Thousands of tractors this recent week lined the streets of towns and cities throughout the country. In ‘The Howl of Protest’, farmers and others have at last risen up against a swathe of new environmental regulations in one of the largest-ever rural protests against any New Zealand government.
These include the markedly unfair ‘Ute Tax’ which punishes the use of utes as work vehicles and is done in line with the government’s promotion of the Clean Car Package rebate scheme. Yet the government is well aware there is no electronic alternative to the ute, essential to our workforce of farmers, horticulturalists, industry support people and tradesmen. This same government promised no new taxes at the last election.
Equally hypocritical is the government attacking the use of fossil fuels, while itself being the largest importer and user of coal in New Zealand. We selectively export some of our own coal and the government, promoting the use of electric vehicles, remains remarkably reticent about the fact that coal is of major importance when our lake levels are low and alternatives, such as windfarming, are unreliable.
Other punitive policies are being dumped on farmers, with large areas of productive farmland being turned into pine forests because of the destructive New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. Big stick regulations on fresh water and significant natural areas – such as wetlands, landscapes and biodiversity – are seen as a government land grab. All these heavy-handed impositions are the product of a far-left government which treats the farming community harshly, ignoring how the majority of rural people care for their land and voluntarily undertake conservation measures.
Reportedly, these placarded tractor protests made their presence felt in over fifty towns and cities. In Auckland alone, they rolled in from the outskirts and into the city centre on the Friday morning, causing gridlock on the motorways. Protestors took over a sports field in Whangarei, while in Dunedin, a five-kilometre long procession brought the city to a standstill.
It is not only farmers who have had enough of what is now perceived as Jacinda Ardern’s thoroughly divisive rule over this country, assisted by a mass media now indebted to her socialist government. When the leader of the opposing National party, Judith Collins, recently questioned Miss Ardern about what she would say to people concerned that her $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund – which includes criteria media must adhere to, to obtain the funding – would be influencing the editorial decisions of media in this country, Ardern was predictably scornful. However, no doubt encouraged by the immediately derisive response of her customary attack dog, the Minister of Finance, she was foolish enough to gleefully suggest the question should be put to the media.
As has been pointed out, media organisations are hardly likely to agree they have been bought by government money. It was left to ACT leader David Seymour to ask what would happen to a media outlet receiving money from the fund, but wanting to report a story deemed inconsistent with ‘the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi’ – one of the requirements media must adhere to. Needless to say, an immediately indignant Ardern produced one of her ‘I absolutely reject…’ mantras in relation to the indisputable fact that there certainly is political influence in our broadcasting and print media.
Shockingly, the guidelines that establish eligibility for the millions of dollars available expressly invoke ‘actively promoting the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, acknowledging Maori as Te Tiriti partner’. There it is in black and white, and any media wanting to question this completely inaccurate claim is hardly likely to retain its funding. Rules is rules! Yet no legal or conceptual partnership was ever established by the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. It is in fact impossible for a democratic government to legally sign a treaty establishing a partnership with one section only of its people. While there are no longer any full-blooded Maoris, those opting to claim an often tenuous Maori genetic inheritance are represented in one report as 12.5 per cent of New Zealanders, not the 15-16 per cent claimed as a proportion of the population. Many, probably the majority of part-Maori, prefer to be represented on the main electoral roll –well aware of the political machinations contrived by those seeking targeted economic advantages on the grounds of racial background – and unwilling to be part of this self-serving activism.
Ardern herself continues to inaccurately claim a ‘partnership’ as the basis for the preferential funding and racist positioning advanced in He Paupua – the initially heavily-redacted government document with the incomprehensible title providing special governing and economic advantages for activist part-Maori. Although the Prime Minister denies having actually read its proposals, her ministers are already implementing its provisions – such as prior control of our health system by part-Maori representatives – and their unwarranted authority over the whole country’s water and other basic infrastructures.
Yet when Don Brash, both a former National party leader and Governor of the Reserve Bank, wrote to ask her directly why she and her ministers constantly refer to the ‘partnership’ created by the Treaty of Waitangi, pointing out there was no mention of a partnership, or any synonym of partnership, in any version of the treaty, our Prime Minister predictably dodged his question, fobbing him off by referring it to another minister.
A recent poll obligingly unpublished by our mainstream media shows Ardern’s popularity plummeting. It will not be helped by her bypassing New Zealander of the Year Mike King’s highly respected mental health outreach in favour of handing $2.75 million to a Mongrel Mob-led rehabilitation programme to address drug dependency. One of its directors is a long-time Mongrel Mob member shown in a video a year ago in full Mob regalia encouraging his members to re-elect the Labour government.
That taxpayer support is being given to a gang notorious for its drug-peddling and money-laundering activities has created a public outcry. However, awareness is now dawning that a high-aiming, hard-Left and agenda-driven Ardern may have other fish to fry, and little to personally lose, after an eventual electoral defeat.
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