“Victimcrats” and the “Wellington Problem”
7 March 2002
Speech by Rt Hon Winston Peters to Grey Power Manawatu, Masonic Hall, 168 Fitzherbert Avenue, Palmerston North, Thursday 7th March 2002, 2.15 pm
“Victimcrats” and the “Wellington Problem”
Election year is an appropriate time to talk about the direction of government. Not so much the direction of the Government, with a capital “G’; the Labour Alliance Government, but on the subject of governance, the way in which this country is governed.
Wellington is only a short distance from here. It has really changed in the last few years. Visit Wellington, Look around the sites- visit Te Papa, see the waterfront.
Don’t look around Parliament, or the Treasury to see the bright young things, nor the Reserve Bank, nor the Ministry of Education to see where they design culturally sensitive, dumbed down education, or Defence to see where they shred the documents. Don’t look around the Business Roundtable- they wont let you in.
Don’t go to those places, because it’ll only make you angry and they aren’t interested in you, or your views, or your problems anyway.
It is perhaps time to ask; what is wrong with “Wellington” - Why has the government that is supposed to be the expression of the wishes of the people become so separated from those it is supposed to serve.
It is New Zealand First’s core and founding principle that government should be more open, accountable and effective. Currently it is none of those things.
It seems sometimes that Wellington is a country on its own- separated by a million miles from the rest of the country to which it is capital. Sometimes it also seems that they have no idea what goes on in the rest of the country, or even what the real needs of the real New Zealand are. It sometimes seems that in the bureaucracy at least common sense is viewed as a vice.
This is a distinct Wellington problem.
This problem is that there is now a new form of bureaucrat in this country- a “victimcrat’. That is a self proclaimed victim who makes a living in the bureaucracy, perpetuating supposed problems and acting for special interests.
In the United States there are 30,000 professional lobbyists in Washington. They all make their living from advocating on behalf of some cause. They use every means at their disposal, including manipulating the media and placing political pressure on elected officials. They stop just short of bribes- though some would say they do that as well. All of this happens in the order of advancing the privileges and perks of a special interest- almost always at the expense of the greater good of the country.
In New Zealand the bureaucracy itself, since being politicised in the 1980s has become a de-facto-lobby group for special interests, mostly at the expense of those outside Wellington. Like their American counterparts they too will use any means at their disposal, including media manipulation and the attempted coercion of MPs. The military’s disgraceful role in the Ron Mark saga last year is a case in point.
When I first came to Parliament the public service was just that- a service to the public. They implemented the wishes of Parliament, who themselves enacted the wishes of the people. It was inefficient, and often bloated and ill-conceived. But it was a public service. absent were “media-units’ in the public sector outside of the Tourism Department. Policy was prescribed and enacted by Parliament and the role of the departments was to implement policy.
Today every department has a defacto public relations branch. There are now 5000 policy analysts living in Wellington. The capital is drowning in policy, but it has never been more unaccountable in its 152 year history.
The public service is now as political as Parliament, and has now become the arrogant guardian of the welfare of Wellington.
The point is best illustrated by the so called Maori-made logo. Here we see the government having spent $1.3million already, and another $1million over the next 3 years on what amounts to an appeasement of a few of the government’s friends in the arts community.
What’s more, the Government has used this apparently benign logo as a Trojan horse in an attempt to copyright all fauna and flora in New Zealand to Maori and to effectively copyright an entire culture. It is a gross undermining of common law and the traditions of property rights.
The fact that they had no qualms about spending this princely sum was bad enough. But the reaction from the public sector after this waste of money was exposed by New Zealand First was nothing short of sinister. Apparently $1.3 million isn’t a lot of money, until you get caught out!
Creative New Zealand put out a press release, sarcastically calling me “Dr Winston Peters”. They then seriously claimed that the amount it cost to produce the logo was $10 900.00 and then claimed that I had no right to criticise them.
Never mind that the cost of the Logo came from a written question asked of those same bureaucrats’ minister.
On July 24th last year I asked the Hon.Judith Tizard:
“What was the total cost of developing the "Maori Made" logo, including costs for development and design, marketing and costs associated with the various hui for presentation to iwi?”
One would have thought that was a reasonable enough question.
Obviously she thought so at the time. She very quickly answered that it had cost $831,000 for development and would cost over $300,000 a year to maintain.
Then it became a political hot potato so suddenly overnight Creative New Zealand told the media that it only cost $10,900.00. They have never explained exactly what that $10,900.00 figure paid for.
What they were saying was they didn’t spend the money the minister said they had spent, but if they had spent that amount of money then that would be ok anyway!
This would not be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that you paid for it in your taxes, and that some other promise of the government has to go without for the sake of the logo. Moreover this sends all the wrong messages to New Zealanders. It says that Maori are so inept that they need the power of the state in order to produce art, and that the content of one’s character and the value of one’s work is now less important than skin colour.
So what exactly is a victimcrat?
It is bureaucrat who does nothing but advocate on behalf of a special interest group, and who has therefore a stake not so much in administering a solution or providing a service, but in seeing the continued spending of tax-payer funds on their cause.
Wellington is full of snake oil salespeople who do not want to perform a service to the public, but instead wish access and control over the machinery of government and all that tax money to further their own cause.
The Treaty of Waitangi is the best example. Here we have a document, cobbled together by a desperate British soldier in a night, that was largely forgotten for 100 years, that was constructed in a way that makes it legally questionable, which is vague at best, being held up as a founding document of this country, and what’s worse is being daily incorporated into legislation.
This same document is being held up as the racial saviour of our country. Those who portray it in this fashion do not so much hold up the Treaty, as they INVOKE it, as if it has magical powers.
One of their biggest weapons is political correctness. Political correctness is the equivalent of a royal or papal seal, once you have the mantle of being official declared Politically Correct then you are infallible and above criticism.
Anyone who attacks these anointed few is, as New Zealand First did in the case of Creative New Zealand and their logo is instantly labelled as any one, or all of the following:
- Culturally insensitive;
- “not understanding of the cultural issues”;
- “disempowering”, what ever that means.
New Zealand First has been labelled all of those things in the last year in the media, despite most of these people not knowing a Maori if they fell over one.
Previously political correctness in all its guises was restricted to academia and it was rightly derided as a source of amusement. It is now in our bureaucracy and parliament and is influencing all government policy. In politics, as in economics, resources are scarce. When those resources chase feel-good pipe dreams then there is eventually a very real and clear cost to others.
This PC mode of thinking is dangerous, and it does not do anything to advance New Zealand’s real development in the new economy. Make no bones about it. This type of tribalism is no longer an act of mirth, it is deadweight to development and it is hurting the very people it is proclaiming to be helping.
This “Wellington problem’ is a real problem for all New Zealand! It is a major obstacle in the social and economic development of this country. Through taxes, 40% of everything that is produced in this country is controlled by Wellington. That’s fine if the bureaucracy is working to a common goal, as it used to, but now the politics does not finish at the gates of Parliament.
New Zealand First is committed to ending the “race-first” way of thinking in Wellington. We are putting it into our manifesto, and we will be insisting that it be part of any government that New Zealand First is involved with after the election.
We want a colour-blind bureaucracy, where people are treated on a needs-based, rather than race based criteria.
Political correctness is ideological bullying by zealots who wish to protect their status and privileges by trying to shame those who do not hold their views into silence. It is obscene and it is costing this country hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
One of the developments of the terrorist attacks on September 11th is that people are now less tolerant of those who would seek to curtail our freedoms and who wish to push their dogma onto us.
There has been a noticeable tidal change on issues such as the Treaty of Waitangi and other Politically Correct, new-age sacred cows.
For the first time in a decade and a half more people are now openly questioning the motives and the credibility of the Treaty and to ending the careers of these victimcrats, and in ending the cycle of funding that they live on.
I am convinced that many of these victimcrats, and the consultancies that government seems so fond of, get paid by the word. They get paid double if they use buzzwords like: “iwi”; “whanau”; “kaumatua” and triple their pay for every time they can mention the “Treaty of Waitangi Principles” and “equal opportunity”.
As part of any coalition deal with New Zealand First after the next election the Treaty of Waitangi gravy-train, and the other victimcrat departments of the Government will be reviewed, and if they do not meet the core goals of good government then they will be stopped.
This country has very limited resources, and we simply cannot afford the burden of these people who produce nothing but weasel-words. We are intent on going into the moral equivalent of war against the Wellington Bureaucracy that is costing our country and our people so very dearly. The reason that these people have been allowed to get away with it is that those in Parliament have let them do it.
Another of the big problems in Wellington is the attitude of the Government that there is only a problem if the media think so.
This had led to the predominance of spin over substance, and at the expense of things that were promised before the election. The thinking is that if the media are paying no attention to a subject then there is no need to make progress on it.
We see the direct result of that right here in Palmerston North.
Remember before the election when the Labour party was tough on crime? Remember when George Hawkins got up in Parliament every week and bemoaned the stance on crime of the National party?
You don’t? Well that’s exactly what George was hoping for.
Remember voting for tougher sentencing at the last election. 92% of voters said they wanted to send crims to jail for longer.
And yet just days after the election Matt Robson, the Minister of Corrections, with all the patronising arrogance that only do-gooder white liberal types can manage, was telling you that it was cruel and unusual punishment for you to demand that rapists, murderers and other assorted misfits be held accountable for their actions.
Well some of us haven’t forgotten. Here are some picks of George Hawkins before the election.
On May 7th 1999 he said in Parliament that the Minister of Police should resign because he had not dealt with gangs and that gang fortifications had not been taken down.
It’s good to know that all the gang fortifications have been taken down since George became minister two and half years ago, and all their guns have been taken off them. I mean, George wouldn’t hold his predecessor to one standard and himself to another now would he?
I guess we must be imagining all those high gang land fences we see everyday, because surely George has pulled them all down by now.
Back on 19 June 1996 George said that unless the Government was on top of gangs within 5 years then we would never be able to control them? I guess the fact that we are seeing a gang war here in Palmerston North is a case of mass hallucination. I mean George has the gangs under control doesn’t he? After all later that month he said that gangs were evil.
3 years ago the tax department released a report that said that the black economy (that part of the economy that is outside the tax-base) was worth $10billion a year. That sum is made up of drugs, prostitution, money laundering and other crimes.
Crime in New Zealand today is a multi-billion dollar business. The people the police are coming up against are not disorganised thugs, but well funded and very violent organised criminals not fettered by the law in protecting their businesses.
It is obscene that the government should not only ignore their activities but actively aid and abet them by paying them benefits and providing them with state housing at the lowest rentals.
The government’s policy towards gangs is not inconsistent with the rest of its policies- for some inexplicable reason as soon as Maori are mentioned commonsense seems to fly out the window and buckets of dollars replace it.
New Zealand has changed from being safe to a crime-ridden, ill-disciplined and violent society.
An immediate campaign against lawlessness is needed now, while longer-term strategies are required to deal with the root causes of crime.
New Zealand First recognises that the rights of the victims are paramount, and that the offender’s rights are subject to the rights of both the victim and the State.
We are not interested in protecting crims, or in bending over backwards to protect their “rights’. If elected, we will introduce both the punishment and the rehabilitation that the vast majority of New Zealanders voted for at the last election.
We believe that New Zealanders are not looking for more of the same.
The New Zealand Public are looking for leadership and vision - not petty point scoring and one upmanship.
That is the old style of politics - and it is all the "old"parties have to offer. The posing, the posturing and the positioning - the public have had enough.
The public have a real choice at the next election. They can choose to vote for the parties and leaders who have betrayed them in the past or they can vote for the only political party which in modern times has kept its word.