The Bay Wants Change, We've Struck A Chord With Voters

Campaign for the Regions tour - Tauranga
Tauranga Yacht Club,
90 Keith Allen Drive,
Tauranga
1pm, July 13, 2017

 

The Bay wants change, we’ve struck a chord with voters

 

With just 10 weeks to the general election, things are heating up.

You will find our political rivals growing desperate.

We have struck a chord with the voters of this country – and they know it.

The Greens lashed us as racist and said they still wanted to work with us to form a government.

We won’t forget that.

Anyone with a smidgen of intelligence would recognise New Zealand First is not racist.

We are a party which believes in immigration.

But we say 73,000 immigrants settling in this country permanently every year for a small country of 4.7 million is a form of madness.

You only have to look at Australia, a population of 24 million and their net immigration target of 80,000.

And you only have to look at the UK with a population of 65 million people which has a target of 100,000 immigrants net to gain an understanding of how mad it is.

Some people want New Zealand to be a melting pot, a sort of United Nations at the bottom of the South Pacific.

They want our borders wide open to welcome and accept the world and all its problems.

Again New Zealand First says this is a form of madness.

We believe in focused immigration, bringing in only the high skilled, which works for the greater good of all New Zealand and all New Zealanders, and not mass immigration.

We believe in trading with the world but we want the industries and assets which earn our way in the world, owned, operated and controlled by New Zealand and New Zealanders.

We stand for New Zealand, not foreign owners and speculators.

 

Governmental neglect

 

Having just travelled through much of the North and South Islands we have seen first-hand the effects of years of woeful under-investment by the National government.

Over-burdened roads, mothballed rail lines, small towns with shuttered up shop windows.

We have become a country where schools and hospitals have to battle constantly to keep their head above water.

A country hardened to family poverty and homelessness.

A country which sadly shrugs its shoulders at having 140,000 unemployed and more than 90,000 young New Zealanders not in jobs, training or education.

Instead of getting in and cleaning it up, we have a Prime Minister who writes off young Kiwis as “pretty damned hopeless”.

Is this the way we want New Zealand?

Constant unemployment of New Zealanders?

Thousands of New Zealanders in the prime of their lives going nowhere but the dole queue?

Sorry Mr English, “pretty damned hopeless” doesn’t cut it.

It might describe the National government and all the other neo-liberal governments which have ripped the social fabric of New Zealand apart.

But it doesn’t describe young New Zealanders who just want a break in life – to get a job, a home and a family.

 

National’s desperate interest-free loan for the Bay of Plenty

 

A clear sign of National’s desperate desire to keep their hands on power is their offer this week of a $230 million interest-free loan for new infrastructure in Tauranga. But neither Minister Smith or Minister Bridges knew when and where.

There’s only one way to look at this:

After nine years of National’s promises it’s an election year bribe.

The monumental mess National has made in Auckland has spilled over into Tauranga.

There are major infrastructure problems here.

And to make sure “Simple Simon” Bridges can return to make more promises about getting bridges in Northland, National has pulled the $230 million interest free loan out of their box of tricks.

It looks as though your council will be lumbered with a massive debt as a result.

All because of the Auckland disaster.

 

NZ First in Tauranga – Mt Maunganui

New Zealand First is proud of our long association with Tauranga and what we have achieved here.

We organised the sale of Tauranga Airport from the government not to foreign interests, but to the people of Tauranga Mt Maunganui.

We got two toll-free Harbour bridges built.

We initiated a scheme which increased capital investment in Tauranga schools by 28 percent.

No electorate in New Zealand can match the modern schools’ infrastructure that is here in Tauranga.

We successfully took on the government and the $93 million of debt that the government had organised in the local Kiwifruit industry. We forced Treasury to write that debt off.

These are just a few of our achievements.

More help for Tauranga

And we can assure you, we will help Tauranga and the Mount again.

You have to ask yourselves here why there are three toll roads in New Zealand and you have two of them.

There’s no toll roads in Christchurch, no toll road in Wellington.

The toll road in Auckland is when you get out of Auckland.

So why have you been lumbered with toll roads and the rest of the country has not.

There are no tolls on the Waterview tunnel in Auckland just opened or the new Kapiti expressway.

New Zealand First’s record, or more particularly my record, was to arrive in Tauranga when there was no harbour bridge and to see two built before I left, both toll free.

I gave you the second harbour bridge, politically speaking, even after you didn’t vote for me.

In short, I kept my promise when I didn’t have to.

The Bay of Plenty MP is back promising to fulfill a promise National made in 2008.

But ladies and gentlemen, we will keep our word if you keep yours, if you want things fixed up here you are going to have to vote for us.

In the latest New Zealand Listener a commentator who used to work for the National Party begins his article: “No longer a blue rinse, Winston Peters-voting backwater, Tauranga finally gets a university this year.”

Ladies and gentleman, if I had been your MP you’d have had a university 10 years ago.

And Mr Underhill should not flaunt his ignorance in the superficial way he has.

When I came to Tauranga in 1984 the Kaimai’s was a metal road and there were no harbour bridges.

When I left, the Kaimai’s had been tarsealed, the second harbour bridge was being built and we had more motorways than half the alphabet. And much more.

Since I’ve left politicians down here have been fast on the lip and real slow on the hip.

 

Route K

 

At the 2014 election we promised to remove the $63 million debt from Route K off the council’s debt (nearly 70 per cent of council’s entire debt here)

The debt had been compounding and local body politicians had tried for years to get NZTA to take ownership and failed.

Route K takes heavy traffic from Tauriko direct to the port. Two weeks after we made that promise National announced the government would take over the debt.

So why there still is a toll on Route K is the question you should be asking yourself now.

The tolls mean that traffic is not using this road as it should be used. And far too much traffic is going on to Cameron and Cambridge Road causing massive gridlock.

So what is Simple Simon doing about that?

Some say Simple Simon is all Brylcreem and no socks, and on this issue I think they are right.

 

Turret Road

 

In 2008, 2011 and 2014, National promised to widen - that is four-lane - Turret Road, Turret Road bridge and Fifteenth Avenue.

It is 2017 and they haven’t built one metre.

Worse still, after the government made their Route K promise they put State Highway 2A (Turret Road Fifteenth Avenue) out of NZTA and on to the local road network.

In short, off the nationwide taxpayers and on to you the local ratepayers who are now responsible for half of that road upgrade.

And like other parts of the city that road is gridlocked twice a day.

Now Minister Bridges has started the Welcome Bay underpass, promised in 2008 but being completed next year, a decade later, and all that has done is move the congestion point 300 metres down the road.

If you want to fix up your roading problems here you are going to have to change your vote and go back to voting for New Zealand first.

You’ve given them a second chance and they have just taken you for granted.

Tourism GST

The most recent statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) show year-end spending to February 2017 in the coastal Bay of Plenty region was $939 million.

International tourists attributed for nearly a quarter of the annual guest spend, $213 million, up 13.3 per cent on the previous year.

Under NZ First policy - we will return the GST paid here by those international tourists for your tourism infrastructure and roads, and to stimulate job training and opportunities.

The government creamed off $1.5b in GST from international visitors to New Zealand in the year to March 2017 and gave virtually nothing back.

New Zealand First will return your share of that GST to the BOP.

We are going to stop central government ripping you off.

Profit from water exports

You don’t want others making huge profits out of your water.

And taking it virtually free.

Bottling companies have had a free rein. They pay a few hundred dollars for a consent that can last 30 years.

Set up a bottling plant, and export the water.

Big foreign corporates are involved everywhere.

Like Coca Cola.

That’s because they know the value of water overseas. Where there is pollution. Where populations are so big the wells have run dry. Where it’s impossible to get drinkable water from a well, river or lake.

They are profit makers. We’ll make them pay. National won’t.

It is a simple matter. Amend the Crown Minerals Act for a royalty on water.

National refused point blank to do this when we asked them to in Parliament.

National is spreading Iwi water ownership to all NZ.

National won’t charge the bottle exporters a royalty, but they will ping you with every cost in the book for discharges, and monitoring nutrients.

How we look after our water, and who owns it, is critical to New Zealand’s future.

Royalties for the regions

  • Under NZ First policy – under our Royalties for the Regions policy no less than 25 per cent of the royalties will go back to the regions.
  • Under NZ First policy – any water rights for exports will pay serious royalties which will go back to the region where the water came from.
  • Under NZ First policy there will be no more you having to go cap in hand to Ministers and bureaucrats to ask for your own money back.

Small businesses

  • 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.

 

 

Government departments

 

New Zealand First will also shift government departments out of Wellington and Auckland and spread them into regional centres like Tauranga.

Exporters – and this export province

 

New Zealand First is going to fix the Reserve Bank Act, the dollar will no longer be inflated by 10% and 15%.

Doing so will help the whole of the Bay of Plenty and its exporters.

The dollar will not be inflated by around 15% and doing so will help exporters and not the paper shufflers, currency speculators and overseas banks.

 

Foreign land sales

 

Some of our most iconic farmland is being sold to foreign buyers.

Foreign buyers snapped up 465,863 hectares in 2016, compared to 79,897 hectares sold to foreigners in 2015

Where is the gain for New Zealand?

Our preference is for New Zealanders to farm and look after the land for generations to come.

 

NZ Super

 

Our political opponents have gone silent on NZ Super in recent weeks.

That could soon change.

Prepare to hear again the worn out lines about how NZ Super in unaffordable.

Don’t look to the other parties for any sense on this issue.

The rest are all over the place.

You can’t trust them.

They’ve flip flopped, back-flipped, U-turned.

They are about as genuine on NZ Super as a $7 banknote.

The fact is we have unbounded economic potential.

Maintaining the affordability of NZ Super can be achieved by increasing our productivity and controlling immigration.

It cannot be achieved by New Zealand’s present and recent policies.

Super affordability cannot be maintained by New Zealand’s present and recent policies.

That’s why New Zealand first is going to change those policies.

 

Conclusion

 

We are now on count-down to the general election.

This election will be a watershed in New Zealand history.

The public is being given a real choice by our campaign:

-       Either continue on the road we are headed pretending all is fine and that we are progressing when the real evidence says otherwise.

-       Either ignoring our economic and social slide down the OECD countries performance comparison or resolving now to stop that slide.

What New Zealand First has found as we have travelled the roads and highways of New Zealand meeting and speaking to locals is that people are not happy.

They don’t like the way this country is evolving and the way our regions have been neglected and held back.

They don’t like the way hundreds of thousands are cast aside as if they don’t matter.

They want a change. Not just in political power but a change in policies and principles.

That is what New Zealand First stands for.

There is good news, however.

And it is New Zealand First.

We say there is a better way – and we have the policies to make this new way a reality.

We are not afraid of those with vested interests who attack us and those who call us racist.

WE ALONE BELIEVE IN ONE LAW FOR ALL

And we have always stood for that.

New Zealand First’s time is here.

And observing the political chaos around us not a day too soon.