Today I heard that Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei had called out New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on the immigration policy of his party. In an interview with T.V.N.Z. journalist Jessica Mutch, Ms Turei said that Mr Peters’ party policy was racist. Mr Peters was quick to respond, saying that the Greens should not think there would be no consequences for making those remarks.
Whether you agree with Ms Turei or Mr Peters, ownership of water is something no one person has. Water is collectively owned by everyone. We have a vested interest due to the physical characteristics of the water cycle in ensuring that the water that we use depart our usage in as good quality as that which we received it.
Maori and non Maori both place values consistent with their upbringing on natural resources. Maori may view themselves as kaitiaki (guardians)of the resource. Non-Maori may disagree as I am sure many do. A fisherman will want the water to be clean so that the fish s/he is catching is healthy and able to reproduce and if being caught for consumption, obviously safe to consume. An urban area, town or dwelling will likewise want good water quality so that their occupants can safely use the water for cooking, washing, drinking and so forth.
But back to two parties immaturely bickering. After a torrid few weeks, Prime Minister Bill English will no doubt be quietly delighted at the sudden burst of bickering between New Zealand First and the Greens. The National strategists will be looking for ways to exploit it.
The spat is likely to be bothersome for both parties, given that they need to co-operate against a party that is still doing very well in the polls, whilst Labour is still in the doldrums. Labour will be hoping the strategists and the politicians in both parties quickly see the light and calm down. In an election with huge implications for New Zealand’s future, the last thing the centre-left can afford to be seen doing is fighting among itself.