INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rt Hon Winston Peters Speech: Keeping Promises Matters

Published: Wed 14 Oct 2020 12:42 PM
In the closing days of this campaign it’s great to see you all here when most campaigns have given up and wanted you to vote from day one, day two, and every day since. That’s because they didn’t want you to find out a whole lot of details that you needed to know before you voted.
In fact one party put it’s manifesto out – yesterday. So that means that everything you needed to know about their policies, you couldn’t have found in one document until – yesterday.
Now we are all busy and so having time to digest what’s on offer in this election, means you needed time to read and digest it.
Elections have always been like a marathon. And we are in the last lap – so to speak. It’s right here – right now – that we’re all going to find out whether the commentator’s and all the experts could be trusted to know beforehand, what you, in the secrecy of the voting booth, are going to do.
We’ve been on the road in our bus from one end of the country, in two islands, coast to coast, from Kaitaia to Bluff. We’ve covered about 12,000 kilometers in doing so. We hit the road in an environment where we could not hold public meetings, street meetings without separation, and campaign properly in every sense of the word.
As you know, its all been about ‘photo opportunities’, for some, taking deep sea dives, presumably “fishing for votes in the deep” or skydiving out of airplanes, or taking the perpetual selfie.
We’ve been to see and talk to hundreds and thousands of forgotten New Zealanders on a listening tour to see what the real people think.
Campaigns are not meant to be just about promises. They’re meant to be about Keeping Promises.
In the New Zealand Herald 18 July 2020, that paper, not our most ardent fans, nevertheless said, that New Zealand First in less than three years had achieved or partially achieved about 80% of their commitments in the coalition agreement that our party had negotiated with Labour.
Here is the evidence. Not ours. But theirs. And no party in this campaign can make that proud claim.
We formed a government with Labour in 2017 because the direction of the country needed a serious change. Together we passed 190 pieces of legislation and through crisis after crisis, we have provided stable government.
Experience in leadership and common sense is seriously important. It lessens the risks when decision makers know what they’re doing. It doesn’t mean that you agree on all things – who does. But we have kept the country on track at home, and we have re-established our brand in foreign affairs in our Pacific neighbourhood where it matters so much.
“Experience in the World Matters”
Ladies and gentlemen, experience is needed in politics, and for the last three years we brought experience and common sense to government.
As Foreign Minister we’ve worked hard to re-establish New Zealand’s respect in the world.
On the 16th of February this year, I sent a message out to New Zealander’s all over the world.
“Come home now”, because your travel options are closing off real fast.
It wasn’t easy, but we had to call upon all of our relationships and friendships with Foreign Ministers, and Prime Ministers, and Presidents in far flung countries to get our people home.
We picked up the phone on countless occasions to cut through the bureaucracy and just make things happen.
It was about forward planning, getting things in place, not allowing things or people to get in the way of the right plan.
And we moved over 150,000 people either back to this country, or back to their country. And we didn’t endanger this countries health in doing so. That is why experience is so important.
Experience is about how in the last three years we have reset our Pacific relationship and re-established our Senior Role in the Pacific. Our neighborhood is part of our security and we have rapidly restored our influence with our Pacific friends.
Campaign 2020
In this campaign political parties have been dropping one clanger after the next.
One side in the campaign want to starve you to success. Whilst the other side is proposing to spend your money in much greater debt to achieve success.
Neither of those sides are in balance. And many people are in deep fear of what happens to them, their family, their community, and their country from here on in.
The fear of the COVID economy is real, and we’ve never faced challenges of this magnitude for a hundred years. That’s why safe, experienced leadership in a focused team is so important now.
If we are to get through this crisis then we need unity, not division, compassion not coercion and the policies that will enable you and your country men and women, through working smarter, to dramatically improve our social and economic performance.
Tens of thousands of workers have lost their job - for them, this is a personal crisis.
Tens of thousands of businesses have had to close down – for them that is also a personal crisis.
And over 700,000 Seniors need protection from political experiment – which threatens to dramatically affect their future.
A great former leader said New Zealand was “Gods own, but the devil’s mess”.
We’re still the greatest country on earth. But we must face the future with our ‘eyes wide open’ and with the confidence that we have the policies to take us out of personal despair to a future of real hope.
In economic crises the first people to suffer are the young and the old, and we have got to avoid that at all cost.
New Zealand First has for decades defended vulnerable New Zealanders and we’re going to go on doing that into the future.
New Zealand First has had the courage over the years to take on the establishment when it deserves to be questioned. Or as former Prime Minister Norman Kirk said to his new ministers many years ago,
“Your job is not to defend your department from the people, your job is to defend the people from your department”.
He was right then. And he’s right now. That’s why no matter where the attacks against New Zealand First have come from, we’ve defended the public’s right to know, and have taken on one enemy of the people, one after the other, and at great cost.
In this campaign you’ve witnessed month after month the relentless attack against one party and it’s Leader. We’ve never let up, we’ve never bowed to this sort of manipulative pressure because we’ve always believed in the ordinary Kiwi’s sense of fair play. And that’s what’s going to bring us home in this campaign. Because as you suspect, it’s not just New Zealand First they want to shut down, it’s you they want to silence.
We’ve been the voice of the people.
Closing
Ladies and gentlemen, there’s going to be a question time after this speech, as we’ve had at every meeting all around New Zealand.
When you vote, remember this, it’s a secret ballot. So much is at risk and experience and common sense matters.
We’ve been an underdog from day one in this campaign. But it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, but the size of the fight in the dog.
And we are, right here, right now, much closer to influencing the next government, than National or Act.
If you think the Greens in control of the next government is better for your future, then look at their irresponsible promises and policies that they have campaigned on, whilst demanding two Deputy Prime Ministers after this election.
New Zealand First is still your best bet for stable government for the next three years, as we were for stable government in the last three years.
So, remember you’ve got two votes.
One for a candidate and a second vote for a party.
May we suggest you take out some insurance on your second vote.
Back Your Future.
Back Your Families Future.
Back Your Community.
Back Your Country.
Back New Zealand First.
And party vote New Zealand First.

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