I’ve posted John Key’s and Andrew Little’s opening speeches in Parliament separately:
Here are the rest of the party leaders’ speeches with opening and closing lines from the draft transcript:
James Shaw (Greens)
JAMES SHAW (Co-Leader—Green): I would like to agree on behalf of the Green Party to the amendment placed by the Leader of the Opposition , Mr Andrew Little . The Prime Minister’s statement was notable only for its lack of notability. At least Auckland ratepayers do not have to fork out $4,500 to listen to that one! Today I would like to talk about leadership, and I would like to start by talking about a subject that many National MPs are going to become very familiar with next year. I would like to talk about retirement.
I think that that is the mistake that this Government has made. It is lost in a desert of the real. It is leading us in circles and telling us how far we have come. When I do retire and I look back on my time here, serving as a Green MP, I know that we will not have achieved everything that I want us to achieve because politics is hard and change is hard. But I do want to be able to say that we tried—that we took on and confronted the greatest challenges of our time and we tried to solve them; that we were brave enough to lead and not just follow the focus groups—because it is better to try and, if we fail, to learn from our mistakes and to try again than to do nothing. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Winston Peters (NZ First)
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): It is always wonderful to have applause before you start your speech. This is the Prime Minister’s statement put out today and it reads nothing like the pathetic speech that he made as the Prime Minister—very embarrassing in the extreme. In this document he says this, that the Government is “taking the public with us by clearly outlining our actions and policy priorities.” Is there any New Zealander, including the backbench of the National Party, who remotely thinks that that is true? There is not a Marama murmur, no confirmation at all, because they know it is false, demonstrably false. Look, he is taking us down the road to low wages against leading economies.
Oh, what about Treaty settlements? I tell you what we will do for the Māori people—I tell you what we will do for the Māori people—we will stay with housing, with health, with education, and First World wages, and we will leave Treaty settlements to the Māori Party and those academics who are having a most rich, wealthy, affluent life on the back of their own people’s numbers, and who have forgotten about their people. Go to Moerewa and ask any Māori up there: “What have you got out of the Treaty?” Go down to Ngāti Porou and ask the average Māori: “What have you got out of the Treaty?” And so here we are in a most un-Māori way seeing Māori members of Parliament screaming out when they hear common sense. It will not save them. Our message, as we close with this speech today, and as it was in the Northland by-election, and as it will be as soon as the flag option choice goes down in March, is for the New Zealand people to hang on a little bit longer. Do not give up, because help is on its way.
Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party)
Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL (Co-Leader—Māori Party): Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Kia ora tātou katoa e te Whare. The last speaker talked about something like: “Help is on its way.” The Māori Party says: “Do not wait! Help is here. Right now! Help is here right now. The Māori Party is in the House.” Just yesterday many of us enjoyed some time to commemorate and think about Waitangi Day and the change to the legislation allowing for public holidays—awesome. In fact, those workers at the AFFCO meatworks in Rangiuru managed to get over the line to have a holiday despite having to challenge legally that issue, so I want to give a big ups to them for taking that take on. Waitangi is a day when you see the good, not-so-good, the confused, the theatrical. Everybody gets a chance to express their views. I suppose get an understanding of our country’s founding document, our history, and the challenges that face us. The conversations about te Tiriti o Waitangi means to us an ongoing dialogue.
I want to close by simply saying that as we commemorate that Treaty partnership, it is timely to remind my ministerial colleagues that I am but one cog in the machinery of the State. As part of the broader response of fulfilling our Treaty obligations, I will be encouraging my ministerial colleagues to embrace Māori development and Māori approaches as a core object of their portfolios. I am looking forward to the great amount of work that we are going to carry out this year, and to the outcomes that may come to Māori communities. Transformative gains require alignment of policy and services with Māori needs and aspirations. We are definitely heading in that direction. It is going to be a great year and I am looking forward to the work.
Peter Dunne (UnitedFuture)
Hon PETER DUNNE (Leader—United Future): I want to begin by paying a tribute to the late Rt Hon Bob Tizard, who died just a few weeks ago. I am one of the very few members in the House today who had the privilege of being here when he was a member. I see the Hon Annette King, and I acknowledge her. And I am sure she will agree with me that Bob gave the appearance of being permanently irascible. As someone once said, he was the most balanced man in the House; he had chips on both shoulders. But that actually belied a considerable intellect, terrific ability, and a form of warmth that meant that he did have a very strong sense of compassion for the underdog. I think he was a parliamentarian of an era that we no longer have, and I think it is important to pay tribute to people like that—to span in Parliament from Walter Nash through to Mike Moore as Prime Minister. As a parliamentary candidate, he first stood in the 1951 waterfront election, so I pay my tribute to him and express my sympathy to his family on their sad loss, and my appreciation, for one, at his tremendous contribution to our country. The debate on the Prime Minister’s statement is a chance to talk about the direction that the country is heading in over the coming 12 months, and it is very difficult to do that without reflecting upon the immediate past, the last few days—the events at Waitangi. The debate on the Prime Minister’s statement is a chance to talk about the direction that the country is heading in over the coming 12 months, and it is very difficult to do that without reflecting upon the immediate past, the last few days—the events at Waitangi. I want to say this: I believe that commemorating the events that happened on 6 February 1840 is extremely important and is foundational to understanding this country’s past and contributing to its future, but I am also minded of the words that Norman Kirk uttered at a time when the Waitangi commemoration first became a national holiday, in 1973. He said: “This is a day for all New Zealanders, not just the people of Northland, to celebrate the unique gifts we possess by virtue of the fact that we are New Zealanders.”
I simply conclude by welcoming all members back to the House. I welcome Maureen Pugh to the House, and I am sure we will all have many robust debates over the next 12 months.
David Seymour (ACT Party)
DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader—ACT): It is great to be back, and in the spirit of the beginning of the year, I would like to begin with some agreement. I agree with Andrew Little that the National Party is, by and large, managing the policies that Labour put in place, but I want to agree with the Prime Minister that the National Party is managing those policies so much better. Such is the history of these two parties over the time that they have governed our country. I want to pay tribute to the outgoing member, Tim Groser, and the fantastic job that he has done with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is extraordinary that a small economy of $240 billion at the bottom of the world has managed, over the period of a decade, to draw in 11 other economies with a collective GDP of $27 trillion and create a free-trade zone and an agreement that will have inestimable benefits for New Zealanders and New Zealand exporters. I say “inestimable” because the argument for free trade is often very much like the argument for freedom generally. The reason that we want freedom is that we do not know exactly how people will use it, and how big the advantages of having freedom, including freedom to trade, will be.
This will be an important year for New Zealand. They all are, but this is an important one. In this year this Government, the John Key Government, will focus on building the opportunities for New Zealand, growing the skills, growing the innovation, building our infrastructure, improving our natural resources allocation, attracting investment in this country, and, most important , providing export access to our farmers and to our businesses to be able to sell overseas. That is crucially important, so for any naysayer on the other side who has a speech-writer trying to write up stories about this Government having a vision, I say: look in the mirror, it is you who are playing politics and have no vision for this country. Thank you.