Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The water decision

So, the High Court has rejected the Maori Council's case against the privatisation of Mighty River Power. Reading the judgement [PDF], the judge has basically decided that the government's decisions in this matter are unreviewable. While he's right on the decision to commence the Act - that's clearly the will of Parliament - I'm not so sure about the rest. As for his conclusions that the government's "consultation" was anything other than a sham, and that Parliament can grant post-sale redress by effectively legislating away Mighty River Power's value (fine in theory, impossible in practice), they are simply laughable and deserving of a Tui billboard.

I expect the case to be appealed, and to go all the way to the Supreme Court. We'll see how it goes there. Meanwhile, the referendum campaign rolls on, and the petition is likely to be presented in another few months. And if the government ignores that, then they can expect to pay a heavy price at the ballot box for their arrogance.