Will New Zealand Wake Up On The 27th Or The 28th ?
Rt Hon Winston Peters
YMCA CONFERENCE ROOM
QUEEN ST, MASTERTON
2.00pm Friday 28 June 2002
The Big Question: Will New Zealand Wake Up On The 27th Or The 28th ?
It is good to be here with our candidate today.
In the Second World War the Germans used the term Blitzkrieg - lightening war - to describe a certain type of campaign.
The idea was to snatch a decisive victory at a time when the opponent was in disarray.
Labour is adopting the same strategy in this election.
Seeing the woefully confused and bewildered state of the National Party, Labour thinks it can strike quickly and gain an overwhelming victory - one that will mean it can govern alone.
But what Helen Clark and the Labour Party would see as their finest hour would be tragic for New Zealand.
Every thinking person in this country knows that to hand Labour a monopoly of Parliamentary power would be madness.
There are no good reasons to entrust Labour with that sort of unbridled power.
There are lots of reasons why that must not happen.
When Labour last had a monopoly on power its folly knew no bounds - in the name of its free market mantra it indulged in an orgy of so-called reform - everything from selling the nation’s assets for a pittance to restructuring and privatising the public sector into chaos.
And the damage did not end with Labour.
National then tried to outdo them in the turmoil game
And lest we forget - Helen Clark - though she never mentions it now - was a Cabinet Minister in those dark years - while the heart was being ripped out of our economy - while assets that generations of Kiwis had built up were squandered in fire sales.
And what is important to recall is that Helen Clark was part of the grand deception of the New Zealand public that was part and parcel of the Labour party strategy at that time.
The public were never informed, never consulted and certainly never warned about Labour’s scorched earth agenda for the New Zealand economy and society.
And that is why - coming back to 2002 - New Zealanders will not be giving the Labour Party the overwhelming Parliamentary majority it craves.
New Zealanders are not daft - they know that Labour must be held in check.
The media have suggested that there are two parties capable of that - New Zealand First and the Greens. The question to anyone contemplating voting “Green’ is this -
Do you really know what the Green’s stand for?
The Greens have done a dance over the GE issue.
OK we know that they are intransigent on that issue.
But the fact is that we do not live by bread alone.
Whether it be GE free or not!
The Government has to deal with society as a whole - the economy - health - law and order - defence and international relations.
What exactly do the Green’s stand for in these areas? It is far from clear.
Sometimes we find out in odd ways what the Greens are really up to.
For example, on Waitangi Day when we suddenly learnt that Maori sovereignty was part of the Green agenda. Maori lawyer Turei , who appears to have been placed at number eight on their list to address their total lack of Maori candidates at the last election, believes in separate Maori institutions for everything. That is what she means by Maori sovereignty.
The Greens are uncomfortable with the Parliamentary process -
- because it involves choices - it involves compromise - it means dealing with an imperfect world.
It means being less than pure!
Are these people really going to be able to handle the arch manipulators and spinmeisters who run Labour Party politics?
To keep Labour under control it has to be New Zealand First.
Why - because we have clearly demonstrated our ability to serve as the honest broker in a Parliament where Labour is the largest party.
New Zealand First has worked constructively throughout the term of this Government to further the interest of ordinary New Zealanders.
We have supported measures that are clearly in the country’s interests such as:
- the establishment of the Super Fund..........which was opposed by the Greens;
- taking a cautious and considered approach to genetic engineering as recommended by the Royal Commission...........................and not threatening to bring down the Government;
- going for increased economic growth and the promotion of our exports industries.......and not standing in the way of adding resources for education and health.
We have worked with a Labour led Government - and we will continue to do so - in those areas that make sense for ordinary Kiwis.
New Zealand First has experienced and learnt from coalition Government.
Over the past two and half years, although not a coalition partner, we have given the Government support when it was justified.....and opposed it when it was not.
New Zealand First has performed well with the result that even our opponents credit us with having brought good sense and stability to Parliamentary business.
Where we strongly disagree with Labour is in our three main election policies.
New Zealand First’s campaign is simple and direct.
We say this election is about the rights of ordinary Kiwis:
- The right to walk down the streets of this country in safety.
- The right of all New Zealanders to stand together as equals.
- The right to stop being swamped by a flood of immigrants
And that is why our campaign makes three pledges to the people of New Zealand.
- restore safety to the streets of New Zealand
- derail the tribally divisive, racially divisive Treaty Industry
- put the brakes on immigration
Immigration raises huge economic, social and political issues for New Zealand but, and
here is the strange thing - in this election none of the other political parties want to talk about it.
The reason is clear - for our political opponents to the left, political correctness and liberal sentimentality rule.
Their greatest fear is being labelled “racist’ if they mention the word immigration.
They are much more interested in grandstanding on how much more humanitarian and compassionate New Zealand is than our Australian cousins are.
To our right, National and ACT dance to the tune of big business who have a strong interest in a constant flow of cheap labour.
Only one party has consistently advocated an immigration policy based on the interests of ordinary Kiwis.
That party is New Zealand First!
We say to our critics - those who refuse to address immigration - the issue of immigration has nothing to do with race - it has everything to do with numbers.
Let me give you some numbers.
Already in this country almost 1 in 5 residents were born overseas.
And in the Auckland region that figure rises to 1 in 3.
Yes - in our largest centre of population 1 in 3 is overseas born.
What other country would allow that to happen?
The Statistics department tells us in the five year period between the 1996 and the 2001 census the percentage increase for those with overseas birthplaces was as follows:
China 100%, South Africa 130%, India 63%, Fiji 37%, Korea 47%:
Our opponents say - but those figures are from a low base - we say they are huge growth rates over a five year period.
And remember that immigrants beget immigrants through our lax family reunification conditions.
So the entry of one migrant can lead to chain migration of relatives
Unfortunately in New Zealand any attempt to talk about the serious issues associated with immigration immediately descends into cries of “Asian Bashing” from the likes of Pansy Wong.
She would have some credibility if she directed her attacks at the many countries who - in contrast to New Zealand - have a shocking record of human rights abuses - and China would be near the top of that long list.
Members of Parliament should remember they are put there to serve the interests of all New Zealanders. That is the basis of our democracy.
New Zealand First says New Zealand does not need to apologise for its record on human rights.
We do not need to be defensive about putting in place a sensible and rational immigration policy.
We are not perfect - ( I’m half Maori and half Scottish myself!) but New Zealanders on the whole are a fair minded and tolerant people.
May I remind the other political parties that Government is supposed to put the interests of New Zealanders first.
We do not have an obligation to take care of the people of other countries.
This is not being callous - it’s being realistic
Now let me cover some of the facts of life about immigration that our political opponents ignore or want to overlook, starting with:
Proponents of high levels of immigration claim there are enormous economic benefits
But for some odd reason these benefits are only asserted - never proved -never substantiated.
If there were clear evidence of the economic benefits of immigration you can be sure this Government would not be slow in using it.
The real facts are that immigration contributes to a downward pressure on wage levels and decreased job opportunities for ordinary Kiwis.
But where are the trade unions?
Their role used to be to protect their members pay and conditions
When did you hear of a New Zealand trade union official mentioning immigration?
No they are in thrall to the Labour Party and the prevailing political correctness.
Is there anyone in New Zealand who does not know that the physical infrastructure of the Auckland area is under severe strain?
Yes - there is one!
Michael Barnett Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce
He took me to task in the Auckland Herald of 24 June saying;
“Winston Peters insults immigrants, Auckland and the intelligence of voters with his outlandish claim that opening the door to large numbers of immigrants contributes to Auckland’s traffic gridlock, puts pressure on schools and the health system and boosts inflation and interest rates.”
Excuse me, Mr Barnett but you must be speaking about a different Auckland to the one I and every other New Zealanders knows.
Is he seriously contending that mass immigration has not had a major impact on Auckland’s traffic, health and education infrastructure?
What is truly outlandish is that a spokesman for corporate New Zealand like Mr Barnett can have his head so firmly buried in the sand.
But it tells you exactly how divorced from reality some of the “elite’ in the business establishment have become.
Well, New Zealand First does not go along with make believe.
We want to see a prosperous New Zealand for all its people.
For us there has to be one overriding qualification for entry to New Zealand.
Clear benefit to New Zealand!
Social Cohesion is another area where our opponents are silent
The current levels of immigration pose a serious threat to the social cohesion of this country
New Zealand with a population just approaching 4 million actually has a very limited capacity to absorb immigrants.
Most immigrants get no further than Auckland.
What has happened as a result of short sighted immigration policy is that we have developed major concentrations of migrants who have little reason or incentive to move beyond their own community.
For example, two thirds of people of Asian ethnicity live in the Auckland region.
This country was built on fundamental values
Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Freedom.
New Zealand First is concerned that many of our immigrant’s come from societies where these are not the prevailing values.
Caution is called for.
Turning to Education
Does this Government think that allowing an influx of immigrants has no impact on the education system?
This country is experiencing the longest and bitterest pay dispute between teachers and Government.
As part of their claim, the PPTA has been vocal in its criticism of the extra workload the new NCEA assessment system will bring.
In contrast the PPTA has uttered not a word about the pressures that immigration is placing on our school system. Many of our schools are bursting at the seams - some where English is the predominant second language.
How does that stack up with the Government’s rhetoric about the “knowledge economy?”
But what has the PPTA had to say about exploding school rolls in Auckland due to the effects of immigration?
Nothing! Why the silence?
There is not a week that passes without another instance surfacing on how much our health system is under strain.
People who have been taxpayers in this country all their lives must join ever lengthening queues for treatment
In many cases they are waiting for treatment - such as radiotherapy - for life threatening illnesses.
Has any thought been given to the impact of immigration on the health system?
There are other examples of how immigration impacts on health.
Doctors who specialise in infectious diseases are warning of the urgent need to introduce testing programmes for migrants from high-risk countries to counter the spread of aids - again no action from the Government.
And to show how absurd the situation has become - in May this year it was reported that five years ago the Auckland District Health Board had 10 interpreters on an on- call basis - now it has 285!
Most immigrants are hard working and law abiding.
But not all are.
A few weeks ago the Weekend Herald’s lead article was a report of an Indian convicted, imprisoned and deported for sex offences who has bypassed immigration controls and returned to this country. The press reported that this individual returned to New Zealand using a false name and then married his sister in law. On the basis of this marriage he gained permanent residency.
And that is not an isolated example.
We must have the capacity to filter out people who are clearly undesirable.
If people turn out to be criminals then we should turn them out.
That is why New Zealand First will ensure that all migrants serve a probationary period of 3 years during which their permanent residence status can be revoked if they commit a serious crime.
A world expert in international terrorism - the director of Israel’s International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism (Mr Boaz Ganor) on a recent visit to New Zealand gave a warning on the dangers of infiltration.
Israelis are no strangers to terrorism so their warnings are worth heeding. The Director (Boaz Ganor) stated:
“You should be aware that this country could serve as a safehouse for some radical individuals. There is a need for control, to dig deep into the background of everyone seeking asylum here.”
“There should be no immediate granting of citizenship but years should be taken to make very sure a person is not involved with or supporting terrorism”
The National Business Review - a journal that normally advocates in favour of immigration - was moved to endorse the views expressed by this counter terrorism expert.
The Tampa Crisis sent a strong message to the rest of the world that Australia is not a soft touch for people smugglers
And it has worked, the message has got through.
In Australia, a situation that looked like spinning out of control last year has been stabilized.
The fact is that the law surrounding those seeking refugee status has become hopelessly outdated.
Conventions covering refugees were never intended to cope with the mass population movements now occurring globally.
And every time there is some crisis or upheaval in the developing world new waves of
refugees are generated.
The rest of the developed world is waking up and putting more stringent controls in place.
They are having to.
Now anyone can land at Auckland or Christchurch airport and claim that they have:
“ a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality or membership of a political party”
and accordingly claim refugee status.
And there is no shortage of lawyers ready to take up their cause, using your money.
Finally what about immigration and the Environment
Our friends the Greens hate cars, deplore roads and would slow economic growth in the interests of preserving the environment.
But the biggest single impact on the environment is from population growth. And back in 1972 the Values Party understood that.
And as a result of immigration this year New Zealand’s population growth will be double what it would from natural increase alone.
Why then do the Greens never mention immigration?
Yes - you guessed it - the crushing weight of political correctness that drains all other political parties of courage.
New Zealand First believes that the first responsibility of any Government is to protect the country's borders: that does not mean we are against immigrants as individuals. Who can blame people for wanting entry to New Zealand - to the rest of the world this country is paradise.
We are unashamedly a one country party - and we will be urging all new migrants to vote for us. Many will, because they know our concern is not with them but the country’s capacity to absorb the mass influx of migrants:
- We say it is imperative that New Zealand immediately reduce legal immigration flows to sustainable levels.
- We want the Immigration Service to be a Rottweiler - not a poodle without teeth!
- We want an end to chain immigration where through family reunification one migrant can generate multiple entry through parents, children, spouses and other relations.
And so, the big question is: “will New Zealand wake up on the 27th or the 28th of July?”
Ladies and Gentlemen, New Zealand First is the only party in this election that is committed to taking action on immigration. WE WILL:
- Drastically reduce the numbers of migrants to New Zealand;
- Put an end to gaping loopholes in immigration law;
- 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.
Can we fix it? Yes we can! Then give New Zealand First your party vote! ENDS