That Civil Defence should have placed a cordon around looters in quake-ravaged Christchurch – which was, ironically, for keeping looters out – should surprise no one:

National Party rorts – Nicky Wagner, regional expropriator

EQC withheld dangerous, ‘deadly’ info “to protect privacy and property prices” 16/12/2011

And the beat goes on amid the rubble “[Senior Sergeant Gordon] Spite said there had not been widespread looting in the fenced-off red zone. ‘We’ve been present where safes have been moved. We’ve accommodated quite a bit with banks. I’d be the first to say there’s definitely been stuff gone missing from here but when you look at the scale of what we had here and what’s been reported, I think we got off pretty lightly.’ … Spite said the worst moment in the past nine months was catching a thief who stole cigarettes from a High St shop. ‘You couldn’t get another pack of cigarettes in this backpack if you’d tried. This was the morning of the 23rd [of February] …'” 16/11/2011

Cigarettes, diamonds missing from red zone The Press 22/10/2011

Demo firm blames looters for loss “Community House, at 141 Hereford St, is being demolished by March Construction and Shilton and Brown Demolition” The Press 12/10/2011

Dramatic drop for Canterbury crime 03/10/2011

Owner clashes with Cera over building demolition 04/07/2011

Corporate / private data model – NZ Open Government Online Groups discussion, viz 23/06/2011

Owner demands answers on why her building failed = Parker’s City Council governance failure 16/06/2011

Battle grows to reopen Dux Save Our Dux facebook group + Gardens tended in middle of red zone 02/06/2011

$16,000 stolen from pizza bar + Rival bidders allege conflict of interest 31/05/2011

Looters steal the kitchen sink / Repeat lootings too much for earthquake victim + Bargain hunters may encourage looters 23/05/2011

etc …

Insurance shock for Christchurch businesses 09/04/2011

Students’ families consider legal action 09/04/2011 – 12 Japanese lost

Crime spreads in Canterbury 06/04/2011

Alarm at errors on Christchurch demolish list 05/04/2011

Christchurch restaurant razed without telling owner 05/04/2011

Access to red zone infuriates 02/04/2011 – “why bankrupt David Henderson has been allowed”

Investigation after ‘red zone’ apartment entered 29/03/2011

Christchurch firms lose CBD rights 29/03/2011

Arrests inside Christchurch’s red zone 28/03/2011

Demolition company banned from Christchurch CBD 27/03/2011

Thefts from demolition sites alleged 26/03/2011

Till system from demolished cafe turns up on West Coast 26/03/2011

Contractors accused of salvaging from quake buildings 25/03/2011

Christchurch earthquake: Civil Defence could do more 22/03/2011

Christchurch protesters meet Civil Defence officials 22/03/2011

Christchurch couple in court for earthquake offences 21/03/2011

Christchurch earthquake anger erupts 21/03/2011 * * * * * see video * * * * *

MPs furious with demolitions in Christchurch CBD 18/03/2011

Civil Defence calls rethink as Christchurch building owners protest 18/03/2011

Business owners protest quake restrictions 17/03/2011

Christchurch earthquake cordon breach ‘essential’ 17/03/2011

Memorabilia salvage hopes in ruins 17/03/2011

Philippines may sue if CTV building liability found 15/03/2011 – several Filipinos lost

Chinese denied Christchurch earthquake compensation 15/03/2011 – several from China lost

Post Christchurch earthquake rent hikes ‘looting by another name’ 10/03/2011

Police accused of beating autistic ‘face of looting’ 09/03/2011

CTV building’s owners welcome collapse inquiry 02/03/2011

Editorial: Looters shouldn’t see light of day 28/02/2011

Over 60 missing from language school 27/02/2011 – including several Koreans lost

Looters pounce on clothes store 26/02/2011

Woman denies looting charges 13/10/2010

Looters admit post-quake theft 20/09/2010

Looters will be treated harshly – judge 06/09/2010

Re the Civil Defence-protected store-pillaging, there should be no wonder: the state is after all the biggest and most powerful gang, produced by history from aggressively competitive tribal roots. Its monopoly of coercive force is what sets the state above other gangs, though all kinds of mythical nicety usually succeed in disguising this violent fact. With (tax) robbery / extortion the state’s modus operandi, physical suasion is implicit as with every gang – for maintaining material monopoly, “or else” (imprisonment). But I digress. This story is of John Key’s particular state – the state of New Zealand – and its (un)ethical performance.

This land was taken at an emiserating rate, for poxy blankets and beads or a few quid, or by war of seizure when bad-faith bargaining failed. But New Zealand’s culture of theft was not new, with an ancient biblical template and centuries of western colonial refinement. Enclosure stripped small farmers of subsistence land-plots, for the lord’s stock herds – as from the original settler invasion of Palestine. Honesty plays no part, where “faith” delivers Promised Land exclusively for a farming elite. Lying is automated habit for the post-‘Christian’ western state, such as “we and our cordon are here to protect you” – this time clumsily exposed: Key’s ailing dictatorship for capital gain is so unrestrained that care in masking it has started to slip.

The primary state lie in Canterbury has become that used in April 2010, to divest the region’s rate-payers of say over the fate of local natural water resources. Key’s farming-interest government needed an excuse for stealing public water assets for private development, so he invented one of (already remedied) “consent processing delays”. He stole representatives’ salaries, doubled these and paid them to industry captain ‘commissioners’ for rubber-stamping ‘work’. It is no wonder that crime should appear to be rife in New Zealand streets, with these ‘our role models’ – not! Deny them recognition, if not respect.

Why should the English brothers – Finance Minister Bill, Federated Farmers Chief Executive Conor, and a third attacking Environment Southland back home on the family farm – be so allowed to manipulate state agency for dairyman private gain? If we wish to see a country without the social problems of violence and robbery, then we need a definitive break from government based upon these same principles. The connection is self-evident.

The theft from the local public, of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), shows how NZ ‘neo-fascism’ (for want of a better term) has run out of options. The Zone Committees, the CWMS district components, are already stumbling – with the dairymen’s commissioner imposition. Hurunui-Waiau – the rare Zone Committee on schedule – is enough of a case in point. It’s 14 March 2011 meeting was advertised on the CWMS website as going ahead as planned in Cheviot, losing ready public access when it was abruptly moved to Amberley. Notice in the Hurunui District-produced CWMS papers instead confirms thorough capture of due process by this Council. Discussion gave more evidence. Nitrogen-leaching rates from the different forms of agriculture were discussed at this ‘substitute ECan’, but without the scientific research that would always have been available to ECan Council for proper decisions. “It all comes down to more water storage”, the majority of this variously-interested committee opines, with one member adding that, post-earthquake, “Christchurch people have come here in camper-vans, putting their shit in our rivers.” Hopeless with bias and immobility, the CWMS consultation charade will thus soon be dispensed with.

Key’s brutal intervention in ECan governance was to cover up the conflicts of interest by which his rural compatriot National irrigation consent-holders voted down cost recovery for water resource monitoring. The Auditor General ‘ruled’ against them, not suspending their votes but granting a hospital pass instead. This exposure to risk was too much for PM John Key, who wiped the whole Council aside – to distract from the traditional rural capture of regional councils, in their own interests: ‘once a set of land thieves, always a set of resource thieves’? With the conflict-of-interest Tsar now chairing ECan, who can look under the rug? – Corruption in extremis.

Although the new Canterbury dam plans have been seismically shattered, we dare not forget the methods proposed. Of National-ACT’s proposed infrastructure ‘public-private partnerships’, Benito Mussolini once said:

1. “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” That is, the interests of Fonterra, Solid Energy, Telecom and the like – and of their finite private shareholder base – now rule us all, and over everything. Democracy is not real, as revealed in contemporary Canterbury.

2. Also, “For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative” has special bearing upon those fenced out of their broken Christchurch businesses and made subject to state-sponsored robbery.

The parallels, under John Key, are inescapable. ‘Civil Defence’ is no longer the community-owned, community-driven ‘protector’ we had all thought it to be. It has become the front-end of state extortion of the populace, for greater exploitation, par excellence.

But the most damaging theft John Key has simply inherited, and that is from nature. Christchurch’s siting on the Waimakariri River floodplain may have been a fertile convenience for the city founders in 1850, but this mighty Alpine river has begun its fightback and must inevitably win – by “natural justice”. New, well-drained westward land is required to rehouse the settler community, immediately. This raises the global question of inflated land values held in too few hands, which can only be resolved through a rational and inclusive reshuffling of property relations. The food, energy and housing requirements – and every other human and ecological need – can be met, but only through land redistribution and use-change that integrates population sustainably. That has strong economic sense, and even more for biodiversity and justice, through breaking industrial monoculture and decentralising increasingly at-risk cities.

We need a whole new political culture in New Zealand, and in the world – of ethical, non-violent self-governance – that will turn the neo-fascist drift upon its unyielding head.

A cultural change is needed to heal New Zealand, for it is a cultural flaw that ails us – the rule of over-privileged, unprincipled thugs, whose curse has shattered the land.

But there is little point looking to the various parliamentary oppositions, for the relief of substantive change: they have been too ready to accept status quo, for second-turn at the gilded trough. You and I must be the change.

“Together, to the New Zealand Republic” will become the catch-cry for sustainable justice, progress and peace. A constitutional framework is taking shape, to soon follow.