Northland Needs Performance Not Promise

Good afternoon it’s a pleasure to return to Dargaville, the heart of the Northern Wairoa, with colleague the Hon Shane Jones, our candidate for Northland.

Northland as you know, had for decades become a ‘Cinderella’ in New Zealand politics and there is far too much evidence of that. 

It wasn’t always so, but for almost five decades from the seventies you have been largely forgotten.  And the lack and loss of infrastructure and much else in Dargaville and Northern Wairoa is the result.

Dargaville once had a decent hospital and a maternity unit in Te Kopuru, it had a thriving dairy factory, and railway lines North to Kaihu and East to Whangarei.

Our national airline even had a flight through here. 

Only in the last eight years has that neglect been turned around. 

That’s why we are here today in support of Shane Jones.  In this campaign there are candidates making all sorts of promises, but where is their record of performance and delivery?

There are all sorts of politicians but very few could be described as “can do” people.  That is, representatives who have the intelligence, experience, and commitment to get things done, right here, right now.  Representatives, who have the motivation to cut through the dross of Wellington’s bureaucracy and deliver project after project desperately needed in their electorates.

The Hon Shane Jones is one of those people, jealously maligned by some, but with a real record of delivering on his promises.

Shane led the Provincial Growth Fund from 2017 after New Zealand First negotiated a billion dollars every year to ensure our promises were backed up by financial investment, for the first time in decades, in the provinces around New Zealand.

The PGF has enabled capital projects all over Northland and here in the Northern Wairoa.  This includes a large water storage facility at Redhills, near Te Kopuru.

Stop banks here have been improved, a new dementia facility built in Maungaturoto, the Kauri Museum in Matakohe has been refurbished, along with historic buildings and a new bike trail in Kaihu.

And up and down the Kaipara, wharves and jetties have been renewed in our plans, including Dargaville, which means a revived prospect for tourism on the Northern Wairoa River.

Shane Jones and New Zealand First has delivered, and with your support we will go on doing.  We have already identified that Northland needs a major energy boost.  And our policy is to dedicate a sum of $100 million to increase the Northern Grid capacity to ensure fresh investments in solar, wind and geothermal can proceed.

Of particular importance to Dargaville is our commitment to work with your local Council to develop a much-needed local aerodrome.  Such facilities are vital in times of volatile weather, and Northland roads being frequently closed means we need connectivity in times of civil defence emergency – that is critical.

No politician in the last fifty years can claim to have done as much for Northland as Shane Jones has done.  But that is only the beginning and roading and bridge infrastructure all-round the North has to be addressed. 

Dargaville and the Northern Wairoa is well known to New Zealand First, having attended Dargaville High School, travelling each day from the largest supplier to the Northern Wairoa Dairy Factory, we milked cows in the morning and at night, captained the First Fifteen, played for Northern Wairoa Juniors, before heading to the ‘big smoke’ to get further education.  But we have never forgotten where we came from. 

No doubt you want to hear what we can all do for the communities in which you live.  However, you will have observed the recent numerous obsessions coming out of Wellington, focusing on policies that Labour never campaigned on, were never in their manifesto, and for which they have no mandate. 

The examples are numerous. Just this week it was revealed that the new draft school curriculum won’t include physics, chemistry, or biology.  It is an astonishing exposure of just how out of touch and dangerously moronic these sociology department pen pushers have become.

It is a clear push for the inclusion of gender, sexual, and social ideology in our curriculum being prioritised over fundamental reading, writing, maths, and basic sciences.

This is indoctrination not education.

Daily there are alarming reports of violent thugs committing crimes, ram raids, assaults, and thefts.  And this week the Minister of Police, in an interview on the facts of an increase in violent crime and retail crime - she said she couldn’t explain it and didn’t know why.

Recently there was a standoff at the Auckland Youth Justice Facility for the second time – where armed teens escaped and were on the roof, after a week earlier being bribed down with KFC for doing the same thing.

And when a business owner with some helpers made a citizens arrest on a thief, called the police to be told ‘let him go’ – as they were busy doing other things. 

Labour have made it clear that the law-and-order strategy they are committing to is the same strategy they have had over the past few years that has created our country’s current state of lawlessness – empty the prisons, put offenders first, and put the community and victims last.

While crime soars Labour clings on to a reduction in prison numbers as being a ‘measurement of success’.

New Zealanders can see the outcome of Labour’s approach is a failure. The social costs have been devastating to small businesses, communities, and law-abiding kiwis who no longer feel safe on our streets.

Sadly, the National Party’s ‘tough on crime’ policy announcement is nothing of the sort. It is just the continuation of beating around the bush when it comes to courts enforcing proper sentences for criminals.

National’s new policy of limiting reductions of sentences to a maximum of 40% is an admission that they are happy with courts delivering just 60% of the intent of the original law. If the courts are discounting sentences too much now, this is just giving them a new ‘go-to’ default sentencing term. How is this being ‘tough on crime’?

The Courts are there to enforce the intention of the laws of parliament on behalf of the people of our country – not the other way around.

New Zealanders want to feel safe and protected and see offenders off our streets, out of our community, and held to account.

Labour’s current ‘hug and mug of milo’ approach has created this mess and National’s lip-service to a ‘tough on crime’ approach doesn’t nearly go far enough.

We should be enforcing not diluting the law.

The present crime stats are undeniable:

  • Total crime is up 33%,
  • Violent offending is up 42%,
  • Sexual offending is up 16%,
  • Theft offences are up 49%,
  • Ram Raids, mostly committed by youth, were up 465% last year.

Dargaville used to be a safe place to grow up in. But even here people have worrying concerns about their safety and security.

Just two weeks ago the latest report on Te Whatu Ora, that’s the new name for the Health System, was withheld because of the massive failures that report would reveal.  Essential services in health are being decided on the basis of race.  Our medical professionals are put in this position by the government and it’s a disgrace. 

There has never been a government as dictatorial and arrogant as this one has become since 2020.  Anyone who questions their handling of Covid is the subject of derision and gas lighting.

Worse still, people with legitimate reasons to not wish to be vaccinated, have been arbitrarily mandated out of work and their careers.  It’s the reason they have delayed the Covid inquiry until after the election. Because any inquiry will highlight the social and financial costs of their decisions on so many people’s lives, and the blighting of so much business and employment.  And the misery of people not even being able to say farewell to their loved ones – because the Prime Minister and her inner cabal ‘knew best’ claiming they were the ‘podium of truth’. 

If you go to the Labour Party’s website, they claim “Labour is making sure every child can get a great education and more kiwis can access more training and study.”

Now education is what civilized societies are built on.  During the dark ages there was a dumbing down of the people.  And today the Taliban dumbs down woman by denying them education.  And in 2023, Labour is dumbing down this generation.

Did you know there are over 60,000 truants – that is children who don’t go to school each week?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if children miss out on a week of school, followed by weeks of absenteeism, year on year, they rapidly get left behind.  Their chances of making a success out of life are then minimal and there is every likelihood of dependency on government handouts.

What happened to ‘You Learn, You Earn’?

That’s why in New Zealand First policy we will roll out a plan to ensure that attendance, compulsory since 1877, is enforced.

Labour’s website says “we’ve delivered $88 million to make schools a place where all young people want to be, with a focus on increased support for students and improved attendance.”

And further, “we have also worked with teachers, parents, and experts to develop strategies to improve learning across areas like maths and literacy over the next five years.”

As mentioned earlier, truancy data shows that Labour is simply lying. 

Every week there is a new scandal or disaster coming out of central government – with Ministers going down like flies.

And there are huge concerns for mental health in this country, and this is what Labour claims today “we were the first government to take mental health seriously.  We have already made the biggest ever investment to lay the foundation for a brand-new mental health and addiction system – and now, we are boosting support for intensive mental health services and rolling out more mental wellbeing support for children.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sick joke.  Labour allocated $1.9 billion to mental health and ended up with just four extra beds.

In this issue, Dargaville is no exception, nor for that matter Kaikohe or Whangarei and the rest of small-town Northland.  While Labour fiddles our people are committing suicide at an alarming rate of ten people every week – or 538 every year.

Meanwhile, Labour’s target here is zero suicides.   

Co-Government, How Did We Get It?

  • Co-Government on the Kaipara

Today we are in Dargaville to reveal Labour’s secret plans for co-government of the Kaipara Harbour.  Its in a consultation document, leaked from the Auckland Council, which outlines Labour’s secret plans. 

It says the “Minister will likely update Cabinet and seek certain decisions before the election…”

They have not directly consulted or engaged with you, the Kaipara, or the District.  It’s happening without any democratic mandate and includes a proposal stretching 12km out to sea on the West Coast.

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.

That’s why this party is called New Zealand First. 

You have all heard of the Three Waters, now Ten Waters, which will see your water being 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’. Like you don’t? 

How can any of this be fair?

And now they are forcing all departments, and every quasi-governmental group, into complying with their version of Treaty of Waitangi revisionism. 

  • They are changing local government with Māori Wards.
  • Setting up a Māori Health Authority with veto rights over the health system.
  • Giving Māori control over all aspects of water.
  • Replacing English names whether appropriate or not.
  • Changing our country’s name.
  • Re-naming all government departments.
  • Giving the Waitangi Tribunal superior legal status to parliament.
  • Want the compulsory teaching of Māori to year ten.
  • Want the primary school curriculum to be 25% Māori in three years time.
  • Want Māori control of the DOC estate.
  • And much, much, more – which they are secretly working on.

These 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 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.
  • 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 today’s elite power-hungry Māori and their cultural fellow travelers deny history and fact.
  • 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.  Under their description of ‘co-government’ pre 1840 Māori were constantly at war.

And every ordinary Māori knows it.  And there’s the rub.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is already devastating to so many New Zealanders. And it’s getting worse.  Watch as food prices keep going up.  Rates, insurance, and energy prices keep going up.  And high interest rates stay up.   Labour’s inquiry will do nothing about that.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is a critical time in our country’s history. 

If we don’t get the political outcome right the economic and social outcome will keep being wrong. 

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.

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.

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. 

It’s with that in mind that I ask you to get ready, to make a commitment today, right here right now, to be unwavering in our work to save our country.

If you do, the future is certain.

Democracy will prevail.

But it is ‘Now or Never’.

We oppose co-governance.

We oppose their three waters take over.

We oppose our country’s name being changed.

We oppose separatism in policy and in law.

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, not being mandated in to being a second class citizen, and losing their jobs, careers, or their right to make a living.

We support the right of New Zealanders to disagree with government policy and not be punished for it.

And we are never going to work in Parliament with any political party whose policies threaten these fundamental rights.

We are asking for your Party Vote, and with it, together, we will all win.