Happy New Year
My wishes for 2008 (made on 28/12/2007) were wishes, mind you - I never considered some of them achievable, but to even move in the right direction would have been a wonderful start. Here's how it went:
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!).
- The coverage on this blog was up there with the best of them in my opinion. Every blog had their own strengths when it came to the election.
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.
- Whakatohea never got the opportunity, the
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.
- 1. Well they won an additional seat which was what I was expecting as the election got closer. I was at the back of the Auckland Town Hall at Labour's campaign opening - right at the back where the journalists and so on were - and I realised that next to me was Mahara Okeroa - MP for Te Tai Tonga and Minister of State. Way down the back. That said something. The Cabinet were all up on stage. I said I was from Tumeke! - he asked me what the word was on the street - and I said "good luck, you'll need it. Horomia and Fox will be close, but Mahuta will be hard to beat." - or words to that effect. And Okeroa was defeated by the Maori party in his seat, and both Mahuta and Horomia were returned.
2. The Maori Party got a constitutional group promised in their deal with National - so that's worked out even if the terms of reference have not been agreed yet, so all this stuff carries over for next year: 2009.
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.
- I had to bold that bit. Bingo! But it was then very capable and under-rated Nikki Kaye - a Nat - that took it from Tizard. Auckland Central has never gone National, but Nikki Kaye is a hard worker and a smart operator and she did it. From what I've seen she is good enough to hold on to it in what will be a massive battle next time round. As for the Auckland Commission, once they got their teeth into it it was obvious to all that they needed more time and further research and deliberation. I made my submission as did many others. They will release their report before April 2009.
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.
- Of course not. Fantasyland entirely. They have invested a fortune on the Cambridge-Auckland Motorway concept.
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.
- Baby steps at a regional level even. Our own scheme was rushed through by Labour just before the election and Nactional are committed to unwinding it. So internationalisation is as theoretical and elusive as talking about a Higgs Bosun particle.
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.
- Unfortunately - and with little surprise from me and no notice by anyone else - the Policing Act was passed into law according to the Police timetable. It has no local accountability whatsoever, it preserves all the most centralised aspects of the Police and formalises the Prime Minister's core role in connexion with appointing the Commissioners and deputy Commissioners. The Commissioner has no board to report to - they report to the Police Minister/PM - that is the lines of accountability and that - in a Western liberal democracy - is just ridiculous. But no-one except for me cares. Fuck you all!
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.
- Wow, I got this one right, unfortunately. Kosovo did declare independence, the EU and much of the West recognised their independence and then Russia (in part because of this move I have argued) invaded Georgia.
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.
- Well, No - the FTA, even with the fish-hooks - is seen as a great deal by both the main parties here. ANd yes the Olympics (esp. the opening ceremony) was bordering on fascisitic.
The US Presidential race is won by Barack Obama over Mitt Romney (but surely it's Hillary, right?) in a "watershed" election.
- A Mormon!? What was I thinking. It was McCain - but yes it was Obama and Hillary, so close and now the secretary of State under Obama. It felt like a sort of watershed when he won the 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.
- Yeah, right. The US only just managed to renew it's expiring UN rights in Iraq by the skin of its teeth.
Not a bad score card considering. I'll have to compose another list. That's all I seem to be doing these days!
And on a blogging note I still have so very far to go...