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Government reversal on stoush at Ihumatao – reveals a contempt by Ardern for the rule of law

27/07/2019

From Kim Hill today on RNZ – the first of several segments on Ihumātao

MPs Peeni Henare and Willy Jackson will be heading to Ihumātao in South Auckland today, to listen to, and speak with, protestors on the site of land they consider sacred.

Until very recently the Government had vowed to remain at a distance from the stoush, but last night PM Jacinda Ardern said no building will take place at Ihumātao while the government and other parties try to broker a solution.

This makes me very cross for a variety of reasons, including as I wrote here

There is a clear pattern here:

  • disregard for law and court and tribunal rulings
  • disregard for governance
  • disregard for due process
  • disregard for private property rights
  • disregard for the rights of the iwi which determined to do the deal with Fletcher with intent to provide housing for their people
  • disregard for housing needs,in order to push grievances

Now those comments were originally focused on the Greens, but they apply just as much to Ms Ardern. In my opinion Ardern has crossed the line, she has interfered in a contractual arrangement between two consenting parties. By so doing she has opened the door to future protests and expectations that all protesters have to do is foment trouble and they will get what they want.

The message this sends to business and investors and anyone concerned with the rule of law is in my view a very negative one. It suggests that NZ is ruled by a mob, to which a weak PM yields.

This decision by Ardern to involve herself in this dispute is ill-judged and wrong.

By what right does she overrule court decisions and legal agreements.

Do we now live in a country where the fiat of the PM trump’s the rule of law?

 

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