Speech – New Zealand First Party
This is Maori Language Week and there is a Maori proverb that should be at the front of every politicians mind.2 AUGUST 2015
New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters
Speech to New Zealand First Annual Convention
Distinction Hotel, Rotorua,
1.50pm, 2nd August, 2015
The New Kiwi Deal
This is Maori Language Week and there is a Maori proverb that should be at the front of every politician’s mind.
“He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He Tangata! He Tangata!”
Translated this asks the question:
“What is the most important thing in the world?”
And the answer is repeated:
“It is people! It is people! It is people!”
The answer is repeated because of the importance of the message – a message we have discussed ways of spreading this weekend.
Politics should concern the common welfare of people.
If New Zealand’s present leadership was asked what the most important thing in the world was – it would go something like this:
“More immigrants, more asset sales and more money for our supporters”.
That is what happens when governments govern for the few rather than the many as stressed in the proverb.
This unfortunate, ingrained attitude closes minds and silences important debate about our future.
LACK OF ENLIGHTENED DISCUSSION
For example, it has been impossible to rationally discuss immigration and population policies for nearly twenty years.
New Zealand First has warned for two decades about the effects of uncontrolled, unfocused immigration and the lack of strict controls.
Whenever we raise the issue there have been loud accusations of xenophobia and racism as though no one can question the wisdom of big imports of multiculturalism?
Recently another political party has belatedly realised what’s happening in the Auckland housing market and received exactly the same response – a response which hitherto they were part of.
And now the Government has reacted like a snail in overdrive. Their answer – send immigrants to the regions for a few months.
National is just dog whistling to opinion polls which show that many New Zealanders have a serious disquiet about what National is, and is not, doing.
What National says it will do is far too little, far too late, but creates the illusion of listening when they are doing the very opposite. In short, their loose mass immigration policies will go on inflating demand in a vacuum of supply.
People on the streets, the motorways, and public facilities like schools and hospitals, know what’s happening even if the government is in denial.
Immigration consumption is now the only expanding part of our economy and it’s at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders, old and new, whose interests are being swept aside.
This mass influx is seriously limiting New Zealanders chances of finding a job and housing.
Every one of the net 58,000 immigrants coming to New Zealand each year, that’s more than 1100 a week, needs a home to live in.
This puts pressure on the rental and housing market and forces Kiwis to compete with tens of thousands of people coming here on work and student visas.
The number of low-skilled construction workers flying in for the Christchurch rebuild is still climbing despite the government having five years to train and upskill Kiwi workers.
It is clear that the student work visa numbers, now over 91,000, are a path to citizenship encouraged by the government.
Ladies and gentleman don’t blame the immigrants or foreign buyers blame those in this country who encourage it.
Our critics can’t find one country that is doing what we are doing here – voluntarily.
A recent OECD report said as much.
No country can survive without a coherent social and economic plan, and this government has neither. Genuine concerns are met with a barrage of bally-hoo from public relations firms.
MISMANAGING THE ECONOMY
In a burst of propaganda last year the government’s economic think tank spread the word that New Zealand was a “rock star” economy.
The 2014 election was hardly over when people began to see the rock star economy heading for the rocks.
Latest data shows that things are at a standstill.
The hard lessons of our economic past have not been learned nor understood by the Beehive.
We have to export to survive and help our exporters in every way and we must not put all our faith and exports in a limited number of markets.
Exporters have faced an uphill struggle to compete on world markets because our currency has been held at impossibly high levels for years.
We have been left at the mercy of international money manipulators.
Now all of a sudden Key, English and Joyce tout how a lower dollar would help. What political charlatans we have leading this country.
If anyone thinks that statement is too harsh then ask these three, new age, political wide boys whether they would change the Reserve Bank Act to ensure our dollar is export competitive.
SABOTAGING RURAL NEW ZEALAND
Those who need the most assistance are dairy farmers because of the slump in world milk prices.
Underlying the financial problems in the dairy industry is the deep concern that many farmers are going to the wall.
This dairy farmer disaster is happening in an environment of deliberate false optimism masking the real facts. Bank economists bore the population witless on TV, night after night, with self-centred, egregious predictions. They know that telling New Zealanders how dire “the payout will be” for farmers will cause panic.
They prefer predictions for farming receipts grossly out of date as they speak. The per kilo dairy price is going to go under four dollars in a climate where dairy farmer budgets were based on at least $6.50 per kilogram.
The profiteering overseas-owned banks are already closing down credit lines for many farmers.
This means farmers being forced off the land and their farms snapped up by foreign interests. The psychological health of farmers and their families will likewise deteriorate.
The Prime Minister even said last week that even if we could ban offshore buying he wouldn’t want to.
Ladies and gentlemen, in our primary production regions there is an emerging new awareness. Now there is the stunning realisation that this government has been inept when it comes to their interests.
There is a new awareness in the provinces, they know that National has sabotaged rural New Zealand.
There is no other explanation for their preparedness to sell out New Zealand dairying and provincial interests in their TTPA negotiations . Trade Minister Groser and his government have been double agents against the interests of our people.
As said yesterday Malaysia is going to take the negotiations to its people first. National are going to take the negotiations to the New Zealand people last, when they can’t change a single word.
PASSING THE BUCK
One of the most successful methods used by government to avoid its responsibilities is to contract out functions that quite rightly belong to the state.
In the area of crime and punishment, people have the right to expect law and order to be enforced.
Those who have been found guilty and sentenced need to go through a system that enforces punishment, restitution to the victims and eventual rehabilitation.
The arrangement that transfers these state obligations to private prison companies is bizarre.
Private companies are there for profits and profits will always come first.
New Zealand’s experiment with privately run prisons has already been a costly and cruel mistake.
It is unthinkable that some prisoners should take over a prison, running fight clubs, intimidating other prisoners, drug dealing and generally causing grief and mayhem.
Worse still, the authorities knew about the problems but tried to hide them.
This is the inevitable result of stupidly sticking to a “free market” economy in which crime and punishment are simply commodities to be traded and exploited.
While privatising prisons is a costly failure, and without learning its lesson, the Government has been steadily privatising parts of the welfare process.
It is yet another example of the government putting private profits ahead of the people.
This mindset has to change.
THE NEW KIWI DEAL
New Zealand First does not need to change its policies.
On Reserve Bank reform, planned immigration, standing up for our flag, opposing an unfair TPPA, backing export wealth creating provinces and regions, a New Zealand Land and Home Ownership Register, or in exposing the inadequacies of the neo-liberal free market experiment. New Zealand First has no equal.
All the rest on these issues are massively compromised by their record.
All the rest might try now, to parrot what New Zealand First has been saying but they don’t mean it, they don’t really believe it, and they have no serious commitment to change it.
We have always placed New Zealanders and New Zealand First – it’s in our name and we have not forgotten the regions.
That’s why we put it all on the line for Northland to demonstrate to Northlanders, and to regional New Zealanders, that this party does give a damn about them.
And we have not forgotten the suburban battlers trying to raise families on inadequate wages.
We have not forgotten pensioners struggling to pay their power bills.
We have not forgotten the people who can’t afford to see a doctor.
We have not forgotten the children who are defenceless victims of family poverty.
And we have not forgotten the lessons of history; Don’t let your people become tenants in their own country by selling their land and their assets into foreign ownership.
And as our economy stalls watch out for the attacks that with inevitably come, as they have before, against the old and the young. Watch out for the news means testing that they will apply against both of these groups.
We have reached the stage where the system we live in is broken.
It cannot be repaired with prevailing policies.
New Zealand needs a New Kiwi Deal.
The most important goal for politicians is to provide “hope” – real hope.
When people are denied hope and the opportunity for a better future for themselves then Parliament is failing them.
There was an important chapter in American history in 1932 when a new president was elected.
His name was Franklin D. Roosevelt and he took office in 1933 when America was in the midst of the worst economic crisis in its history.
It was sparked by the 1929 stock market crash.
The unemployment rate reached 50 percent in some cities.
Millions of men and women walked the streets looking for work – kept alive by food from soup kitchens set up by a church or charity.
In the countryside crops rotted, prices fell and people walked off the land.
Roosevelt’s response was The New Deal.
A series of economic measures designed to take the USA out of the Great Depression.
The New Deal brought order to financial chaos, created jobs, and helped the homeless into homes.
It brought in pensions and social security.
That happened in New Zealand too after 1935.
The world is a different place now but we know that hope is the most basic need.
And those economically deprived will now include thousands of exporters and farmers and hundreds of thousands of workers and their families.
The most pressing issue is work and real wages. Ignore the official figures, unemployment and underemployment are rife.
New Zealand needs a return to Responsible Capitalism and a Responsible Market. The unfettered free market dogma and neo-liberal dictum is being exposed now for the tattered, tawdry, extremist elitism it represents.
If you have been watching the TPPA negotiations in its final flailing moments you will have witnessed the conspiracy of big corporates against democracies everywhere. You will have seen their intention to turn legitimate governments and sovereign nations into hand maidens for their venal purpose.
You will have observed the corporate corruption of democracies.
Democratic systems are vulnerable to the corruption of money in a myriad of ways other than explicit and outright corruption.
Increasingly the public senses that their interests are taking second place to the corporate agenda. Second place, where the gap between rich and poor grows wider every day.
Too often the public see themselves as bystanders on important issues as governments respond to the hidden agenda of Big Money.
In part it explains why so many people have been turned off politics.
Labour started it in 1984 and National is continuing it over 30 years later.
Today there are hundreds of thousands of National voters who see that their party has sold them out in the TPPA negotiations.
Why couldn’t Federated Farmers and Fonterra’s leadership see that if rural American congressmen and senators were, months ago, happy with the deal, that deal was going to be bad for New Zealand.
It’s not rocket science but we have suffered as a country from manipulative, optimistic forecasts all flying in the face of fundamental reality.
The government, the banks, and Fonterra are not telling New Zealanders the truth about this crisis. They use figures hopelessly out of date. Milk solids will plunge to as low as $3.75 per kilogram and all the while Groser, Key and English keep using the word “temporary”.
Next week a second round of Fonterra sackings will begin.
More and more people are coming to realise they don’t like living on “Planet Key”.
POLICIES FOR REAL AND ENDURING WEALTH
New Zealand First’s social and economic plan is based on exporting and real wealth creation.
It understands the export drivers and the incentives to get the new IT economy really working.
We are going to change the Reserve Bank Act and our taxation system to give the past, and present and future economy a real chance. Other small countries like New Zealand have been doing it and so should we.
Whilst doing that we also have a plan to provide useful work. It is called The Community Wage.
It is based on a combining the unemployment benefit and the minimum wage and amounts to a subsidy for paid work
In many cases there might not be full time jobs available but we know local community leaders could name countless projects that would be started if the money was available.
We reject the neo-liberal pool of unemployment and the human degradation it represents.
Many people who have never worked, or have been unemployed a long time, will now work and gain life skills.
They will learn what it is like to rise each work day and do a day’s work and also acquire the dignity that comes with a job.
It will mean going on community projects, planting trees, helping clean up polluted waterways, helping out at our schools and public institutions.
Many homes – both state and privately owned – need work on them.
Many of these rundown and uninsulated houses are in areas of high unemployment and poverty.
Why not use The Community Wage to give people jobs to install insulation, improve drainage, paint, replace rotten wall boards and work on other problems?
And rather than run down our railway services we could use thousands of unemployed to maintain or rebuild them.
We will use the services of qualified tradespeople to supervise the work and provide the expertise required.
There is work to do:
Outcall eldercare in the community has been slashed.
We need a conservation corps to clean up polluted waterways.
We need tree planting programmes, exotic and native.
That is the flavour of New Zealand First’s New Kiwi Deal which will give power back to the people at a regional, district and local level.
We have always found that when local people are faced with a challenge they rise to meet it.
They do not need the bureaucracy in the Beehive or beltway or, as another President Roosevelt, said, “these over-mighty subjects” running everything to suit themselves.
Our present system is not working for ALL the people.
It works only for those at the top of the heap – standing on the hopes and dreams of the many below.
It is time to live by the proverb:
“It is people. It is people. It is people.”
Ladies and gentleman we proved in Northland what a focused team can do when confronted by arrogance and neglect and we can repeat that success over and over again.
As a growing number realise that their only hope lies with us.
Our time has arrived, and in the word of perhaps the greatest commentator in history William Shakespeare:
“There’s comes a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, if taken at the flood,
Leads on to fortune.”