Thursday, March 07, 2024

Saying what needed to be said

National today announced that it would be introducing its corrupt Muldoonist resource consent fast-track legislation to the House today, and ramming it through its first reading under urgency. Unusually, the list of projects that will be pre-approved will not be included in the bill, but will be added later, so the public will not have a chance to scrutinise it and submit on it at select committee. Which smacks of yet another attempt to limit public scrutiny, in violation of our constitutional norms.

Labour has been weak on this, but today in Question Time James Shaw said what needed to be said, asking RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop (at 4:30s]:

is he aware that rushing legislation with such extraordinary executive powers through parliament under urgency with little public scrutiny creates a risk that any of the projects that are approved as a result of this bill could find themselves subject to future scrutiny, which could include the loss of the consent, possibly without compensation.
And all Bishop could do is splutter about the need to avoid "sovereign risk". But creating such risk is the point: what is legislated can be un-legislated. And where the legislation is passed by an abusive process, contrary to our constitutional norms, and to be honest, simply corrupt, repeal and cancellation without compensation is a necessity. Those bribing Ministers to have their projects included on their Muldoonist list need to be very aware of that.

(The next stage to keep them aware is obviously a Member's Bill. But that'll have to wait until the fast-track law actually passes).

As for Bishop, its a bit fucking rich of him, having just so viciously demonstrated how policy can change when the government does, to complain that a future government might not respect his decisions. Unlike Bishop, the Greens will at least do it with a proper select committee process, allowing everyone to be heard, and for the law to be considered legitimate. Though "stopping people from profiting from an ongoing crime" might in fact be one of the few justifications for all-stages urgency...