Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: He is Henry the Eighth, he is

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  • Mikaere Curtis,

    They really do believe you vote for a bill "to send a clear message of support to people trying to rebuild in Canterbury". Do the Greens really think that the people of Canterbury won't forgive them for voting against bad legislation? In short, do they think people are stupid?

    You're missing the point. They tried to improve the bill, but were opposed by Nats and Labour. They did manage to get OIA oversight on the Recovery Commission.

    So, in the end, they'd tried everything they could, and were still facing a fait acompli. Since it is clear where they stood on the risks associated with the bill, I can see why they would want to adopt a stance of symbolically supporting the people of Canterbury.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I lived in California when they pass term limits - it's been a disaster - the result is a senate and house that has no institutional memory, no one knows how anything works except for the bureaucrats and the lobbyists who stay around longer - what you're really enabling is "Yes Minister!"

    It's also highly anti-democratic - you're telling someone that they arbitrarily can't vote for the elected representative of their choice because they've gotten too good at representing them - that's just wrong

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2176 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Since I haven't posted a marginally relevant You Tube clip for a while, why not relax with this:

    J'ai ton amour et je veux ton revenge, baby.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    For what benefit? How does that give members any more control over party lists?

    Exactly. The Greens have less than 10,000 members, yet have the most democratic list selection process (STV ranking by all members, subject to only minor tweaking for geographical/gender/ethnic balance).

    If you don't like how parties behave, the real solution is to get involved. You really can't dictate their behavior by statute.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    So, in the end, they'd tried everything they could, and were still facing a fait acompli. Since it is clear where they stood on the risks associated with the bill, I can see why they would want to adopt a stance of symbolically supporting the people of Canterbury.

    Because by doing so, they were supporting dictatorship.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1660 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    So, in the end, they'd tried everything they could, and were still facing a fait acompli. Since it is clear where they stood on the risks associated with the bill, I can see why they would want to adopt a stance of symbolically supporting the people of Canterbury.

    And they still voted to abolish the RMA (to name one thing the Greens have been fighting to save. there are many others). The whole point of a fait accompli is that it is accomplished, so you might as well take the principled position. It would have taken a lot more sugar to make this rotten medicine go down. All I have now is a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Symbolism doesn't do much for me. I'm interested in concrete action. Voting for bad legislation to make victims feel supported is something that the ACT-SST Party does. I expect better from the Greens. As I said above, I don't think the people of Canterbury are that stupid that they'd think the Greens voting against this means they're being let down, but evidently Russel Norman does.

    I don't think Nandor would have ever voted for this.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I can see why they would want to adopt a stance of symbolically supporting the people of Canterbury.

    Except it doesn't. Saying it does doesn't make it so. And as a person of Canterbury, I don't like being used like this.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "Look, we've been ignoring the RMA in Canterbury with no problems. Based on that, we don't anticipate any issues with removing it from the country as a whole."

    Bingo.

    And yes, you are being used, good folk of Canterbury. Yet you'll probably collectively vote this government back in, won't you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    If you don't like how parties behave, the real solution is to get involved. You really can't dictate their behavior by statute.

    Civics education would help - rather than focusing on tweaking the internal constitutional arrangements, how about ensuring a broadly informed population who feel able to demand that the system perform to their expectations? Then we might see some meaningful outrage at the consitutional violations from this government, especially in Canterbury.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I have laughed at those who have coined the term "New Zealand's 911" but this act of political skulduggery is on a par with the USA's Patriot Act. To paraphrase Niemöller's famous quotation "First they came for our water... Then they came for our Trust accounts...
    They say that the first casualty of War is truth so. is the first casualty of natural disaster Democracy? (well, apart from the victims of course)
    I bet National cannot believe their luck.
    However, there could be a silver lining. Brownlee could legalise Marijuana with a stroke of his ministerial pen. Yeah right.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4896 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong,

    There are echoes here, at least for me, of the 'debate' that preceded the construction of the Clyde Dam under Muldoon's National Government. (Admittedly an obscure topic of interest, but relevant for me due to family associations). The government's initial proposal was to build a mega-dam that would have submerged pretty much everything between Wanaka and Queenstown (precise geography uncertain, but the point is that it was big..). In the shadow of such a destructive proposal, all subsequent smaller plans took on the appearance of reasonable compromises.

    Brownlee et al won't legalise murder etc., but the fact that the possibility exists might make whatever changes they do impose look relatively restrained and reasonable.

    Bowing to the superior knowledge of all other posters, what happens next? Who do we write to? What other options for protest exist?

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I can see why they would want to adopt a stance of symbolically supporting the people of Canterbury.

    Symbolism is important, which is why it would have been important to symbolically support democracy, and send a signal that this is an appalling piece of legislation. Voting against it or abstaining may not have made a made a blind bit of difference to its passing, but it might have made some more people aware of the threat that this represents. It would also have symboloised the idea that the Green Party was one of principle, and worth voting for.

    I used to believe that. Shame.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Since it is clear where they stood on the risks associated with the bill, I can see why they would want to adopt a stance of symbolically supporting the people of Canterbury.

    Mikaere: I don't want to pile onto the Greens here because, frankly, I think National and an MIA Labour deserve the lion's share of my bile. But, in the end, the Greens chose political expediency over principle. Their call, but they have to wear the political consequences along with everyone else. I'll certainly be snarling bullshit the next time anyone from ACT or National talks about limited government, or Ol' Silent T Cunliffe stands up and intones about how terrible it was that the CDGS was extended under urgency.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I agree with Craig there - no party comes out of this looking good. No doubt many voters will disagree with me.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    And meanwhile, the media lets this slip away or trumpets this as a good thing. Stuff's headlines included "Recovery law cuts red tape" and "REBUILDING BOOSTED BY EXTRA POWERS", for fuck's sake, and now the Editor's Picks include "F&P banks on fridge innovation", "Lost ring resurfaces... 40 years later" and "'Paua fritter' among new chip flavours".

    I know that the journalism industry has been neutered by deadlines, poor resources and triviality, but is it too much to expect such a vast consitutional implosion to get just a little bit of scrutiny?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    @Tom: Yes? Do I get a prize...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Oh good grief.

    Zer irony! It burns ussss!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    National and Labour are intrinsically authoritarian and just behaving as expected.

    I had thought better of the Greens. My first thought was to not renew my overdue membership, but maybe I should try and work from within to vote out this rotten caucus and elect people with some spine.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    On top of two greens voting for the banning of street prostitution in Manukau City Council (see hand mirror), the greens have had a bad week in parliament.

    I miss Sue and Nandor.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    From Parliaments website celebrating the International Day of Democracy today...

    This year’s theme highlights the role of parliament in holding the Government to account. The House has several processes through which it performs this role:
    question time, when members ask Ministers questions about their portfolios
    thousands of questions are asked to Ministers for reply in writing
    spending of public money is examined by the House and select committees
    the Government’s proposals to change the law are scrutinised
    during debates, members raise matters of concern and express their views about the Government’s performance
    select committees initiate inquiries and hold public briefings
    members of the public promote petitions asking the House to investigate actions of government agencies, or seeking its action on a matter of public policy or law.

    All of which were abandoned yesterday.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4896 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Great comment from sammy on DimPost:

    What strange priorities New Zealanders have. We must be ever vigilant against attacks on the hotel mini-bar, but Ministers can help themselves to all the power they can handle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I suppose Labour deserves some small credit for, apparently, requiring the term of the legislation to be reduced from a barely credible five years to two -- but, otherwise: loyal Opposition? Hardly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And the Greens managed to get the OIA applied to the new Commission - but the threat to the equivalent LGOIMA stands. Easy enough to shuffle contentious decisions to a less transparent part of the system - just as the new Auckland arrangements create some discrepancies in official information obligations. None of this is accidental.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I miss Sue and Nandor.

    Yes, agreed. Their leaving may well have been their foresight.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Can anyone here shed any light on this for me? Some New Brighton council housing tenants were evicted from their properties on Tuesday afternoon. The evictions were reported by both the Herald and Stuff

    However, the two sources report the story rather differently. The Herald quotes Chch city councillor Chrissie Williams as saying that the properties were unsafe; while Stuff says the properties had been inspected and "green stickered", and quotes the same councillor as saying the evictions were "inhumane".

    My understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act is that if a property is damaged to the point it is uninhabitable, the landlord (the council) still must give the tenant 7 days notice (s53). I can't quite believe that this is covered by the state of emergency, because I can't believe a private landlord would be allowed to tell his/her tenants they had to be gone in two (or one, depending on which source you go with) hours, and I don't see why the council would be treated differently in its role as landlord to any private landlord.

    Am I missing something?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 373 posts Report Reply

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