Winston Peters Speech to NZ First Convention
Winston Peters Speech to NZ First Convention: “When Tomorrow Comes”
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Annual Conference
1.30pm Sunday 20 July 2008
It has been a great conference and thank you to the many hands who have contributed to this success.
To George Groombridge, the Board, all of you work on a voluntary basis – thank you.
To my caucus colleagues, Deputy Leader Peter Brown, Ron Mark, Doug Woolerton, Barbara Stewart, Pita Paraone and Dail Jones – thank you.
These men and woman have served you and this country well.
They are an integral part of the fabric of New Zealand politics and our country is a better place because they are there.
In celebrating 15 years as a political party this week we recognise the many people who have played a central role in our success.
Some in this room were here at the beginning, at this very venue.
Others joined us along the way.
To each of you who have played your part in building this great party – thank you.
Some people might think 15 years is a long time in politics.
Well, we have news for our opponents – we’ve only just begun!
But let’s make no mistake. What we know points to the dirtiest campaign New Zealand has ever seen, full of smears, allegations and lies.
But it’s a compliment that we are the target.
Our enemies know that if they can’t get rid of Winston Peters and New Zealand First, then their intended conspiracy against the public will fail.
So we will make our enemies a pact. If they stop telling lies about us, we will stop telling the truth about them.
We have so much more to do. New Zealand needs hope again - real hope for ordinary New Zealanders.
We need hope built on our unity and belief in ourselves.
We need hope built on Kiwi ingenuity and the Kiwi way of life.
We need hope built on fair incomes.
We need hope built on safer streets and shared values.
We need hope that our education prepares our children for a better future.
We need hope that their better future is here in New Zealand.
Parents need hope that there will be job security, affordable housing, proper healthcare and a life outside work.
We need hope that our citizens work to live not live to work.
Senior citizens need hope that generations following them can build on their hard work and sacrifice, and learn from their experience.
But most importantly, we need hope built on action.
If we are going to have a better tomorrow we must act today.
New Zealand First has a plan of action.
It uses New Zealand solutions for New Zealand problems.
What we used to do when we were a great country.
For more than twenty years now, the two old parties have got the social and economic mix wrong.
They have imported foreign money, ideas and culture, while exporting jobs, talent and profits.
They have governed for other peoples, but not ours.
If it seems like we are going backwards – it is because we are.
We must head in a new direction.
Keeping our brightest and best, generating our own ideas, and developing and exporting our products and services so the profits flow back to us.
We would get richer, we would provide better healthcare, education and social services, and once again we would set the benchmark for other countries.
In comparison with successful economies, it is not that we are spending too much, but that we are simply not earning enough.
Today the National Party is transfixed on cutting spending while having no idea about wealth creation.
Others are obsessed with defending spending whilst missing the point; reduced spending will flow from real wealth creation.
The fourth Labour government introduced income support because their economic plan was dramatically failing. Little has changed since.
These economic plans failed because they were imported from economies different to ours.
So the solution is for New Zealanders to start providing the answers again.
It means throwing people at problems – not buckets of taxpayers' money.
It must occur at the community level and not be imposed from grey concrete buildings somewhere in Wellington.
Here are some examples.
There are thousands of gang members in this country – a blight with its origins in overseas ideas.
Gangs have fused the LA style gangster culture of drugs and violence with disenfranchised urban Maori and in doing so have bastardized Maori culture.
Across the racial divide, others have adopted the views of violent racists.
You could not think of a more poisonous cocktail of social misfits and criminals.
The result is New Zealand now riddled with violent crime, drug dealing, intimidation and teen prostitution.
The gangs are the most visible – the most blatant – the most in-your-face manifestation of the breakdown in law and order.
Brazen and cocky, the patched gang members strut and preen themselves in our streets and outside social welfare offices where they pick up their dole.
The message they send to the young and the impressionable in their communities is unmistakable.
That message is “the police are impotent - we the patched gangsters, have the real power!”
We have a clear message today. Things are going to change.
For too long gangs have been tolerated and indulged by successive governments.
They have been too scared to confront the long term causes of violent crime and the breakdown of traditional families and communities.
New Zealand First recognises that the root causes of crime demand long-term, local solutions.
First, in the short term, we are going to make life real hard for them.
Those who are a clear and present danger to our society with their record of criminal offending should be locked up until they are too old to harm anyone.
It is simple crim-onomics. That word means that if it costs more socially and economically to have them outside, which it does, than inside, – then the solution is clear.
You do the maths, insurance costs, car conversions, drugs, health costs, law enforcement costs - the list goes on. Having them on the outside costs us billions a year.
We are no longer going to go on paying the wages of fear.
Where there is hope among them – we will help them get out, and stay out, of the gang culture.
Ultimately however, the answer to the gangs and criminal offending is to raise a generation of people who are not attracted to a disgusting anti-social lifestyle.
Too many children and young people in New Zealand are being shortchanged as a result of:
Family dysfunction and abuse
Low levels of educational achievement
Tolerance of criminality and violence.
Today many young New Zealanders are not being raised to be proud and responsible citizens.
Tell me – would the Kahui twins have died if their mother had been mentored by caring members of her community about parenting and personal responsibility?
If the boys' father had been taken under the wing of a fatherly figure, taught him how to be a real man, to face up to his responsibilities, to get a job, and to support his young family?
So what difference would the right people make to this scenario, and the thousands of others like them, in communities throughout New Zealand?
Because sadly, too many parents have abandoned their responsibility to teach their children right from wrong.
They have lost their social compass and conscience.
This is an epidemic.
And what is the answer?
What will build a strong, Maori and Pacific middle class, which has the economic means and the fortitude to resolve this crisis?
One thing is clear – simply throwing more money and more government inquiries at the problem won’t deliver any improvement.
Strong communities are built on people – people helping other people.
And more than ever we need the right people playing key roles in rebuilding our communities.
New bold leadership.
Rebuilding our society on tried and true traditional values.
And the people most often able to pick up this burden are the women.
They represent real hope.
They raise our children which are our future.
We need more women playing a more prominent part in our communities.
The strongest societies and communities are those where men and women work together.
Behind every great community are great men and women – each playing their part. We should not be afraid of embracing what is strong and enduring about women in our communities.
As a society we have never properly dealt with the fallout of Maori and Pacific urbanisation during the 50s to the 80s.
The loss of their traditional social anchors left many in these cultures adrift.
We need to see community leadership that reclaims those hardworking traditional values that underpinned the great Maori and Pacific cultures.
The values of Ratana, the Maori Battalion, of the Maori Women’s Welfare League and Maori Wardens, and great leaders like Sir Apirana Ngata.
The values of respect for elders, of respecting property, of belonging to a community, of knowing right from wrong.
And it is not for the government to force these values on society – they must come from within.
But a government can help with policies which promote the economic and social conditions in which communities thrive.
These communities will provide leadership that will guide and inspire young Maori and Pacific people to achieve.
We know there is no magic wand to save a lost generation.
The choice is ours – either act now with local wisdom and proven solutions – or lose this generation forever and pay the social cost for decades to come.
Time and time again New Zealand First has come up with the answers to serious problems.
This party has called for investment law reform for fifteen long years.
We’ve witnessed successive governments more concerned with protecting directors than investors and shareholders.
The jungle that they have defended has seen collapse after collapse and the loss of over three billion dollars of largely older peoples’ money.
We’ve seen the Bluechips, the Bridgecorps and 25 others go belly up losing your money.
It is scandalous that parliament has long refused to act to defend a key component of the free market.
We will not rest until investors are paramount and the prison sentences for those defrauding them are the same as the United States.
Past governments have failed but we will not because we are the only party that takes the same view of white collar crime as any other crime.
This party was founded on the Winebox, the BNZ and the sellout of New Zealand.
When no one would raise a finger – we raised the roof, spending our own personal money to do it.
Likewise we need bold and decisive New Zealand based policy for savings and foreign ownership.
It is no exaggeration to say that our economy is hemorrhaging from daily transfusions to Australian-owned banks and foreign interests.
This financial blood letting must be staunched.
The Cullen Fund and KiwiSaver are helping lift New Zealand’s savings performance – and that is why we supported them – but they do not go far enough.
New Zealand First wants to put an investment programme in place to reduce foreign ownership of New Zealand.
Our real savings will enable us to buy back our strategic assets now in foreign hands.
It is simplistic and naïve in the extreme for others to talk about GDP growth when so much of the profits go into foreign hands.
Why do we hear so much talk from National about offshore money for infrastructure.
We regard ACC as key infrastructure. Under National’s plan Australian insurance companies will decide if you get injury compensation and for how long.
New Zealanders should be given the opportunity to invest in a designated fund that targets local infrastructure and sound companies.
Remember the Auckland airport was 250 percent oversubscribed by New Zealanders so why are we shutting our own people out
We are calling it - The New Zealand Fund – to be launched after the next election.
How much more sensible would it be for New Zealanders to put money into such a fund to rebuild our nation’s future - than the billions that have disappeared into failed finance companies and shonky property deals.
Here is an example.
This past week government agreed to sell a Wellington power network to Chinese interests.
This is the same madness that gripped the governments of the eighties and nineties.
And whilst we are at it, with power prices going through the roof, why are we not amalgamating the power companies created during the mindless National Party reforms?
Why don’t we buy those back and provide cheaper power to New Zealand households and businesses?
The other parties are trapped in a time warp over this.
They are happy to sell our power infrastructure to offshore interests whose concern is not our long term security but their short term profits.
Why not give a huge competitive advantage to our exporters and help every household budget?
New Zealand First is the only party really prepared to address the poisoned chalice of Douglas and Richardson.
That is the type of New Zealand-based solution we are talking about - bringing New Zealand thinking to the issue of economic cohesion and social stability in our society.
Our future as a nation is only secure as long as the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us.
Ladies and gentlemen in our country, multiculturalism, whatever that means, has become an excuse to ignore what is really happening to our society.
There is a world of difference between being multicultural and multiculturalism.
One is to respect other cultures - the other to actively promote every culture - and therein lie the seeds of ethnic strife.
If we are to all head in a different direction, based on fifty different cultural values, for our ship of state, no wind will be the right wind.
It’s already happening. It’s in the news most nights, but only one party has the solution.
Yes, we are a nation with many immigrants – so it is imperative we think seriously about the values and vision we must share.
We came here to build a new country with its own culture, not a resettlement of fifty different cultures from somewhere else.
And that is the reason we remain vigilant about the rate of immigration and where our future citizens come from.
The politically correct habit of seeing the world through “multiculturalism” spectacles is against New Zealand’s interests.
In New Zealand First we believe in looking at things with our eyes wide open.
New Zealand already has one race-based party in Parliament.
Tell me what if we had an Asian party – a Pacific party – or even – heaven forbid - an all-whites party?
We’ve already heard calls for this. Look at what is happening in Auckland – the immigration capital of New Zealand – just last night on TV the tragedy of our flawed immigration system was highlighted.
Murders and kidnapping.
Our convention was pushed to third place – remember the years we spent warning them this would happen.
The crime wave in Auckland is all too real – as are its racial and ethnic undertones.
When the Asian community mobilised and marched in strength a few weeks ago to protest against attacks they sent a signal to the rest of New Zealand.
That message was that this community is not prepared to play some politically correct game of turning the other cheek.
“We in the Asian community are not going to be ‘culturally intimidated’ even if the rest of you are,” their leader said before he admitted the Chinese triads were already here.
The response of the Asian community was honest – but if anyone missed the ethnic dimension of the protest they are willfully blind.
The New Zealand based solution is clear.
We are a tolerant and inclusive people. But we do have a uniquely Kiwi way of life based on long held values to defend.
That is why we must include the people of New Zealand in decision-making over matters of immigration.
We must support those who come to this country with a proper civics education programme which ensures our values and basic laws are taught and understood.
But we reject the callous negligence that sees us with the most scandalous immigration policy in the western world.
Does anyone believe this week’s Indian pilgrimage story?
If any recent immigrant is behind this scam his lawful right to be here should be revoked. The answer to our future is where it has always been.
It is with you.
When tomorrow comes, you, the people, will provide the lasting answers we need.
When tomorrow comes, you must take back your country.
You must continue to help the young mother next door.
You must share your wise counsel with the young.
When tomorrow comes, you must stop our future being decided in a foreign board room.
When tomorrow comes, you must demand leadership prepared to fight for New Zealanders first.
In a few months the people will be asked to pick a new government.
The foreign-owned media are already deciding who it shall be.
Don't let them.
When tomorrow comes, the people will be in charge of this country.
When tomorrow comes, we will start rebuilding our nation again.
When tomorrow comes, we will do it together.
So let’s go back to our electorates, our communities, our streets, our suburbs, our country lanes with a clear message.
This party has the policies and the people, the record and the resolution for a better tomorrow.
But we must act today.
There comes a tide in the affairs of men, which, if taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.