Rt Hon Winston Peters Speech: For The North - Back Your Future
New Zealand First Party President, Kristin Campbell Smith and husband Stuart
Minister for Regional Economic Development, and the Provincial Growth Fund, Hon Shane Jones
Candidate for Whangarei, and former head of Northland Inc. David Wilson
Darroch Ball, MP Palmerston North
Talani Meikle, Candidate for Remutaka
Baza our techno specialist – who’s been making New Zealanders all around the world homesick with his coverage of our 12,0000 kilometer bus campaign, to speak to New Zealanders from the very far north, Kaitaia, to both Islands coast to coast, in the South Island right down to Bluff.
Cast your mind back three years ago when Northland was a forgotten region.
· The best Port in the country – but not developed to its capacity – not even having a rail track to it
· The rail track to Dargaville – had been shut down
· The rail track from Kauri, north to Otiria – shut down
· And rail movements from Whangarei to Auckland – halved and about to be closed
· Hundervasser development, Whangarei had been stalled due to lack of funds
· Hundervasser development, in Kawakawa - not even started
· All of our farming hinterland suffering from an over-valued dollar
· No central government funding going into rural roads
· And over a thousand single-lane bridges
· 3500 km’s of metal roads
Cast your mind back three years ago when Northland was marginalized, cinderellaised, just forgotten.
Since then, our dollar is stable, is around .66 cents to the US dollar.
We’ve had three years of record primary industry exports.
And every time we’ve tried to help Northland, we’ve had the typical response that you have had to live with for decades. Ridicule, just ridicule.
But New Zealand First has ensured we’ve opened up project after project. Big ones and small. Whether it be planting of millions of trees, fixing up wharfs and jetty’s in the Kaipara, Hokianga and Bay of Islands. And the Riverside Hotel and Convention Centre, right here in Whangarei, funded and approved.
Isn’t it amazing how much criticism New Zealand First has taken, because unlike the rest of the parties, we have stood up for the provinces.
When other MPs have gone down to Wellington to get crumbs from the table for you – New Zealand First got you the table.
And returning to railways, our key link, we’ve reopening the line all the way to Otiria, we are deepening all 17 tunnels, all the way from Whangarei to Auckland. We are fixing up the track so that heavy rail cargo movements can come north, and go south.
And we’ve completed the geotech study for a new rail line to go all the way from the mainline to Northport. At last, a four decade old dream is about to be realised.
Despite COVID-19 and its disaster to our and the world economy, Northland for the first time in decades is coming alive.
We’ve got water storage projects starting everywhere.
We built the Maori Battalion Museum at Waitangi.
We put millions into Kaipara, and Far North roads.
We’re building roundabouts on main roads for safety.
We’re building a Kauri Sanctuary.
We’re taking Whangarei from a minor to a major New Zealand city.
Every project in the north, is a New Zealand First project in the coalition government. Is it fair that one party should take all the criticism - and another party take all the credit.
Cast your mind back three years and ask yourself this question. If we’d have gone with National, what would they have done about COVID-19 and its massive threat to the health of New Zealanders and Māori in particular. They wanted us to reopen air flights to everywhere, including China.
America has had 220,000 deaths and eight million cases. There are about 79,000 more new cases every day in India. National kept on screaming about bringing students in from India and China. Just imagine what would have happened to the population of Northland, where you’ve never had one case. So, think hard before you vote.
Ladies and gentlemen its reality time
National: We all know that National and Act, cannot get within a bull’s roar of forming a government. We all know National has had four leaders in three years.
As they say up here in Ngā Puhi land --- Tahi, Rua, Toru, Whā--- far too many leaders.
Act: And as for Act, voters need to wake up before it’s too late. Act is leading voters into the political wilderness. They won’t be able to change one thing in parliament over the next three years. And they are talking about bringing in one issue MPs, no political experience, and still on their trainer wheels.
Labour: Three years ago, we had to judge whether an inexperienced Labour leader was still the best option for change. The Prime Minister has said that New Zealand First has been a constructive partner, and we have been. We backed her leadership, through crisis after crisis, and we brought experience and common sense to government. That means stability.
But the Prime Ministers own party hasn’t got enough people with the experience and the skills to do the job. In just three years, four of her Ministers have had to go. Meanwhile New Zealand First Ministers, Under-Secretary and MPs have been rock solid.
Greens: Now there is a party in this campaign that says “tax is love”. The Green party has been making billion dollar promises, after billion dollar promises, that will cripple our country for a generation.
That’s why you need to take out some insurance in this election. You’ve got two votes. But we say in Whangarei here today, your party vote can save you and your country.
Experience and common sense is critical in government. We have proved that in the last three years. Remember that they said our government wouldn’t last six months, that it wouldn’t last a year and then when the Prime Minister had her baby, and I was in charge, that the whole sky would fall in.
We’ve come through months and months of a media attack unseen in this country’s political history. Despite being exonerated on the 29th of September of all these false charges, they’ve kept up this illegal barrage to the last hour of this campaign.
This has been a campaign of 12,000 km’s for true believers. For Kiwi’s that know what a fair go looks like and don’t like foul play. They’ve seen all the spurious headlines and have the wisdom not to believe them.
They know that over the years New Zealand First has defended vulnerable New Zealanders from political extremism. They know that over the years when the establishment was wrong, others wouldn’t raise a finger, whilst New Zealand First and its Leader has been prepared to raise the roof.
They have hated us being your voice, to bring about accountability.
They think with their lies, they can persuade you about a political party called New Zealand First, that was born in the provinces.
Years ago, a Prime Minister said to his Ministers when coming into government “your job is not to defend your department against the people, your job is to defend the people against your department”.
Norman Kirk was right when he said that in 1972, and its right in 2020.
Over the years, you know that New Zealand First has called it the way it is.
Our enemies have made us an underdog in this campaign.
But it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it is the size of the fight in the dog.
And we know as our opponents have always feared that there would be a late surge for New Zealand First. And believe me ladies and gentlemen its happening, and it, with you, is going to bring us home.
So use your second vote, your party vote wisely.
Back yourself. Back your family, back Whangarei, back Northland and our country.
Back Your Future.
Party Vote New Zealand First.
We have never let the North down.
And God bless you, Northland, and New Zealand.