Adjournment speech – David Seymour

DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader—ACT): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Not in living memory has our country entered an election against such a backdrop of global uncertainty. The medical, economic, and geopolitical impacts of COVID-19 remain unpredictable, but we know that these impacts are on New Zealanders’ businesses, on their household finances, on their jobs, and on their mental health.

We politicians enter this election campaign with a job to do. The world is changing all around us, and our small island nation must find its place anew in that ever changing world.

At the same time, people’s faith in our politics in this Parliament is at an all-time low ebb, and it’s not just the most recent, highly publicised ructions that have led to that low ebb; it is a long period over the past three years of poor quality delivery and poor quality lawmaking. We all know the examples: KiwiBuild, light rail, child poverty, the gun buyback, the oil and gas exploration ban, the Provincial Growth Fund. It’s been one disaster after another.

I think it’s fair to say that we have a disaster Government led by a disaster Prime Minister, because, if it wasn’t for the disasters, what we would have is a long series of let downs, where everything the parties over there promised in 2017 has been a failure.

Let me say that that’s not a personal critique; I happen to like our Prime Minister as a person, and I admire what she’s done holding people together at critical times of disaster. That’s not the problem. The problem is that the world is changing, and a different style of leadership is required. We require problem solving.

We require an open debate about what exactly New Zealand’s public health strategy is, because, at the moment, the Government would have it that we can either remain physically isolated from the world and borrow to paper over the cracks or we can open it up and people will die. In other words, they want us to be either dead broke or dead. I believe that this country deserves an open debate, not a state of fear; asking what we can do, not what we can’t; going country by country when it comes to the border; working together with, not against, the private sector; and embracing technology to augment our public health response.

Those are the principles of a smart public health response, and when we’ve done that, we can start being honest about the debt, because my army of 14-year-old Instagram followers have been sending me messages saying, “David, who is the Government borrowing all this money off and who has to pay it back?” You know, if 14-year-olds can figure out that the Government borrowing $140 billion is a problem, and it is for them, maybe we in this Parliament need to start being honest about this country’s fiscal track.

If we can do those things, we can seize the opportunity of a lifetime: an island nation on a pandemic planet that actually, for once, is the place that skills and capital want to go to—if only we’re prepared to seize the opportunity and stop being so hostile to foreign investment and wealth-creating activity in this country.

That is what New Zealanders need out of this election debate, and that is what the ACT Party brings: a consistent, constructive critique and contribution to the challenges that our country faces at this time, about the challenge of a country finding its place in a world that is changing around it. That’s what New Zealanders need out of this election debate. That’s what the ACT Party will be bringing, and I look forward to a group of independent-minded, thoughtful ACT MPs sitting across here, on the cross-benches, supporting a Government far more competent than the one that we have now.

That is why you give your party vote to ACT. That is a positive future for New Zealand. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Leave a comment

36 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  7th August 2020

    A great right thinking politician who will successfully lead our third largest party next term.
    Giving National a spine will be a bonus.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  7th August 2020

    A vote for ACT is a vote for the greedy and meanspirited.

    They also love…guns.

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  7th August 2020

      and a surge in immigration …followed by consumption-led growth to ‘paper the cracks’

      Be afraid, be very afraid

      Reply
      • If being meanspirited was an ACT requirement, Blazer would be a member.

        No one in ACT sniggers at young parents whose baby is stuck in another country because of closed borders or thinks that people with Swiss bank accounts should be stripped of their citizenship.

        Reply
      • oldlaker

         /  7th August 2020

        Conspirator… at least Seymour makes it clear he is in favour of immigration. Ardern promised to cut the net intake by 20,000-30,000 but, in fact, allowed the numbers of temporary, work and student visas to balloon.
        Peters promised to cut the net numbers to 10,000.

        Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  7th August 2020

          Old laker, you make a fair point. All politicians lie through their teeth. But at least with seymore hes candid about an open border based on nothing more than wealth or skill. If you’re silly enough to vote him into power dont complain in 5 years if you no longer recognize the country you grew up in

          Btw did Winston seriously promise a reduction to 10k?

          Reply
          • David SEYMOUR is not now and never had been in favour of an open border.

            Nor is he a liar. He has often had flak for being too open and honest.

            John Key wants border restrictions EASED, not removed for immigrants who could help rebuild the economy. He stressed that he was NOT advocating open borders, but some people persist in thinking or repeating (knowing that it’s a lie) that he was wanting this.

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  7th August 2020

          Why is anyone in favour of high immigration numbers?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  7th August 2020

            Because it is a human freedom.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th August 2020

              “Give me your tired, your poor,
              Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
              The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
              Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
              I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

              Worked out all right for them?

            • Blazer

               /  7th August 2020

              I guess so..Mexican cleaners,and low paid workers doing the menial jobs the locals didn’t want to do for low wages…hey that sounds just like……?

              enjoy…
              ….https://youtu.be/Y1yQ2f1KtKc

            • Conspiratoor

               /  7th August 2020

              I doubt whether your average swede shares your utopian view al

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th August 2020

              I know there are other considerations, but the case for it is as stated. Tampering with freedom is a risky business.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  7th August 2020

              A noble sentiment al. The feedom of which you speak is a foreign concept to half the worlds population forced to live in totalitarian shitholes. No freedom to ‘tamper with there ergo no risk

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th August 2020

              Tampering already done, result: authoritarian shithole.

            • Blazer

               /  7th August 2020

              this ‘freedom’ you desire is but a fantasy.

              You are living in the best country in the world…and don’t appreciate it..that’s the..tragedy…

              Its not a shithole…you should be ashamed of yourself..how can your life..be that bad!

            • Conspiratoor

               /  7th August 2020

              Perhaps, but given time I don’t see any obstacles to nz going down the same slippery slope much of Europe is now on. The political climate is ripe for it

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th August 2020

              The authoritarian shithole is the endgame position, B. We are merely travelling in that direction behind many others.

            • Blazer

               /  7th August 2020

              And I thought I was the cynic,the pessimist….hopeless! ;)..

            • Conspiratoor

               /  7th August 2020

              Entropy. An inviolable law of the universe. The only real endgame is a state of maximum randomness

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th August 2020

              Lots of bad things can happen before that, C.

            • Fight4nz

               /  7th August 2020

              So now immigration is a human freedom? Things are working out well in the USA?
              What are you smoking?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th August 2020

              Of course it is. Freedom.of movement is one of the most basic. We restrict it at our peril. You wouldn’t be here without it.

            • Fight4nz

               /  8th August 2020

              I am here because my predecessors movement was a freedom?
              Not from the point of view of the indigenous.
              Again your misapplication of the word merely reflects self-centred desire.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th August 2020

              That’s ridiculous nonsense. We are all descended from immigrants and their freedom to come here permitted that. The complaints of descendants of previous immigrants merely show how necessary that freedom is.

  3. Sunny

     /  7th August 2020

    Professional, ethical, consistent, and intelligent discussion about the things that matter. Powerful speech.

    Reply
    • Sorry, but I can’t see why your comments go into moderation. Must be a WordPress thing based on name or email.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  7th August 2020

      “because my army of 14-year-old Instagram followers have been sending me messages saying, “David, who is the Government borrowing all this money off and who has to pay it back?”
      Is that the level he works at …14 yr olds, they should be making the most of their golden times without responsibilities rather than worrying about politics

      How come he never mentioned ‘debt’ while National was racking it up, not just 50% but 4x more gross debt than when they were elected. The Debt markets werent worried because the nett debt is lower because of things like Cullen fund worth $40 bill now , with less than $10 bill invested.
      In reality he could only be in government with National who would make sure he spends his time then with a sock in mouth unless hes criticising Winston Peters.
      Once there is a ‘party of 5 Mps’ we will find out how great a politician he is, hes mediocre and it will show.
      BTW I think party of 5 should be the minimum level for a party to be in parliament , not a fixed 5% level. So winning electorate gets an MP, but no extras until you make the ‘five’ which is just under 4% ( of the eligible vote excluding those parties that dont make it)

      Reply
      • No, he’s saying that even a child of 14 can see the potential disaster in a debt like that, and know that they are the ones who’ll be landed with it.

        Who did lend it ? We are in dire straits if they call it in.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  7th August 2020

          Its a loan for a fixed period , some might be 5 yrs, others 15yrs etc.
          Not like business or house loan. I understand if you change your mind on a say 15yr loan its ‘onsold’ to people who want it , maybe at a discount.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  7th August 2020

            The main reason why Switzerland and Denmark had? negative interest rates was the popularity of the Government bonds was so great it would push up the currency, which they didnt want. Thats was the ‘official’ rate borrowers inside the country would still be in the positive territory

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  7th August 2020

          What dire straits’ would they be then?

          Reply
  4. Fight4nz

     /  7th August 2020

    He and his supporters very self-assured based on 3 unearned terms. Basically a welfare beneficiary of the previous government. If he believed his own fantasy, he wouldn’t have accepted the hand out.

    Reply
    • Rubbish. He earns his money, as you would know if you knew him. The hours he puts in are far more than any ordinary worker does. Yes, there are a few lazy MPs (Pam Corkery is an obvious example, as was Deborah Coddington) but they tend to be one term wonders.

      Reply

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