SPEECH: The Old Parties Are Forgetting Seniors - But We Aren't
Speech for Nelson Grey Power
Annesbrook Church and Community Centre,
40 Saxton Rd West,
3pm, August 31, 2017
It is a delight to be in Stoke and Nelson.
And it is great to be at a meeting that has been organised by Grey Power.
New Zealand First is proud to say we are a party that is fully behind our Seniors.
As no other party is. But we are a party that exists not just for Seniors. We do not pander to elites; or grovel to big business interests. We do not support separatism.
We are the party for ALL New Zealand and ALL NEW ZEALANDERS.
The news – spin we call it – is that your area is booming. It’s all growth and everyone is doing just great.
A newspaper headline said: Nelson rides tourism wave to claim country’s top economic region
Ok – if that is so why do you have homeless people living on the streets? Why are families struggling to get homes, pay rent or put food on the table and access decent healthcare for their children? Stoke primary school runs a Breakfast Club to make sure every child has the chance to get a nutritious breakfast.
If things are really booming would this be necessary?
The people at the top with good incomes might be doing OK but hundreds of thousands of hardworking people all around the country are treading water. And this is happening in Stoke.
Stimulating local economy
New Zealand First has policies which will stimulate your local economy and pay for new infrastructure. Tourism is lifting your local economy. The government took in nearly $1.5b in GST from international visitors to New Zealand in the year to March 2016, and $950m the year before, yet little has gone to councils that desperately need money for sewerage schemes and local road improvements.
Under NZ First policy we will return the GST paid by international tourists in this region for tourism infrastructure and roads, and to stimulate job training and opportunities.
Under NZ First policy – with our Royalties for the Regions policy no less than 25 per cent of the royalties will go back to Stoke and Tasman district.
Under NZ First policy – any water rights for exports will pay serious royalties which will go back to where the water came from.
Under NZ First there will be no more of you having to go cap in hand to ministers and bureaucrats to ask for your own money back.
New Zealand First will help exporters, farmers, fruit growers and others by fixing the Reserve Bank Act so the dollar helps them and not the paper shufflers, currency speculators and overseas banks.
New Zealand First will adequately fund your DHB so that you do not have to struggle for healthcare.
It is a disgrace how the health system in New Zealand has gone to wrack and ruin under National and how funding for mental health has been chronically inadequate.
Every New Zealander should have the chance to own their own home and to have affordable housing.
New Zealand First will make this possible. We’ll create Kiwi Housing to control the whole process from buying land through to construction.
We will help low income first home buyers by providing long term sale and purchase agreements for land and low interest rates. We will buy build more social housing.
We will require councils to have a social housing plan for their districts. We will provide councils with low cost government loans to provide Seniors’ housing and public rental housing.
We will ensure Housing New Zealand continues as New Zealand’s primary social housing provider, and that it is well funded. Owners of rental houses will be given tax incentives for upgrading work.
In Auckland, where the need is most acute, we will make sure 20,000 new houses a year are built and 140,000 over seven years.
Law and order
New Zealand First will ensure you all feel safe in your homes and communities.
Only when New Zealand First applied the pressure did National decide to boost police numbers. These extra police are still not enough and they’re spread over four years.
And nowhere the number we need. New Zealand First is pledging to train 1800 police as soon as is possible.
We’ve don’t it before: In 2005-2008 we got an extra 1000 more frontline police and 235 back-up staff.
As expected, in the final dash to the general election the old parties have been dishing out lolly bribes to younger Kiwis with healthcare, free bus rides and more. But what about Seniors? In the “Big Bidding War” to get votes, the old parties have side-lined Seniors. That’s typical.
New Zealand First has worked hard for seniors in the past getting rid of the surtax and founding the SuperGold Card. We intend continuing working in the best interests of Seniors with our policies:
• Three free GP visits for SuperGold Cardholders each year – National voted against this in Parliament.
• Removing the tax on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund – the nest egg for NZ Super. National started taxing the fund, and it stopped government contributions for 10 years robbing it of billions. We would re-start contributions.
• Free eye tests for SuperGold Cardholders once a year.
• A ten per cent discount on power bills for SuperGold Card holders during the winter months. • Extending the benefits of the SuperGold card.
Under New Zealand First, all New Zealanders will be given a fair go.
We don’t play games like some parties do looking after one group and forgetting about the others just to get votes. We not brush our Seniors aside and ignore them.
We work for our Seniors, as we do all New Zealanders, regardless of race, creed - or age. Thank you.