Good afternoon, thank you for the chance to speak with you today.
It is a real pleasure to return to Tauranga, the birthplace of the movement called New Zealand First.
You will all remember how Tauranga was once, a quaint seaside city, with metal roads across the Kaimais and North to Waihi, lacking in infrastructure, and behind Rotorua in the phone book.
Known, back then, as “$10 Tauranga” and “God’s waiting room”. Both were insults which in the decades following the 1984 snap election we set out to change. All around you today is evidence of that.
There is not one, but two bridges across the lower harbour, toll free. And new motorways to fill many letters in the alphabet. Tauranga and Mt Maunganui today are two of New Zealand’s fastest growing populations. And businesses and horticulture have been thriving, to name just a few.
The election coming is the most critical in our lifetime. This election will determine whether we turn this country around and return it to the very top of the world’s best performing economies, or we continue the decade-long slide down the OECD.
We can no longer pretend that merely by changing how we measure our economy we somehow are leaders in the world.
This country and its resources are gifts we have all inherited, but the real question is ‘what have we added to this gift, to uplift present generations, whilst preparing a better country for future New Zealanders?’
There are some who seek to defy the gravity of commonsense and claim that we are doing ‘better than most’. The tens of thousands of mainly young New Zealanders, voting with their feet, leaving New Zealand in search of a better future overseas, debunk those jingoistic claims.
It puts one in mind of famous Prime Minister Richard Seddon’s comment, in 1893, that “New Zealand is God’s own, but the Devil’s own mess”.
In a recent Herald article, there was this comment about our present financial and fiscal settings. It read “Weaker government accounts pose a problem – and not just for Labour”, and further “No time for bribes – the money is all gone.”
The Herald writer was saying that we are broke. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that ‘broke’ in this case should be referenced to political parties who are ‘broke of ideas’ on how to fix this country’s economy and uplift its society in all measurements that evidence dramatic economic and social improvement.
It really is alarming, when looking at today’s political settings, how few politicians, and ‘commentators’, understand how we went from being at the very front of the world to failing, inexorably in one direction, down.
New Zealand was once a leading economic and social performer, where political scientists from overseas tried to understand how we, tens of thousands of miles from our markets, the size of the UK but with a small population the size of Manchester, could be a world leader with every modern facility, and unemployment registering under thirty people.
We can and must become that country again. We need to modernise, using every new utility, the script that once made us great. Look at international examples of success. One common factor of those examples used to be what we did. In fact, one of the most spectacular examples of this economic success is a country that we used to assist in our foreign aid and military assistance.
Singapore, independent since 1965, the land area of Lake Taupo, has just roared past us, doing what we used to do. Except Singapore has only one natural resource, its people.
Export Power Houses
If you look around the world at small highly prosperous nations, they all have the one feature that New Zealand once excelled at. They are all “export power houses”.
Iceland, Norway, Finland, Singapore, indeed Ireland, have transformed, with small populations, their economies to become wealth creators, maximizing added value before exporting, maximizing IT to assist wealth creation, and educating their people to the max, whilst all having this feature – they are high wage economies, as we once were.
And they all have taxation policies that assist, not hinder, that outcome.
Many of you will be alarmed at how many of your children and grandchildren prospect their future overseas. And that has been happening for some time.
Our education system is in serious trouble with 60,000 truant pupils in any given day. New Zealand First’s policies intend to correct that. Not by dreaming up something new, but by implementing those same policies that took us to the top of the education world. And it begins by remembering that education in this country has been compulsory since 1877.
Practical politicians back then, few of whom went to University, nevertheless understood education’s importance in the way so many modern politicians don’t.
Taxpayers are paying for education whilst businesses, society, and workers, are suffering from truancy, and low performance standards.
To fix our economy, we have to first fix our education system, and workers incomes, and business profits. They go hand in hand.
The last thing that New Zealand can afford is to continue what we are doing now. Spending so much to educate ‘better qualified expatriates’ who leave at our great cost and eighteen years of taxpayer investment, to then benefit some foreign economy.
If we don’t pay our professional workforce competitive incomes, as we once did, then far too many will leave and are already doing so. And bringing in 100,000 immigrants this year, many with inferior skills to our people leaving, is not the solution.
But to do that we have to change business taxes to enable employers to compete internationally for highly trained workers.
Our country is not ‘broke’ in the conventional sense but is the victim of broke economic ideas that don’t work, while suffering from ideological extremism.
The way the other political parties are arguing in this campaign, our economy is broke. Already Finance Minister Grant Robinson is secretly reining back spending commitments in May’s budget, to try to improve the books, before Election Day.
Meanwhile, two parties lined up with Labour – Greens and Māori Party, have launched a full-scale assault on the wealthy, as though they will tax them before they too leave the country.
Across the political divide, are parties of the “right” with a variety of ‘Rogernomic and Ruthanomic’ policies which led to so much instability just a few short decades ago.
None of them seem to understand that the government has still got the money to spend on the right policies to bring about the right economic and social outcomes and take us back to the top of the first world.
But it’s never going to happen if the expenditure is on consumption and woke pet projects. Here today, gone tomorrow. Our expenditure has to focus on investments that make a return this year, next year, next decade, and decades forward.
And whilst we are at it, why has the government done so little about inflation? So much of our population struggling to meet normal costs.
Cost of Living
Many of you have friends overseas. It is alarming how many of these people tell us just how high our cost of living has become in comparison to where they live. And the government has literally done nothing about it. This week they appointed a ‘Groceries Commissioner’ twelve months after they promised to have one in place. This Commissioner will have no effect whatsoever. Why? Because he has no powers to do anything. This is a display of ‘faux concern’ by government to fool you into thinking they are doing something three months out from election.
In this campaign we will outline New Zealand First’s policies to bring real competition back to this country. Not pointless inquires, where the terms of reference, whether supermarkets or banking, mean that the ‘watchdog’ is toothless.
Law and Order
Daily there are alarming reports of violent thugs committing crimes, ram raids, assaults, and thefts. There have been over 400 ramraids in our country over just the past six months. That is more than two every day. And the Minister of Police couldn’t explain and didn’t know why violent and retail crime is happening. She conceded that it was “totally unacceptable”.
People are now starting to take matters into their own hands, as happened in the Horowhenua the other day, where a fleeing driver assaulted a police officer, and a group of around twenty-five citizens ‘arrested’ him and beat him up. This is the state of law and order in our country now – with no answers from the government.
Their policy is to empty the prisons and to give them a ‘hug and a mug of milo’. Do you think this is working?
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.
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.
Ladies and gentlemen be careful in this election. You have heard the other parties. Given their past record on policing and ‘catch and warn’ policy, not ‘catch and charge’, and their lack of investment in police resources, do you actually think they will do anything? Remember the ‘Crusher’? Well, they didn’t crush one car. They shut rural police stations everywhere and froze the police budget.
Only one party has a record of investing in our police – and you’re looking at it. Ask any police officer who got them the numbers.
We fear in this campaign, that this crisis in personal and community security, risks ending up as a cheap political slogan.
Law and order is not a slogan. Law and order is critical for our society and we want law and order back.
But, we cant just leave it to the police. The fact is in our country lawlessness derives from so many, including our courts, asserting “rights” instead of insisting on personal obligations, responsibilities, and duties. They go hand in hand. Yes people have individual rights, but they also have individual responsibilities. And until our politicians understand that, the rest is cheap political talk.
New Zealand First believes that we have to restore our country to what it once was – a disciplined society. That means our police enforcing the law, our courts delivering sentences that put victims and community safety first, not last – as is happening now.
That means that the government must have policies for people’s real needs - such as compulsory education, making housing, including public housing, affordable for ordinary families. Make health care available for people who need it, and getting people who have spent years on the dole back to work.
We want the government to stay out of people’s lives where they have no right to be in them, but act responsibly when investing, engaging, and implementing policies that benefit the people, communities, and the country.
The Courts are there to enforce the intention of the laws 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.
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.
Tauranga used to be a safe place. But even here people have worrying concerns about their safety and security.
Our Democracy Under Attack
As you know New Zealand began its democracy in 1854 and became the world’s broadest democracy in 1893 when women in New Zealand got the vote.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln “Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people”. That means one person, one vote, and every vote of equal value.
Our democracy is under attack by the introduction of policies never part of any governing party manifesto, introduced by stealth. The result is pure “Animal Farm” - where some animals are more equal than others.
George Orwell’s 1984 warning, almost forty years on in New Zealand, has become an insidious fact. Without any consultation with you, political parties have changed the democratic landscape to introduce policies that are undemocratic and elitist.
They have a plethora of reasons trying to justify these changes; from colonialism, ‘white-cis-men’ privilege, and a total rewrite of history where their fiction is painted as fact.
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.
The great majority of Māori are on the general roll voting with all others.
That’s why our party is called New Zealand First.
You have 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 Iwi Māori, but requiring a 75% decision proviso - which means Iwi Māori can veto any and every proposal.
Chris Hipkins said it is ‘not co-governance and never has been’. Minister Kieran McAnulty says it is. Defends it. And said, ‘Māori have a special interest in water’.
Like you don’t? How can any of this be fair?
And now their version of Treaty revisionism is forcing all departments, and every quasi-governmental group, into compliance.
- They are changing local government with Māori Wards.
- Setting up a Māori Health Authority with veto rights over the health system.
- Replacing English names whether appropriate or not.
- Changing our country’s name – to a name that comes out of French Polynesia.
- Re-naming all government departments.
- Giving the Waitangi Tribunal superior legal status to parliament.
- Making teaching of Māori compulsory to Year Ten or Form Two.
- Want 25% of the primary school curriculum to be Māori in three years time.
- Moving to Māori control of the DOC estate.
- And much, much, more secretly worked on.
Ordinary Māori never asked for any of this. Only the elite Māori have.
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. 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.
- 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.
Secret Social Engineering
Everyday we learn of secret policies to socially engineer our society.
For example, that the science curriculum will no longer include physics, chemistry, or biology, but will include sexual and gender education which is now going to be taught to primary school students.
The government has no place in the nations bedrooms - so why are our school children, from age five, now being taught about ‘relationships, gender, and sexuality’?
Not only are they being taught about sexuality and gender, the entire system must now “integrate gender content into the curriculum”. Our schools have no right, role, or place teaching our young kids this kind of sociologically driven doctrine.
This is not education. This is indoctrination.
This is a deliberate social engineering programme designed and controlled by the virtue signalling woke without any legal authority at all. When did the Education Minister or Prime Minister ever ask you if this was ok?
New Zealand First is going to go back to education and stop this woke elitist indoctrination being sponsored by an inner cabal and their political and cultural fellow travelers.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are making a stand on this right here, right now, and we are asking you to leave the sidelines and join us.
Caring for Seniors
As said at the beginning of this address, Tauranga used to be dismissively called “God’s waiting room”.
Well, it was Tauranga that launched the first protests against political parties discriminating against seniors. Labour introduced the surtax at over 80% of your super. National promised to repeal it, but increased it to 92 cents in the dollar, then took super down to 60% of the net average wage.
Here in Tauranga we led the charge against this blatant age discrimination, had the surtax repealed, legislated for super to go back up, not to 65%, but 66% of the net average wage, and then brought in the Gold Card, to make tens of thousands of business discounts, and free bus, train, and ferry, travel, and much more, available to Gold Card holders 65 years and older.
Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing our policies to once again defend the seniors.
Make no bones about it, in every time of economic strife, the other parties have all gone straight after the young and the old. Be forewarned, and don’t let it happen to you.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most critical election in our lifetime.
If we don’t get this election result right it will be more disaster economically and socially.
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 - to keep them honest.
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’. 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 across the political divide 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 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.
In two days time on the 18th of July, New Zealand First is having its 30th birthday. And what a mission it has been.
We are a Party that has 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 we 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-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, 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.
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