Winston Peters: The Country Has Been Cheated on Emissions Policy

“The Country Has Been Cheated on Emissions Policy”

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. 

Thank you for coming along this afternoon and for this chance to talk with you.

Meeting here this afternoon is part of our ‘Listening Tour’ around New Zealand and it’s a pleasure to be in the deep South, renown for it’s ‘R’s’, hospitality, and down to earth common sense.

Ever since 1882, with the first refrigerated meat exports from New Zealand, towns like Gore together with their hinterlands, have been critical to the wealth and employment of New Zealanders.

The population of these settlements went on to construct the most productive farming communities in the world. 

At their height of success two parents and their children were running farms in this country and outcompeting a landowner with three adult working males in the UK.

It was the era of the ‘New Zealand corporate farming family’.  Mum, Dad and the kids.

Their industry, combined with thousands of farming families around the country, was the key to taking this country to be in the first three in the world.

In this hall today are people who remember that time. People who must be wondering - ‘so what went wrong?’

Historically, and lately, the answer is obvious. These families, the backbone of New Zealand, were taken for granted. Over time the policies they needed to continue to flourish were ignored. 

When COVID hit this country, in early 2020, together with it’s variants in 2021, and we faced economic hardship, one sector, above all the rest, kept our economy going. With exports from our land, sea, and climate advantage. 

Now, here today, you would think your contribution was cause for gratitude, timely recognition, understanding, even sympathy.

Is that how you feel you’re being treated now? 

One doesn’t have to have a degree in psychology to take a wild guess that gratitude is not what you are feeling now.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the next three decades the world will need a 70% greater food production. 
In the next three decades the world is going to need you more than ever.
In the next three decades your country should need you more than ever.

Do you get the sense that the Labour Party understands that?
or the Greens?
or the Maori Party?
and what about the rest of Parliament?

Farm Omissions

In 2019, the last Government, which is not the present one, began a partnership with farmers to work on a farm emissions policy. 

Farming organizations, including Federated Farmers, sincerely working on responsible, achievable climate change mitigation policies.

They were told that decisions on these policies were for elected representatives - and not the Climate Change Commission.

That is how we entered the partnership with the farming community in the first place.

The emissions targets were set on that basis.  The timelines to achieve them were set on that basis as well. 

So if you think that in 2022 you are being cheated – then you are right.  You are being cheated.

And what is clear is that cheating you was always the present government’s intention.

Many of us come from the land.  As our parents, and their parents before that, also did. 

And let’s make this clear.

We care about our country as much as anyone else does.

No one has the monopoly on caring for this country even if some of the rhetoric coming out of Wellington keeps claiming that.

It’s the mentality behind that Wellington rhetoric which has torpedoed the partnership with farmers.

In two critical decisions government decided it would set the price for split gases, and it would decide how sequestration is accounted for and managed.

And a third unannounced decision – the government, henceforth, will take the advice of the Climate Change Commission, something the previous government with New Zealand First would not accept, even though Labour and the Greens argued for it.

New Zealand First said the decision should be made by elected decision makers, not appointed ones.  That is still our position.

Having said that, one can only feel sorry for the Minister of Agriculture, Trade and Export growth, and for Rural Communities. 

He is not anti-farming.  His party is.

That’s why he also knew that the Free Trade Deal with the EU was an absolute dog but the Prime Minister, in Europe at the time, hell bent on signing any deal to make an announcement and get a photograph, simply sold him, and the country, down the drain. 

The Minister didn’t tell me that. 

The vacuous comments from the Prime Minister and the commentariat is all the evidence one needs to know that.

Especially when one looks at the shallow deal.

But the tragedy of the government’s decision on pricing agricultural emission is that there will be a reduction of sheep and cattle farms revenue by much more than 25% and dairy farm revenue by more than 10%. 

And that’s just for starters.

When a highly successful beef farmer confides that he and his professional advisors see this government’s new costs for his farm exceeding $800,000 per annum, we both know that his operation is stuffed.

Then why is the government doing this?

Because the Prime Minister said ‘we need to be world first’.

All this virtue signaling, with massive domestic losses, when the international consensus is that climate change policy should not be at the expense of food production.

This idiocy, combined with the ‘spin’ that we will now get a premium for our farm products because overseas buyers enraptured by our stance, will pay 35% more for our product in their supermarkets.

Ladies and gentlemen, you know what ‘bovine scatology’ is.

And this from the government is a bucketload of it.

Our farm animals have the lowest carbon footprint in the world.

Getting rid of our farm animals, in favour of farm animals in other countries with a higher carbon footprint, means the world is going to be worse off.

And all the while destroying New Zealand farming families, farming towns, associated employment, and reducing our own food supply, and putting food costs up.

And here is the rub.  Maori farmers, alongside their European colleagues, have complained bitterly.

The government has responded to the Maori farmers by saying ‘you won’t have to bear these new costs’.

All other farmers will have to.

This is straight out racism.

Separatism and Co governance

Recently in a speech in Christchurch we referred to the seeds of apartheid in New Zealand. 

Some journalists objected to it. 

They need to get a grip on what is really happening rather than towing the Labour, Green, and Maori Party self-serving narrative.

When did any of these parties at the last election tell non Maori that you would be second class citizens? 

A sort of ‘South Pacific Animal Farm’ – where some animals will be more equal than others.

They didn’t tell you.  For they are duplicitous. There is no other word for it.

In the recent Local Government elections two Maori, standing equally alongside every other candidate, got elected as Mayor.

And yet Labour introduced a Maori ward system, in Rotorua, and Wellington and around New Zealand, segregating off local Maori, from everyone else in the local body.

Here in the South Island the electoral segregation is most stark. 

There are 22 Local Councils in the South Island. 

Ngai Tahu, massively outnumbered down here by South Islanders, including non-Ngai Tahu Maori, had one franchise and the rest of you combined, had the other one.

In 2019 New Zealand First, in the last Government, stopped that legislation. 

After the 2020 election Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party passed it into law.

There is one body, with twelve members, that is going to be handling Three Waters in the South Island. 

Composed of six from Ngai Tahu, and six for the rest of you in 22 South Island Council areas. 

If that’s not bad enough no decision can be made by this body unless there is 75% agreement by the twelve members.

Does that sound like democracy to you?

Meanwhile they’re forcing Ngai Tahu to abandon their name for the South Island – Te Waipounamu in favour of Aotearoa, a name constructed in the 1880’s by a Colonist.

A simple question - when did they ask you, or Ngai Tahu, if they could change your countries name? 

Yet every day, in every statement, the Prime Minister, the Government, and some in the media are ramming it down your throat.

Do you agree with this change?

Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party, are proceeding on the theory that you’ll just accept all this.  That you have no alternative. 

Well you do have, and that is what this meeting is about.

The Self Appointed Maori Elite

Every day in New Zealand our people face rapidly rising living costs, escalating power costs, increasing rates and insurance costs. 

More and more people are going from economic security to economic insecurity.

More and more people are asset rich but income poor.

And at the bottom of the heap are many Maori and Pacific people wanting what many of you and your family want.

  • A safe affordable house
  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to the escalators of education
  • And first world incomes

These aspirations should be a cause for unity because they are the four things every New Zealander wants.

Maori representation in Parliament should be totally focused on those four outcomes.

But they are not.

Instead Maori representatives are obsessed with rewriting history, screaming out for raced-based special treatment, separate governance, separate government departments. 

Separate everything.

“This self-appointed Maori elite are growing rich on their people’s misery”.

And Labour should really change their Party’s name.

They are anti-worker. Look at every area of decline in this country now. 

In just two years, mental health, education, housing, public health, infrastructure and the income gap between rich and poor is worsening. 

Meanwhile crime gets worse each day with Labour’s ‘catch and release’ policy.

And there is a further real concern and that is the rising future cost of electricity. 

For many homes and businesses the pathway down which Labour is taking us is a rapidly emerging disaster.

Everything has got dramatically worse in a breathtakingly short time.

The Handbrake

Ladies and gentlemen - do you remember the constant bleating between 2017 and 2020 about New Zealand First being a handbrake.

Don’t you wish you had a handbrake there now? 

Because New Zealand First stopped one stupid idea after the other.

Like $29 billion for light rail in Auckland.

Some of our coalition partners, who if it wasn’t for New Zealand First you would never have heard of again, complained behind closed doors to the media about us checking their inexperienced policies.

‘Tin helmets are a safety measure, Labour’s tin ear wasn’t’.

Our Future

The only hope this country has for a better future is unity.

Whatever our ethnic backgrounds we should nevertheless be New Zealanders first. 

Not some hyphenated New Zealander, but just New Zealanders, first and foremost.

A Prime Minister not so long ago asked the Head of our Military ‘how many Maori have you got in the Army’.

His reply - ‘Prime Minister, we just have soldiers in the New Zealand Army’.  

Major General Poananga was a Maori but he saw himself as a New Zealander.

It was an inspirational answer back then - and it still is.

With unity and focus on policies to take all of us forward, we can extract far greater value from our natural resources, by adding value here first, in every product that we have.

Just last week our leading newspaper in Auckland lamented the state of New Zealand’s Infant Formula business.

The article was titled ‘White Gold’ days over for Kiwi formula exporters’.

It blamed the uncertainty of our Infant Formula industry on COVID. 

This is staggering given the facts do not support this story which has numerous parallels for other New Zealand exports.

Wise economies extract as much added value from their resources before exporting.

So should we.

It would mean our workers, our businesses, and our economy get the lion’s share of the value, not some other economy and some other people.

Yet incredibly a previous government allowed China to get control of the Infant Formula business in New Zealand

Fonterra went broke exporting our milk, in powder form, to China through the Beingmate partnership in which the Chinese had all the control.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We all work but do we work productively?

That should be a major focus for all government policies.

We will not get greater productivity without seriously revamping all levels of our education policies which means investing in our young and their skills.


Our current education system is in a mess with truancy at totally unacceptable levels.

Education in New Zealand is compulsory so when is that law going to be enforced?

There should be no level of acceptable truancy and the system to deal with it is simply pathetic, with about six people responsible for handling it in the whole of the North Island.

We used to value the next generation coming through when we were in the first three countries in the world for literacy and numeracy.

Now we’re about 33, and sliding, so let’s get back to valuing our human capital.

Rid ourselves of the constant woke excuses and apologists and bring some common sense back to our education system.

Schools are meant to be paid on the number of students.

Not on the roll, but actually attending school.

So let’s get pupils back to school. 

Let’s enforce the law.

And whilst we’re at it, how about applying some common sense. 

Children like discipline, they like guidance, children like boundaries, they like to feel they belong.

And perhaps we should just get more experienced adults into early childcare and not require all of them to have a university degree.

If a university degree was essential to be a good parent, then these policy makers might have a point.

But it’s not essential for good parenting.

Love and common sense are.


Today we’ve come to discuss the importance of Gore and it’s surroundings to the economy of New Zealand.

We know that we’re in the heartland of the highest exports per capita area in the country.

Of course, if you’re looking at incomes, you’d think Wellington Central is.

That’s how skew whiff our politics has become.

You make the money and they get the cream.

So our policy is to set things right, again, and that’s why New Zealand First is going to ensure our farmers, our regions and the workforce supporting them, get a fair deal.

We’re not asking you to believe our promise: when last in government that’s exactly what we did.

And if you are concerned about the state of co-governance developing in our country and the pathway towards apartheid, many in government are intent on, then New Zealand First is the party for you.

New Zealand First has never supported racist polices.  As you know other parties have supported racist policies – who now pretend they are concerned enough to stop it.

The question is – why did they ever start down this pathway of racist policies?

New Zealand First has always seen help as needs based, not race based.

New Zealand First has always respected our heritage and that of others.

New Zealand has always believed that diversity should be complimentary to citizenship, not contrary to it.

New Zealand First believes in one flag, one law for all, and a democracy where everyone is equal.

When a former Prime Minister tried to change our flag New Zealand First was the only party that went out to defend the one we’ve still got.

And, most critically, we were the first to detect recent attacks on our democracy and had the guts to call them out for what they are.

And we will continue to do so.

Ladies and gentlemen, you don’t have to go on worrying about what’s happening if your intention is to stop them in their unmandated, unelected tracks, right here, right now.

Our purpose is in our name. New Zealand First.

And that means New Zealanders first - not second, not third, and not thirty third.

We’re campaigning to return to Parliament in 2023.

Campaigning -

To defend our democracy.

To defend one law for all.

To defend our flag.

To defend our country’s name.

We’re on a ‘Listening Tour’ and we’re going to listen to you.

With your help and commitment we can stop this attack on this country’s democracy – stop the corrosion of our economy and turn our country from decline to success again.             

But it is now or never.

We’re asking you to sign up, right here, right now.