The Greens are revolting

Stuff is reporting that the Greens are in revolt because reality and the rule of law has smacked them in the face. Quote.

The Spinoff

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson is facing intense backlash from members threatening to quit over a decision made by one of her ministers to allow a Chinese water bottler to expand.

Davidson has said she “doesn’t like” the decision after the co-leader of the Young Greens Max Tweedie wrote on an internal Facebook page that that he was “extremely disappointed” in the decision.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage, one of three Green ministers, announced the decision on Tuesday which allows in principle a Chinese water bottling giant to purchase land in order to expand their existing Otakiri Springs water bottling plant near Whakatane.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage is facing backlash from her own party over a decision to allow a water bottler to buy new land.

The decision was made with associate finance minister David Clark based on advice from the Overseas Investment Office. […]

She acknowledged it was surprising the call had been made by a member of the Green Party as it had an election policy to ban new water bottling consents, impose a levy on water exports, and more concretely respect Treaty of Waitangi rights around water.

“Some people might wonder why a Green MP who is a Minister has allowed such a land purchase involving a water bottling plant to go ahead,” Sage wrote.

Basically the law is clear about what Ministers can and cannot take into account.”

The Overseas Investment Act only allows Ministers to take into account “substantial and identifiable” benefit to New Zealand and conservation values – but not Treaty of Waitangi rights. End of quote.

Oh dear!? It is fine to make high and mighty, holier than thou, promises on the hustings but if you choose to join a government you have to follow the law – ain’t that a shame?

There are no “Treaty of Waitangi rights around water” anyway.? Quote.

Despite this, prominent members of the party were fuming on an internal Facebook group on Tuesday night, and asking the Greens to publicly disown the decision.

“What the f… is the point of us being in government and having this portfolio if we throw our Te Tiriti [Treaty] obligations in the bin,” wrote Tweedie.

“This is an absolute joke, I’m extremely disappointed in Eugenie and so angry that this came from us … This is a test for us as to how we respond to this, I would like the non ministerial part of our caucus to oppose this publicly, I’m actually livid.”

Davidson, who ran for co-leader on a platform of greater connection with members, acknowledged in a comment on that post “we don’t like this decision.” End of quote.

Well suck it up, cupcakes. Them’s the rules.? If you want to change them become a majority party. Quote.

“There were strong legal implications for us opposing this. We will have to seek changes in the legislation to avoid legal consequences. While there are definitely Tiriti implications in this issue, it’s not a core Treaty issue in this case,” Davidson wrote.

A prominent member of the party wrote he was “fuming”.

“I don’t know if I can stay in the party, on principle after this. Ng?ti Awa people (who almost universally oppose this) are absolutely livid.”

Davidson responded that this position was “valid and shows how much we need to be accountable on this.”

Speaking on her way into the House Davidson repeated that the decision was not consistent with Green Party values or policy.

“This decision does not sit with Green Party kaupapa and long-time policy.”

She said the party would continue to lobby for a law change to allow ministers more leeway, acknowledging many members were very concerned. End of quote.

Oh, so you would like Ministers to be able to make any old decision they feel like, regardless of the statute books?? Next, you will be suggesting that someone could unilaterally decide to ban oil and gas exploration. Oh … wait … Quote.

Sage told Stuff she understood why Green Party members would be upset.

“I absolutely understand members’ concerns about the decision. The Green Party leadership and MPs understand our members’ concerns,” Sage said.

“There are opportunities to improve the law and I hope people will get involved in that. Green MPs will push hard for changes to the law and for a charge on bottled water exports.”

“I made a decision under the current law.”[…] End of quote.

Yes, well that is where you went wrong. Do you not realise that the law does not apply to green people? They can protest on ships, paddle in front of big vessels towing testing equipment and so forth and then expect total immunity from the courts. Quote.

The consent means Creswell NZ Ltd – a subsidiary of Chinese bottling giant Nonfu Spring – can purchase a freehold and leasehold interest in approximately 6.2 ha of sensitive land at Otakiri. End of quote.

‘Sensitive’ land.? Huh?? It looks very much like a kiwifruit orchard! Quote.

Cresswell NZ proposes to expand the existing water bottling plant and invest more than $42.5 million over four years to upgrade the plant and establish two new bottling lines.

The expansion would allow the company to draw 1.1 billion litres of water a year from the springs, with most of it being exported to China.

The expansion is projected to provide 32 jobs within two years and 60 within four years. End of quote.

So, to sum up. We have a New Zealand based company with an existing plant that is going to expand, spending a bucket load of money locally, and then employing 60 people (read: feeding 60 families) in a reasonably depressed area. The plant is about 12km from Kawerau and Edgecumbe which both have high Maori populations (62% and 46%). Providing these people with employment is not helping Treaty obligations?? Really?? Does providing employment?”not sit with Green Party kaupapa and long-time policy”?

This plant is bottling water that would otherwise bubble to the surface, flow into the Tarawera River and 16km later flow into the Pacific Ocean to be of no further use.? Putting it in bottles and selling it at a high price to gullible idiots, thus earning trade dollars, paying tax, employing people who buy stuff at the local shops who employ people etc etc is bad?? Why?

Surely it is not because the parent company is Chinese, is it?