WATER RIGHTS How the Treaty has been reinvented
NEW ZEALAND’S BEST NEWS MAGAZINE
Exploding the myths
Dawkins Vs Design
Malcolm Ford challenges Richard Dawkins
In Harm’s Way The NZ defence dilemma
Obama’s Agenda Will a second term unleash the real Obama?
Oct/Nov 2012, $8.60
CURRENT AFFAIRS, TOYS, CARS, FRANKLY-EXPRESSED OPINIONS & MORE
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As the water rights debate begins to boil, academic DR JOHN ROBINSONâ€™s new book reveals how facts have been thrown out the window in pursuit of power
Does the US president have a hidden agenda for his second term? IAN WISHART backgrounds a new documentary suggesting just that
DAWKINS VS DESIGN An essay on the theories of Richard Dawkins, by MALCOLM FORD
What are the real implications? Will it affect you? IAN WISHART explodes the myths surrounding the same sex marriage debate
Speaks for itself, really Your say
Richard Prosser Mark Steyn
Peter Hensley on money
Sleep mysterious but necessary
No Doubt – ’Push & Shove’ their way back
Arbitrage & The Master both rated high
The latest toys The Mall
High tech & free speech E-book price fixing
32 33 34 36
Michael Morrissey’s winter picks Amy Brooke
Lower printing cost vs coLour Laser*
Let the public decide Helen Clark’s Labour Government of last decade is the gift that keeps on giving. She may have been gone four years now, but the legacy of a party cobbled together with social engineering agendas means New Zealanders are once again debating issues we thought were done and dusted. Back in the mid 1980s with the decriminalisation of homosexuality, we were promised by the promoters back then that all people were after was the right to be a couple in public without fear of arrest. Nothing more. Then , in the mid 2000s, we were told it was simply about legalising partnerships formally so that gay couples could enjoy the same legal protections in relationships as heterosexual couples. Nothing more, they assured. Cut forward to 2012, and it is now “gay marriage”. To achieve this goal, Labour MP Louisa Wall’s private member’s bill requires New Zealand politicians – a motley crew at the best of times – to legally redefine marriage in a way that overturns eight thousand years of history. Leave aside whether you personally agree or disagree with same sex marriage for a moment, because what any one of us personally believes in is
irrelevant. What kind of hubris have we fallen into if a) we think that 121 MPs in a tiny little country at the bottom of the world can redefine a concept that predates the existence of nation states?, and b) that politicians should be allowed to do so instead of putting the matter to a public referendum? There is a huge danger in allowing the world to be governed according to ‘fads’. One of those dangers is particularly great in New Zealand because we have an unwritten constitution. This constitution works on the basis of precedent, which means if politicians get away with something it becomes precedent for the next time such a situation arises. The same sex marriage issue is particularly important as a precedent setter, because it is hard to imagine an issue more suitable for decision by public referendum. It affects the lives of every single New Zealander and generations to come. If parliament is allowed to get away with ruling on this issue via a conscience vote, you can kiss goodbye to ever having a binding public referendum on anything else in NZ. You might agree 100% with gay marriage
The same sex marriage issue is particularly important as a precedent setter, because it is hard to imagine an issue more suitable for decision by public referendum 4 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM | Oct/Nov 2012
and be cheering from the sidelines when MPs pass it, but the next time a cause dear to your own heart comes up that you want to challenge, forget it, the precedent will have been locked in. That’s the danger of being seduced by a bait and switch stunt. The default position of the controlfreaks is that the public give MPs a mandate for three years, and if you don’t like it, vote them out. But a three year election cycle is too much of a blunt instrument. MPs know that the public don’t vote on single issues most of the time. Using that logic, you could never have another referendum, and that’s the logic being offered by Labour MP Louisa Wall: trust MPs, they know best. It should now be obvious that this magazine supports sending the same sex marriage issue to a public referendum. Anything else would be inappropriate and an insult to the democratic process.
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Chief Executive Officer Heidi Wishart Group Managing Editor Ian Wishart NZ EDITION Advertising Josephine Martin 09 373-3676 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers: Hal Colebatch, Amy Brooke, Chris Forster, Peter Hensley, Mark Steyn, Chris Philpott, Michael Morrissey, Miranda Devine, Richard Prosser, Claire Morrow, James Morrow, Len Restall, Laura Wilson, and the worldwide resources of MCTribune Group, UPI and Newscom Art Direction Heidi Wishart Design & Layout Bozidar Jokanovic Tel: +64 9 373 3676 Fax: +64 9 373 3667 Investigate Magazine, PO Box 188, Kaukapakapa, Auckland 0843, NEW ZEALAND AUSTRALIAN EDITION Editor Ian Wishart Advertising email@example.com Tel/Fax: 1-800 123 983 SUBSCRIPTIONS Online: www.investigatemagazine.com By Phone: Australia 1-800 123 983 NZ 09 373 3676 By Post: To the PO Box NZ Edition: $85; AU Edition: A$96 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org All content in this magazine is copyright, and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. The opinions of advertisers or contributors are not necessarily those of the magazine, and no liability is accepted. We take no responsibility for unsolicited material sent to us. Please enclose a stamped, SAE envelope. Inquiries in the first instance should be made via email or fax. Investigate magazine Australasia is published by HATM Magazines Ltd
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I have just read Breaking Silence, and just wanted to say thank you for making that possible. I wish to write to Macsyna to pass on my thanks for her courage and to acknowledge her for her wisdom. I ask for your help, so that she receives my
6 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM | Oct/Nov 2012
IAN WISHART BREAKING SILENCE
Volume 10, Issue 134, ISSN 1175-1290 [Print]
TIME TO SPEAK UP Good afternoon Ian, I have just finished reading your book The Great Divide and found it extremely fascinating for a number of reasons. It has got my mind thinking of a thousand and one issues that face the country and I marvel at the fact that this has not been produced before in our short history. As they say about many good books “Everyone should read this.” However because of the fact that too many New Zealanders are apathetic and indifferent until too late on many issues, I do not believe this will occur. I believe that if this were to be made into a movie or primetime documentary it would have a larger national interest. I am an ex-serviceman who loyally served my country for just short of 27 years and you will not find a more proud Kiwi anywhere than myself. I think it behoves all Kiwis to take your lead and challenge where we are going as a country and to get it sorted much better than it is currently functioning. I have travelled extensively as I dare say you have and it is without a shadow of a doubt we live in one of the best places in the world. I have been in this country now for over eight years and have been able to view the world in all its glory, so to say, and have taken a real interest in the Geopolitical issues that face us globally. New Zealanders are incredible gifted and spoilt to have what they have in God’s Own and I hope your book inspires more to speak up and have their say to make it a better place and look after their own.
SILENCE THE KAHUI CASE
MACSYNA KING AND THE REA L STORY OF THE MUR DER OF HER TWI NS
IAN WISHART #1 bestselling author
communication and am happy for it to go past you if you are able to pass it on. What a story. I am humbled that she rises above her pain, to share her journey, with whomever is ready to take the learning. Don Macdonald, via email
Poetry The Christmas Donkey The night was dark and quiet, the wind stirred soft and low when Mary rode the donkey’s back long, long ago. Joseph walked beside her, and he made Our Lady smile talking of Bethlehem’s beauty as they journeyed mile on mile. The days were long, the nights so cold as on and on they walked, the donkey listening carefully as Mary and Joseph talked. And as he grew to understand how precious was his load so he chose carefully where to step along the dusty road. When at last the lamps shone out to light their little way the humble donkey’s heart was full and he began to pray: “Gentle Master, you chose me from camel, ox, and horse; far nobler beasts they seem to be but I have stayed the course. I thank you for your faith and love. You know how watchfully I trod. I am so blessed that you trusted me... carrying the mother of our God.” Priscilla Dodwell.
Oct/Nov 2012 | INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM 7
Liberty, Fraternity, Egality…etc Three times thus far, in the course of this, my first Parliamentary session, I have been given the option of casting a personal or “conscience” vote. The first occasion was a matter of so little consequence that I confess I cannot recall the nature of its subject. The vote was called so close to the usual 10.00pm rising time of the House that many Parliamentarians mistook the division bells for the expected signal of close of play for the day, and the turnout was unusually low. Some will have been subject to subsequent castigation by their various Party Whips, though my own caucus do not number amongst them; that may be a subject for another day. The other two have been of altogether greater import as far as ordinary citizens and their day-to-day lives are concerned. The first of these was of course the vote on the First Reading of what has come to be known colloquially as the ‘Gay Marriage’ Bill. Regular readers and followers of politics in this country will know of course that Yours Truly was the first MP off the fence, declaring to an eagerly awaiting media that I would be voting against Louisa Wall’s Private Member’s Bill.
Subsequent discussions amongst our caucus determined that we would, as a body, be pressing for a referendum on the matter, and opposing the passage of any Bill which did not allow for this possibility. The second was the vote on the first aspect of the Alcohol Reform Bill, that being the age at which citizens may purchase booze in this country, be that on licence or off. We don’t have a drinking age as such, of course, but the legal age of purchase has come to fill that role in a de facto fashion. Again, I voted conservatively, as did the entire New Zealand First caucus. My vote was for 20/20, for both on- and off-licence purchases. We can argue the rights or wrongs of this or any other decision till the cows come home, but the bottom line is that this, the conscience vote, is the method by which such matters are decided in the New Zealand Parliament today. Party Leaders and their Whips may not cajole Members, or dictate the nature of their respective votes in any
If You The People knew that the results of referenda would be binding on Government, I further believe that more such issues would become the subject of successful electoral petitions seeking plebiscites 8 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM | Oct/Nov 2012
conscience matter; nor censure or penalise them on the basis of it afterwards. The Party Line does not hold sway in such determinations; rather, it is down to the individual conscience of each and every one of your 121 elected representatives to make the call to which their hearts and minds direct them. This may be a grand thing, or indeed a terrible one. I ask the question, as have many others, that if a subject is so contentious, or so controversial or divisive, that the individual sentiments of Members of Parliament may be called upon to make determinations on it, rather than the policy platforms on which they and their respective Parties were elected, then surely the matter is better settled by a plebiscite of the entire nation, rather than by the temporal whims of a handful of fleeting politicians? I happily admit to being a firm believer in the concept and practice of Direct Democracy. I believe in the use of referenda. I believe that You The People are more than capable of signalling your various desires and intentions to those of us who serve you in Wellington; that you are at least as blessed, and quite possibly more so, with the wit and intellect to determine the directions and outcomes that the nation should be following, than are many of the various Party hacks and acolytes who occupy the benches around me. I trust The People to make the right
call, and I respect that call whatever it may be, even if I don’t necessarily personally agree with it. But my personal feelings are not what I’m in Wellington for. I’m there to represent You, the Voters. And I do think, based on what people have been telling me, that I made the right call on both counts, when the questions on gay marriage and the drinking age were asked. Certainly people both from within my own Party and without have thanked me for the stand I made on both subjects. I base that stand on everything I have written and said these past ten years, the manifesto position of the Party on whose ticket I came to Parliament, and the views expressed to me in person, on the street, and in my mail and email from ordinary voters and citizens up and down the country. But I am but one Member and one vote in the Parliament, and sometimes the most contentious of issues demand a greater level of investigation and input. It concerns me deeply that the results of referenda, as they are currently practised in New Zealand, are not binding on the Government of the Day. To that end, I will shortly have a Private Member’s Bill in the ballot which will seek to redress this situation. With the blessing of my Party, my Bill will seek to make the results of Citizens’ Initiated Referenda binding upon Government, plain and simple.
In line with party policy, it will include some provisions whereby a prescribed majority of Parliament will be able to overturn certain referendum results, but only if the decision of the plebiscite is below a certain threshold; and if it is above that threshold, the Parliament will not hold a power of veto. Within that context, had the referendum on the anti-smacking Bill, for example, been held within the constraints of the BCIR Bill as I am proposing it, Parliament would not have had the option of disregarding the clearly indicated will and intention of the electorate as they did. With regard to that particular issue, 83% of New Zealand voters expressed their clear opposition to the revocation of section 59 of the Crime Act, and yet all but eight of our 121 Parliamentarians voted in favour of the change. Likewise, between 73% and 83%, depending on whose figures one chooses to believe, indicated that they wanted to retain the combat wing of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Under my Bill, in both circumstances, Parliament would not have retained the power of a veto against the clearly expressed wishes of the People. Had the disbandment of the strike wing been the subject of a referendum, it is my belief that we would still have one. And if You The People knew that the results of referenda would be bind-
ing on Government, I further believe that more such issues would become the subject of successful electoral petitions seeking plebiscites. This system works well in Switzerland, but not so well in California. As with all laws, it falls to individual legislatures to determine which particular laws and regulations work most effectively in their own jurisdictions, and to apply them as best suits their own individual circumstances. We may be best advised to look at the Swiss model rather than the Californian one, when it comes to designing and implementing a BCIR regime for New Zealand. But the bottom line, as far as this writer – your favourite commentator, and now, also your representative – is concerned, is this; You The People hold the moral right to make the final determinations where matters of constitution and democracy are concerned. That is why I support my Party’s policy position on binding referenda, and that is why I am putting my Bill into the ballot. It is you who need to be making these decisions, and it is you who I serve. Let’s hope it gets drawn, let’s hope it gets support, and let’s hope it is the beginning of a brave and bold new era of New Zealand politics. You are, after all, worth it. Richard Prosser
Oct/Nov 2012 | INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM 9
Published on Sep 20, 2012