Mike's Minute: Greens don't understand what being in government means

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thursday, 14 June 2018, 7:49a.m.

I suspected it might be a bit good to be true.

But yesterday I waxed lyrical about Eugenie Sage's decision to grant consent to a Chinese company to continue and expand their operations as water exporters.

The land was sensitive, but nevertheless, the owners showed substantive ability to provide jobs and investment. And so it got the go ahead.

And I figured if Eugenie saw the merits then the whole scrap we have had over largely Asians getting water rights for profit might once and for all settle down.

No such luck.

The Greens have gone off.

Marama Davidson, the new co-leader and chief-conspiratorialist when it comes to police race profiling says she is under pressure to quit the party and doesn’t like Eugenie's call at all.

Party members have flooded Facebook with messages of outrage, upset, fury and jihad.

And what I suspect they're getting confused about is the Green's election policy, which was to ban new bottling consents, impose a levy on exports and respect Treaty of Waitangi water rights. Whatever that actually means.

And so I'm assuming the enraged are wondering where the two connect. How can you have that policy and yet do what she did?

Well, the answer is actually simple.

The Greens didn’t get that policy enacted. What you say in the election and do in government are often two different things.

Ask Phil Twyford on Kiwibuild.

The Greens might have said a lot trying to get votes but those policies never came to pass.

So as Minister you have to act within the law as it currently stands.

And to Eugenie's credit, she has done exactly that.

And the law says if you take some land, improve it, create jobs out of it, put money into it, then you stand a decent chance of getting the green light.

What other decision could she have made?

Judges, of course, do this all the time. They don’t necessarily pass judgment based on what they think is right, they pass it based on what the law says.

And in that Eugenie really didn’t have a lot of choices. Remember too, she was one of two Ministers that made the call the other was David Clark.

But here is the good news, as we said yesterday, all of this water activity is available to us if we want it.

And if we don’t, there are those that can create work and pump money into the economy by making new business. And we'd be idiots not to take the opportunities and run with them.

And what you're seeing from the furious Greens is the difference between good government and governance and hot-headed ideology and self-interest.

Whereby what's good for the country comes second to the ramblings and befuddlement of a few oddballs.

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