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Speech text of Speech by Rt Hon Winston Peters

Speech text of Speech by Rt Hon Winston Peters, Reply to Prime Minister’s Statement, 13 February 2002, Parliament.

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS (Leader--NZ First): I just want to remind the last two Labour speakers (Margaret Wilson and Mark Burton) that New Zealanders do have a memory.

Margaret Wilson, who describes herself back home as being the Labour list member for Tauranga when no such constitutional position exists at all, said that the Labour Government with the Alliance had dragged the economy back from the brink of disaster.

Who was president of the Labour Party when Roger Douglas was selling, alongside his colleagues, of which she was one, about $9 billion of State assets? Who introduced hyperinflation to this country?

Who destroyed our productive base, and introduced alongside that policies of separatism, the likes of which this country had never seen before and cannot seem to escape from today? Of course, that person was Margaret Wilson. So some of us do have a memory.

The Minister of Defence, who has just resumed his seat, talked about a steady, predictable, common sense Government. I will demonstrate that that is not true. We in New Zealand First listened with keenness to the speech yesterday of the Prime Minister. In particular, we listened for words of comfort for the tens of thousands of New Zealanders awaiting operations in our public hospitals up and down New Zealand--but there were none.

We listened for words of encouragement for the thousands of New Zealanders deeply distressed, for example, by a subject matter raised by the last Green Party speaker--the lumps in their breasts or their swollen prostates--and for the equally huge number who have only just entered the diagnostic stage of these highly fearful ailments, and who must now face months of waiting for the treatment they so necessarily and very urgently need.

There were no words to comfort those people.

We in New Zealand First listened for the words that would meaningfully address the very significant levels of fear that so many of our communities now find themselves living in, because our police service has been allowed to become generally run down and more focused on apologising to all and sundry in a perfectly politically correct manner; as opposed to being encouraged to get out and actively carry out their primary functions of prevention and detection of crime and apprehension of offenders.

Again, there were no words for those people.

We noted too that no new initiatives aimed at improving the levels of assistance for victims of crime were announced, and there was no indication whatsoever of a paring back of the massive amounts of taxpayer funding currently being expended on those who deliberately choose a path of criminal offending.

We in New Zealand First are keen to learn of any actions the Government might have, or might propose, to help those most in need of the help of taxpayers, such as the fine individuals in the various war veterans' homes throughout New Zealand who now face the prospect of sever dislocation, relocation, and needless upset because the current Minister of Veterans' Affairs--who just sat down--has added veteran affairs to his record of meddling, inept incompetence, and the raft of other failed ministerial responsibilities.

We recently heard, as we will remember, an interview with one of those old-timers who served our country with such distinction, and went to war and survived it, as he sobbingly spoke of the agonies caused by the inactions of what he described as--I use his term--that lame-duck Minister. I do not think this comment was over the top too much, but it was needlessly offensive to a whole lot of ducks.

This Minister has presided over more financial wastage than any of his colleagues, many of whom would be winning this race were it not for the Minister's outstanding number of failures. He has become known as the Teflon Minister because we have in this country, largely, a Teflon media.

The mantle is very justly deserved. I picked up the New Zealand Herald this morning, for example, and four writers gave their views, and barely a political view was put there in contrast.

The Opposition in this country is not the media, the Opposition lies in this House. In any self-respecting democracy its views would be entitled to coverage. Last night I listened to Checkpoint. It covered the Alliance, Labour, the National Party, and ACT, and called it quits at that. It is not as though any of those parties will, when the dust settles on election night 2002, determine what the Government will be, any more than we in New Zealand First will determine it--as we have in the past.

We were also intrigued to witness the contrast between the Prime Minister's comments regarding the tragic events of 11 September, and its disastrous impact upon the world, and her warm embrace of the Green Party.

We could not help but ponder how she can find the Green support for her Government so positive when the Greens at an anti-Afghanistan Green Party meeting in Rotorua recently invited the activist Annette Sykes to speak.

I have to quote her comments word for word in order for members to fully comprehend the extent of hatred and evil within this Green Party entertainer. Annette Sykes said:
``When I first saw the planes fly into the towers I jumped for joy. I was so happy that at long last capitalism was under attack, until it suddenly dawned on me what about all those poor pizza delivery boys, those poor firemen, those poor policemen, those poor lift operators, all those poor cleaners, all those other poor workers who are forced to work for and were trying to save those greedy and horrible capitalists. My heart and head were so confused--happy that some capitalists had been killed and very, very sad for all those who had died whilst working for them.''

That was at a Green Party meeting.

We cannot help but ponder the outcome of a marriage between the Labour Party and the Greens, as is so widely talked about as a likely result of this year's general election, and there are their fellow travellers in the media on this score--simply in order to permit Labour to again form the Government.

How can the Labour Party even contemplate such an accommodation with a party prepared to snuggle up to those who harbour such hatred and disdain for nations, simply because those nations economically and socially achieve?

How can they not condemn outright those who demand their people exist in a morose state of abject poverty, world ignorance, and religious martyrdom. Today I use this opportunity to warn New Zealand voters about how bizarre the situation will become for all New Zealanders if our future Government seeks out the company of the Greens in order to obtain power.

The faces of Sue Bradford and Jeanette Fitzsimons singing and chanting their hymns of hate and protest towards the Prime Minister on Waitangi Day this year will also haunt me for ever, as, no doubt, they will for many voters, come election time. How will these extremists ever fit within a Government coalition?

I think it is now understood and accepted that under MMP no single party will ever again assume control of Parliament in its own right. That being the case--
(A point of order follows)

Nandor Tanczos: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I object to the comments of the Rt Hon. Winston Peters. My colleagues Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford were making no jeering noises, no hymns of hate.

Mr SPEAKER: That is not a point of order, that is a point of debate. The Green Party still has slots left in the debate.

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: I said that no party would ever again assume control by itself in Parliament in its own right. That being the case, coalitions of two or more parties becomes essential.

It behoves the primary parties seeking to form a Government to select from those available only those who are honourable, trustworthy, and who are able to demonstrate their views in accord with a significant number of New Zealanders. The Greens presently fail that test on every count.

At Waitangi the Greens were saying that Maori sovereignty should be restored now, although it had never existed in a pan-tribal sense at any time in this country's history. I cannot begin to believe that many individuals at all would share the views of those Green Party members who sat silent through the delivery of such sad comments of those attributed to Annette Sykes.* For Tandor's sake, let me say this to him. # Perhaps he could get to his feet and tell us what the principle of the Treaty of Waitangi is that he ascribes to.
(A point of order follows)

Nandor Tanczos: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I would ask the honourable member to pronounce my name correctly, or at least make some attempt to.

Mr SPEAKER: The member must refer to a member's name correctly. I did not think he was in any way deliberately mispronouncing, but I will listen in future.

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: Well, whoever he is, perhaps he can get up, give a speech, and outline what the Greens think the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are that we as a country should subscribe to. When he is finished we will be very pleased to see whether the Government supports those views.

I want to raise also the prospect of those hideous comments becoming blended with those of the newly elected darling of the Labour Party, Napier electorate candidate, Mr Russell Fairbrother.

Mr Fairbrother achieved quite some notoriety recently following his unsuccessful defence as the lawyer for Dartelle Alder # who deliberately ran down, viciously raped, and then murdered Margaret Baxter.

Mr Fairbrother, the Labour Party candidate for Napier, suggested that this horrific crime was the result of the ``white ruling class'', whoever they may be, and the inequality between them and the likes of his client.

What total drivel, and what an indictment on the Labour Party for setting out to bring into Parliament yet another individual so totally out of step with New Zealanders.

I can only imagine how sick a marriage between the Greens and the Labour Party might become in the future given the extreme views of those referred to above. If Tariana Turia supports them, then she should stand up and say so in this House rather than saying it somewhere else. That is not what New Zealand wants. We do not want further separatism or blatant racism.

There is no place for further alienation of individuals or the fuelling of hatred, and this certainly is not the time for bringing even more extreme views into this Parliament.

The Parliament of New Zealand is for the people of this country. It is not a public stage or grievance platform for those disaffected views or racial intolerance as we have witnessed in quite recent times that suggests that if one is not a Maori then one is a second-class citizen.

Because a lot of European bureaucrats have not got the spine and the courage to confront Tariana Turia, there is no reason I and my party New Zealand First are not prepared to. In addition she might answer this question: ``Which part of your European background is intended to compensate the part of your Maori background that you feel so aggrieved about?''. Which part of the member's European background will get out the cheque book and compensate the Maori part of her background, because it is the European part of her background that is in the ascendancy, genetically, when she is talking about herself?

Hon. Tariana Turia: You do not know what you are talking about.

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: No, no, I want to know when this country will stop wasting its time on things that do not matter, and start focusing on things that do matter, like the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who are not getting a fair go and who have become forgotten citizens in this country. I ask Tariana Turia: ``How many Maori houses has the coalition built since the party came to power in 1990?''.

Hon. Tariana Turia: More than you did.

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: Well, it is about 12 actually, and that is not true at all. But the Labour Party can still find $65 million for Maori television*, which no one will watch. If I had $65 million each year over the next 3 years I could solve every Maori housing problem in this country.

Hon. Annette King: Why didn't you?

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: Well, we were doing it, as that member well knows. We put more Maori in university than any other party. Who started manaaki tauira*? Who fixed up the Maori kiwifruit* farms?

Hon. Annette King: You said housing!

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: Oh, do not worry about that.

Hon. Annette King: You said housing.

Rt Hon. WINSTON PETERS: Yes, I know. We built a stack of more than 12, and more important we did not sideline mainstream Maori numbers for the minority who have become their recent bosom friends.

In addition to looking for substantive comment on these fundamental aspects of life for all New Zealanders, we in New Zealand First eagerly await an indication that the politically correct nonsense, which this Government and its coalition partners have become so besotted with in recent times, would soon end.

I asked the Prime Minister today in the House this simple question: ``Will the Government publish what it understands to be the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, if so when?''.

The Prime Minister, because of a totally docile media, might get away with it today, but she will not tomorrow, the next day, or the next month.

She thought she would do a marvellous sidestep and start talking about the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi settlements. She was never asked that question. She was asked why it is that since 1987 this country has gone down the separatist, segmented, sectionist path, and based on what principles.

She could not, and will not answer, and nor can any of her colleagues. National members are no better because they were going down the same path at the same time.

ACT is no better because its leader was there in 1987, 1988, and 1989 gaily voting for this type of separatism, which is destroying New Zealand, and in the name of whose beneficiaries so much has been lost.

Tell me the number of Maori who have seen a snapper* because of their settlements. Tell me the number of Maori who got an acre back, whose lives have been improved, have had hospital operations that they had been waiting for, or got housing, jobs, or a future because of this legislation.

Not one!

But nevertheless this emperor without clothes argument goes on to the extent that I pick up the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission report Strategy Quality Access, and the Prime Minister tried to avoid it again today.

Here is a principle called the tino rangatiratanga principle, defined on the right by this group of bureaucrats who would not know a Maori if they fell over one, as a self-determination principle, defined further as meaningless, and allows for Maori autonomy and authority over Maori tertiary education.

This is worse than ridiculous. It is disastrous. When the black civil rights movement in the United States was fully under way* and was first enunciated in a programme on television called Eyes on the Prize--a wonderful programme about the civil rights movement--the first thing that black people tried to do was bust down the doors of the white educational institutions.

This Government is doing its best to build seven institutions with separate management structures. What does autonomy and authority mean? It means that it is not in the control of anyone else but a small group of ``Browntable'' Maori at the enormous expense of this country's education, and above all of Maori education.

These are foolish policies, unsupported by any foundation as enunciated by the Prime Minister. She could not answer as to what even one principle was on which she was basing these policies. It is a disaster. We were sure that yesterday would have been an opportunity to tell voters that in future the concentration of Government would be less on noisy minorities who are themselves minuscule within their own race, and more on the need of majorities.

But sadly it did not happen. Rather, the Prime Minister pledged to prioritise expenditure of our country's needy resources, not on the basic building blocks of a happy and healthy community such as public health, law and order, and education, but alongside the announcement of the wastage of hundreds of millions to teach Wellington-based bureaucrats each year to say ``kia ora'', and then ``no'', rather than ``hello'', and then ``yes'', and the wastage of tens of millions on television programmes for a few Maori.

It is senseless expenditure of millions on Maori logos--six lines costing $1.6 million, and when finished will cost $2.4 million--to satisfy a ministerial mate in charge of something so obscure as Creative New Zealand,* and sadly this was also the case.

Instead, we heard about global connectiveness, whatever that means.

We are a country with no cohesion, and we have a Government that is unwilling to confront the critical issues before it. It has pandered to every outrageous demand linked to alleged past misdemeanours. It is an absurd practice, which, rather than extinguishing contempt, breeds it.

The Prime Minister's speech was notable for its failures, and no amount of media namby-pambying will get the Government through the next 8 months of this country's future. New Zealanders are demanding--and they will continue to demand as the campaign begins to highlight the Government's shortfalls--far more than that.

We have asked this Government to get back to the fundamentals on which all people depend: decent housing, decent health, a decent economy to provide decent salaries and wages, and a sound education. We do not want this plethora of pandering to certain people in certain select groups at the cost of the majority of our own people, be they Maori or European.


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