Peters: A Conspiracy Of Conspiracies
Rt Hon Winston Peters address to Far North
Far North Community Centre,
cnr Matthews Ave and South Rd Kaitaia
Thursday 21 August 2008, 12.30pm
A CONSPIRACY OF
Today I am going to talk about conspiracy theories.
A political conspiracy is a secret plan to carry out an illegal or harmful act with political motivations.
Does this sound familiar?
It should because that is what has been happening in New Zealand in the months leading up to the election.
There are some groups of people who believe that they, and only they, should be deciding who should control New Zealand for the next three years.
These people represent powerful, faceless, wealthy interests based both here and overseas.
They have been trying to grab control of this country since 1984 and they are getting more desperate as each election goes by.
Their agenda has never changed.
It is a plan to sell assets at bargain basement prices, to slash wages and benefits, including New Zealand Superannuation.
Everyone in this room should remember with horror the years of Rogernomics and Ruthenasia.
New Zealand was brought to its knees by imported ideological madness.
We are still trying to recover from it, yet there are certain interests who yearn to go back to those bad old days.
There are still some rich pickings for them.
They want the remaining taxpayer owned assets that have not yet been flogged off.
New Zealand First stands in their way.
And they are doing everything possible to get rid of us, including the dirtiest smear campaign in the history of New Zealand politics.
The people of Northland know what it is like to be betrayed by people in Wellington.
This province has a proud heritage. We know about this because the Peters’ come from up around here.
Nowhere has the proud heritage of this great province been shown better than on the rugby fields.
Some of the great names in New Zealand rugby are still household names up here.
Names like the Going brothers, Peter Jones, Ian Jones, JB Smith, Fred and Kawhena Woodman. Joe Morgan, Dickson Wright, Muru Walters.
Fresh from the World Cup debacle, the New Zealand Rugby Union has decided to kick Northland out of the National Provincial Championship.
Grassroots rugby in the North deserves a better deal and we are pleased to see that Northland is refusing to give in without a fight.
The suits in Wellington need to realise that rugby is a game owned by the players and the supporters.
Great rugby provinces like Northland should not be sacrificed on the grounds of expediency.
We urge the New Zealand Rugby Union to think again and to remember the thousands of people who built the game in the North.
We have always been an independent breed up here.
If you look at our history, you will see that conforming has never been our idea of fun.
Right from the start of our pre-European history, Nga Puhi had their own way of doing things.
And when they decided they disagreed with the way the British colonised the place, the boys did not let the odd flagpole stand in the way.
There’s an old story up here about the way we react to things in Northland.
We always unite to fight a common outside foe and if we run out of foes we turn the guns on one another!
This time there is a common enemy and we must stay united if we are to win this latest battle.
It is over the ownership of New Zealand and the control of our resources.
Do not think for one minute that your life will be better after the next election if New Zealand First is not around.
We have this simple belief that it is our duty to protect the vulnerable in our society.
And that includes a pledge to treat senior citizens with respect and to allow them to live out their well deserved retirement with enough income for their needs.
Food, shelter, warmth and healthcare are basic rights for the elderly.
You have made your contribution. It is up to us to recognise it.
You should not be paupers relying on charity in this country you helped to build.
Here are some of our plans for after the next election.
Our philosophy is that superannuation, retirement, healthcare and daily living is a total package that you have earned.
This is what we will do:
Increase New Zealand Superannuation to 68 percent of the net average wage.
Subsidise your power bills
Extend the buying power of the SuperGold Card
Make your communities safer
Protect your savings and investments
At present you are always playing catch-up with superannuation.
We are slowly but surely pushing up the rate.
After the next election it will go from 66 percent of the net average wage to 68 percent.
We worry about your soaring power bills.
We do not want senior citizens worrying about turning a heater on during the cold dark nights of winter.
We will subsidise power bills at the rate of $100 a month for three months in winter.
There is a lot of nonsense talked about the SuperGold Card.
We remind you that we had to start somewhere and already it is more successful than some Australian states where it has been available now for more than fifteen years.
Remember, ours has been in operation for less than one year.
The first shipment of updated SuperGold Card directories – which contain over 850 businesses and nearly 5000 business outlets were delivered this month.
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.
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.
We have also delivered on our pledge to recruit an extra thousand police.
You have the right to feel safe in your homes and on the streets.
Unfortunately there are law and order problems in just about every town or city in New Zealand.
We intend to put local gangs out of business and to clamp down on crime.
You’ll hear more about this later but we have a policy of banning gangs and all the crime that comes with them.
The legislation is drafted and ready to go. Gang members will be given a choice of going straight or staying in gaol until they are too old to cause any more problems.
Perhaps, in the fullness of time they could set up a branch of GreyPower in Paremoremo.
(Just joking of course)
There is another area in which some extra protection is needed.
Investment and savings.
The present situation is a shambles.
Over the past few months thousands of people have lost billions of dollars through finance and property company collapses and repayment moratoriums.
Many of those affected have been the elderly. Some have lost everything.
They are being penalised for being prudent and setting something aside for their retirement.
These finance cowboys have to be made accountable.
We in New Zealand First are also looking at a system within the banking industry to guarantee deposits up to $100,000.
They would have to be New Zealand-owned institutions and operate under strict guidelines.
Kiwibank and TSB are two such institutions we would look at.
The point is that we are a savings poor country.
We have relied too much on the savings of other countries.
It has to be more attractive for people to invest in their own country and to know that their investments are protected.
We are not talking about speculation. We are talking about savings and investing those savings in the growth and development of this country.
We must have faith in ourselves and go back to being nation builders.
The days of the wreckers are over.
New Zealand First is standing firmly in their way. We will not let them reduce your benefits or sell your assets ever again.
In a few weeks, 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.
We said your superannuation needed to be higher – and it is.
But our commitment does not stop there.
This coming election is about 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.
You hold the future of this country in your hands.
Do not be fooled by what politicians say – look at the record and look what politicians actually DO.
Words are cheap. Promises are cheap.
Look at the record of New Zealand First.
Look at our record of protecting senior citizens.
Look at our record of providing free medical care for the young.
We need more troops in Parliament to fight on behalf of you and your families.
Give us and the numbers and we will not let you down.