Speech – New Zealand First Party
When we were young New Zealand was a great country, one of the shining lights of the world.EMBARGOED AGAINST DELIVERY
Rt. Hon Winston Peters
Leader NZ First
Date: October 5 2011
Venue: Nelson Suburban Club
168 Tahunanui Drive,
“Wanted –Some Leadership!”
When we were young New Zealand was a great country, one of the shining lights of the world.
We were the envy of Europe and Asia. Ours was a country of opportunity and great equality. A rich economy that shared its benefits with fairness.
In 2011 we can still be that country again. But that prospect depends on the decisions you make in seven weeks time. If you make the right decision we can offer a bright future for our children and recover our good reputation internationally.
We can rid ourselves of the scurge of unemployment, particularly amongst our young, and properly look after our seniors. For it is not expenditure that is New Zealand’s biggest problem but our relative declining wealth. Both of these with the right policies can be fixed.
At present New Zealand is like a rudderless ship drifting on the tides of fortune – or misfortune as the case might be.
Some leadership needs to be shown by the government over the next few weeks because Rugby World Cup party time will soon be over.
We can understand the temptation for everyone from the Prime Minister down to get excited about the All Blacks and the gallant Warriors but someone has to “mind the shop”.
The world is on the brink of another serious financial crisis. New Zealand has a serious private debt problem.
The government’s plan seems to be hold our nerve, get on with the world cup party and New Zealand will “muddle through”.
Life is not like that.
We need a plan and we need leadership. At present we have no plan and the leadership is at the football – or seeking out a photo opportunity somewhere.
If you look around the world at the countries that are prospering you will see that they have one serious advantage.
Their economies are controlled. They produce, they export, they save.
They do not subscribe to rampant capitalism or smothering socialism.
They take the best from each system and to use world cup phrases – they have a game plan, they keep their eyes on the ball and they grab their opportunities.
If you think about it – when did you last see the Prime Minister face some tough questioning about the economy?
Where is the evidence of the fiscal miracles his government is waiting to perform in their second term?
Let’s face it – the worst kept secret floating about in Wellington.
There is no plan. There will be only pain.
The only people who won’t suffer will be the very rich friends of this government.
If you cast your minds back to the May Budget you will recall the finance minister reading with a straight face that 171,000 new jobs were going to be created over the next four years.
And only a week or so ago the Prime Minister claimed that his government had created 45,000 new jobs.
Where are all these jobs?
All we ever hear about are job losses and we have heard about them every month since this National-led government took office in 2008.
Look at what they’ve done!
They’ve increased GST so the people at the bottom of the heap can pay for tax cuts for those at the top of the heap.
Well, New Zealand First is going to reverse that.
Our policy has always been that GST should be no more than ten percent but we realise that we can’t change everything at once.
This is what we want to do.
Reduce GST back to 12.5 percent over the next three years and match it with a
graduating tax system that stops the widespread tax avoidance schemes in place now.
There are eleven different ways you can choose to involve yourself with BHP shares and each has a different tax treatment. This is absurd and wrong.
We have a ridiculous system where a high school student delivering pamphlets has to pay tax on a pittance while people with tens of millions of dollars pay no tax!
This is a grossly unfair situation.
There is now a privileged elite in New Zealand who believe that they should keep making tax-free millions while the poor pay the taxes that pay for the hospitals, the police, the schools and the roads.
This is no way to run a country.
The only definite idea from this government is a half-baked plan to sell highly valuable state-owned assets.
Our power stations, our airlines, our farmland and other assets built up over the years by taxpayers will be offered for sale overseas.
First the government claimed that “mum and Dad” investors would be the buyers.
Then the finance minister had to reluctantly confirm Treasury advice that the power stations would end up in foreign hands.
Just think about it.
These overseas buyers are smart. They would not sink a dollar into a power station unless they can make a big profit.
Big profits mean they have to generate a lot of power, and charge even more for it.
That, in turn, means they have to control the lakes, the rivers and the waterways that feed these power stations.
So, an investment in a power station will also mean a licence to wreck our environment.
It’s a no brainer.
These power stations are profitable in New Zealand hands so why sell them. They generate income three times more than their debt servicing costs.
It’s like a farmer selling half his land. He or she ends up halving his/her income.
This election is a turning point in our history.
The time for muddling is over.
The plan that we will release later this month will be like this: (and we don’t mind if other parties steal our ideas now)
Savings – Our savings plan includes savings incentives such as tax breaks and security of investment. Savers will not be taxed heavily twice on approved investments. We will boost savings and make it compulsory.
Exports – exporters will be given increased assistance for producing value-added goods and currency rates will be kept within a band that prevents wild fluctuations.
Sales of state assets will be stopped and special safeguards will be written into legislation protecting rivers, lakes and waterways used for hydro-electric power.
If we keep our assets the profits will come to New Zealand and benefit local communities – not the communities of Australia, the United States, Britain and China.
Farmland will be protected and any land in New Zealand ownership will be required by law to be sold to local interests. And in time we will seek to buy back overseas owned New Zealand land.
Our economic plan means we will also stop the wild fluctuations in the value of New Zealand currency. By reforming the Reserve Bank to serve producers and workers interests and not those of paper shufflers.
Why should some currency trader gazing into a computer screen make a fortune while our exporters, and their workers who create jobs and wealth, go to the wall.
We believe it’s time for some leadership.
New Zealand needs New Zealand First more than ever.
You only have to take a long hard look at the situation we are in to see what happens when New Zealand First is out of Parliament.
There is nobody around looking after the interests of the people.
Make no mistake.
Pensions would be cut and the age of eligibility for national super would change if we were not around.
New Zealand First is your safeguard.
Some of the other political parties are stealing our ideas.
You might have noticed this.
We have also heard our speeches made in parliament by MPs from other political parties.
We don’t mind but these people better put their money where their mouths are.
And while on the subject of money – what about the money for the Crafar dairy farms?
Everybody from the prime minister down is keeping very quiet about that one.
Do you know why?
We do. They are going to sell the Crafar farms to a company owned by the communist government of China. The deal has been before the OIO for seven months now. Which means this office is either the laziest bunch in the whole land, or as alarming, that they are guilty of playing blatant politics. Withholding their decision until after the election.
Why hasn’t the OIO and its Minister been challenged on this week after week and exposed for the rubber stamp merchants they are?
It was incredible to see Michael Fay putting his hand up for a consortium interested in the farms.
It was interesting watching him pretending to be a white knight riding to the rescue.
The only problem was Mr Fay trying to make thirty million dollars out of the deal.
That’s the way these people operate.
He made enough money from buying and selling of the BNZ, Telecom and New Zealand Rail and other deals to be in a position to donate the Crafar farms to the people of New Zealand twice over.
After all, the people of New Zealand made him a very rich man. Not many of them realise this.
Times change but some essential facts remain.
We have spoken of policies that New Zealand needs if our country and our society is to again, as we once did, realise our true potential.
Of reforming the Reserve Bank Act, of serious export plans, of a stable currency and a long term saving strategy. These are desperately needed policies – now more than ever. With them we could again fund sound social policies and provide a great future for our youth in our land.
Without them our present demise will continue.
If you want a fair deal and a future for your families, there is only one party.
We gave you a Gold Card and we will look after you as we always have.
Ladies and Gentlemen. We must keep hope and optimism alive. We must prepare for our youth, a future of prosperity and fairness where the wealth is shared and no one is left out. Huge problems beset us now at home and abroad including the environment. But none are so oppressive that we can’t together solve.
That is the change that New Zealand yearns for now.
This election you do have a real choice, a real alternative, where your vote counts, where you can reject our economic and social malaise. We have seven weeks to work for change and in doing so bring about a change for the better.
How can you help? You have got a phone. Many of you use e-mail and some of you write letters.
Be bold and tell as many as you can why you’re voting for change.
Remember this when We Win – You Win. Party Vote New Zealand First.