Transition to a better future
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
16 AUGUST 2017
234 Hereford St,
Wednesday, August 16, 1-2pm
Transition to a better
New Zealand First is announcing our Christchurch candidates for the general election today.
Sitting list MP, Denis O’Rourke, will again contest Port Hills.
Mr O’Rourke, a lawyer and a former Christchurch City councillor, and a company director, has been a list MP based in Port Hills since 2011.
He has held major spokesperson roles for New Zealand First including transport, housing, justice, attorney general and courts, climate change, environment and RMA, security and GCSB, and Canterbury earthquake issues.
Well known Christchurch manufacturing engineer and exporter,Phil Robinson, is standing for Christchurch Central.
He owns and manages his own company, Industrial Dynamics Ltd, which designs, manufactures and exports automated machinery for a wide range of applications. He has been an active member of New Zealand First for many years.
Lincoln University’s Research and Development ManagerMelanie Mark-Shadbolt has been selected to contest the Christchurch East seat.
Ms Mark-Shadbolt, a specialist in biosecurity and bio-protection, has recently been awarded a Ministry of Primary Industries award for research excellence in the field of bio-security.
She is a regular presenter at international forums and is about to undertake presentation activities at major international conferences in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Richard Prosser MP
Sitting list MP, Richard Prosser, will again contest Waimakariri for New Zealand First.
Mr Prosser has been a list MP based in Waimakariri since 2011. He is a former business development manager, media contributor and viticulturist.
He carries a wide range of spokesperson roles including Agriculture, Bio-security, Customs, Fisheries, Forestry, Police and Outdoor Recreation.
Commuter rail advocate Tane Apanui will contest Wigram for New Zealand First.
Mr Apanui, a security operative and business owner, is also an international hockey coach (having coached Fiji at the 2015 Olympic qualifying tournament) and is a commercial pilot.
He is a vigorous advocate for commuter rail to serve Christchurch and has prepared detailed plans demonstrating a model to achieve this aim.
Former Air NZ flight attendant, WINZ case manager and current fashion brand sales manager, Lindy Palmer, to be the party’s candidate in Selwyn.
Ms Palmer has a long family connection in Selwyn and has already taken up residence in the electorate in anticipation of the campaign.
A long-term member of New Zealand First, Ms Palmer has previously stood for the party in Hunua.
We are meeting here in the Transitional Cathedral and the word transition is appropriate.
Not just for the Anglican diocese, but for the city of Christchurch.
The transition from the devastation of the earthquakes, as most if not all of you would agree, has been unnecessarily slow and drawn out.
The original cathedral which stands wane and broken symbolises that.
The option of gifting the cathedral to the people of New Zealand should have been considered years back.
And the government, realising the importance of this building for the heritage of Christchurch, should have stepped in and started rebuilding. With the insurance proceeds dedicated to that purpose.
When we last visited Christchurch at the beginning of July we said if rebuilding doesn’t start, we would make sure it happens straight after the election.
We stick by that.
The procrastination, dawdling and delays over the rebuild have held your city back.
It is seen with your convention centre.
You were promised it in 2017, then it became 2018, then 2019 and now it is 2020 – three years late.
Before the earthquakes Christchurch had 24 percent of NZ’s conference market.
That has shrunk to 9 percent.
You are missing out on millions of dollars.
I refer to Mike Yardley’s article yesterday, in which he wrote:
“In fact, if you dust off the Cost Sharing Agreement, you'll struggle to find one project that's been faithfully delivered on time. The Metro Sports Facility was meant to open last year, the council-led Central Library was scheduled for 2015 and the much-maligned stadium project was envisaged for completion in the autumn of this year, before the council deferred its funding commitment of $253 million, for the best part of a decade.
In his final act as Regeneration Minister, Gerry Brownlee, in concert with the Christchurch Mayor, actioned a pre-feasibility study to be undertaken on a multi-purpose indoor arena, with a seating capacity of between 25,000-35,000. The study was scheduled for completion in late July. That's now been pushed back until later this month – just weeks before the election. Even if work commenced next week, it won't be completed until 2022.”
Even the Courts project, like the rest, is way behind time.
None of this evidences a government that is committed to Christchurch or Canterbury.
Lack of innovation
There has been too much lethargy and lack of innovative thinking in your rebuild.
Why, for example, wasn’t wood used more?
Sir Bob Jones is about to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in the world on the corner of Featherstone and Brandon streets in Wellington.
He has plans for another wooden skyscraper in Auckland.
This is the way the world is going and he is moving with it.
He said it was time shipping massive volumes of whole logs out of New Zealand for foreign owners and countries to get all the add-on value should end.
New Zealand First has been saying this for years.
He believes, as New Zealand First does, that we should be supplying China, the biggest high rise market in the world, with engineered timber.
The problem is the old parties have let eight of our biggest ten major forestry companies become foreign owned.
These companies are levelling entire forests at unsustainable levels.
This is just one example of what happens when you have governments which let massive amounts of New Zealand land and assets be sold off and controlled by foreign interests.
New Zealand First will change that.
Covered stadium – multi-purpose arena – NZ First proposal
New Zealand First asks also, why can’t Christchurch and Canterbury have a decent covered multi-use sports stadium to be used for top rugby and other events?
You missed out on having a Lions rugby test this winter for the first time ever.
You are being treated like a backwater and falling behind.
With the Crusaders you have the Super 15 champions.
But you’ve got a second rate temporary stadium not worthy of you or your champions.
New Zealand First will back a covered multi-use stadium being built in Christchurch.
We realise the cost should not fall entirely on ratepayers and so we will look seriously at the government contributing.
But we make two provisos:
One, that you build a 24/7 revenue earning, multi purpose complex where sporting and entertainment events occasionally happen.
The emphasis is a 24/7 revenue stream where sport happens sometimes.
Two, that the stadium is built with wood - and wood grown in New Zealand – as a serious preference.
You have the technology and know-how here to make it happen, as shown with the Pres-Lam technology developed at the University of Canterbury.
Labour filches NZ First policy
We have heard a lot about water in the past week or so.
Firstly Labour swiped our policy on royalties being paid back to the regions from which bottled water is being taken.
This was our policy.
Then they intend to tax farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, vineyard owners and other primary producers.
Their figures were all over the show saying a tax would bring in from $58.3 million to $500 million.
Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson said on Saturdaythe likely rate for irrigators would be between 1 or 2 cents per 1000 litres.
Earlier the Labour leader said they would work alongside those in the industry and sort it out – after the election.
Which of all these statements is true?
National has said Labour’s tax policy would force previous iwi settlements to be reopened. And National loaded up their legislation like RMA reform with race-based provisions and dual management. It is not one law for all now but different laws based on race.
We are heading down a dangerous path.
New Zealand First acknowledges we have a serious problem with pollution of our waterways.
We have some of the most polluted rivers in the Western world.
Here in Canterbury nitrate levels are much higher than anywhere else in New Zealand.
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.
There must be economic development, our primary industries have to flourish, but it must be balanced with responsible environmental stewardship.
Also, we believe the $1.4 billion New Zealand is spending buying carbon credits from foreigners can be put to far better use – like cleaning up our waterways.
NZ First does not support the Wall Street-like Emissions Trading Scheme.
We stand for a UK-Norway style Climate Change Act. We will use our resources, our industry and our workers to play our part.
We want 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 to $500,000.
In the last five years Environment Canterbury has transferred 494 water permits between properties in a decade, 290 of those in the last five years.
Councils get nothing.
The National government has claimed no one owns the water.
Clearly that’s not the case and big money is changing hands.
State of economy under National
The government trumpets how wonderful our economy is; how thousands of New Zealanders are returning here from Australia.
Astute economists have looked past the smoke and mirrors – as New Zealand First has done.
In the year ended March 2017 the balance of payments deficit was $8 billion and there is no prospect in sight of achieving balance.
Every year we are just falling deeper into debt to the rest of the world – a debt that now stands at $155 billion.
Here is a recent Business Herald article of just over a month ago setting out “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 immigration and we have pitiful GDP growth of around 1 percent.
We are on shaky ground.
When things break – you know who they will come for:
If they think they’ll be safe, they’re wrong.
Grey Power and seniors
Only one party will be here to defend seniors.
That party is New Zealand First, the only party which has battled long and hard for NZ Super.
And don’t listen to the supporters of the government when they say NZ Super is unaffordable.
National and their fellow travellers can’t make out the fiscal case for such claims but that never stops them.
New Zealand First can make out the fiscal case for affordability and we have.
We’ll restore government contributions to the Cullen Fund.
Both National and Labour agree to taxing the Super Fund. We don’t.
We’re opposed to that - because the fund is built on taxes in the first place.
We believe in looking after our seniors – because they have earned that right through a lifetime of paying taxes.
We believe in looking after young New Zealanders also.
We will get rid of student loans for New Zealand students who stay and work here after they graduate.
The only requirement is they work for the same number of years as they have studied.
A student who completes a three-year degree will only need to work for three years in New Zealand, or a five year degree will require five years’ work here.
But if they leave for a big OE, and decide to work overseas, students will have to pay back some of the cost of their tertiary education.
Where students have a current student debt then the system changes to our dollar for dollar policy.
We will also introduce a universal student allowance.
These are our practical solutions to the huge debt students have to grapple with.
We understand young New Zealanders are labouring under debts that are proving too burdensome.
In just over five weeks’ time the people of Christchurch and Canterbury, and the people of New Zealand, have the chance of transitioning to a better future.
New Zealand First has a vision for a better New Zealand with jobs and decent healthcare, a more prosperous New Zealand, a safer New Zealand, a fairer New Zealand.
We ask you to join us in this transition.
New Zealand First has the policies, and the candidates.
Don’t squander the opportunity.