Key puts boot into Opposition

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 16:36 18/06/2013

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Prime Minister John Key is telling lies in an attempt to attack opposition parties, NZ First leader Winston Peters says.

During a speech in Kerikeri this morning, Key said the Greens were "bozos", Peters' position on China was "madness" and Labour was peddling a "dog" of a policy.

He started out talking about the need for economic growth to ensure all New Zealanders lived a comfortable life.

But as "there are 4.5 million of us and we're never going to get rich selling to each other", we need to trade with China and attract American tourists, Key said.

"It's fine if you're Saudi Arabia, you just put another hole in the ground."

New Zealand needed to become more efficient, move up the value curve and sell more overseas.

"With the greatest respect to some of my parliamentary colleagues, like Winston Peters, he gets up there and says, 'Oh, we don't want Chinese coming to New Zealand', well why?" Key asked to much laughter.

"We don't want them coming to the north and enjoy all the beautiful scenery we've got ... we don't want them spending money that employs New Zealanders, we don't want them taking away fantastic experiences and encouraging others to come?"

That was madness because New Zealand had to reach out to the world, Key said.

Peters said Key had made it up.

"That is crap I've said nothing of the sort. When didn't I say we don't want Chinese coming to New Zealand?

"I sure haven't said that, he's made it up, he's telling lies."

Peters’ comments were about immigration and not Chinese tourism.

Key also said the country needed better infrastructure to drive that efficiency. Infrastructure such as the Puhoi to Wellsford road, Key said, slamming the Greens' criticism of the project.

"That might be cute for their supporters but what a bunch of bozos, do they actually realise that people live north of Wellsford? I mean have they ever been here?"

He also took the time to criticise Labour's call for a capital gains tax saying such policy was a "dog".

"Nice idea if you come from the Left and you want to make money... but it doesn't actually make much money," Key said.

But Labour's finance spokesman David Parker said if Key was serious about helping first-home buyers he would introduce a capital gains tax.

"National's response to the housing crisis - tinkering with the RMA [Resource Management Act], blaming councils, and legislating for special housing areas without actually requiring any affordable homes to be built - is ineffectual."

A capital gains tax would drive speculators out of the property market, he said.

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But National's housing policies had been "confused and timid".

The economic climate was also hurting export manufacturers, Parker said.

Labour leader David Shearer said Key was in denial about the state of the manufacturing industry.

More than 17,000 jobs had been lost in the sector in the last year and manufactured exports outside the primary sector had fallen by 17 per cent in real terms since 2008, he said.

"John Key wants Kiwis to believe that all is well in manufacturing. But he is kidding himself. The facts paint a very different picture."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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