He’s exactly like Malcolm Tucker’s coffee machine

Nick Smith is exactly like Malcolm Tucker’s coffee machine.

Nick Smith has screwed up again.

Last minute negotiations between the Maori Party and the Government are continuing as Environment Minister Nick Smith bids for the party?s support for his landmark Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.

Maori Party Co-Leader, Marama Fox, told POLITIK last night that unless the party gets Smith’s agreement to change a clause in the Bill relating to GE-free regions, the party will withdraw its support for the Bill altogether.

That would be a major embarrassment for the Government over what is one of its legislation show pieces.

Fox appears to be suggesting that Smith renegged on an undertaking he had given the party. ?

It has already lost the votes of ACT?s David Seymour and United Future?s Peter Dunne.

It has been negotiating with the Maori Party for nearly two years now, and it was thought an agreement had been reached.

But the Maori Party were surprised by the final draft of the Bill and are arguing that it does not meet their demands to remove the power of the Minister to over rule local authorities who declare themselves GE free.

?There are some things that we would still like to negotiate with the Minister, because the drafting does not completely match the anticipated decisions that we came to and the agreements that we came to around policy,? Fox told Parliament yesterday afternoon.

?So in good faith today we are going to vote for this, on the guarantee that we continue to have those conversations to put forward the policies of not just the M?ori Party but yes, regions such as the Hawke’s Bay, regions such as Te Tai Tokerau, and regions within Te Wai Pounamu, which are advocating for a GE-free stance.?

The Minister?s retention of powers to over rule not only local authorities declaring themselves GE free but undertaking a variety of other planning and resource consent activities, was also attacked by the Greens MP, Eugenie Sage.

??Sir Robert Muldoon’s ghost is back in the Beehive,” she said.

?He is striding the halls of Parliament with this bill.

“Muldoonism was an assault on democratic processes and the rule of law, with legislation like the National Development Act and like the Clutha Development (Clyde Dam) Empowering Bill. Muldoonism was about the executive making a decision and imposing it by its will.

?That is what this Resource Legislation Amendment Bill is all about, not only in its content but also in the way in which it is being considered by the select committee, because of the way the Minister dominated the whole select committee process.?

But by early evening after the debate in the House and after the Maori Party had made it clear its support was only conditional on the clause allowing the Minister to over rule GE regions being withdrawn, a compromise was beginning to be hammered out.

Nick Smith obviously learned well on the knee of Michell Boag. He screws up everything he touches.

He’ll never get held to account, though, he’s Bill’s mate. It’s ironic really that he is more protected than conservation land.


– Politik