Speech: No Place For Complacency

24 March 2017

Business breakfast hosted by Good Ground Real Estate,

The Razza, 18 Nova Scotia Drive, Waipu

Friday March 24, 7.30am


Should Northland be cynical? Youth socially DNA-ed for destruction


Central government barely knew Northland existed until they lost the Northland by-election two years ago.


And what about all the promises?


The roads, the bridges, the cell-tower coverage and super, super-fast broadband.  And job opportunities


Northlanders have had enough of economic plans that sound good on paper, but end in the “sometime-never” basket.


With the resources and advantages Northland has, proximity to Auckland and to international shipping routes, our region should be thriving.


We are not.


Over the last 10 years economic growth in Northland averaged 1.4%pa compared with an average of 1.8%pa in the national economy.


Both of those figures are bad, but ours is worse.


Neglect by central government is a major factor.


Northport is way short of the utility it should be.


Narrow minded parochialism from Auckland, condoned by central government, chokes Northport’s potential.


Northport has a depth of water and land found nowhere else in New Zealand.


Northport’s development would cost much less than pie-in-the-sky plans for the Auckland port.


Many Aucklanders know it.


Northport needs a rail service and we need to ensure it gets one.


Also, Refining New Zealand must be supported in its plan to dredge the harbour.


It’s a major player in the Northland economy and must be kept financially competitive.


This cannot be achieved if oil tankers leave under-loaded because the harbour is not deep enough.



Rail in the future development of the North and Northport is critical.


We can’t develop our region when the very means vital to our region’s potential is being destroyed by stealth.


KiwiRail is on a trail of self-destruction in the North.


Kiwi Rail, not their tracks, need to be stopped.

  • Three years ago they shut the Dargaville-Whangarei line without so much as a press statement.

  • Last year they shut the Kauri-Otiria line.

  • Last year they shut the Portland connection.

  • Then they slashed the rail freight service to Auckland line by half, from 20 trains a week to 10.

  • All that did was throw more trucks on to our further degraded roads.


The economic development of Northland hinges on rail.


The head of Mainfreight said so but the government won’t act.



Just as in other parts of the country, Northland needs a balanced transport strategy.  it is in Northland’s interests that a collaborative effort is made between KiwiRail,


Northport, logging, transport and shipping companies.



Like other regions Northland urgently needs infrastructure to handle growing tourism.


Latest figures (March 2016) saw the government take $1.5 billion in GST, alone from international visitors.


This was a huge jump on the $950m from the previous year.


So why isn’t the government giving back more of those billions to the regions where tourists go?


For infrastructure like toilets, parking and other amenities.


Northland is a growing tourism centre but we are not getting our fair share. It’s farcical.


Tourism Minister Paula Bennett made a song and dance last week about giving $5.5 million for tourism infrastructure – nationwide.


They gave councils only $12 million last year for 7 toilets.


On the same day as Paula Bennetts $5.5.m, Local Government New Zealand chairman Lawrence Yule said there was an urgent need for $1.4 billion to build tourism infrastructure around the country.


A fair slice of that GST the government is pocketing from international visitors must flow back into regions like Northland.


And it is not.


Recognising Bovine Scatology when you see it

In the Northern Advocate (23rd February) the New Zealand Transport Agency released a bragging press statement on what they are doing up here.


Please read it (it was on page 24).


Yesterday in the same paper, page 21, they did it again.


They promised a 22km Four Lane Highway between Whangarei and the Port Marsden highway.


Estimated cost - $400 to $500 million.


Then they boasted of planning improvements “all the way from Whangarei to Auckland; this includes the completion of Puhoi to Wellsford Roads of National Significance which will make the journey along this entire corridor safer and more efficient.”


In this media spin are these words “the time frames are subject to investigations, funding approval, consenting and purchases of the necessary property.”


Ladies and Gentlemen you must recognise Bovine Scatology when you see it.


Recent history. In 2009 the government cancelled rural roads subsidies and gave that money to Roads of National Significance – yours was the Puhoi to Warkworth highway.


Well not one metre of the Puhoi-Warkworth highway, your road of national significance, has been started.


And the promised Warkworth to Wellsford highway cost is mind boggling.


The Brynderwyn upgrade is blowing out well above the $16 million contract.


Not one of the ten ‘two lane’ bridges has been built while seven have dropped off the radar.


As for increased cell-tower coverage, that’s been forgotten and the super, superfast broadband is in the “tender process” at half the speed of the Auckland rollout.


Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got to stop accepting bovine scatology from central government.


You have a role to play.


None of us can go on silently accepting that bull dust big city merchant promises


POLICE – Safety and Security

A huge issue facing Northland is security on our streets, homes and businesses.


We’re all sick of the headlines.  Crime here is out of control.


Countless police stations aren’t even open.


If you ring a small station here in Northland, there’s no-one to answer the call.


Of Northland’s 21 stations, only seven had more than a single officer on continuous duty over a six week period from December 2016 to January 2017.


Burglars in Northland know they stand a 97% chance of getting away with their crimes.


Serious crimes go unreported in Northland because people have just given up and lost confidence?


Take Waipu.


Since 2008 there have been 212 burglaries in Waipu - with one arrest - a 99 percent chance of getting away with burglary in this town


In Waipu the average number of police over six weeks at the peak of summer was not even half an officer.


There are whole days when there are no officers on duty or none on duty after four or five o’clock in the afternoon.


In the seven days between the 10th and 17th of January this year, not one officer was on duty in Waipu.


The town was reliant on coverage out of Whangarei, assuming of course they were available.


Look at what happened in Kaikohe last weekend.


Kids as young as 12 robbing a liquor store.


When the police went to the homes of the culprits they were set upon by the parents.

Kids throwing rocks and kicking in the glass doors of a local service station on the same day.


Kids socially DNA-ed for Self-destruction

A grandmother potted one of them after seeing the CCTV coverage on TV.


A mother of two others did the same thing.


Let’s not beat around the bush.


This behaviour is the pathway to social and economic destruction.


The same kind of kids some years ago mugged Santa, in Kaikohe’s Santa parade.


Business needs an assurance of security.


A Hikurangi dairy owner has had nine serious incidents and numerous minor robbery attempts in the time he has owned his business.


The juvenile “crims” know if they are caught, all they’ll get is home detention.


Listening to Morning Report on Radio New Zealand soon after the Kaikohe offences, one realises why things have gone so badly wrong.


Wishy washy comments - all avoiding the obvious.


Many children are not accountable any more.


Nor are their parents.


In the 1930s the Labour government created a welfare contract – families got state assistance to look after their children.


A benefit was paid to the mothers – not the fathers.


The government knew the mothers were more likely to spend the money wisely.


But today, some in politics and bureaucracy haven’t a clue how to deal with the problem.


They are all bound up with ‘political correctness’


We live in a ‘PC age’ where there are more rules on the teachers and the police than young offenders and their parents.


We no longer hold these little tow-rags responsible for their actions.


Instead we hear 100 different reasons why it’s not their fault.


That’s rubbish.


They’re old enough to know exactly what they’re doing; know they will get away with it and that there will be no repercussions.


Meanwhile, the old parties in parliament want the age of criminal responsibility raised.


These politicians don’t venture into the real world.


Many have no idea how the other half live.


Major criminality is coming from Maori but we have politicians who want to return at risk children to the same families from whence they came - expecting the same disjunctive environment to patch things up.


They’ve got to be joking.


That’s the last place they should be sent.



  • To battle this problem New Zealand First will lower the age of criminal responsibility.

  • We will change social welfare to demand parental accountability.

  • We are not going to spend taxpayers’ money on parents who won’t keep their side of the deal.

  • We will make sure there are far more police – 1800 more as soon as they can be trained.

    After all, the last time we had a chance we trained 1000 front line police in three years flat.


  • We will return this country to what other generations knew: That crime doesn’t pay.

  • We are going to repeal the anti-smacking law which doesn’t work and has in fact seen greater violence towards children.



The picture is clear – Northland has not been getting a “fair go” out of Wellington.


It’s gone on long enough.


Provincial New Zealand can’t remain docile and complacent.


The PC nonsense coming out of Wellington has been given full rein.


You can see the result: Kids running riot with no respect, no respect for authority, no respect for the law or their community.


Northland and provincial New Zealand deserve better.


You have to make a stand.


You have to tell Wellington – toughen up on law and order now.


Regions like Northland are sick of the two tiered economy – Auckland and the rest of us.


We want our share of economic development resources.


We want both Law and Order


We can make Northland strong socially and economically.


And that is what the next election is going to be all about.




Contact: Rebecca Barclay 0274326553



Closure Type Description (2008 to 2016 (30 June))

Result Code 6 (Reported)

Result Code 9 (Arrest Made)

Success Rate  (%)

Child Abuse




Wilful Damage












Drugs (Cannabis Only)








Car Conversion








Theft Ex Shop




Firearms Offences








Sexual Affronts




Serious Assaults








Drugs (Not Cannabis)