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The Northland Age - - Opinion -

The dic­tionary de­fines fil­i­buster as ‘a po­lit­i­cal pro­ce­dure where one or more Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment de­bate over a pro­posed piece of leg­is­la­tion so as to de­lay or en­tirely pre­vent a de­ci­sion be­ing made on the pro­posal.’

Where Sec­tion 70 (S70) is con­cerned, con­sec­u­tive gov­ern­ments have un­scrupu­lously used this ac­tion not to do any­thing, or reach a de­ci­sion in re­gard to S70. The govern­ment has just pro­cras­ti­nated and pur­posely moved any fur­ther de­bate to a fu­ture date, pro­long­ing any ac­tion in sup­port of overseas im­mi­grants and re­turn­ing Ki­wis with re­tire­ment sav­ings schemes which do not come un­der S70.

The sim­ple rea­son for this, and this ac­tion has been go­ing on for years by con­sec­u­tive gov­ern­ments, is be­cause govern­ment steals $500-600 mil­lion per year from im­mi­grants and Ki­wis with overseas re­tire­ment sav­ing schemes to sub­sidise the NZ su­per scheme. This is out-and-out theft, as the money in overseas re­tire­ment sav­ings schemes is the sole prop­erty of each in­di­vid­ual, that comes from their wages, with a con­tri­bu­tion from their em­ploy­ers, and not from any overseas govern­ment or govern­ment tax purse.

Watch out you Ki­wiSavers with a New Zealand con­tri­bu­tion paid into your Ki­wisaver. You will, some time in the fu­ture, fall un­der the di­rect de­duc­tion pol­icy known as S70. The New Zealand govern­ment has been clever enough to en­sure at some stage they can ac­tion your Ki­wisaver funds to help sub­sidise the NZ su­per Scheme.

By the way in join­ing Ki­wisaver, (which of course is your money), and then be­ing en­ti­tled to a New Zealand pension when you re­tire, you are all the dou­ble-dippers.

When you vote a govern­ment in to run your coun­try, no MP has a job de­scrip­tion, and there­fore has no ac­count­abil­ity to those who voted them in.

MPs are to­tally re­spon­si­ble to the party line, and must blindly fol­low any pol­icy etc the party de­fines. Any de­vi­a­tion from the party line can re­sult in dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from the party, a fact that was con­firmed at a meet­ing last week with a po­lit­i­cal party rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

What­ever hap­pened to supporting their con­stituents and Ki­wis who voted for them? All we do is vote them in based on false prom­ises, and then fil­i­bus­ter­ing is used to pre­vent griev­ances from con­stituents be­ing ac­tioned.

The fi­nal point is for all Ki­wis to take a look at the Treaty of Wai­tangi, which firmly states that it is a doc­u­ment signed be­tween the Crown and the peo­ple of New Zealand, and is not cul­tur­ally spe­cific. The ques­tion has now to be asked, why one sec­tion of the com­mu­nity in New Zealand is sig­nif­i­cantly ben­e­fit­ing from $$$m hand­outs and the rest of New Zealand are de­nied the same op­por­tu­nity un­der the prin­ci­ples of the treaty.

Where has democ­racy gone, the level play­ing fields and the rights of all New Zealan­ders? PAUL NOR­FOLK

Cam­bridge

Brady’s pol­icy pa­per, which ex­am­ined China’s for­eign po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence ac­tiv­i­ties un­der Xi Jin­ping. New Zealand was a rep­re­sen­ta­tive case study.

Brady as­serted that New Zealand’s re­la­tion­ship with China is of in­ter­est be­cause the Chi­nese govern­ment re­gards New Zealand as an ex­em­plar of how it would like its re­la­tions to be with other states, that the Chi­nese govern­ment’s for­eign in­flu­ence ac­tiv­i­ties have ac­cel­er­ated un­der Xi, and that they have the po­ten­tial to un­der­mine the sovereignty and in­tegrity of the po­lit­i­cal sys­tems of tar­geted states.

I also quoted Bei­jing-based New Zealand busi­ness­man Rod­ney Jones about Brady’s take on Chi­nese po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence in New Zealand. He said, “I think our re­sponse is just nuts, ac­tu­ally. It’s just nuts . . . We are talk­ing about the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party, not China. And so we need to be alert to the role that the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party wants to play within our Chi­nese com­mu­nity and within our broader polity.”

I sug­gested at the time that the Strat­egy Com­mit­tee might want to open the is­sue up for com­mu­nity-wide de­bate be­fore a fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tion was made. There has been no re­sponse.

There is now a May 2018 re­port, China and the Age of Strate­gic Ri­valry (avail­able on­line un­der the aus­pices of the Cana­dian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice), which pro­vides more cau­tion­ary ad­vice for Far North coun­cil­lors.

This re­port high­lights New Zealand as a

vivid case study of China’s will­ing­ness to use eco­nomic ties to in­flu­ence a broad spec­trum of a so­ci­ety’s eco­nomic, fi­nan­cial, so­cial and se­cu­rity is­sues. It clearly states that smaller states are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to Chi­nese in­flu­ence strate­gies.

Key rea­sons given for per­sis­tent Chi­nese ac­tiv­ity in New Zealand are po­ten­tial votes for China at in­ter­na­tional fo­rums, Antarc­tic science and China’s long-term strate­gic agenda in Antarc­tica, in­vest­ment in New Zealand’s dairy sec­tor, hor­ti­cul­tural science, off­shore oil and gas ex­plo­ration, New Zealand’s ex­per­tise in mul­ti­lat­eral trade ne­go­ti­a­tions and Pa­cific af­fairs.

The re­port states, “For a small state like New Zealand, which is a for­mer colony of one great power and has been un­der the shel­ter of another for more than 60 years, it can of­ten be a chal­lenge as to how to de­fend the coun­try against for­eign po­lit­i­cal

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