Speech: Getting NZ out of ‘struggle street’ & New Zealand First announces Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and East Coast Candidates for 2017 General Election

18 August 2017

Speech, August 18, 12.30pm
Public meeting
Red Square,
Central Business District,


Getting NZ out of ‘struggle street’ (extracts from a speech)

New Zealand First Announces Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and East Coast Candidates for 2017 General Election


Clayton Mitchell – contesting Tauranga

Tauranga based list MP and businessman, Clayton Mitchell, will again contest the Tauranga seat for New Zealand First at this year’s general election Mr Mitchell, who has a long career in the hospitality industry, was elected as part of the New Zealand First List in 2014. He holds the spokespersons roles for Internal Affairs, Sport and Recreation, Conservation, Labour and Industrial Relations. He is the Associate Whip for the Party,

Fletcher Tabuteau – contesting Rotorua.

Mr Tabuteau, entered Parliament in 2014 on the New Zealand First List is based in Rotorua. He is a graduate of Waikato University (Bachelor of Management Studies and Graduate Diploma Secondary Education) and the Waiariki Institute of Technology (Diploma in Business Technology). He is part way toward completion of a Master of Applied Management from Waikato University. Prior to entering Parliament Mr Tabuteau was Head of the Business School at the Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Anne-Marie Andrews – Coromandel

A home builder and joint owner of investment and import companies Ms Andrews is a forthright advocate of strong community values. Ms Andrews has engaged in mentoring, counselling and facilitation activities and is a previous Regional Manager for Parents Inc.

Lester Grey – Bay Of Plenty

Bay of Plenty businessman, Lester Gray, is an owner and operator of service stations throughout the Bay of Plenty and is a very experienced business leader with a record of success within the petroleum and convenience retail sectors.

Julian Tilley – East Coast

Mr Tilley is the Bay of Plenty/East Coast Sales Manager for a leading diversified petroleum distribution company. He also has a strong background in IT having previously worked in that industry both in New Zealand and overseas.

Increasing minimum wage

New Zealand First will build our economy from the bottom up, creating opportunities for New Zealanders, boosting our economy and increasing productivity.

Our goal is to increase the minimum wage to $20 over three years. Drastically increasing the minimum wage will increase productivity and stimulate the economy.

New Zealand First’s record on fair wages in this country is a proud one. In 2005 we campaigned to address the then low minimum wage under the Labour government.

As part of our confidence and supply agreement with Labour in 2005 following the election we insisted that the minimum wage go from $9 per hour to $12 progressively by 2008. That is the biggest rise ever in the shortest time ever in this country’s history.

We know that without a change in tax for Employers and Businesses that can’t happen.

Employers - Business tax package

Accordingly, we will: - introduce a tax package for New Zealand Employers and Businesses to negate the increased cost to employers and businesses of paying fair wages.

Removing GST on basic food

New Zealand First will lower the family food bill by removing GST on basic essential food. By lowering the cost of the household food basket we will bring much needed relief to thousands of low income New Zealanders.

GST would come off all basic food items – not restaurant and takeaway meals. This is a bold policy which goes to the heart of inequality that is undermining our society.

There are estimated to be 212,000 children in poverty in New Zealand. In April this year the Salvation Army said 20 per cent of New Zealand children were living in a household that regularly goes without essentials such as adequate food, clothing or heating. That’s one in every five children in New Zealand.

The cost of removing GST on basic essential food is somewhere  between $600 million and $700 million. And for those armchair critics who have long forgotten, or have never known “struggle street”, who don’t know what basic or essential food is - I recommend they ask their grandmother.

Clampdown on Tax Evasion Behind closed doors the National government has been heavied by giant multinational bully boys over a proposed tax clampdown and our government buckled like wimps. Multinationals are evading paying tax in New Zealand of between $7 billion to $10 billion a year. It’s a rort.

They’re getting away with it and the government is letting them. A shady outfit from the United States no-one has heard of, the Digital Economy Group, pressured the New Zealand government and won. The so-called crusher Revenue Minister Judith Collins was crushed. Finance Minister Steven Joyce, huddled behind his desk and waved a white flag.

The giant multi-nationals want to paralyse the OECD. They’re now doing the same to the National government. And they’re succeeding.

Given the Labour Party’s already announced policy on taxing multinational corporations to raise $200 million, it seems that like the National government they have already caved in even without having discussions with the secretive international group. New Zealand First would clamp down on these giants who cheat us.

We are going to clamp down on tax evasion. Multination corporations will be required to pay fair tax in New Zealand. For example Tegel, with its $614 million turnover pays only .38 percent of tax (profit was $34.2 million). This will end under New Zealand First.


This campaign is being portrayed as a battle between Labour and National. It’s not. Red or blue, Pepsi and Coke, there’s nothing different. If you want to vote for a real change then there is one option. Let’s not forget that this economic policy that has governed this country for 33 years was started by Labour and both Labour and National still subscribe to it. If you want a real change after this election, if you have had enough of just changing the team colours - but getting the same result then party vote New Zealand First.