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Brash's cultural cringe reminiscent of Sir Joh

Hon Jim Anderton

Progressive Leader
Member of Parliament for Wigram

24 May 2006 Media Statement

Brash's cultural cringe reminiscent of Sir Joh

The Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton, called Don Brash the new Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen in his Budget 2006 speech today in Parliament.

"Dr Brash is the modern Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. He is ashamed of his New Zealand roots. He keeps running down New Zealand and he offers nothing but the vision of a banana republic. He should take his politics and his cultural cringe to Queensland, like Sir Joh did. He must have seen the ads "Where the bloody hell are you?" - and actually taken them seriously.

"Unemployment is under four percent for the first time since the mid-80s. Dr Brash, as Governor of the Reserve Bank, used to write forecasts that saw unemployment steady at seven percent of the workforce forever. And now that it's half the rate it was then, he dares to come in here and question the Labour-Progressive government's economic performance? He wants to take away the jobs of young New Zealanders and give tax cuts to wealthy people like himself. That is the National party's entire economic policy," Jim Anderton said.

"When the Opposition tries to speak to young adults born twenty years ago, does it offer a vision for New Zealand's future? Does it speak with pride about our culture and our uniqueness? No. They put down New Zealand in every speech they make. This is the party led by someone who said a week before the election that the haka is just a half-naked person jumping up and down. He's a walking example of cultural cringe. He is ashamed of New Zealand. And his colleagues are becoming ashamed of him. That is why they are already saying they will dump him sometime this year.

"Some National Party MPs know they need to offer something better to young New Zealanders than a constant harping on about how bad it is here. It has become a mantra for Dr Brash to beat up on New Zealand's success. Some National MPs even know that going back to the failed policies of the past offers a young New Zealander...nothing.

"When the Labour-Progressive government invested billions in transforming this economy for the people of New Zealand, the Opposition voted 'no'. The same Opposition that gutted this country in the eighties and nineties dares compare New Zealand to Australia? We fell behind dramatically in the eighties, and Dr Brash cheered. We fell further behind in the nineties and the Opposition was responsible for those policies.

The Progressive Party supports Budget 2006 because it continues along a path to a better, fairer, stronger New Zealand. Progressives want to see a strong, growing economy, capable of providing the social services New Zealand should have. We want to see vital and thriving small communities. And we want to see New Zealanders taking our own destiny in our hands and caring for each other. This budget pushes further in these directions. It continues to transform our economy. It invests in our priorities - skills and infrastructure. And it invests in our New Zealand identity. These are the ingredients that will create a future where young New Zealanders can realise their potential here – not Queensland," Jim Anderton said.


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