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Peters: Myths and Legends of Election 2008

Rt Hon Winston Peters address to GreyPower, St John Ambulance Hall, 10 Douglas Street, Frankton, Queenstown at 4.30pm, 28th October 2008

“Myths and Legends of Election 2008”

It is good to be back in Central Otago – the cradle of civilisation in New Zealand, according to some accounts.

There were two types of treasure that attracted the early settlers to this area.

The first was greenstone and this area was part of trail that Maori followed to the greenstone treasure trove on the West Coast.

The Europeans came here because of the gold found further down the Clutha Valley and Otago was really our first great province.

We in the North lagged much further behind.

This area is rich with legends, stories of courage and endurance in a harsh but beautiful landscape.

Lake Wakitipu has its own legend - of a monster called Matau who sleeps on the bottom of the lake and his heartbeat causes the water to rise and fall a few centimetres every 25 minutes.

Today I want to talk about some other myths and legends and monsters and why your vote is so important to the future.

One of the great myths thrown up by the political groupies this election campaign is that a government should be formed before the election.

Some marriages are made in heaven but not those in New Zealand politics.

We've got Peter going with John, Rodney making it a threesome, Jeanette going with Helen and Jim, Tariana and Pita going with John and Helen in two different directions, and we in New Zealand First not even going steady with anyone!

The decision about forming a government is up to you – the voters.

Democracy is far too important to be left to a group of journalists and politicians.

The day before the election our telephone number will be passed on to everyone and we are very confident there will be some calls.

Another myth that has been thrown up is that National is a new kind party intent only on making everybody's lives wonderful.

Don’t you believe it.

Look over John Key's shoulder and you will see yesterday's men planning a bleak tomorrow.

They were the brat pack of the nineties who slashed benefits, flogged off state assets and reduced superannuation.

They've matured into a rat pack and have not once recanted their nineties philosophy – except when they have blurted out the truth into secret microphones.

It astounds us that there has been deafening silence about National's plan to give ACC to Australian insurance companies. Two billion dollars worth. The justification will be “choice”.

Accident victims in New Zealand will have to rely on the goodwill of Australian insurance companies.

What a nightmare that would be!

Labour is busy spreading promises of its brave new world – more myths!

It's suddenly woken up to the fact that there is a gang problem in New Zealand and there is a drug problem.

We managed to keep their addiction to social engineering under control but like all addicts they lapse every now and again into another binge of control freakism.

They mean well. But they have to learn that New Zealanders are sick of soft options for gangsters and that socially liberal policies stretch and weaken the moral fibre of society.

We in New Zealand First are different to the other political parties.

We are totally home grown with all our ideas and policies embedded in the foundations of the societies of the men and women who built this great country.

We have never lost our links with the past. We understand that you cannot blunder blindly into the future if you've forgotten where you came from and what happened on the way.

New Zealand will not escape the global financial meltdown.

The time is upon us when we have to put aside our differences in parliament and work for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The financial turmoil of recent months will have a profound impact – in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Suddenly a whole lot of illusions and myths have been exposed.

The greed and corruption of overseas banks and financial institutions threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people – and just over four million in New Zealand.

Property values – share values – indebtedness – the joys of globalisation that have hooked us into this mess.

New Zealand First has never been a party of illusions or myths.

Our message of dealing with the actual circumstances facing New Zealand has been unpalatable to many in the media.

That has been why we have never enjoyed sympathetic media coverage.

Put simply, the whole thrust of our economic strategy has been to reduce New Zealand’s exposure and vulnerability to economic shocks by tackling foreign ownership, boosting exports and shrinking the overseas debt.

So, for example, New Zealand First did not buy into the free trade deal with China.

To us that deal was more about myth than real hard thinking.

Why should we agree to a deal where Chinese companies can set up in New Zealand and bring their workers with them?

We say protect New Zealand jobs first.

Let's look after our own people.

The financial crisis has come more swiftly and dramatically than almost anyone anticipated and has transformed the whole economic outlook for New Zealand and the world.

These are dangerous times and no place for politicians to learn on the job.

In this election, Labour, National and the other parties are downplaying the implications of what lies ahead.

New Zealand First says the security of the New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy must be paramount.

Make no mistake - those who will end up paying for the orgy of greed and folly that has brought down financial markets are ordinary people – here and overseas.

This area – Central Otago – knows about exploitation.

Your water supplies much of the electricity we need and you will remember the controversy and the way the lives of many people were affected by the dams being built on the Clutha River.

Everyone in this room will remember when we once actually owned the entire electricity generation network, the distribution lines and everything connected.

Now it’s a hodgepodge of private companies, state owned enterprises and utility groups, all top heavy, paying themselves plenty and every winter we worry about power cuts.

Just recently we had Vector sold off to Asian interests.

Why would we put the supply of our electricity at the mercy of those whose only concern is profits – not the welfare of New Zealanders?

You have been price-gouged, overcharged and exploited for long enough.

This nonsense has to stop.

We don’t need all these different companies who compete – not with service – but in exploitation of consumers.

We say it’s time for these strategic assets to go back into the hands of the people who paid for them in the first place – the taxpayers.

We are setting up a New Zealand Fund to be used for this purpose.

We would buy back those elements of the power network in foreign hands.

We would merge the three electricity SOE’s and take control of power prices again.

New Zealand First would ensure that prices would never rise faster than inflation.

And we would ensure that the much needed investment in infrastructure, needed to ensure continuity of supply, is in fact made.

It will be a good investment for Kiwis because the current owners are certainly milking it for all they’re worth!

Another plan we have in New Zealand First is using the state’s credit and loan facilities to drive interest rates down.

New Zealand owned banks with Government support can cut both mortgage and credit rates to save families and small businesses, and we intend to do just that.

And while we are at it, why are government and local body accounts with foreign banks?

Those accounts should be in a New Zealand owned bank where our economy gets the profits.

New Zealanders are being taken to the cleaners by foreign owned banks and finance dealers.

It’s time to look after our own people first.

Our campaign slogan this election is “protecting and saving YOUR New Zealand”.

Protecting and saving our senior citizens is part of that.

Over the past three years we have worked hard for you and we have more plans to make life better. We have:

• 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.

• Provided 1000 more frontline police staff and 250 support staff to make your communities safer.

But there is a lot more to be done over the next three years.

We still do not believe New Zealand Superannuation is high enough because some of our seniors are still struggling in the face of higher food and power costs.

We will increase superannuation to 68% of the net average wage for married couples, with similar adjustments for singles.

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.

This is the fairest method.

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.

We also want to see doctors visits even cheaper for our senior citizens.

We want to see that the subsidy paid to those in eldercare is indexed to the CPI – like superannuation.

Protecting and saving YOUR New Zealand also means looking after your communities.

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.

We will provide educational help. We will provide trade training.

In return we want an end to their life of crime and their recruitment of young people to the disgusting lifestyle that pollutes too many New Zealand suburbs.

If they don’t, they will disappear into large concrete buildings with strict rules, a low carb diet and plenty of exercise.

The legislation is ready, we have the extra police and they will get whatever powers needed to get on top of the problem.

During this election campaign we have put our record over the parliamentary term on the table.

We have shown what we have delivered.

We have set out how we have fulfilled the pledges we made in the last election in 2005.

We have given an honest and full account of our performance in terms of policy achievements for all New Zealanders.

We stand by our record because what counts is what politicians actually DO – not what they say they will do.

There are no myths or monsters in New Zealand First – only the stuff from which legends are made.

A party vote for New Zealand First is a vote for the future of you and your families.

We will protect you and save your homes, your jobs and communities.

It is a privilege to work on your behalf and we will keep doing it, whatever lies ahead.

And we will make it together.


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