Good afternoon and thank you for the chance to speak with you today.
We meet here today at the centre of the Otago Province – a lifeline to New Zealand particularly in the critical economic circumstances of Covid -19 three years ago. In that year, when dealing with a pandemic we knew so little about, it was provinces like Otago that kept our economy going.
That was the same year that we revived the Hillside Railway Workshops and committed to building an up-to-date, new, comprehensive hospital here – not the ‘nickel and dime’ changes that Labour is promising you now. And by the way, it was New Zealand First that kept Invermay open. That funded the Centre of Digital Excellence here in Dunedin – which kick started the burgeoning IT and computer gaming industries.
It was New Zealand First that funded the SOREC (Southland-Otago Regional Engineering Collective) to support local manufacturing. It was New Zealand First that saved the Telford Agricultural Training Facility.
In just on two months time, the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail Extension, and the Balclutha Community Hub will be opening – which New Zealand First found the funding for.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a list of just some of the achievements New Zealand First has delivered in this region.
And remember which Party it was that gave free doctors visits for under 14-year-olds, and the Party that has done more for our seniors than all the other parties put together.
Just remember in this election Henry Ford’s words of caution when you’re listening to other party’s promises – “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”.
This election is about past performance not future promises.
Three years later, much has changed, and nearly all for the worse. New Zealand is in an economic recession, and we are spending far more than we are earning – about one billion more every week than before the arrival of Covid, and taxation is up 54% with as you can see, precious little to show for it.
The Health System is in a mess, the Education System is in a crisis, enrollments in your university are down dramatically, and we are covering up an exit of our mainly young people to Australia with a mindless mass immigration programme to bring one hundred thousand to New Zealand this year.
This exit of our mainly young from our country means that we are not ‘punching above our weight’, quite the contrary. It means that sadly many of our young see a better future somewhere else in the world. These young people are already casting their vote in this election, but they are voting with their feet and going to countries like Australia where their prospects are 35% better off than here in New Zealand.
What You Have a Right to Expect in an Election Campaign
You have a right in this election campaign to hear policies that will work, not more blind mindless ideology that has been the cause of so much of our demise since 1984.
You have the right to hear how we are going to fix up our health system, with the doctors, nurses, and medical specialists, so that waiting lists can be cut back dramatically.
You have a right to hear how we will prioritise education so that teachers return to the classrooms and are not constantly on strike – upsetting to so many students and their families. In health and education, much more expenditure is required to level us up with the world’s best – a status we once held for decades.
And if you’re asking yourself where the money is going to come from then there are some obvious answers. Why did we hire more than 15,000 more public servants in the last few years? Wouldn’t that money have been better spent on health and education?
And why do we have so many people in central government public relations, all focused on putting the best spin on failed government policies? If these policies were working you would know without the propaganda and spin, which now passes for government press releases.
Previous Prime Ministers employed five in their office. Today they have got sixty-five, overseeing ministers and their staff’s performance, when if they had picked the right people in the first place in those ministries, they wouldn’t need this wasteful oversight.
And speaking of education, so critical to any modern economy, why have we so many disgruntled teachers? The answer is that successive governments have all extolled the virtues of education on one hand and taken away the funding to make it work on the other.
Teachers need to have roles that have been soundly evaluated and then paid fair salaries in line with other professions. For a hundred years, primary school teachers were paid on, not their qualifications, but the age of the pupils in front of them. In one fell swoop New Zealand First changed all of that when we brought in Pay Parity for Primary School Teachers. But much more needs to be done in the new IT world where trained flexible minds are critical.
The present truancy in schools is a tragic waste of young lives and parental aspirations, and unless it is addressed as a crisis, right here, right now, we cannot restore our place at the top of the first world. Expenditure here, like in health, is not a ‘nice to do’, but a ‘must do’. And the sooner this country focusses on critical areas of under expenditure, and deals to wasteful expenditure, the sooner we will start balancing the nation’s books.
In so many areas, the present government is failing. Read the letters to the papers and listen to the talk back shows, they are a litany of complaint, and a mass majority of New Zealanders now feel that. This despite vain boasts that we are ‘doing better than other countries’.
We used to do better than nearly any other country, and we can do so again, but not with so many politicians with such little understanding of how business works, and with such little empathy for working men and women.
If you doubt that, fifteen months ago, Labour promised a Groceries Commissioner within three months. Fifteen months later they are still advertising for one.
In this pamphlet, back in 2020, Labour promised that they were “forcing competition on supermarkets to make sure you’re paying a fair price for your weekly shop.” And that as part of “the next stages of our plan” “we will continue working to make sure you pay a fair price at the till”. It was only this week that they announced an inquiry into supermarket prices.
And this inquiry will be as useless as the restricted terms Banking Inquiry. Both initiatives are so late in the piece, designed to deceive you into making you believe they are doing something.
The cost of living is devastating so many New Zealanders. As an aside, many visitors to New Zealand are shocked at our cost of living. And an inquiry will do nothing about it. If you doubt that, what’s happening to fuel prices?
In this campaign, you’re hearing parties talking of massively increasing taxation with not a word as to how they will stop wasting taxpayers’ money. Light rail in Auckland is a good example. It came before Cabinet five years ago with a projected cost of $1.8 billion, which was simply laughable. It then went to $8 billion, $14-16 billion, and now has past $29 billion. It is still on Labour’s books and is a gross waste of money.
Yesterday it emerged that the government’s recent housing programme is way below target completions. All this shows is that you have got Ministers who don’t know what they are doing.
And this includes Labour and Green Party members who want to introduce a wealth tax where homeowners will be paying $25,000 a year on assessed capital gains, whether their house has been sold or not.
There are a lot of people in this room, who are not wealthy, who will simply go broke with this tax.
Law and Order
The first responsibility of any politician is the security and safety of their country’s citizens. Today in our big cities and around the provinces many kiwis simply don’t feel safe. There are streets in some cities and towns where it is simply dangerous to walk down, in the middle of the day let alone at night.
And court case after court case has been concerned about the offender not the victim. In fact, there are horrible cases where people have been beaten senseless and damaged for life, and the offender has got nine months home detention. Where is the justice and accountability in that?
Offending will not stop at the current levels until it is faced with the serious intention and resource from central government, that crime will be punished. We mean to end the mindless excuses blaming everything on colonisation, racism, poverty, bad upbringings, and creating a culture of offenders being the ‘victims of society’. We are going to focus on bringing justice for the real victims of crime.
The law needs to be enforced by police and backed up by courts with sentences that will send these offenders a message – we are not going to put up with it anymore. And New Zealand First is going to designate all gangs as terrorist organisations under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2022.
If Queensland and Western Australia can do this, why can’t we? And let’s not give any credence to the argument that somehow this is against their ‘constitutional rights’. We say the rights of law-abiding citizens come first. And to have ‘constitutional rights’ there must be ‘constitutional obligations’, and these gang members are flouting our laws right in front of the police. They are running amok and are at the centre of the drug dealing that is so destructive to our social fabric. This cannot go on any longer.
New Zealand First is going to make it clear to the gangs that they have no future in their present membership. We are going to put them back to work, in the same way that we all have to. Receiving benefits comes with responsibilities, and where they will no longer take with one hand and ignore the law with the other. It is called a social contract.
The Rise of Racist Policies That You Were Never Warned About
In the last four years members of the Labour government have been secretly working on socially re-engineering our whole society. They justify this as arising from commitments to the United Nations that National and John Key made.
A previous Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, agreed with me back in 2007, that we would not sign up to a UN declaration that subverted the sovereignty of our law. Yet three years later, John Key signed up for that, gave an unelected Māori voice to the Auckland Super City, then abolished New Zealand First’s Foreshore and Seabed legislation in favour of their Marine and Coastal Areas Act – which now sees over six hundred claims for New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed. And the taxpayer is contributing up to $300,000 for each claim.
Ladies and gentlemen, the mass majority of Māori have never made such a demand.
These changes are a result of the Māori wing of the Labour Party being in a race to bottom with the Māori Party.
The mass majority of Māori are by Labour’s own definition, on the general roll with the rest of us. Despite spending millions of dollars in the latest enrollment process, ordinary Māori have voted with their feet, and want to be part of a single franchise with the 95% of remaining New Zealanders.
Co-Government, How Did We Get It?
This week in parliament, the Three Waters, now Ten Waters, legislation had its first reading. What was alarming to those who watched the parliamentary debate, was the lack of understanding of what is being prospected here, and the lack of concern and passion being shown in defense of over 95% of this country’s population.
All aspects of water will now be controlled by ten bodies, fifty percent of whom must be local unelected Māori, but requiring a 75% decision proviso, which means local unelected Māori can veto any and every proposal.
Chris Hipkins said it is ‘not co-governance and never has been’. The Minister in charge Kieran McAnulty says it is, defended it, and said ‘Māori have a special interest in water’ – and so the rest of us don’t?
So here in the South Island where so many Māori and not Ngai Tahu, they nevertheless will be lumped in with the rest of the population and lose ownership of water utilities which you and your ancestors all built and paid for. If you are a Labour, Green, or Māori Party voter tell us how can this possibly be fair?
These secret policies were prepared by Labour in secret. There is no historic justification for them, which is why they have set out to re-write and reconstruct history.
To get to where these politicians are taking us, they deal in shibboleths and lies, including these four claims:
- That the arrival of Europeans ruined the peaceful paradise of Māori,
- That the Treaty of Waitangi saw Māori begin a partnership with Queen Victoria,
- That the Treaty of Waitangi was not about Māori ceding sovereignty,
- That the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 meant Māori ‘self-government’
Stop for a moment and ask yourself, whether you’re Māori or non-Māori, can any of those four statements be remotely true?
It puts one in mind of the malignant statement – “if you’re going to tell a lie, make sure it’s a big one, because its more likely to be believed.”
- Every Iwi history of the inter-tribal wars makes the ‘Māori Garden of Eden’ a complete myth.
- If no one in Britain or the UK or the whole British Empire was in a partnership with the Crown on the 5th of February 1840, then how could it be constitutionally true that Māori were, two days later?
- The fact is Māori ceded sovereignty to the Crown when they signed the Treaty. The Chiefs back then said so, as did many leading Māori later, including Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Maui Pomare, and Sir Peter Buck. Only todays elite power-hungry Māori and their cultural fellow travelers seek to deny history and facts and arrogantly argue otherwise.
- All Māori Iwi pre-1840 and well after, were under the control of their ‘Tino Rangatiratanga’. That means their Chief’s word was gospel. If there was back then co-government, which Chief’s word, if different, was gospel?
The elite’s argument does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny. Under their own description of ‘co-government’ pre 1840 then Māori were constantly at war.
And every honest Māori knows it. And there’s the rub.
New Zealand’s Only Hope for a Prosperous Future
New Zealand’s only hope for a prosperous future is first to have the right policies, which we once did when we were a world leader and to face the world as one country, one people, with one law applying to all, and where every vote is of the same value.
We are not a racist country. Look at the number of people we have taken in from abroad, of all manner of races and creeds, coming thousands of kilometers to the world’s most welcoming country. That’s all the evidence one needs to know that people who argue otherwise are simply traducing and trashing our nation. Let’s all of us make a stand right here right now, to stop them from succeeding.
This election is a call to arms, to get on the electoral roll, and to get every like-minded person to vote. Remember under MMP you have two votes. One for a local electorate political Party candidate, the other for the political Party of your choice; the Party Vote.
New Zealand is at an inflection point and a change in government is critical. That is of course that the change must be for a much better government and not just ‘it’s our turn now’.
This is an election where voters want to know who can best help them through the tough times ahead.
And one thing that the last three years have proven, is that certainty, common sense, and experience, is critical to good government. On their own the Labour Party has proven to be an utter mess. With Ministers going down like proverbial flies.
New Zealand First is a Party born of ordinary New Zealanders. We understand the economic challenges facing New Zealanders and we don’t have extremist policies on either side of the divide that have never worked in the history of any country.
Ladies and gentlemen, voters don’t believe we can spend our way out of our current crisis. They know we have to earn our way out of it.
In August 2020, I said this “the worst prospect for you is a Red/Green government, or Labour governing alone. The result in our view, given the impractically of so many ideas being floated now, will still be being paid for by your grandchildren.” Those words almost three years ago, just before the last election, have sadly proven to be right.
New Zealand First is the insurance voters need to avoid an ideological lurch in either direction.
We are a Party that has for the past 30 years, since our formation, put New Zealanders First. Certainty, Common Sense, and Experience is desperately needed in New Zealand now, and even more so after this coming election.
We are asking for your Party Vote, and with it, together, we will all win.
Rt Hon Winston Peters
Dunedin Town Hall, Fullwood Room, 1 Harrop Street Dunedin
1pm, 25th June 2023