Peters: Circus or Soap Opera and Foreseen Circumstances

Speech – New Zealand First Party

The performance of the National led government resembles a unique blend of circus and soap opera. When there are major social and economic issues to be resolved our future as a trading nation is at stake the leadership is obsessed with pandas …Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for Northland
3 OCTOBER 2015

Speech to Public Meeting, Tauranga

Greerton Community Hall

1263 Cameron Rd


1pm, Saturday, October 3, 2015

Circus or Soap Opera and Foreseen Circumstances

The performance of the National led government resembles a unique blend of circus and soap opera.

When there are major social and economic issues to be resolved – our future as a trading nation is at stake – the leadership is obsessed with pandas or red peaks.

New Zealanders are being treated as gullible and naïve.

The government’s army of media consultants and spin doctors have dragged numerous red herrings across the path of serious issues that might be questioned and scrutinised.

The frivolous idea to change our flag floundered from the beginning so the Prime Minister reverted to a deal with the Greens to change the law upon which the ink had barely dried to put yet another flag design up for public diversion.

When the fifth flag option, with barely one per cent support, showed all the levitation of a lead balloon New Zealand was suddenly served up another diversion, this time, Pandas.

New Zealand’s elected leaders are supposed to be running the country yet they appear obsessed with trivia being selectively drip fed into the open mouths of the media.

Let’s look at what’s really happening.

1. The TPPA. What we are witnessing is last minute scurrying around backdoors to sort out some sort of deal to justify the long and expensive talks. Already our Prime Minister’s unfettered enthusiasm is starting to droop and the climate around these talks suggest we should all prepare for another hit on our sovereignty, and our dairy export industry as well as our present access to pharmaceuticals. If this TPPA was such a good deal they would be shouting it from the roof tops. Instead we are progressively being softened up to accept that being “in the Club” means we should accept unpalatable compromises.

The recent Korea Free Trade deal is a case in point. As Foreign Minister I met with the then South Korean President on the matter of a Free Trade Deal between our countries. His opening question to me was “but what’s in it for us”. He might well ask that question given that Korea already had total unfettered access to the New Zealand market. My response to him was that when his people were fighting for their very freedom New Zealand was one of the few countries that came to their aid. Further, that when the South Korean’s currency collapsed during the Asian Currency crisis of 1997 New Zealand was one of the few countries that underwrote the South Korean currency which led to its recovery. In short my answer to the President was that these two actions alone by New Zealand warranted some gratitude from the South Korean people.

Instead what we ended up in the Korean FTA was a quota of 2000 tons for our dairy products and a continuing tariff of 176% for the remainder.

Prepare for something similar with the TTPA
2. Net immigration has now topped over 60000 a year or 1200 people a week. That’s the highest number on record. New Zealand simply cannot absorb that rate of uncontrolled immigration which is costing jobs and placing impossible pressure on housing and infrastructure. The fallacy of New Zealand’s immigration policies is superbly outlined in a letter in today’s New Zealand Herald:

“Anyone who questions or expresses concern about immigration is almost invariably labelled racist, uneducated, xenophobic and so on. I would challenge those who make such accusations to direct their criticism at Britain’s House of Lords.

In its landmark ruling on immigration, their lordships held that not only were there few, if any, economic benefits from immigration but it left a substantial proportion of the resident population worse off.

If the goal of a nation is to achieve high living standards (or per capita income) for its own people, it is futile to increase the national income and the number of people sharing that income. And that is the effect of present policies.

Higher living standards are perpetually elusive. Hence New Zealand’s enduring low-wage status.

If all this is too abstract, Lord Wakeham’s conclusion should suffice. He stated: “We find the argument that immigration brings substantial economic benefit unconvincing.” That dictum aligns perfectly with our experiences. John Gasgoigne, Cambridge.

The pro high immigration apologists wantingly ignore the most obvious answer to the Auckland house crisis – cut back immigration and stop offshore buying.

3. New Zealand’s social and economic circumstances. As New Zealand’s social circumstances worsen as a result of our current economy the Government’s answer is to privatise welfare and to sell off the Government’s housing stock. Once again we see a government washing its hands of its rightful responsibilities – like it has done with crime and punishment.

Child Youth and Family is to be overhauled with the Minister claiming there will be much better tracking of children in state care and more contracting out to other organisations.

Nowhere in the waffle pouring out of the Beehive has there been any reference to the core issues that are creating the social breakdown and the reasons behind children ending up in state care.

It is not the fault of these children.

These children have started out as victims.

First; it needs to be acknowledged that there is a disproportionate number coming from the Maori and Polynesian world and unless we have a serious introspective examination and admission of failed cultural behaviour then nothing that the state can do can help. Unless we in the Maori world accept that there is an unacceptable level of parental irresponsibility which only we can fix we will go on wasting tax payer’s money.

Responsibility for children from chaotic relationships has been thrown on to state care and the results have been described as “appalling”.

According to the minister ninety percent end up on a benefit and the figures for education, crime and single parent families are also serious.

The facts are that CYFs figures are seriously distorted by fraudulent buck passing within CYFs itself to the extent that no one really knows what is going on.

What we do know is that simply privatising the status quo won’t help.

We have to look at family circumstances and start educating young – men and women – to take responsibility for their actions.

Special work has to go into motivating the dropouts from education, into qualifications and jobs.

Community leadership has to be involved and there must be strong efforts to tackle the epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse.

Most importantly we have to provide jobs and hope for a better life to encourage those trapped in this cycle of neglect and hopelessness caused by economic policies that work only for those towards the top of the heap.

It is a massive problem that we all must work towards solving.

New Zealand First knows of a number of cases where characters have broken the vicious cycle and have reformed only to find it impossible to get a job.

Generations of New Zealanders have been thrown on social rubbish tips with job losses, low labour wages and disconnection within communities and families.

In these circumstances, right around the world, it has been shown there is an increase in crime, social problems, education and housing issues.

Political leadership requires both vision and a strong sense of guardianship.

We have to break this banana republic political system of making serious decisions on the hoof and trying to govern the country by fortnightly internal polls like an episode of a TV series.

New Zealanders as Second Class Citizens in Australia

The newspapers and air waves have been clogged this week with complaints of Australia’s treatment of New Zealanders living there.

All manner of political parties and commentators have joined the complaints as though they themselves have no responsibility for the way we are now being treated in that country.

These are the same political parties and commentators who launched attack after attack on New Zealand First when, in the early 1990s, we began pointing out that our country was being used as a bolt hole to immigrate to Australia and sooner or later there would be a reaction.
Our warnings were ignored but in 2001 Australia changed our special relationship with that country and there has been a steady deterioration ever since. In different measure 650, 000 New Zealanders living in Australia have become the victims. But surely it was predictable that Australia was never going to allow us to pervert our special relationship with unfocussed New Zealand immigration policies rebounding on them.

One commentator has even referred to Australia giving us the ‘Mafia option”. That statement is nonsense.

If we are to recover our special status with Australia it will only happen if we belatedly adopt a sound, rationale, responsible immigration policy. That is the key and it ill behoves certain political parties and commentators to now shout foul when it was their support and condonation of mindless immigration policies which brought this impasse about in the first place.

So let’s have an end of these crocodile tears from the very architects of this disaster.


It is long since time to get serious.

The soap opera and circus approach to leading a country is simply not working.

The next government will have to resolve serious issues and make New Zealand a great place for New Zealanders again.

It is doubly important that New Zealand First is there with practical and common sense policies.

New Zealand First is not a Klingon Party nor are we political poodles.

We do not accept crumbs from the tables of power.

The days of running New Zealand like a one party state with two or three camp followers has to end.

The only way forward is through cooperation and a back to the basics approach.

New Zealand must return to policies that treats everyone fairly and equally.

We have to educate, train and employ our young people first.

We have to give them priorities for jobs – instead of bringing in tens of thousands of foreign students and handing them work visas.

We have to return to sensible economic policies that concentrate on exports and finished goods.

We must return to owning our land and our resources.

Foreign investment in New Zealand should be on New Zealand terms, not simply transferring our wealth overseas.

We must stop unfocussed immigration, housing speculation and consumerism driving our economy because these simply create a bubble ready to burst and make the situation much worse.

This is why New Zealand First’s position will be critical when the next government is formed.

New Zealand needs more than a quick fix repair job. We need to rebuild our country on solid social and economic foundations. We have done it before and we can do it again.

In our Party’s 22 year history we have shown both the courage and the commitment to tackle huge tasks. We have been the most successful political party by far to have formed after the Labour and National Parties.
Today we are asking for your help to help us rebuild our once great country and return it to being a world economic and social leader.


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