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Mike's Minute: Co-governance is not the way forward for New Zealand

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Feb 2023, 9:58AM

Mike's Minute: Co-governance is not the way forward for New Zealand

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Feb 2023, 9:58AM

If and when the new Prime Minister gets around to his bread and butter reset, the work he has to do on Three Waters is going to be something to behold.

That’s a genuinely complex issue that either most of us don’t get, or don’t want to - or a combination of the two.

And it’s the co-governance aspect of it that kills it.

Co-governance is not the way forward in this country, or indeed any country. The line they are now using is the one where we apparently misunderstand what it is.

So that’s the part I am most looking forward to - what part of us handing over a chunk of the running of our water, or an entity, or the country, don’t we understand?

Earlier they tried the line where they said we already have it, which is true, but that didn’t make it right or any more popular.

There are disciples of the idea, the latest of which is the Human Rights Commissioner Meng Foon, who argues we should be grabbing it with both hands and running with it.

He was responding to a couple of reports that studied colonisation, racism and white supremacy and decided co-governance is the only way forward.

In one of those sweeping statements only a Government operator could muster, Foon said the institutional and interpersonal racism occurring daily in our society represents a clear breach of human and indigenous rights.


And what's his answer? Constitutional reform and co-governance.

The Waitangi Tribunal, well in excess of 45-years-old now, put out a report into Northland and suggested, among other things, that all crown land in the region be handed back.

I am assuming that’s quite a bit of land.

And that's why, for all the ground we have made, we have still gone backwards.

Because in trying to address past wrongs we have opened ourselves up to the inevitable mission creep.

The tribunal is now so activist it's absurd. The only upside is we never gave them actual power outside of recommendation.

And the likes of the Human Rights Commissioner have drunk so much Kool Aid they’ve ended up blurting out a volume of extremism we can only laugh or sigh at in dismay.

We either move forward or we don’t and Hipkins now has the task of explaining why this level of extremism is; 1) remotely acceptable and, 2) more importantly for him, electorally viable.

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