National ignores democracy | The Jackal

30 Oct 2012

National ignores democracy

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

The release of confidential documents has for the first time shed light on reasons behind the Government's reluctance to restore full democracy to Canterbury regional politics.

The Government suspended democracy and restricted legal action in Canterbury to protect an agriculture boom potentially worth more than $5 billion to the national economy, documents reveal.

It feared the economic boom promised by Canterbury irrigation could be in jeopardy unless Environment Canterbury (ECan) was "stable, effective and efficient", says a Government report on August 27.

Despicable! National have got rid of the democratically elected council because they were more likely to adhere to the laws that protect the environment.

As an excuse for removing the council the Minister for Primary Industries said the council was ineffective, had lost the confidence of its community, including every one of its 10 mayors. David Carter also said the council had put at risk the region’s prospects for economic growth. What a load of rubbish!

Without that democratically elected oversight, the tax-evading farmers will install their huge irrigation systems with no concern for the environmental impact and the public will have no way of holding the polluters to account.

Being that farms are generally privately owned businesses, this is a direct attack on the people's democratic rights to have a say in how the country is being run. If there's no dully elected oversight in how the irrigation systems operate, there will be an increase in effluent discharge and therefore more pollution in our already polluted waterways.

52% of monitored recreational sites are already unsafe to swim in.

A Government document, disclosed to The Press under the Official Information Act, reveals that this needs to be continued because there is a "strong risk" people could revert to appealing to the Environment Court.

It's interesting that National view the already weakened laws and often-ineffectual Environment Court that sometimes fails to safeguard the environment for future generations as a threat to their commercial interests. They seem completely oblivious to the fact that in the long run not protecting our environment will be far more costly.

There is no doubt that Nationals environmentally na├»ve policy direction will not only be detrimental to our clean and green branding, but our Kiwi way of life as well. Clearly the farmers and their political party are only interested in the commercialization of nature.

It also shows that Nationals talk of cleaning up our waterways is entirely meaningless. In fact it appears that they have no consideration for the environment at all. They're also willing to forego democracy in order to further their private interests in the farming industry. What a bunch of fascists!

In my opinion, a few farmers becoming wealthier is no reason to forego our democratic process... It's also no reason to increase the pollution in our waterways either.