8 for '08
Because I was tagged, here are the eight things I wish for in 2008:
1. Better editorial and information content from this country's mainstream and alternative media. That includes TVNZ's new news service, insider coverage of the general election campaign from bloggers, and other online media (including the re-launched Tumeke!).
2. Refusal by Whakatohea to accept unilateral settlement terms of the Crown - triggering uncertainty about Iwi-Crown "Treaty" settlements past and present. Mallard sent in by Clark and Cullen as a head-kicker to resolve impasse, but back-fires massively. Mallard thought he had survived the year intact, but he will make at least one mighty gaff next year that will cost him and the government - if it's not this issue there will be plenty more of them.
3. Maori Party to win all Maori seats in general election and hold balance of power: the price of support being a constitutional pathway to implement Treaty of Waitangi's Rangatiratanga (tribal autonomy) provisions and a retrospective guarantee of equal compensation for injustice - to be determined judicially. Made clear to the government that transition from the idea of the "Realm of New Zealand (Aotearoa)" to any idea of "Aotearoa (Republic of New Zealand)" must involve satisfactory resolution of Treaty issues on a national consensus basis.
4. After much heated public debate the Auckland Commission recommends transit issues for the entire region be split between ARTA and a new commission specifically mandated to manage, build and operate an electric rapid rail system that will service 80% of the urban area's population (ie. within 1km of a station) after 50 years - to be funded jointly by the Crown out of the consolidated fund as a "national project", and by a levy via rates on every property within 1 km of a station. The new commission will have fast-track planning/consent authorities. Judith Tizard loses her seat to an independent and because of a reduced party vote for Labour also doesn't make it back in on the list.
5. At the last minute someone from Transpower realises that for the long-term benefit they can bury the Waikato-Otahuhu electricity line in a trench from Putaruru to Wiri via the edge of the Hunua ranges and across the Hauraki plains - and at the same time someone from Transit realises that for the long-term benefit they can build a motorway for the Auckland-Waikato-Tauranga traffic from Putaruru to Wiri via the edge of the Hunua ranges and across the Hauraki plains. Then these two people email each other and get it approved.
6. Carbon trading markets fail to become international because of many governments' rorting and general lack of transparency - new internationally recognised verification methods developed to avert crisis.
7. Police Act review by Parliament upsets police senior management by tightening quality control of applicants, making senior officials more accountable, limiting their use of weapons, declaring they have no exclusivity in many respects they are assumed to now, and beginning the mechanics of a formalised local accountability.
8. On the world stage: If Kosovo declares independence the EU could recognise it while no-one else does and that could make Russia very angry - towards everyone, so I hope that doesn't happen. The Beijing Olympics will be a gloriously fascist spectacle. The NZ-China Free Trade agreement will be in dead-lock because NZ will refuse Chinese demands to tie the FTA to a change in the NZ immigration policy that will let in many thousands of poor/uneducated Chinese citizens who would never normally qualify for residency. The US Presidential race is won by Barack Obama over Mitt Romney (but surely it's Hillary, right?) in a "watershed" election. Iraq magically stabilises and all the foreign fighters (Americans, mercenaries, jihadists etc.) will all go home, smoke some ganja, chill out, and do all their attacks in the comments section of each others' blogs... like civilised people.