WINSTON PETERS: Feeling the pinch



New Zealand is a deeply divided country.

On the one side we have the National government and their latest economic wizard Steven Joyce, a visionless plodder who shouldn’t be let loose on the finances of a school tuckshop let alone that of country.

Remember the hash he made of Novopay, and it is still going on.

With them are their elite group of mates who, as mouthpieces, host radio and television shows.

On the other side are most New Zealanders. The battlers.

These are the everyday Kiwis battling to pay their mortgages, to get their kids off to school and meals cooked.

Life has never been that easy for the battlers but it’s got tougher now.

For most of them, even with double incomes, they’re feeling the pinch.

On this side also are the older Kiwis, the grandparents who have known New Zealand in better times.

Many of them are wondering and worrying about where this country is going.

How come their grandkids are probably going to end up being renters for life?

How come over 90,000 young Kiwis don’t have a job and aren’t training and 130,000 people are unemployed? We’re letting in tens of thousands of immigrants every year to work in supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations?

How come we have thousands who are homeless, living in cars, night shelters and garages and the government can’t build enough houses but spins a line that they’ve got the crisis under control and will build 11 new houses in Auckland every day for the next three years?

How come the government isn’t training enough young Kiwis to be builders instead of letting companies wanting to keep their wage bills down go and recruit cheap labour from the Third World.

The whole purpose of a government is to govern on behalf of all citizens – not some.

You don’t solve problems shoving Kiwis aside and bringing tens of thousands more mainly unskilled immigrants into the country and say things are great.

They’re not great. The only real growth under National is immigration and what New Zealanders see around them every day:

A rapidly changing society with more inequality; more social division, more hardship.

It’s time we took a different route.