Peters – “Protect and Save YOUR Tauranga”
Rt Hon Winston Peters – Campaign Address 12.30pm Friday 10th October 2008, from the back of a truck, Red Square, Tauranga
“Protect and Save YOUR Tauranga”
In four weeks the day that you have been waiting for will arrive.
On that day you will exercise your right to select the government of your choice.
This election in Tauranga is a two horse race.
One who’s never been to the track - and one who’s won a stack of group one races.
Politics is about action. There are plenty of people who make a lot of noise and use up their energy but only a few get the job done.
Let’s look at Tauranga and ask ourselves who has been the REAL Member of Parliament for this electorate for the past three years?
Tauranga is a special place. It is the fastest growing and most dynamic city in New Zealand.
Three years ago Tauranga and the Mount had received the biggest roading, schooling and hospital investment of any provincial city in New Zealand.
On roading - it is the envy of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in particular.
Tauranga in 2005 got an elected representative who did a lot of talking and nothing else – and another who kept getting things done. Like a new harbour bridge.
Despite the 2005 result locally, New Zealand First got the new harbour bridge being built now, toll free.
Only one party has delivered for Tauranga over the past three years.
Only one party secured a toll free harbour bridge – saving the citizens and business of this region hundreds of millions of dollars.
Over the past three years we have acted in your best interests in numerous ways.
- Secured a reduction in business tax to 30% and Export Year.
- Increased the minimum wage to twelve dollars an hour.
- Increased superannuation by over $70 a week for married couples and $40 for singles.
- Put more than half a billion dollars extra into eldercare.
- Introduced the SuperGold Card with free off-peak travel on public transport.
- Gained higher subsidies for hearing aids.
- We slowed Labour’s politically correct social engineering agenda.
- We provided 1000 more frontline police staff and 250 support staff to make your communities safer.
The people of Tauranga know how critical law and order is.
Many of you have become victims in your own homes after years of "soft on crime" polices from the two old parties.
Tauranga is one of New Zealand’s critical gateways to the world.
It drives exports and using the tax system to put the right incentives in place for business is critical to this area.
Now we could go on – but there is one thing that is clear when it comes to New Zealand First.
Let’s turn now to the next three years.
We will increase Superannuation to 68% of the Net Average Wage for married couples, with similar adjustments for single people.
We also want to change the rebate level for those who are non-qualified spouses to bring it into line with the widows’ benefit and raise the rebate from $80 to $100 and ensure it is indexed to the CPI.
And we must deal with the issue of overseas pensions once and for all.
While we secured a review of these and some minor changes, the reality is that the only fair and equitable solution is a 1 in 45 year formula, based on years resident in each jurisdiction.
We believe the SuperGold Card can be even better.
We will introduce a power subsidy of $300 per household with a SuperGold Card over the winter months.
While we secured much needed funding into the eldercare sector, there is still much more that needs to be done on this front.
We are the party that believes in a universal student allowance.
Many of you must be concerned about the crisis in the global financial sector.
We have a plan to address it.
We are going to set up a New Zealand Fund to buy back strategic assets flogged off to foreign interests.
This ensures that New Zealand investors keep their money and their profits right here.
We will protect your investments and savings by providing a government guarantee to banks like Kiwibank and the Taranaki Savings Bank.
We’re going to guarantee deposits up to $100,000 in these New Zealand owned banks.
And we are going to target interest rates.
There’s no excuse for interest rates to be more than twice the inflation rate, and credit card rates over six times the inflation rate.
It is imported foreign financial garbage masquerading as so-called market forces.
New Zealand First is going to use the state’s credit and loan facilities to drive down interest rates.
We will change the Reserve Bank Act to protect and save this country from two clear and present evils.
First, the most volatile currency in the world.
Second, some of the highest interest rates in the OECD with little if any relationship to risk.
This crude and clumsy legislation is destroying peoples’ equity in their homes and thereby a huge chunk of their savings.
Why should a $300,000 home be now worth $200,000 – just because the Reserve Bank says so?
This is an unnecessary attack on the home owners’ investment and savings.
Whilst the two old parties argue about the rats and mice of tax cuts of ten to fifteen dollars, let’s get real here.
People are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on their homes whilst Mr Key talks about peanuts for tax cuts.
And you can bet one thing. John Key won’t do anything about the Reserve Bank Act. Bill English has said so.
We will and in doing so save home owners well over one hundred dollars a week in mortgage costs.
We will stop foreign owned banks creaming off over $4 billion a year in profits.
New Zealand owned banks with Government support can cut both mortgage and credit rates to save families, and New Zealand First intends to do just that.
We have seen what greed can do to international financial markets and to ours back home as well.
And whilst we are at it, why are government and local body accounts with foreign banks, so they can clip the ticket on every transaction?
Those accounts should be in a New Zealand owned bank where our economy gets the profits.
New Zealanders are being screwed by foreign owned banks and finance dealers. We will send them a message. We’ve had enough.
We are going to protect your homes and your streets by banning gangs and mounting a war against crime.
For those who want to break the crime habit we will help them with rehabilitation programmes.
The legislation is ready, we have the extra police and they will get whatever powers are needed to put the criminals away - until they are too old to be a nuisance.
Now you might ask me “what are you going to do to for Tauranga in future?”
Besides protecting and saving your home and your community, we’re going to get on with further construction.
Why would you have 16 sets of traffic lights when a tunnel at Hairini makes more sense?
So it is clear that Tauranga doesn’t need any more “bridges” – just a tunnel and an MP who gets things done.
I got you two bridges, you don’t need any more bridges.
With all the extra police – 102 in this region – it is clear that this region needs a seriously upgraded police station.
This is an investment – not a cost.
Standing here on the back of a truck reminds me of another election campaign here back in 1990.
Three years after the share market crash of 87 a new National government came into power and started the worst slash and burn exercise since the great depression of the thirties.
New Zealand First was created from the wreckage of that secret political agenda that was even worse than Labour’s economic and social revolution of the eighties.
My job as National MP for Tauranga was supposed to be carrying a suitcase of broken promises from Wellington to tell you that they were broken for economic reasons that would benefit you in the long term.
In other words, National wanted me as their bad news message boy and when I said “forget it, my responsibility is to the people of Tauranga” they kicked me out of the caucus.
So, we set up New Zealand First, and worked to repair the damage that had been done.
In 2008, National wants another message boy in Tauranga.
Someone to come back here and tell you that a former foreign exchange speculator has decided that people receiving income under $40,000 don’t deserve any more.
A National led government (heaven forbid) would be terrified at the thought of facing a political street fighter in this electorate.
They would wonder what hit them.
There is no way we would tolerate senior citizens ever being targeted again like they were in the nineties.
Remember the superannuation surcharge?
Remember the cut in superannuation – when National’s deputy leader Bill English was Treasurer?
Remember the strategic asset sales?
This election is about your survival over the next three years.
It is not a time for nervous nellies or inexperience or secret agendas.
It is time to keep our priorities and to be fair to all our citizens and to use our assets like any wise business person.
We must steer our own ship through the stormy seas ahead and look after our own first.
New Zealand First is a small party but remember that it is not the size of the dog in a fight that counts – it is the size of the fight in the dog.
It’s going to be a hard road but we can reach our destination safely if we travel together and fight off the challenges on the way.
There’s an old saying that “when the going gets tough the tough get going” and that’s why you need a tough leader.