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Speech: Peters - Eight Years of Promises

Speech by New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters
Kelston Community Centre,
126 Awaroa Road, Sunnyvale,
West Auckland
2pm, Sunday, 30th October, 2016

“Eight Years of Promises, But Where is the Performance”

Ladies and gentlemen, eight years ago many of you would have voted National because, understandably, having heard their promises, you thought they would do better.
That’s not unusual. All of us have taken a punt in the past. And have learned to our regret when things turn out differently.
New Zealand First is here today because we understand the concerns you have for your community.
We know you want jobs for your families,
That you want affordable homes.
That you want to be assured your streets are safe.
We know you want your children to have opportunities for a good future.
The question for you to consider is – have things gone better for you under National since they came to power promising so much in 2008?
Has Auckland become a better place to live?
Are you better off now than you were back then?

CRIME

Let’s face it, the National Party resembles nothing so much as a bad used car salesman.
All pre-sales talk, no after-sales service.
You have a serious crime issue here in West Auckland. Like many other areas in New Zealand.
We have too few police.
The police budget has been frozen since 2010, despite the huge population increase.
In 2009 there were well over 3000 general duty constables. (3161)
Now there are about 500 less. (2593)
We are well behind Australia in police relative to the population.
Australia has one officer for every 432 people.
In New Zealand that officer has almost a hundred more people to deal with (526).
If we remove those on traffic duties, we only have one police officer to 600 people.
That is unacceptable, but that’s what happened under National.
They never kept their election promise in 2008 to maintain the modest goal of one officer to every 500 people.
Months ago New Zealand First pledged to train 1800 extra Frontline Police as soon as possible. The cost is slightly more than $300 million.
This is a bottom line. We don’t expect you just to believe our promises. We have, uniquely, got the record to back it up.
In 2005-2008 we got an extra 1000 more Frontline Police and 235 Back-up Staff.

POLICE SUPPORT

To help make NZ safe again we would provide real support for Neighbourhood Support, Community Patrols, and Māori and Pasifika Wardens.
They act as extra eyes for the police.
The signing of an agreement between Community Patrols and the NZ Police this year was a positive sign of teamwork.
The newly formed Auckland Safety Community Patrol is made up of people applying to join the NZ Police.
Community patrols do a wonderful job all over New Zealand.
Here in West Auckland you have community patrols at:
Te Atatū, New Lynn, Kelston, Massey and Glen Eden.
New Zealand First will provide them with greater government resources to ensure local ratepayers and businesses do not have to fund them alone.
We would make it a priority as part of these extra resources that the community patrols monitor dairies and bottle stores to combat the epidemic of robberies.

AUCKLAND PROBLEMS

Many in the media have “discovered” immigration as an issue, the same way Columbus discovered America – purely by accident. They have taken a long time to admit what is going on, in Auckland and elsewhere now.
The soaring cost of housing, congested roads, the struggle to get doctors, hospitals, and numerous other problems, is changing Auckland for the worse.
In July, Minister of Housing Nick Smith said it was crucial to have skilled workers in Auckland for the building boom.
This Minister has bored the whole country witless with endless excuses for a growing crisis every other party ignored.
That it’s impossible for many to buy or rent a home here Nick Smith totally ignored.
So, we have the bizarre situation of foreign workers coming here while skilled Kiwis avoid the city.
Auckland has been in deep trouble for some time.
It cannot attract either a lower paid workforce or many professionals. For example, teachers are exiting Auckland or not applying to come here because they can’t afford a home.
Whilst New Zealand First has been saying that others have preferred to hold their noses and spout “racism”.

HOUSING

The housing shambles in Auckland is so bad that even “Mr Spray and walk away”, Prime Minister Key, has woken up to it.
Recently he confessed, finally, that housing development here would “take some time”.
But “eight years ago he was campaigning on a four-point plan to solve what he called the ‘housing affordability crisis’, to fix what he said was the “second worst affordability housing problem in the world”.
Eight years on we all know it’s got much worse.
Eight years ago he was promising to deliver as PM. What he wasn’t going to do wasn’t worth talking about.
Remember he was the Merrill Lynch man from Wall Street.
He claimed to have the experience, the know all and the where all, to fix it.
Well, eight years ago he got his chance and he hasn’t fixed anything – except the gap between the haves and have-nots has grown and there are far fewer haves now.
In Auckland last year, 9,251 housing consents were approved but barely half were completed (5,073).
Overseas buyers and property speculators have had a great time in the Auckland property market.
In under a year, 97 properties in West and South Auckland were sold three times each.
More than 1400 were sold twice.
The speculators who buy these houses don’t want to live in West Auckland.
These speculators don’t give a rat’s derriere about any of you.

MORE HOUSES - NZ FIRST POLICIES

Instead of selling off state houses around the country, the government should have built many more decent houses.
Be assured New Zealand First has the housing policy to clean up the mess:
We would provide real government assistance for first home buyers.
We would establish a new state agency to secure the land to build the houses for sustainable residential development.
NZ First would have a Housing Commission to do the strategic planning.
We would establish Kiwi Housing to buy and develop land where and when needed, and to sell homes to first time house buyers on affordable 25 year terms.
We will be releasing details on our housing policy later in the campaign.

IMMIGRATION

Ladies and gentlemen, “an immigrant is someone living legally in a country not of his or her birth”.
Immigration can have a very beneficial effect on a country’s economy and social life – provided it is managed, rational, and focused on economic and social improvement to that economy.
What we have seen in New Zealand for over two decades is everything but that.
Many of our problems stem from the surging torrent of immigration - the direct cause of our biggest ever annual increase in population.
Last year New Zealand’s population increased by a record 97,000 plus. (97,300)
Net immigration is running at over 69,000 a year.
Most are coming to Auckland.
That means we are creating in Auckland a city the size of New Plymouth through permanent immigrants – every year.
Only a fool would think that was sustainable.
Jobs, housing, hospitals, healthcare, schools, roads and transport – are all under massive pressure and it will get worse.
Add to this, tens and tens of thousands of international students from 176 countries that came here last year, many having work visas.
Auckland has climbed from being the world’s ninth most expensive city for housing to the fifth.
It’s still climbing.
Ignore the silly comparison of Auckland to London, New York or Sydney. That’s ridiculous when the comparison should be with Brisbane or maybe Birmingham.
Some of our political opponents have at last sensed the public mood and made dog whistles about how immigration might be getting out of hand. Before that they were New Zealand First’s biggest critics, dismissing the consequences of an immigration tsunami.
Now Treasury, MBIE, ANZ and others are saying the same thing, albeit insipidly - almost apologetic for having to own up to what’s been staring them in the face. You’ve known it, they haven’t.
However, rational economists like Kerry McDonald have described our current rate of immigration as “a national disaster.”
We’re cramming more and more people into Auckland without any plans or infrastructure to handle it.
What you’ve read so far of their plans is pie in the sky Neverland.
Put your hand up, anyone who thinks the new Auckland Supercity is going to provide the answers without massive rate increases for all of you.
And whilst we are at it – who would trust someone who created the problem to solve that problem. They just haven’t got the guts to. They never had the guts to own up to the problem and they don’t have the guts to fix it.
The tap must be turned down to around 10,000 skilled immigrants a year.
We should only accept immigrants our economy needs – not those who need our economy.
And New Zealand First will restore integrity to Export Education.
We’ll stop ripping off both foreign students and our economy.
New Zealand First policy is to train, educate and employ our people first.
We’ll stop immigration being used as a lousy excuse for failing to do that.

NZ SUPER

It is obvious the government knows they must do something about immigration.
Recently Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, in a complete about face, temporarily suspended the immigration parent category to deal with a two-year backlog. Almost 2500 parent category people are waiting for their applications to be processed.
The fact is the parent category has been an appalling drain on NZ taxpayers. That would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.
But John Key glorifies in it. When much of the world is a hell hole he says mass immigration is a sign of confidence in our economy.
Or he says most of it is New Zealanders returning home which is demonstrably false.
You would have to be as shallow as a bird bath to think you could get away with those statements.
Where else on earth can you arrive in a country, get full medical benefits on day one, then after only 10 years receive full entitlement to national superannuation?
Only one political party has said that is wrong and we are asking you to ask all of the other political parties to explain why they support that.
To address this issue NZ First has long had our:
NZ Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill.
In a sane political environment that bill would have gone to the top of the order paper and been passed.
This bill raises the minimum residency qualification for NZ Super from 10 years to 25 years.

EMPLOYMENT

Last year just under 25 per cent of 15 to 24-year-olds in the Henderson-Massey area were not in training, education or work.
Twenty-nine per cent of Maori in the area were unemployed, followed closely by Pasifika youth at 27 per cent.
The number of unemployed NZ European youth in the area was 19 per cent.
Overall, 20 per cent of Auckland's youth population were unemployed - around 23,000 residents.
The statistics have changed much since then.
Why are so many of our youth left idle?
Why are they not being encouraged to get into the building and other industries here in Auckland? There was a time when NZ did just that.
The building industry is crying out for workers.
The government is years late with quick fire courses to get these young people off the dole and into work.
Recently a journalist criticised me for being nostalgic about a past that she said “never existed in NZ”. That journalist has been in this country five minutes, knows nothing of NZ’s proud past, but of course that did not stop her from airing her worthless opinion. As have others.
You here know exactly what I mean.

THE ONE FACT THIS GOVERNMENT AND ITS “KLING ONS” WILL NEVER TELL YOU
In recent years under different governments there have been all manner of “experts” who argue high immigration is good for New Zealand.\
The one fact they dare not mention is that whilst GDP has grown with population growth, GDP per person has gone down.
Any fool knows that a family with mum, dad and two children, that has two more children, whilst their household income goes up marginally is worse off per person in that house.
Every family man and woman in this audience knows that – how come the geniuses on high salaries in Wellington don’t?

CONCLUSION

The fact is the National government takes areas like West Auckland for granted.
Remember how your “Westie MP” Paula Bennett couldn’t be seen for dust and small pebbles when a new electorate in Auckland gave her the chance to get out of here.
They have no constructive policies to address your issues.
Rather than showing concern for West Auckland, they’d rather pander to the requirements and demands of other economies and international corporates.
They tax, levy and charge you to the eyeballs whilst doing absolutely nothing about international corporate tax dodging in this country.
In terms of tax, GST and other government charges many of you are paying well over 50 per cent of your income to the government. In contrast some of these billion dollar corporates are paying less than half a cent of tax in this country.
A fair government would fix that. But there is nothing fair about this new breed of National.

New Zealand increasingly resembles a puppet province of China.
The Chinese are not buying up our farms, or acquiring control of our biggest red meat export business, or buying our houses and businesses out of benevolent good will.
They’re here to gain what they want from this country. New Zealand First understands that. New Zealand First does not blame the Chinese for that.
We blame temporarily empowered transient politicians who forget the day after the election who gave them the power in the first place.
National is doing its utmost not to upset international interests.
They are letting them do what they like.
They have done nothing about dodgy plumbing products and steel being dumped into our domestic markets.

National has allowed Chinese and other nationals in their tens of thousands to immigrate here and speculate on housing and land. But don’t blame them. If you came from some parts of the world you would do your utmost to improve your family’s future. But patriotic governments weigh that against the future of their own citizens first.
National did nothing when China moved against NZ infant formula exporters and drove them out of business.
National actively supported the take-over of our biggest meat exporter.
The Chinese lean on reputable Kiwi exporters like Zespri and National takes it without batting an eye.

And the TPPA might be dead now, as we said a year ago it would be, but be under no illusion, there are those in Parliament, including National, who will sell you out for that deal if you give them a future chance to.

National should be forced to take the capital “N” out of their name – or live up to it.
Recently the government refused to meet democracy advocates form Hong Kong – again through pressure from China.
Anson Chan and Martin Lee were denied a government hearing but they met US Vice-President Joe Biden and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The government is more interested in keeping in good with their wealthy financial donors than working in the best interests of all New Zealanders.

Have things gone better for you under National since they came to power in 2008?
- Has Auckland become a better place to live?
- Are you yourself better off?
If the answer is no to those three questions, we are asking you to do something about it.
We are offering the chance to change New Zealand’s economic and social direction for the better. And before it is too late.
With your help we can most certainly do it.
So let us all make a commitment here today to change our New Zealand.
To regain the quality of society that we once had.
To rebuild our economic wealth and to share that wealth more fairly.
When we all commit to doing that, history will record 2017 as being the year New Zealand regained its soul.


ENDS

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