MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand First – Press Release/Statement
Headline: Mahesh Bindra – Maiden Speech
E te whare, tena tatou katoa.
E te Kaiwhaka wa, tena koe
Nga mema o tena o tena ropu
Tena koutou katoa
Thank you MR Speaker…Mr Prime Minister…and to my fellow MPs… and to all those observers in the public galleries and on social media.
Today I stand here as a new MP humbled by the occasion, proud for my family and thankful to those who believed in me. Firstly, the Right Honourable Winston Peters and our Party and to all those who supported us and voted for us here.
The journey has been a long time coming in that I have left my native India some 12 years ago looking for a better life for my family. I chose of all countries in the world to settle here in this beautiful land full of opportunities and surrounded by a rich multicultural diversity of peoples.
In my previous employment you might say that I had a captive audience…somewhat like I do today.
Yet we all sought to be here rather than be put here.
It was our choice to run for office and when looking for the right party to represent.
I found that the New Zealand First Party had similar ideas as myself…similar ideals that most forward-thinking, industrious, hardworking, fair minded and supportive peoples have in the wonderland we call Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud).
I believe in fair play, hard work and a just reward for all that seek to better their life.
I also believe that we as a people of many races and ethnicities have come to this place, in this time, to improve the lot of our families, new friends, new neighbours and all New Zealanders.
It is with a hard work ethic and a desire to see a better nation where all people can live without fear or hatred and never having to life with bombs falling on their heads or living in poverty, never seeing leaders take and not share, never having to hear of politicians taking backhanders nor creating an unfair society, never worrying if the water we drink, or swim in, or fish from, is polluted.
Never having to worry if when we may fall into harm’s way, or that we will not have a helping hand to pick us up or to offer support. Never worrying if we or our loved ones when sick or infirmed cannot get medical or hospital care.
And so the list goes on… a list of blessings fought for and protected by those who have sat in these seats before us and ensured that we need not worry so.
I want to see a country where we all can afford a home or pay the rent, where we all can achieve higher education, be it university or by way of an apprenticeship.
A place where equality and fairness is more important than separatism.
A place where you may speak your mind and not have troops knocking on your door in the middle of the night demanding that you speak the party line of a dictatorship or worse
I stand here today vowing to every New Zealander and everyone who calls the place home that I will stand up and fight to see that this is the case. You may live without fear in your home in our land.
I see a place where people are paid a liveable wage for a fair days labour and that those who own businesses and create jobs share the wealth with those who work for them.
People helping people, a fair and caring society that rewards those who work hard, that rewards those who create employment and opportunities for others – that rewards all of us so that our children will live better, safer lives and richer lives.
Now growing up in Mumbai, a city with a huge population with such disparity between the have and have not’s, I saw an unequal society that seemed unfair and I do not want New Zealand to become like that.
Some there have great wealth while masses have nothing. If you don’t work, you don’t eat and if you don’t have an education you don’t advance, it seemed to me.
My own upbringing was strict and with strong values expected of us all – respect for our elders and our family was paramount.
To live with clear values and a determination to succeed was encouraged and I see these values with the party that I am so honoured to represent in the house today.
When my beautiful wife and mother of my children was killed in a car crash some 8 years ago I could have given up on this country. Instead I embraced all the good that I experienced in that traumatic time and I want to serve the people, all the people who live in this remarkable Aotearoa.
Other things that I care about and love about this party that I serve is that our elderly people, those who have worked so hard can enjoy some fruits of their sweat.
The Gold Card is but a small yet welcome endorsement of how we appreciate their efforts.
I would like to see more given to the senior citizens of this land – something that we can discuss in working papers with our colleagues I hope soon.
For our service men and woman who have served our land, fought in faraway wars in a combat or supportive role, as peacekeepers and observers, I want to see more recognition for the sacrifice that they gave…and continue to give.
The Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement being pushed on to us by overseas lobbyists should be open for debate by all members of this house with the public of this country contributing via a commission of interest.
This needs to be set up by all parties and overseen by an Independent committee.
I believe that many changes for the good of all can be achieved by all in this house working together. It can become a reality, where there is no them and us, we and they.
This place here, this place can see amazing changes come to fruition that will continue to endorse this as one of the truly great places on the planet to reside and to live in.
For Law and Order, justice must be seen to be done to be effective and in that I believe we must look at how the rights of law abiding citizens seem to be overlooked in favour of other offenders.
We have people being charged with crimes being let off because of delays in the justice system.
This is not good for those who are accused and never tried, thus being unable to prove their innocence and therefore will be tainted forever and it is not good for those who are the victims of crime.
Also I believe that a sentence must be served in full not lessened because of good behaviour. If a prisoner presents bad behaviour, extend his/her sentence.
The needs of Victims of crime must be considered way above those who commit offences.
The planet and the place we live in – I feel really strongly about the need to protect our planet from the ever polluting of it, be it from heavy industry or the felling of our forests.
We must find a happy medium, we must grow more forests and look after our waterways, we must come down heavily on those who pollute our environment to the detriment of all who live here.
Let us look at off shore drilling – make those companies who drill around our coastline deposit a huge guarantee into a New Zealand land/sea protective trust so that any clean-up is ensured by those who would pollute our place.
There is so much that needs to be done and these are but a few of these areas of concern that I have for our people and our country – for our planet and our futures.
I want to take a moment at this time to say a big thank you to those many people who have helped me to get to this place and to those who have supported me along the way.
To get here today I have had to stand on the shoulders of giants and I would like to say thanks to them.
They are many and they know who they are. I am truly grateful for the help, support and encouragement that you all have given me and soon I will speak to you individually to give you my personal thanks.
My thanks go to Mr Giri Gupta and the entire Indian Weekender team for their support. And to my friends Danny and Cynthia Rocha, Jeff and Jennifer Partridge, Colin and Pam Fonseca for being there for me in good times and bad.
Finally my grandmother who instilled in me to never look for a fight…but if in one, then fight to win. It is better to walk away than to rumble, however if the need be, then fight to win – never back down.
The monsters who would stand against a fair and just society will be confronted by me and my colleagues for we will defend the rights of all those who feel aggrieved and are.
To close I thank you members of the Gallery, those on social media, my honourable colleagues in this House and now I hand this spot back to the Speaker.
No reira ka nui toku mihi kia tatou katoa
Tena tatou katoa