By Winston Peters
Twenty years ago, at Alexandra Park in Auckland, the New Zealand First Party was launched.
The party was formed by former members of the then National and Labour parties, after Winston Peters had left National for reneging on its 1990 General Election pledge to end the disastrous social and economic policies of the 1984-90 Labour Government.
Two months earlier on April 17th 1993 Mr Peters having resigned from Parliament fought and won a by-election in the Tauranga Electorate having resigned from Parliament seven weeks earlier.
The new party aimed to arrest New Zealand’s social and economic decline and to restore its status as a land of fairness, egalitarianism and opportunity. The most vulnerable in society - the young and old - needed protection from the new dogma, back then described by Winston Peters as ‘The Erebus Economy’.
The twentieth anniversary is being marked by our renewed pledge to restore New Zealand’s reputation as a fair and prosperous nation.
Some of the naysayers are asking what it is exactly that New Zealand First has achieved in twenty years. Well, take a look at the list below – we think we’ve done much – with more to do!
Among the achievements of New Zealand First are:
• Defence of an economic prescription for responsible capitalism
• Opposition to State Assets Sales
• Advocacy of one law for all New Zealanders
• A sane voice for controlled, focused immigration
• Free medical care for under sixes
• Abolition of the unfair Superannuation surcharge under which pensioners were heavily taxed on their savings
• Pay parity for primary school teachers
• Removing Superannuation cuts and raising Super to 66 per cent of the net average wage
• 1,000 extra frontline police
• Championing teenage mothers getting second chance education
• Increased funding for residential care of the elderly
• SuperGold Card with transport concessions and retail discounts
• Revived Maori wardens organisation to help ease social and behavioural problems
• Funding and empowering the Maori Women's Welfare League to address social and family problems
• And much more
In the past twenty years, New Zealand First has formed governments with both National and Labour, and has had 33 MPs.
New Zealand First has constantly held Governments to account and provided strong opposition to unacceptable policies.
The main focus of the party now is to correct New Zealand’s failed economy which has resulted in so much of New Zealand’s growth and GDP ending up in the hands of so few, and appalling levels of poverty and unfairness in economic and social policies.
Winston Peters is leader of NZ First
source: data archive