More on geopolitical distribution of posts

Saturday June 23, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

If the veteran MPs and newly-minted MP-elects came together and were to share political power along geopolitical lines, there is still the plum post as the Speaker of the House to be considered in the mix.

By the way, the distribution and combinations of Cabinet minister positions can be done in any way that suits the new government. Their choice is unfettered by those made by another administration and they don’t have to follow what happened before.

After all, the Demos have a different agenda and different policies, so certain portfolios may assume a greater priority in terms of delivering results in line with new policies.

For instance, according to their policy releases and statements in the media, the Demos plan to phase out certain foreign fishing licences and agreements.

If they keep their word, that would be a reversal of the policies of the outgoing Puna government which actively pursued such agreements despite the protests of huge swathes of the community.

Nor will they seek a seat at the United Nations, because to do so would only come at the loss of our New Zealand citizenship and all the privileges that go with that passport.

Then there is the promise to pull back on reliance on foreign aid from certain quarters. That policy also reflects public opinion.

Incidentally, there has been some conjecture that at least two Pae Tokerau islands – Penryhn and Manihiki have been earmarked for foreign development in conjunction with a certain power.

There has been no official confirmation of any such plans but it is not unlikely if considered in the light of heightened awareness of chequebook diplomacy in other Pacific states lately.

It will be interesting to see what take the Penrhyn MP-elect, Independent Robert Tapaitu has to say on such matters. Let’s hope he wants to protect his island - and the northern group in general, from exploitation.

Then there is the question of no charges for water to residences. That is not yet clear. However, I am encouraged by statements attributed to Matavera MP-elect, Vaitoti Tupa that water rates impact on the cost of living. At last, a politician who understands the point that landowners were making: water rates are an unwanted burden on top of TAU and paying the mortgage (or rent) and feeding and clothing the family.

Whatever the outcome, we will just have to wait and see how the final count of the votes before the parties make their decision as to the composition of the new Cabinet.

Let’s hope the national interest overrides personal interests in their deliberations.

            Noeline Browne

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