New Zealand First leader Winston Peters speaks at a
GreyPower national conference in Invercargill yesterday.
Photo by Southland express.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was speaking to a
friendly audience in Invercargill yesterday.
His lively speech to about 120 GreyPower conference delegates
appeared designed to tick all the boxes with older,
He told them what they wanted to hear and was rewarded with
loud applause and calls of ''hear, hear''.
He called for more Parliamentary co-operation over ''issues
affecting the common welfare'' such as the banning of
synthetic cannabis products.
He bagged Justice Minister Judith Collins for what he said
was ''using her position as a cabinet minister to help her
husband's milk-exporting company Oravida'', and called on
Prime Minister John Key to sack her but said he doubted that
He slated the National Party's choice of candidate in
Clutha-Southland, Todd Barclay, calling him a ''wet behind
the ears 24-year-old''.
He criticised the policy of allowing immigrants - singling
out those from China - to bring their ageing parents into the
country and warned his audience New Zealand was becoming
''the retirement home for elderly from countries which have
no pensions, health or aged care systems''.
With Australia lifting its pension eligibility to 70, he
predicted a flood of expat 65 to 70-year-olds returning
because they would receive a full benefit, even though they
had not contributed to New Zealand's economy for years.
NZ First would address that by paying superannuation based on
the number of years people had spent in New Zealand.
''This is only fair to taxpayers and New Zealand retirees who
who have been here most of their lives.''
He vowed to try to reduce the number of refugees being given
permission to immigrate.
He promised to broaden benefits available through SuperGold
cards, including three free doctor's visits annually,
promised to keep the age of eligibility for superannuation at
65, and said he would promote a 10% discount on power bills
for SuperGold card holders.
He criticised the Overseas Investment Office for approving
the sale of a $13 million Gore farm to a company based in
Luxembourg, a country he said was known for laundering money
for dubious enterprises.
The election plug came at the end, when he urged delegates
not to forget the party which had looked after ''children and
- by Allison Beckham