Speech – New Zealand First Party
Today is the day New Zealand shook off its shackles of despair and took its first faltering steps into the sunlight of economic freedom and social optimism. Today is the day New Zealand stared down the forces that tried to divide and conquer us.EMBARGOED AGAINST DELIVERY
Rt. Hon Winston Peters
Leader NZ First
Address to: New Zealand First 18th Annual Convention
Date: July 31st 2011
Time: 2 pm
“Forming a Government For The People”
Today is a landmark day.
Today is the day New Zealand shook off its shackles of despair and took its first faltering steps into the sunlight of economic freedom and social optimism.
Today is the day New Zealand stared down the forces that tried to divide and conquer us.
Today is the day New Zealand stood up and said we will never again be ruled politically or economically by foreign powers or foreign money lenders.
Today is the day we stood tall and said we will control our own destiny.
NZ First Plan
We have the people, the technology, the resources and most of all the will to make it happen.
New Zealand First has a plan to create more jobs and higher wages.
We have a plan to rebuild our export economy.
We have a plan to train our young people.
And we have a plan to provide a better future for families.
We have already pointed out that we are targeting exporting crippled by the most volatile currency in the world.
We are going to halve the student debt
We are going to keep our state assets and gradually buy back those in foreign hands.
We are going to keep our farmland and buy back the thousands of hectares that are owned offshore.
We going to retain our lakes and rivers and we will take back the foreshore and seabed for their rightful owners; every citizen in New Zealand.
New Zealand has been in its own war zone and the fighting has been all about money and the casualties, the people, have all been forgotten.
It’s time to rebuild our country just like we did after the horrors of two world wars. We have to believe there is a better way and we need to take it no matter what happens in banking and financial systems on the other side of the world.
Let’s face it. The circumstances are appalling and many leaders of the so-called free world must carry the lion’s share of the blame.
Since the start of the 21st century, the western world has been caught up in a ruthless rush to accumulate personal wealth.
Halfway through the last decade came the grim reality that international bankers, financiers, futures traders and foreign exchange speculators had created a crisis.
Millions of people lost their life savings, pension funds were wiped out and many governments had to pour public funds into these companies that once so proudly proclaimed the virtues of capitalism and private enterprise.
Many pillars of fiscal rectitude turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of money grubbing crooks.
Only a few of them have been held to account. The rest are back feeding in the trough, shovelling other peoples’ money as fast as their grasping hands will allow.
The fallout around the world has been enormous.
President Barak Obama who inherited the worst financial mess is being held to ransom by the Republican Party many of whose allies and supporters created the mess in the first place.
They want to simply score political points and shift the blame to a decent man who has been left with an almost impossible mission.
The spirit of greed that gripped America and ripped it apart is alive and well in New Zealand.
However, unlike the United States we have no inspired leadership.
Sure, we have a prime minister who according to the media polls is astonishingly popular.
At the pinnacle of his popularity it is reasonable for at least one political party – NZ First – to ask some obvious questions – because it seems no one else will.
What is Mr. Key’s popularity based on?
Has he presented a clear, inspiring vision for New Zealanders?
Has he given hope to our young?
Has he put New Zealand’s interests first rather than the interests of global corporations?
Has he done anything to stop the sale of NZ Stock Exchange companies to overseas interests?
Has he stopped the loss of New Zealand land and other assets to overseas buyers?
Has he done anything to stop the shameful rate of child abuse?
And has he done anything to stop the policies of division and separatism?
No impartial observer could answer yes to any of those questions.
So what is going on?
New Zealand First says – it’s time to start asking what John Key has actually delivered.
We know he’s a deal maker because he is now cutting deals aimed at giving National an election victory without the need to hold a real election in some seats.
Look at the facts.
National took over the Act party and kicked out the leader – the guy in the yellow jacket who, by the way, was promised a top post at the expense of taxpayers after the election.
Then National made their former leader Don Brash the new Act leader.
Then National had a former National minister stand for Act in Epsom. Is this hurting your head?
National stood aside in Ohariu Belmont so its ally, the policy pinching United Future, has a chance of staying in parliament.
Following that is yet another plan for National-led Act to stand aside in marginal seats like New Plymouth so that National has a better chance of winning.
What all this means is:
First, a level of political cynicism, manipulation and cronyism that gives democracy a dirty name, and
Second, that National knows the opinion polls are not worth the paper they are printed on.
That is why National and its allies from the rich list are engaging in all manner of contortions to form the next government.
Governments are supposed to be elected by the people for the people.
We all know what sort of people would be served by a National Act government.
First it would be a government for very rich people,
• for people who set up finance companies
• for foreign exchange speculators
• for people who run state owned companies in China.
• for American drug companies who don’t like Pharmac.
• for people overseas wanting to buy our farmland and assets.
• for people who want to own our foreshore and seabed.
And it would be a government for people who want to split New Zealand into two nations!
Just think for one moment about the creation of two nations.
This is what the toxic mix of National and the Maori party has brought:
Two flags – one that has flown proudly as a symbol of freedom and nationhood – the other as a symbol for a bunch of taxpayer-funded separatists.
Two welfare systems – one that took Maori out of huts with dirt floors and nikau palm roofs and a new one called Whanau Ora that wants to send them back there again.
Two political systems – one based on the democratic principle of one person one vote and the other based entirely on race.
Remember before the last election National promised us a brighter future.
The brighter future came – but only to the select few.
Billions went in corporate hand-outs to the likes of Warner Bros and failed financial companies.
There were tax cuts for the rich and higher GST for the poor to pay for the tax cuts.
Thousands of Kiwis are out of work and out of training.
The youth unemployment rate is nearly 20 percent while the government makes it harder to get into university or polytechnic.
Inflation is at its highest since 1990.
The cost of basic goods like petrol and food are up by 20 percent in some cases. Wages are up by less than two percent.
More and more Kiwis are going off-shore.
National has ignored over 80 percent of New Zealanders who voted to repeal Labour’s anti-smacking legislation.
But worse – it has failed to address New Zealand’s appalling rate of child abuse and neglect in any meaningful way. This week – after thirty two months of doing nothing the government released a report on how to deal with child abuse.
It’s just another example of government by public relations.
It makes no one accountable. It is psycho babble in the face of a crisis.
We in NZ First know that there are acts of real violence in circumstances where often there are numerous witnesses engaged in a cover up.
We know that what’s required is a huge culture change where peer knowledge and pressure sheets home responsibility and threatens brutes with certain exposure.
This must be legislated for and backed up by a denial of state benefits for those who refuse co operation.
We will repeal the anti smacking law, which attacks good parents and replace it with laws to attack brutalizing parents.
We who understand the Maori world know what is needed and it is not more hand wringing, public relations and spin.
We know that only we can fix it but we need laws to back that up.
And we will use every sound Maori organisation including the Maori Women’s Welfare League and the Maori Wardens to turn these abysmal social results around.
There is a rising demand for food banks.
Thousands of children are being fed by charities as low-income families struggle to cope with soaring food prices
It’s not because they’re all failing to budget, as John Key claims, but because his government has failed to address our state of economic malaise.
Now the government is on the verge of signing away our future to American pharmaceuticals with the Trans Pacific Partnership.
This is a government devoid of ideas, and bereft of vision.
It has no plan for creating a high-value, export-based economy.
It has nothing to offer except the failed experiments of the past.
Selling off remaining state assets and removing the last vestiges of state protection will not address the problems we face. Nor for that matter will another tax.
In the last two years under National the Overseas Investment Office has rubber stamped the sale of 50,000 hectares of good land to foreign buyers.
This doesn’t include the 8,500 hectares of Crafar Farms which are going to be sold to foreign buyers after the election.
When we get back in November this deal and others like it will be stopped.
Now a warning
You will be aware that whenever pressure goes on this government it looks for scapegoats. Clearly identified are the elderly.
There has been a stream of propaganda about how the country cannot afford to pay pensions and how the age of entitlement has to be lifted.
There is a persistent lobby calling for the age of entitlement to be lifted to 67.
The new Act leader Don Brash has made that plain.
This age change is another diversion.
They actually mean to attack the present level of Super and to Means Test it.
That’s their past record and, if re-elected, it will be their future one.
We favour people working as long as they are able and interested.
But what about those whose health or circumstances does not permit this?
And where are the jobs for all these elderly people?
Stacking the shelves in Australian-owned supermarkets?
If able, fit young people are lacking employment what are the chances of a 66 year old getting work?
Finding scapegoats ignores the central problems we have faced for a long time.
The problems are these:
Our economy is not geared for smart exporting. It is geared to foreign currency speculation and consumer driven borrowing.
Too many enterprises like banks are owned offshore and the profits go offshore.
About 70% of the shares on the New Zealand share market are owned offshore.
Large areas of land are owned overseas.
Nearly all the media outlets are owned offshore.
The list is endless and it means that we are not in charge of our economic destiny – and nor is there any rational public discussion on the policies we need to survive as a thriving independent, sustainable nation.
In circumstances like these why would government adopt policies that make the situation worse?
Why sell power stations and control of waterways to a foreign power?
Only one party can hold the government to account this election: that is New Zealand First.
More than any other party we advocate the concept of a nation whose people are united in a common cause.
We do not hesitate to point out the shortcomings of any group that threatens to divide us.
After November we want to help set up a government for all New Zealanders battling to make their way in the world.
A clear message has to be taken from this convention that New Zealand First is interested only in the welfare and wellbeing of the people who make up the fabric of our society.
We have reached the point of no return.
Don’t ever believe that there is some benign force in a foreign land just waiting to help us.
And don’t ever believe for one minute that a government led by John Key and Don Brash is going to do anything to help feed the children and end the need for foodbanks.
Mass deprivation was unheard of in the New Zealand that I grew up in. Thousands of children fed by charities?
We have to be independent and committed to a better way.
It is more important than ever that New Zealand First makes it back into Parliament.
We cannot stop the rot by standing on the outside looking in.
We have the leadership and commitment to the people whose lives are under the most pressure from the callous indifference of National, Act and their allies.
My message for you to take home to your communities is, put simply, that “New Zealand First is on your side – and help is on its way.”
And this is our promise when we win
• those who want us back at the top of the first world – they win
• those that want a united society – they win
• those that want a fair go – they win
• those that want enough to look after their families – they win
• those that want freedom from foreign ownership – they win
• those that want a government that cares for everybody not just their mates – they win
Go and tell them all
“We Win You Win”