Peters: “Auckland’s Future – SuperCity or Sin City?”
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First
24 May 2013
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Speech: North Shore Grey Power Public Meeting
AMI Netball Centre, 44 Northcote Road, Takapuna
Friday 24 May, 1.30pm
“Auckland’s Future – SuperCity or Sin City?”
There are major issues facing our country and they affect all of us here today.
They are not new
Ten years ago a speech we made in Auckland created the usual hysteria and screams of xenophobia.
Its headline read: “New Zealand - The Last Asian Colony”
We were responding to statistics about the Asian population exploding through immigration and how this would create social and cultural disruption in New Zealand.
We said that apart from the strain on social services and infrastructure, there would also be a rapid increase in the number of immigrants over the age of 65.
We warned this would bring increased pension costs and higher health costs.
And we pointed out back then that New Zealand could not look after the health of its own people and that many elderly people were struggling to make ends meet on the pension.
We said “No rational government would continue down a path that jeopardises the future of its own people with stupid population policies”.
The facts are staring us in the face.
You heard a Budget last week that gloated over a tiny, artificial and contrived surplus next year.
Artificial and contrived because it is not annual income that brings about the surplus but the sale of taxpayer owned assets.
A Budget that continues to rely on selling the family silver – our priceless energy and other assets - to balance the books.
A Budget that did nothing to help senior citizens by way of health checks or power discounts.
A Budget that disguised the facts with spin and glossed over the realities of the challenges facing us.
The Government has only one clear economic plan - hitch New Zealand to the tail of the dragon!
John Key and his ministers have made it clear that our future lies with the Peoples’ Republic of China.
Now, China is a great emerging international power.
It is a major trading partner.
It is lifting more of it’s people out of poverty than any other nation.
It is making huge advances.
And we want good relations with China and its people.
But we need to temper our enthusiasm with realism.
China is extending its reach into the South Pacific.
Their leaders are looking for resources in a resource hungry world and there are gullible people ready to hand over these resources.
And remember China is a one party Communist state.
Whatever you might think about the West – it’s democratic.
Governments can be held accountable.
Politicians can be voted out.
There is a free press.
And people can also ring up talkback radio and complain.
Democracy provides valves to let off steam.
But what of China?
The Key government sees a big future with that nation.
The Government is talking of a million more people in Auckland soon and there is no prize for guessing where most of them will come from.
It’s all laid out.
• A free trade agreement with China – that works when it suits China.
• Massive investment in New Zealand farms, forests and factories by China.
• Fast tracked visa schemes for tourists and students.
• Huge investment in the Auckland housing market.
In short – much is now on the block for China.
Which begs the question, who is really paying attention?
Who is turning a blind eye to the obvious?
Remember when the new premier of China took office he said the biggest challenge his country faced was its level of corruption.
Just look at some of the revelations from our own Kiwifruit industry operations in China.
Just recall what the Melamine in our milk sold in China scandal was about.
It stands to reason that corruption can be exported and imported.
There are many opportunities in New Zealand and in Auckland in particular for a quick buck.
Look at the recent Sky City casino deal.
A government issued preferential treatment licence to make money.
And what are the industries that feed off gambling dens?
Misery and crime.
But to this government it’s a great chance to bring in rich Chinese tourists through a half-baked – fast track, special treatment visa scheme.
Not available to you or any other nation.
To get special treatment all you have to do to get in is be a member of the China Southern Airlines Frequent Flier Club!
Which begs the question, who in Hades is running things here, us or them?
One brave immigration official who stood up to the government on this one said all the international gangsters he’d heard of were members of a frequent fliers club!
Fraudsters use this system because there is less scrutiny of them personally.
And when the so-called rich tourists have finished at the blackjack tables or the pokie machines there’s another attraction nearby.
The Hong Kong born Chow brothers are thoughtfully providing a fifteen storey brothel, in what used to be an historic building, just across the road from the casino in the heart of Auckland!
And thanks to our generous student and worker visa schemes – the Chow brothers will be able to provide genuine home grown sex workers for the visitors if that’s what they want!
It makes you wonder if the City of Sails is becoming the Supercity of Sin!
One concerned citizen sent me a copy of that scurrilous magazine Truth.
It’s chocker with page after page of sex ads – most based in this fair city.
Is that what you voted for?
Because many of these sex ads in reality represent people trafficking
And where are all the so called Liberals and Women’s Liberation Movement?
Or is liberty, freedom and human rights of no importance when the victims are Asian women?
What is really happening to Auckland?
The seven deadly sins are apparently alive and well here.
Meanwhile much of Auckland is being trashed!
Economically, socially, physically and ethically.
Other recent events show that an Asian student cheating industry has emerged.
As has a drugs importing industry.
And a slave trade where immigrants are promised jobs then end up working for nothing – and their passports are taken off them to keep them silent.
Some tradespeople have contacted us about backyard industries springing up with which they can’t compete.
How can they?
For these industries pay no tax, no GST, and there’s no health and safety.
There’s nothing like making newcomers feel at home.
Again remember, the new Premier of China is the leader who says China’s biggest challenge is corruption!
We remember why we made that statement ten years ago.
A group of New Zealand born Chinese came to warn me what was happening.
These people had been in this country for years, some since the 19th Century gold rush in Otago.
They helped build this country and they have been great citizens.
They warned – “The guiding hand is becoming the greased palm”.
And nowhere in this country are more palms being greased than in Auckland.
We have said it countless times and we again repeat.
New Zealand First is not anti-immigrant.
New Zealand First is not against bringing in people whose skills we lack.
We are not against genuine foreign investment – as long as it is genuine and not just buying existing assets with no new jobs and new wealth in New Zealand.
But the facts are stark and unavoidable.
The great majority of migrants settle in Auckland.
Auckland was once a truly fair city, a jewel set between two seas.
Sadly today Auckland is in crisis.
And a senseless economic plan linked to a senseless immigration policy is helping create this crisis.
As politicians, Local and National, wring their hands purporting to unveil a new vision Auckland groans under a crisis of:
• Housing availability
• Housing affordability – and a price rise balloon.
• Traffic gridlock and transport system overload.
• Huge pressure on infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and other services.
The Budget in response had nothing but a raft of ad hoc measures designed to picture the Government as “doing something”.
All the while there is an elephant in the room of which we cannot speak
For there is a deafening silence about the impact that high levels of immigration has had, and is having on the demand for housing, transport hospitals, schools and other services.
That demand is being driven by newly arrived migrants because they have to live somewhere!
And there is the added factor of non-residents being able to buy residential housing and land in New Zealand without restriction.
There has been no thought of other consequences of a flood of immigrants concentrated on Auckland.
And what about plans for infill housing?
What about plans to throw up multi-storeyed buildings in residential areas?
They are going to turn parts of Auckland into giant transit camps!
People will be packed in like sardines.
What planet do these politicians and ministers live on?
And there is another flow on effect from our naivety and economic dependence on the People’s Republic of China.
New Zealand has become an offshore retirement home for many from China.
It all stems from that country’s official policy of a married couple being allowed only one child.
New Zealand taxpayers are now being lumbered with costs that will cause huge economic disruption in the years ahead.
We are talking about the parental reunion policy.
One skilled immigrant from China can come with a spouse and a child.
That means a man and his wife can bring both sets of parents here under the ‘centre of gravity’ policy.
So, we employ one and then get a whole extended family on the health and welfare system of New Zealand.
Last year the number of skilled migrants from China was matched by an equal number of people coming here under family reunion.
Parent migrants go straight on to our health system the day they are granted residency.
In New Zealand fifty per cent of healthcare spending and resources are on people over 65 years.
The waiting lists for urgent elective surgery get longer and longer. Even Health Minister Ryall had to admit this just two days ago.
We are all affected by parent reunion migration.
The biggest hits are on New Zealand Superannuation.
Meanwhile there has been baseless talk of raising the age and means testing of Super.
You’re being softened up.
All the international comparative figures evidence shows not a crisis in NZ Super but who we give our superannuation to.
A migrant only has to be resident for 10 years, and from age 65, is entitled to FULL New Zealand Super without any requirement to work.
No other country in the world has a universal pension at this level of generosity.
You spend your lifetime struggling and you get the same pension and health entitlements as a parent from abroad who comes here at age 55 – and contributes nothing!
It is simply not fair and an abuse of New Zealand’s welfare and health systems.
And Ladies and Gentlemen those who would criticise what is said here today can’t find one politician from any part of Asia who would think this is fair.
It’s time that you stood up for yourselves
New Zealand First Policy
New Zealand First has a plan to ensure that our pensions are fair and sustainable.
We have to look after our own people first and be fair to taxpayers.
Our scheme is based on the years of residence in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65 years.
Very simply, a person of 10 years residence, like the cases explained will be entitled to roughly a quarter of New Zealand Super.
And nothing more!
This directly tackles the unfairness to current and future taxpayers of supporting migrant retirees who may only have been resident for as little as 10 years.
Everyone acknowledges that we need some skilled migrants – and that there should be a chance to sponsor some family members.
But family reunion is a privilege that has to be granted carefully.
This is not criticising people as individuals.
It is simply stating the need for a sensible policy in place for those middle aged migrants coming here under the parent category.
Life expectancy at 65 is about another 20 years – so that’s equivalent to $350,000 from NZ Super and NZ taxpayers with no requirement to work!
We face an ageing population and a flood of retirees returning from abroad – the last thing we need is to add to it!
New Zealand First has a solution – to put in place sensible and sustainable immigration ratios and strictly apply them.
Of the total number of people granted permanent residence in any one year we say no less than 75 per cent should be skilled migrants.
Of the remaining 25 per cent we would use the following allocations for:
• Family reunion
• Parent reunion
• Humanitarian or refugee.
And we would cap parent reunion at the same percentage for all countries – so no one country has unfair advantage as happens now.
This would put an end to the situation we had in 2012, where China hogged over 50 per cent of the parent category quota, disadvantaging parents from all other countries.
Now there is another elephant in the room and it covers the people who:
• Come to New Zealand after contributing to a pension scheme overseas.
• Are ex-pat Kiwis returning home
‘The Section 70s’ – who get stripped of their overseas pension and get New Zealand superannuation instead.
We say this is unfair.
Section 70 migrants and expat Kiwis who have worked overseas and bring overseas pensions home should keep them.
Of course they cannot expect to receive full NZ superannuation as well but they can expect the proportion of New Zealand Super that their taxes when working in New Zealand have paid for.
We are actually bringing you a message of hope for the future.
The Government is in denial about the issues we have raised today.
There are political parties who have followed blind, consumer driven, people importing policies. We warned you about this years ago!
And it is simply not possible to rapidly cram a million more people into Auckland and escape the dire consequences you observe already in this city.
Auckland needs time to breathe to get on top of its problems.
Senior citizens are the biggest voting bloc in this country.
You helped build this once great country and city. Don’t rest now.
It is up to you to stop this country and this city you helped build falling into disrepair.
There are senior citizens who can’t pay power bills, can’t afford to go to the doctor, can’t afford prescription charges going up.
And if you don’t act things are certainly going to get worse.
They need not. If we follow sound economic policies.
There is great news.
Unlike any other developed country we could double our income over the next thirty years.
But not with the present economic prescription.
As noted Economist Keynes said “ it would be theoretically possible to balance the Budget at zero on both sides of the Ledger with the population flat on its back in the middle”
We can export our way back to prosperity if we use the resources, the talent and the commitment this country and this city have been blessed with.
We can own our own country if we have leaders prepared to invest in our own people, our own country.
We can restore the concept of a “fair go” for all if leaders are prepared to listen to people like you gathered in this room.
It’s up to you to decide the future of your country and the future of Auckland.
You can rebuild New Zealand as “God’s Own” and you can renew Auckland as “the Jewel of the Waitemata”.
Time is running out – so let’s all make a personal commitment to put things right and the time to act is now.
Attached: Summary of New
Zealand First’s Superannuation-Immigration policy