Peters: "Your Future Is In Your Hands"
Speech to Wellington Central
Mezzanine Floor, Wellington Central Library,
30 July 2008
“Your Future Is In Your Hands”
There is old saying in politics that “when people stop talking about you, it's time to worry”.
You may have noticed recently, that while some other political parties might have cause to worry, we in New Zealand First do not.
The current media hysteria reminds us of the real reason we are involved in politics.
Make no mistake, this is a politically motivated smear campaign, built on unsubstantiated claims, innuendo and misinformation.
They choose not to see the facts because they would stand in the way of their jaundiced stories.
The truth is too boring for these people – but half truths and salacious untruths make better headlines.
Let me assure you these people will not win.
We have faced them down before, and won and we will face them down again and will win again.
At its core this is part of a battle which has been waged for more than 20 years.
On one side are those who have unfinished business in selling off and pillaging our assets, who want to privatise what is left of our government services and whose only ambition is to make wealthy overseas owners rich at our expense.
On the other side are those who have opposed them every step of the way.
Who have stopped the asset sales, reversed the slashing of benefits and has stood as a barrier to those intent on destroying our great country?
Over the past 20 years only New Zealand First.
Those faceless backers of privatisation have huge resources at their disposal and they have been biding their time.
They are behind this campaign of character assassination today. Few journalists know it.
They want to manipulate who is in government for their own purposes.
And they will always exact a price for their support.
John Key does not yet know what price he will have to pay for the support of the people in the shadows behind him.
Jim Bolger did not know in 1990. That is why he could make the no ifs, no buts, no maybes statements regarding the Superannuation surcharge.
He didn’t know that his backers would force him to back pedal.
And then the faceless debt collectors came calling and what happened?
The surcharge was increased – not cut. Benefits were slashed, tens of thousands of jobs were lost and the turmoil started by Roger Douglas was continued by Ruth Richardson, Jenny Shipley and others still there.
John Key will say what he has to say to get elected and then the real agenda will be unveiled for him.
He will have to cut New Zealand Superannuation, cut health and education spending and he will have to sell off government assets.
Mark these words - if National were to govern alone after the next election that is precisely what will happen.
Left unchecked, they will slash and burn everything that is not already bolted down.
Look at their record – you have seen it all before.
You have seen what happens when National is left to their own devices.
Your generation knows and understands the price that is paid when the debt collectors of the Far Right come knocking.
You have had your pensions slashed before.
You have lost your money in companies like Blue Chip, Bridgecorp and the 25 others that have collapsed losing over three billion dollars of mainly older peoples' money.
Your power bills have gone up and up – after National restructured the electricity industry ten years ago.
So why are the forces of darkness attacking New Zealand First with their tissue of lies?
The answer is simple – only New Zealand First stands as a barrier to their secret agenda.
We will never allow your superannuation to be cut – and they know it.
We will never allow the health budget to be cut – and they know it.
We will never allow the sale of more state assets to foreigners – and they know it.
Our policy programme demonstrates that we actively sought to reverse the policies of Rogernomics and Ruthenasia.
Now to address some pleasant matters.
Yesterday, the first shipment of updated SuperGold Card directories – which contain over 850 businesses and nearly 5000 business outlets were delivered.
Hundreds of new businesses have joined since the card was launched.
So use your new directory and the true benefits of the SuperGold Card will become even clearer.
In less than one year your card is more advanced than many equivalent cards in Australia.
When the free off-peak public transport kicks in later this year, along with the extra $500 subsidy for hearing aids it will be even more valuable.
New Zealand First intends to ensure that this is only just the beginning – but we need your support for this.
In October this year as tax cuts take effect for working New Zealanders, those on superannuation will get a major windfall.
For married couples this means just under $23 a week, with adjusted amounts for other rates of New Zealand Superannuation.
You see we said your superannuation needed to be higher – and it is.
But our commitment does not stop there.
This coming election is
about some of the really basic issues.
It's about the survival of ordinary people in the face of oil price shocks, exorbitant interest rates, price rises, increased crime and threatened unemployment.
We worry that senior citizens, who have made a great contribution to their country, face soaring power bills and have to think twice about turning on the heater.
We are concerned that people who really should go to the doctor or buy a prescription can't afford to.
Food costs are soaring – the price of petrol is going through the roof.
We know that life is not easy for you.
We could go on but there is a message we have come to deliver.
We will do something about it.
You can rely on New Zealand First.
But we need your help. You hold the solution in your own hands. You are still the key to the future of this once great country.
The solution is to support New Zealand First.
We believe in a civilised society.
If you want to fight gangs, violence, crime, drugs and white collar crime, simply talking tough is not enough – you must be tough.
These criminals see weakness in other parties – they know they can literally get away with murder – and live in state houses subsidised by taxpayers while they do it.
Many are on social welfare benefits.
A number of others get paid by the state to
liaise with other gangs to keep a lid on things so they can
get on with their drug dealing in peace.
We must deal with this in ways that will make a real difference.
Many gang members claim they actually want a better life for their children but continue to peddle drugs, inflict violence and crime on society and snub their noses at the law.
If we are to deal with gangs once and for all then we
must be bold.
First we must ban the gangs.
New Zealand First has legislation, based on international experiences in banning gangs, that will do just that.
Unless you ban them, then the criminal gang
lifestyle remains a choice.
But we must also provide a pathway out of the criminal gang lifestyle.
This means re-education and employment training. This means drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
This means helping the women and children – often the real victims of the gang lifestyle – out of the gang environment and into safer housing.
We must end the bastardisation of Maori culture by the gangs.
They are a disgrace, and every time they hog the media limelight they embarrass and undermine Maoridom.
Only one party can deliver this type of change.
Only one party has the policies and courage to deal with the scourge of gangs on our society.
We are sick of all the talk and no action.
We make you this promise today –
give us the numbers in parliament, and we will get rid of
the gangs and their disgusting lifestyle once and for all.
Now let us turn to those other pressing issues of concern.
We need to deal with the white collar criminals who are fleecing New Zealand households by coming through the front door rather than the window.
But their impact is
no less – they are thieves all the same.
New Zealand First 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 from people like yourselves.
We’ve seen the Blue Chips, 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.
New Zealand First was founded on the Winebox, the BNZ and the sell out of New Zealand.
When no one would raise a finger – we raised the roof, spending our own money to do it.
And those who we have opposed are the very same who are running the current scandalous campaign.
We want to protect the interests of the elderly and their families.
We want you to enjoy your retirement in dignity.
New Zealand First recognises that affordability
is a huge issue.
This is why we want to see GST reduced to 10% across the board.
Everything becomes more affordable – and it is deflationary, easing pressure on interest rates, at least in the short term.
We also accept that your incomes must rise to meet these rising costs.
After the next election, if you give us the numbers, we will put New Zealand Superannuation up to 68% of the Net Average Wage – to keep you ahead of rising inflation, rather than just keeping up.
We will also
ensure that the first $100 of weekly income earned is tax
This delivers a windfall for all workers as well as those on New Zealand Superannuation.
All up, we estimate this will put at least an extra $30 a week into your pockets and any part time work you do will provide you with more cash in your hand.
But we cannot do this without your support.
Put it this way. We cannot protect you if we don’t have enough troops to fight for you in Parliament.
We have a fair idea of what is happening and what the tactics will be after the election whoever wins it.
The people in the National party who brought you the cutbacks of the nineties are alive and well, still in Parliament and raring to go with their secret agenda.
Supporting those on New Zealand Superannuation is not part of that agenda.
Too many in parliament have lost touch with ordinary New Zealanders, lost touch with their roots and have forgotten about the basics.
We in New Zealand First will stand as a buffer between the people and the party that forms the next government.
We have been your protection in the past.
We will protect you again.
But we are only as effective as the numbers you give us.
We want to work with you again.
All that we have promised is achievable if we do it together.
You can determine your future.
So make it a bright one which puts New Zealand and New Zealanders first.