Speech: Rodney Hide To Contest Epsom
Speech: Rodney Hide To Contest Epsom
ACT Epsom Candidate Selection Meeting, Parnell Community Centre, 545 Parnell Road, 1pm Sunday 2 November 2003
Thank you for the honour of being ACT's candidate for Epsom at the next election.
I intend to give the people of Epsom a choice at the next election. I intend to compete head to head against Richard Worth. I intend to win the seat of Epsom.
The people of Epsom have been good to ACT. They have been especially kind to me. I have tried hard to live up to the support and the kindness that I have received. I opened my office in Epsom in November 1998. It is still there.
I intend to make my office in Epsom a permanent one.
At the next election, I will be asking each and every voter in Epsom to vote for me as their Member of Parliament.
I have three reasons for contesting for Epsom.
Reason Number One: I believe Epsom voters deserve the best MP no matter which party they support - whether that be ACT, National, Labour, Greens, United or New Zealand First. I am the best candidate for Epsom. I am a better MP than Richard Worth. I have been a successful MP. Richard Worth has proved disappointing.
Reason Number Two: We have MMP. Parties must learn to work together. The National Party and our next Prime Minister Don Brash need help and support. I need the help and support of Epsom voters to provide it.
Reason Number Three: ACT needs a seat. We need to secure ACT's place in Parliament to ensure the needed support for Don Brash. Me winning Epsom would do that.
I have been asked a lot this week about what Don Brash as leader of the National Party means for ACT. Don Brash is a great man. I believe that he will prove a great leader of the National Party. I believe that he will prove a great Prime Minister of New Zealand in eighteen months' time.
The election of Don Brash as leader shows that the National Party has its heart in the right place.
But National is a centre party. Its policies have not changed. Nick Smith at Number Two is a wet. Bill English at Number Five is a wet. National remains a centre party.
Don Brash is an achiever. He will set high standards for the National Party. That is good for the National Party. That is good for ACT. And it is good for the country.
But National is and remains at the centre of New Zealand politics. It was National that Don Brash chose to join. He joined a party of the centre.
New Zealanders who believe in freedom and prosperity, who believe in less taxes and limited government, who believe in welfare reform and beefing up our security, must still support and vote ACT.
ACT needs to build support for what we believe in. We need to earn and win votes to show that New Zealanders care. We need to show that New Zealanders know that our country can and should do better
Every vote that ACT wins, is a vote for the change in direction that New Zealand so desperately needs for us to prosper and succeed as a country.
Each vote that ACT wins is a vote in support of Don Brash as Prime Minister and for the National Party in government. But it is something more. It is a vote that voters want something better for their families and for their country. It is a vote for the principles of freedom and prosperity that will be delivered on.
New Zealanders are a great people. We work hard, we are inventive, and we care for each other and for our country.
But kiwi families are having to work harder and harder for less and less. Our government is taking more and more.
Helen Clark and her government are arrogant, aloof and out-of-touch. They have no connection with what it is to work, to raise a family and to pay the bills. They hand-out our hard-earned money to anyone who looks good with a plastic tiki but have no money for our police or surgical operations when we need them.
The government's economic policy is more handouts. Helen Clark has put business on welfare. That's her approach to winning voting support - hand out taxpayers' money. There is no rhyme nor reason for who gets it.
Helen Clark now heads a government that is drifting. She has no strategic direction for her government. She has no strategic direction for the country. Just look at the seabed and foreshore issue. Her indecision and delay have left us unsure whether our access to our beaches will survive this government.
Helen Clark has put off and put off confronting the issue.
We have with Helen Clark an academic, politically-correct Prime Minister. She does not put the general welfare of the country first. Her ear is captured by minority interests. Her government's focus has fragmented.
Helen Clark drove through the Supreme Court Bill that cancelled New Zealanders right to appeal to the Privy Council without consultation and without a care about what New Zealanders think. She has paid no heed of our views on crime.
Her and her Ministers don't know what we think. They don't care what we think.
We are as a country drifting. We are falling further and further behind the countries that we like to compare ourselves to. We are struggling to maintain the services that we expect and should demand.
The biggest barrier to us doing better for ourselves and our families is our own government.
There is no prospect of improvement under the present administration.
Helen Clark leads the most anti-business, anti-wealth, anti-success government of a generation. Hers is a handout government. She sponsors state dependency. And everywhere and always it is working families that are paying for it.
Helen Clark's government doesn't know what it is to work, doesn't understand business, and hasn't a clue how to make the country prosper.
We are a great country. And we can do so much better.
I want New Zealand to prosper. I want New Zealanders to be successful. I want us to be rich.
A vote for me in Epsom is a vote for prosperity and success.
A vote for me sends the message loud and clear that we are sick of governments taking our hard-earned money and wasting it.
Government is spending more money than ever before. But are we safe in our streets? Are we safe in our homes? Are we safe in our places of work?
No we are not.
Our government is blowing our money away on every mad cause imaginable - but has no money for our police, no money for our combat air force, no money for our protection.
We pay more money than we have ever paid before to government but when we call for help there is no policeman there for us.
And what happens if by chance a thug is caught? He gets a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket. Each and everyone of us is a victim of crime. We may not have been the one's hit. But they are our neighbours. They are our fellow citizens. And with each new crime, we become that much more afraid, we feel less safe, we withdraw and restrict our activities.
This government doesn't care for us. It sees the criminals as the victims. And our hard work and success the rationale for others to attack and rob us.
We are all victims of crime. And the cause of crime is the criminals. We need the criminals to be caught and we need them to be punished. We need their punishment to fit the crime.
The cost of a burglary in New Zealand is now less than a day in prison. Crime now pays.
The thugs and the villains are laughing at us. We are the ones who have the life-long sentences. Life-long sentences of fear. Life-long sentences from the scars of the violence that is committed against us and our families.
Government is supposed to protect us. That's why we have it. That's why we pay taxes. That's what we have screamed at government at every opportunity. But our government has completely lost any sense of its purpose or priority.
We need more police protection. We need a beefed up military. We need punishments that fit the crime.
We need a zero tolerance policy for crime.
A vote for me is a vote for security - at home and abroad.
A vote for me is a vote for a government that sets its key priority as making our streets, our places of work, and our homes safe once more.
If we are to prosper, we need low taxes, private property rights, and an end to red tape.
But most of all we need centre-right leadership. That leadership must counter and defeat those politicians and political parties who would drag us all down. We need leadership on the centre-right to put forward a positive vision of a free, peaceful and prosperous New Zealand.
We now have Don Brash to provide that leadership. He joins Richard Prebble. That's a formidable team.
But Epsom voters can add to that leadership. A vote for me in Epsom is a vote to boost the centre-right leadership that New Zealand needs to prosper.
Auckland needs leadership too. We haven't had it. Our infrastructure is a disgrace. Our roads are grid-locked. Our politics is grid-locked too. We need an MP in Parliament representing Auckland who can get things done to get Auckland moving.
I am that MP.
A vote for me is a vote an MP that will take a leadership position in Parliament on the issues of concern to the people of Epsom.
This is my third term as a back bench opposition MP. It is right that I talk about my record. I want to talk about what I have achieved to be worthy of your vote.
Of course, government is real power. But I believe that a backbench Opposition MP can make a real difference - getting things done is possible if you work hard enough. Being in Opposition is no excuse.
I have put the perks and pay of MPs on the political agenda. I have increased the accountability and transparency of politicians' pay. I want to continue with this work. With your support and your vote, I will.
I campaigned against and changed the IRD's culture of fear and punishment - they have been civilised. But the IRD will not be fully tamed until politicians take less of what we produce. With your support I will work hard to build a constituency for lower taxes and less government spending.
I campaigned for and achieved a better deal for war veterans. I do not regard this as a party political issue - looking after the men and women who serve our country on our orders should have multi party support. For me, looking after our veterans is simply a matter of honour and respect. With your vote and support I will ensure that all parties honour and respect all those who served.
I have this year exposed the waste and corruption at Te Mangai Paho and Te Puni Kokiri. I have been responsible for major changes in procedures. I have been responsible for the change in the top personnel. I have helped sort out what was a disgraceful mess.
But the only way forward for everyone, including Maori, is to be better educated and more productive. Race-based laws and race-based polices are a big con. With your support I will continue to fight against race-based policies, big bloated departments and their useless Ministers.
I have exposed the wasteful and - in the case of The Warehouse, improper - payouts by Jim Anderton's Jobs Machine. Our money should be spent properly and well, no matter who is in government. I have become a watchdog for the money that you pay in tax.
But Jim Anderton's Jobs Machine is wrong. Our future depends on being smart and producing more - not on corporate welfare and crony capitalism. With your support I will continue to fight against hand-outs for favoured businesses.
Why should just the lucky get assistance? We should help every business. We should do that by lowering taxes and making it easier to employ people. That's how you help business. That's how you make our economy stronger. That's how you ensure that New Zealanders prosper.
I will be campaigning hard in Epsom. I want to earn the great privilege of representing the people of Epsom in our Parliament.
My taking Epsom will be good for Epsom, good for ACT, and very good for the National Party.
Ladies and Gentlemen my opponent in Epsom is a man of modest goals and even more modest achievements.
As consul for Monaco, Mr Richard Worth set his goal as boosting trade between our two countries. He boasts his goal on his web page. A year ago our exports to Monaco were zero. Last year we managed $1,238 of exports. Mr Worth has boosted our exports by just over a thousand dollars. It's a modest goal. And an even more modest achievement.
The people of Epsom deserve better.
A vote for me in Epsom is a vote for a better MP. It is a vote against this second-rate Government. It is a vote in favour of our vision of a free, peaceful and prosperous nation.
Every day this Government damages our nation and corrupts the values that will lead to success in the 21^st century. The values of a successful society are the values of the people of Epsom - it is those values that are under attack from this socialist busy-body Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen a vote for me as your candidate is a vote for achievement. It's a vote for prosperity. It is a vote security. It is a vote for leadership.