Asenati Lole-Taylor: Maiden Speech
Asenati Lole-Taylor: Maiden Speech
Mr Speaker, I join the previous speakers in congratulating you on your appointment as speaker of the House along with your deputy and assistant speakers.
Honourable members, my fellow Pacific Members of Parliament
In reverence and humility as the only Pacific woman in this 50th parliament term,
I acknowledge our Father; Our Creator.
E tu ana ahau…………I raro i te tuamata o te Atua…….
Ko ia te timata me te mutunga o nga mea katoa
Ko ia te Arawheta me te Omeka
Kia tau te rangimarie
E nga mana,
E nga reo,
E nga hau e wha,
E rau rangatira ma
Tēnā kotou, Tēnā kotou, Tēnā tatou katoa.
I stand forthright before you, Beneath the mantle and auspice of the Creator
For he is the beginning and end of all things
• To our special guests
• To the many languages and nationalities gathered here.
• To the people of the 4 winds
• To all leaders, chiefs and orators who are able to watch through satellite networks
• Greetings, Greetings, Greetings one and all.
Malo e lelei,
1. Fakalofa lahi atu,
3. Kia orana
5. Ni sa bula vinaka
7. Talofa kotou,
9. Taloha ni,
Fa’atalofa atu i le pa’ia ma le mamalu o si o’u atunu’u pele Samoa
Le pa’ia i Tama ma Aiga, o Aiga foi ma o latou Tama
Le usoga a Pule ma Tumua, o Ituau ma Alataua,
Aiga i le Tai ma le Va’a o Fonoti.
Tulou, tulou, tulouna lava.
I acknowledge the honorifics and salutations as well as paying tribute to my brave, committed and determined ancestors.
There are many days of historical importance.
Today is one of those days, not only for my parents, but also for the villages where I was born and raised, Safa’ato’a Lefaga, and Safune Toamua Faleata.
The Island of Samoa where I spent the first 17 yrs of my life, embracing the importance of our cultural and community values
I acknowledge those who have passed,
Our ancestors, our forefathers, whose spirits I know are sharing our pride today.
Resolute I stand in awe of the traditions, and integrity of many great leaders; who have stood in this House before me.
I come from a long line of high chiefs,
To be specific, my father Maiava Lole Masinalupe
And my mother, the late Leono Feao Fanene Peiu
Who insisted that my future is dependent on the choices that I make.
For my dear stern grandfather; the late Masinalupe Maiava Saeli, of Lefaga & Leulumoega
Who forever lectured me, that I should embrace our traditional values and incorporate them into our wider societies;
He said that in order for me to serve others well, it is important that I embrace and respect my own identity.
I will do my absolute and beyond to serve those traditions.
My presence here today and for however long I am a Member of Parliament will never change this.
I don’t intend to dwell on my humble beginnings
What I can say is this; “I didn’t have the privilege of being born in a state house.”
However my upbringing as a proud Samoan village woman, has taught me the value of basic things in life.
This campaign has been one of true perseverance, hard work and commitment
It is on this note that I would like to sincerely thank ….Haydn Solomon, Jerry Ho, Mahesh Bindra, Noeline Evaroa and our campaign team, along with our community in South Auckland;
• Rev. Paulo Ieli, Fa’apaiaga and the Samoa
Methodist congregation in Papatoetoe
• Rev. Taniela Vaka and the Tongan Hephzibah community of Otahuhu
• Fepuleai, Sene and family of Mangere
• Mary Ama, Tiana Epati of Waitakere
• Rev. Ionatana & Auomala Pouli Lefale of East Tamaki
• Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Manukau
• Our student supporters from University of Auckland, St. Marys College and De La Salle….
• Our local Pacific media networks
• My friends Pita Paraone and Bruce McCarthy
• Noela Rimmerswaal and the Whangarei community
• And of course the then Samoa High Commissioner, His excellence afioga Asi Tuiataga Fa’afili Blakelock and Letelesa Helen Blakelock
Thank you for being part of my journey.
To my aiga potopoto; in particular; my father – Maiava who unfortunately could not be here today due to ongoing illness.
I will never forget the sacrifices that mum and you made; in order to ensure that your children did well.
You have bestowed on me a matai name of Le’aufa’amulia, in order to remind me of who I am. I am truly honoured, Fa’afetai tele lava tamā.
My sister Esefaiga and brother in law Lepale Tusani, a blessing to always have your support at every public event.
Finally; To my dear husband Dennis for your patience and tremendous support,
• My daughters:
o Fleur for your assertiveness and hard work
o Amy for your endurance during the foot work of the campaign, including our door knocking adventures.
• And Nathanael, my dear 11 year old son
o who was more of a whip when it comes to time management and events coordination.
I love you all dearly.
To the people of Manukau East, thank you, we have made it!
I never set out to be a politician! Politics found me.
AND Today I stand here as a New Zealand First Member of Parliament who believes in true representation of all New Zealander’s.
We are so deeply honoured that 147,544 New Zealanders voted for New Zealand First.
With your support, we should be able to restore democracy, in our country.
“O le tele o sulu e maua ai ni figota, e mama se avega, pe a tatou amo fa’atasi.”
“My strength does not come from me alone but from many.”
New Zealand First made it back.
And if the truth be told, probably just in the nick of time
I bring with me experiences in many different areas that spread across the spectrum of Public service and community development, from the Department of Corrections, Ministry of Justice, Local government, District Health Boards and Various Departments within the Tertiary education sector.
I have done the ground work before becoming a Member of Parliament and not just through paid employment.
Actions speak louder than words, and it has been through the leading and involvement of many community organisations and initiatives, that I have truly seen the importance of this.
My work life before Parliament has taught me a few things about the impact of crime in our communities, on our families, and on individuals.
Indeed living in the Auckland region reveals a number of things about the insidious nature of crime in New Zealand today.
Recognising the complexities of our justice system and as a member of the Law and Order select committee, I would like to make one statement
We need short, sharp sentences for repeat offenders.
Although the term of imprisonment is shorter, the offender would be required to work hard.
They will undergo extensive community based rehabilitation programmes and compulsory supervision upon release.
Prisons need to deliver a Sharp Reminder to offenders that they are not in Holiday Camps with Hi De Hi Programmes.
Short Sharp Sentencing is more cost effective based on the simple reasons;
• It reduces the need to build more prisons,
• It reduces prison population, time spent in prison,
• The Potential for reoffending & un-necessary bureaucracies
Short Sharp Sentences will ensure that we don’t have to build a Billion dollar prison that will provide huge profits to off shore privateers.
We need shorter sentences in the sense that the deterrent is not the length of time that you’re in prison.
The deterrent is the fact that you’re in prison and have to work hard like the rest of us.
The ostrich mentality of locking them up and throwing away the key doesn’t work.
The cost savings from this policy would free up spending for the engagement and delivery of community rehabilitation and re-integration programmes.
It’s our communities that hold the key to reducing crime in our society.
I say with conviction to building safer and stronger communities so that New Zealand is recognised as being the safest place in the world to live in, and to raise our families.
There are many of us who are residents of South Auckland.
It is a sad day when ill-informed and repugnant comments by current MPs; referring to the people of South Auckland as pornographic watching criminals or supporting local transport and roading plans for the reasoning of secluding South Auckland Criminals from the rest of Auckland is not only naive but pernicious in its nature.
It is time for these Members of Parliament to recognise that being part of this parliament in turn means; that we represent all New Zealanders.
South Auckland communities have produced a number of well-known leaders in various areas, as well as being responsible for the education of sons and daughters of some of our past and present Members of Parliament.
Not all prisoners in prisons, nor white collar criminals, all come from South Auckland.
To sit there and pass judgement onto a part of New Zealand, that clearly holds significance in this country is clearly alarming and contemptuous.
Yes, there is need for better support towards education in South Auckland.
And it is imperative that we stop using South Auckland as a laboratory for window dressing trials like Charter Schools.
There is a need for Māori and Pacific wardens to be better resourced in order to carry out the wonderful community work that they do for people.
There is a need for better control of alcohol distribution; in order to decrease alcohol related crime.
RSA and Cosmopolitan clubs should be given better support through government funding to improve resources that would facilitate and host events, which will provide safer social environments for the public.
The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs needs to be given A FAIR GO.
The MPIA cannot be expected to work in a silo.
It needs to be given the tools to work across the spectrum of all government department and agencies.
Right now in New Zealand; the rich continue to get richer, and the poor get poorer.
This cannibalistic greed that currently permeates our country will if un-checked;
o Reduce our country to a third rate backwater.
This will bring us back to the dark days of the worst of colonisation.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past.
How quickly has the government forgotten the lessons of its past and the principles it was founded on?
I want to congratulate, commend and acknowledge, le afioga Vaovasamanaia Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, who continues to remind us all of the true principles of those very important lessons.
He is one leader of many qualities that has not forgotten the work of our past great leaders.
I, along with many other proud New Zealanders of Pacific Island heritage; believe in hard work and a honest living.
We did not leave the land of our ancestors to come to New Zealand in order to be statistics on its welfare system.
Whether a New Zealander by birth or immigration
Each one of us has the responsibility to find and implement effective solutions.
No-one should bring a sense of moral superiority to this debate.
Complex issues require simple solutions.
And sorry, it’s not called Charter Schools.
NZ First is here to restore accountability and transparency to the New Zealand public.
We are here to bring a sense of responsibility and reason to the development of policies
We are here as people; motivated by inherent humanity and decency to reach out to the most vulnerable in our community
Our restitution for this lies in our determination to address disparities that expose the most vulnerable in our society - OUR CHILDREN.
Asset sales are not a remedy for child poverty let alone financial stability.
Asset sales are not a panacea to cure the social ills of society.
I mourn for our ancestors who fought hard to build this country.
These generations considered their responsibilities to their country and one another; most important.
Theirs was a mesh of values enshrined in God, hard work and the belief in something greater.
The negative impact of Asset Sales will inevitably and invariably come back to bite.
There are so many challenges involved with the global financial debt crisis.
Financial downgrades or mysterious emails to the contrary, are not going to insulate us from the impact of this global crisis.
o Retention of our assets would have.
Baroness Thatcher once said;
• “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”
NEW ZEALAND FIRST WILL HOLD THIS GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT.
There are difficult times ahead.
To rebuild our country that has been badly weakened by greed and irresponsibility of others will take time.
The first step is to restore accountability and transparency to our decision making
So we can once again bring market reality closer to the ideals we all hold.
The second step is adhere to the values of our forefathers for therein lies the solution.
On that note, I think it is fitting that I start my term as a Member of Parliament; by ending with words that reflect aspirations we can all pursue and uphold in this House.
“May the peace be widespread.”
“May the sea glisten like greenstone.” and
“May the rays of prosperity shine.”
Soifua ma ia manuia