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Winston Speech: “All For One - One For All”

An address by Rt Hon Winston Peters to a public meeting at the Regent Theatre, Greymouth at 12.30pm Thursday 7th October, 1999


New Zealand First MPs stood by “King” Dick Seddon’s statute at Parliament two days ago supporting the Coast Action Network demonstration.

It was good to see that so many people from the Coast had made the considerable effort to be there and to exercise their democratic right to have their voices heard directly.

Coasters have been let down by both Labour and National, both of whom have simply regarded the people here as some kind of lost tribe – who should be wandering around the beech forests scratching a living.

MPs of both colours from this area have been faithful and loyal servants - to their parties. Unfortunately the Coast has always come second.

This was the home of the real New Zealand politics. This was where people stood up for their convictions and fought against economic and social injustice.

The spirit of those old timers has not died on the Coast – we could see that outside Parliament on Tuesday.

You could see how some politicians rushed out to meet you – while others scurried back inside their offices.

All those two tired old parties have to offer the Coast - or for that matter Northland or Southland - is more of the same old and failed monetarist experiment that has brought New Zealand to it’s present perilous state.

The provinces create two thirds of the country’s export wealth but what do you see for it?

Wellington Central says thanks very much – we’ll spend it on bureaucratic fat cats with no accountability clauses in their contracts and failed party hacks on Government boards.

They close your hospitals, your schools, and sell your assets, all in the name of that false God called Economic Efficiency.

Working people who cannot dream of the salaries and bonuses and golden handshakes prevalent under lax and incompetent Cabinet Ministers have other names for it. We wont repeat those names here!

New Zealand has become an economic colony of Australia, the North Americas and Asia.

We have lost control of own resources and whenever our prospects improve the Reserve Bank chokes off growth by increasing interest rates.

New Zealand has a shocking Balance of Payments situation – or should we say an “Imbalance of Payments”.

New Zealand owes over $ 102 billion overseas, a debt that is growing by $33 a week for each man, woman and child.

New Zealand desperately needs an economic growth plan.

The West Coast is part of that.

New Zealand First supports sustainable management of New Zealand’s publicly and privately owned indigenous forest resource.

Contrast that to Labour with it’s Alliance comrades who want to shut down the Coast.

To add insult to injury, the Labour Party has now mounted a campaign to justify its betrayal of West Coasters. It is now circulating a petition to further protect West Coast Forests. We have copies here today.

This was circulated around the Press Gallery in Parliament yesterday.

We don’t see any Labour people down here circulating it!

New Zealand First has made its position clear. We’ll repeat it.

We support the continued public ownership of Timberlands, and will transfer it to local control as a Local Authority Trading Enterprise.

Contrast that to National with it’s ACT appendages who want to sell Timberlands to the first foreign buyer they can find, and get their party stooges on the Board, or appointed as consultants.

Contrast that to Labour, who will also gut it and sell it and give the Coast the half time substitute of a Trust. That Trust will last as long as Labour’s last broken promise.

New Zealand First will give the Coast the tools it needs to do the job.

There are ideas and skills in plenty here.

We will provide the resources by returning to the Coast a fair percentage of rates unpaid by Wellington on 87 per cent of the land here.

It will be over to the Coast to decide what best use to put that money to with the proviso that it has a direct development focus.

New Zealand First supports the people who produce the country’s wealth in the provinces and our policies for Heartland New Zealand are based on fairness.

We see no reason why New Zealanders should be crammed into a couple of cities when there is plenty of room in the provinces.

We have plans to help create new industries and jobs.

These include:

 Low interest loans to help set up new industry.

 If the business creates new jobs, some of the loan will become a grant, after three years.

 Accelerated depreciation rates will be available for businesses that produce value added products for exports.

 Company tax discounts for the first five years of operation if a company is developing an export market.

 The finance would be made available through a development banking utility with strict criteria for these incentives.

To directly help primary production, New Zealand First will:

 Ensure there is a balanced and flexible monetary policy of low inflation, low interest and stable exchange rates.

 Establish a Rural Affairs Unit to gather information and advise the Government on all issues that affect rural communities.

 Expedite the review the Resource Management Act and support amendments that reduce compliance costs and red tape.

 Introduce a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to encourage young qualified people to own a farm or rural production block.

 Create a more equitable Livestock Taxation regime in conjunction with farmer groups and their financial advisers.

 Amend insolvency laws to help farmers and growers, who supply stock or produce for processing , and are treated as unsecured creditors if the processor goes into receivership before paying.

 Re-introduce the Farm Debt Mediation Bill which means that banks have to follow a clear and defined process before they can possess a farm to satisfy farm debts.

 Commit extra funding for the eradication of pests and noxious weeds.

 Provide base funding to develop and promote organic farming options.

 Ensure that agriculture and horticulture research receive emphasis and priority in science funding and strategy.

New Zealand First supports an export oriented economy, not the import oriented economy that has been thrust upon us
When the biggest new building on the main street of every town is a “Warehouse”, or a “WINZ” office, there is something seriously wrong.

When all the economic indices are heading south, when the only jobs are “McJobs”, there is something seriously wrong.

National and Labour and their acolytes will take us back to the Nineteenth Century.

The Nineteenth Century of penury, of usury, of workhouses, of child labour, of servitude, and of dependence upon charity.

It was Richard John Seddon who brought in female suffrage, who brought in the first universal pension scheme as of right of citizenship.

He brought in the first fair industrial laws – the ICA Act, and used a smart Christchurch lawyer called Pember-Reeves to enforce them as Minister of Labour.

He busted the big estates, broke the stranglehold of the landed gentry, and created the Bank of New Zealand to curb the foreign owned banks.

He set up the State Insurance Office and he went up and down the country telling the people what he was doing and why he was doing it.

At one stage of his brilliant Parliamentary career Seddon decided that he did not like some legislation, so he proceeded to explain how it would affect every person in his electorate.

According to the accounts of the time – he named every person on the roll!

Now, the two old parties don’t even remember the names of the towns!

Somehow, I believe that we are seeing history repeating itself in this country – and if the Coast ever needed to revive that old spirit, it is now!

New Zealand First has to make a very hard choice over the next few days. We have been overwhelmed by the calibre of the people nominated.

Each of them, a fine upstanding Coaster, has already made a big contribution to this area and would grace any Parliament.

We will be announcing the candidate soon and we will be asking for your votes for our candidate.

The only way to send a message to Wellington from the West Coast is to send a Coaster carrying it under the banner of New Zealand First.

That person will believe as you do that is one for all and all for one.

Your cause is worth fighting for and New Zealand First is the party with a stomach for a fight.

We have proved that. Trust us – and we will deliver.


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