“The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
“The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
The last eleven days have been a horrendous low in New Zealand politics.
What the Prime Minister is now saying about the then head of the SIS’ contacting him, over the Goff OIA request is not what the PM said on TV in 2011.
Remember, he said he had been briefed by Mr Tucker of the SIS.
This reminds one of the Queen from Alice in Wonderland, saying:
“The words mean what I say they mean”.
The Director General of the SIS is responsible to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister is the Minister responsible for the SIS.
This is a responsibility he cannot delegate to a staff member in his office.
So the Prime Minister is faced with one of two conclusions.
Either he was derelict in his duty as the responsible Minister, or he is not telling the truth.
Either way it is seriously bad.
Even the most loyal National supporter has to make a conclusion on one of the two explanations set out.
The Prime Minister’s denials have a sense of déjà vu about them.
Remember the Coatesville raid involving the police, the SIS, the GCSB and the Americans?
There were numerous officials and public servants aware of the raid.
The only one still claiming he wasn’t aware was the Prime Minister.
On September 15, Kim Dotcom is promising a disclosure and the proof that the Prime Minister did know.
As a former acting Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s denial of knowledge of the raid is simply not credible.
There would not be a Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister in Australia, Canada or the UK that would believe his story.
This is simple not credible. If it was, a great number of people would have been sacked for not keeping him informed.
They haven’t been sacked.
So the Prime Minister should begin now to trawl back through all the information that was available to him and tell us now what it is that he may have overlooked when it came to his knowledge of the raid.
And if Kim Dotcom is to have any credibility he owes the New Zealand public, of which he is lucky to be a member, that disclosure now.
To withhold this information in the middle of an election campaign is the height of cynicism and opportunism.
He should tell the country now so that the voters have the time to make their own judgement.
Commission of Inquiry
For our part, New Zealand First wants a Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances behind Nicky Hager’s book.
That means with a credible Commissioner, and terms of reference, into what was going on over five years in the ninth floor of the Beehive, where taxpayer’s money was clearly misused to target and defame political opponents.
We’re calling for the Prime Minister to set up that Commission of Inquiry now so the campaign can get back on track and critical economic and social issues can be confronted without the mindless distraction of claim and counter-claim and this new low in New Zealand politics.
Today the National Party is announcing a new housing initiative.
This comes after years of denying there is any housing crisis in Auckland.
National’s announcement is evidence that their denials are not worth the air they pass on.
During this week the New Zealand Herald has been carrying front page articles on house and rental price bubbles in Auckland.
In today’s Sunday Star Times, pg 3, there are two articles.
One concerns offshore Chinese buyer interest in New Zealand.
The article said that the average buyer had $1.8 million to spend, and 71 per cent of them were prepared to pay full in cash.
And it went further and said that on a per capita basis, New Zealand was a clear ‘number one’ for Chinese buyers.
Already tens of thousands of homes have been bought by offshore buyers in Auckland.
Right next to that article was reference to National’s expected campaign launch this afternoon pitched at aspiring home owners.
So there is a housing crisis in Auckland, and there is a huge disparity between demand and supply.
Keep in mind that housing mortgage interest rates keep going up with four increases in the floating rate already this year.
And the Reserve Bank is still clamping down on first home buyers by forcing up the size of deposits.
However, National’s so-called housing initiative will be stymied by open door immigration and sales to foreign buyers.
Here is an example of actual foreign buying land banking in New Zealand, and it’s an Auckland case.
This is a lifestyle sub-division on the outskirts of Auckland, 22 lots all pre-sold to Asian buyers.
Kiwi buyers did not even get to see the land promoted, the other very ‘Asian aspect’ of this development is that every single lot sold for exactly $500,000.
When do you ever see all the lots in a sub-division going for the same price?
That does not happen and suggests that the IRD should be having a good look at what’s happening here.
What it points to is the possibility of money-laundering, GST avoidance, and cash top ups.
Already around the outskirts of Auckland there has been, according to developers who have contacted us, huge land banking by foreign buyers, just waiting for housing demand to come to them.
One of the major drivers behind the wave of foreign takeovers is the very favourable treatment overseas ownership confers.
Foreign owners have tax advantages not available to New Zealand buyers.
And tax is not covered by the Overseas Investment Office.
The interest rates they receive are a fraction of those charged in New Zealand.
No wonder foreign buyers enjoying low interest rates in their own country are flocking to buy in New Zealand – by paying no or minimal tax, they cannot lose and we cannot win.
Immigration figures are heading to new record levels with, confirmed this week, an annual net inflow of 41,000, half of which are going to Auckland.
So instead of addressing the demand issue, with a sensible immigration and house buying market confined to New Zealanders, or those living in New Zealand, the Government is doing absolutely nothing.
Or to be more accurate, they are doing absolutely nothing for New Zealanders wanting to buy affordable homes.
Meanwhile in other provincial centres house prices and personal equity in houses is falling.
So the first thing that is needed is a sound regional development policy and far greater focus on placing skilled immigrants in the regions.
It doesn’t make sense to carry on giving the Auckland fan the full load?
The regions are crying out for skilled migrants, for businesses and for people to live and work in their areas.
But this Government seems intent on ignoring the regions and instead just focuses on Auckland and Christchurch.
We’re aware that Epsom is an electorate where it is claimed the people are the most educated and affluent.
However, does it make sense to you to ignore the regions, so critical to building this country’s wealth, and where the trickle-on effect is less wealth for Auckland.
If you believe that this country’s future lies in overseas banking, insurance companies and overseas ownership of so much of our manufacturing, then go ahead and keep the status quo.
But if you believe that we have to triple our real wealth by smart, old and new exporting initiatives, and employ our own people and resources to get ourselves back, as we once where, to number two in the world, then New Zealand First is the party for you.
What we stand for is common sense in politics.
We are focussed on the critical issues required for New Zealand to be restored at the top of the world’s best performing economies.
After four years of stagnant growth and then one blip over 3 per cent, Treasury forecasts GDP to fall just above 2 per cent in the following two years.
Remember, it takes 3 per cent GDP growth just to employ those leaving schools, universities and training institutions.
And that’s not taking into account the 140,000 who now can’t get work at all, or the further 100,000 part time workers who can’t get the full time work they want.
There is nothing on the economic horizon to address this crisis of homelessness, joblessness and family poverty in our country.
If you think that people sleeping under bridges, in cars, or cramped up in overcrowded houses is the New Zealand you want then you will vote accordingly.
However, if you believe that that is not the way the New Zealand economy should be delivering on social issues then vote for the party that said from the outset this economic experiment would not work.
Not political parties that tried it and have now had a political epiphany.
So vote for a party that understands the problems and has the policies to address them.
In this campaign, one side is down in a quagmire of political dirt, supported by political parties prepared to overlook this crisis of self-afflicted political distrust.
Across the divide there are parties that are irresponsibly promising to spend tens of billions of dollars on social solutions with no idea where the money to pay for it would come from.
If we go down that path, there will be a serious economic and social collapse in this country.
This means that the 2014 election is critical as is your vote.
So your choice is to conclude that this is as good as it gets and stay with the status quo.
Or strike out for a better and more prosperous future.
That is why New Zealand First is asking you to party vote New Zealand First.
It’s common sense!