone clean up efforts, and leadership…

    • They have been thinking about that what he said since Hipkins announced his intention to correct the boat back in January.

        • He studied at Otago university and they delivered us Mark Richardson and Josh Kronfeld.
          Kieran is the messenger. Hipkins told us that when he reshuffled the cabinet. Did that mean that Mahuta did not follow the direction of cabinet? No. They needed a new style of delivering the same idea, slightly modified, but the same policy.

          • Definitely not a deep thinker he wants to redefine the meaning of “democracy.”
            He’s a fool.

  7. The Political Review–Bruce Jesson’s old Banner that Chris took over. Those were the days when political debate could take weeks or months rather than milli–seconds online. The voracious pace of todays politics can lead to hair trigger responses rather than reflection and dialectical thought.

    Generational differences are indeed plausible with Kieran McAnulty. My son was schooled in the Far North with a large Māori student quotient, and in his adult city life has only a handful of Pākehā friends, most of his circle being Korean, Rarotongan, Chinese & Māori. The world is different for new gens, numbers of whom have only known a digital world.

    For his next trick perhaps Mr McAnulty could turn his attention to retiring Roger‘n’Ruth’s toxic legacy and discuss that in plain talk…

    • A small correction, TG.

      NZ Political Review was founded in 1992 by myself and my Dad. It was published for 14 years – coming to an end in 2005.

      In 1996, NZPR joined forces with Bruce Jesson’s “Republican” – a brief collaboration that lasted until Bruce’s death in 1999.

      NZPR was always my banner, comrade. It was the Republican that got taken over 😉

    • The problem with that is, without freedom, the state could endlessly lie about your security and stability.

      • Post modernism was only ever intended to describe a literary style.
        BA’s searching for purpose in life then took it as a life philosophy.

        • indeed and most of it’s early french philosophical advocates were ex stalinists looking for a new trend to grift on

          • Are you saying Stalin inspired French philosophers to advocate Stalinism. You are surely not going to gift that tyrant a get out of jail free card.
            Marx – Ok.
            Lenin – Ok.
            Gorbachev- more OK.
            Putin and Stalin – not so much.

          • Exactly.
            I am not a fan. Have struggled through some of his books but on this matter he is 100% spot on.

            I am not a fan of Americanism either but I find myself baulking on some of his criticisms for some reason. I guess it is the subjective feeling that he is attacking liberty. Maybe I will get over that feeling. There is that feeling thing again! The woke in me….

        • You can’t be for or against Christianity. We all live with the reality of God’s creation and the truth of His revealed word in the Bible.

          The horrors of the 20th century include the elimination of Small Pox, the creation of numerous other vaccines, antibiotics, modern agriculture, electronics, mass communication, flight, and a world wide civil rights revolution.

          Even if science and modernist ideas are 100% responsible for every death caused by Nazis, communists, colonialism, or the two World Wars (which is a preposterous claim) then those deaths and suffering are still dwarfed by the Small Pox vaccine alone, not to mention the thousands of other innovations made possible by modernity.

          Edit: the only thing that is supposed to be hard to understand is cryptography. All subjects, including advanced mathematics and physics, are designed to be as simple and easy to understand as possible. Of course, something that isn’t very easy, but the point of an academic field should never for it to be difficult.

          • “Heaven and Hell.”
            Or “Heaven or Hell”. That is the real difference.
            I have know exemplary “Christians” who called themselves atheists for lack of a better understanding of the Christian philosophy.
            Read John Shelby Spong. The late Anglican Bishop of Newark.

  8. Having John Tamihere utter abject and inflammatory nonsense about there being no need for co-governance in water management because Maori own 100% of the water will not help matters. A storm is upon us indeed.

    • Rubbish he didn’t say that! He mentioned that there is no court ruling that Maori didn’t have interest in water. In fact he rightfully asserted that there was no court whether high or supreme that would deny Maori special relation and inalienable rights to water.

      If you don’t understand Maori special relation to water than you’re not educated nor have an intimate knowledge of Maori worldview. Here a quick peek for you free of charge.

      When Maori cite their genealogy firstly before anything else they include their Mountain and rivers before mentioning their Marae and then whanau (family)

          • Do you actually believe Maori are special? They mined, they abused the environment, the wiped out species, they deforested, they polluted, just like every other race.

            To think that they didn’t and they were somehow above each and every race on the planet at the time is actually racist, because it is not fact.

            No, it doesn’t make them bad or worse than everyone else…shock horror, it makes them the same.

            Their ancestors were just as bad as mine. Why can no one say that?

  9. After the pathetic embarrassing excuse for a mayor of Makaurau being objectively and fairly destroyed by Jack Tame, Kieran McAnulty was indeed impressive. The Fourth Estate must hold power to account and being able to converse with my generation’s John Campbell, shows that a politician is not scared of the real world. This does not apply to the current mayor of Auckland, as he is clearly a person well past being of any use, and simply wants to splat his name on a few projects to justify his existence.

    • Yeah I wouldn’t pay too much attention to that twat. He’s a golfing buddy of jonkey. This twat was on the air praising JK for designating NZ state houses either to be demolished or sold and he proudly lorded over the airwaves support for JK sale of 49% thermal water which maori definitely have interest in.

  10. Probably not the game changer Labour want you to believe, actually, the one they tried so hard to hide! McAnulty let the cat out of the bag, he and his government have abandoned one person one vote. Don’t recall them campaigning on that? Wonder why?

    But I’m sure PW Botha used to wax lyrical on a special South African type democracy too!

    Sorry to disagree but for all it’s faults and that we all don’t always get what we want, one person one vote is far superior to anything else going, bar none! Especially something as vague as this “kiwi” styles thing.

    • The next time John Minto laments the plight of the Palestinians, just refer him to this article.

      “Democracys changed bro!”

      • There is that.
        What are the solutions to these problems.
        The enlightenment drew us closer but post modernism draws us back down the gurgler.

        I think post modernism was only ever intended to be a literary style. And then the genie escaped…….

  11. Well, at least we’re starting to talk about co-governance, for the last 2 years its been taboo. But this article Chris shows we’ve got a long way to go. Because of the ills you listed such as busted unions and low home ownership levels, could you cite any actual evidence that young people prefer some other form of government in response? Any when you say another form of democracy, let’s be clear, co-governance isn’t democracy. Just about anyone’s definition of co-governance is one person one vote. A system that gives, lets be honest 8% of the population 50% of the say (because not all Maori are going to sign up to this), just isn’t democracy anymore.

    And what about the many checks and balances we’ll need to ensure this skewing does not get misused, beyond vague assurances. Because at the end of the day, the tyranny of the majority will always be preferable to its corollary, the tyranny of the minority. But square that circle Chris and you’ve got me on board.

  12. For all it’s flaws democracy is still the best system on offer and if we tinker with it, replacing it with race basd power structures we really are going to head into a bad place.

    Imo it would be better to work harder to clean up our crooked democratic system rather than replace it was systemic racism. Get rid of career politicians and lobbyists for starters

    Mind you, NZ does seem hellbent on going backwards these days

    • XstraightXedgeX , still got a chip on your shoulder let it go man we aren’t going nowhere but here on our ancestral land Aotearoa/NZ

  13. Yes but, but. Would you trust millions of dollars of infrastructure funding to a person who charged taxpayers for his $89 underwear over 20 years ago (today’s equivalent $120?).
    Crime and drugs start small and grow to wild proportions and so does corruption. At least with democratically ELECTED officials we can vote them out. With co-governance we are STUCK with them.
    A new democracy?…pffft! And pffft!!

  14. A ‘new democracy’ isn’t democracy though, it’s a direct flight to hell

    The concept of one person, one vote works. It might not be perfect but it is without question the least bad option

    Shared management of resources such as the Ureweras as outlined by Ben Thomas James sense to a point. The burning of his there hasn’t pointed towards it working for all New Zealanders.

    How that idea can then be applied to John Tamahere’s Stuff article that Maori own all the water and therefore by default all the infrastructure I’m not sure.

    What does seem to be clear though is that there isn’t anywhere that I know of where a society based on one group having a greater say in affairs due to ethnicity or any other criteria has been more successful than a democracy based on the fundamental principal of one person one vote

  15. Could the Māori make a worse job of looking after Aotearoa than Pakeha democracy?

    To answer that question just look what life was like here BEFORE europeans arrived.

    • Aotearoa was awesome with plenty of native trees to protect against cyclones that are gonna destroy this country coastlines entirely by 2040. You’re viewing our country through the prism of the 21st century flavoured with pakeha (european) supremacy.

      Still got that chip on your shoulder.

  16. It is a game changer that Kieran is saying the quiet bit out loud.

    The polls will show whether you’re right Chris. For this country’s sake, I hope you are wrong.

    • He is right. He warned us about the consequences.

      If the foundation of your argument is anti-capitalism this is what you get.
      Anti-capitalism is Neo-Marxism and we know the outcome of that philosophy.

      Neo-Marxism = equality and fairness and penitence … shit! We are in serious trouble. We need a Neo-Enlightenment to bring on the death of this new god.

    • I guess we take from your comment Matt that you want us to continue on the enviromentally destructive path we are on.

      • Why on earth would you think that?

        It always strikes me as bizarre how quick people seem to be these days to ignore a point and assume that because someone is making it they must believe something else that is unrelated. Pretty much everyone agrees water infrastructure is stuffed in a lot of places in NZ and that it needs to be fixed. Some people apparently think that doing so requires both a loss of local control and an abandonment of democracy.

        Alternative structures that would achieve substantively the same aim without losing local control exist and would be just as cheap if not cheaper. Alternative structures that lose local control but don’t abandon democracy exist. And would be as cheap if not cheaper.

        Try your best to discuss political matters in good faith… when you assume, you make an ass out of U

        • I am well past believing local councils are capable of delivering on our water problems.
          The belief that ‘democracy’ achieves sustainable outcomes for infrastructure is clearly not supported by the current state of our water, transport, or many other services, so I would welcome Iwi representation, as promised by the Treaty, in decision making.

          • Is that your lived experience?
            1. Reading is believing.
            2. Seeing is believing.

            I often feel like you and then I realise that our services are generally actually bloody good and that Iwi is well represented in decision making.

            Services: One should always be reminded that many live off the grid by choice.

      • Who is this ‘We’? MHK…

        Are you lumping a whole group of people with you as YOU agree with someone/something?…what is this ‘We’ group you have thrown a blanket of agreement over that you seem to be the spokesman of!?

      • You want to regress to a state where someone’s political power is a function of the consequences of their birth?

        Do you place no value on universal human rights or the principles of the enlightenment?

          • It is literally regression regardless of whether the polls show it or not. Someone’s level of political power and participation being a function of their sociodemographic group is the oldest form of human social organization. The long arc of history curves away from that and towards egalitarian democracy as society gets less racist, sexist and classist. We reached equality in political rights for all groups in the 20th century, and have been reaching equality in social rights in the 21st (i.e trans rights).

            Apparently ‘progressives’ now want to regress and treat people not based on the content of their character, but the colour of their skin.

            • Apparently ‘progressives’ now want to regress and treat people not based on the content of their character, but the colour of their skin.
              ________________

              I tend to treat people based on the culture they identify with, skin colour rarely comes into it, and character requires a certain amount of knowledge regarding the individual that isn’t immediately accessible.

              Culture in individuals is easily identifiable by language and costume.

              I’m as much disinclined to interact with a patched up gang member talking smack and drugs as I am a suit and tie wearing financial advisor talking growth and gdp.

              Does that make me progressive or regressive ?

            • We are no where near an ‘egalitarian democracy’; with political parties getting huge donations from business interests and overseas ownership of many strategic assets, such a utopian world is not going to happen. We do not have your ‘equality in political rights’, as obvious from our statistics, that you claim.

  17. “Could the Māori make a worse job of looking after Aotearoa than Pakeha democracy? Could co-governance with mana whenua be any worse than co-governance with capitalists?”

    Of course they could get worse. It is a big assumption to believe that many Iwi corporations are not driven by the same Neo-liberal & capitalistic forces that drives the rest of New Zealand. That Maori leaders are not susceptible to the same corruption that infects Pakeha politicians? Donations, bribes or koha? That there isn’t the same desire to just clip the ticket? To add layers of bureaucracy & tribal consultation, that delays or halts projects, unless sufficiently “oiled”? Things are definitely getting worse, but if you think this is the solution, then I suspect that you don’t understand humans or the power of Neo-liberalism.

  18. I appreciated the candid response by Minister Kieran Mcnulty concerning Mana-whenua status having them on the balance sheet that would help out local ratepayers when applying to financial institutions upgrades to water infrastructure in their Rohe.

    Yes we do have a different way of sorting our shit out in NZ/AO that differs from other democracies. The right and maybe some on the left would claim that ‘one person one vote’ is the ideal democracy negates our country history that began with undemocratic processes that saw one race preferential treatment ova another even when that group wasn’t the majority.

    We need more politician like McNulty that are prepared to speak truth to power (the electorate) without fear of themselves being democratically unelected. I am hopeful of our country becoming more NZ than replicating the US version of democracy which is in a bit of a shambles atm.

    Hopefully soon we will find our nationalist interest that all different groups can unite and leave the big racist monster as a relic because we are in times of uncertainty and coming together will be our strength.

    • Other countries also had to severely compromise ‘one person one vote’ to stitch together their nations. The US and Aus senates are both profoundly undemocratic in nature, if democracy means each voter having the same power.

      • The only colour that should count is that of your soul.correct.
        But all of us should have a say in this matter.
        However, there are those who argue that Te Tiriti is exclusive.

  19. So how is he, this 3 by 10 Waters going to improve anything now, soon and in the future again?
    I’m genuinely lost in all of this huha.

    What is it all about? Water? Maoris? Is somebody stealing the water?
    Is something is broken? Money? Sex? Drugs?

    What is about again? Sovereignty maybe?

    Fucked if I know!

    • What’s this all about? It’s Labour at their very best Tane. They suffer from compulsive ‘announcementitis’ – We must announce something, anything, every day so the voters think we’re doing stuff all the time. From KiwiBuild to 3.10 Waters, everything they touch turn to fuckup. Latest – “We’re dropping classes from 29 to 28…whoopdeedo dropped one, yet schools don’t even want that, they want extra adults in class and more discipline tools! “We’re proposing 5 options for a new Auckland harbour crossing”…really, five?…why not 80? “We’re helping shops by providing grants for bollards…that’s if you have time to fill in our 3000 pages of paperwork” This is a ‘rule by ‘announcement’ govt from the days of Let’s Do This to Bread and Butter – just empty slogans.

  20. Co-governance is not a Maori governance system rather it’s a neo liberal attempt at equity. We’d be better off focusing on equality – lifting Maori as a whole from poverty, from perpetually renting, from being at the wrong end of so many stats and then you would not need co-governance, a foot up; it would instead be a level playing field.

  21. The Māori version of article 2 in the Treaty of Waitangi uses the word “rangatiratanga” in promising to uphold the authority that tribes had always had over their lands and taonga. This choice of wording emphasises status and authority.

    The English text, the Queen guaranteed to Māori the undisturbed possession of their properties, including their lands, forests, and fisheries, for as long as they wished to retain them. Over the decades there has been a complete and blatant 180 on this, without involving Māori.

    Soooo….what next?

  22. @ CT.
    Bugger the poetry. When the belly’s empty no one gives a fuck about art. Do those hungry we Maori kids living in cars write sonnets? Almost all the homeless people I see on the streets are Maori.
    Never mind pirouetting around the neoliberal crimes which had nothing to do with ‘democracy’. Crooks did crooked shit. That, is all the crooks did. roger douglas is a crook and his minion seymour is too. Their intentions were and are crooked. That, is not ‘democracy’. Here’s a little irony for you. The freedoms a democracy can facilitate can only function well, i.e. remain robust and healthy, if we must all participate. That’s why rogers treachery led to a corrupt natzo party headed up by bolger who de-regulated the unions and that’s why, to this very day, we must be enrolled to vote but then, irony of ironies, we’re not compelled by law to vote. So, all the crooks had to do then was introduce a laissez-faire, who gives a fuck, what’s the point of voting anyway mindset. Just give them beer and rugby and they’ll forget all about us criminals committing crimes.
    Here’s the thing. If Kieran McAnulty doesn’t broach the subject of the cancer that’s neoliberalism and the crimes that are now nine multi-billionaires and the four now foreign owned banksters stealing $180.00 a second in net profits annually then he’s one of them, not one of us.
    Lastly; ‘Democracy’ isn’t specifically a politic, in my opinion. It’s a mechanism that’s pan-political but for [it] to work, it must be maintained by us with our vote therefore we must vote. And that’s oddly a reason to be hugely sceptical about MMP. If we DO vote, specifically under MMP, our vote becomes diluted by far too many choices and those choices, if one takes a close look, are off-shoots of only option, Neoliberalism. It’s neoliberalism or nothing. Well, fuck that for a joke.
    We need to pull down fascist-capitalist neoliberalism and rebuild our democracy one vote per person at a time.
    Farmers? I hope you’re paying attention. You have the money, city people have the numbers. Let’s get together and jump up and down.

  23. All the young people I know (under 40) are intending to vote in this election in this order of preference
    ACT( 3 waters , firearms legislation, co-governance Treaty Referendum)
    National same reasons,plus education policy
    TOP (social and economic policy)
    Green (identity)
    NZ First( 3 Waters, co governance.)
    I think you underestimate the intelligence and value systems of the younger generations.

    • I suspect a lot of Chris & Martyn’s contact with young people is with left wing activists & that probably clouds their vision on the matter. Where do they think young Nats come from. They are also young people.

      • So they’d all vote right if their vision wasn’t clouded by left wing advocates?
        Oh dear the world’s gone mad.
        I could say the opposite and you’d be screaming from the rafters.
        I’d say all those young Nats listen to too much Newstalk ZB.

        • You are of course completely no biased?

          Not too worry the election results later in the year will shine through with the Youthquake pushing Labour & the Greens back into power with an even bigger majority, a sure sign of young peoples approval for the direction New Zealand is heading in?

          I suspect you listen to considerably more ZB that I do (it’s hard to beat zero).

      • I suspect you drink to much Kool-aid that probably clouds your judgement and you listen to far too much Newstalk ZB, as your right wing bias shines through.

    • You know 3 people whoopee do.
      All the blah blah blah people blah I know blah blah under 40 are voting in this order …
      Labour
      Greens
      Maori
      because the don’t want to go back to the bad old days.

  24. Good article . There is no arguing with Kieran he has all the answers at his fingertips. I pity anyone coming up against him in the election campaign not a wasted word in sight . Luxon and co. have no answers to this definition of democracy as has been outlined in the media this week. Party’s can say what they like in opposition however in government they are legally responsible to the Treaty of Waitangi. I sense a turning point in the media narrative and at last they are beginning to question the National party’s selection process and diversity. There is no real policy and what has been released is not costed. Luxon was grilled ( for a change ) about boot camps. Both Luxon and David Seymour admitted theydon’t do supermarket shops so how on earth can they condemn the cost of living because both these two are so far removed from the struggle and I think the tide is turning against their racist rhetoric and Kieran will school the neigh sayers quite easily.

  25. Hope he’s right. A lot of anti-Maori discourse on r-wing sites like Muriel Newman’s New Zealand Centre for Political Research and Bassett Brash and Hide – but possibly the same people? Called out MN’s lot for being racist whingers (whingeing about number of Maori nominations for the Ockhams, would you believe…), and was blocked. (Saw CT was on their Breaking News blog recently.) Then Muriel Newman parachuted into Bassett Brash and Hide. Had to move from there before I was pushed….

    • Muriel Newman is a Maori-hater it’s no secret. Her platform the NZCPR is a far-right Maori only hating site that targets Maori aspirations and the Treaty of Waitangi. Her org is funded by the elite rich list of NZ and supported by the like of Don Brash and co.

  26. All the oldies I know don’t care who runs the country. I think they are quite happy to vote for a co-governance framework and see how it unfolds for better or worse. They are prepared to at least give it a go.
    In the past they have seen all types of politicians and parties come and go plus install huge experimental changes to society and politics.

  27. “Both Māori and Pakeha are talking about a constitution based on the Treaty of Waitangi, rather than the Westminster system.” – I call bullshit. It’s only woke elite having this conversation, not the working class or in fact anyone outside of the elite that will benefit from this concoction of professional managerial class bulshit.

  28. In all this resert/rebranding talk about how Kieran will save Labour, I’m not seeing much if any discussion of Te Mana o Te Wai (TMOTW) statements that are still in the proposed model and a major fishhook.

    TMOTW allow Iwi to issue a statement like “in region X you will employ only our tribe” or “you will not draw from this water source” or whatever else they dream up, which may or may not conflict with statements from another Iwi. Also the select committee came back and added two more waters to the bill – geothermal and coastal, which have nothing to do with infrastructure so why were these added?

    This hits on the key issue the Government doesn’t understand – the difference between Governance, Management and Operations, how 3 waters breaks this, and how this difference is crucial to understanding how this will fall apart.

    Governance sets direction, Management ‘manages’ implementation of this through Operations. This separation of layers exists to stop the Governance structure from interfering in the day to day operations – this always ends badly because governance has a totally different focus and doesn’t live and breath operations so has no understanding of the impact of their decisions on the day to day delivery of services.

    3/5 waters breaks this in 3 interrelated ways. Firstly the 50/50 panel chooses the group to select the governance layer – extra bureaucracy to justify adding co-governance. Secondly the law mandates that anyone in the governance layer must understand and demonstrate a history of using Matauranga Maori. So Maori get undue influence across this structure without even needing to understand water management. And what does this have to do with infrastructure – why are we adding spirituality into water management with MM? Thirdly MOTW statements are made by Iwi (totally outside the whole structure) and this crosses all layers and impacts directly on the Operations layer.

    So 3 waters breaks apart all normal governance and service delivery, which is needed for something as complex as water management in a climate-changing world. How can you plan for this type of change when an Iwi can come along and upend it with a TMOTW statement? This will inevitably happen – just look at Urewera or the Dome Valley examples. In both cases a minority of Iwi governance members have hijacked their own interests just to do a deal to benefit themselves at the expense of their own people. This absolutely will happen with 3 waters – Maori are just as susceptible to politics, power and greed as everyone else.

    The Te Mana o Te Wai statements also apply as veto and control power over physical water infrastructure, which makes no sense. Maori absolutely have water rights under the treaty, but why should they have rights over the infrastructure we as taxpayers paid for?

    • Thanks nukefacts. Good to see someone else has ACTUALLY read the legislation. It’s a racist rort based on an unchallenged assumption of ownership motivated by avarice.
      The dirty corrupt Waitangi Tribunal uses a version of the Treaty that is both historically invalid and a forgery. The bullshit just keeps on flowing on a constantly revised version of NEW ZEALAND”S history. Maori did not even call NZ Aotearoa. A word made up by Pakeha. ( Possibly Samuel Butler)
      Now let’s see if Stephen the racist pops up and denigrates my comment. All so predictable. Oh and Maori are not indigenous to New Zealand they are immigrants just like everyone else.

  29. Co-governance with mana whenua? What proportion of the Maori in Auckland are mana whenua in Auckland?

  30. I scrolled this far and decided, save for highlighting this gem of a quote; “Could co-governance with mana whenua be any worse than co-governance with capitalists?” this posting doesn’t need my input.

  31. ” Having John Tamihere utter abject and inflammatory nonsense about there being no need for co-governance in water management because Maori own 100% of the water will not help matters. A storm is upon us indeed. ”

    Therein lies the problem. Maori DONT own anything. All New Zealanders are owners of the resources of this country.

    How can you have one group in the minority making that claim. Maori were not he first people of this land the Moriori were and the invading Maori tribes wiped them out !

    John Tamihere has form and is hardly the Maori progressive on the left. He was and still is to the right of progressive policies and is a perfect spokesperson for T.M.P who will abandon their impoverished people to sign up with the neoliberals like himself under the guise Maori nationalism to enrich the brown capitalist’s.
    He is using the current climate and agenda to pretend to be Hone Heke for Maori while creaming all he can for the brown elites and profit making entities.

    This whole co governance marketing plan for the millennials is flawed.

    ” It was under democracy that the New Zealand trade union movement was gutted, and never allowed to recover. It was under democracy that the welfare state became as cold as charity. It was democracy that looked at global warming – and did nothing. Democracy that denied an entire generation their own affordable home. Democracy that allowed big corporations to wreck the New Zealand environment, and send their profits offshore. Sure, you could vote, once every three years, but nothing ever seemed to change. Democracy might have done plenty for their grandparents’ and parents’ generations, but it has done bugger-all for theirs.

    How can you have a starting point for co governance when the neo liberal unregulated capitalist approach has done more to undermine and attack real progressive values that Maori and Pakeha need for stability and economic fairness to feel they have a stake and a home in this new Aotearoa New Zealand post the rich mans revolution in 1984.

    New Neo liberal Labour have proven that they can never be the representatives of real Labour that used to include many Maori votes but are just managers of the neo liberal elite who have nothing better to do than try to appease their Maori caucus by pushing Jacksons and other LINO Pro Maori fantasies agenda under the guise of unregulated capitalism.

      • ” Everything changed, however, when two Taranaki iwi – Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama – invaded the islands in 1835.

        ” Solomon says the invaders attacked and killed about 300 of the 2000 or so Moriori living on the island, and enslaved the rest ”

        Did you read this ?

        The moriori were the first inhabitants of one of the Islands making up the Islands that were to become New Zealand if that is a accurate historical reference.

        ” Catch up you’re still living in a bubble and the Moriori are still here today thriving not wiped out ”

        Hardly thriving after Taranaki iwi butchered most of them.

        But a minority definitely.

        No one group owns our resources least of all domestic and foreign corporates. All New Zealanders should as part of our birth right in this land.

  32. I’m reminded of Shadbolts concrete mixer named Karl Marx. It apparently worked well in theory.

    Co – governance may sound fine but the devil is in the detail. I’m not going to stand in its way, but I hope that the future governance of Aotearoa is for all Aotearoans. I don’t wish us to replace the tyranny of colonial institutions that favour a pakeha elite with further divisiveness. We are now a multi ethnic and cultural country, this offers us a chance to create a better, more inclusive nation.

    • That was what the Te Tiriti was all about.
      It was never intended to be about exclusion.

      Read the TDB’s interpretation of the Ti Tiriti blogged today.

  33. So Labour sort of finally fronting up around 2 years after introducing 3 waters is to be lauded? Painted into a corner and purposeful tactic to postpone til as close to the election as poss.

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