Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Another democratic sham

Yesterday the government introduced to Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill, to fix the racist veto against Māori wards. The bill was introduced under urgency, but the government said it would be going to select committee. But apparently that doesn't mean it will get a proper select-committee process: the committee has now called for submissions, but only given people until 17:00 tomorrow to get them on. In other words, the entire select committee process is a sham and a democratic fraud.

I had been planning to encourage people to submit on this bill. Given the process used, I cannot in good faith encourage people to waste their time on it. As with other sham processes - Parker's RMA bulldozer, Little's tyrannical anti-terrorism law - it is simply an exercise in bad faith, designed to lend a veneer of democracy to an undemocratic process. We should not dignify it with our participation, or pretend that it is any form of meaningful "consultation".

I support this legislation. But not like this. While the timing is tight, there was time to have a normal select committee process. By choosing not to, Labour has made its contempt for the public crystal clear.