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Speech: Peters - Integration or Disintegration?

Rt Honourable Winston Peters
Address to Wanganui Grey Power
Central Baptist Church
Cnr Dublin and Wickstead Sts
1 pm, Thursday 12th November 2009.

Embargoed against delivery

“Integration or Disintegration?”

Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today in Wanganui – or Whanganui – whatever or wherever this place may now be.

Whether with a W, or a Wh as in when, if it ends up being pronounce F, as so often in the last thirty years, then the debate is illusory.

I was going to start by telling a joke about the ugly face of capitalism - but Rodney Hide has already had enough publicity this week.

Suffice to say that Mr Hide is a Mendacious Cyberite who pied pipered a largely compliant media in 2008 and yet his every allegation was proven unfounded

He probably spent most of last weekend mowing John Key's lawns.

And who could expect any different from Hone Harawira? He's programmed to behave like an angry aggrieved Maori.

And that brings me to the topic of my speech, which is about the increasing racial divisions in this once great country.

For most of New Zealand’s history the central theme has been one of integration – the forging of a unique national identity out of two very different cultures.

New Zealand has a proud record – a successful democracy based on two pillars –one Maori and one Anglo-European.

And that mix has been significantly added to and enriched by other ethnic groups.

But it is no exaggeration to say that at any given point – a society is either growing stronger – more cohesive and united or it going in the other direction.

Right now there are real grounds for concern about New Zealand’s future unity.

Of course we have a Prime Minister who is perpetually “relaxed”.

That must come from not bothering to think about where New Zealand is going.

Because even the most cursory survey shows that in New Zealand today the forces of disintegration are winning the battle against the things that unite us.

The sense of a shared destiny – a common future – the stuff that hold us together as a nation are being eroded and undermined at an alarming rate.

Three social and economic forces in particular are gnawing at the cohesion of New Zealand.

The first of these is the tolerance of what we can term “covert” racism.

John Key was in his usual ‘relaxed’ mode when he commented on Hone Harawira’s racist outburst.

An outburst that disgusted every reasonable New Zealander.

Few thinking New Zealanders will share Key’s ready and casual dismissal of this event.

Because Hone Harawira made an outrageous slur on Kiwis most of whom do share his ethnicity but not his perverse views.

Hone Hawawira is no Peter Pan

Hone Harawira’s apologists – and this includes the Prime Minister – would have us believe

Hone Harawira is a sort of Peter Pan figure – a naïve - well intentioned sort of guy, who occasionally crosses the line of good taste.

But New Zealanders know that Harawira’s outrageous racist remarks signal something very ugly.

They reveal his absurd sense of entitlement. In his world a Maori is entitled to flaunt conventions of behaviour and pick and chose what rules to follow or disregard.

Hone Harawira wants to interpret the rules as he sees fit.
And if anyone should disagree with this presumption then they are branded as racist.

This gives Mr Harawira a privileged status – because he places himself above and beyond the sanctions that apply to any other public figure.

He has cloaked himself in the rhetoric of Maori grievance – which he fuels and incites

Well, if Mr Harawira wants to be with grownups he needs to act like an adult.
And it does not serve the good conduct of public life when outrageous racist behaviour is treated lightly.

He belongs in a gang somewhere - not in Parliament.

When an MP can vilify other New Zealanders on an overtly racial basis – and not be instantly dismissed from his party - we are in deeply dangerous territory.

Because nothing will speed the disintegration of our a nation faster than a collapse into competing racial communities.

Although it has a facade of moderation, the Maori Party is a racist party - how could it be anything else?

Hone Harawira has revealed the depth of this racism – or his particular brand of it!.

And the fact that the Maori Party has failed to sack him makes the Maori party as a whole culpable.

When voters look at the planned electoral system, they should also give the legislators a

clear message that they do not want any political parties based on ethnicity or religion.

We should beware of any ethnic or religious group that seeks power.

The world is cluttered with tragic examples of what happens when race and religion take over politics.

Remember Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Rwanda and other such ethnic and religious nightmares.

These are extreme examples but let's be real – the Maori Party is all about taking resources off non-Maori and grabbing social and economic control.

The outcome some fear could be the creation of a new Zimbabwe in the South Pacific.

To be fair, past injustices against Maori need to be resolved equitably by leaders of goodwill on both sides.

But, the racial chorus being sung by the Maori Party will not help this, nor will the barely disguised anthem of hate so many behind closed doors so frequently intone.

And remember both Hawawira and Hyde are effectively First Past the Post MPs.

And given all this it is truly remarkable that National will repeal the foreshore and seabed legislation.

In a breathtaking backflip, National have reversed their position on this issue as I warned they would.

Now the threat of more racial strife looms over the seaside areas that we all regard as our birthright.

National opposed the foreshore and seabed legislation which vested ownership in the Crown and gave Kiwis unfettered right to the foreshore and seabed.

It also recognised and safeguarded Maori customary rights and went even further for tribes like Ngati Porou who owned land right down to the beaches.

National claimed we were being soft and had given in to Maori rights over other New Zealanders and voted against the legislation.

Now they are adopting a totally different position and this will become a festering racial sore that will infect the whole country.

The views of the rightfully entitled Maori are now spurned in favour of voices who never had a right pre or post European settlement.

Why? Because the inquiry into the legislation was stacked by the Maori Party leadership and geared for the outcome of title and financial compensation.

Make no mistake – we went through this issue with a toothcomb at the time.

There is nothing wrong with the existing legislation.

It offered far more to Coastal Maori than the then vague uncertainties of the existing law pre 2005.

And if, as National claims, their replacement Act will have no effect regarding access to all New Zealanders why is the law being changed?

This issue won’t go away. Watch this space.

The other force for disintegration in New Zealand is the worship of multiculturalism.

In recent years National and Labour politicians have made a fetish of diversity.

Under this view every culture is validated and encouraged.

But there is little interest in trying to hold on to what most Kiwis would consider their own value system and traditional national identity.

The result is that New Zealand is increasingly coming to resemble a set of separate but co-existing communities – an archipelago of ethnicities.

If asked most New Zealanders would say this is an English (and Maori) speaking nation.

Yet you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise in certain parts of the country.

The Asian population is projected to hit 400,000 in Auckland within seven years.
It is growing at a much faster rate than Maori because of immigration.

Labour's Chinese MP Raymond Huo has pointed out that Auckland is the "seventh largest city with people of Chinese origin outside China" - in percentage terms.

He added that this trend will continue to accelerate because of current immigration policy.

This was the quote in the New Zealand Herald last Wednesday:
“Under the parent policy, New Zealand Immigration defines a family's "centre of gravity" as "the number of their adult children lawfully and permanently in New Zealand being equal to or greater than those in any other single country", making it eligible for nearly every immigrant from China to sponsor his or her parent because of the country's one-child policy.

And Auckland University Professor of Asian Studies, Manying Ip, said many born under China's one-child policy were taking advantage of New Zealand's parent policy to sponsor their parents and even grandparents here.

She pointed out this was bringing new challenges in health, housing and socio-economic issues which will be better understood by members of the Asian community.

"Everything is legal, this is the New Zealand Government's policy and people are making full use of it.

"It is an inevitable trend, and it is up to everybody to get used to it. We cannot turn the clock back," Professor Ip said.

This is scary stuff. Like, who decided that New Zealand should suddenly become a rest home for the parents and grandparents of Asian immigrants?

Surely we should be looking after our own people?

Who is going to pay for this immigration madness?

Is this some bizarre part of a free trade agreement?

We export jobs and import Asian pensioners?

Labour and National have been wilfully blind to the extent and the consequences of large scale immigration into New Zealand.

They have been blind to what any thinking New Zealander knows - that there is a limit to how many new migrants we can absorb without risking the essential character, cohesion and identity of New Zealand.

In the midst of a recession – with over 150,000 unemployed - sanity would say put the brakes down hard on new migrant numbers.

But the plain truth is that neither National nor Labour have the will to act.

On immigration they share a common position that can be summed up in two words - avoidance and evasion.

They avoid discussing immigration – and when cornered will not give straight answers.

On the economic front too there are forces at work undermining our unity.

This is because globalisation is a game of winners and losers.

And yes - some Kiwis are winners from the globalisation agenda.

But most are losers because:

• The wholesale transfer of New Zealand jobs overseas is gutting our manufacturing.

• So called free trade agreements that promise much are not benefiting ordinary Kiwis.

• Large scale immigration is for the benefit of big business because it drives down the wages and conditions of working Kiwis.

The net result of all this is that income and wealth inequality in New Zealand is widening rapidly.

Anyone who has eyes to see understands that the road we are on can only lead to further alienation, distress and disorder.

Forget about the fantasy of trying to match Australia’s per capita income by 2025.

With the present policy settings that will not happen.

The real issue is whether New Zealand as we recognise it will still be here in 2025!

What must be the first priority is ensuring the unity, coherence and stability of our country. And that means facing up to the social and economic forces of disintegration that are at work in New Zealand.

We say to the Prime Minister – snap out of your complacency -start showing some vision and some leadership.

For our part, New Zealand First will speak out against anything that threatens the future of our nation

Even – as looks likely – we have to do it on our own.

That is why our voice must be heard again in Parliament.

No one else is prepared to tell things as they are.


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