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The New Beneficiaries - Winston Peters Speech

Rt Hon Winston Peters

Nelson Grey Power, Victory Room, Trafalgar Centre, Nelson

1.00pm Tuesday, 16 July 2002

The New Beneficiaries

Up until the last week two scenarios were being touted as possible outcomes of this election:

- In the first Labour had sufficient MPs to govern alone

- In the second Labour was dependent on the Greens for a Parliamentary majority

Some New Zealanders will support these results but most would regard them with deep foreboding.

But if either of these two scenarios eventuates one thing is 100% certain over the next three years: wall to wall liberalism and political correctness!

One fact is incontrovertible.

Labour and the Greens are both hopelessly and chronically liberal in their views on:

- Law and Order

- The Treaty grievance industry

- Immigration

The thinking of Labour and the Greens in these key areas is a pulpy mixture of political correctness, sentimentality and muddle-headed romanticism

If you want anything done about these issues - and what thinking New Zealander does not, then you must give New Zealand First your party vote.

Because ours is the only party that has dedicated its election campaign to 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

An academic from Victoria University recently called for New Zealanders to “share their beautiful country’ and asked whether we want to keep our country for ourselves.

Well I’ve got news for that ivory tower dweller.

Yes we do want our country for ourselves!

We fought two world wars for that right.

And for the right to decide who we might invite to join us.

Has anyone asked you?

If those rights matter to you, then only a vote for New Zealand First can ensure that over the next three years New Zealand has a Parliament where the fundamental rights of ordinary Kiwis are recognised and respected;

where plain speaking counters political correctness;

and where New Zealand First keeps Labour honest.

That is the clear choice you have in this election.

Over the next two weeks you will see Labour attacking New Zealand First. They want to rule alone and they know that more and more voters are supporting Winston Peters and New Zealand First.

And they know that National is not competing, and that ACT is therefore irrelevant.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a new type of beneficiary in New Zealand:

- These are beneficiaries who never go near a WINZ office

- These are beneficiaries who drive BMW’s

- These beneficiaries are a caste of high priests - beyond challenge and criticism.

They are bureaucrats, lawyers, consultants, media and PR types - people who would normally be offended if you described them as beneficiaries

But when such people - and there are many hundreds of them - are part of the grievance industry spawned by the Treaty of Waitangi and are feeding off the public purse they are beneficiaries.

And these Treaty Industry beneficiaries are perpetrating benefit fraud on the New Zealand public on a grand scale.

These are the people who, as Dr Michael Bassett - himself a member of the Waitangi Tribunal - pointed out earlier this year, have a vested interest in perpetuating Treaty of Waitangi processes - in all their various manifestations

And these “Treaty People” are well placed and have connections deep into the political and media establishment

Right now there are already well over 800 claims before the Waitangi Tribunal

In the past two and a half years Labour has settled just 2 of them!

And remember that claims are no longer confined to historical land disputes - all manner of contemporary claims are now being invented.

That is why, in this election, New Zealand First is campaigning to bring this racket to an end.

But first lets ask the obvious question: will Labour or National do anything about this booming Industry?

Don’t hold your breath!

Having fed the Treaty industry over the past 15 years they are not looking to change course.

The Treaty Industry, like the opossum, the painted apple moth and other pests, spreads relentlessly.

Labour and National do not want to be reminded of their ineptitude in letting it loose.

In Labour’s case they simply will not touch the Treaty.

The wall to wall political correctness that characterises the Labour party means that any criticism of the Treaty is taboo.

Labour will turn a blind eye to the most blatant squandering of public money as long as the word Treaty appears somewhere on the invoice.

After the election if you are not careful, expect Labour to open the sluice gates of taxpayer money to the Treaty Industry.

What about National?

National says it will finalise all Treaty claims by 2008

Let’s say 2008 going on never.

If a week is a long time in politics, then 2008 is another era.

In other words - do not expect National to do anything about the Treaty - like Labour they are too deeply implicated to tackle this scandal.

Among the chattering classes it’s fashionable to be complacent about the Treaty Industry.

And why not - many of them are direct beneficiaries of it.

Their thinking goes along the lines of - “ what is the real harm of having endless hui at public expense if it keeps Maori quiet?”

This is the view that sees spending on the Treaty as a form of “hush” money.

Such an attitude is deeply insulting and patronising to the Maori people

It also completely overlooks the damage the Treaty Industry is inflicting on this country.

Ordinary decent Kiwis - the people who pay taxes, obey the law, do the job - can see the harm that is being done.

But the political establishment and the media are still in blinkers.

Impact on Maori

Foremost, the Treaty Industry has been a disaster for ordinary Maori:

First, because it diverts attention from the real problems facing Maori into symbolic and tokenistic activity that generates no real benefits for Maori.

Second, because it squanders scare resources that could be used to overcome Maori disadvantage in areas such as health, education and employment.

Third, because the Treaty Industry has enormously eroded the goodwill that exists towards Maori.

Nobody in New Zealand wants to see a group of their fellow citizens facing the significant disadvantages that many Maori are living with - but New Zealanders have limited tolerance for the antics that masquerade under the guise of helping Maori.

Let me illustrate how the Treaty Industry poisons race relations and promotes division between Maori and other New Zealanders.

When the Waitangi Tribunal endorsed a report into land confiscation in Taranaki that compared what happened to the holocaust in Europe what came of it?

Did the media challenge this grossly extravagant and misleading use of language?

Did the political establishment criticise the tribunal?

Did anyone castigate the Waitangi Tribunal chairman Eddie Durie who signed off that report?

Where were the chattering classes when this claptrap was being purveyed as historical fact?

It is outrageous that taxpayers are funding this sort of poisonous propaganda.

Our children are growing up being mislead by this type historical revisionism.

But again - as Michael Bassett has pointed out - the objectivity and credibility of the settlement process used by the Waitangi Tribunal is questionable - there is a fig leaf of legalism to give it respectability but the whole process is essentially political.

Subversion of the Legal System

One of the deeply insidious ways that the Treaty Industry is damaging this country is because more and more legislation now incorporates references to the Treaty.

Currently over 30 pieces of major legislation refer to the Treaty or its principles.

In 2001 Mathew Palmer, son of our former Prime Minister, who is Dean of Law at Victoria University pointed to the dangers of infecting legislation with vague and generic reference to the Treaty of Waitangi

But you do not need a PhD in law to see the folly of peppering legislation with something that no one - least of all the current Government - can define.

The only result of infecting our laws with vague and meaningless references to the Treaty is to create endless opportunities for further exploitation, confusion and mischief making

Treaty references in legislation are like pools of acid eating away and corroding the structure of our legal system.

Let me quote something I said in Parliament earlier this year that encapsulates the NZ First position on the creeping, crawling infection of New Zealand with meaningless “Treaty principles.”

“What on earth is this country doing, with hundreds of quasi-governmental groups making all sorts of interpretations, which the Minister, the Prime Minister and the Government are not prepared to own up to, and how are ordinary New Zealanders to understand where they fit into this long term policy making, when the Government has no idea what the principles are?”


The Treaty Industry has been called a gravy train

A gravy super tanker would be a better description!

What is true is that the Treaty Industry is an undeclared tax on all New Zealanders

The Treaty Industry is big business - a billion dollar industry that was inaugurated by the major settlements of Treaty claims that started in the early 1990’s such as the Fisheries, Tainui and Ngai Tahu settlements.

All these settlements were around $170 million each.

But, apart from direct settlement of Treaty claims, there are plenty of other streams of public largesse connected to the Treaty Industry.

Te Puni Kokiri (the Department for Maori Affairs), while having over 500 staff of its own - and one of the biggest concentrations of policy analysts in Wellington - is ladling out money to the consulting fraternity.

If Te Puni Kokiri were doing its job properly it would be eliminating - not feeding - the Treaty Industry.

Government spending on the promotion of te Reo - the Maori language - is running into millions - and the advent of a Maori TV channel will cause spending to rise exponentially.

But for a bit of bad luck in being “outed” the con man John Davy would have found himself quite at home in the Treaty scene!

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust illustrates how the Treaty Industry functions.

This shadowy organisation has now accumulated more than $300m in cash and securities - and generates funding revenue of $20m a year.

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust was created in 1990 to hold rents from land under state forests in trust until Maori claims under the Treaty were settled. At the time the trust deed stated:

“It is expected that the tribunal will have heard most of the claims relating to forest land by the middle of 1992”

Only a decade wrong - so far!

This organisation has now turned into a perpetual motion machine.

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust is answerable to nobody and has been slammed by Parliament’s Maori Affairs Select Committee for its lack of public scrutiny and accountability.

This outfit has paid its chairman Sir Graham Latimer almost $300,000 in fees over the three-year period from 1999 to 2001.

Similarly, there are prominent law firms that are running up bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollar in legal aid working on Treaty related cases.

All in all - nice work if you can get it!


In New Zealand we have often flattered ourselves that corruption does not exist in our society.

It doesn’t need to!

Who needs corruption with a Treaty grievance industry?

The Treaty Industry goes beyond corruption - it amounts to wholesale looting of the public purse.

So before we get too smug about Enron, WorldComm or the shortcomings of others -let us consider the beam in New Zealand’s eye - the Treaty Industry


The Treaty Industry has become a leech feeding off the public purse and New Zealand First is committed to ending it.

We must purge this curse. We must, or New Zealand will end up paying a fearful price.

The English politician and philosopher Edmund Burke once said:

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”

Something is rotten in New Zealand - the Treaty grievance industry.

If we as a country continue to turn a blind eye to the abuse that flourishes under the pretence of the Treaty of Waitangi the rot will spread.

Can we fix it? Yes we can - by giving your party vote to NZ First.


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