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Kiwi Culture & Values Under Threat - Peters Speech

21 June 2002

Kiwi Culture And Values Under Threat

Un High Commissioner For Refugees’ Decision Totally Rebuts PM’s Position

Rt Hon Winston Peters

Pukekohe Town Hall

Pukekohe

12.00pm Friday 21 June 2002

Thank you for this chance to bring New Zealand First’s election campaign to you today.

Let us be very clear about New Zealand First’s view on what’s behind this election

This should be called the Blitzkreig election.

We are having an election in the middle of winter because Labour thinks it can ambush the electorate and govern alone.

But if this country wakes up on 28 July to find Labour has an overall majority of MPs the nightmare of one party government will be back and this country would return to the tragedy of unbridled power.

Remember what happened when Labour last had a monopoly on power - it unleashed a wave of turmoil - selling NZ assets for a song - closing hospitals - accompanied by wholesale redundancies.

And then National went on to try and outdo them in inflicting havoc.

We are still repairing the damage of those years.

To give Labour unchecked power would make as much sense as a farmer inviting a plague of locusts onto his property.

Labour must be held in check and there are only two parties capable of that - New Zealand First and the Greens

If you like your politics “Green” then that is your democratic right, but the Greens are not all they pretend to be.

The Greens are like Churchill’s description of Russia:

“a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”

Beneath the bland and reassuring faces of Rod and Jeanette there lurks a strange menagerie of causes, - ideologies - fads - therapies and obsessions.

Occasionally the mask slips

The facade slipped on Waitangi Day when we suddenly learnt that Maori sovereignty was on the Green agenda - a revelation to those who see the Greens as just nice, innocuous harmless people who want to save the planet

We say to people considering voting Green to keep Labour in check -

Have a care! There are some nasty surprises, like Maori sovereignty, lurking in the Greenhouse.

The fact that Labour did a deal with the Greens -in Coromandel - should also sound a warning about what those two parties are hatching.

To keep Labour under control it has to be New Zealand First. The Greens simply haven’t got the experience or the common sense to keep a rein on Labour.

Why - because we have clearly demonstrated the right to be the honest broker in a Parliament with Labour as the largest party

We have worked constructively to further the interest of ordinary New Zealanders since the last election.

We have acted responsibility to support measures that are clearly in the country’s interests and the Prime Minister acknowledges that.

We have supported the Government in key areas such as:

- the establishment of the Super Fund, which the Greens opposed

- taking an extremely cautious and considered approach to genetic engineering as recommended by the Royal Commission, which the Greens opposed

- going for increased economic growth and the promotion of our exports industries, which the Greens oppose

So we have shown we can work with a Labour led Government - when the policies make sense for ordinary Kiwis.

Unlike the Greens we believe in democracy - we will work with the majority party

without the “gun to the head” ultimatums that the Greens favour.

Where we strongly disagree with Labour is in our three main election policies, and it is curious that, on these three policies, Labour - has not got an answer for us.

New Zealand First’s campaign is simple and direct

We say this election is about the rights of ordinary Kiwis:

And that is why our campaign makes three pledges to the people of New Zealand.

We will

- restore safety to the streets of NZ

- derail the racially divisive Treaty Industry

- puts the brakes on immigration

And we believe a sound government would fix these three things.

Now I want to turn to the main theme of my speech today -immigration

It is appropriate to raise it here in Pukekohe, a settlement which has experienced much immigration where they have settled in well and made a significant contribution to our country, back in the days when we did have a planned immigration policy.

And let us start with this question

Have we the right to talk about immigration?

This question is important because when I gave a speech on immigration in Wellington recently the ensuing NZ media chorus suggested some offence had been committed.

Did any of the big city media challenge the economic, health or educational issues associated with immigration raised in that speech - No!

Did any of them follow up on the shambles that exists in the administration of our immigration laws? - No!

Did any of them address the concerns raised about social cohesion - No!

If the big city media had any integrity they would say

OK we disagree with Winston Peters on immigration -

But we give credit for putting a vitally important issue before the public

- and we respect the right to speak out on it.

In yesterday’s “Evening Post’ that is precisely what the Race Relations Conciliation did.

But no - the public arbiters of good taste in our society, the people who decide what you shall and shall not hear have concluded that immigration has to be like the family uncle with a gambling problem - an embarrassment - something that cannot be admitted.

Such is the timidity of the big city media that no editor had the courage to front up and tell their readers the truth and say:

- yes, this paper supports the current levels of immigration.

Because if they did that they would have a lot of cancelled subscriptions!

Ladies and Gentlemen - although this speech today is about immigration it is also about the right to speak out.

It is about the right of all New Zealanders to refuse to be cowed into a cringing silence by the dictates of misguided politeness and political correctness.

Ordinary Kiwis knows something is seriously wrong with our immigration policy.

But the political and media establishment are in denial.

Their hope in this election is that a sort of censorship will prevail -

- the immigration issue will go away if we pretend it’s not an issue.

As a result, when New Zealand First raises immigration issues we are treated like lepers.

The political establishment has decided that immigration is not a fit topic for your ears.

The good news is that, unlike the other political parties, New Zealand First is not going to pander to political correctness.

We are the party of straight talking

That is something that seems to be have become a lost art in NZ politics.

And the rot starts at the top.

As you will have noticed, our Prime Minister has a deep personal guilt complex

Like many liberal academics she feels a constant need to atone for something.

In her intellectual way she has decided that all New Zealanders must wallow in the collective guilt

New Zealand First says that instead of trying to be morally superior to previous generations - and its pretty easy to be sanctimonious in hindsight - the Prime Minister owes a more immediate apology to her own country

- for the shameful neglect and abandonment of anything resembling control over immigration.

And it is for that reason - despite the overwhelming urge of the political establishment to airbrush immigration out of the election - New Zealand First will put it there.

The other parties in this election seem not to have noticed that immigration has become the single most important electoral issue in Western Europe and Australia.

Every developed country is toughening up its immigration policy - in the face of massive pressure from the developing world.

Every country that is -except one, New Zealand!

You are owed an explanation:

- When did the people of New Zealand grant this Government a mandate to allow 53,000 migrants a year to enter New Zealand?

- Why are almost as many foreign born people being allowed to settle in NZ as are being born here?

- Why, relative to our size, are we allowing tens of thousands more people to enter as residents than any other developed country in the world?

- Why do we fail to enforce our immigration laws? We already have 20,000 overstayers!

- Why are we failing to check for Aids and other infectious diseases brought by migrants?

- Why are we handing out our citizenship like bus tickets?

- And why does the Government tolerate a dysfunctional administration service that is incapable of plugging the loopholes in our lax immigration laws?

You may have seen the lead article in last Saturday’s Herald:

“Deported Sex Felon Cons His Way Back”

Commit a crime - be deported - sneak back in - and marry your sister-in-law to gain permanent residency!

It is a scandal but that is state of our immigration control

We have a hapless Minister and unfortunately that disaster is compounded by an Immigration Service in disarray

And whenever the Minister is confronted by immigration realities what does she do?

She falls back on the predictable formula for suppressing criticism - accuse whoever dares to raise the issue of immigration as a racist, a bigot and a scaremonger and what that has led to is the kind of extreme stupidity which saw Prime Minister, Helen Clark, strutting the international stage and taking over 140 “so called refugees’ off the Tampa last year. At millions of dollars of future costs, they are all settled in NZ now.

Were they genuine refugees? And who would be an appropriate authority to determine that?

Well, “The Bulletin” (Queensland) of Tuesday April 9 2002 carries a full front page on the Tampa refugees under the title “Imposters’.

The article opens with “only seven of the Afghan asylum seekers rescued by the Norwegian container ship Tampa last year have been found to be genuine refugees”.

And who made that judgment? Well, no less than the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR) which identified the legitimate seven, in its ruling on the status of 529 asylum seekers detained at Nauru Island.

Of “the 301 who were rescued at sea from the Tampa, 292 were Afghans. The UNHCR decision means that the remaining 285 Afghans who do not qualify as refugees may be sent back.”

So the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is not a racist but anyone who challenged the decision to treat these people as refugees, as New Zealand First did, is. We will go on paying for this stupidity for years.

Pansy Wong for National, like Lianne Dalzeil for Labour, is coming from the same place.

After my Wellington speech on immigration Pansy Wong criticised me for being anti-Asian and attacking the immigrant community.

She cannot have read my speech - because it certainly contained nothing that could be construed as anti - Asian, or anti-South African, or anti -British or anti-Fijian or anti-Sri-Lanken for that matter.

We are not picking on immigrants who are here

New Zealand First is a one country party.

All New Zealand citizens must share equal rights and responsibilities.

Our criticism is of open door immigration

A system that has more holes that a fishing net

An immigration policy that has no thought no direction and no vision

There was a young Chinese women migrant in the audience for that Wellington speech. Naturally the reporters raced to get her response.

What distinguishes her from Pansy Wong was that she was there and actually heard what I said.

This is what she said to the reporters at the end of my speech - and these are her words as reported by the media not mine.

“I agree with what he says - immigration needs to be managed”

That is the authentic voice of a new New Zealander.

She knew what I was saying was sane, sensible and needed to be said. Naturally she didn’t appear on TV that night, but imagine if she had criticised me.

But where does the National Party stand on immigration?

There has been a deafening silence from Bill English.

Maybe the political dominatrix who wields the whip over him has decreed that talking about immigration might offend some of her Business Roundtable cronies -

who see importing cheap labour as the way to build our economy?

So Pansy Wong represents the National Party’s thinking on immigration.

That can be quickly summed up -

- smear anyone who does talk about immigration with the ultimate weapons in the political correctness arsenal - the weapon that stifles all debate - the label of racism

Well we say to Pansy Wong:

Are the Danes racist?

Are the Dutch racist?

Are the Italians racist?

Are the British, the French, the Australians racist?

And while we are talking about other countries

Take a look at the immigration policies of Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Korea

Are they racist too?

Nothing that New Zealand First proposes would be contrary to their immigration policies

For the benefit of the other political parties who are incapable of grasping the point - let me spell it out:

Immigration is not about race - it’s about numbers

What the other parties refuse to say is - if 53,000 is a perfectly fine and acceptable number of immigrants - why would not 153,000 or 253,000 be even better?

Why are we denying ourselves such a windfall?

Some points need to be emphasised.

New Zealand First is the only political party that has consistently - and persistently - spoken out about immigration

In this election New Zealand First stands alone on immigration - in this election all the other political parties are in the opposite corner - cowering in silence.

So I ask every New Zealander in this election to give New Zealand First his or her party vote.

And I make that plea irrespective of the time you have been here.

All who have migrated to NZ - and that includes my ancestors - came to this country to find a better life for themselves and their children.

The consequences of further unchecked immigration will affect you whether you have been here 3 months or 3 centuries.

So New Zealand First’s message applies equally to the more recent migrants as it does to people with a few NZ born generations behind them

If we do not act soon every New Zealander will be the loser and the NZ we value will be irretrievable lost

Earlier this week Paul Holmes devoted a programme to the disappearing Kiwi.

We are told our national icon is facing extinction unless the calamitous fall in numbers is halted.

Holmes may soon be making a similar programme about the fate of human Kiwi culture and values.

Already in our most populous region -Auckland - one in three of the population were overseas born. People of Asian ethnicity have doubled in a decade.

What other country on earth allows as many people to enter as are being born there?

I promise you that New Zealand First will work to:

- Drastically reduce the numbers of migrants to NZ

- Put an end to gaping loopholes in immigration laws

- Ensure that all migrants serve a probationary period of 3 years during which, if they are convicted of a crime that carries a jail sentence, their permanent residence status can be revoked

Ladies and Gentlemen let me say in conclusion:

- Immigration is not a sideshow -it is not a minor distraction, an irritation, as the other parties would have you believe.

- Immigration goes to the heart of who we are as New Zealanders

- Immigration determines what sort of society we will be

- Immigration is the real issue in this election

Can we fix it?

Yes we can!

Give New Zealand First your party vote!

ENDS


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