King Gerry and the Christchurch Quake Powers
He's King Gerry the 8th he is he is...
Legal experts: Quake law change a worrying precedent
We write as a group of concerned citizens with academic expertise in the area of constitutional law and politics.
We share New Zealand's deep concern about the physical damage to Canterbury and the personal trauma this has caused the region's residents. All levels of government have an obligation to help the people of Canterbury rebuild their homes, businesses and lives as quickly as possible.
However, while we are united in wishing to help Canterbury recover, there is a risk that the desire to do "everything we can" in the short term will blind us to the long-term harms of our actions.
In particular, abandoning established constitutional values and principles in order to remove any inconvenient legal roadblock is a dangerous and misguided step.
Thank Christ the NZ mainstream media are starting to take this seriously. National have been allowed to misuse urgency and ram so much legislation through without the normal democratic checks and balances because the mainstream media tend to view these important issues as boring, but the extraordinary powers given King Gerry to rebuild Christchurch were so extreme and jaw dropping that every member of Parliament should be deeply concerned and a little embarrassed that they all allowed it to happen.
This isn't a right wing or left wing issue - ALL NZers should be deeply concerned by what happened and there should be a reversal over this legislation immediately. After the 1931 Napier earthquake, the Government appointed just two commissioners to oversee reconstruction, this Government has given King Gerry powers that over ride the Judiciary and none of his decisions can be challenged in Court.
Now seeing as National spent their first year in power misusing urgency 35% of the time with the most widespread dismantling of the democratic process we’ve seen since Roger Douglas legislated his Milton Friedman love sonnets into law in the 1980s, I’m not sure allowing King Gerry to suspend every law we have to rebuild Christchurch is the safest of ideas especially when you take into account this Government stealing of Christchurch’s entire water supply.
But even if we put aside the fears of what National COULD do, John Key should be worried about what they can't do. Deeply worried. Now King Gerry has the power of God, ANY delays in making the lives of quake survivors better won't be accepted, it isn't so much a fear of what King Gerry will do with his power, it will be his short comings while having all that power that will get people angry, and that could become very politically damaging.
The quake was a dreadful event, to compound it by literally throwing out the entire law book is not the way we should cope with it.
And now we have King Murray...
Labour is concerned a bill to facilitate Rugby World Cup activities will give Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully too much power.
The Government Administration Committee has reported back to Parliament on the Rugby World Cup 2011 Empowering Bill. The bill establishes the Rugby World Cup Authority as an agency for approval of related activities and facilities such as liquor licenses and accommodation. Labour's Rugby World Cup spokesperson, Trevor Mallard, says the party is generally happy with the bill but is concerned it enables Mr McCully to override decisions made by the authority.