Winston Peters: Speech - Rangiora Public Meeting
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
6 SEPTEMBER 2017
Speech - Rangiora Public Meeting,
Baptist Church Hall,
111 East Belt Rd,
Wednesday 6 September, 2pm.
Promises made without productivity just pipe dreams
The countdown is on now.
The original D-Day occurred when Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy France.
There’s a popular movie being shown in picture theatres around the country at the moment called Dunkirk.
That was the time five years before D-Day when Nazi Germany drove Allied troops of France.
Five years later it was a different story.
The Allies were back and the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control began.
Politics can be like war at times, fortunately without guns.
It’s about winners and losers.
D-Day Decision Day
Our D-day, September 23, will be Decision Day.
The people of New Zealand – you people - will decide what you want for this country.
You will decide who the winners are.
The last week or so the mainstream media have painted this election as a punch-up between the two old parties, National and Labour.
On one side, everything is great, the economy is booming; we’re going to get real growth; Kiwis are not leaving anymore but coming home and all the things like family poverty and homelessness will be sorted out – in time.
On the other side we have a new face voicing the same old policies, apart from some they’ve swiped from New Zealand First.
We’re getting lots of promises from this side.
Thousands of affordable homes are going to be built, family poverty will be sorted out again, all our waterways are going to be cleaned up; we’re going to have better schools, better healthcare and better roads.
But the detail will be sorted out later.
If you believe this side we have the money to do all this and taxation will be just fine. No-one needs to worry.
But a lot of New Zealanders are worrying.
True state of economy
Look at the figures:
In the year ended March 2017 the balance of payments deficit was $8 billion.
Our debt to the rest of the world now stands at over $500 billion.
A recent NZ Herald Business article (NZ Herald, 20 June 2017, page C1) headlined a story: “Kiwis drowning in debt”.
Our GDP growth of around 3 percent is propped up by rampant immigration.
Take out 2% annual population growth driven up by mass immigration and we have pitiful GDP growth of around 1 percent.
GDP per person is flat lining
There has been too much extravagant talk in this election campaign with too many extravagant promises.
Need to be realistic
Promises can be OK but they need to be realistic.
In the great National-Labour talkfest and barrage of how great they are and what wonderful things they will do – there has been scant attention, to one vital factor.
Productivity determines how much we earn and how we make our way in the world.
If we are not producing enough or earning enough – there cannot be any new schools, or new roads and building homes for everyone is a pipedream.
Policies to lift productivity
New Zealand First understands we must lift our productivity.
It is vital for our future.
We have policies to make it possible.
We will increase investment in our regions where much of our wealth is generated and in training our young people.
We are committed to reforming the Reserve Bank Act which will make our export industry more competitive.
We will return the GST paid by international tourists back to the regions for infrastructure and roads, and to stimulate job training and opportunities.
We will have Royalties to the Regions and support businesses with a tax regime that enables them to grow and to pay better wages.
Immigration has to be controlled so that it works for the social and economic good of the country – not as a means to artificially inflate GDP.
These are not extravagant promises – these are realistic policies.
Out of that increased productivity we will then be able to knock over those extravagant promises the old parties are talking about solving:
Housing, family poverty, decent healthcare.
We will be able to address the issues that face you here in Rangiora and North Canterbury – cleaning up waterways; investigating the possibility of commuter rail.
How short-sighted it is that as the satellite towns outside Christchurch expand and grow, there is no plan for commuter rail.
If nothing is done, future generations will look back and say “why didn’t they look at commuter rail. Look at the mess we have.”
Auckland has commuter rail; so has Wellington; Christchurch the second biggest city in the country should have it as well.
Water is a major issue in this election and in North Canterbury.
Voters need to know what the political parties are saying on water before the election, not after.
We have heard about Labour’s water tax and National’s secret dealings on who will control water.
First, let me remind you that we agree with Labour’s policy on royalties on export bottled water being paid back to the regions from whence it came.
How could we not agree?
It was our policy long before Labour swiped it.
But Labour water policy is two-fold.
And it is the second part of their policy which causes stress and alarm.
Their planned tax on those engaged in vineyards, and other primary producers will have major implications for you here in North Canterbury.
Labour’s water tax figures range from $58.3 million to $500 million.
Labour's Finance Spokesman Grant Robertson said the likely rate for irrigators would be between 1 and 2 cents per 1000 litres.
However, despite that serious uncertainty as to the rate of tax the Labour leader is saying that the rate won’t be known till after the election.
Only then will they sit down with those concerned and sort it out.
The problem with Labour’s policy is that no-one knows what it is.
And the National Party’s policy is as bad.
National has said Labour’s tax policy would force previous iwi settlements to be reopened.
So here is the question.
What iwi settlements concerning water has the National government secretly entered in to?
We know that National, from their Resource Management Act law reform recently passed in Parliament, favours race-based provisions and dual management.
It is not one law for all now but different laws based on race.
And Labour does not oppose that.
The two old parties are heading down a dangerous path.
New Zealand First acknowledges we have a serious problem with pollution of our waterways.
Under our Royalties for the Regions policy, companies exporting water will have to pay royalties which will go back to the region where the water came from.
We say that money can be used to help clean up our rivers and lakes.
Also, we believe the $1.4 billion New Zealand is spending buying carbon credits from foreigners should be put to far better use – like cleaning up our waterways and our emissions footprint.
Whilst we must work to preserve the quality of our waterways, New Zealand First says we can balance it with the need for economic development.
If Scandinavia can do just that why can’t we?
Countries, like Norway, are world leading models.
Our primary industries have to survive.
North Canterbury’s wine and farming industries must be given every chance to become good environmentalists while still prospering.
The need for clean water conservation and preservation must work alongside economic development.
As said earlier if Scandinavia can do this so can we in New Zealand
New Zealand First wants the transferring of water consents to stop when the original reason for gaining the consent ceases.
It’s appalling that businesses allocated a water consent, but no longer need it, are selling it off at huge profit of between $50,000 and $500,000.
In the last decade Environment Canterbury has transferred 494 water permits between properties, 290 of those in the last five years.
Councils and ratepayers get nothing.
The National government has claimed no one owns the water.
Clearly that’s not the case and big money is changing hands.
In all the talk from National and Labour they have forgotten something else besides productivity.
New Zealand First has noticed it and a letter writer to The Press newspaper yesterday has as well.
Our Seniors have been forgotten.
This man wrote the old parties seemed to be interested only in the younger population.
“I am a 78-year-old male Kiwi who has spent all his working life in New Zealand and paid the relevant taxes. Now retired and living in changed circumstances I find that financially living on NZ Super only is very challenging.
“I am very grateful to be living in my own home, receiving the Super and having the Gold Card.
“When I hear of all the proposed new and increased benefits and assistance continually being offered by both the main parties, I believe they have overlooked the need for increased help for the country’s seniors who have played a great part in the growth of this country.”
New Zealand First has not forgotten you, David Wilson of St Martins.
We are the party that gave you the Gold Card and which has fought for and defended NZ Super.
We will be making a very important announcement regarding the Gold Card in Auckland at the weekend.
D Day, Decision Day, is rapidly approaching.
It is just over two weeks away.
New Zealand First urges you to think carefully.
How you vote will determine the future course of this country.
At the end of the day it’s what you want for yourselves, your families and your country.
New Zealand First can proudly say – we are for you 100 per cent.
We are 100 percent for all New Zealanders, young and old, for those in the cities and rural districts, for those who have been born here and for those who have arrived here and become citizens.
We want the best for you and our country; we want New Zealand to prosper and grow.
And we have not inflated promises and pipedreams but sound realistic policies – to make this possible.