Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Liberty Belle: The power of the State


Liberty Belle: The power of the State

Deborah Coddington's Liberty Belle

The powers of the State are enormous and terrifying when abused. You sail along in life assuming that when things do go wrong and an agent - or agents - of the State overstep the mark then good people will be outraged and wrongs will be righted.


It is certainly this outrage, which led New Zealanders to accept - with exceptions - that indeed the State had abused its powers when land, which was clearly owned outright by Maori, had been seized by a Government. Maori owners were seen as an easy target, and property rights had been trashed.

We did our best, as tolerant people with a strong sense of fairness, to rectify those wrongs by giving the land back. Bastion Point and the Raglan Golf Course spring to mind.

But then the pendulum swung the other way and the Treaty of Waitangi was abused by judicial activism. Property rights not even anticipated in 1840, such as broadcasting frequencies, were claimed by Maori and awarded by apologist politicians. Two wrongs suddenly did make a right (if you'll excuse the pun). Or, to put it another way, everything went too whänau.

As an MP I'm continually outraged by stories people bring to me where citizens going about their everyday life suddenly have their worlds turned upside down by agents of the State.

Recent allegations about the police force - gang rape, undercover activities involving cannabis, are two examples. Law enforcement officers, who have the power to arrest for such crimes, and who we pay to defend our rights, should be absolutely above suspicion when things get tacky.

And what about children? We are all horrified when we hear stories about children being abused by their parents. We're quick to act and pass judgement when itinerant boyfriends of careless mothers sexually or physically attack their children.

What horrifies me is the evidence I've seen whereby agents of the State who've never been made accountable have attacked children while in the care of the State. Despite this despicable behaviour being brought to the attention of those with the power to right a severe wrong, nothing has been done.

I have spoken with and met people with far greater grievances than many iwi claimants, but quick as a flash, nothing has happened.

Until now. Watch this space.

Liberty Belle is a column from Deborah Coddington, Member of Parliament for ACT New Zealand. If you would like to be removed from this list, please advise by return email. If you would like to subscribe to other ACT New Zealand publications, please visit our web site at http://www.act.org.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news