Speech – New Zealand First Party
Winston Peters Speech: Deloitte-Business NZ Election Conference: In the 2011 election campaign NZ First will offer a real alternative to the cost-cutting free-market nostrums of National and the free-spending fantasies of Labour.Rt. Hon Winston Peters Leader NZ First
Address: Deloitte-Business NZ Election Conference
Date: October 31 2011
Time: 11.30 am
Venue: Hotel Amora, 170 Wakefield St, Wellington
“What really is the agenda here?”
This is the last of the Party Leaders addresses today.
New Zealand First has consistently advocated business friendly polices that: support and encourage:
· the manufacturing base – particularly exporters
· the savings to provide capital for business investment
· a currency policy serving our economic interests
· keeping businesses in New Zealand ownership
· a new fair tax system, understandable, and unavoidable and everybody paying their tax
In the 2011 election campaign NZ First will offer a real alternative to the cost-cutting free-market nostrums of National and the free-spending fantasies of Labour.
Both of those approaches are now obsolete and irrelevant. The world has changed.
We will always support the business sector when it works in the national interest but we are not giving a blank cheque.
Let me be blunt.
Corporate business is seen by many New Zealanders as part of the problem.
With good reason ordinary people are mistrustful of the notion that the interests of big business and their interests are the same.
At some point in our recent history the interests of most New Zealanders and corporate business – particularly ‘big business’ have separated.
We have to distinguish the world of corporate business from the myriad of small to medium businesses that underpin our economy.
The producers, manufacturers, plumbers, the small retailers and the sole traders and professionals make up the bulk of the private sector.
It is these smaller enterprises who actually underpin our economy – and these are people who do not have an open door to Ministerial offices and influence.
One consequence of globalization over the past couple of decades is that the benefits and the costs of global integration have fallen very unequally
So it is hardly surprising that internationally CAPITALISM has become a dirty word.
Capitalism has lost integrity – a sense of social conscience
What do ordinary Kiwis see happening in the world of big business?
They see outrageous pay and perks for a handful at the top who can effectively set their own salaries.
There are chief executives and senior managers in the corporate sector who have given a whole new meaning to the terms greed and avarice.
Somehow the pay and prestige for those at the top seems to be immune from actual performance. A new Greedocracy devoid of redeeming features
Many people also despise a corporate sector that’s quick to take profits but when things go bad ducks for cover or tries to socialise losses with taxpayer bail outs.
The South Canterbury Finance debacle costing taxpayers $1 Billion is the latest classic
Some business leaders and their lobbyists are addicted to chanting meaningless mantra’s like ‘market forces’ but in many sectors there is actually very little real competition.
And there is a view abroad in this land that if you privatise a state asset it will become more efficient. That efficiency is everything, and ownership is nothing.
Efficiency ? – have we overlooked or been struck down with amnesia on our privatisation experiences
a.. Air New Zealand b.. New Zealand Rail c.. Contact Energy d.. Telecom e.. Bank of New Zealand These became monuments to egregious, self serving exploitation.
The BNZ – is a stark example that corporate accountability won’t happen if you sell a sizeable share in a state asset
a.. So was Air NZ b.. Remember the directors fees row in Contact Energy? c.. NZ Rail – is still an enduring scandal Telecom – was raped by US investors who sold down and then cleared off. Every New Zealand business and consumer has been profit gouged for twenty one years. People with bones in their noses in the Highlands of PNG have cell phones and charges 70 percent lower than our costs.
To put it plainly, many New Zealanders see large corporates as looters .
But as the ads say wait – there’s more.
Look at the State Owned Energy Enterprises. At costs marginally above 6% and returns to 17%, there is no economic case for these Energy SOE sales. So why do it?
In February John Key said “to pay down debt” Now he says “to pay for hospitals and schools”. Which is it? What do you think?
Some people are either
1.. Memory struck 2.. Naïve bordering on stupid or 3.. Care not a damn for their country 4.. One, two or all of the above
What about our currency scandal?
Why do we let speculators, gamblers and the wheeler dealers use our foreign exchange system like a big TAB?
Why not take these leeches off our landscape and peg our currency to our main trading partners. Give the exporters in the engine room a fair go.
And another point – big business is quick to demand loyalty and a scrimping lifestyle from its workers but at the drop of a hat it’s off to China where the communists keep millions of workers, in what many of you socially concede, is one step above slavery.
Of course, business does not have the primary responsibility for macro economic policy such as employment.
But the increasingly bleak outlook for our workforce – especially the young and unskilled – has dire consequences for our society
Does anyone here remember Interlock Industries in Miramar? – or Bridgestone Tires in the Hutt Valley? or any others in the long litany of lost enterprises?
My party, NZ First, is not resigned to the view that all our manufacturing must shift to Asia on the grounds that production is no longer “commercially viable” at home.
That philosophy means that nothing in this country is “commercially viable”.
And where if applied across the board would you be.
As you know we are also sceptical about so called free trade agreements.
Australia’s trade growth with China far exceeds ours. We have a Free Trade Agreement with China. Australia doesn’t. So now what?
What really is the agenda here.
New Zealand First’s position is clear – we will back New Zealand business to the hilt – when it works for New Zealand.