After reading the enthusiastic trumpeting of the sale of our water overseas in Saturday’s paper (17th Oct) I wondered when what is morally right got trumped by what is expedient to the financial minds. Certainly it took a major turn for the worst when in New Zealand corporate thinking replaced democratic principles in 1984 (not the book, the actual year).
Jobs is the justification, and I’m sure GDP would have been mentioned. These have been the arguments of the takers and exploiters for centuries. They are the arguments expressed in the Dr Seuss’ Lorax. Lots of jobs and money, never mind for whom. Until there is no more for the local people who lived within their place, and someone sails for the horizon puffing on a satisfied cigar.
You can always make a lot of money by mining the land and the community, especially if you can get it for free. It’s why we see our fisheries depleted, mass deforestation, aquifers drained, soils degraded, the winding down of labour conditions and communities. A few will always benefit. It is the whole damned history of colonisation. And it is a history many economists don’t understand, and many financiers don’t even think about.
It is because of this fact that the moral arguments should always come first, and it is up to our representatives to consider those concerns. It is our water, our ‘common’. We, the people, have the moral and ought to have the legal right to choose who we invite into our place, and on what conditions. Those conditions relate to moral and strategic concerns. Are we safeguarding our place for the benefit of our mokopuna (descendants)? Are we creating and multiplying common wealth, or simply turning nature’s gifts into someone’s personal dollar? Are we retaining that commonwealth, or continuing the colonisation process by leaking our natural and creative wealth to an outsider?
Consider our people and our place for the long-term; not the false promises from men in suits whose smiling madness in pursuit of greed and short-term gain does not suggest either moral or strategic thought was much considered.