Hone Harawira Speech: Closing Of Parliament
SPEECH TO THE CLOSING OF THE 49TH PARLIAMENT HONE HARAWIRA MANA LEADER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR TE TAI TOKERAU THURSDAY 06 OCTOBER 2011
Tena koe Mr Speaker, tena tatou katoa e te whare
Me mihi ki te hunga mate, haere atu ra.
Huri tu ki a mätou te kanohi ora. E te tuahine e Georgina, nga mihi ki a koe mo to aroha ki a mätou hakoa ko tëhea te paati, mënä he Maori te tangata, i reira koe. No reira haere ra, hoki atu ki to kainga. Koe anoki e Mita - kia pai to noho ki nga tini kainga o Tauranga Moana. Koutou katoa e nga mema Maori, nga mihi, tena koutou katoa.
Mr Speaker - as we bring this final sitting of parliament to a close I wish to leave us all with some pointers as to who MANA really is and what sort of world it is that we seek for your mokopuna and mine.
For MANA, the defining issue for this election must be the elimination of poverty, and the reclaiming of our ability to manage our own world.
When 1% at the top end of this country has more wealth than the 60% at the bottom, then it's time for change, and not simply tweaking around the edges, but real change.
When 1% of the country can hold the rest of the country to ransom by virtue of their economic power and wealth, then it's time the 99%ers stood up and fought back.
When 150 people can make $7 billion while 250,000 of our kids are living in poverty, then we need to say stop - not just for a cup of tea break, not for a pause, but to turn this bloody bus around before people start dying of starvation and our kids start rioting!!
And when government flogs off our assets just to pay for our crippling overseas debt of $300m a week while cutting benefits to its own citizens in desperate need, then I think it's time we acknowledge that government has got its priorities all wrong.
MANA will not be chasing votes from the wealthy or the corporates, for under the guidance of this National / Maori Party / Act government those sectors have done obscenely well, and don't need the help of anyone else
Neither will we be chasing votes from the rednecks or the racists that the bumbling, stumbling ACT party seeks, because we seek a world where the Treaty of Waitangi enables all children of Aotearoa to grow and to flourish in a positive and inspiring world.
MANA is here because the Maori Party betrayed the people who put them into power, and because Labour long ago abandoned their role as defender of the working class and champion of the poor.
And on behalf of MANA, I want to say that it is time to refocus our priorities - to take control of our economy, to put papatuanuku before profits, to put the rights of New Zealanders ahead of the revenue streams of big business, to change our tax regime so that rich people pay their proper share, and to redistribute the wealth of the nation so that everybody enjoys the benefits of living in the best country in the world.
MANA will be Maori led and Maori focused, and recognises Te Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the constitutional basis of our country, and we will fight for genuine constitutional change to make that a reality, rather than the limp constitutional review agreed to by the Maori Party.
MANA says that "what is good for Maori will also be good for Aotearoa" and because of that MANA will also stand for an Aotearoa where everyone, Maori, Pacifica, Pakeha, Asian or anyone else, has the chance for a decent life. MANA will trial a lot of its policies in Maori communities because we want to make sure that we can make it work, and then we will transfer the same opportunities to Pacifica and other communities to help them lift themselves to where they truly belong, together, in taking our country forward.
MANA says feed the kids as our first priority as a nation. 270,000 children living below the poverty line is an indictment on our society, and we call on voters to reject all those who won't make this issue their number one policy. MANA would provide free meals in all Decile 1-4 schools now and for all schools next year
MANA wants a special grant of $1,000 for everyone earning less than $30,000 paid out at Christmas, whether they're in work or on a benefit. And why not? We give tax breaks to the rich ... why not a meal break for the poor?
MANA wants a minimum wage of $15 an hour by April next year - not in 2014 or in any other year. We have the money to pay for it. Those who deserve it should have it now, with no excuses.
MANA wants free education for all, all the way up to tertiary level. Making our kids pay for their future means the first thing they do when the ink dries on their diploma, is check out the cheapest flights to Aussie. Free education is important to our nation because investing in our kids is an investment in our future.
MANA would abolish GST altogether - not tweak it for fresh fruit and veges like Labour, not vote to increase it like the Maori Party, but abolish a tax on the poor that was introduced by Labour and increased again by National.
MANA opposes National's plans to increase unemployment and Labour's refusal to fight for employment for all. MANA calls for a programme of full employment, based on figures from the CTU who tell us that if government took back the tax cuts it gave to the 1% last year, we could take everybody off the unemployment register today, and give them a job tomorrow, at 40 hours a week and $15 an hour
And NO - poor people don't want to wait around for the kind of "long-term sustainable employment" that doesn't exist. They want jobs now. The free marketeers have been in charge for the last 30 years and all we got was an increase in long-term unemployment, an ever-growing underclass, the loss of much of the nation's assets, and a skyrocketing national debt. No thanks. They've had their turn and all they've done is rob us blind. No. It's time for National Jobs Programme - jobs for everyone who can work - in our schools, in our hospitals, on our marae - creating work wherever people can add value to their community.
MANA recognises that we have a massive shortage of housing for people in need, we know that families are living in cars and sheds and garages right across this country, we condemn National's recent decision to kick families out of state houses because if they're on the minimum wage they're making too much money, and we condemn Labour's silence on the issue. MANA wants 20,000 new state houses built over the next two years to address this critical shortage, and to help people get jobs right across the country in the housing sector.
And MANA says lets be big enough to pay for what we promised. Abolish GST and introduce the Hone Heke tax on all financial transactions. A levy of just 1% on current financial transactions would nearly double our current tax revenue - extra funding for health, education and social welfare, money for research and development and economic growth, and substantially more for Treaty settlements beyond the miserable 3% both National and Labour have given us to date.
MANA wants a world where our kids are healthy, where going to school is something to look forward to, where there are jobs to aspire to, where families are strong, where workers have a real say in the economy that they are key players in, where communities control their own development, where iwi can respond effectively to the needs of their people, where all New Zealanders can speak Maori as well as they speak English, where our Pacific cousins are treated like the family that they genuinely are and not the slave labour that we bring in to do the jobs nobody else will do, where our country really is the jewel in the Pacific that we like to brag about, and where everyone feels that Aotearoa is a country to be genuinely proud of.
We have the money to pay for it, we have the people to make it happen, and we have the best country in the world ... bar none. All we need is the courage to say stop, turn around, go back and get the kids, and start rebuild our world from there.
In closing, let me extend my best wishes to many
· To the All Blacks - for all the scrutiny that you have had to face and all the expectation that you bear for all NZers, know that everyone in this house wishes you well in your quest
· And while I'm on it, to Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu for challenging the racism that we all know is at the heart of the mean-spirited attititude of the IRB,
· To Maori people throughout Aotearoa - may the next six weeks in the run up to the election be a journey of hope and a drive for a new world
· To those who yearn for real change - vote this year with your hopes and your aspirations and not with your fears, and MANA will be there for you
· To the people of MANA, the people with MANA - I say be strong, be courageous, be unbending, and be always focused on the needs of others before your own
· To the people of Tai Tokerau - this is not a plea for your vote, but a wish that we might all come to see one another as our greatest friends, our closest advisors, and the bearers of great tidings for our children and our mokopuna.
MANA UP MANA HARD MANA MOTUHAKE MANA FOR ALL
Kia ora tatou katoa