Visit To The Kerala Indian Community In Hamilton, New Zealand: I went down to Hamilton last weekend, to visit my Indian friends who now work there. They have a wee baby just seven months old, whom I also wanted to see. My friends are devout Catholics who come from the Province of Kerala in India. The Kerala Catholic community is very strong in Wellington, and also in Auckland and Hamilton.
Through working with Benoy and Sneha at a Catholic home and hospital in Wellington, we became firm friends. So, last weekend, I was invited down to go to the special anniversary Mass for Benoy’s Dad, who passed away in India two years ago today, the 25th July. We said Prayers at the altar in Benoy’s house, and laid flowers in front of his Dad’s photo. On the Friday night, we went along to the Catholic Church to hear the Mass which was said in the Kerala language, and which had traditional Kerala Christian chants. It was a beautiful experience.
While I was staying with my friends, and being treated, as always, to the most delicious Indian curries and condiments, I read through the local free newspaper, “HAMILTON NEWS’, Friday, July 20, 2012.
I was more than interested to find an article in this paper which was written by Sue Moroney, who is the Labour MP for the Waikato region.
The article was entitled: “Waikato will hurt from asset sales”. Sue says that as many as 80 local railway jobs will disappear in the area, as a result of the privatisation of state-owned assets.
But this is just a tip of the ice-berg. Other valuable Waikato assets, which currently earn huge dollars for the Waikato region, as well as for the benefit of all New Zealanders, are on John Key’s list of items to go under his block, just as soon as he can get away with it.
These Waikato resources which John Key wants to sell off are:
The Dams on the Waikato River
The Huntly Power Station
The Huntly Coal Mines and The Region’s Geothermal Resources
Co-management of Waikato River Between Tainui and Environment Waikato: Sue Moroney points out that during the reign of Helen Clark’s Labour’s leadership, an environmentally sound partnership was established between the Tainui Maori people of the region, and ‘Environment Waikato’. This partnership saw the two parties working together for the good of the environment, with the sole aim of cleaning up the river, which was very polluted at the time. The idea was to purify it, to make it as safe and sound as could be, so that future generations might be able to drink the water, enjoy the river for its beauty, and its fish for the eating. Ownership questions were put aside for the really important issue – the welfare of the Waikato River.
That this co-operation between the two factions happened so smoothly, without regard as to whom might be the rightful owner of the river, and with the focus being the care of the life-giving river itself, shows what great custodians this group of people are. The last thing they need is some interfering beaurocrats at government level selling off part and parcel of the River.
Because – apart from the loss of revenue once the assets have gone, there will always be a potential for pollution and abuse if outsiders take up ownership. Outsiders will not have the love for the River, or any other natural resources, as we who live in New Zealand have ourselves. Because the land, the rivers, the sea, the plains, the valleys – they are all at the heart of us, part of our being, part of our spirituality. And – part of our sustainance, and our economy.
The strivings of Tainui and Environment Waikato, to keep the Waikato as pure and good for the welfare of the River, as well as for the people who rely on the River, might very quickly be wasted or eroded, if the National Party under John Key get to sell off the resources on the River.
And anyway, as Winston Peters, Russel Norman and others better educated than John Key keep pointing out – It doesn’t make economic sense to sell off something for a flat fee, when it means that you will be losing out a thousand fold within a short time.
Our Mighty Rivers Are Being Sought Like Sacrifical Lambs To Appease The Gods: Selling off our state-owned public assets for the benefit of private enterprise is like selling off the last lambs in the flock, assuming that you will not be able to buy any more lambs ever again. Without those lambs, you cannot breed more lambs the following year, or the year after that.
The concept of conservation needs to apply regarding all our public assets – Conservation on both an environmental level, and on an economic level.
Save our New Zealand assets – our Rivers, our Dams, our Water, our Mines, our Dairy Farms, our Seashores, our Forests.
Sue Moroney reminds us that the Labour government had paid off much of our national debt at the time when John Key took over. From all observances, he has not managed the country very well at all. Sue recommends that applying a capital gains tax – which all the other developed countries in the world already have – should be done in New Zealand. This would be a more practical and sensible move than selling off our state-owned assets. But John Key is one of our ‘landed gentry’ – a banker who makes profit from his investments. The last thing he would be wanting would be a capital gains tax on his own investments.