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New Zealand First – Protecting Senior Citizens

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

20 June 2014

Kaipara Grey Power Public Meeting
Friday 20 June, 1.00pm
Dargaville Methodist Church, Awakino Rd, Dargaville

New Zealand First – Protecting Senior Citizens

This is Elder Abuse Awareness Week.

It aims to raise awareness in our communities of elder abuse that does happen in New Zealand, and that most of it happens at the hands of families.

This is totally unacceptable.

We support in every way the great work done by worthy organisations like Age Concern and Grey Power as they try to do something about the problems of hurt and neglect.

New Zealand First has always supported the rights of senior citizens.

We have this old-fashioned belief that a society can be judged by the way it treats its elderly.

Society needs senior citizens.

In other parts of the world they are rightly held in high esteem.

They have wisdom and life experience.

They volunteer to help others. They hold families together.

Children need grandparents and of course grandparents need grandchildren.

It works both ways – to the great benefit of both parties.

So the value of our seniors cannot be over-estimated.

We point this out every day in some way, and you can see our political presence every time you take out your SuperGold card.

This card must be protected.

We know that some people in government want to cut back even further on elderly services.

We know that home help has been cut back.

We know that eldercare workers are still paid a pittance.

And we know that free off-peak transport is to be targeted next year.

There is going to be a review of the use of SuperGold cards on the Waiheke Island ferry.

Apparently the cost of senior citizens using their gold card on the ferry threatens New Zealand’s economic stability.

The National Government wants to carry out a review next year – after the election of course.

This is the thin end of the wedge.

We say use your SuperGold card.

Use the free transport.

Show the card in a shop – you will be surprised how many will give you a discount.

There are more concessions coming in the New Zealand First policy announcements in this campaign.

We are going to provide three free visits to your GP each year.

We’ve crunched the numbers on this.

If we keep less than one percent of the elderly out of hospital these free GP visits pay for themselves.

We can’t afford NOT to do this.

New Zealand First is also very concerned about the escalating cost of electricity and what it costs to heat homes over cold winters.

Cold houses mean sick elderly people.

It’s not their fault the Government has distorted the electricity market and created a racketeering cartel of power companies.

New Zealand First will negotiate with power companies for SuperGold cardholders to receive a ten per cent discount on their power bills during the winter months.

Those power companies who value the business of their senior customers will be prepared to align with the SuperGold card.

Much like the deal Grey Power has organised in Southland.
Times can be tough for seniors living on the pension.

You must keep your weather eyes on Wellington.

Once they start taking away SuperGold card concessions they won’t stop.

More cuts will follow – and then they will start on your pensions.

The pension has already been cut by this government – although they won’t admit it.

Just after National was first elected, the way Super is calculated was changed.

Downward of course.

As you know it’s based on the average weekly wage.

As wage rates fall in real terms, so does your superannuation.

As we said – it’s very underhanded.

New Zealand Super has to be protected and New Zealand First will do this.

We have a plan.

At 4.1 percent net of GDP, the New Zealand pension is very affordable.

The real issue is how to keep it that way.

New Zealand First says only New Zealanders and those who have qualified by length of stay and other requirements should get the full pension.

As we have pointed out, New Zealand cannot become a fully funded rest home for other countries.

Under the present system, an immigrant can come here at age 55, live here ten years and contribute nothing and qualify for a full pension.

They get the same as you – who have contributed your life to this country.

And don’t forget they are entitled to the same social services and public healthcare as you.

We say this system is not fair on New Zealand taxpayers and it’s certainly not fair to our senior citizens.

When we raise these matters there are screams that we are racist.

We are not – we are realistic.

Look at what is happening with one classification of immigrant.

If a skilled immigrant comes here from China and brings their partner, they can be eligible to bring all four parents because of China’s one child policy.

This means that when the parents are eligible, possibly after only ten years, New Zealand pays four pensions.

That’s happening right now and there are 68,000 of these cases.

New Zealand First has a plan to pay a reduced pension in these cases – based on the years the individual has spent in this country.

For ten years residence, they would get less than a quarter of the current rate.

We have a formula and it’s based on fairness to everyone.

Now, some thoughts to leave you with in the run up to the election on 20 September.

Look out for the interests of Northland and the Northern Wairoa and VOTE!

Northland and the Northern Wairoa make an important contribution to the country’s export income.

What do you get in return?

When did you last look at Parliament and think “are they really working for us?”

Must be a long time.

Except for three years, this electorate has supported the National Party for over seven decades.

If you drive south of here to Matakohe you will see single-lane bridges, totally out of date - just one more example of central government neglect.

It is long since time to ask yourselves what good your political loyalty has done for you.

The Government’s economic policy is based on:

• The Christchurch earthquake rebuild.
• Fonterra milk powder exports to China.
• The Auckland immigration real estate industry.

It’s more like insanity than policy.

Why would any sane government neglect a province of primary industry like Northland and allow economic mayhem in Auckland?

Why would any sane government allow the citizens of other countries to speculate in housing, driving up prices and interest rates?

Why would any sane government allow motorways to be clogged, the health system to be overloaded and social services stretched to breaking point?

It’s time to say we’ve had enough.

We know of cases where people from another country own more than thirty houses in Auckland.

Look at the results.

It affects everybody in New Zealand.

They hurt the Heartland.

The provinces create the wealth but don’t get their fair share of the return.

It’s time for this to change.

We want a moratorium on the flood of immigrants.

We need some breathing space.

We want houses for New Zealanders first.

We want jobs for New Zealanders first.

The Government has issued 150,000 work visas for immigrants.

We have that many and more unemployed New Zealanders.

Something is seriously wrong here.

What sort of leadership looks after citizens from another country first?

We’ll tell you.

This Government does.

New Zealand First is the only party that looks after New Zealanders First.

That is why it is really important to give your party vote to New Zealand First.

We are the party that protects the people and the only party not making deals with other parties to form a government – before the election.

What New Zealanders are witnessing is an absolute circus of political banality.

Up here in the North the Māori who vote for Mana get a German-led add-on as well.

Across the political divide there is a hotch potch of National, ACT, United, Māori Party and Conservative Party concoction.

Those who watched the television news last night would have seen the Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully softening the viewers for a deal in East Coast Bays with a party whose policies are so unpopular that they need a ladder from National to make it.

Be certain that a deal has been struck between John Key and the so-called Conservatives.

In other words:

“Chemical trails
No man on the moon
But new National
Is going with any Looney Tune”

This tells you that National does not believe the polls and nor should you.

This backroom dealing is an affront to democracy.

Instead of the people deciding the make-up of the next government some political parties and commentators think it’s their right to do so.

We are having none of this.

New Zealand First has faith in the democratic tradition and we trust the judgement of the people.

On election day you hold the power in your hands. Do not let political hustlers and their schemes take it away from you.

And remember who protects you – New Zealand First.

ENDS

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