And yet, still no sign of the Herald’s DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK banner …

You might think the legal/policy arrangements around reimbursing carers of adults with disabilities would be a bit of a minority issue which the vast majority of New Zealanders don’t have to worry about, due to their able-bodied privilege.

But you’d be wrong, because right now that issue is the site for the National government’s most egregious shitting-upon of basic concepts of justice.

Take it away, Andrew Geddis.

What’s a good way, you might ask, to create a policy on paying family caregivers without running the risk of it being overturned? And the answer I assume you’d give is “make sure that the policy isn’t unlawfully discriminatory, so there is no reason for this to happen.” If so, you are an idiot. Because there’s a far, far better way to respond.

You simply tell the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the courts that they are not allowed to look at the policy and decide whether or not it is unlawfully discriminatory.

I’d just like to end with a little thought experiment for the class: imagine that Labour were in power and passed any legislation – say, to plant more native trees on public land, or to make it illegal to waterboard people – and then said “but you can’t see the advice we’ve made this decision on, and you can never ever challenge it.”

Oh, and passed it under urgency.

Just imagine it.  The Kiwiblog commentariat would shit themselves.  W****O**’s servers would probably explode.  You’d hear Cactus Kate’s screams all the way across the Pacific.

Add this to Sky City’s 35-year protection clause and our whole constitution just got taken out back and shot in the head, and National’s turned the corpse into a ventriloquist’s doll and is assuring us that democracy is just resting after a rather vigorous squawk.

We are so fucked.  And the mainstream media will probably do fuck-all about it.


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  2. Alex Braae

    I honestly don’t see why National supporters don’t see that passing legislation in this fashion is not remotely in their interests. They have one, maybe four years at best of being in government. When they get booted out they certainly won’t want Labour behaving like this, but their own party will have set the precedent that legalises it. Their interests will be served in the short term, but in the long run these are deeply, deeply stupid political tactics.