There was trouble in the NZ/Aotearoa family.
There was disagreement about an agreement. The partnership between siblings and parents was under stress. The parents had been sure of the need to shelter the children from the possible consequences and felt it best to keep it all a secret.
One of those employed as a babysitter to look after growing Trade even said that he was not going to tell the children as all that would do is cause discord and protest. Of course when the children found out that something that was going to have a major impact on them and future generations was being kept secret because they might not like it, they began to wonder what was in the secret that they might not like.
Those who felt they were in a partnership with the wider whanau to nurture Aotearoa's aspirations, wondered why they had not been given more information and asked for their views. The parent's response as Treaty partners was to say none of this will affect family relations but we cannot tell you anything about why this is so as it is a secret.
The parents, named National and Prime Minister, maintained their right to do what they thought best and kept on saying it is a secret but nothing to worry about as the deal we have agreed to is great but we cannot tell you what's in it because there will be protests. They also asked the authorities to keep an eye on those children who might disagree and perhaps challenge their version of democracy.
The children started becoming concerned about how decisions were being made and whether there were grounds to notify the authorities about bullying and poor parenting.
At the same time one of the Aunties, whose role was to make sure the children of the children of Aotearoa got the best in schooling, decided that ideology was more important than education and gave money to private investors to start Charter schools. As these started out and then started failing their ideological promise, it seemed to the wider nation/ family, that this sudden rush of neo-liberal thinking had forgotten about what this all meant to the children who were being experimented on. Many kids had come to these Charter schools because they struggled with education and then found themselves let down by a system that was geared to profits over outcomes.
On both the political issues above, the government, acting with hubris and false authority has treated the people with disdain. Like a parent - when asked why - they have simply said because I say so.
This paternalistic style is becoming a regular feature of the current government. It grates on the nerves with its supposed "we know better" arrogance. Oddly it mirrors the interfering "Nanny State" that National so often derides. This approach will surely lead to a rebellion against not only the TPP and Charter School but resistance to the outsourcing of public services to private enterprise. Perhaps they already know this but are keeping it secret in case we object?
-Terry Sarten is a writer, musician and social worker. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org