Having fired a warning shot across the bows of
Conservative Leader Colin Craig this morning, NZ First Leader
Winston Peters is promising to announce "game changing"
policies to tackle social inequality and harmful foreign
investment in his speech to party faithful tomorrow.
About 150 NZ First members gathered for their pre-election
annual conference today at Auckland's Alexandra Park
racecourse where the party was launched 21 years ago this
As party members took their seats, Mr Peters took the
opportunity to strike out at Mr Craig who he has accused of
plagiarising NZ First's manifesto. Mr Peters said he would
consider running against Mr Craig in East Coast Bays if
National's Murray McCully stood aside.
"The fact is the machinations and the scheming and plotting
of some parties may well come totally undone if they carry
on, but we'll make that decision in future date not too long
This morning's conference saw a speech from the Salvation
Army's Major Campbell Roberts who spoke about the worsening
conditions for many children in this country.
New Zealand had escaped the "economic carnage" seen in other
countries following the global financial crisis, and
maintained the social contract around protection of public
health and education.
"That contract however, appears to be frayed around the
edges" and in need of review.
"The daily reality of the Salvation Army is that we are
seeing in this country a social deficit that is growing,
kiwis who are struggling to provide the basic necessities for
themselves and their families."
Mr Peters said Major Roberts' speech was important because NZ
First was "seriously concerned at the concertina-ing of
wealth in fewer and fewer hands" and the "social catastrophe"
which meant "the character and nature of this country which
made us a world leader is being slowly lost".
"We don't intend to let this go on any longer and we need a
game changer and circuit breaker and we believe in this
conference we'll deliver it tomorrow in some of our economic
and social policies."
Mr Peters said tomorrow's speech would also include tax
measures aimed at foreign capital.
"Offshore money is either to build exports, new employment,
new creativity, or it can be a corporate raid. That's what
the National Party doesn't understand, that's what the right
wing have never understood but NZ First does.
"So we're going to encourage wise investment that's in our
economic and social interests not this wholesale sell out and
sell off in NZ."
- Adam Bennett of The New Zealand Herald