Distilled and Balanced
NZNE Newsletter #6 for Saturday, December 17th, 2022
3 WATERS: How will the newly legislated Water Services Entities be governed?
The new WSEs redefine ‘ownership’ so as to deny ‘owners’ any actual benefits of ownership. This brand of co governance tips the balance in favour of unelected iwi reps. All WSE board members will be required to be ideologically aligned with highly subjective Māori spiritual and cultural attitudes.
Government failed to manage perceived conflicts of interest in awarding contracts to Mahuta’s family
The PSC has released a review into how contracts were awarded to Nanaia Mahuta’s family members. Only Government departments were reviewed, while the Minister and her family were outside the review’s jurisdiction. No actual conflict of interest took place, but several perceived conflicts of interest were found. Mahuta says a line has been drawn under the issue, but questions remain.
Chief Ombudsman raises another OIA investigation
7 agencies are being investigated by the Chief Ombudsman over their handling of OIA requests. There is widespread frustration among the media and members of the public that agencies are dragging their feet on releasing requests. Accusations have been made recently that MPs are being coached in how to avoid OIA requests.
Housing and economy update
The RBNZ is proceeding in its attempt to trigger a recession, as a means to reduce inflation. Corelogic reports house prices are down about 10% from the peak in 2021. Over 280 property developers have liquidated their businesses. However, that doesn’t always mean the developer has “failed”. Liquidations can occur after the project is completed and the developments sold off. Time will tell.
Boost to legal aid not enough to ensure access to justice
Labour, Greens and ACT teamed up to support the Legal Services Amendment Bill. The bill removed the user charge and interest on legal aid. National opposed the bill because they said it would encourage people to squelch on their debts. NZLS: “Our legal system needs substantially more investment.”
National’s Tama Potaka wins Hamilton West byelection
National’s Tama Potaka won the Hamilton West by-election. Former Labour MP Gaurav Sharma, who ran as an independent, came fourth. The win bodes well for National as the riding is typically reflective of the popular vote. Potaka, the trained lawyer and son of teachers, ran on a campaign that addressed the cost of living and soaring crime rates.
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