SPEECH: Rt Hon Winston Peters speech to Kaipara Grey Power

Speech to Kaipara Grey Power Meeting,
Methodist Church
Friday, July 21, 2017



We are just on 8 weeks out from Election Day – a day of reckoning.

 For all of us – but particularly for the two old parties.

 The lead mover and shakers might have thought that Labour-Greens were so close they were joined at the hip.

 That is not how the grass-roots of Labour see it.

 The Labour Party was once the working people’s party of this country.

 Since July 1984 those days are gone.

 Labour’s rapport with people working in factories, freezing works, shops and in other everyday jobs went down the gurgler years ago.


The Greens – and Their National Party Relationship

 It should not come as a surprise, but many have forgotten that in 2008 the Greens entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Party.

In 2015, they called for another similar understanding with National.

 They sit next to the National party in Parliament, by choice, having argued in 2011 that they were the closest to the National Party, an argument put up by Metiria Turei.

 Confused? Well you’ve got a reason to be.



 National, meanwhile, is the born to rule party.

And they have grown in their arrogance each year they have held power.

In recent weeks the public of New Zealand have been reminded of that;

 The lies and hush-up money in the Todd Barclay debacle,

  • The evasiveness of the Prime Minister on what he knew
  • The stand-over bully boy tactics of MPs and Ministers;
  • The flippancy and lack of respect to the disabled community from Nicky Wagner or the contempt for the law of Maggie Barry.

These are just some examples.

 But National has all the bearing of being in power too long and treating the New Zealand public with disdain.

With their policies we have a housing crisis right here in Dargaville.

Out of control mass immigration, massive infrastructure deficits all around the country and more than 92,000 young New Zealanders not in work, education or training.

Some old party supporters are in panic.


Squawkers Are Out Of The Coop

 You can tell that when their supporters start lying, such as Labour supporters saying New Zealand First is going with National, and National supporters saying New Zealand First is going with Labour and the Greens.

 At the same time some of their supporters are pleading with us to go with them, whoever they are.

 None of these people are telling the truth.

 None of these people have spoken to us.

 These people don’t like democracy, they don’t want to let the people decide on 23rd September.

 They want it all stitched up - before the people vote.

 Many of them pose as friends, while surreptitiously sticking the boot in every chance they get.

 Like people writing in the local newspapers that Winston Peters promised the 10 double lane bridges, super super fast broadband, cell tower coverage everywhere, and super highways in the North.

 They know full well that those promises were made by National in the by-election, yet they are so deceitful they are claiming that Winston Peters promised them.

 And the National party’s candidate begins his publicity by saying I don’t live in Northland.

 I’m on the Northland roll and have lived back in the North since December 2014.

 This man is a former policeman and if that’s an example of his Detective work, no wonder unresolved burglaries in Northland are at 97 per cent.

But more about him some other time.

 The squawking from the media has already started around this election.

 As New Zealand First gains public support the squawking becomes a din.

 We want to make this country better, and they don’t want a bar of it.

They want to hold their powerful positions.

Unquestioned, out of touch with ordinary people, taking the people’s money while more and more Kiwis struggle to make ends meet.

There’s been the veteran squawker wounding our ears for decades – one Mike Hosking, who the New Zealand Herald ran a full scale attack for yesterday and just on 8 weeks out from an Election.

 This week, the Dominion Post had a full scale editorial attack as well, but the day before.

And sometime cricket player, Mark Richardson, launched a vicious attack on TV3 yesterday morning.

He used derogatory and defamatory statements after my going to a meeting on the Manawatu Gorge Road closure two nights ago.

I didn’t see any Cabinet Minister or other Party Leader there.

I was invited to go and it’s my job to be informed.

Yet this man, using a medium that gets significant money from the New Zealand taxpayer, TV 3, launched this vicious, disgraceful attack.

 Not to my face of course when I was in front of him on Monday – no, three days later when I wasn’t there.

 Of late there’s been mindless speculation about the Prime Ministership.

 Countless, unethical, unprofessional, and dishonest commentators have claimed to know what I want.

 It matters not to them that they have not one shred of evidence to base their opinions on, but they are so odious as to carry on regardless and misrepresent me.

 As a member of the National Party, in Caucus and Cabinet, I never put my name forward for any role.

 National MPs know that.

 If being Prime Minister was my number one priority, then the path I have travelled would have been so much different.

 It would not have included facing down corruption within my then-party or the manipulation and corruption of a number of its financiers.

 From the Maori Loans affair through to Ruthonomics, the corruption of the BNZ, and its sale to Australia, and the Wine Box and countless other issues, I did what had to be done.

 Not what was good for my promotion.

And I despise those who don’t remember it.

 All the contestants in this Election are entitled to be reported on honestly and without bias and prejudice and if anyone thinks New Zealand First is going to take this sort of treatment lying down, then they’ve let their ego carry them away totally.


New Zealand First and Seniors

 New Zealand First stands alone and fights our own battles.

And we are proud to say – that we are the only voice that New Zealand seniors can rely on.


NZ Super Affordability

 One of the great issues for our seniors before and after this Election will be NZ Super.

 We have said claims by the National Party and spin doctors that NZ Super is unaffordable is just blatant scaremongering propaganda.

 Your National President, Tom O’Connor, described the calls of unaffordability as being an “an ill-founded mantra of the far right with no solid evidence to support it.”

 He is right.

 Here are the facts:

 NZ Super’s actual net cost to taxpayers is around 3.8 per cent of GDP.

  • NZ First Super is taxed which is often overlooked.
  • NZ Super as a percentage of GDP will stay the same even with an aging population if New Zealand doubles its GDP by 2050 and we improve our productivity, however;
  • NZ Super will not be affordable if mass immigration continues and present migrant access to Super does not change.

 The National Party and all their fellow travelling opponents of NZ Super have four characteristics:

 They can’t present a logical financial argument.

  • They mistake population trends.
  • They ignore the 87,000 older immigrants they have allowed in the last 15 years to get full NZ Super after just 10 years in New Zealand.
  • They recite overseas population trends and percentages when they know they have no relativity to New Zealand’s situation. 


Controlling Immigration

 Affordability has been threatened by mass immigration for much of the last two decades.

When Labour was bringing in 50,000 net permanent immigrants each year the equivalent figure in Australia was just 80,000 – for that far bigger economy.

Now we are bringing in net 73,000 new immigrants a year which is complete madness.
And this week, our population passed 4.8 million.


New Zealand First, Super, and Trust

 Both Labour and National have an appalling records of u-turns and back-flips over NZ Super.

In 1984 Labour promised no change to Super – then they imposed a surtax.

In 1990 National promised to remove the surtax – then increased it to 92 cents in the dollar.

In 1996 National promised to maintain NZ Super, and then after breaking the coalition deal with New Zealand First in October 1998, cut Super from 65 percent of the net average wage to 60 percent.

New Zealand First’s law changes first, repealed the surtax, and second, returned NZ Super to not 65 but to 66 percent of the net average weekly wage.


Retirement Age Up and Down

In 2011 and 2014 Labour said they wanted to bump the retirement age up to 67.

Before the last election National said they wouldn’t touch NZ Super.

Now they want the age up to 67.

Only one party has consistently fought for and defended NZ Super.

We want full government contributions into the NZ Super Fund now.

National and Labour don’t.

Full contributions make economic sense – less than full contributions don’t make sense.

Both National and Labour agree to taxing the Super Fund.

New Zealand First is opposed to that - because the fund is built on taxes in the first place.

If National has kept contributing $2 billion a year to the Cullen Fund, it would now be worth well over $50 billion, instead of $33 billion.


SuperGold Card Bragging 

 In the Grey Power national magazine recently Maggie Barry had the brazen boldness to say:

“We have built the card into the great success it is and National remains absolutely committed to growing its value and usefulness".

Don’t be taken in by this spin.

If National had their way they would scrap the card.


SuperGold Health Check Bill

 In 2015 we introduced our SuperGold Health Check Bill.

The intention of the bill was to provide three free GP visits each year.

National, United Future and ACT opposed it.

It lost by a single vote.

Yet if only one out of every 100 card holders was saved from going to hospital as a result of a doctor’s visit then the cost will have been fiscally neutral.


Free Eye Checks

 Another of our policies is for the gold card to finance one free eye check a year.

The total cost of vision loss from macular degeneration in 2016 was $391m.

Macular Degeneration is a condition which causes 48% of cases of blindness in New Zealand.

1.5 million New Zealanders are at risk of this very real problem.

We plan to save thousands of people from simply going blind because the state can’t see the sense in helping them not to.


Insulating Northland Homes

 Many homes in Northland do not have adequate insulation.

Our region has some of the highest rates of rheumatic fever in the country.

This horrible disease damages the heart and shortens the lives of those who are affected.

Rates of rheumatic fever are known to be worse in homes that are poorly insulated.

Asthma is also a major problem in Northland.

As well as children, our seniors are suffering because of poorly insulated homes.

Last year the government cut funding to the Warm-Up NZ programme by excluding homeowners and gave a higher rate of subsidy for landlords to insulate their properties.

The response from landlords has been dismal.

Even the government acknowledged that.

Yet next year the government will axe the Warm-Up programme.

This is a major blow for Northland.

Last year it was reported 7000 homes in Northland were waiting to be insulated.

With this in mind we have announced a new policy – our Warm Up NZ insulation programme to insulate homes and houses that need it.

This will be run as a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Our aim is to insulate homes each year with a $1000 subsidy for each house.

It is by no means a Northland issue alone either.

A total of 530,000 New Zealand homes still have no insulation or inadequate insulation.

New Zealand First says let’s finish the job and get them all insulated.

 You will be as concerned as I am about the housing shortage here.

It’s great you have new families in the area.

But there’s a downside.

We can’t have families living in cars.

And working families at that.

At least 12 families here don’t have a home.

 This situation in Northland didn’t happen overnight.

It’s the result of Government’s hands off approach to housing.

Not caring. Too removed as they let the market rule.

But reliance on the market has failed.

Their developers aren’t building affordable houses.

There’s not enough profit.

 Anyone watching house prices spiral in Auckland would have seen the outcome.

Aucklanders cashing up.

And here they are on your doorstep.

Trouble is that’s resulted in families ending up on the street.

Your community leaders are working on this problem.

 If only there had been foresight from the government.

The government spent $12.6 million on emergency housing in the last quarter – that’s a short term response.

We must get your local people housed.

And we must start building houses, giving first home buyers low interest rates and reasonable sale and purchase agreements. We must not sell state houses.



 In the coming weeks you will hear a lot of scaremongering.

You’ve heard it over NZ Super.

The pro-immigration lobby have been having their say as well.

But it will intensify because New Zealand First has them worried.

That is obvious.

Hence the dirt and defamatory statements.

Don’t be put off or distracted by it.

We would urge you, however, as members of Grey Power, to ask yourselves when you walk into the polling booth in September:

Who is your best friend in Parliament?

And who has the best interests of all New Zealanders at heart?

And vote accordingly.