What do we vote for? Political cliques or Policies
Embargoed against delivery.
An Address by Rt Hon Winston Peters to a Public Rally at the James Hay Theatre, Christchurch Town Hall, 86 Kilmore Street, Christchurch at 12:30pm Tuesday 2nd November 1999.
Theme: "What do we vote for? Political cliques or Policies?"
Over this campaign we'll open each speech with a political joke - and what better political joke than Richard Prebble.
There's a saying in Wellington Central that they have got the best MP that money can buy.
Richard and I were invited to take part in a radio station's battle of wits - but I won't fight against an unarmed opponent!
At least he provides us with a laugh now and then.
And goodness knows we need one - there has not been a lot to joke about in this country for the past fifteen years.
But on Sunday we launched a campaign to do something about that and there is a lot of work to be done to restore this country to its traditional place as a world leader.
We were once a wealthy country but we are now much poorer. We are not making enough to pay for our health, educational and welfare needs.
We are closing hospitals, reducing pensions, bankrupting our students and watching businesses close throughout the country.
We have gone from being a nation of doers and exporters to a nation of paper money shufflers and importers.
We are now a Warehouse economy - a country covered with big red buildings filled with unemployed shoppers looking for bargains.
It is time to do something about this - before it is too late.
New Zealand First has never believed in the free market monetarist approach followed by first Labour and then National.
We tried to change things and bring back some
traditional values during the time of the coalition
We scrapped the super surtax,
brought in free medical care for the under sixes,
fought to get a heart unit at Christchurch hospital,
spent 20 per cent more on education,
put extra police on the streets and
to help exporters we lowered exchange rates and lowered interest rates by a third.
This was too much for National, so the coalition was broken up.
It is interesting to cast our minds back to that time.
The political experts and media commentators proclaimed that New Zealand First was finished.
However, the people who formed this party with ideals and vision six years ago knew that New Zealand First was not finished, its time was only delayed.
We have gone on to new strengths and once again we will be in a position to help restore our country to the greatness our people deserve.
After the election, two people will come to New Zealand First asking that we make one of them Prime Minister.
Neither has taken one definite public coalition position with the two little parties that hang on to the hems of their dresses.
If any voter in the entire country has any idea what a Labour Alliance, or National Act coalition would do, please tell us, or better still tell Mrs Shipley and Ms Clark. They don't seem to know either.
If we think about it, what is
the difference between National and
Are these two old parties not the true coalition partners? After all, they have followed identical policies for the past fifteen years.
The only real differences between National and Labour are the hairstyles and the colour co-ordinates!
No one knows what these old parties are planning.
Remember Labour said one thing and did another in 1984 - and National was the same in 1990.
They are both acting like they are still running a two party electoral system in this country and they are both asking voters for a blank cheque for after the election.
New Zealand First is flanked on either side by two once great and proud parties who have forgotten their roots and forgotten the people who used to be their constituents.
We won't play their games and do deals in backrooms before a vote has even been cast.
Mrs Shipley is now saying that she could work with me and New Zealand First.
We find that hard to stomach after what she did in the Coalition. She is looking more desperate every day.
These people have no honour-just a shameless lust for power.
The two old parties are two sides of the same coin and we say "a plague on both your houses!"
New Zealand First is the only party with a vision for New Zealand.
We are a resourceful and enterprising people, we have a clean landscape, fertile soils, abundant seas and equitable climate.
There is no need for us to continue sliding into Third World status.
We do not have to be peasants in our own country, ruled by overseas landlords, watching our best young people disappear overseas because of student debt and no opportunity to repay it.
We do not have to accept a
third rate health service and lose our
children to the horrors of Third World epidemics.
We do not have to let our families struggle on, deprived of hope for their children,
We do not have to let our elderly be reduced to pauper status because the State keeps cutting their pensions,
We are not going to keep borrowing from the
savings of overseas
Investors. We will start saving for our own development.
We are not going to let criminals
rule our streets and terrorise our
And we are not going to keep risking the future of our young men by making them take their chances in this violent, ill disciplined society without any guidance or direction.
We are going to give them a choice of either military or community service, and we are going to do it because we do not have any other choice.
There is no substitute for an educated, hardworking, motivated and disciplined society.
Our political opponents have been quick to criticise this scheme - but where is their alternative?
They have airy-fairy flim flam policies and wish lists, but we have actually produced a plan.
Our plan is to end the aimless system of market driven government and to treble our exports by the year 2020.
Trade is our lifeblood and export led economic growth is the key to creating jobs and paying for our health, education, and welfare.
Our plan will set out our targets and each year we will review our progress and give a report for the people to assess.
It is these policies that will restore
confidence in the Canterbury economy.
It is time to take back control of our destiny and our resources. We must not continue to rely solely on overseas money lenders and banks.
To gain our financial independence, we will need a secure savings base.
We will create it with our new State controlled and State administered compulsory superannuation scheme, based on the model devised by Norman Kirk.
There is no better way to secure our future, and to provide a decent standard of living for all our people, than by investing these pension funds in New Zealand.
This election is about getting rid of the hypocrisy and double standards. It is time for a political revolution in this country to tell politicians that they are actually the servants of the people - not the masters.
It is the height of arrogance for one political party to withdraw a candidate from a seat and tell its supporters to vote for someone from another party.
You have all the power when you walk into a polling booth - your vote is worth as much as anyone else's in this country.
If you want National - vote for them.
If you want Labour - vote for them.
If you want something different, bold, and positive vote for New Zealand First.
Don't be sucked into all this nonsense about voting for one party to get another.
The Alliance is saying vote for us - and we will give you a Labour Government. ACT is saying vote for us - and we will deliver National.
This makes a mockery of the electoral system.
With us - what you see is what you get!
We are different to National and Labour. We don't want to go into a coalition with either of them.
We will sit on the cross benches and vote issue by issue, and support any good idea - no matter where it comes from.
We will look at the power of the idea - not the political personality behind it.
The only circumstances we will consider going into coalition again will be if there is another party which will accept the need for a new economic direction, that in good faith understands that MMP must be made to work for all New Zealanders, and that when it gives its word on a coalition agreement, keeps it.
Now, that should be clear enough for most people - but we are now being asked who we will support from the cross benches.
You see the problem. These people are not interested in issues or ideas - they are interested in power - and we say to them - come and earn our support!
Tell us what you are going to do about the pensions, the student loans, export incentives, child health, corporate tax dodgers and restoring rural New Zealand.
And not only tell us what you are going to do - tell us WHEN you are going to do it!
We will not be giving you a blank cheque - but we will give you confidence and supply if you are prepared to do something for the people of New Zealand for a change - and not just look after the big business interests that finance your parties.