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Peters - Deeds Beat Words

Media Release

Rt Hon Winston Peters address to Tokoroa GreyPower,
Elim Church Hall,
Cnr Maraeti Road and Balmoral Drive,
Thursday 28 August, 1.30pm.

Deeds Beat Words

There is an old saying that “deeds and not words shall speak to me”.
The saying comes from John William Fletcher, an eighteenth century theologian.
Apparently he was one of those rare people who nobody had a bad word to say about.

In fact, and I quote “The outstanding feature of his life was a transparent simplicity and saintliness of spirit, and the testimony of his contemporaries to his godliness is unanimous.”

Now what has that got to do with this gathering today you might well ask?
The answer is simple.

It’s about deeds versus words.

You are being led to believe that a great brave new world is waiting for you out there under a National government.

Let’s go back to the pious Mr Fletcher for a moment and talk about deeds – not words.

Like when National was last in government they reduced New Zealand Superannuation.

You should remember the circumstances.

The National party decided that superannuation should be cut from 65 percent of the net average wage to 60 percent.

A lot of those cabinet ministers like Tony Ryall, Lockwood Smith, Nick Smith, Bill English, are still waiting around hoping for another chance.
Remember Maurice Williamson?

Who could forget him?

He’s still there and he has come out of the woodwork, or wherever National has been hiding him, and is advocating tolls on roads.
User pays he calls it. According to the National Party’s official newspaper, the NZ Herald, Mr Williamson is predicting motorists will pay an extra $50 a week around Auckland.

But the good news according to Maurice is that motorists will like it!

This guy makes the sheriff of Nottingham look like a philanthropist.
But wait, there’s more.

This is the party that is going to bring you extra tax cuts. The tax cuts will be very helpful.

You’ll be able to spend them on road tolls.
What is happening at the moment during all this National Party navel gazing is a steady leakage of policy that can be denied during the election campaign as not being “official.”

Make no mistake, National has an agenda carefully hidden somewhere ready to be imposed after the election because – and we can give the quote now – “because economic circumstances demand it!”

Let me tell you now that we do not need a raft of new taxes called road tolls.
It is time for some calm nerves and a steady hand on New Zealand’s financial rudder.

There is an international liquidity crisis and only a fool would believe that New Zealand will not be affected.

It is not time to embark on some crazy borrowing programme to finance further tax cuts.

It is time to be prudent and to protect the vulnerable in our society.

It is time to look at ways to protect investors and to clear this country of the financial cowboys who have had a clear run for the past two decades.
The plain fact of the matter is that on the economic front New Zealand is highly vulnerable.

And that is why New Zealand First’s economic policy puts prudence first.

That is the not the same as being timid – half hearted or indecisive.
What it does imply is the need for carefully balancing the risks of any economic policy.

And it means taking steps to improve the resilience of our economy.
That is why our economic policy entails:

- Putting the brakes on the sale of our prime income earning assets to foreigners.
- Using our proposed New Zealand Fund to buy back strategic assets and infrastructure.
- Changing the Reserve Bank Act to get away from the inflation fixation.
- Providing additional incentives to support our export industries.
- Cutting GST back to ten percent and making the first $100 of income per week tax free.

And for senior citizens our policy position is very clear.

Food, shelter, warmth and healthcare are basic rights for the elderly.

You have made your contribution to our society. It is up to us to recognise it.

You should not be paupers relying on charity in this country you helped to build.

Superannuation, retirement, healthcare and daily living is a total package that you have earned.

We will:

- 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 only one year.

Thousands 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.

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.

The legislation is drafted and ready to go.

Gang members will be given a choice of going straight or staying in gaol until they qualify for New Zealand superannuation.

It is going to be a long hard struggle to get on top of crime.

There seems to have been a political mindset that crime is part of the New Zealand scene and that we have to accept it.

That attitude has created serious problems when you combine it with a prevailing wisdom that somehow young people are not responsible for their actions - especially if they are drunk or drugged.

It is a community problem that the police on their own cannot hope to solve.

Communities usually know where the trouble lies.

The blanket of silence should be lifted and the troublemakers should be reported when they break the law.

Citizens have the right to feel safe in their homes and on the streets.

There is another area in which some extra protection is needed and that is Investment and savings.

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 the people who tried to prepare themselves financially for their retirement years.

And the system has failed them.

What has emerged is that billions have been frittered away by smart aleck money men at the public’s expense.

Will anyone have to answer for the failure of these ventures?

Will they have to give up their mansions?

Do not hold your breath!

This is the stuff of real scandal – we are talking billions of dollars - not the trivia and trawling through used laundry lists that obsess our media.

Where were the media warnings that might have helped people?

The media certainly brought no critical reporting to the finance and property sector when it might have done some good.

The outcome is that if you buy a dodgy car in New Zealand the chances are you can get some redress.

But if you invest in a financial enterprise then you are on your own.

Similarly, the agencies that were supposed to protect the public, such as the Securities Commission, were forced to be paper tigers because their hands are tied by the lack of laws with teeth.

The bottom line is this; despite their best efforts and sacrifices people through no fault of their own have been left financially exposed.

New Zealand First is looking at a system within the banking industry to guarantee deposits up to $100,000.

They would have to be in 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.

New Zealand First is under attack by some vested interests because we are 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. Remember the quote at the start of this speech by John William Fletcher – that pious God-fearing man of the eighteenth century.

“Deeds and not words shall speak to me”.

New Zealand First offers deeds. We need your help to deliver more.


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