Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

NZ becoming the 'political callgirl of the Pacific' - Peters

Winston Peters. Photo / Andrew Warner
Winston Peters. Photo / Andrew Warner

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described New Zealand as becoming the "political callgirl of the Pacific" because of the National-led Government's willingness to sell off its assets.

In a speech at the Grey Power annual meeting in Invercargill this evening, Mr Peters focused on the Government's selling of farmland to offshore companies, its proposed partial sale of power companies, and its privatisation of social welfare and education.

He said nearly all submitters to the Mixed Ownership Model Bill in the last two weeks had opposed the sale of companies that controlled New Zealand's power stations.

"It is sad that New Zealand is being sold to anyone and everyone like a streetwalker in K Road.

"This great country - once described as 'God's Own' - is being pimped around the globe to anyone who wants a piece."

Mr Peters criticised the Government's contention that to not sell the Crafar farms to a Chinese business would be prejudicial.

He said this was a poor argument given the Chinese government had forbidden sales of its own land to foreigners.

"It is a lie because it means that the Chinese can buy our land but we cannot buy theirs. There is no thought of doing the right thing by our people."

The NZ First leader also criticised the Government's deal with SkyCity, which could allow the casino to install more pokies, and National's selling of state houses.

Mr Peters reiterated NZ First's campaign for elderly people to get a 10 per cent discount on their power bill.

When this proposal was raised last week, National argued a discount was not financially sustainable and said power prices had risen steeply when Mr Peters was part of a coalition government.

NZ First was also proposing cheaper doctor's visits for the elderly. Under Mr Peters' proposal, the elderly would receive their first doctor's consultation free and would pay $10 a visit for their first five consultations.

Mr Peters estimated the annual cost of the plan was $90 million, but believed it would reduce expensive hospital visits.

- NZ Herald

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