Winston Peters – What a Week

Speech – New Zealand First Party

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader
31 May 2013

Speech: Western Bay Of Plenty Grey Power
Methodist Church, Main Hall, 13th Avenue, Tauranga
Friday 31 May 2013, 1pm.

What a Week

Later today we will be opening the new New Zealand First office in Tauranga at 801 Cameron Road.

That office is an expression of our commitment to the people of Tauranga and we hope that if the occasion arises you will contact our staff when you find concerns are not being properly addressed elsewhere.

It is tangible evidence that New Zealand First supports the people of Tauranga in a practical and direct way.

THIS WEEK

This has been a fascinating week in politics with an issue that will evolve over the coming days.

There is a “News of the World” ring about it but like the Gilmore and Banks cases it will help New Zealanders to better grasp the Prime Minister’s much vaunted “high bar on standards”.

That said, today let’s talk about some of the issues that are vitally important to you and New Zealand’s future.

And we want to hear from you – in the question and answer part of this afternoon.

SUPERANNUATION

For the past few years there have been concerted attacks on the pension from various quarters.

Some want to lift the age of entitlement to 67.

National is leaving it as it is for the time being but we note that the method of calculation was changed adversely after the 2008 election.

There’s also a concerted campaign to privatise big chunks of superannuation by the Financial Services Council – a lobby group that actually represents the managed funds and private insurance industry.

The chairperson of that outfit is your old friend Jenny Shipley who – as Prime Minister in 1998 – reduced the pension from 65 to 60 per cent of the net average weekly wage.

We believe that if allowed, another attack will be made on pensions after the 2014 election.

You are being softened up and told the country can’t afford to keep paying the amount you receive now.

Let’s look at some basic facts.

The Government is budgeting to spend approximately $11 billion on National Super in 2013/14.

As a proportion of GDP, National Super is around 4.8 per cent.

That is not an outrageous level – in fact it is manageable and easily sustainable.

It is essential to give people certainty and financial safety in their senior years.

The biggest problem is who we give superannuation to and how much.

We have spoken out for many years about inane immigration policies.

New Zealand has an official policy of paying superannuation to migrants after they have ten years residence.

That means they can come in at age 55 under a parental reunion scheme and ten years later get full New Zealand Superannuation.

This policy is backfiring with the people of one country benefitting most from parental reunion – China.

It stems understandably from China’s ‘one child policy’

One skilled immigrant from China can bring in their spouse and then together bring both sets of parents here under the ‘centre of gravity’ policy.

So, along with a skilled migrant we often get a whole extended family on the health and welfare system.

Last year the number of skilled migrants was matched by an equal number of people coming here under family reunion.

Parent migrants go straight on to our health system the day they are granted residency.

Bear in mind that fifty per cent of healthcare spending and resources are on people over 65 years.

The waiting lists for elective surgery gets longer and longer.

We are all affected by parent reunion migration.

No other country in the world has a universal pension at this level of generosity.

New Zealand First’s plan on superannuation to migrants is based on the years of residency between 20 and 65 years.

Very simply, a person of 10 years residency, like the case explained, will be entitled to roughly a quarter of New Zealand Superannuation.

This directly tackles the unfairness to current and future taxpayers of supporting recent migrant retirees.

Just as we warned ten years ago, this policy hits taxpayers in their pockets and makes a mockery of our old people – who worked all their lives for conditions that are now being given away with parental reunions.

Of course, everyone acknowledges that we need some skilled migrants – and that there should be a chance to sponsor some family members.

But family reunion is a privilege – that has to be granted carefully.

Life expectancy at 65 is 20 years – that’s equivalent to collecting $350,000 from New Zealand Superannuation with no requirement to work!

We have an ageing population – and the last thing we need is to carelessly add to it!

There is another superannuation policy we are concerned about.

It affects people who come from another country and have paid into a scheme to fund their retirement, and also ex-pat Kiwis returning home.

They are referred to as the Section 70s people – they get stripped of their overseas pension and get New Zealand Superannuation instead.

We say this is unfair.

Section 70 migrants and expat Kiwis who have worked overseas should be able to keep their overseas pensions.

Of course, in fairness, they cannot expect to receive full New Zealand Superannuation as well.

On superannuation New Zealand First’s stand is clear –
• It is worth defending
• It is worth saving
• It is worth fighting for
New Zealand First makes no apology for being vigilant in the interests of all New Zealanders, old and new, in ensuring that the scheme is not abused or undermined by this or any Government.
Now, briefly, to a number of issues that are topical.

CONSTITUTION REVIEW

In the area of constitutional issues we can report that New Zealand continues its steady march towards a state of legal separatism!

The constitutional review is underway.

We have refused to take part in this sham review because it was stacked in favour of the Maori Party’s determination to make the Treaty of Waitangi the cornerstone of our system.

Already unelected Maori representatives are creeping into democratically elected bodies – like the Auckland City Council and a number of other local councils and regional authorities.

New Zealanders from all backgrounds have died for freedom and democracy.

We say democracy cannot exist when it tries to include tribalism as part of its governance structure.

Remember Abraham Lincoln described democracy as Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

By this he meant that representation should come from the people themselves and not from some hereditary ruler.

There is nothing wrong with belonging to a family group, hapū, iwi or clan.

Some of us have a mother from a clan and a father from an iwi!

It’s something to be proud of.

It gives us a sense of belonging and a proud heritage of support and loyalty.

But it certainly does not mean we have a right to govern Northland or anywhere else!

We seek office through the ballot box not the backdoor of some perceived entitlement.

New Zealand First stands firmly on the principle of one rule of law for everyone and one vote for everyone.

So we will closely monitor and scrutinise the Constitutional review to see the interests of all New Zealanders are not sold short.

And as you know, the National Party has pandered further to the Maori Party by allowing claims for “Customary Title” over hundreds of kilometres of coastline and in some cases, 12 miles out to sea.

This is an extremely dangerous development.

The word title means ownership and we believe that our foreshore and seabed is publicly owned and should remain so.

POWER PRICES

Over the past few days we’ve had a real taste of winter throughout the country.

Recent research shows that an increasing number of people in their thousands are getting their power cut off because they can’t pay their power bills.

Many others, about 36 per cent, say they can’t afford to heat their homes adequately.

This situation is of deep concern to New Zealand First.

We must stop the gouging of the public by the misnamed electricity market. The New Zealand public have had enough of the incessant power price rises.

In the long term our policy is to put our electricity generating system back together again. Breaking it up in the 90s was daft – an ideologically inspired piece of madness by National that we are still paying for.

The present system acts like a cartel, consistently pushing up prices and the recent sale of nearly half of Mighty River Power will make things worse.

New Zealand First is working on a Member’s Bill that will give a 10 per cent power discount to SuperGold Card holders.

The initiative would operate during the cold winter months of May to October each year and would benefit more than 600,000 senior citizens.

REFERENDA

One of the biggest problems with our political system is that it has developed into a three year tyranny.

MMP has allowed a wider range of views to be represented but to us it seems that once a government is elected – its MPs stop listening to the people.

Some issues are simply too important to be decided by politicians – even with a so-called conscience vote.

The recent same sex marriage legislation is a case in point.

New Zealand First voted against this because we believe a loaded, highly controversial social and moral issue should be decided by the people.

It is your fundamental right to have a say on such matters and we don’t mean a futile letter to a stacked select committee at Parliament.

Our party listened to a lot of people over this issue.

We knew you all wanted to have a say and so you should.

We could live with any decision you made – for or against.

It was your decision to make, not the 77 temporarily empowered MPs that voted for it in Parliament.

TAURANGA AND THE WESTERN BAY

New Zealand is being run like some over geared trading company on Wall Street.

Central government is claiming to be balancing the books but is really carrying out a giant fiddle.

Remember the Enron scandal in the United States?

Executives managed to hide billions of dollars in debt from failed deals and projects by cooking the books.

The Government claims to be heading for a surplus because it sold half a power company.

This is like a transport company selling some of its trucks and saying it’s making a profit from trading revenue.

New Zealand Limited under chief executive John Key is heavily in debt, which deepens every week.

This debt is being passed down.

Likewise, local government in areas like Tauranga that expected a lot of growth are heavily in debt.

Many businesses and many households are seriously in debt.

Tauranga local government owes over $400 million according to the last figures we’ve seen.

The state company Solid Energy is in hock for a similar amount and is in serious danger of going belly up.

After nearly five years of financial genius from our leading currency trader we are on a downwards slide.

The ratepayers of Tauranga can’t afford to be buried under a mountain of debt.

The taxpayers of New Zealand can’t afford the central government debt.

No leaders of today have the right to saddle future generations of New Zealanders with debt.

Your grandchildren and their children are going to be paying.

The situation is being compounded by the sale of assets.

We lose the asset and then we lose the income from it.

And it’s all happening because of this blind and misguided faith that the “market” will fix it up.

CONCLUSION

We are now mid-way through the election cycle.

Today’s talk covered a number of the important issues that matter to New Zealanders and sets out where we stand.

New Zealand First was born in Tauranga. We won the 1993 by-election with 90.28 per cent of the vote.

In seven weeks time, the New Zealand First party turns 20.

You have seen the positive difference over those years that we have made inside and out of Parliament.

We’ve made a difference for all New Zealanders.

Not just a select interest group, or those who donate to the campaign coffers so their interests are best served once their puppets are in the Beehive.

New Zealand First is a party that looks out for the interests of all New Zealanders.

And we’ll keep doing that for the next 20 years.

You have our name on it.

ENDS

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