|Andrew von Dadelszen
Former Regional Councillor
For my mind it is a good thing that the water ownership issue has finally surfaced.
This insistence on ownership by iwi is the tipping point where mainstream New Zealanders will draw a line in the sand. They see this as just another Maori money grab, and overwhelmingly are saying “enough is enough”. The chardonnay liberals of the Helen Clark era have encouraged Maoridom to keep their hand out, and yet she was clever enough to refuse to ratify the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, and it is time that we hardened up as a nation, and recognised that we are New Zealanders first, and Maori (or Scottish or Irish or whatever) second – and not the other way around. No-one is saying that you shouldn’t embrace your ethnicity – of course this is to be encouraged, but we are all migrants to this country, and it is time we celebrated our New Zealand ethos first.
Over the last four years we have seen a real cultural change for most New Zealanders. We are finally saving as households, and Central Government’s determination to reduce debt has overwhelming support. Few people decry the Treaty settlement process, but most also believe that this just has to finish – and finish soon. We also have to get rid of the benefit mentality. There is nothing wrong with a hand up, but for too long too many have had their hand out. This has to stop, and until it does, we will not move forward as a nation.
If you have a view on these or any other local government issues, I invite you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.vond.co.nz