Friday, June 21, 2024

National says "fuck you"

The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, it seems they'll be ramming this through by the end of July, likely under urgency. As for the 10,614 submitters, fully two thirds of whom were opposed, the government has just two words for us: "fuck you". As the ludicrously short period they allowed for public submissions shows, they don't care what we think. In the government's eyes, their private coalition agreement trumps te Tiriti o Waitangi, our human rights obligations, and our democratic norms. And if we don't like it, well, we can throw them out at the next election (assuming they don't ram through another similarly undemocratic bill to stop us from doing so).

But if you submitted on this, don't think you wasted your time. The purpose of submissions wasn't to get the government to change its mind - they're a lost cause, something we just have to wait out. The purpose of submissions is to legitimise the next government honouring te Tiriti, repealing this racist, undemocratic bill and restoring Māori representation. The question is whether Labour will get that message.