Friday, October 02, 2009

Leaked Referendum Night Speech - John Key

a reader sent in the following leaked speech from National Party headquarters...

I can't tell you how good it is to be here.

Ladies and gentlemen – today New Zealand has spoken. In their hundreds of thousands across the country they have voted for change.

And I can tell you there will be a Change of the Anti-Smacking law!

So let me start by thanking every New Zealander who has cast their No vote today. Thank you for your support and thank you for your trust.

Because some of you fought the anti-smacking law for 4 long years. And tonight your patience has been rewarded. For others, you have heard the message that the anti-smacking law needs changing and have come to support a No vote.

So, to all of you, I simply say thank you.

Today across the country, New Zealanders have voted for a law which does not criminalise smacking. They voted for change, they voted for action, and they voted for results. They voted for stronger families and less child abuse.

In my first speech against the anti-smacking law, I talked about when I was a boy living in a state house, riding my bike past the homes of kids more fortunate than me.

What inspired me then, and still inspires me today, is a belief within ourselves that the government should not be putting its nose into good families.

And as it is for individuals so it is for our country – because New Zealand has so much more potential.

This is not as good as gets.

So yes, we face challenges with child abuse. But we will rise to them, because as a country we have tremendous advantages.

Our heritage of solid families, our great parents, and maybe most of all the incredible Kiwi ingenuity.

Because of these advantages we as a country can rise to the challenge of child abuse and attack it effectively

Now, more than ever, New Zealand needs to be on top of its game.

What will determine success is the unity of purpose – a willingness to work together against child abuse while recognizing that our collective success rests on the success of individuals, and a willingness to use our smallness to our advantage, to be nimble, sure-footed and flexible.

We all bring our different perspectives, and we all have our political debates. And that is as it should be.

But now is a time for working together. Because we need everybody pulling in the same direction to stop child abuse. If we do that, if we work hard, if we remain determined, we will make New Zealand as safe and prosperous for our children and families as we can

So let me say this: whether you voted yes or No tonight you have my pledge.

I will lead a royal commission against child abuse in the interests of all New Zealanders. And it will be a commission that values individual achievement and it will be a team that supports those who cannot support themselves. And it will be a review we can all be part of.

Tonight I want to thank Sue Bradford.

A little earlier this evening I spoke to her and she was most gracious with her comments.

So it's fair to say that Sue and I have different views about what policies are best for tackiling New Zealand’s child abuse terrific levels. But we share a love of this country. And I have always admired her dedication to her job, her ferocious work ethic, and her desire to make New Zealand a better country for our children.

As member of parliament she has always ensured our small voice was loudly heard on the international stage against child abuse. So on behalf of you all, I say thank you.

Ladies and gentleman, earlier this evening I spoke to ACT Leader Rodney Hide and United Future Leader Peter Dunne. I rang to ask their support for a change of law.

And while the details of a law change are yet to be resolved I can confirm their willingness to lend support to establishing a new law which doesn’t criminalise good parents for smacking.

I also spoke to Maori Party Leader Tariana Turia, and I expressed my willingness to engage in dialogue with her and her party next week to see how we can tackle child abuse. .

So to you, the country officials, the members, and the volunteers who have worked so tirelessly in every single electorate around the country to get a NO vote, I say thank you very much. We owe it to you.

But there are some very special people I want to thank.

And the first of them is our petition organizer, Larry Baldock. And the second of them is a lady from south Auckland – Sheyrl savill. She's a mum who stood up for good parents and paved the way for this law change. And I want to thank the man who ran the campaign, who rang me every morning at 6 o'clock, who was up at 4.30 in morning, who read every newspaper from cover to cover – Bob McCoskrie. You ran a great campaign, mate.

And I want to say to my caucus – Thankyou. Your dedication means we can change this law in the interests of all New Zealanders.

And to all that helped the campaign– thank you very much.

And haven't we had some great results.

Auckland Central 70% said NO. What a cracker. New Plymouth. Otaki – Both over the 87% average saying NO. Rotorua – 92%. Taupo – 92.5%. West Coast-Tasman said No 88%. Hamilton West 90%. Maungakiekie 84%. Waitakere 87% – an amazing result.

You are tremendous.

There are some very special people I want to thank. When you run a campaign like this you meet thousands of people. Thankyou to you all.

And I want to thank my staff in Wellington. The demands on them have been unbelievable, the sacrifices have been incredible. They are an amazing group of individuals – You are the team which will get this law changed.

No, you don't need sleep. Not on a night like tonight, you don't need sleep.

And I want to thank my sisters, Sue and Liz, and all of my family who have been so great in campaigning against the law.

Most of all I want to thank the most important people in my life. And that is Bronagh and Stephie and Max. But I've got a bit of bad news, guys. There is no smacks tonight - Sorry

I couldn't have done it without you.

Ok, maybe I'll reconsider the Smack.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here tonight. You have made this possible. It will be a night I'm sure none of us will ever forget. Tonight is a night of celebration.

And tomorrow, tomorrow the hard work begins.

Have a great evening. Thank you very much indeed.