I fear for this country: final column
by Clive Bibby
My guess is that my critics will have a field day if this final contribution to our local conversations makes it into print.
Some will seize on the opportunity to portray my comments as those of a poor loser.
Well, if they do then that’s their privilege but contrary to what they might think about me, l would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Isaac Hughes for his emphatic win in the by-election. He worked hard for his victory and deserves the opportunity to represent his constituency at the council table. I wish him well.
However, l must qualify that endorsement with a little bit of sage advice both to the council as a whole and the wider community, who seem to be either indifferent or oblivious to what is actually happening in our region and in other similar communities throughout the country.
Some of us are witnessing the loss of our individual sovereignty by stealth and if the Government has its way, this is only the beginning of a list of measures that will strip any offending clauses from current legislation that enable us common folk the right to respond to their undemocratic actions.
I refer of course to the nationwide movement to introduce separate Maori wards at local government level, which is likely to become entrenched with the removal of the opportunity to challenge council decisions through a referendum.
Minister Mahuta has publicly stated her intention to make changes to the legislation as a matter of priority.
In most districts where the Maori population is a minority, these moves represent apartheid in reverse.
We must ask what is the justification for these unnecessary, blatantly racist decisions.
Is it because, as some have claimed, that Maori have been denied equal access to the decision-makers, or to share in the opportunities available to every citizen in this country, or to benefit from the wealth generated by the nation’s producers?
In the community where l have lived, worked and contributed for the past 4O years, the opposite is true. The Maori population (a large majority in these rural wards) have been well served by their elected representatives, irrespective of the colour of their skin.
In fact, the evidence suggests that local and central governments over the years have probably responded more generously to the plight of low-decile communities on a per capita basis than to those constituents living in the larger metropolitan areas.
That is more than likely a more accurate reflection of the current state of race relations in this country.
It is clear from recent history that no politician would ever be elected at either local or central government level advocating a separatist policy such as the one they are trying to force on us — until now!
In my humble opinion, it is incumbent on every ratepayer concerned about this potential betrayal of our rights to resist this move in the only democratic way available to us. As a first step, we must sign the petition currently in circulation that has the capacity to force a citizens referendum.
Look for newspaper advertisements that will show where you can sign the petition before it is too late.