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Address to the Launch of United Future New Zealand

Hon Peter Dunne MP
Leader, United Future

Address to the Launch of United Future New Zealand
Sheraton Hotel, Symonds Street, Auckland

Thursday 16 November 2000 at 12:30 pm


Welcome to this gathering.

Today we are heralding a new start in New Zealand politics.

We have had enough of the disillusionment, the political double-talk, the broken promises, the character assassination and the lack of core values, that have driven politics for too long.

We have had enough of always settling for second best – because we believe there is no reason at all why New Zealand cannot once again be the best place the best place on earth to bring up a family.

And we have had enough of the fact that the hopes and aspirations of mainstream New Zealand families seldom fit with the agendas of the political parties elected to government.

So, we say it is time to take politics back to the people once again.

Over the last few months, there has been a great deal of discussion among many like-minded New Zealanders of the need to put the interests of New Zealand families first, as the foundation stone on which our country is built.

Whether it be current problems like breaking the cycles of deprivation and abuse, or long-term issues such as where we heading in the wake of a falling dollar and the brain drain, New Zealanders are crying out for sensible, soundly based leadership that looks beyond today, and focuses on the country we are building for the future.

As a people, we are desperately seeking a framework that provides not only certainty and security, but also enables us to get on with our lives with confidence and a minimum of interference form others.

And we have almost given up on hoping for common sense and integrity in politics.

I am fed up with seeing good, mainstream families struggling to do their best for their kids, keeping the boards of trustees going, or coaching the sports teams after school or at the weekend, being told they are privileged, or that if they succeed and earn that little bit extra they will pay more tax, or that they have to give a little bit up to close the gaps with others.

I am fed up with seeing the sensible mainstream of our nation derided, while we pander more and more to every whim of the extremists.

Every strike against mainstream families is a strike against the core of our society, and a further triumph for ideology over common sense.

And the more that happens, the more our country goes downhill.

In many meetings over recent months, both the United New Zealand and the Future New Zealand parties have shared this frustration and also our equal passion that we can make New Zealand number one again.

The more we have talked, and discussed our hopes for the future, the more we have realised how much we have in common, and the more we have become confident we can and should work together to promote those goals, and to provide the leadership and vision we see New Zealand presently lacking.

For that reason, I am therefore delighted to announce today that we have agreed to form a coalition for the balance of this Parliamentary term and to contest the next General Election together, under the name United Future New Zealand.

Although in coalition both constituent parties will retain their own structures for the time being, until their membership decides otherwise.

In addition to myself, the other officers of United Future whom I am pleased to introduce today are Anthony Walton, deputy leader, Inky Tulloch, the president, and Dr Aditya Prakash, vice president, all of whom will be speaking to you in a few moments.

I am genuinely proud to lead this diverse and talented team of mainstream New Zealanders, drawn together by their passionate commitment to the future of our country.

United Future’s vision for New Zealand over the next 10 to 20 years is to make our country once again the best place in the world to live in and bring up a family.

We want a country that is democratic and prosperous, compassionate and tolerant.

We want a country that values diversity, enterprise and innovation, and celebrates achievement.

We want a country where principles and values count once more, where integrity and honesty are no longer seen just as quaint words that belong in the dictionary.

We want a country where families come first, where we enjoy a clean and unspoiled environment, and where we strive for the best in education, and health services.

For over fifteen years, New Zealand has been on a helter-skelter ride of often necessary reform.

Our national landscape has been changed forever.

But in the process we have lost some of the essence that makes us unique as New Zealanders.

And that has been to our collective detriment.

United Future aims to rekindle that spirit of principled independence, ingenuity, pragmatism, common-sense, and passion for the underdog that have long been seen as the fabric of our national character, but which some now doubt, and others scoff at.

We want to utilise New Zealanders’ inherent wisdom and common sense, that have been overlooked for too long, to move forward once more.

Events this year have made it clear there is no future for New Zealand in standing still.

In today’s global environment, the nations that succeed – especially the small nations like ours – will be the smart ones.

United Future wants New Zealand to be one of the smart nations, but we also want it to be one of the good nations, where values count, and where we aim to be the best, because our families deserve it.

Across New Zealand today, I hear a strong call that what the country desperately needs to make our MMP system work effectively is a viable centrist political party, to stop all the nonsense we have seen in recent years.

United Future aims to be that voice of reason and I therefore invite all of you here today, and all New Zealanders who share these values, and who have had enough of politics without principles, to join us in our quest to once again make this country the best in the world.


Ends

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