Peters: Uniquely Kiwi – An Endangered Species
Speech – EMBARGOED AGAINST DELIVERY
An address by Rt Hon Winston Peters to the New Zealand First Convention 2007 at the Great Lake Convention Centre, Story Place, Taupo on Sunday 28 October 2007 at 1:30pm
“Uniquely Kiwi – An Endangered
This has been a great convention – which demonstrates New Zealand First’s many strengths – its people, its policies and its principles.
And it is a convention with a much needed message for all New Zealanders.
Thank you to every volunteer.
Other parties have bigger cheque books but that will never substitute for thousands of committed workers.
Thank you to all those nominees for board elections and other positions. It is a sign of a healthy, democratic party.
A special thanks to Dail Jones, Shona Keown, Ernie Davis and the many other volunteers for their long hours in preparing for this convention 2007, along with the behind the scenes work which has made it such a success.
Thanks also to my caucus colleagues for their hard work and dedication to our cause.
They are a critical part of our success.
Now some of you will be aware that the Prime Minister is about to reshuffle her cabinet.
There are at least two vacancies and maybe more.
When you look across the other side of the chamber there is no doubt that one of National’s big weaknesses is their lack of experienced and talented MPs.
It is a source of great pride that if either side needed ready made Ministers to fill cabinet posts then New Zealand First could better fill that void.
Peter Brown would make an excellent cabinet minister. He is an acknowledged expert in transport and energy.
The same is true of Brain Donnelly in education and local government – more than capable and with experience to burn.
As for Ron Mark well here are the facts. National put up law and order spokespeople who talk tough, Labour put up people who try to act tough. Well Ron Mark is tough and that is why he would make an excellent Minister.
In Barbara Stewart parliament has somebody who actually brings caring to the health portfolio – not an obsession with money.
Doug Woolerton has the skills and experience that more than two decades involvement in politics brings.
Pita Paraone is one of the few Maori MPs who actually understands what it means to be a New Zealander and a Maori.
Now we raise the suitability of our caucus for higher office because frankly those of us who have been around long enough to know what talent looks like, are tired of the procession of mediocrities. We are not talking about the Mahareys, whom we rightly respect, but the time servers, we don't.
We have a ready made team for 2008, capable of filling roles across parliament.
They know what it means to be uniquely Kiwi.
This way of life is the interaction between our people and our environment – working, enjoying and engaging with our landscape – our mountains, our forests, our rivers and lakes, our high country and lowland farms, and our coastal waters.
Our economy rests on industries linked to our surrounds – we are still farmers, foresters and fishers.
The fact remains that most of our wealth comes from our lands and waters. That is the base from which we should build our entrepreneurial and innovative future.
We’ve been saying that, the only ones saying it, for the past twenty years. We’ve been saying we should rewrite the Reserve Bank Act to reflect New Zealand’s economy. They jeered at us once, but they aren’t jeering now. And tax cuts for new exports so common in every successful small economy.
These policies will make us prosperous again.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are passionate about outdoor recreation.
Our landscape lends itself perfectly to outdoor activities and we have an obligation to preserve and protect it.
We work the second longest hours in the OECD – yet we still value time for recreation.
But access to some of the best places is under threat.
It is this critical part of our identity that New Zealand First wants to protect and secure now, and for future generations.
There is a noose tightening around some of these outdoor activities, by often well meaning, but ultimately over the top and out of control bureaucrats.
Too much of our environment is being locked away, or limited in what it can be used for.
The purpose of conserving these parts of the country – so that we can enjoy them – has been lost.
This tightening noose is easily seen in marine reserves, where recreational fishing is threatened by the struggle between eco-fundamentalists and commercial fishing.
New Zealand First is going to save recreational fishing.
We have a policy to get the balance right between outdoor recreation, conservation, and commercial interests.
We will create a middle tier of marine reserves, which allows for recreational fishers, but not commercial fishing. There is some abuse of the system, but recreational and customary fishers, properly managed, are not a threat to fishing stocks.
Dramatically restricting access to recreational fishers, when commercial fishing is the target of marine reserves, reeks of overkill.
And we will have local participation in decision-making over these matters.
We will be announcing detailed policy soon.
To date a pendulum has swung between commercial and conservation interests, depending on who is in government, and recreationists have been caught in the middle.
The uniquely Kiwi New Zealander is becoming an endangered species.
Being uniquely Kiwi is more than a way of life or embracing our environment – it is an attitude – and a vision.
We started this party over 14 years ago with a vision of what this country and its people could be.
A vision based on the belief that we could do much better than the two old parties.
A vision for all New Zealanders and not just the privileged few.
Decided by all New Zealanders and not just a few over-mighty subjects, either from the left or the right.
And we have spent the past 14 years fighting for this vision, often against the odds.
Despite our many successes there is still much to be done.
I am going to say something now which needs to be said.
But before I do I want to ask you some questions – and please answer me!
(List the questions on New Zealand First’s achievements)
That is our record.
Now answer this please, which subject about New Zealand has had the most coverage internationally – in all the major media outlets across the globe – in the last ten years?
I’ll tell you, because I saw it unfolding last week. It is an unnerving feeling, to be overseas and to see our country headlined, not because of economic or sporting success, but because of a bunch of malcontents running around the bush with guns.
That was the news that the world heard from New Zealand last week.
The biggest New Zealand story in more than a decade.
The result of behaviour which has been excused, condoned, nurtured and even encouraged over the past twenty years.
What type of country do we live in, when it is not the malcontents with the guns that get turned on by society, but the police?
That is an indictment on our values system.
We had hundreds of people protesting against the police arresting Tama Iti and his mates.
They are marching – not because he is guilty or innocent – they are marching because he is brown.
We once marched against apartheid, now they are marching for it.
We have groups calling for separate nations within our nation and prepared to use guns and violence.
If you don't believe that – watch TV One's Sunday programme tonight.
What is most obscene about this is that these same people who want their separate nation, want us the taxpayer to pay for it.
Just last Friday I was in a helicopter flight overlooking the forestry estate around Taupo.
What I saw were Maori workers, hundreds of them, on tractors and trucks, working hard and being paid for their work.
Not looking for a handout, not prancing around protesting – they were too busy working to pay their taxes and support their families.
What a contrast!
This is where the system is failing – taxpayer sponsored militant separatism.
These groups want separate development – but your money to fund it.
Rejecting all our values except collecting the dole each fortnight.
Get this clear – we are not having people opting out, demanding we pay for it, and then ramming their hymn of hate down our throats.
Fortunately this situation is not without hope.
Most Maori in New Zealand actually want to be part of and enjoy their country.
The overwhelming majority of Maori have jobs and want to raise their children for a better future.
Today we call on these Maori to join the fight against militant separatism.
Our track record speaks for itself.
Every single positive development for Maori in the last two decades has either been New Zealand First policy or with our support.
I’ve given you the record, but I left one part out. It was a New Zealand First MP who passed the first ever legislative transfer of church land back to its Maori owners, and that happened 27 years ago – Pehiaweri Marae.
If it is right and good we will support it – in fact we will lead the way.
But we will always fight separatism wherever and whenever we see it.
New Zealanders are sick and tired of being called racists by those who are clearly the most militant racists in the country.
New Zealanders wonder why a political party based solely on race is held up as the moral compass for the country. In South Africa we called that apartheid, and the rest of the world including New Zealand condemned it.
But these symptoms run much deeper.
You have felt this impact.
You will be wondering at the farce of so much of our land belonging overseas, and so much of what is left, being fought over in Treaty claims.
Reconcile that paradox of pathetic policies, and remember Labour and National did that.
You will be wondering why the PC police think it's more important to pander to cultural sensitivities than deliver services.
You will be wondering what sort of country promotes prostitution as a career option for young women, and then makes laws to support it.
You will be wondering why the only man to come to this country with terrorist-related convictions is turned into a folk hero at over $3million of taxpayers money. Now we have his whole family here, and you are going to pay all over again.
It’s hard enough to understand why soft headed do-gooders support this, but why would Maori see their total present population after one thousand years exceeded by just thirteen years of imports, and support this.
We have an education system which drives men out of nearly every primary school. So who is the male role model now – the boyfriend mum picks up at the pub?
You will wonder why your suburbs are covered by the scourge of graffiti and why youth gangs rule the streets and our shopping centres.
You will wonder why two boy racers can kill a young woman and then get only ten months home detention. Where is the justice in that?
You cringe in disbelief every time a young child is killed from violence and child abuse.
You wonder when you are going to feel safe on the streets again.
You wonder why you have to change your way of life and have the beliefs of others forced down your throat.
It just feels wrong – because it is wrong.
It didn’t happen overnight - this decay of our society has grown over the past two decades.
We are losing a national compass and certainty about our values – and it is getting worse with each generation.
The two tired old parties have been equally culpable in its spread and offer no solution.
Indeed on this front there is now so little between the two old parties, despite the rhetoric, that National is now simply Labour in drag.
However, we have seen the veil slip on National’s true intentions.
National has never learnt the lesson that no means no when it comes to asset sales.
They will be reminded every step of the way up to the 2008 election and beyond.
On the other hand, Labour is so captured by ideology that it cannot see the damage it is doing in its pursuit of liberal causes.
Their liberal crusades have resulted in a pervasive identity theft of who we are as New Zealanders, despite all their best intentions.
Our values have been diluted.
Our society has become so obsessed with promoting people's rights that we neglect to demand the obligations and responsibilities that go with them.
And the most depressing aspect of this social and cultural decay is the plague of separatism actively destroying the foundations of our society.
Both Labour and National tolerate separatism.
We have been warning them for more than twenty years and yet they still can’t accept the blight of separatism - because they do not want to cause offence.
They have become indifferent. They have no idea how to handle it.
Gangs are flourishing because neither Labour nor National has the courage to confront separatism.
Our ancestors built this nation on values such as tolerance, and now their offspring are having tolerance thrown back in their faces by militant separatism.
New Zealand was built on unity, working together as one people.
We intermarried, we worked together, we grew to respect each other and we had a shared sense of identity.
Now we are being told that if we don’t accept everybody else's values, imported or not, then there is something wrong with us.
Well we in New Zealand First say that some things are just plain wrong.
Separatism is wrong.
Gang violence is wrong.
Killing our children is wrong.
Not treating our seniors with respect is wrong.
Stealing is wrong.
You know more than most that values do matter.
If we do not face up to the scourge of separatism we risk being overrun – the uniquely Kiwi will become extinct.
Fortunately New Zealand First has changed the nature of politics in New Zealand.
We are not afraid to speak out on the tough issues.
We have are a strong voice for ordinary New Zealanders, for their values and beliefs and for their right to protect their lifestyle.
We will confront separatism where we see it.
We will point out the hypocrisy we see in our parliament.
Let’s begin with our young.
Why don’t we have the national anthem sung again in our schools?
We must ensure all immigrants have a proper civics programme. They must understand our values, not expect us to adopt theirs.
Now we will announce more policy on this front as we draw closer to the election.
We are not about to let this endangered species become extinct. .
We will be fighting for your cause, your values and your way of life.
And we need your help more than ever.
If we are to stop gangs and violent crime then we will need your fundraising efforts, your work in electorates and your support as we build to the election campaign.
If we are to stop the separatists in their tracks then we need more of you – we must grow the party.
You have a chance to be part of something great – the preservation of your unique way of life.
It will be a long, hard struggle, against an army of taxpayer funded apologists and card carrying politicians.
So let us prepare for this battle.
And when we have saved the uniquely Kiwi way of life – you can look back and say – I was there, and I helped the right side win.
All roads lead to election 2008.
Go home and please tell your fellow workers and friends that our flag is still flying.
A bright beacon, for a unique way of life, for a new dawn and a brighter day.