Putting New Zealanders First

New Zealand First is the third largest party in the New Zealand Parliament. The Party was formed in 1993 to represent those New Zealanders concerned about the social and economic direction of our country, and who were seeking pragmatic, common-sense representation in Parliament.

Following the 2017 General Election, the Party retained 9 seats in the House of Representatives and formed a Coalition Government with the New Zealand Labour Party. Party Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, became Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Party secured three other Cabinet positions and an Undersecretary role.

At the core of New Zealand First's policies are our "Fifteen Fundamental Principles", which emphasise accountable and transparent government, common-sense social and economic policy, and the placing of the interests of New Zealand, and New Zealanders, at the forefront of Government decision-making.

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Latest News

Winston Peters explains why it has been a good year for Kiwi farmers

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters gave his final interview for 2019 on The Country to tell farmers they have never had it better under the current coalition Government. “Here you've got these record returns [for farmers]. These returns would be nothing like a record if the currency under the National Party persisted in the way it has in the last two years,” he told host Jamie Mackay. “We've gone from above 80 cents US - dollars that is - in the dollar, to now between 64 and 66, up and down around about there.” Mr Peters credits that the exchange rate have led to massive returns to farmers, and says that’s where the dollar should “for an export- dependent economy and farmers are exporters.” “Now if they heard this message more often they'd actually stop and think "well actually I that might be why we're doing far better than we did before,” the Party Leader added. Mr Peters also said that farmers have also been spared from taking a serious hit with climate change policies. “Then you've got climate change measures coming but they're going to be totally shielded and cautioned and made the shock troops of improvement in a sustainable way whilst their income goes up, not down.” When Mackay asked him what he plans to do regarding the proposed freshwater changes which the host says could “decimate farming”, Mr Peters said the only action needed urgently was from the farming community to engage in the consultation process. “Well I'm waiting for some action from you too because it's out there for consultation. We're waiting for your submissions. We're waiting for you to get off your rort half-acre and make a positive change and to ensure that clean water in this country, sustainable water - which is more of a crisis in the urban centres than it is in the rural centres - can happen.” The Party Leader said that many farmers were already ahead of the curve when it came to taking care of the environment. “We see thousands and thousands of farmers, usually evidenced by the farming programme The Country Calendar every Sunday night, all these forward-thinking farmers who've made massive changes.” “They're way ahead of any of the requirements for climate change already all by themselves. And our job is to ensure that they get clear guidelines where they get to decide how they're going to do it as a farming community,” Mr Peters added.     https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12292787

A 6000-strong army and cuts to emissions: Defence Force maps out its response to climate change

A new defence report has mapped out how New Zealand's soldiers will navigate rising seas, and a year after the Defence Force announced its need to prepare for climate change. In the “Responding to the Climate Crisis” report, the Force restates its operational plan and sets goals to tackle climate change, which has been described as exacerbating "community violence, biosecurity and health implications, and resource scarcity" around the world. Defence intends to measure all its emissions, bring in engine technology that will reduce emissions, and make wider use of solar energy. Defence Minister Ron Mark said the Defence Force could easily cut its emissions by upgrading its old infrastructure. "We're probably running a size-16 footprint right now. Getting that down to a size 14, a size 10, shouldn't be that hard, so long as we invest in modern technology, and we do that at pace." He said New Zealand was already positioning itself as a global leader in a military-response to climate change, but to do this they had to increase capacity. "We've got skill sets, we just don't have enough people ... We don't have enough people to sustain long term operations,” Minister Mark said. The need for the military to stretch out across multiple operations simultaneously has the Defence Force already planning to boost troop numbers to 6000-strong by 2030. "When people are dying, when forest fires are raging, and you don't have sufficient assets yourself to deal with it ... that is where, we believe, it doesn't matter whether it's United States, Australia, China, the France, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, we all have to work together, collaborate together and be capable of operating together," the Minister said.     https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117821328/a-6000strong-army-and-cuts-to-emissions-defence-force-maps-out-its-response-to-climate-change

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