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A House Divided - Winston Peters Speech

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Public Rally
Red Square, Tauranga
12.00pm Thursday 25 July 2002

A House Divided

It has been my privilege to represent Tauranga and Mount Maunganui these last 18 years. During that time together we have done many things that are positive and good for our city. We have handled thousands of personal constituent problems and have done more for our schools and roads than any other electorate in New Zealand. We have been New Zealand’s fastest growing city over that time which means that the problems we have had to confront have been greater than for any other electorate. During that time I have worked with your local councils and have never had one dispute with any of your local representatives. We have done much and we have much more to do.

There is an ancient warning – a warning whose wisdom is evident from the fate of many countries around the world:

“If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand”

There are powerful forces at work that threaten our house, New Zealand.

New Zealand First’s campaign has been about these forces, the things dividing our country, and what needs to be done to fix them.

The forces that are undermining, fragmenting and eroding the social cohesion of our society are:

- the assault of the law breakers on the law abiding

- the Treaty industry that thrives on fomenting division and separatism

- out of control immigration that is changing the fabric of our society without a thought for the consequences.

While these are realities that concern ordinary Kiwis they are deeply unfashionable to the liberal political and media elite who have been mesmerised by the fashion of the day –genetic engineering and the mindless musings about coalitions.

Discussing coalitions before you have voted! Bill desperately trying to find some relevance for National and ACT where there is none. And Helen telling everyone who she will or won’t go with. I will go with Jim but I don’t want to play with anyone else!

The voters, on Saturday, will tell Helen what to do because New Zealand is still a democracy – but it is taking on the semblance of a general election in Pakistan – where they know which General will be elected.

Regardless of what Helen Clark is saying publicly, privately they are already preparing for something else, which is presumably why her office has emailed mine asking “can someone send me some contact numbers for Winston this weekend plse (sic)”.

They want to be able to contact us, and because they have provided their numbers, presumably they want us to be able to contact them. I’m sure she won’t be calling me to see what I had for breakfast.

New Zealand First’s campaign has been about pulling the curtains aside – exposing the threats we face - and demanding action against the things that are dividing us.

For this reason, we have dedicated our election campaign to the fundamental rights of ordinary Kiwis:

 The right to walk our streets in safety.

 The right of all New Zealanders to stand together as equals.

 The right to stop being swamped by a flood of immigrants.

You will have seen from the media response that they do not see these rights as being of any consequence. The big city media approach to New Zealand First has been dismissive and contemptuous – something to ridicule because our campaign did not fit the prejudices of those who see themselves as the trend-setters and arbiters of fashion. Like Gordon McLauchlan’s New Zealand Herald column deriding the people of the city. Smart Alec, arrogant, quiche eating, chardonnay drinking, pinky finger pointing snobbery, fart blossom. He wrote a book once entitled “The Passionless People” – one of New Zealand’s least known doorstops. But then they say that the trouble with publishing is that too many people with half a mind to write a book do so.

Look – our campaign is not designed to fit this year’s fashion, it is not based on what Campbell, Clarke, or Holmes thought were the hot topics.

We are talking about this country’s future – not what makes TV sound bites.

The consequences of the foolish, shortsighted, politically correct policies in the areas of law and order, the Treaty and immigration will be paid for by ordinary Kiwis for decades to come.

Despite the willful blindness of the political and media establishment ordinary Kiwis know something is terribly wrong - that is why we have packed meetings everywhere while the rest have scared babies in prams for a photo opportunity.

New Zealanders like common sense – and no more so than here in Tauranga.

You are well aware that only New Zealand First has made the cohesion of our country an election issue.

And the question of cohesion and what threatens it brings into sharp focus a hidden part of this election: the embargo on issues that matter to ordinary Kiwis.

In this election certain key issues have been treated as “off limits” - important things that need to be said cannot be spoken of – like a nanny declaring certain topics are not to be mentioned in front of the children.

Foremost among these “no go” areas is immigration.

This is subtle censorship – and amounts to manipulation of the election agenda.

And when New Zealand First refuses to treat the public as infants who must be shielded from reality – when we have broken this code of silence – we have been pilloried by the media.

What is going on?

Let’s look briefly at some of the tactics used to keep you in the dark.

First, Denial – It is disgraceful that despite out of control immigration the Government has simply looked the other way – and instead of calling them to account the big city media has colluded in the cover up. Why for example, did Granny Herald not carry the story that the Immigration Service, in trying to explain how a three times murderer from Australia got to live in New Zealand, “relied on people to be honest filling in their immigration cards when they arrived”. They didn’t check out Archie McCafferty or John Davy and they are not checking out anyone else either.

Apart from New Zealand First no party has had the courage to talk about immigration.

National has copied Labour’s head in the sand approach.

National’s policy on immigration is now indistinguishable from Labour’s – an open door!

A second tactic has involved Distraction –

At times the spat between Labour and the Greens looked almost contrived and certainly initially proved convenient to them both.

While the GE issue held centre-stage the media were sufficiently distracted to stop them scrutinising other more important issues.

For once the public began to focus on New Zealand First’s important messages the deficiencies of Labour’s leadership became clear.

As another instance of the diversionary gambit Labour have been quite happy to let the Teachers’ strike and the NCEA fiasco rumble on – a promise to take the dispute to arbitration made days out from the election is meant to be a sign of progress!

As soon as the focus looked like moving off those diversions and as New Zealanders began to understand the need for a strong New Zealand First presence in our next parliament Labour turned its guns on to Winston Peters and New Zealand First

That is why it is important NOT to just vote for Winston Peters as your MP and your advocate, it is important that you give me the tools to do the job, and give New Zealand First your party vote.

We will not be bullied.

Neither will New Zealanders be misled by the old standard – the tactic of Sowing Confusion

Metaphorically, the public have had a lot of sand thrown in their face in this election

Typical of this tactic is the way many of New Zealand First’s policies have been misrepresented, when we challenge those who grow wealthy from the Treaty industry gravy train we are branded as anti Maori .

When we point out the scandalous squandering of taxpayer money on the subversion that is the Treaty Industry we are called “racist.”

When we inform the public of the facts of out of control immigration we are slandered as “anti – Asian.”

To correct the distortions of our opponents let me repeat what I have said on many occasions in this campaign

 Immigration is not about hurting somebody’s feelings

 Immigration is not about migrants being good or bad people

 Immigration is not about criticising people who have already migrated to NZ

 Immigration is about applying common sense to the numbers being allowed to settle in this country.

And when all else fails there is a final tactic for keeping the public in the dark

Blame the messenger –

New Zealand First has been prepared to put unpalatable issues before the electorate

As a result, throughout this election we have been portrayed as the bad guys

New Zealand First has been the spectre at the feast! We have been criticised for harping on about immigration, for daring to state the facts. We are spoiling the fun - upsetting the cosy little agenda of what can and cannot be said.

Well if ordinary Kiwis cannot discuss immigration – openly - candidly – forthrightly
does that mean free speech is now outlawed in Helen Clark’s paradise of political correctness?

What sort of a wimpish, cringing, politically correct society have we become if we cannot debate immigration?

New Zealand First asks all New Zealanders to think about some key questions:

Whose interests are being served by the current levels of immigration?

The interests of ordinary Kiwis? Hardly!

How will ordinary kiwis – or their children - benefit from the cheap labour economy that mass immigration is creating? How is forging our national identity served by a mass influx of immigrants?

Building a strong and cohesive nation is not like making instant pudding.

New Zealand has spent over 160 years forging a nation –many would say we still have plenty of unfinished business. For example, we are still trying to ensure Maori are not disadvantaged relative to other Kiwis.

That in itself is a huge task. The Government has made great play of its concern for Maori – more honestly they have given Maori lots of rhetoric – plenty of fine words

What we in New Zealand First find astonishing is that those who profess to care about the aspirations of Maori should be so cavalier, so casual, so off-hand about cheapening the New Zealand birthright.

But the fact of the matter is that the political elite share an internationalist –global view. These people regard being patriotic as being hopelessly old fashioned and parochial. Their ideal is to have a villa in Tuscany, a time share in Wanaka and a job with a United Nations Agency blaming the developed countries for all the ills of the world. These masters of the universe never see themselves or their children as having to compete with the waves of immigrants they are allowing into New Zealand.

The trouble is that ordinary Kiwis do not live in this rarified world. They worry about their job security – and their children’s prospects.

They worry – rightly - about the huge economic, social and political consequences of mass immigration to our small society.

 They know immigration is not an economic panacea

 They realise the adverse impact on social cohesion of mass immigration

 They understand the security threat posed by free and easy immigration

 They are outraged by the abuses and scams that proliferate

 They are appalled by the shambolic administration of our immigration laws that tolerates today 20,000 overstayers

 They see the need for urgent and drastic action

We despair for a country that is destroying its social cohesion and identity. Helen Clark and Bill English can posture all they like - having flogged off this country’s assets for a song their parties are now intent on giving away the Kiwi birthright as well – it’s about all we have left.


If you are concerned about immigration – and what Kiwi who thinks about it for a few moments is not alarmed by the current mess – then you have only one choice in this election

Only Winston Peters and New Zealand First are committed to urgent action to bring immigration under control

Can we fix it? Yes we can!

If you are concerned about the division that continues in our city and in our country because of a Treaty industry that has taken on its own life – then you have only one choice.

Only Winston Peters and New Zealand First are committed to urgent action to put an end to the Treaty Industry.

Can we fix it? Yes we can!

If you are concerned about your safety and security and the falling social standards - as we must all be when we witness the attacks on the police that we saw here in the weekend – then you have only one choice in this election.

Only Winston Peters and New Zealand First are committed to urgent action to regain control of our streets and to arrest the disastrous decay in our social fabric.

Can we fix it? Yes we can!

In seeking your support to once again serve you and our community I am also seeking your support for my Party so that we have the strength in numbers to fix these things.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been honoured to serve you. 18 years ago I promised that if you voted for me then there would never arise in Parliament any issue of economic or social importance, without people first turned and asked – what does Tauranga think? I have kept that promise and today I renew it.

In the words of my namesake, “Give us the tools and we will finish the job”.

Can we fix it?

Yes we can!


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