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Provinces Deserve a Fair Go

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

Whanganui Public Meeting
Friday 12 September, 5.00pm

Central Baptist Church, Cnr Wicksteed & Dublin St, Whanganui


Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today.
At the outset of my talk today it is important to emphasis that New Zealand First has a strong commitment to regional development.

Our view is that New Zealand is more prosperous when the regions are thriving.

Under National, Auckland has turned into what seems like a separate country that is detaching from the rest of the economy.

So we have the Reserve Bank running a monetary policy to manage Auckland not New Zealand.

The distortions caused by addressing Auckland problems means the whole country suffers - such as with rising interest rates.

New Zealand First’s economic policy is that all New Zealander should share in a well-balanced and thriving economy and that no region should be left behind.

For example, New Zealand First has a long standing ‘Royalties for Regions policy’, that will help the development of regional communities and economies.

Under this policy, 25 per cent of the royalties paid on extraction of minerals or other resources – whether it be coal, limestone, lignite, gold or others will be placed in a fund for use in regional development in the region of extraction.

With this policy, hundreds of millions that now go straight into central government coffers will stay in the regions to fund local infrastructure and build stronger communities.

An effective regional policy also means that cities such as Whanganui get their fair share of infrastructure investment – that means well maintained state highways and a railway system that is supported, not being run down and neglected.

New Zealand First’s theme of this election is putting the interests of New Zealanders first.

So in contrast to National’s selling off of our country in all manner of ways New Zealand First pledges to make New Zealanders the priority.

We have a clear and comprehensive programme to do that.

We will having an immigration policy for the benefit of New Zealanders. That means drastically cutting immigration numbers to sensible levels to take the pressure off housing, the health and education system, and NZ Super.

Our immigration policy will put the priority on the skills New Zealand needs – not on just having record numbers of people arrive.

We will put the brakes on foreign ownership by imposing strict controls over foreign ownership in the areas of land, housing and strategic business assets.

That will require that we start collecting comprehensive information on foreign ownership of land for the first time in New Zealand.

National has deliberately avoided collecting information on foreign ownership. That is totally irresponsible and must be ended.

And we will replace that toothless poodle – the fig leaf called the Overseas Investment Commission, with a new and powerful agency with real power to stop the sell-off. Only purchases with proven benefits to New Zealand in terms of jobs and real new investment will be allowed.

One of the aspects that the new agency will consider that is not covered by the OIO is tax. Currently foreign investors have access to tax advantages that do not apply to residents. This tax advantage is another way foreign owners are fleecing Kiwis.

We will give the country a sane monetary policy by reforming the Reserve Bank Act.

This will mean we have a realistic exchange rate to support manufacturers and exporters.

New Zealand is highly vulnerable because of the reliance on dairy and timber exports – we must urgently broaden the manufacturing and export base. This is impossible without a realistic exchange rate.

The cost of living in New Zealand is causing real poverty and distress. We will take GST off the family food shopping budget – and off rates – significantly lowering the cost of living.

We will support regional New Zealand to grow, instead of the lop sided development where Auckland is the focus of all attention and spending because it is having to absorb tens of thousands of migrants.

And for the more than 630,000 Kiwis receiving NZ Super we will defend the scheme from the insidious campaign to undermine this fundamental plank of a decent society.

This is our pledge: We will work for you!

You know what to do next Saturday.

It’s common sense!


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