Source: New Zealand First – Press Release/Statement:
Headline: Post-Election Announcement Speech
Let’s begin by thanking both the National and Labour parties for the manner in which these negotiations have been conducted and the work they have put into it.
It should be said that during this time elements of how politics should work in an MMP environment were seen with great clarity.
On 23rd September, election day, the effect of over 446,000 votes, or 17% of the total, was not known.
We believed on election night that those uncounted votes would have a profound effect on the final outcome. That’s why we waited until October 7 to find out exactly the numbers we were dealing with, and what that meant, before beginning negotiations with interested parties and bringing this matter to finality as soon as we could, in the most responsible time.
We started negotiations the day after on October 8.
We believe that 11 days from start to finish is not too long to wait and stands in stark contrast to the months that it will take the composition of the German government to be known. Germany had an election on 24th September, the day after ours.
New Zealanders will know the outcome of their election today. The German people will know their outcome in December.
This is a decision made by New Zealand First, and it is its decision, not that of the Leader.
Every New Zealand First MP and board member is a witness to that. We consult and that has been the case in our 24 years of existence as a political party.
Personally, I have entered into two governmental agreements with Prime Ministers from different parties. We have shaken hands on it, and both those former Prime Ministers have confirmed that as a result of that agreement I entirely kept to my word.
In the last campaign the Labour Party and Green Party campaigned as An Alternative Government. On the question of the numerical construction of that government New Zealand First was never consulted, but many commentators, factored in our support as a given.
That enabled the National Party and others in a grouping of four parties, to claim that they were facing a group of three parties, and where New Zealand First was concerned voters should “cut out the middleman”.
Whether people like it or not the strategies of both those alternative groupings failed.
That is why we are in the position we are in now. That said the decision that is about to be announced does not represent over 7 per cent of the vote or 17 per cent or, dare we say, 45 per cent – this decision represents the majority in an MMP Parliament.
The government I was first a member of won 39.8 per cent of the vote.
And that was 10,000 votes less than the opposition party got.
The agreement we have reached is a summation of the policies that survived the negotiations. As the song says, “You can’t always get what you want.”
Our negotiations have taken place against a backdrop of changing international and internal economic circumstances which we cannot ignore.
We in New Zealand First believe that an economic correction, or a slowdown, is looming, and that the first signs are already here:
– In the housing market slowdown
– In Reserve Bank and trading banks nervousness
– In the cessation of hot money into our economy
– In property ownership concerns
– In receding consumer optimism, and
– In ebbing retailer confidence
There were great risks in whatever decision we made and despite our having had no influence on these risks, some will attempt to heap the blame on us.
That those blame caricatures are both spurious and misplaced, won’t stop attempts to misdescribe the cause of events.
That’s why we are putting this scenario out front, right now, so that such attempts will fail.
Awareness of looming consensus has affected our decision.
Our choice today relates to how best we mitigate, not worsen, their impact on as many New Zealanders as possible.
As a party New Zealand First believes it has secured major policies to advance New Zealand economically and socially.
Big or small all of these policies are important.
When we construct the formal agreement summating those matters we have negotiated, these policies will be published.
It is not my privilege or responsibility to summarise them today.
Capitalism With a Human Face
Far too many New Zealanders have come to view today’s capitalism, not as their friend, but as their foe.
And they are not all wrong.
That is why we believe that capitalism must regain its responsible – its human face. That perception has influenced our negotiations.
We’ve had to make a choice, whether it was with either National or Labour, for a modified status quo, or for change. In our negotiations both National and Labour were presented with that opportunity.
Working together, cooperating together, for New Zealand.
We choose a coalition government of New Zealand First with Labour.