SPEECH: No Room For Mild Acceptance: Let Wellington Know What You Think
Campaign for the Regions tour – Thames
Thames Working Men’s Club,
Cochrane and Pollen Street,
Friday, July 14 2017, 10am.
When Police Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett came to Thames earlier this year she had a rude awakening.
She struck some angry people. This doesn’t happen a lot in New Zealand these days. New Zealanders have become a super tolerant people.
The problem with tolerance is it goes hand-in-hand with acceptance. If people think things can’t change, they put up with what’s happening even though they don’t like it.
The government preys on this type of thinking. It keeps them in power. But to the credit to the people of Thames you spoke up. You gave Ms Bennett the message.
People carried signs saying they had “more teeth than the NZ police.” Before Ms Bennett came to Thames the line from government was all was well with the police - they were doing a great job and crime was falling.
This wasn’t what you were experiencing here – and anywhere else for that matter. And New Zealand First learned that over Christmas-New Year in probably the busiest time for your area, there was only an average of only 8.3 officers on duty covering Thames, Whitianga, Paeroa and Coromandel Town.
Also, between 2008 up until mid-June 2016 there were 2545 burglaries in Thames, Whitianga, Paeroa and Coromandel Town, yet only 94 arrests had been made.
That meant burglars had a staggering 96% chance of getting away with their crime. The rest of the country has been experiencing the same thing.
Crime has been running amok. Dairies are being held up every other day. New Zealand First had been pointing this out for a long time. After Thames, Ms Bennett scuttled back to Wellington and went into the think tank with “shifty Bill. She came out with a grand announcement of 880 police over four years.
National – doing as little as they can
The points is – she and National had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do anything. Then, when they did act, all they came up with was a seriously inadequate response over four years.
That’s National’s style – only act when up against a wall, then do the least, not the best. Just enough to keep the public off their back – and then keep on looking after their mates and elite interests.
As we travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand on our Campaign for the Regions Tour councils were screaming out for help. The consequences of cuts and under-funding from central government can be seen throughout the country.
National is now playing a desperate catch-up game in the 11th hour of an election.
We have congested roads; rural roads falling apart; hospitals and schools running on empty; hundreds of thousands unemployed or underemployed; tourist towns desperate for help for toilets, parking and other infrastructure and police struggling with spiralling crime.
Pressure on tourism infrastructure
These same problems are here in Thames and the Coromandel.
Last summer Coromandel hit the headlines as huge numbers of tourists and visitors brought major pressure on your facilities.
Some money has since been extracted from the government for a toilet facility at the Hahei Village carpark but as your mayor said:
“There’s still significant costs our council continues to deal with when it comes to the growing demand for facilities for visitors and we will continue seeking government support and funding where we can.”
Sadly that means you will have to keep going to government, cap in hand, again and again. That’s bad. Not when the government is creaming off bucket loads of money in GST from international visitors to your area.
GST from tourism
The government took $1.5b in GST from international visitors to New Zealand in the year to March 2017, and $950m.
Virtually nothing has gone to councils that desperately need money for toilets, sewerage schemes and local road improvements to cope with tourist numbers.
The GST from international visitor spending in Coromandel should be coming back here – not being hoovered into central government.
Under NZ First policy - we will return the GST paid by international tourists in the Coromandel to the Coromandel – for tourism infrastructure and roads, and to stimulate job training and opportunities here.
For example, tourism, which the Tourism Industry Aotearoa says is $100m underfunded.
English language training underfunded
Students needing support in English as a second language have increased by 50 per cent in the last decade driven of late by Chinese and Indian students. For a peculiar reason, Tongans. This government’s response this year $2.4 million over two years.
Royalties to the regions
Under NZ First’s Royalties for the Regions Policy.
Twenty five per cent of royalties from enterprises such as mining, petroleum and water stay in the region of origin.
The government collects over $400 million in extraction royalties but nothing from water. Under our scheme over $100 million, year on year, would remain in the regions for investment.
That money would help to regenerate regional New Zealand. It is demonstrably wrong that foreign owned companies can take our water for a pitiful fee while making hundreds of millions of dollars from it.
National says no-one owns the water – so foreign companies can come in and take it.
New Zealand First will stop this rort. We’ll impose a serious royalty and return much of that to you.
Exporters facing a major export roadblock
We will fix the Reserve Bank Act so the present inflated dollar stops attacking the region’s producers – in agriculture, horticulture and exporting. The Act will then stop favouring the paper shufflers, currency speculators and overseas banks.
We will provide assistance for small businesses.
• One of the measures will be a wage subsidy for those who take on job seekers and provide work experience.
• We will provide immediate tax deductions for every new business asset costing under $20,000.
• Start up professional fee costs will be tax deductible.
Jobs for Young New Zealanders
This week Bill English slammed on the hand-brake and did a screeching U-turn.
Suddenly he realised National has created a mess with more than 92,000 young New Zealanders who are not in jobs, training or education. Before that he had been in denial as to this reality.
He had more concern about bringing in migrant workers than in getting young New Zealanders into jobs.
Last year he said young New Zealand farm workers were “pretty damned hopeless. They won’t show up. You can’t rely on them.”
Last year also he ignored what The Salvation Army warned in their report Addressing Youth Unemployment:
“Persistent unemployment among younger workers and the difficulty many have finding a secure place in the labour market suggests their needs are not being given sufficient importance when decisions are made around immigration policy settings.”
Earlier this year he blamed young New Zealanders’ inability to pass a workplace drug test as one of the reasons why overseas workers were needed.
In May, in Parliament he expressed amazement that so many young New Zealanders were not working or getting training and he gave the impression it was not the government’s fault but the young people themselves.
He claimed there were pathways for training and work. But under National the number of apprenticeships collapsed between 2008 and 2012 and thereafter. This meant 20,000 people missed out on the chance of becoming fully qualified tradespeople.
The Salvation Army said (Addressing NZ’s Youth Unemployment October 201):
“This collapse in training effort points to poor planning on the part of the government and also from the industries that require skilled tradespeople.”
The fact is, and New Zealand First has been saying it for a long time: Young New Zealand workers have been undermined by migrant workers and have to compete with Third World wages and conditions. They have been the ones who have had to bear the brunt of the National government’s irresponsible brand of capitalism and out of control immigration.
Mr English, after his sorry, disgraceful record, 10 weeks out from an election, announced two days ago $50 million to help build employment habits to cover 5000 young people So what of the other 87,000 that he seems to have missed. This is gross hypocrisy. This is a bribe.
Announcing this election bribe he said:
"If we can get them into a job and keep them there over the next 12 months, we can change the trajectory of their lives.”
These are the same words of the same man who said young New Zealanders were “pretty damned hopeless.”
These are the words of a prime minister and government who have not improved lives but by their inaction and lack of social concern, ruined lives.
The New Zealand voting public will not be fooled by such hypocrisy. Why has Mr English not announced also that he will cut the number of low-skilled immigrants flooding into this country who are pushing young New Zealanders out of jobs?
NZ First policies
Unlike National, New Zealand First has long had policies to get young people work ready:
• Work for the Dole – to do all the jobs that local councils need doing. It would help people get out of bed, develop self-confidence, pride in having a job.
• We would get young people who fail at school into paid work in the Defence force – learning a skill, developing their literacy, numeracy skills. They’ll be work ready at 18 years of age. (The Youth Employment Training and Education scheme)
• A Business Linked Internship Scheme. This scheme can be adopted quickly: First, as the ‘interns’ are under the supervision of Industry Training Organisations, NZQA needs to accept a clock in/clock out card as an attendance record for the registration of qualifications. Second, the government needs to embrace New Zealand First’s policy of a Universal Student Allowance to support on-the-job learning. Immigration
On Morning Report Gareth Kiernan, from Infometrics, in a thinly veiled attack on NZ First, said our immigration policy would lead to a slump.
He said that New Zealand needed the “the skills”. He made no mention of a 130,000 New Zealanders unemployed or 92,000 young Kiwis without work, education or training, or that to be considered employed you only need to work one hour a week.
Or that a further 100,000 New Zealanders are desperately seeking more work. He gave a passing nod to massive infrastructure problems.
My message to Mr Kiernan is that New Zealanders have had a gutsful of his line of economic madness.
He cannot set out why this mass immigration works. But we want to thank him for pathetically, though unwittingly, admitting that record immigration is what is fuelling our GDP growth. Mr Kiernan, if you want to get into politics come out of your ivory tower and hit the road.
Better still why don’t you and I have a debate in front of the public and see who is right here.
Coromandel and separatism
I am in the Coromandel and here like elsewhere the government is establishing separatist parallel control of this country’s assets, parallel control based on race.
• You have Ahu Moana committees – 50 per cent iwi and 50 per cent local.
• Community reps to replace any harbour committees.
• Matarangi Maori required to be incorporated into everywhere with regulatory penalties if two yearly reporting by local authorities is assessed not up to scratch.
• MPAs – marine protected areas – 15 sites were recommended by SWG (Stakeholder Working Group). Plus five different island areas where only Maori customary fishing will be allowed unless the MPA allows otherwise.
• Iwi regulatory body - solely for assessing and regulating commercial activity in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. These are all from the Sea Change – Iwi Co-Governance and other provisions. Ladies and gentlemen, this is separatism by stealth, promoted by the National Party, the new white arm of the Maori Party, and condoned or encouraged by every other political party.
New Zealand First commends the spirit of the people of Thames as shown when Paula Bennett came to town expecting people to fall at her feet, instead of which they gave her a piece of their minds.
By all means, don’t accept things as they are. Because they can be better, and they should be better.
The regions of New Zealand, and this goes for this area too, have been left out of the cold too long by National. Don’t sit by and say, there’s no other way.
There is another way – and New Zealand First with our practical, wide-ranging and common sense policies has the way. This country must take a new course.
After decades of an economic experiment, we must re-invigorate our regions, and defend our values and beliefs against the forces of globalism which have no truck with nationalism or pride in your own country.
We used to be a colony of Britain. We are no longer. We don’t want to go back to being a colony of another country again either. We do not want to be so economically intertwined and controlled so that in times of difficulty we will be told to toe the line by others on a foreign shore or face the consequences.
New Zealand First is the only party which is putting this country first and last on everything.
We are working for the best of New Zealand and all New Zealanders.
It’s time to write a new chapter in our history. With your help we can do it.