NZ First campaign launch back to the past

Winston Peters was cheered and adored as he always is at the NZ First congress campaign launch yesterday, but the campaign slogan ‘Back the Future’  may be more appropriately called ‘back to the past’.

Not only has Peters relaunched old NZ First policy on immigration, pledging to clamp down on numbers like they did last election, it will be noticed that Peters didn’t do much about it during this term, with immigration levels not changing a lot until they were stopped altogether by the Covid pandemic.

This time Peters says a ‘bottom line’ is for a NZ First MP to be Minister of Immigration.

RNZ: NZ First’s campaign promises old and rehashed policies

New Zealand First is sticking to the tried and true as it fights for its survival at this year’s election.

The new campaign slogan is ‘Back Your Future’, which screamed more ‘Back to the Future’ when party leader Winston Peters took to the stage to the same theme songs and announced the same policies from years gone by.

More than 250 members and those interested in catching a glimpse of Peters in full campaign mode packed into the Highbrook Convention Centre in Auckland yesterday afternoon.

But there was nothing new about what Peters was promising – even his suit was from his younger days, after weight loss following recent surgery.

Immigration and frontline police were his two big policy announcements – one is a rehash from the last election and the other has been promised and delivered on twice before.

The immigration reset is that no more than 15,000 people come into New Zealand each year – and that they’re all highly-skilled workers.

Peters said one of his MPs must be immigration minister for that to happen.

It’s a bottom line.

Peters does bottom lines like they’re going out of fashion during election campaigns, but the bottom falls out of them once elected.

“Because we were bringing (immigration) down – but not nearly fast enough – because we weren’t in charge. That’s why we want the immigration portfolio.”

Peters said the definition of highly-skilled will change, but he’s light on detail.

“We plan to create a much smarter one… one that doesn’t have the OECD saying that your policies are a failure, (and) you’re bringing in low-skilled workers.”

He warned increasing unemployment as a result of Covid-19 and the economic slump will bring higher crime rates, and so Peters also promised another 1000 frontline police officers in three years, if re-elected.

That’s one pledge from the last campaign that was actually done. I’m not sure why he sees the need for another big boost.

Senior MP Tracey Martin also announced a universal family benefit.

It would mean all families in New Zealand, with children under 16, would be provided a weekly allowance, no matter their income.

That policy is a return to the old too.

”Well the counter of that is you have to be patient and wait for the rest of the campaign,” Peters said.

”I didn’t come here to announce the whole policy in one day. Be patient and you’ll hear some explosive new ideas.”

On Q&A he was asked why there were no policies on the NZ First website. Peters said that he knew what they were and they would be announced.  It does say on the website:

At the core of New Zealand First’s policies are our “Fifteen Fundamental Principles”, which emphasise accountable and transparent government, common-sense social and economic policy, and the placing of the interests of New Zealand, and New Zealanders, at the forefront of Government decision-making.

But even they don’t seem to be available on their website.

The full Q+A interview here: Winston Peters denies Ihumātao deal in fiery exchange on Q+A

Mr Peters appeared on Q+A this morning in a heated interview with host Jack Tame, where he was asked about Ihumātao, a trans-Tasman bubble, coalition partners, cameras on fishing boats, his party’s policies, and stimulating the economy.

Mr Peters listed previous policies and accomplishments, such as the reinvigoration of KiwiRail and the billion trees promise, as well as the stopping of light rail to Auckland Airport.

NZ First also wants to remove an MP’s personal vote on conscience issues and replace it with a binding referendum.

“We are the only green party, in reality, in this Parliament because we put flesh around our dreams not just talk. That’s what we’ve done,” he said.

Yeah, right.

It was classic combative Peters but looking same old and backwards, with trademark indignation when asked things he didn’t want to answer.

It was similar on an interview on RNZ this morning, more Peters battling against the media and the world.

More from 1 News:  Winston Peters outlines NZ First achievements opposing ‘woke pixie dust’ in Government, announces election promises

“We have opposed woke pixie dust,” he said of his party holding its Coalition partners to account.

“Whilst the rest have been politically correct, we’ve set out to correct politics.”

Voters will judge that in a couple of months.

So far it’s just back to the past from Peters, and he hasn’t yet come up with anything that stands NZ First out from past campaigns.

What NZ First may have to rely on to survive is for Peters to jump on a campaign issue and hope the media gives him some saturation  coverage, as has happened in past campaigns.  But for NZ First supporters it could be like hoping for a lotto win.

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32 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  20th July 2020

    Yep. This policy launch was just a reheat of previous years. It’s long been clear that Peters plays to suckers. But after 30 years in politics some people still can’t see through him.

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  20th July 2020

      Artcroft , agree but did you note the pathetic numbers who bothered to turn up.
      Less than 50% that PAID $50 to attend the ACT election launch !
      Where they beat ACT hands down was the variety of hats worn by the 3 male MP’s ( soon to be unemployed) inside the small venue.
      Totally idiotic, as are their policies, which they will never have the opportunity to enact.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th July 2020

        How is the amount people paid to attend a political rally….important?

        Reply
        • John J Harrison

           /  20th July 2020

          Blazer, when NZ First attracting less than 200 when there was no charge compared to 600 turning up where they had to pay $50 to ACT it clearly demonstrates the total lack of enthusiasm for the charlatan.
          Thank god we will see the last of him and his hapless bunch on 20/09.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  20th July 2020

            600 did not pay $50 .
            ‘The Party’s former leaders, Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Don Brash, John Banks and its biggest donors, including Dame Jenny Gibbs, sat in the VIP seats.’

            Look at that rogues gallery and you can see why ACT has no mainstream support.

            A party of the greedy and selfish who want to privatise public assets and buy them on the cheap as they did in the 80’s, thanks to Douglas/Prebble, 2 turncoats who have never had an original idea in their lives.

            Reply
            • John J Harrison

               /  20th July 2020

              Blazer, correct, the ones you mentioned paid $10’s thousands .
              The cheap seats paid $50 to attend.
              How much do Labour, Greens and NZ First charge for attending their campaign launch’s – or do they pay people to attend to make up numbers ?

            • Waste of time, John, Blazer will never accept that anyone who is successful is it because of merit and not graft, or that these people are very generous philanthropists.The Gibbs are extremely generous, but don’t make a great parade of it. And they are both very nice, unsnobbish people as you will probably know !

  2. John J Harrison

     /  20th July 2020

    How could anyone in their right mind believe any thing Peters says or his so – called “ bottom lines.”?
    Last election his most popular “ bottom line” was to abolish the racist Maori seats.
    A large number of conservative voters gave him their party vote, as they trusted him and his public promises.
    More fool them and more fool anyone who believes him now.
    It took him 30 seconds once he had the baubles of office bequeathed by Labour for him to abandon both his promises and his loyal supporters.
    Whether it was immigration, Maori seats or whatever they were all discarded once he had the baubles he always coverts.
    Now he is raging about the inept Greens and Labour while forgetting that it was he who selected them to enact the policies he now publicly flays.

    Reply
    • Alan Foster

       /  20th July 2020

      National for the 2008 election promised to abolish the Maori seats but then formed a Govt with the Maori Party. Repealed the Foreshore & Seabed Act leading to claims on all the coast line. I voted for National in 2008

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  20th July 2020

      How many of Acts promises did they get after the 2008 election….a bit later charter schools turned up but that wasn’t even a pre election policy

      Reply
  3. duperez

     /  20th July 2020

    I feel your pain. Peters gets a lot of emotions going. And his probably get going too. Like before an election when his personal information gets out.
    Large numbers of conservative voters always give votes trusting public promises. That doesn’t stop GST going up.

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  20th July 2020

    I watched the Q+A interview just to see what happened. It was a parody. Utterly farcical. I learnt nothing except that Peters enjoyed himself immensely & that Jack Tame might as well not have bothered to do it.

    Everybody’s learnt never to write Peters off, even me, but I still can’t figure out any coherent policy or principles that Peters & that party of his could ever be held to & can’t see how they’ll gain enuf votes this time round to win any seats.

    While NZF has stopped some of the woolier Labour or Green policies from proceeding this time round, there’s never any way of predicting which ones they’ll stop & which ones they’ll support. They always seem to end up ignoring & annoying voter segments they target once in coalition.

    Their constituency must surely be shrinking away to nothing by now.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  20th July 2020

      Was the surgery for an ulcer? . He should ask for his money back!

      Reply
    • Jay3

       /  20th July 2020

      It certainly wasn’t a good day at the office for Jack Tame on Q+A Saturday. His attempt at a gotcha interview over infrastructure costs with Collins ended up with him becoming overwrought and finally shouting at his interviewee while she remained steadfastly calm throughout. There wasn’t much journalistic integrity on display there. Then, he gets comprehensively schooled by wily old Peters. Even Fran O’Sullivan felt obliged to point out the idiocy of his attack on Collins in the following commentary.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  20th July 2020

        Tame hasn’t enough brains to do political interviews. I’ve never seen him say anything worth listening to.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  20th July 2020

        You mean the absurdity of spending more and reducing debt , and Collins couldn’t explain the details …as of course she was just reading Muller’s announcement ,

        Reply
  5. David

     /  20th July 2020

    He has stopped Labour implementing some truly horrid legislation and in one way I am damn pleased but on the other if they had implemented the crazies then Judith would be polling at 51% and Ardern would be looking forward to spending more time at home with her family after September.
    Wonder if there would be a carve out for the fishing industry from tough immigration rules.

    Reply
  6. Corky

     /  20th July 2020

    Winston’s NZ1 congress speech and attached rhetoric had all the charisma of 3 day old beer.
    He’s far from his best.

    That said, I think immigration needs a serious look at. Did the government ever catch those 22 Tongans who went on the run? Why do productive immigrants who have started businesses and contributed to their community get the heave-oh for the slightest transgression or because of petty immigration laws, while a serial wife bashers from the Islands gets a free pass? Pregnant women seem to be immune from deportation. And on it goes.

    We LITERALLY have immigrant brain surgeons and other top shelf professionals driving taxis. Do we need more? To be fair many NZ professionals protect their patch and make it very hard for overseas professionals to pass NZ qualifications. Now is a great time for a reset provided there is flexibility around seasonal work. The government has already taken steps in that direction.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  20th July 2020

      Do we REALLY still have immigrant brain surgeons driving taxis? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any cases of that nature regularly popping up in the media. There might perhaps still be the odd case where, say, a highly qualified refugee is admitted & they are unable to get their qualifications recognised by the relevant professional body here in NZ until they’ve completed further study here.

      Otherwise I thought that problem had been pretty much fixed by ensuring that no one got approved as a skilled permanent migrant until they had gained NZ registration in their professional field?

      And that the problem had arisen in the first place because Immigration assumed no professional immigrant would be silly enuf to immigrate without ensuring they could practice their profession here on arrival, but plenty of would-be migrants assumed the lack of a “recognition of qualifications” prerequisite meant it would probably be quite easy to get it after arrival.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  20th July 2020

        ‘Do we REALLY still have immigrant brain surgeons driving taxis? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any cases of that nature regularly popping up in the media.”

        If talkback is to be believed, yes. My own personal experience is of a Russian gynecologist with published papers working as a phlebotomist at our local hospital.

        ”Otherwise I thought that problem had been pretty much fixed by ensuring that no one got approved as a skilled permanent migrant until they had gained NZ registration in their professional field.”

        I don’t know. That would seem the logical approach. The above case I mentioned had me wondering why this doctor was in that situation. I wanted to ask her, but she was very surly and had already screamed at me when I accidentally drove a wheelchair in her shin.

        Reply
      • Talkback will say anything.

        There are not that number of brain surgeons anywhere, and the idea that NZ has so many driving taxis doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. There was one in Wellington who made this claim, but according to him he had left in such a hurry that he forgot to take his papers with him. Brain surgeons driving taxis is almost certainly an urban myth.

        I find it odd that a gynaecologist would be working as a phlebotomist; did she have her certificates hung up ? There are not so many gynaecologists that it seems likely that one would have to retrain as a phlebotomist.

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th July 2020

    Winston, the old fraud, still working his pitch to the ever gullible. He will stop Labour and the Greens screwing you too badly – but only if you are silly enough to let him put them in power.

    More cheek than a Nigerian scammer.

    Reply
  8. I wonder if this is why Peters was so tetchy over the weekend.

    Peters had a right to feel aggrieved over the leak, but he failed to prove who was responsible, a basic of legal action.

    There should be consequences for making accusations against MPs and public servants without having proof against those you take to court. But this is a lot of money, and the total $1m bill that the Crown had to fork out is crazy.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th July 2020

      Can’t imagine this makes him more inclined towards Judith as a coalition partner.

      A vote for NZF is certainly a vote for Labour.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  20th July 2020

      That’s strange. I was told by some on this blog Paula Bennett and National were to blame.
      Socialists…you can’t believe a word they say.🤔

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th July 2020

        ‘”In accepting this donation, David Seymour is saying that he is happy to accept the backing of violent white supremacists. Mike Allen has said he will ‘destroy mosque after mosque’. He has also said that he is a financial ACT party member.’

        ACT will accept anyone as a member….obviously!

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th July 2020

          Why not test that by applying, B?

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  20th July 2020

            He wouldn’t make it past the first test… a trouser pocket stapled to the wall. The pocket has $100 notes partially sticking out. A chair is placed three feet away. The test is resisting the urge to put your hand into the trouser pocket and live off other peoples money. At the three minute mark, Blazer would be done.

            Reply
    • duperez

       /  20th July 2020

      Under the ‘No Surprises Policy’ information about any MP could be passed on up the chain from an office minion to Ministers in Cabinet. For protection of staff could it be said that information should be brought to attention? How about figures with the IRD for companies involving MPs?

      ” … matters of significance within their portfolio responsibilities, particularly where these matters may be controversial or may become the subject of public debate.”

      In 2020 any matter involving any MP may be controversial or become the subject of public debate.

      https://ssc.govt.nz/resources/no-surprises-policy-statement-state-services-commissioner-peter-hughes/

      Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  20th July 2020

      Ha Ha Ha, wonder if he, or a “ donor will pay the taxpayers.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  20th July 2020

        The taxpayers have paid for Tolley, Bennett and the senior public servants…..
        Yet the judge found Peters privacy was breached as a result of the ‘loose lips’
        Peters usually gets his revenge on appeal…he trounced that former Chief Justice who appeal court judges said didn’t correctly understand tax law
        Same here, on appeal I’m sure the judges will kick that nonsense of no surprises for touch…it’s has no legal foundation at all

        Reply

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