“Erroneous immigration policy is leading us towards collapse”
Any society that allows a pool of discontented and disaffected young people to grow is playing with fire. Not giving our young people a proper place in our society is hazardous. Because it is fundamental for a healthy society for everyone to feel they have a stake in their society and its wellbeing.
In New Zealand First, we say that it is vital for all young New Zealanders to have a physical and financial stake in our country. One way to ensure that the young are invested in their own country is through home ownership.
People who are buying their own home have a purpose, a direction, and a structure for their lives. People who are buying a home put down roots in their community – because they have a stake in it. And secure housing is vital in creating the conditions for raising families.
They are not then vulnerable to the blandishments of trouble makers.
Young people also face another challenge in putting down roots and being connected to New Zealand society – job security – or more correctly – job insecurity.
The official statistics for the first quarter of 2017 show that the rate of youth unemployment is deeply concerning. The proportion of youth (15–24 years) not in employment, education, or training (NEET) is running at almost 13% – (12.8% actual according to HLFS).
We are talking about over 90,000 young New Zealanders.
That is another number, or dismal fact, that the Government never mentions in its spin about the economy. Stable employment for those who want it, at decent pay rates is an important social goal. Uncertain work prospects undermine commitment to a community.
Prime Minister Bill English is saying “Immigration is the Economy.’
Collapse on the cards
So, if the brakes are not applied, collapse is on the cards.
It is only the trick of massive immigration – a sort of economic sugar hit – that makes ‘GDP growth’ look good.
Who can recall when New Zealand enjoyed high quality public services? The times when our schools, hospitals, prisons, and infrastructure were not grappling with overload?
Today it is only the dedication and commitment of those in public services that are keeping so many systems from collapse.
We say that it is not a utopian dream for all New Zealanders to have access to first world standard health and education services.
By sleight of hand and trickery, National has taken what once Kiwis took for granted as reasonable and achievable expectations and made them only for the lucky few.
In addition, the Government has taken no steps to ensure that our rapidly growing population stays cohesive.
Although they are careful to conceal their real agenda, they are still locked into the way of thinking advocated by Margaret Thatcher who declared: “There is no such thing as society.”
NZ First is New Zealanders first
In New Zealand First, we could not disagree more.
All our policies are framed with a concern for the future health and security of New Zealand as a whole.
The New Zealand national interest is our starting point.
And there is one overriding imperative right now that is in the national interest and it is to cut back immigration to a sensible level.
We mean closer to 10,000 highly skilled immigrants a year, not 72,000 mostly unskilled immigrants per year.
So under-resourced are the media these days that news reporting has been devalued and unsupported in favour of mindless speculation, opining, editorialising, and vacuous explanation have become the substitute.
But the great news, confirmed from overseas evidence, is that those in politics who speak straight to the people, do gain their support.
That explains our inexorable rise in 2017.
Winston Peters is the elected Member of Parliament from Northland and Leader of the New Zealand First Party. The above is a highly edited version of his address to the members and guests of the Auckland Rotary Club at Stamford Plaza Hotel, Auckland City on June 19, 2017. For full text, please visit www.indiannewslink.co.nz