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The Manipulators - Winston Peters Speech

Rt Hon Winston Peters

Chevier Centre


7.30pm 8 July 2002

The Manipulators

Thank you for joining us here tonight. This speech will not be reported in your paper, and this meeting will probably not feature on the television news.

We will be accused of being conspiracy theorists for saying this.

As we have taken our message from north to south and east to west we have been joined by large crowds.

Our clear election message has received an excellent response.

But you can be forgiven for not knowing that.

Some weeks ago a major weekly had a story lined up for its front page. It was a story that New Zealand First had worked very hard at uncovering. The research by an independent reporter vindicated the position we had taken and pointed at Government inaction.

It got pulled.

It never appeared on the front page.

“Space” was the problem.............

Last week some concerned Aucklanders rang to say that their community newspaper had run a policy grid comparing the position held by various parties on the contentious issue of Genetic Engineering.

Well all the major parties except one.

We had provided the information and it is also available on our website but they chose not to include us.

Their choice.

The reason?


They had room for parties hardly registering in the polls but none for the party that, that day, was polling fourth.

Given the importance of the GE issue to New Zealanders and to the outcome of this election wouldn’t you have thought that the position of a party that is likely to hold the balance of responsibility would be worth noting?

New Zealand First, like the Greens, called for a Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering.

Unlike the Greens we did not dismiss the Commission’s findings out of hand.

There is, as you know a moratorium on field trials until October next year.

Doesn’t it make sense to use that time to continue our investigations? Shouldn’t we continue to do our research so that we can make an informed decision about lifting or extending the moratorium in fifteen months time?

New Zealand First has the same concerns for our people and our environment as any other political party - our name would suggest we have greater concern.

But, why should we use the GE issue as a political stunt to help us get elected in July 2002 when we can make a more informed decision in October 2003. that’s what a moratorium buys you more time.

You are being manipulated on that issue.

But back to my friends, the media: the Party that is not registered, not named, but wanting to decide this election for you.

How many media outlets published the Refugee Appeal Authority’s scathing criticism of the chaos in New Zealan’s immigration policies?

Their report corroborates the things we have been telling New Zealanders for years.

It didn’t appear.

Probably a question of space?

Who makes those decisions?

On what basis?

Did you see the TV3 Leader’s debate?

Who decided what the topics of conversation would be?

Education? Yes, vitally important>

The Treaty? Yes, we all have a huge interest in the resolution of Treaty issues.

Coalitions? Really? More important than Health? Or Law and Order? Or Immigration?

In deciding what will be printed, or shown, or discussed the media has a huge responsibility to get it right. Our democracy depends on balance.

There are stories out there that some newspapers are only accepting political; advertisements from some parties.

Where editorial or publishing decisions are made in accordance with Company policy or politics then you, the public, are being manipulated.

Someone made the comment after the TV3 debate that they at least felt more informed: they knew how John Campbell was going to vote.

After the last election a large number of political correspondents disappeared from radio, television and the newspapers. Where did they go?

Into the offices of Labour Ministers that’s where. They are now official parts of the Labour spin machine.

Do you feel like you are being manipulated?

Well you should.

You have been manipulated into having an election in mid winter.

Labour could have continued to govern through to the end of their term. New Zealand First has maintained a responsible Parliamentary presence. We have supported the Government when it was for the benefit of New Zealand, and opposed it when it wasn’t.

No, Labour used the Greens as an excuse to take the heat off Jim Anderton’s party hopping.

And they used them as an excuse to ride their luck before we found out about new petrol taxes and health taxes, and paintergate, and immigration numbers and higher exchange rates.

Because they want to govern alone, or Helen and Jim alone together.

And the electorate has been manipulated into considering giving them a chance.

If Jim win’s Wigram and gets the Party vote up around 1.5% he’ll take Matt with him. Helen will get a couple of toadies and improve her chances.

Aren’t we suckers?

And then Helen and Jim and Jeanette will be in hog heaven.

Yes, you’ve been manipulated and Labour thinks it can ambush the electorate.

But if this country wakes up on 28 July to find Labour plus Jim have an overall majority of MPs the nightmare of one party government will be back

If that were the outcome nothing is more certain than that this country would return to the tragedy of unbridled power.

You 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?

Of course you remember because we are still paying for it.

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

Or as much sense as opening our borders to anyone who wants to come here.

Or as much sense as making cannabis more readily available to our youth to help them embark on an anti-social life of crime and violence.

Labour must be held in check.

Because it is not the past that you should be afraid of.

Labour recently produced their new pledge card.

Full of nice words and no specifics.

They could say that they have fulfilled those pledges already and we would be none the wiser.

Do you feel like you have been manipulated?

Can you trust them?

How can you trust them?

Let me read to you from Labour’s Debit Card:

- They will legalise prostitution and soliciting

- They will decriminalize marijuana

- They will legislate for gay marriages and adoptions

- They will raise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and petrol

- They will continue to provide further large payments for prisoners

- They will continue to bring in 53,000 immigrants per year

- They will promote a separate voting system for local government based on race.

All of those things are happening or on hold until after the election.

But what abut the things they want to do if only they can get power on their own?

Up to a $1 increase in the price of petrol per litre (Judith Tizard says it is likely to be less than a $1, that is reassuring).

A new health tax to be ring-fenced this term and increased thereafter.

Pay outs for asylum seekers kept in custody.

Air New Zealand merged with Qantas.

Shorter sentences, less police support and no real action on violent crime.

Continuing chaos in our secondary schools.

Continuing rip-offs like the Crown Forestry Rental Trust spending $16m plus on itself while paying out a little over $2.5m to Treaty claimants.

Escalating electricity prices.

More PC mumbo jumbo.

Money for unemployed artists while we send sick New Zealanders to Australia for medical treatment.

More secret golden hand shakes.

Economic growth way behind other similar countries.

And while they are at it, why don’t they lower the drinking age again: it was such a success last time.

Labour must be reined in.

There are only two parties capable of that - NZ First and the Greens.

ACT can’t.

They are irrelevant in this scenario.

And essentially the Greens won’t.

If you like your politics “Green” then that is your democratic right but most New Zealanders realise that 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.

And it is not just one mask.

Rod would give his last pair of braces to be in Government.

Jeanette would be prepared to stay outside in the cold.

The two factions will bring nothing but instability to a new Government.

One of the Greens’ masks slipped on Waitangi Day when we suddenly learnt that Maori sovereignty was on the Green agenda.

That came as a revelation to those people 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 lurking in the Greenhouse: like Maori sovereignty and a policy of two nations and two systems, like decriminalizing cannabis, like destroying crops, and like opposing international trade.

And the Greens are manipulating us too.

They know that we don’t have to make a decision about the moratorium until late next year.

Their staged walk-out of Parliament and their playing of the GE card are part of the strategy that they bought with their bright young strategist from Australia.

Do you feel like you are being manipulated?

You should.

The fact that Labour are doing deals with the Greens - as in the Coromandel Constituency - should also sound a warning about what those two parties are hatching.

To keep Labour under control it has to be New Zealand First.

That is the only political insurance that you have in this election.


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