Peters' speech in response to Budget 2007
Rt Hon Winston Peters' speech in response to Budget 2007
Today is a day that many New Zealanders look to with some hope and expectation of vision and leadership.
Others more cynically see politics as a soap opera.
A little bit of drama here and there, but mostly predictable lines played out to well worn plots.
This has certainly been true of much of the contribution so far in this House and predictably the commentary that has followed.
No original script, no original lines.
This arises because this House is so full of prima donnas it could fill the cast of "Shortland Street".
So the real question is what new performances have we seen in this year's Budget?
You see, for Labour this Budget is all about trying to find "Friends".
Much like the show itself, they used to top the ratings, but the reruns just don’t have the same appeal.
Labour now hopes that by "Mucking In" their polls ratings will rise along with it.
While there are some who have questioned the Government's "Agenda", the fact is that there is much which is commendable in this Budget – much of which was at the insistence of New Zealand First.
You see New Zealand businesses have been waiting to get the economy into "Top Gear".
Cutting the rate of tax to 30%, which brings us into line with Australia, will go some way to achieving this.
But if our businesses are to really see "Happy Days" again then we must go a lot further.
There is much good work which is being done to build our exporting capacity in Export Year, with further initiatives in this Budget.
But how much better would things be if all new export profits were taxed at 20%?
You see, we must encourage our businesses to do better both at "Home and Away".
It is the only way we will grow.
New Zealand First fully supports the Government's efforts to build our savings base.
The reality is that in Australia and elsewhere they have been playing "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" through savings for more than fifteen years.
In fact New Zealand's saving strategy have been more like a "Lotto Draw", hoping and wishing that things will go our way.
But for New Zealand First this really is "Back to the Future".
Now before anybody accuses New Zealand First of being "Super Nanny" over compulsory saving – we suggest they just look across the ditch and then tell us, who was right and who was wrong.
Now one area where New Zealand First has huge concerns is on law and order.
While we initiated the recruitment of 1000 extra front line police – we are really worried that corrections now is beginning to look more like "Prison Break" and "Getaway".
And with gangs increasingly out of control on our streets we now have our own version of "The War at Home" – and it isn't pretty.
We just have to do better.
The time has come to declare war on gangs – to say enough is enough.
This is not an episode of "Bro Town" – it is real people being killed by gangs, not cartoon characters.
You see in South Auckland on any given day at any given school you will find up to 15 or more students with serious weapons.
What sort of environment are we providing for our young people to learn in under those circumstances.
You see we have heard all the apologists.
We have heard those who say it is too hard or too give them a chance.
They had their chance and we say it is game over.
The war on Gangs is now a "Game of Two Halves".
We are now entering the second half and New Zealand First says it is time for the right team to start winning.
We will outlaw the gangs. We will hunt them down, shut them down and rid our society of their scourge.
They now have their warning.
Post 2008, whoever New Zealand First is working with, any condition of our support will be based on an assurance that we will close the gangs down once and for all.
You could say they will be "Departed"
New Zealand First is pleased with the $400 million extra going into the elder care sector. This money is long overdue after this sector was run into the ground for more than a decade.
We also applaud the increased funding for making free healthcare for under sixes more accessible, but we ultimately want to see this extended to all primary school aged children.
New Zealand First believes that there should be a little "Nip/Tuck" in the health sector, with a more focus on health outcomes and less on administration.
Far too much of our health sector looks like "ER". One dramatic crisis after another.
New Zealanders deserve better.
New Zealand First is pleased with the massive increase in Overseas Aid, with most of it directed here in the Pacific.
You could say that we believe in being good "Neighbours", but is about more than that.
As we strengthen our neighbourhood we make our future more secure – they go hand in hand.
This is an MMP parliament and today's Budget is an MMP budget.
New Zealand First, like United Future, welcomes efforts on reducing business tax.
The United Future party seems to be going through its own version of "Down Size Me". Now some parties deserve this and some do not and New Zealand First feels genuinely sorry for Peter Dunne on this matter.
We know exactly what it is like to have people ride into to parliament on your coattails to then have them get delusions of grandeur and stab you in the back.
Much like the final scene of the recent drama "Rome", someone has been left with a knife in his back.
The only plot than can really fit to National's current state is "Lost".
Several divided tribes, never knowing who they can trust and who they can't, stuck some place they don't want to be.
They went from having the "Odd Couple", with Don and Gerry, to "My Two Dads".
John Key of course is going through his own version of "The Apprentice".
You see first it was Jenny Shipley who got the line – 'you're fired'.
Then Bill English – 'you're fired'.
Then Don Brash – 'you're fired'.
And Of course Nick Smith only lasted two weeks before – 'you're fired'.
While Gerry lasted a bit longer it was still – 'you're fired'.
Now we are going through the John Key episode.
What is worse is the spectacle of John Key and Bill English playing their version of "Whose Line is it Anyway" over everything from tax cuts, climate change and dealing with the newly discovered underclass.
Of course Key is right in the middle of an "Extreme Makeover".
Everything Don Brash stood for John Key is now renouncing.
On Treaty policy – "Extreme Makeover".
On climate change – "Extreme Makeover".
On Kiwi saver – "Extreme Makeover".
On four weeks annual leave – "Extreme Makeover".
We could go on.
National's solution of course has always been based on an "Outrageous Fortune".
Tax cuts funded by cutting services, large borrowing, and selling off more of the family silver – just like they did in the 1990s.
And despite all the rhetoric they are really like "Desperate Housewives" – looking around for a suitor come the next election.
Act of course is still reminiscing about "Dancing with the Stars".
But all the stars have gone now.
In fact we have seen Rodney go from "Two and a Half Men" to disappearing "Without a Trace", just like his party.
Most of New Zealand view the Greens as a combination of "Fantasy Island" and "Fear Factor".
And while most New Zealander had wished the Maori party had stayed on the "Marae", we now have them stepping into "Native Affairs".
They are certainly not an option National wants to entertain.
Then there is the one Drama show which is now topping the rating because it is original, new and creative – just like the one political party which stands out from all the others and offers real hope.
The show is of course "Heroes" and the political party New Zealand First.
We are the party which has demonstrated that you can have quality policy solutions and can work in New Zealand 's best interest.
We are "Heroes" to our seniors.
We want to ensure their quality of life is so much better through higher superannuation, a SuperGold Card and a huge increase in funding for eldercare.
We are "Heroes" to New Zealand businesses crying out for a tax cut and for incentives to grow their export capacity.
We are the only party prepared to rewrite the Reserve Bank Act so it favours New Zealand interests. So it is New Zealand business and the New Zealand worker getting rich off the world – not the other way around.
We are "Heroes" to New Zealand families who want to feel more secure in their home knowing there are more police on the streets and someone in parliament prepared to take on the gangs.
We are "Heroes" to New Zealand workers who want higher wages. Those on the minimum wage now have $70 a week more in their pay packets because we wanted it to rise.
We are "Heroes" to those Kiwis who want to see the Kiwi Way of life preserved. Those who want to see our borders more secure, our ideals protected and our quality of life enhanced.
We are "Heroes" to those who want to see New Zealanders as one people – different cultures bound by shared values. We want to end the politically correct nonsense which has surrounded the Treaty and it will take "Heroes" to do it.
You see New Zealand needs political "Heroes" prepared to stand up on tough issues when others will not.
We know we take a risk in standing up and fighting for ordinary New Zealanders.
But that is what "Heroes" do.
And that is what we in New Zealand First do.