Hansard (debates)


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House of Representatives
8 February 2012
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Horan, Brendan: Address in Reply

[Sitting date: 08 February 2012. Volume:677;Page:210. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]

BRENDAN HORAN (NZ First) : Kia ora, Mr Speaker. Tēnā anō tātau i huihui mai i runga i te āhuatanga o tēnei rā, ko te kaupapa, ko taku whaikōrero tuatahi i roto i tēnei Whare o ngā raiona e tū ake nei. E mihi ana ki a rātou mā kua ngaro ki te pō, haere, haere, haere atu rā. Tātou ngā kanohi ora, huri noa i tō tātou Whare, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

[Thank you, Mr Speaker, and greetings once again to us gathered here today in respect to my maiden speech in this, the House of the lions, standing before us. I honour those who have passed away; to them I say farewell, journey on, goodbye. To us, the living ones throughout our House, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to us all.]

Ko Pirongia te maunga. The mountain of my Māori ancestors is Mount Pirongia. Ko Waipā te awa. The blood and bones and therefore the spirit or wairua of my ancestors starts in the Waipā River. Ko Tainui te waka. The canoe of my people is Tainui, of which Hoturoa was captain. Ko Ngāti Maniapoto te iwi. My iwi is Ngāti Maniapoto. Ko Ngāti Hikairoa te hapū. Ko Pūrekireki te marae. On my European side I am descended from Orm, a Viking. On his way to Britain he lost his leg in battle, but had the presence of mind to save it, keep it with him, as no warrior could enter Valhalla unwhole. When close to land he threw his leg on to the shore and thus by Viking law claimed that area. That is why the Ormsby coat of arms proudly displays a severed leg and the motto “He is brave who is prudent”.

As I child I nearly did not make it. At 2 years old I was hospitalised for 7 months in Waikato Hospital. My parents lived in Whakatāne, a 6-hour drive in those days over the then unsealed Kaimai Ranges. I flatlined three times and had the sacrament of extreme unction administered. So I will always have immense respect and appreciation for nurses, doctors, and caregivers—and priests. I would like to acknowledge my mother, who cannot be here because of ill health, but without her love and support I would not be here today. Growing up in Whakatāne I was blessed with great friends, and together we fished, surfed, played sport, and learned to live with and nurture the land that supported us. Because amenities were affordable we regularly visited the local swimming pool and developed civic pride. Entry cost only 20c—the price of a Jelly Tip. Compare that with my local council swimming pool, Baywave in Tauranga, where entry and hydro-slides cost $8 for local children. It is no wonder that children struggle to swim, and one of my goals is to have gold-coin entry to all swimming pools for all New Zealand schoolchildren.

But I digress. Back to my childhood and Whakatāne, when we were also blessed with great male role models, men like Mike Beeching, George Ferguson, Bruce Scott, Co Baart, and Monty McGoughan. They taught us to swim, to surf, to fish, to connect with the land, and to fiercely compete in sport, arming us with the confidence to back ourselves and a solid work ethic, and they taught us the value of having perfect basics in our sporting disciplines. Many young men and women from Whakatāne have represented New Zealand in sport and travelled the world as I have done, thanks to men like this. I would also like to acknowledge their wives, as behind every great man there is usually a better woman, in those times telling him what to do and feeding him, and in those days, me too. So for me, childhood was a golden time. I could have become another statistic: a child from a broken home in an era when single-parent families were rare. But thanks to men and women with the heart and courage to care for all of the children in their community, I am the man I am today, because to them community mattered.

I know that a maiden speech is not supposed to mention anything too controversial, but there are things that are happening in our country now that are so wrong, and I cannot countenance a philosophy of silence. “Evil thrives when good men and women stand by and do nothing.” So I ask now, how can New Zealand have the highest child brutality and murder rate in the OECD? How can this possibly be New Zealand when we start the year with a baby murdered in a small town, a 16-year-old boy assaulting and raping a 5-year-old girl, and a young father being stabbed to death whilst sitting in his car waiting for a medical prescription? The foul stench of these crimes lingers over our entire nation, but, in particular, those of us in Parliament, as it has happened on our watch. This is not the New Zealand that I grew up in. This is not the New Zealand I wish to bequeath to my children. The protection and safety of all New Zealand children must be paramount. We are all aware of the need, and decisive action must be taken. If we have to step on a few toes and offend the politically correct, then so be it. The next New Zealand child to be murdered will leave blood on all of our hands, if we fail to act.

Ko Brendan tāku ingoa—my name is Brendan and I stand before you today in this House, a product of my ancestors, respectful of all they have achieved and mindful of the new paths that I must forge to honour them. I am a proud representative of the New Zealand First Party, but am humbled by the support and hard work of the many people who sacrificed hours of time and effort to see New Zealand First back in Parliament. I would therefore like to thank everyone who voted for New Zealand First: the parents who remembered New Zealand First securing free medical care for children under 6; a policy protecting children and saving lives. I would like to thank the small-business owners who remembered when New Zealand First lowered business tax from 33 percent to 30 percent. I would like to thank the many Māori who voted for New Zealand First, conscious of the many settlements and concessions that New Zealand First and Winston Peters have secured over the years. And let me not forget the SuperGold cardholders, who possess tangible evidence of a party that serves New Zealanders, some of whom voted accordingly. To those New Zealanders who had that brilliant epiphany on election day and smile when they think of New Zealand First back in Parliament, thank you.

We are a growing party, strong in our beliefs, and to all 147,544 people who entrusted us with their votes we will represent the beliefs that we hold as vital to the prosperous future of our nation. Beliefs that are the founding principles of our party: to put New Zealand and New Zealanders first and to have an open, accountable Government. We believe in one law for all New Zealanders regardless of race, age, or colour, and a country that belongs to all New Zealanders, not foreign boardrooms whose only interest is a quarterly financial statement. I believe in wealth creation; wealth creation through a sound and practical long-term economic plan with short-term key performance indicators to make sure we are on track. The New Zealand First economic plan will operate in the absence of secrecy.

These beliefs are not new to New Zealanders. In fact here is a quote from one of the great former leaders of our country: “… I believe in New Zealanders owning their own industry, all industry, wherever practicable … This country is growing up, and I want to see it owned and controlled by New Zealanders in every possible sphere. … There is, of course, also an economic reason—the bleeding away of overseas funds and the paying of tribute to people overseas, … I, for one, want to see New Zealand mature, to grow up in its own sense, have its own soul, develop its own character, and have control of its own destiny in all spheres of economy. … This is my simple faith.”

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Who said that?

BRENDAN HORAN: That was said by none other than former National Party leader and Prime Minister Sir Keith Holyoake. What would he think of our country today? How will history view us in 20 years’ time?

I live in Tauranga—well actually my family live there and I am now bi-regional by vocation. On top of the many challenges that we face in New Zealand, Tauranga has the added burden of the Rena and its effect not only on our environment but also the economic damage to businesses both small and large, and the long-term effects that have yet to be fully realised. Another major concern is the Pseudomonas syringae pv. Actinidiae (Psa) virus, which has wiped out over half the golden kiwifruit crop, and that equates to close to $500 million out of the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty economy. This disease is having an impact across the entire industry, from individual growers, contractors, and seasonal workers to Zespri. All levels of the industry are having to change and adapt their businesses to survive. Promisingly, there is a pathway emerging out of the Psa damage, based around a new variety known as Gold3. I believe that with time and Government support our industry can recover.

I believe that Tauranga has the potential to be a great city, the best in the world. And to those people in Tauranga, you will understand this vision. Imagine if we built a 25,000-seat stadium at the Domain, above the central business district, and if we constructed a walkway around our stunning harbour. People of Tauranga, envision the potential of fast, passenger rail from Auckland in under 2 hours? And what about if we cleaned up our water and marketed ourselves as the cleanest city in the world? What a vibrant, exciting metropolis we could become. Any one of these projects would provide the opportunity for on-the-job apprenticeships and long-term employment.

I believe that as a country it is time we believed in ourselves. I believe that our most important asset is our people, and we must invest in New Zealanders in health, education, and emerging skills and competencies. The world is now immersed in a mobile digital revolution. Now New Zealand is justifiably proud of its pioneering tradition. At times we have led the world on everything from nuclear physics to powered flight to climbing the highest mountain. Our people are the most creative, innovative, and forward-thinking to be found anywhere. But currently we are marking time, and, quite frankly, we need to embrace, support, and speed up the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband. The mobile digital revolution is accelerating at an exponential rate. Countries with established broadband are rapidly going mobile, and that is having massive implications for business, education, and the health sector. In the last quarter of 2011 the number of smart phones purchased surpassed the combined number of personal computers, laptops, iPads, and tablets sold. Handheld computing is here to stay, and the high-powered, browser-enabled, high-definition, video-ready device is already revolutionising the way businesses market, trade, and do commerce; the way people learn and educate; the way health services and caregiving are provided; and growing the way we collaborate in politics—if only we could get reception in the 75 metres between the Beehive and Bowen House! These services are now operating in an always connected world. The upskilling with new skills and competencies in New Zealand’s workforce is a priority. It is my intention to see that the professional development required happens. It is our choice and opportunity to catch this wave, rather than to let it swamp us or pass us by.

The tie I wear today was chosen carefully for the colours represented. The ochre symbolises the blood, sweat, and tears that our forefathers have invested in this land. The green stands for the fertility of our soil, growth, promise, and the hope for a better tomorrow. We once led the world in social and economic standing, and by working together I believe we can do so again. My pledge to all New Zealanders is that I will strive with integrity to combine the values and community standards of my childhood with the digital, forward-thinking, economic ownership and environmental consciousness of this generation. I will work with any other member or party supporting ideas that are good for New Zealand and oppose those that would do us harm. This is what I believe and what I intend to do.

My final acknowledgment I give to my wife, for she holds my heart. Thank you.