Saturday, August 20, 2005

NZ First Political Address

The NZ first address focused predictably on Winston Peters. He described his party's achievements over the past twelve years as bringing free doctor's visits and prescription charges for the under-sixes, removing superannuation surcharges, voting against the Foreshore and Seabed Act and exposing the shambles of immigration.

Then he whipped out the Golden Age Card and from the way he initially presented it, it looked like a American Express Gold Card for the elderly. Then he laid into the "bro'rocracy" and Immigration before spelling out what the Golden Age Card would confer - namely lower power and telephone bills, cheaper rates and cheaper doctor's visits. In addition there would be more superannuation and if you didn't know that Peters was popular among the elderly, you should by now.

Peters then spoke about Law and Order. He aimed to bring in 1000 extra policemen per year from the next five years and demerge Traffic from the Police. Surprisingly he didn't have anything to say about tougher sentences for criminals that I have noted down.

The next topic was Immigration. Peters didn't have anything tangible to say on this topic and the most memorable bit was a conversation in which Peters asked "why don't you give me the power to do something about it?". The hairs at the back of my neck only heard the first seven words and immediately stood up. He had nothing to say about immigrant taxi-drivers, which was unusual.

Peters then spelled out what he would do about the Bro-rocracy. He would abolish the Treaty of Waitangi Commission and replace it with a real Commission of Inquiry. Long-time Peters observers would know that Peters always demands a Commission of Inquiry for anything - apparently he has never heard of a Royal Commission or a proper Judicial Court as possible replacements for the Waitangi Commission.

He then attacked the proposed Free-trade agreement with China. No surprises there. Next he declared that we were paying too much for our petrol and power. That may be so but how does Winston propose to bring our petrol and power prices down? He does not say.

Winston then laid out his five points on which he will fight the election.
1. Seniors
2. Immigration
3. Law and Order
4. Treaty
5. Economy
I would have mentioned the five points at the beginning of the address, not at the end.

Finally Peters addressed the issue of who he would support at the next election. It's whatever party would go furthest in supporting his policies. In other words - wait until after the election to find out.