Annual Conference Report
7 November 2018
A little over a week ago we held our Annual Conference in Christchurch. We had almost 70 at the dinner on Friday evening with guest speaker Don Brash. An excellent time and great food of course! The following day we had the Annual Conference with about half that number, but it was an excellent time of inspiring speeches from different ones and lots of round table discussion and input. Many commented that they thought it was the best yet.
Following is a summary of the speeches made by Don Brash, Leighton Baker and David Farrar for your interest. Unfortunately we did not have the facilities to record these speeches either on video or audio. Elliot Ikilei also gave us a 20 minute contribution around his social media activity on free speech, and other topical issues such as abortion, and his interest in the current Botany situation.
One of the most popular sessions was called "Fundspending." We were informed that some generous person had just given us $2ml and tables had to discuss how they would best use it for the party. The juices flowed and ideas rolled, but we were finally told that there was no such generous donor, but it was great to hear what priorities came through for spending of such quantity. A paid worker/leader, office space, country wide tour, signage for vehicles, advertising and billboards for electorate meetings, a leaflet to every home in the country, were just some of the things suggested.
Then the topic switched to "Fundraising." We all realised that it was unlikely that we would be having a generous donor give the $2ml needed to fulfil our dreams and make the impact that it seems it takes money to make. Great ideas were thrown around, some were local, and others required a level of national recognition and credibility that we currently don't enjoy. We need funds to get there! Catch 22. But it was pointed out that if each person on our database spent $5 less a week ($20 a month) on something like coffee, and contributed it to New Conservative, we would have close to $2ml a year! A little from a lot amounts to much!!
Sounds simple, but of course it is not going to happen. However, if a reasonable portion of our supporters gave between $20 and $50 a month, even for just one year, we would still be able to achieve all that we dreamed of before the next election. We would certainly be able to get our profile up and be recognised, and, I believe, also be seen as being credible. We are getting an ever increasing following on facebook and other social media as what we stand for is becoming more widely known.
We are constantly getting told that we must raise our profile by people who have "discovered" us, but without funds that is very difficult to achieve. Would you consider joining us in the battle for our nation by contributing a small amount monthly for at least the next year so that we really can raise our profile. Now is the time! Not just a few weeks before the next election. Click here to get the details needed to set up an autopayment or to make a one off donation. Thank you!
Don Brash gave an excellent 4-5 point address on his perspective of the current economic climate in the nation. In his view we are doing very well as a nation in general, but the two major challenges we face are low incomes by comparison with other Western nations and our overpriced housing. The two dominant factors in causing these challenges he believes are an overvalued currency and the reluctance to make more land available for residential development. He explained in layman’s terms the nature of overseas debt and showed that in comparison with many other countries we are doing very well in our debt to income ratio as a country. Government debt he believes is not at a level to be concerned about, but household debt has almost doubled since 2000 which is a concern.
New Conservative Leader
Leighton Baker challenged us with a brief passionate address to close the evening. He spoke about being alert enough to observe what is happening around us, and then when we do observe, be prepared to do something about it, but do we know what we will do about it. He called upon us all to recognize the key moment in history we are in, and to consider the consequences of not taking action now to do all we can to stop the moral landslide we are facing. He applauded those in the party who have stepped up and given so much of themselves, and challenged us all to consider what more we can and should do.
Leighton Baker addressed us again on Saturday morning. He pointed out that while we hear statistics that around 50% of prisoners are Maori, no-one is prepared to recognize that over 90% are from broken, dysfunctional, violent families. That is the real issue causing social harm.
He spoke to the very current issue of the Law Commission’s recommendations to the Minister of Justice which has clearly ignored the overwhelming number of submissions received supporting the retention of abortion in the Crimes Act. The Law Commission has recommended the lifting of all need for even a doctor’s visit for women seeking an abortion for up to 22 weeks pregnant, and after that, until full term, with a doctor’s approval because of health risk to the mother.
He reminded us of the desperate need for Binding Citizen’s Initiated Referenda so that governments who change or create law against the wishes of the majority can be held to account. This is undoubtedly the most important policy we have and we must continue to call for its implementation.
He said that if we consider our track record to date, history might tell us to give up, but the reality is no other party will speak for these things which our country needs so much. If we aren’t there, who will do it, and if we aren’t on the ballot paper, who will we vote for?
David Farrar spoke in the morning, giving us some excellent insights into the current makeup of the political environment and where each party fits in relation to the four quadrants of Authoritarian Left and Right and the Libertarian Left and Right based on economic scale in one direction and social scale in the other. Currently there are only three parties he sees as sharing the two quadrants he identifies as Authoritarian, while there are 6 or 7 parties sharing the two libertarian quadrants. We are one of those three, and he encouraged us that we have a very real place in NZ politics. In his opinion there are 10 to 15% of voters who potentially are our strong supporters, and we need to focus on them rather than trying to win the vote of 50%. He suggested the requirements for success include unity amongst us, funding, a good leader, and three main policies, and our chances of success would of course be helped by a lower threshold or an electorate seat. He then made some suggestions of what our message could concentrate on. He was very well received and communicated very well.
In the afternoon David Farrar spoke again, this time about polling in New Zealand and what it means. He also compared how New Zealand is doing in relation to other Western Nations in things such as the public’s perception on the direction of the country, whether it be right or wrong, and the approval rating of the PM in comparison to the other countries. We were surprised to see the level of current satisfaction there is in general, highlighting the challenge we have before us in communicating the need for change. Are Kiwis just too complacent? In his opinion the odds are that Labour will get another term, and possibly just with the Greens as partners in government, and if so they are likely to be far more radical than in their first term.
David’s addresses were well received and his input greatly appreciated.