Et tu, Win­ston?

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

New Zealand needs states­men who are con­cerned for the next gen­er­a­tion, not politi­cians who are con­cerned for the next elec­tion. The elec­torate may well ask, is Win­ston Peters con­cerned with the next gen­er­a­tion or the next elec­tion?

Will Win­ston Peters ad­vise the na­tion why NZ First has re­cently given, in se­crecy, its ap­proval and sup­port to the Prime Min­is­ter and the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice for the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of abor­tion? He could have stopped this con­tentious Bill from be­ing presented to Par­lia­ment. Why then did he not stop it?

I be­lieve that this is a great in­jus­tice and a vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights. The United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child states in its pre­am­ble that ‘the child, by rea­son of his phys­i­cal and mental im­ma­tu­rity, needs spe­cial safe­guards and care, in­clud­ing ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal pro­tec­tion, be­fore as well as af­ter birth.’

This bill will en­tail the re­moval of the un­born clas­si­fied as un­wanted from the pro­tec­tion of the Crimes Act so that they

may have their lives ter­mi­nated as “a re­pro­duc­tive health choice for women.” It will then be no longer a crime to kill an un­born child.

Pro­tec­tion is cur­rently pro­vided in the Crimes Act for the right to life of the un­born child un­der sec­tion 182. It is a se­ri­ous crime to kill an un­born child, and the con­victed may be im­pris­oned for up to 14 years.

Why has Win­ston Peters clearly changed his po­si­tion on his de­fence of women and the right to life of the un­born child? Have they been sac­ri­ficed for po­lit­i­cal gain? At the Fam­ily First con­fer­ence in Auck­land in 2014, when in­ter­viewed by na­tional direc­tor Bob McCoskrie, he stated that “abor­tions should be le­gal, safe and rare.”

He was asked if he sup­ported the Green’s pol­icy of de­crim­i­nal­is­ing abor­tion. He replied, “No we don’t.” He said he be­lieved that life be­gan at con­cep­tion and that the child had a right to life.

Win­ston Peters now pre­sum­ably sup­ports Model C, which is pre­ferred by An­drew Lit­tle. Un­der Model C there would be no statu­tory test un­til 22 weeks of preg­nancy. There is no recog­ni­tion of the child’s right to life or the duty of the state to pro­tect the lives of its fu­ture cit­i­zens.

Af­ter 22 weeks, the health prac­ti­tioner who in­tends to per­form an abor­tion would need to be sat­is­fied that the abor­tion is ap­pro­pri­ate in the cir­cum­stances, hav­ing re­gard to the woman’s phys­i­cal and mental health and well­be­ing. This model pro­vides abor­tion for any rea­son up to 22 weeks. Right to Life be­lieves that this model ef­fec­tively pro­vides abor­tion on de­mand up to birth.

The Royal Com­mis­sion, in its re­port to Par­lia­ment in 1977, said, on up­hold­ing the status of the un­born child, “The un­born child, as one of the weak­est, the most vul­ner­a­ble and most de­fence­less forms of hu­man­ity, should re­ceive pro­tec­tion. From a bi­o­log­i­cal point of view there is no ar­gu­ment as to when life begins. Ev­i­dence was given to us by em­i­nent sci­en­tists from all over the world. None of them sug­gested that hu­man life begins at any other time than at con­cep­tion.”

It is still not too late. Right to Life re­quests that NZ First steps back from the brink of dis­as­ter and with­draws its sup­port for the war on women and their pre­cious un­born. NZ First could coura­geously be the cham­pion of women by pro­mot­ing leg­is­la­tion that recog­nises the un­born child from con­cep­tion as a hu­man be­ing en­dowed by its Cre­ator with an in­alien­able right to life.

KEN ORR Right to Life the at­mos­phere 24/7.

Across the ditch our Oz mates produce most of their elec­tric­ity from their plen­ti­ful coal re­serves. Nu­clear power? Most Ja­panese say no thanks to that, with good rea­son.

Large parts of Europe keep warm with piped Rus­sian oil. They de­pend on it. The list goes on for­ever, down to your handy lawn­mower.

The great food-pro­duc­ing ar­eas, like many states of the USA, are hav­ing on­cein-50-year floods al­most an­nu­ally. Pretty hard to sell a home in the once very pop­u­lar Gulf of Mex­ico Mi­ami area. So many of the world’s great ci­ties barely above king tide lev­els, and many be­low storm surge lev­els, as is much valu­able coastal crop­ping land around the world.

You can jump up and down and rant, but enor­mous changes to hu­man life­styles are com­ing. Hu­man dieback in many re­gions will have to be faced. Peo­ple are go­ing to lose their fos­silpow­ered toys. For ex­am­ple, the tourist trade will be­come a trickle.

When? Well some in­dus­tries in the United States are mov­ing their fac­to­ries north, to more set­tled weather ar­eas. Peo­ple are reading sci­en­tific papers and won­der­ing. Young peo­ple are re­al­is­ing the Don­ald Trumps of this world are re­fus­ing to face the re­al­ity of cli­mate change.

Gen­eral con­cern is prob­a­bly only five years away, to be fol­lowed in 10 to 15 years by panic and ba­sic life­style changes for ev­ery­one.

For fu­ture hope read Christ’s words. Face facts. Man’s inventiven­ess and re­sul­tant pol­lu­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment, plus greed, is go­ing to take some fix­ing.

Cor­re­spon­dent Ross Forbes’ re­search is cor­rect. Cli­matic heat­ing de­niers are in the old Kiwi “She’ll be right mate” days of yore that have led to present-day realities.

There is a long list of sci­en­tific pos­si­bil­i­ties that will help cor­rect the mess we have made. All ex­pen­sive, like ad­vanced so­lar heat­ing and pow­er­gen­er­at­ing. More hu­man hands in­volved in food pro­duc­tion. Elec­tric rail to trans­port food to the ci­ties. En­vi­ron­men­tally sound, smaller but con­ve­nient homes. Large ships that com­bine con­tainer freight with pas­sen­gers.

Elec­tric trac­tor and farm bike? Sail out for a snap­per or row ! Great exercise.

Laws will have to be strict. Caught deal­ing drugs twice . . . a bul­let?

Let’s hope Chris­tian­ity flour­ishes amid the greatly changed fu­ture world to­day’s chil­dren will in­herit. I’m an­gry that kids of to­day will per­haps never hear the loud dawn bush­land cho­rus or swim in crys­tal clear rivers, I did as a boy, or sail with hun­dreds of dol­phins at the bow. Magic sun­sets with thou­sands of sea birds of many va­ri­eties head­ing for their roosts, or eat a white­bait patty cooked on the river­bank.

We have de­manded too much from Mother Na­ture. There has to be a ma­jor cor­rec­tion. SAM McHARG

Kerik­eri “There is no power for change greater than a com­mu­nity dis­cov­er­ing what it cares about.” So said or­gan­i­sa­tional con­sul­tant Mar­garet J Wheatly.

A great ex­am­ple of this is a not so quiet stir­ring now oc­cur­ring at Whangaroa. A num­ber of locals are so con­cerned for the health of their har­bour that they have in­for­mally called for a land de­vel­op­ment rahui (a pro­hi­bi­tion against a par­tic­u­lar area or ac­tiv­ity, typ­i­cally tem­po­rary, placed in or­der to pro­tect a re­source). They want a halt on de­vel­op­ment un­til is­sues are in­ves­ti­gated and mea­sures taken to rec­tify prob­lems they are wit­ness­ing in their har­bour. These in­clude sed­i­ment build-up con­tribut­ing to the loss of pipi beds, and white sand beaches to picnic on all but dis­ap­pear­ing in less than a gen­er­a­tion.

The is­sues they are con­cerned about have de­vel­oped over many, many years, and there is no sin­gle cul­prit, or an easy so­lu­tion.

This is not the only har­bour un­der se­ri­ous threat. Kaipara Har­bour cur­rently has around 700,000 tonnes of sed­i­ment en­ter­ing it every year. It is one of the largest har­bours in the world, and if noth­ing is done it could be­come the world’s largest mud­flat, not some­thing to en­cour­age in any mea­sure. The lo­cal kaiti­aki have plans to re­duce this by 60 per cent, and are mak­ing ex­cel­lent progress in get­ting com­mit­ments to make this hap­pen.

We must re­mem­ber that this is not just about the health of Whangaroa. This is an is­sue im­pact­ing har­bours across our dis­trict, and New Zealand. Our wa­ter­ways are pre­cious taonga, not a com­mod­ity, or a dump­ing ground. So what can be done to ad­dress what some might see as an over­whelm­ing task or even an im­pos­si­bil­ity? Firstly, some­thing must be done, over­whelm­ing or not. The jour­ney must com­mence, be­fore one of our most trea­sured har­bours loses its nat­u­ral re­silience, de­clines fur­ther, and runs the risk of be­com­ing a life­less body.

What­ever the so­lu­tion may look like, it must be led by lo­cal peo­ple. They are the kaiti­aki, it is their back­yard, their ta­iao. Their aroha for their place will en­sure de­ci­sions are made in the best in­ter­ests of the on­go­ing well­be­ing of the har­bour, now and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. And to be fair, it is fu­ture gen­er­a­tions that will most ben­e­fit from sound de­ci­sions made to­day.

The key to success will be an in­no­va­tive, col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach, the com­mu­nity em­pow­ered to lead, and the rest of us, es­pe­cially govern­ment agen­cies, in be­hind to sup­port and pro­vide re­sources as re­quired. It needs to be smart, it needs to be timely, and it needs to be in­clu­sive. It will take courage and some very brave con­ver­sa­tions that will re­quire an open heart and a vi­sion for what can be.

I be­lieve it is pos­si­ble. I am look­ing for­ward to the com­ing con­ver­sa­tions that will see a col­lec­tive man­dated to lead, one that I be­lieve will set a frame­work for others to fol­low.

"This is an is­sue im­pact­ing har­bours across our dis­trict, and New Zealand. Our wa­ter­ways are pre­cious taonga, not a com­mod­ity, or a dump­ing ground. "

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