Good afternoon and thank you for coming out today in the numbers that you have.
And thanks to our local team who have put this meeting together.
We’re meeting at the Corinthian Convention Centre that used to be the Workingmen’s Club. The choice of the word Corinthian instead of Workingmen’s was indeed insightful. As you know Corinthians were the recipients of letters from the Apostle Paul who having established the early church there was alarmed at how it was going off the rails. He thought to remind them that all people are to be regarded as ‘servants’ and ‘stewards’.
That is a message that modern politicians should remember, and indeed journalists and the media. That we’re all servants and that our masters are the people – which presumably is why we are holding an election in just on two months time.
And for voters in the deep south, and indeed across the country, to actively take part in this election they desperately need to be given the facts. Be given ‘both sides of the story’, as Phil Collins once sang, and not editorialising ‘opinions’ from reporters, not of what of politicians have said, but their view of what has been said - all the time denying voters the truth so that they can be the judge.
That is the essence of democracy, Abraham Lincoln’s definition, ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’. To paraphrase what American Ambassador to the United Nations, Daniel Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts”. For democracy to exist voters are entitled to hear and establish for themselves what they believe the facts are – not be victims like school children from ‘a media on high’ serving up only the ‘media’s facts’.
In the Sunday Star Times today, for the second time in less than a month there is a full-scale attack on New Zealand First.
Notice they have never printed one word of what I have said in this campaign but think a full-scale underhand attack and a scathing editorial is acceptable journalism.
They are wanting to tell you what the truth is, and what you should think, and how you should think.
This from a bunch who took a media bribe from Labour of $55million, and they want to preach principles to us.
Just remember, it is not me who they are attacking, it is you.
It puts me in the mind of a famous MP from down here called Norman Jones. In replying to a belligerent constituent he wrote this “I am sitting in the smallest room in my house, your letter is in front of me, it will soon be behind me, yours sincerely” – and so it is for this rag of a newspaper.
Never has this country needed more a high-quality media acting responsibly, giving you the facts, undiluted political policy and views, and leaving it up to you to decide. That is your right, and without it, democracy becomes but a shallow pretence.
Invercargill is a city that owes its existence to an amazing wealth creating export province, although if you look at the wealth concentrations in our country, an immediate economic distortion, or deliberate anomaly, is obvious. Southland is the biggest export per person province in New Zealand, which means that the many businesses and workers here are doing more than any other province to prop up our economy.
But you’re not being rewarded for it. In the words of Oscar Wilde, the bureaucracy of Wellington continues to ‘ask without grace and accept without gratitude’. And so it is that you’re at the very top end of wealth earning and in the bottom half of wealth receiving. And that much of what you have been building here, not just in your interests but in the national interest, is under threat or facing huge obstacles going forward.
Tiwai Point Aluminium
No better example of this is Tiwai Point and it contrasts sadly with other smart, small population economies. Iceland has a population of 350,000, and yet their per person income is over US$20,000 more than New Zealand’s.
Iceland is an island nation, highly volcanic, with much of its landscape looking like some other planet. And yet they have used their resources to the max, adding value wherever they can, with the most added value fishing industry in the world, has massive over employment, that is not enough Icelanders to do the work, and yet they are a world leader. Remember, so were we once - when experienced, practical, common-sense politicians from different political parties and not ideological extremists were in control in Wellington.
Maybe it is that in very cold climates decision makers most often get it right. In cold climates every citizen knows that wrong decisions come at a huge cost, even death. Which probably explains Southland’s success too.
Iceland’s biggest export is aluminium structured the same way as here in Southland. Hydro and geothermal power is their aluminium production energy, and decades ago a visionary New Zealand government decided to build a hydro plant at Manapouri in the deep south, believing that it would attract great profit to Southland and New Zealand.
Tiwai Point aluminium was the result. And thousands of workers here are responsible for producing the highest quality and valued aluminium in the world. So why is this industry so critical to Southland and New Zealand threatened with closure. And what you decide to do about that in this election, if you don’t prevail and restore honesty and common-sense to Southland’s future will have disastrous effects here and across our country.
We’ve all got our political preferences, but political faith and trust is something with respect you can no longer afford. The alarm bells should be resounding here, and how many prior warnings do we need before we stand up, take notice, and do something.
New Zealand once had three big industries. Tiwai Point Aluminium, New Zealand Steel at Glenbrook, and Marsden Point Refinery in Northland. Marsden Point Refinery has been shut down without any consultation with the New Zealand people or any questioning from any other political party. We asked the Marsden Point management before the 2020 election what their plans were. From their evasiveness, and decision straight after the last election, it was clear that this Australian owned operation always intended going Ned Kelly on us, and the post 2020 Labour government allowed them to do it.
Allowed a critical large industry in this country, the only one capable of supplying New Zealand with motor fuel in a supply crisis, to pour concrete or drill holes into the refinery pipes to deliberately sabotage our national interest.
Marsden Point’s strategic significance was its capability to mitigate the risk of fuel supply disruption in two ways:
- It allowed access to more than a hundred separate sources of crude from around the world, as against about 10 export refineries New Zealand is now reliant on for finished fuel products, and critically
- It allowed New Zealand crude to be processed at Marsden Point in the event of tanker disruption.
Today if our fuel supply is disrupted, we can’t even supply essential industries like hospitals, ambulances, fire services, and police to carry out their critical work until full fuel supply is restored. We have been put in a most precarious position, without warning, and by an ideology-driven arrogance where ordinary New Zealander’s needs don’t matter.
Our fuel supply stocks are meagre. European nations hold three months supply of fuel stocks. The US holds three years supply of crude. Here in New Zealand, we are seriously exposed, at the end of long supply lines and without an international pipeline as an alternative to shipping tankers. Our aviation sector is under great threat. And if our fuel stocks run out the cost will be hundreds of millions a day.
That wanton arrogant decision by Labour alone, not just the numerous screw ups since 2020, should see them sacked from government at this election. They have been virtue signalling at enormous cost to New Zealand. On the 24th of July in 2020 in a speech I made right here, I warned of this prospect of disaster, not just for Marsden Point, but Tiwai Point as well.
Three years ago, the Labour Party tried to offer a lousy one hundred million dollars for the Aluminium smelter to shut down.
Over the years Tiwai Smelter has contributed $450 million annually to Southland and to New Zealand and 2600 families depend upon it.
Over the years the smelter has been subject of straight-out political deceit which politicians have messaged to the Wellington media. That lie is that the smelter’s electricity has been subsidised. That statement is a straight lie, so why do we keep on hearing it?
The Smelter uses 2% of Transpower’s network but pays 8% of its costs. That has been $50million each year. The founding legislation for this electricity supply to the smelter sets out the actual costs of supply of electricity plus a 10% margin. That law was written in 1963. But they never show that law to you because it exposes the bovine scatology they have been speaking.
As long ago as 1971 the smelter has been one of this country’s most successful developments, with the estimated annual return to New Zealand, as net economic benefit, being 10%.
Before the smelter began the government was so desperate for something like Camalco to start, that it made the decision to provide the power, even before Camalco made the commitment to build.
The real economics was that the company would take a large quantity of the electricity on a ‘take or pay’ basis, every minute, for 24 hours, every day. Over a short span from Manapouri at the very high end of the efficient voltage of 220,000 volts and the cost, plus power price, was both fair and economically smart for New Zealand.
Sadly in 1977, Prime Minister Muldoon ratcheted up an extortionate price increase of 350% on the company and threatened legislation to break the original agreement.
Ever since the smelter has been maliciously portrayed as the bogie man, an easy target where truth and facts don’t matter.
My Party is here today to oppose any idea of closure and to promise that if we have a say in government, then we commit to a 20-year agreement with a 10-year review, with a fair electricity cost based on the cost of supply and a respectable margin. And what’s a respectable margin? Something like the original agreement of 10% when this great enterprise first started.
And we are going to ensure that New Zealand procurement, applies to our aluminium and not give preference to junk aluminium coming from offshore.
For example, why are we selling aluminium trailers with a two-year guarantee? Why should you buy trailers made with imported aluminium with a guarantee of only two years whilst your own aluminium is passed over?
Stewart Island Salmon Farm Rejection
In Opotiki, because of New Zealand First, there is a brand-new muscle processing factory, and they are constructing the biggest offshore muscle farm in the world. The Green Lipped Muscle is the only indigenous export we have of substance. It is an example of our need to invest in aquaculture, which should be one of our thriving industries, and not the subject of Wellington decision making based on planning laws which are simply an obstruction to development.
New Zealand is the size of the UK but with a population less than a tenth of the size. For our provinces to thrive they need every opportunity to expand their wealth creation and provide jobs for tens of thousands of New Zealanders. However, the Coastal Policy Statement of 2010, brought in by the National Party, makes it almost impossible and highly costly for us to make any progress with aquaculture.
Norway is a smart economy, transitioning from oil and gas exporting into salmon and offshore farming, and now produces over 50% of the world’s salmon. Except the highest priced salmon from aquaculture is grown in New Zealand.
Which instead of politicians applauding, sees salmon farm applications running into countless obstructions.
Recently, an independent panel, fast tracking a resource management application, declined resource consent to construct and operate an open ocean salmon farm off the Northeastern Coast of Stewart Island. The panel said that the salmon farm could improve employment and support the country’s recovery from Covid 19. They said they had declined the application with “a heavy heart”.
If Norway, as a smart economy can see the benefits, then why can’t New Zealand?
That is why I am announcing today that New Zealand First policy is, with protections, to exempt aquaculture from the 2010 Coastal Policy Statement – which has been stopping progress and development of a much-needed aquaculture industry.
The salmon farm off Stewart Island will proceed and create jobs and wealth for the region and New Zealand.
Farming and Co-Governance
Just last week a ‘National Policy Statement’ (NPS) for indigenous biodiversity, took legal effect on August 7th. Vague and open to interpretation it institutes co-governance and Tangata Whenua consensus decision making into environmental law. This major shift in our law threatens our primary sector.
Weighing the trade-offs and cost benefit analysis between biodiversity, economic development, job training, and growth are important discussions when considering resource management and land use.
The NPS is a major setback for all land-based industries including mining, and fails to give equal weighting to economic, ecological, social, and cultural factors.
It will undermine investment and hobble the ability for farmers to operate unless they get permission from local government. Regional towns and households will suffer, as environmental activists and ongoing litigation stall farming, mining, and overall efficiency.
New Zealand First policy is to give farmers back their flexibility, to adjust their activities, to maximise economic value. Frankly, most Māori want to develop the potential of their land to increase output and productivity too.
No one especially farmers, or for that matter Māori on the land, voted for Tangata Whenua co-governance in our Resource management act. After the next election, this National Policy Statement will be sent to the abattoirs.
2023 Key Issues
The critical issues for this election are our economy, our broken health system, our lack of law and order, our failing education system, and the cost of housing and rentals.
But if these five areas of crisis are not enough already, our very democracy is at risk from a rising tide of racism and separatism, that has given birth to secret social engineering that you were never warned about and most certainly never agreed to.
It is clear that a great majority of New Zealanders, including many Labour voters, don’t want more of the same. They are hard up against it, with rising costs everywhere, and no money left over after buying the essentials.
This majority rightfully expect to have a voice, yet Wellington is not listening. New Zealanders are sick of all the changing definitions of economic and personal income security, and a vacuous goal of ‘wellbeing’, whatever that means. They know that they are forgotten New Zealanders slogging it out in difficult jobs and they ask – “where is the promise, where is the hope, where is the commitment that if we work, save, and be good citizens then tomorrow will be better for us”.
The next government must have real answers for problems economic and social, and not some ideological experiment where you and our country are the guinea pigs. Please ask, when and where did their policies ever work?
New Zealand has not paid its way since 1972.
So, we must dramatically improve our national income and social performance. And again, become world leaders, as we once were.
To do that we must modernise our economy and again become wealth creators, maximising added value before exporting. Look at our ports and see logs in their most raw state being sent overseas where their added value will go to other economies and their workers and not our economy and our workers. New Zealand First is going to change that.
We must maximise IT to assist in this wealth creation and in doing so, restore our health system and our education system.
And we must bear in mind we cannot make the economic recovery we need without having a high wage economy – as we once did.
Our taxation policies are designed to assist businesses and workers and they will be announced soon in this campaign.
New Zealand First knows that for us to succeed economically and socially we must restore discipline to our nation – and that can only happen if, as a culture, we all accept that.
New Zealand First understands that our people are our “human capital” where expenditure is a necessary investment, not a wasteful cost.
No longer must the kiwi worker go on being the most forgotten.
We are going to fix our broken health system.
We are going to stop wasting money on woke pet political projects and spend it on specialist medical staff and cutting shameful waiting lists.
We are going to get rid of the failed Pharmac model and begin delivering first world pharmaceuticals, provide innovative lifesaving medicines quickly, and timely access to developed high-cost treatments for those patients who need them. We are going to more than double the pharmaceutical budget.
Fix Our Failing Education System
Where New Zealand was once a world leader in education, the latest Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study ranks Kiwi students last amongst all English-speaking countries and 24th of the OECD nations. It’s a similar story in Maths and Science.
No doubt you have hundreds of explanations of what other parties are going to do on education, but New Zealand First’s priority is to:
- Return to education and stop indoctrination,
- Enforce compulsory education and end the appalling truancy record, which if unchecked will bring about a tsunami of education al failure at a personal level, and a national level billions of wasted taxpayers dollars set aside for students who are not in the classroom,
- We are going to stop the social engineering sexual and gender indoctrination in schools – and get back to teaching the basics.
Law and Order
Ladies and gentlemen, the other parties are shouting ‘law and order’ but what’s their record? They have:
- Frozen police budgets,
- Closed countless police stations, many in the North, and
- Cut frontline police numbers,
- Pursed ‘catch and warn’ and ‘catch and release’ policies for criminals.
Only one Party, New Zealand First, has a serious record over the last three decades of investing in our police. We got a massive increase in frontline police numbers, not once but twice when we were in government. And so, on law and order one party has a record on which you can base your trust, and the others have failed promises which people will trust at their peril.
In this campaign New Zealand First will announce our housing policy. Because as you know, housing supply and costs have been a disaster. People are spending over 60% of their incomes just to secure accommodation.
Labour was in charge of housing, and promised 100,000 homes in ten years, yet still have 98,000 homes still to go.
Labour spent one million dollars a week in motel payments whilst quadrupling the number of people on the housing wait list.
Remember Labour inherited a housing crisis from national. Made numerous promises and failed to deliver on one.
Democracy and Separatism
The first New Zealand election was in 1854, Māori voting was added in 1867, and women voting came in 1893.
“Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people”. That means one person, one vote, and every vote of equal value.
Secretly before 2020 and after, the Labour, Greens, and Māori Party have launched a full-scale attack on the essence of democracy.
Ordinary Māori want safe affordable homes, ready access to health care, educational escalators for their young, and first world wages. That is what all ordinary New Zealanders want, and it’s those four policies that New Zealand First is committed to delivering on – no matter what race you are, what church you are, what gender you are.
To get to where these politicians are taking us, they deal in lies, including these four claims:
- That European arrival ruined the peaceful paradise of Māori,
- That the Treaty saw Māori begin a partnership with Queen Victoria,
- That the Treaty was not about Māori ceding sovereignty,
- That the Treaty 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?
- Every Iwi history of the inter-tribal wars makes the ‘Māori Garden of Eden’ a complete myth. Look at the local Māori history here.
- If no one in Britain or the UK or the whole British Empire was in 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. Yet today’s elite power-hungry Māori and their cultural fellow travelers deny history and fact (see Sir Apirana Ngata’s ‘Te Tiriti O Waitangi’ explanation 101 years ago in 1922).
- 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 the slightest scrutiny. And every ordinary Māori knows it.
Four Year Parliament
One of New Zealand’s problems is that unlike most democracies, our parliamentary term is too short. And New Zealand First believes it should be four years, not three.
However, that should not be the decision of political parties, but you the New Zealand voter.
Governments are hardly elected, when too much of the time is campaigning and not fixing up the country’s problems.
You’ve heard all of the other political parties saying how they are going to win this election. So let’s ask them to put their confidence where their mouth is, ask them all to agree right now, to a four year parliament - subject to a people’s referendum at this year’s election. So that you, not the politicians, make the decision.
A simple Bill can be submitted to parliament next week and pass all readings in one day.
That is New Zealand First’s proposal and one on which the New Zealand voters will get the final say. We are proposing a referendum in this year’s election for a four-year parliamentary term beginning in 2023.
Elections are expensive so it will save money and get better long-term outcomes for our country.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most critical election in our lifetime.
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 First is asking for your Party Vote.
But any change must be for a much better government and not just ‘it’s our turn now’. You’re entitled to ask them “your turn to do exactly what?”
And one thing that the last three years has proven is that certainty, common sense, and experience, is critical to good government. On their own the Labour Party has proven an utter mess.
And looking at the others ask yourself this question, “Is this their first rodeo?” Because for many it is. They have never been a Minister inside of Cabinet. They will need our certainty, our common sense, and our experience.
New Zealand First is the insurance voters need to avoid an ideological lurch in either direction.
We are a Party that has since our formation, put New Zealanders First.
It’s with that in mind that we ask you to get ready, to make a commitment today, right here right now, to save our country.
If you do, the future is certain.
Democracy will prevail.
But it is ‘Now or Never’.
We oppose racist co-government.
We oppose their Three Waters take over.
We oppose our country’s name being changed.
We oppose separatism in policy and in law.
We oppose this insidious woke agenda being driven by an elite cabal of social and ideological engineers.
We support policies based on need, not race.
We support the rule of law where everyone is equal before it.
We support the right of free speech - and that means we support the right of New Zealanders to say, ‘I disagree’ and not be mandated out of existence.
We support the right of New Zealanders to disagree with government policy and not be punished for it.
We have watched over the last three years Labour and its cohorts taking your country away from you.
We’ve got the polices, the grit, the experience, and the courage to stop them.
We are asking you to join us, Party Vote New Zealand First, and,
“Let’s Take Back Our Country”.
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