New Zealand First is not into political correctness (PC).
Our policies are adopted with one thought in mind – just one.
What is in the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders?
This is the question we ask.
For us, it is all about New Zealand.
Not China, not Australia, not the UK.
But New Zealand.
That is why we have made a stand on immigration – when other parties haven’t, or are too scared to.
Light Bulb Moment
There was an editorial in ‘Marlborough Express’ on September 4, 2017.
It’s worth reading.
The editorial says:
“A surge in immigration in the last five years is one of the factors that has helped push property prices into the stratosphere ….”
They must have had a light bulb moment but New Zealand First has been saying this for a long time.
Then the editorial stated:
“Whatever the intentions of individual immigrants the flow of them into the country should be controlled if for no other reason to give the country and its communities time to absorb new arrivals without creating undue economic and/or social upheaval.”
No, the editorial writer is not a member of New Zealand First.
But New Zealand First again has said this for a long time and been slammed by our critics left, right and centre.
We say allowing immigrants to enter New Zealand and live here is fine.
Immigrants with skills we really need bring much to New Zealand
But not mass immigration which does not work in our best interests.
No More Taxi Drivers
We don’t need any more taxi drivers or barbers.
Having 72,400 immigrants net settling here permanently every year is just ludicrous for a small country like New Zealand.
Wages are driven down, jobs, housing, schools, healthcare, roads and general living conditions suffer.
This is not slamming immigrants – it is just facing reality; telling the truth.
How can the government get on top of the housing crisis, which they say is not happening, when you are fuelling it with thousands of immigrants pouring into the country with most of them going to Auckland?
In the not too distant future more than half New Zealand’s population will live north of Taupo.
Unemployed New Zealanders
The fact is also that we have more than 90,000 New Zealanders in the 15-24 age group who are not in employment education or training.
We have 139,000 New Zealanders who are unemployed.
At the same time, a record 226,000 work visas were approved in the 2016-2017 year and that’s expected to go up to 243,000 next year.
This cuts Kiwis desperate for work out of jobs.
We say – let us get unemployed young New Zealanders off the welfare and back to work in their own country.
The government and business has to start investing in training the people already here.
One thing the government will not tell you either is that the record number of immigration – 72,400 – is not accurate.
Last week, Statistics NZ admitted that over 60,000 immigrants slipped through unrecorded as migrants on the figures officials put out.
That is a 20% underestimate. The massive underestimate was revealed when StatsNZ switched to a new system that uses the history of their time in New Zealand instead of arrival/departure cards on which they state their intentions.
Neither the National nor the Labour government paid adequate attention to immigration to realise that there was a huge bungle in counting the number of people coming into the country. There are thousands of more immigrants here than what we thought.
Again, this is not slamming immigrants – it is facing reality.
Mass immigration is not the answer.
We need to control immigration and bring it down to more sustainable levels.
Ardern v Australia
The Labour Party should have been more careful about its leader gaining a reputation in Australia. It is one thing to “talk back” to the Aussie Foreign Minister, who had turned a somewhat acid tongue on her.
But it is totally something else to throw down the gauntlet to our big cousin on immigration policy.
The current Labour leader’s advisors need to be a whole lot more careful, if they are not, it will cost young New Zealanders in Australia plenty.
Telling Australia that if they dare raise the cost of Uni fees for Kiwis, which they have already done, she will do the same here, will fill young New Zealanders in Australia with dread. They are being maltreated now in Australia and we in New Zealand should be trying to fix it, not retaliate.
Especially when the ratio is worse than five to one in Australia’s favour.
Following in the footsteps of National’s Gerry Brownlee is not the smartest idea.
He dropped some clangers when he put on his training wheels as Foreign Minister.
And probably got a clip round the ear from the PM.
The Labour leader’s advisors need to pick up their act.
And speaking of exploitation before more workers are brought in – regions like Marlborough must look to your locals first.
Millions of dollars leave New Zealand because we have become so heavily dependent on overseas workers.
That is money that should be circulating in our economy.
Migrant workers should also undergo an induction upon arrival.
Key industries vulnerable to labour exploitation must be monitored.
With only 54 Inspectorate Officers, this is impossible at present.
New Zealand First will treble the number of Labour Inspectors across the country.
And any immigrant employers caught ripping off workers should face deportation.
No-one should adopt another country and abuse its laws.
If the employers are citizens, that’s doubly concerning and proves we should tighten citizenship laws.
The first obligation of any decent government is to look after and work for your citizens.
But what is happening in this country is that sections of our society are becoming increasingly marginalised.
They are missing out.
The result is we have increasing anti-social behaviour.
If we don’t help our unemployed get jobs and sort out those more than 90,000 young New Zealanders aged from 15 to 24 who are going nowhere – we will never get on top of family poverty and homelessness.
These problems will grow and continue through to the next generation.
New Zealand First knows most New Zealanders are looking for closer scrutiny on immigration and migrant workers.
For the avoidance of economic and social upheaval, and the future good of this country, it must happen.
Winston Peters is elected Member of Parliament from Northland and is the Leader of the New Zealand First Party. The above is an edited version of the speech that he delivered at a public meeting at the Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim, South Island on September 6, 2017.