The co-governance agenda

Graham Adams writes:

When the Prime Minister claimed in her first term that her government was going to be “transformational” many voters took her seriously — until it became apparent she was unlikely to transform anything much, whether it was unaffordable housing or inadequate or introducing a capital gains tax.

Perhaps, however, we should have been listening more closely when a year ago — and only a few months into her second term — Ardern referred to “foundational change”.

The change in wording was quickly dismissed as a rebranding exercise dreamed up by Labour Party strategists to distance the government from its failure to be in any way transformational. But foundational change is certainly what we are getting in Ardern’s second term — even if most citizens remain unaware of the steady remaking of ’s constitutional arrangements via a radical interpretation of the Treaty as a 50:50 partnership.

Hard to deny that is the agenda, when it is being implemented every day in almost every portfolio.

What voters have not been told clearly is that these three seemingly unrelated events — road blocks (as an expression of rangatiratanga over traditional territories); iwi co-governance in Three Waters; and giving matauranga Māori parity with science in the education system — are all part of an overarching programme to implement a radical view of the Treaty.

Call it a strange coincidence if you like but all three were foreshadowed clearly in the revolutionary document He Puapua that was presented to Nanaia Mahuta in November 2019 but kept from the public (and Winston Peters as Deputy Prime Minister) until after the 2020 election.

However, because nearly the entire political commentariat deny that He Puapua in any way informs, inspires or predicts government policy, most voters are unaware that the co-governance model outlined in that revolutionary document is being steadily implemented in a wide array of domains.

The Government denied the document had any status, but their policies since suggest the opposite.

Nevertheless, voters are starting to have their suspicions. And if anything is likely to have convinced them that something deeply underhand is going on, it was the revelation in November that Cabinet had agreed in July that Three Waters would be compulsory.

That, of course, made a complete mockery of the “consultation” period with councils — that culminated in a summary of their submissions being sent on October 22 to Mahuta’s office for appraisal.

The consultation had been sold as a democratic exercise to get councils’ feedback on whether they were likely to opt in or out of the new system. Now it is clear that opting out of a programme that would transfer ratepayers’ assets to four regional entities — and share governance equally with iwi — had never been a real possibility since at least July.

People are very worked up on the Three Waters issue. If the Government refuses to compromise, their provincial electorate MPs are going to be wiped out in 2023.

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