Wednesday, April 13, 2011

trust me I promise

Ngai Tahu have come out in support of the CERA bill which give wide ranging powers to gerry brownlee to sort out christchurch. Our kaiwhakahaere has said that the "detail of the legislation backs up Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee’s commitment to engage with Ngai Tahu along with local government; business groups and the wider community." I'd be interested to see where that is - might have to read the legislation because I am not convinced the brownlee even understands what consultation is - he deliberately didn't consult with tangata whenua over granting the exploitation licences to Petrobras. He has been under increasing scrutiny in his role and has been found wanting. I wouldn't trust him or his words to consult and discuss - he means "let's work as a team and do it my way."

The Greens, Chris Carter and Hone have opposed the Bill. The Greens have come out with some excellent arguments
“The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery bill effectively gives unbridled power to the Beehive for five years and sidelines councils and local communities. The international evidence shows that community-led recovery efforts work best and we will be seeking amendments to achieve this,” said Dr Kennedy Graham, Green Party Earthquake Recovery spokesperson. “Under this bill the Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will be able to exercise emergency powers and change any law in the country for the next five years. This is more than is needed for the rebuild and is not consistent with a democratic locally-led recovery effort."
Too much power indeed, as Idiot/Savant notes
 Which means that the big decisions around the future of Christchurch will be decided not by its people, but by Gerry Brownlee. Who while he is a Christchurch MP, isn't exactly in the same position of democratic accountability as the elected representatives of the Christchurch City Council.
Eddie at The Standard is scathing
The power given to Brownlee here is unprecendented and uncontrolled. He will be appointing the CEO or CERA who will report to him. On Marae Investigates last Sunday, a disaster expert, Dr Regan Potangaroa, who has worked around the world said he had never seen such powers put into the hands of a minister, or anyone. He said they are powers that officials have in dictatorships.
Can we trust him to not abuse his powers - the evidence says no, we can't. I have no doubt that brownlee is well below par on any standard. That's right - I don't like his philosophy, what he stands for, says or does. We will see if he consults and works with tangata whenua, we will see if he consults and works with communities.


robertguyton said...

Sad, bad decision.

Simon Lambert said...

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu is a corporate authority set up under the neoliberal principles of the 1990s. Like any other corporation, they find democracy is kinda annoying, a cost and a drag on their business.

As with the Water Commission (i.e., the suspension of democratic control of Canterbury's water resources), TRoNT can only benefit (oh, at least in the short term...). One of the Commissioners is Don Couch, ex-Deputy Kaiwhakahaere.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Brownlee and or the CERA CEO will "abuse their powers or not" but what I do know is that if we fart around with business as usual the folks without homes and /or jobs and/ or water and/or heating and/or food or indeed without a family member as a result of the earthquake don't need people to pre-judge this.

People who live and far away in a situation from the devastation, physical as well as psychological can blinking well keep their critique's to themselves. If they turn out to be right they can have a say then - this is a case of lead follow or get the hell out of the way - we don't have the time or patience for the naysayers and the after-shock we had yesterday is a timely reminder that we can take nothing for granted right now.

As for Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu - it is the product of a lengthy decision making process by our people and while it is not perfect it is ours and we don't much take too kindly to criticism from folks who have no idea of how we truly operate - the fact that there is a tribal member on ECAN is a positive for us - the pakeha democratic process would never deliver Ngai Tahu as an iwi what ECAN has - previously the self interested got themselves elected and so dominated the so called democratic institution it ground to a standstill through lack of cohesive direction and leadership.

CERA has recognised Ngai Tahu in a way no other legislation ever has - we sit alongside the Council in terms of who has an input.

If we do stuff it up it will probably be because of some of our democratically elected representatives think they have something to offer when in fact the more effective contribution could come from our communities.