Winston Peters Speech: Hamilton Grey Power On The Economy
Rt. Hon Winston Peters, Leader NZ First
Hamilton Grey Power
Celebrating Age Centre
30 Victoria St,
Date: Monday 23rd May 2011
Time: 10.30 am
Since the Budget announcements last Thursday dozens of commentators and experts have put the collective economic genius of John Key and Bill English under a microscope.
Let me share a secret with you.
Their collective economic genius is so small that nobody has been able to find it.
No doubt somewhere in the world there is a microscope powerful enough to catch these golden drops of wisdom.
Trouble is such a microscope is yet to be invented.
Let me warn you about this speech I am going to make.
If you are a National Party supporter you will obviously have a change of heart.
If you are a Labour supporter – well you'll get a few tips on how to do things the right way.
If you are a Green you should have wiped your carbon footprints on the mat at the door – and if you are a fan of the Maori and Act parties, well, your public meeting is in the phone box around the corner.
We have a simple message for you today.
You need New Zealand First back in Parliament.
Let me explain why.
The National government is going to start selling taxpayer owned assets. They are starting out with your power stations and your airline – Air New Zealand.
It would hard to think of any action that could be more stupid – even from people as stupid as those in government.
John Key and Bill English have been told to do this by the big foreign interests that support the National Party.
Our power stations are worth a fortune. We live and die by the energy we produce in the form of cheaply generated electricity.
You will have all noticed how your power bills have been going up – and they're going up a lot higher than the GST increase.
When the Chinese and the Australians own your power stations you better start buying some more clothes and blankets because the price will go through the roof.
Your only hope of stopping the sale of your power stations is to vote New Zealand First.
We will block them at every turn and we will mobilise a people’s army to fight this economic lunacy.
Now for another reason why you must give New Zealand First your party vote.
Our dairy farms – our main source of wealth creation – are being eyed hungrily by the Chinese.
Why? Because our dairy farms are a major source of protein in a world running out of food.
China is one of the few countries with any money.
Their workers have no rights and are slaves in a system of state capitalism.
As we speak there is another major Chinese bidder trying to buy the Crafar dairy farms.
The Overseas Investment Commission will simply rubber stamp the application.
This government is trying to keep this deal under wraps until after the election but why it would take months to evaluate this new application is immense cause for suspicion.
National does not give two figs for the national interest.
To these people, everything is for sale.
Let's look for one moment at three of these National Party leaders.
Remember Jenny Shipley? Well she is now head salesperson for selling New Zealand assets to the Chinese.
Thanks to her diligent work Wrightson is now in foreign hands.
That's right – the main supplier to our agriculture industry is now controlled by China.
And Jenny is not stopping there with just selling out our assets.
She is running a public relations campaign telling us how good it is for us that China is buying here!
Now – take a look at Don Brash – we know it isn't easy – but Brash is a former National leader.
He took over the Act party while still a member of National.
Brash is going to help John Key stay on track with asset sales and a full scale privatisation campaign.
And don’ forget he is going to cut superannuation and raise the age of eligibility.
Key is the smiley front person.
He's the guy who fronts up for the photo opportunities and memorises the script prepared by National's Australian public relations firm.
He is the guy who has helped put out the biggest porkie in the history of New Zealand politics.
We refer to the 170,000 new jobs he claims are created in the Budget.
Just think for a minute.
How can you create 170,000 new jobs when people are being laid off all over the country?
There is nothing in the Budget that creates jobs. It gets rid of jobs.
If you look back at the Budget you will see it is loaded with optimistic and speculative forecasts.
All of these forecasts need to line up to stand the Budget up.
Just one miscalculation sends New Zealand tumbling further into the red.
Guess what? Treasury has been wrong in just about every forecast it has made in recent years.
And the same applies to their Budget forecasts in 2011.
New Zealand suffers from a severe balance of payments problems.
It means that the money we earn overseas is less than the amount we spend overseas.
It's like a household earning fifty thousand a year but spending sixty thousand.
If the government sells our profitable power stations it actually makes the situation worse – not better.
If you look back to the
80s and early 90s politicians sold a large number of the
country's strategic assets to overseas investors.
As columnist Bryan Gaynor said: “These politicians failed to realise they were establishing a domestic wealth destruction culture as wealth is mainly created through ownership rather than disposal.
Telecom was sold to overseas interests for $4.25 billion in1990.
Since then has made distributions to
shareholders, in the form of dividends and capital
repayments, of $14.6 billion.
The Bank of New Zealand was sold to National Australia Bank (NAB) for $1.5 billion in 1992.
Since then BNZ has distributed $5.2 billion in dividends to its Australian parent.
It is now worth an estimated $7.2 billion based on its 2010 net earnings of $602 million and a price/earnings ratio of 12.
Thus NAB paid $1.5 billion for BNZ and the latter has delivered total shareholder value of $12.4 billion to its Australian owners since late 1992.
And these are just two examples.
Moving on to the next giant blunder by the wonder boys – and you don’t have to look far!
Just when New Zealanders have started to grasp the need for savings and when there was significant political agreement not to meddle with KiwiSaver, along comes the National Party and meddles with it.
Historically New Zealand has a bad track record of savings.
The Cullen Fund and KiwiSaver were a step in the right direction.
One point seven million Kiwis joined up for KiwiSaver.
Why would a government break a contract with these people?
And if it does it twice over the Cullen Fund and KiwiSaver it will break social contracts time and time again.
This action has raised suspicion and mistrust and the likelihood of doing it again.
KiwiSaver money invested in New Zealand serves a two-fold purpose.
It is both savings and investment.
It is easy for the government to talk about the country not being in a position to meet its obligations to KiwiSavers.
This is the same government that put almost two billion dollars into a failed finance company in South Canterbury.
This is the same government that could afford to give $2.2 billion dollars in income tax cuts to top earners while those on the minimum wage got an extra 25 cents an hour, and higher tax on their food.
This is the same government prepared to throw another billion dollars at an insurance company that collected premiums for many years – but can’t pay out the people of Canterbury.
In short – this government is prepared to throw buckets of money at failed private enterprise and rich people but the strugglers in society trying to feed their families get zilch.
Let me give you a case in point.
The boss of Westpac bank in New Zealand gets $5.6 million a year.
National gave him a tax cut of more than $5000 a week – more than $260,000 a year.
Staggering isn't it?
Yet if you are a battler at the bottom you got an extra 25 cents an hour and your food prices have gone through the roof.
However, midst the
gloom there is some good news.
That good news is New Zealand First is on the way back.
We have released an outline of some of our policies both the outline of an economic plan and some details of social policy – like a free medical check each year for SuperGold cardholders, GP visits capped at ten dollars and a ten percent power discount. More detail policy is to follow.
We recognise that things can be tough for our senior citizens on fixed incomes.
We believe you are entitled to some quality of life in retirement.
Let me remind you that one political party has always looked after the elderly.
That party is
New Zealand First.
You need us back in parliament looking after your interests and the interests of all New Zealanders.
We will not sell you out.
We will not let them sell assets that generations of taxpayers have accumulated.
If you are a farmer and you have a debt you increase your production to pay it.
You don’t sell chunks of your farm because that way you lose your farm, still have to pay debt, and yet not have the income to do so.
New Zealand First is asking you to send a strong message to Wellington.
That message should be that you want to own your own country and that New Zealand is for New Zealanders.
We pledge here and now that we will look after your interests.
This party was formed with those fundamental objectives in mind. And we say we will stop bad policy and support wise policies we have a record to back up our commitment to you.