We Need Our ‘Can-Do’ Attitude Back

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for being here.  Grateful thanks to the Canterbury New Zealand First team for organising this meeting.

We are fifty-eight days out from early voting on 2nd October and everyday will be critical now.

New Zealand is at an inflection point, both economically and socially.  If we do not turn these circumstances around for the better, then our future is indeed bleak. 

Our country is technically broke, and hasn’t paid its way since 1972, and yet politicians are carrying on as though that doesn’t matter, with all manner of political promises, with some promised projects not beginning until ten years time, yet you’re being told this is their formula for recovery.

Christchurch and Canterbury will be suspicious more than any other part of New Zealand. Why? Because twelve years since the Christchurch earthquake, look around and ask, “why hasn’t Christchurch been fixed yet?”

Your paper, the Christchurch Press summed it all up yesterday, what’s wrong here, and that is a mirror image of much of the country.

First, the Press said, “Voters are waiting for a Party to pledge ways for the region to be better connected”…that the current government has a detailed business case…but there are no guarantees, and the National Party considers it ‘something for further investigation’”.

However, a replacement for the Ashburton Hakatere Bridge is the right one and is critically needed now.

The Press referred to “filling the 8000 staff gap in our health system” – a nationwide issue and one Canterbury is not exempt from.

On crime “Thefts and burglaries are on the rise in Canterbury with ‘over 90% of crime committed between April 2022 and April 2023 being thefts and burglaries…Fewer than 5% went to court”.

That is a 50% increase year on year to April 2023, or up 10,000 incidents to a total of 26,000 crimes being committed here.

On the question of housing the Press said, “the likelihood of people owning a home is decreasing.”  Predicting, “over 40% of Christchurch residents will be renters by 2051.”

Plus, Christchurch has serious water problems without any solutions.

Remember after the 2011 Earthquake you were promised that your city would be rebuilt.  Much of it has not been.

You have had two ministers for the Christchurch rebuild from the old political parties, with a team working on it.

So why has so much of the work not been done?

The Christchurch malaise, if we don’t stop and reflect on political promises vs political performance, will be New Zealand malaise straight after the next election.

There was a marvellous story in the Press yesterday, one hundred years after the opening of the Otira Tunnel, which allowed trains to travel between Canterbury and the West Coast.  This tunnel was built over 15 difficult years in the days of the horse and cart, and pick and shovel, but it images a ‘can-do’ attitude from a then ‘can-do’ country.  And we have got to get that ‘can-do’ attitude back again - and fast.

We know the present government, in the last 34 months, has become a mess.  Borrowing was necessary when Covid first struck in 2020, both here and worldwide.  But that borrowing has escalated to well over $120billion.  And what have we got to show for it?  New Zealand is in a recession, and the immediate outlook looks bleak. 

On Wednesday I put out a press statement saying that the public service heads had met to try and fix a $20billion fiscal hole by cutting 10% of government spending.

A journalist, Luke Malpass, who should know better, said that this was “unprovable – and frankly ridiculous”. 

Well, we will see on 12th September when the PREFU comes out.  Because it will reference a forward going deficit, or hole, which if the journalist was paying attention, was partly signalled on the 1st of August, in a massive fall in the price of milk, and that one of our biggest industries will have most of its farmers operating in the red next year.

But when this is out on the 12 September, don’t expect him to apologize, for this is not how they operate.  Theirs is not to report any more, just give opinions - based on what experience goodness only knows.

An intelligent journalist, Vernon Small, said this “If he was talking about the accumulative impact of falling revenues over the four-year forecast period then maybe.”  Well, I was talking about a four-year forecast period, which if anyone had phoned me, I would have told them.  Instead of the usual gaslighting and cancel culture that so many in the media think is their right.

Ladies and gentlemen, they are not attacking me, they are attacking your right to know.

And whilst I’m talking about “journalists”, yesterday’s column in the Press by Janet Wilson, former National Party staffer, is actually a disgraceful attack.  She has not printed one word of what I have said in this campaign, but continues the usual scathing arrogant line that denigrates so many ordinary New Zealanders.

Remember what George Orwell said “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

There are full scale Covid Vaccine inquires going on in the United States and headlining in the Australian Senate.  Have you heard anything about that in the New Zealand mainstream media? Why not?

Yet anyone who questions the propriety of what people were told or the wrongness of mandating people out of work, is instantly described by these types of reporters as “conspiracy theorists’ or “going down a rabbit hole”. 

Einstein famously once said ‘if the science changes, then so should your opinion’, and the science is changing, and New Zealanders have a right to know the truth.  But instead, you have a bunch of media commentators who think that a fascist condemnation of legitimate inquiry is satisfactory in a democracy.

New Zealand First is going to insist on a full-scale inquiry on all aspects of Covid – as we announced a week ago.  And the taxpayers are entitled to nothing less.  Particularly when the South Island was shut down when there were no Covid cases at all down here.

Further on, this journalist repeats the lie that I supported the He Puapua Report. 

The establishment of a Cabinet Committee to respond to the United Nations Declaration of Rights for Indigenous People (UNDRIP) came to a committee on which I sat.  Its historical background was that this UN declaration dates back to 2007, when I was the Foreign Minister dealing with UN issues, and I refused to sign up to it as did the then Prime Minister, Helen Clark - both of us seeing it as a direct threat to New Zealander’s constitutional rights and democracy.

But three years later, in 2010, the National, Act, and Māori Party signed up to UNDRIP and started our country down this path – these are the origins of He Puapua.

That committee I sat on, never reported back to me as Foreign Minister, and withheld its report, He Puapua, from me and the entire country until December 2020 - after the last election.

Janet Wilson is repeating the lies of other political parties, all of which are debunked, and utterly refuted, by Willie Jackson himself acknowledging to the New Zealand Herald that they didn’t show me the report because they were scared that I would oppose it.

So, to those journalists I say – stop lying to people on behalf of those political parties you support.

Co-Government, Democracy

When in coalition the Māori member for Te Tai Tonga, Rino Tirakatene, came to me asking for support for two unelected Ngai Tahu Representatives for ECAN.  I told him we do not support unelected race-based appointments on local bodies. I pointed out to him that we were opposed to the Auckland Super City established by National, Act, United, and the Māori Party in 2010 which established race-based unelected Iwi members, and we opposed this proposal too.

At the 2022 local government elections in Christchurch, two unelected Ngai Tahu reps were put on ECAN.

As an aside, this is the same National, Act, Māori Party government who repealed the Foreshore and Seabed Act – which New Zealand First had written and introduced and that had stopped all new claims with coastal Iwi. The National, Act, Maori Party government replaced it with the Marine and Coastal Area Act - that Act has now caused more than 600 new claims of ownership, mostly between Iwi and Iwi, and is costing the taxpayers $300,000 for every claim.

There are many issues in this election which are of concern to voters, but the principle one is the full scale attack on our country’s democracy and constitution.

We cannot fix up our cost-of-living crisis, our alarming crime statistics, or the mess that is our health system, and our failing education system, if we don’t repair our democracy first.

Covertly, and without consultation with you, the Labour Party has been secretly taking much of your country from you.

In public law classes at our universities, they are now teaching the “need for constitutional transformation.”  And that Māori rights, based on their version of the Treaty of Waitangi, demands an “independent authority not subject to limits.”

This includes a Treaty-based co-government system in parliament.  Their work on this is happening now.

They want co-government where unelected Māori have 50% of the say.

You in Canterbury will recognize this, because it’s in the Labour Government’s Three Waters, now Ten Waters proposal, where all water down here will be controlled 50/50, one half Ngai Tahu, the other half everybody else, including non-Ngai Tahu Māori, but where decisions must receive 75% approval.  That means Ngai Tahu will be in control of your water.

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. 

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.

And the revisionists agenda is to force all government and quasi government agencies into compliance.

Ordinary Māori never asked for any of this.  Only the elite Māori have.

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 travellers 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.  And every ordinary Māori knows it.

Our Country’s Name is New Zealand

Flying down to Christchurch on Air New Zealand, note not “Air Aotearoa”, we learn in flight, of Tiake, who ‘set out to visit the guardians of this world’. And then we have an image of a waka leaving the water and becoming airborne.  Followed by another image of a waka being paddled through the clouds. 

The hostess closes by saying “thank you for travelling in this waka-rererangi”, in other words, waka = boat, rere = fly, rangi = sky, a ‘boat flying in the sky’.

Wouldn’t it be better if Air New Zealand got back to paying attention to accurate departure times and stop this manufactured bulldust, which every kindergarten pupil knows is not possible – anymore than “Waka Kotahi”, which means ‘boat on the road’ - another waste of money and still with potholes everywhere.

Our Country’s Name.

At the time of the treaty of Waitangi the Māori tribal name for New Zealand was Nu Tirani, sometimes spelt Nui Tireni. 

Aotearoa is a colonialist construct by people such as William Pember Reeves in his 1898 History of New Zealand.

See the irony here.  You’ve got some Māori ironically arguing for a colonialist construct which is a total insult to the Māori in the South Island, whose name for this part of New Zealand is Te Wai Pounamu - or the Rivers of Greenstone.

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. 

New Zealand First policy is that the government has no place in the nation’s 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, but the entire system must also 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?

Just last week, a ‘sexual education’ refence book has now come in New Zealand called “Welcome to Sex” – aimed at pre-teen children as young as eight, and covers topics of masturbation, gender fluidity, LGBTI issues, anal sex, and sex positions – all with illustrations.

Our sociological academic ‘educators’ including from the University of Canterbury are now promoting this book, calling it ‘fabulous’, and claim that their own research shows that nine-year-olds were needing to know things about ‘sex toys and anal sex’.

What has happened to our country?

These dangerous sociological academics are treating kiwi parents with contempt and allowing this sexual mind-warping of underage children.

There is a difference between the usual ‘biological age-appropriate sex education’ and this ‘gender and sexual indoctrination’ aimed at children who aren’t even old enough to consent.

New Zealand First is going to stop this madness - and let our kids be kids.

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 travellers.

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.

Law and Order

Crime as we mentioned before has become a crisis in our country both here and around New Zealand.

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.

New Zealand First intends to bring in minimum mandatory sentences.


Just over a week ago in Auckland, sadly, two innocent victims lost their lives, police officers were injured, and ten others were hospitalised.  The offender was shot by the police - a tragedy for his family.

But here’s the question I’m sure you’re asking.  How did someone who was sentenced for choking someone almost to death receive just five months home detention?

How was he able to get home detention and access to a firearm if he was assessed as being a “threat to others”?

Our courts are failing us with these soft sentences that put community safety last, and offender’s rights and excuses first.

These judicial failures need an inquiry - just like all those police officers who now have to be stood down and questioned just because they did their job and shot someone who was shooting at innocent people and them.

We want justice and common sense returned to our country.

New Zealand First’s says anyone who is a threat to the safety of our community shouldn’t be on our streets.

We are going to get our priorities right.  For example, why are there more police being deployed to the Auckland CBD for the Football World Cup, and not all year round? Why are visitors entitled to this protection and not New Zealanders? Or are the New Zealand people not worth it?

This speech is titled, “Lets get our ‘can-do’ attitude back”.

Last week Victoria pulled out of the commonwealth games in 2026, as did Alberta for the 2030 games. 

The commonwealth is comprised of 56 countries - far more than half of a majority in the UN. 

Just imagine if we can rapidly turn around this country’s economic and social demise, with the kind of attitude that built the Otira Tunnel joining Canterbury and the West Coast over a hundred years ago. 

Using the fiscal planning of the 1988 Los Angeles Olympic Games, which ran at a profit, we could rightly ask the commonwealth for financial help, and have the 2026 Commonwealth Games right here in Christchurch - as you once did in 1974.  What an opportunity to showcase Christchurch and the South Island to the commonwealth and the rest of the world.

New Zealand First is announcing a policy to prepare a bid to hold the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. 

Organised properly, along the lines of the Los Angeles Olympic Games, it won’t be a cost, but a benefit, with the infrastructure lasting for decades.


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?”

In a recent report by Mike Grimshaw in a twenty-year study said this about today’s tertiary students, many of whom are here in Canterbury.

“I have never encountered such a widespread deep sense of despair and despondency across tertiary educated young people as I have in the first six months of this year.”

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.

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 the victims of gas lighting and lies.  Not being the victims of ignorance because their government and politicians won’t tell the truth - even though other democracies are holding full scale inquiries into how covid was handled.  Not being mandated in to being a second-class citizen, and losing their jobs, careers, or their right to make a living.

New Zealand First supports the right of New Zealanders to disagree with government policy and not be punished for it.

And we want a government after the 14th of October that is prepared to defend our democracy and citizen’s fundamental rights.

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.

Let’s Take Back Our Country.