Speech: Rt Hon Winston Peters - Wheels Coming Off Government Spin

NZ First fundraising luncheon, Hunua.
Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club,
78 Nelson St,
June 18, 2017.

If you listen to the spin coming out of the Beehive, apparently good times are rolling in New Zealand.

We are supposed to be up to our necks in clover thanks to immigration, tourism and cows.

But is that how it is in Pukekohe?

Out here people are concerned about the RMA and Iwi control over consents and a lack of democracy.

There are no electric trains to Pukekohe, (that stops at Papakura) and no passenger trains to growth areas such as Tuakau and Pokeno.

There is growing traffic congestion, worsening every week on the southern motorway, and seven days a week.

And alongside that, the Auckland Council is not delivering many infrastructural improvements needed in this area but allowing SHA’s and large developments on prime agricultural land to go ahead.

Crime is increasing here both urban and rural and farmers complaining about growing cattle thefts.

Things seem out of control; no planning, no coherent economic case from local or central government.

Just flying by the seat of their pants, toes and fingers crossed, hoping it will all work out.

NZ voters’ concerns

If you go out there into “Struggle Street,” New Zealanders are wondering what is going on:

They are asking:

How come my pay isn’t going as far as it did? How come my son or daughter can’t get a fulltime job or a part-time job to help with their study costs? How come they can’t afford to buy a house? Where are we going as a country?

Facts National ignores

We’re not in clover.

Not when we’ve got:

1. Unemployment at around 130,000 2. More than 90,000, 15 to 24 year olds not in employment, education or training 3. Record net immigration at almost 72,000 per year and all the stresses that is bringing  4. Thousands of hectares of our land being flogged off to foreign buyers like the 466,000 hectares of land sold to offshore buyers last year - five times more than the previous year 5. 95% of the NZ banking system being held overseas 6. NZ’s net debt to the rest of the world soaring up to $156 billion 7. Minimal GDP growth of around 1 percent once you take out 2% annual population growth driven up by immigration 8. An unbalanced economy with a chronic balance of payments deficit of $7 billion.


Auckland housing is now a full blown calamity.

That’s what Brian Rudman, said in the NZ Herald, (May 17, 2017).

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub said denials of a housing crisis were now simply lies.

In 2007, John Key told the truth and surprised everyone saying there was a housing crisis.

Then he went into denial.

National have been in denial ever since.

Bill English still says there’s no housing crisis in Auckland.

In a survey of 92 cities around the world the Demographia International Housing Survey said Auckland was now the fourth least affordable city.

So, who do you believe?

Auckland needs 14,000 new houses per year just to cope with annual population growth.

But in 2016 only 7200 new houses were completed and way short of what then Housing Minister Nick Smith claimed credit for.

National has made a pig’s ear of housing and even their most myopic of supporters knows that.


For a long time New Zealand First has been a lone voice warning of the consequences of mass immigration.

In the past 12 months others have finally thought that it was safe to agree:

Treasury, the Reserve Bank, MBIE, ANZ, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

They weren’t called racist or xenophobic.

But we were - and still are.

We’ve been warning about the downside of immigration for years.

No country can take net 72,000 people a year – a city the size of Rotorua, and most going to Auckland.

Compare the UK government’s net immigration target.

For a country of 65 million people the UK target is 100,000 net.

But we have a PM who says he’s not concerned with 72,000 for a country with a population of 4.5 million.

Labour’s response 

Labour has gone from a party defending mass immigration to one belatedly concerned about it.

They have picked up what the New Zealand public are thinking and done a complete u-turn in a crass attempt to grab votes.

Where were they on immigration 12 months ago?

They didn’t want to touch immigration.

But now they want to cut immigration by between 20,000 and 30,000.

Were they shouted down as being racist and xenophobic?

Of course not.

Here’s what the Dominion Post said in an editorial last Wednesday (June 14) that was republished in the Christchurch Press.

The opening sentence was: “Labour’s immigration policy is not racist or xenophobic. It is a careful and moderate policy.”

Then it says:

“Net immigration is at unprecedented levels and is causing serious economic problems. It is helping stoke the fires of house prices. It is helping clog the already-clogged roads of Auckland. Clearly too many unskilled foreign workers are being allowed into New Zealand, allowing the government and employers to avoid the thorny problem of training New Zealanders to do this work. Hiring foreigners to stack shelves and serve in shops is daft.”

No, this is not a New Zealand First media release.

It’s two of our metropolitan papers which not so long ago were all cosily tucked up in bed with National over immigration.

Then the editorial adds:

“The attempt to control immigration for economic reasons is not xenophobic.”

So it’s ok when Labour tries to steal what New Zealand First has been saying for years - it’s not racist or xenophobic.

But if New Zealand First says it – they call us racist and xenophobic.

This is the bias NZ First faces. 

It’s like Lloyd Burr this morning from Newshub interviewing Otago’s Bryce Edwards saying how scary it would be for Winston Peters and his no-name MPs to be deciding the next government.

If anyone here knows who Lloyd Burr is, then I will give you a thousand dollars.

Personally I am sick and tired of certain media personalities whose arrogance and conceit is only exceeded by their ignorance.

Labour is desperate for votes.

Their immigration policy is just political posturing.

It won’t take the strain and stress off infrastructure.

It won’t solve our problems.

There will still be 50,000 to 40,000 migrants coming in and staying permanently every year.

That’s way too much.

Get it down to around 10,000 highly skilled immigrants a year.

That’s our policy.

Race Relations Commissioner

We are not going to pay any heed to an imbecilic statement from the Race Relations Commissioner this week clumsily insinuating the immigration debate is racist.

For her and her offices’ information, immigration is about the country of origin and that usually means ethnicity or race. 

It’s not rocket science.

New Zealand First is not concerned about what an over paid bloated group of bureaucrats might think on this critical issue.

They are part of the problem – they are certainly not the solution.

Law and order

Dairies are getting held up every day of the week all over New Zealand.

What does National tell the dairy owners?

Stop selling cigarettes.

Police Minister Paula Bennett refuses to accept the Government's to blame.

They’re the ones who sent cigarette prices through the roof which has led to a profitable black market in tobacco.

But the government aren’t worried about the dairy owners.

They want to pocket the millions of dollars of excise tax money they get out of tobacco.

And over the next three years the amount of tax excised from tobacco is going up, which means their smokefree New Zealand by 2025 campaign is a total con.

It masks that this is an excise tax measure where very little of the money goes towards education for a smokefree New Zealand.

                                                                     Fog canons and panic alarms

Mrs Bennett has now sent some fog canons and panic alarms to help dairy owners fight the crims.

They might as well have sent them fly swats.

Tobacco prices are set to go up 10 per cent each January 1 for the next three years because of the tax levy.

So nothing will change.

The crims are set to make bigger money out of their black market. And the government is putting money ahead of the dairy owners’ safety.

Besides turning tobacco into a soaring black market item, the government cut back police on the streets and the number available to arrest criminals.

And they think fog horns and canons will fix the problem?

After years of claiming crime was falling they couldn’t ignore the break-down in law and order in many communities and in the 11th hour decided to boost police numbers.

These extra police are still not enough and only come in over four years. They will still be almost 1000 frontline police short.

They are way below the 1800 we pledge to train as soon as is possible.


DHBs all over the country are having to watch every cent because of under-funding and to that amount factor in a 38 million dollar mistake.

Some have been over funded and will have to pay it back and some have been under funded and will want to catch up.

There is a desperate need for more theatres, waiting rooms, beds. DHBs have been told to cost cut.

Staff don’t take holidays, jobs remain unfilled.

That’s no way to run a health system. You all pay your taxes. New Zealanders deserve better.

NZ Super

What about NZ Super?

Last election, in 2014, Labour said they wanted to bump the retirement age up to 67. This election Labour has done a somersault. They’re back to 65 for the retirement age. Before the last election National said they wouldn’t touch NZ Super. Now National has flip flopped as well. They want the age up to 67 - by 2040.

New Zealand First has never compromised its position on NZ Super.

We say it is affordable and we can prove it and we won’t be changing the age of eligibility.

New Zealand First is the only party that can be trusted on NZ Super.

We have the record to prove it.


New Zealand is not up to its neck in clover as the government would have you believe. In too many areas we are up to our necks with a whole lot of trouble. But there is hope.

There is New Zealand First. We realise the issues and problems facing this country And we have common sense policies to sort them out and lift our productivity so that we do actually become a wealthier country. We are the only party that is 100 per cent behind all New Zealanders.

We are a voice of hope for all New Zealand. And right now this country needs that – urgently.