“Liquidation Sale – New Zealand Inc”
Speech: Tauranga Public Meeting
Saturday 16 March 2013, 1pm
“Liquidation Sale – New Zealand Inc”
The great Scottish poet Sir Walter Scott wrote a poem called The Lay of the Last Minstrel.
The most famous lines are about patriotism and they are as insightful today as they were when written.
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored , and unsung.”
They are strong words but that sentiment is as real and relevant today as it was in the times of the author.
Today we are witnessing the death of true patriotism.
We are spectators to what amounts to a liquidation sale.
The nation of New Zealand is now New Zealand Inc and much of it is for sale - the South Pacific’s basement Op Shop where anything and everything is up for sale – cheap!
Now, we all like a sale and we all like grabbing a bargain now and then.
But, how do you take down so much of the wealth of an entire country?
How do you by stealth undermine, impoverish and trash a country?
Typically, it takes some doing.
Selling out New Zealand began in the late 1980s and continued into the 1990s.
And Key’s Government is back having a good go at it once more.
It is as if they have decided to use this time in Government to do as much damage as they can to the economic and social fabric of New Zealand.
And to heck with the consequences and the people!
They show contempt for the values, the principles and the structures that have made our democracy.
Key thinks nothing of kicking away the props that sustain our democracy - the actual structures that hold governments and officials to account.
It is typical banana republic governance.
For example, a regional council – Environment Canterbury was pushed aside as of no consequence and this Government says democracy will not be restored to Canterbury until 2016!
Most people are unaware of it, but the fundamental basis of our democracy is now the subject of a Constitutional Review.
It has a massive in built bias towards enshrining vague Treaty of Waitangi principles even further into our Government and legal system.
Profound, long-term changes are being discussed well below the public radar.
It’s a good bet that many of you are not aware that thousands of hectares of seabed around our coast out to the 12 mile limit are being claimed under the guise of “customary title” introduced by National.
The rights of all New Zealanders – Maori and non Maori – are being moved into the hands of a select few.
When beaches and seabed are under customary title it means one thing.
It means ownership and ownership means money.
You have no say in this process all being conducted in stealth.
You will wake up one day and there will be a new fence and a padlocked gate across the road to your favourite beach.
And you will go to throw a fishing line out and be told there is a wahi tapu in place – a ban on fishing.
And you will be able to thank Mr Key and his Treaty Minister Finlayson for selling out your birthright.
This is all being kept under the radar.
Do not think New Zealand First is being too alarmist, too pessimistic.
Do not think we exaggerate.
This speech today is titled ‘The Liquidation of New Zealand’ – because we consider the situation to be that serious.
Only a National Government could liquidate a huge enterprise called Solid Energy.
The financial and business gurus in this government leaned on the managers of Solid Energy to run this state-owned enterprise into massive debt.
• Key’s Government did nothing about our inflated dollar when coal prices were falling.
• Key’s Government demanded Solid Energy increase its borrowing ratios.
• Key’s Government demanded that Solid Energy pay greater dividends to it.
• When Fortex in the 1990’s borrowed money and declared it as income it was judged to be guilty of fraud. So what makes Solid Energy doing the same, any different?
Hundreds of decent hard working New Zealanders have lost their jobs with this collapse.
This SOE collapse has a smell of déjà vu.
You’ll recall the South Canterbury Finance (SCF) guarantee.
Well when the Key Government renewed it they never even had the commercial sense to cap the guarantee. The SCF blew the debt out by hundreds of millions of dollars, all at the taxpayer’s expense.
And look at our manufacturing sector.
Every day more jobs are being lost.
Almost all of these losses recite our massively overvalued dollar as being one of the reasons.
But this Government will do nothing about that.
Then KiwiRail went, with the Government’s blessing, to China for some rolling stock – which was unsuitable but cheap.
Instead of commissioning Kiwi-built rolling stock at a slightly higher cost and saving the Hillside workshops and hundreds of jobs in Dunedin, Mr Key and his cronies went to China.
It’s one more demonstration of this Government’s lack of patriotism and economic good sense.
Berl economists say that there’s a huge pay off factor in supporting New Zealand built products and manufacturing.
It keeps the money, jobs and skilled workers in New Zealand.
Key’s Government ignores that.
Key’s Government has no New Zealand procurement policy so that New Zealand manufacturing and goods are passed over time after time by central government, local government and SOEs often in favour of cheap, inferior foreign products.
Meanwhile our manufacturing, which used to be in excess of 30 per cent of our GDP has fallen to as low as 13 per cent of GDP.
Our share market which used to be 19 per cent foreign owned is now near 70 per cent foreign owned.
This shows this Government’s lack of patriotism.
There’s plenty more – remember the sale of the Crafar farms?
Our land is being sold underneath us to foreigners.
There is a housing crisis in Auckland and the housing market is being seriously skewed upwards by foreign purchasers but we are not supposed to mention this in public.
We are accused of being racist when we question why foreigners can snap up our housing stock and they don’t even have to live here!
A BNZ/REINZ survey out this week shows that about 10 per cent of Auckland’s housing is being purchased by buyers in the main from the United Kingdom, China and Australia.
No other country allows foreigners to buy up their houses.
So why should we?
The answer lies in the attitude at the top.
Everything is for sale and it does not matter who to!
Worse still, Minister Williamson openly admitted that there is no attempt by the Government to find out who is buying what, where and when.
That’s why New Zealand First is pressing for a New Zealand Land and Housing Register.
Instead of muddling around in the dark without information, we intend to obtain the information so that all New Zealanders will know what’s going on.
Recently the Government opened the door to wealthy Chinese to fly in to gamble at SkyCity casino.
SkyCity and the Government arranged for frequent flyers on China Southern Airlines to come in under a system that bypasses the usual immigration rules.
A senior immigration official warned this was a bad and dangerous idea and pointed out that all the Mr Bigs of China’s criminal world were probably frequent flyers with China Southern Airlines.
The warning was ignored of course because the Prime Minister is also Minister of Tourism and may as well be the Minister of SkyCity.
We also know that the Government is selling citizenship through student visas.
Thousands of students recently came in from China and India.
Many of their applications were not checked out properly.
The student visa processing office in Palmerston North could not cope with the load.
It became known within the Immigration Department as the “visa factory” – they were just rubber stamped after being pressured by the Minister of Immigration at the time.
All this is on record.
One investigation into a snapshot of 1800 student visa applicants found that 15 per cent of those applications were fraudulent.
They’ve tracked down some of the students but hundreds are still out there – providing cheap labour and depriving Kiwis of jobs.
It turns out, student visas were selling quite well in both China and India.
And the trouble is the Government has no idea who bought them.
That snapshot investigation should have forced a review of all applicants but the Government didn’t want to know.
The long term effects of dumb immigration policies are already costing New Zealand taxpayers a fortune.
Since 2008 the number of parents from China coming in on family unification has dramatically escalated as this accompanying chart demonstrates.
And many have come to make New Zealand their rest home.
At age 65, after only potentially ten years they get full NZ Superannuation and are entitled to all other health and social welfare benefits.
Because of China’s one child policy, it means that one skilled married migrant can bring in four parents.
And when this was raised in the House by New Zealand First, despite the thousands of people who by this means were allowed to come here, Mr Key treated that as a joke. The joke’s on you, because you’re paying for it.
As you know our labour laws are for sale.
If you are Warner Brothers in Hollywood and you tell John Key to jump – John says “how high?”
In the case of the labour laws being sold, Warner Brothers did not have to pay a cent.
The bill was paid by New Zealand taxpayers who donated about $67 million dollars to the movie moguls.
But all is not lost. A UMR survey this week found 70 per cent of New Zealanders support New Zealand First’s call for Warner Brother’s to pay the $67 million back.
Warner Bro’s has already grossed over $1 billion from The Hobbit and encouragingly 56 per cent of National voters said they should pay the $67 million back!
So who was it who said John Key was a good businessman?
Why didn’t he negotiate for the money to be paid back when the film started to gross real money?
Ladies and gentlemen, I bet if he was personally putting up the $67 million, he would have demanded such a condition.
So why didn’t he demand that condition on behalf of all taxpayers?
This is all typical banana republic stuff - state socialism for big business and a kick in the teeth for workers and taxpayers.
And there’s more!
A man wrote to our office recently. He had approached the issuing broker for Mighty River Power, Craig & Co of Hamilton, seeking to buy more than the minimum allocation of shares.
He was told it was unlikely he would get any more than the minimum allocation as the majority would be going to the existing customers of Craig & Co, whose portfolios they manage and charge a fee for.
Personally, he believes that is disgraceful.
He could understand it if the float was not an SOE, but a private company.
He said that technically, anyway, the public of this country already owns the shares, so no broker should have the right to allocate any extra shares to their preferred clients.
He wants to know the reason for the allocation for overseas interests to purchase Mighty River Power shares when it’s highly likely there will be an over subscription in New Zealand and many Kiwis will only get the minimum parcel whilst foreign interests and big businesses will have substantial allocations.
He points out just how hypocritical the Government’s statements about ‘Mum and Dad’ investors in the light of this information really are.
This sale is an exercise in saying something in public whilst doing the opposite in private.
Key and Co are again selling us out in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal.
This is a trade deal involving Pacific rim countries and there are grave fears that many of the conditions being negotiated will actually take away our sovereign rights.
When the American Congress is being bombarded with requests from American citizens to know what is in this deal, why is this Government so secretive when New Zealand interests are at stake?
The foreign investment laws are already too loose but under this new trade deal foreign investors will have more rights than local Kiwi businesses.
All of this is being done behind closed doors.
Just like the Warner Brothers deal.
Just like SkyCity Casino.
Just like China Southern Airline Visas.
Just like Student Visas.
Just like Solid Energy.
Just like the foreshore and seabed.
Just like Mighty River Power.
This is alarming.
Yesterday we learnt that our population is in decline. More are leaving than are arriving, which begs the question, what happened to John Key’s Westpac Stadium 2008 advertisement, when he stood centre field explaining how many were leaving and what he was going to do to stop it.
We thought we lived in a democratic country with processes out in the open – not a closing down sale for the National Party and their mates.
This is all an affront to the Kiwi sense of fairness and a slap in the face for every citizen.
We say it’s time to say we are not going to take anymore!
New Zealand First says that on issues like Mighty River Power that we have had enough of this quisling behaviour.
We will use every ounce of influence after the next election and all the financial measures available to us to buy back Mighty River Power shares at a price no higher than originally paid for them.
If you agree with us, make your voice heard.
It is a way to save your country for future generations.
Your grandparents and parents did that for you. Haven’t we all got a duty to do the same for those coming after us?