MW: Welcome back to the free speech space with MJ. We’re chatting to Casey Costello, who is the NZ First candidate running for Port Waikato, who in breaking news has been endorsed by Scotty Bright who will no longer be standing. WOW! I don’t think I’ve actually recalled that ever happening in the in this electorate ever before.
CC: Yeah, the nuance of this election is that, I mean, this area is that this is kind of the second time we’ve got Port Waikato as an electorate. But yeah, Scotty and I, I’ve got great admiration for what Scotty stood for and what he’s campaigned on his involvement before Democs ZNZ and the community. He’s really focused on getting some good outcomes. For Port Waikato, we struggled under the structure of the impact of the Super City and we’ve lost our identity a wee bit. So we’ve had good conversations and I hope to continue working with Scotty. He’s got great ideas, he’s got great input, great energy. So yeah, I’m very humbled that he’s decided to support me. It’s great. And I hope that helps the community in terms of making a decision that will kind of help us get a strong voice down in Wellington.
MW: Well, we need change. And I think, well, he thinks, and a lot of us think that you are the one, the right one, to put into parliament for Port Waikato to make the changes that we need in this area.
CC: Yeah, and that’s absolutely right. This concept of change has really driven this election result. This has been the platform that the major parties campaigned on. All of us were talking about the need for change and for a correction. But also, for me, there’s a need for some real honesty, some real strong, direct conversations. And I think that’s where Scotty and I have a common ground. We’ve got enough politicians with double speak. And this is an area where I think we have straight talking. We need straight talking. We need people who have got, you know, willing to listen, willing to take on board the tough issues. And that’s what I’m really, you know, that’s what I stand for. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last seven years is just being prepared to tackle the tough conversations and, you know. I worked out that, you know, you need to be in Wellington. You need to be in the hot seat to make this occur.
That’s what I’m committed to do.
MW: But how can NZ first make changes to affect the cost of living?
CC: There’s a few things. Of course, we’ve got to get our economy growing, we’ve got to get productive, we’ve got to, and that’s a big part of investing in our rural infrastructure. They create, you know, what is it, 92% of our exports that come from the rural sector, the agriculture and horticultural sectors. So that’s a big part of the investment in that. But the other aspects that we’ve campaigned quite hard on is around challenging the supermarket model in terms of how we’re pricing. That this do a really, beyond putting in a commissioner, another government appointment, to actually challenge how these are structured and how this is working. The lunacy of us being able to buy a leg of lamb in England cheaper than we can buy it here. Those sort of questions have to be answered.
And the same thing with banking and Winston’s campaign strongly on it. You know, Australia’s had five commissions of inquiry into their banking systems and we’ve had none. We’ve never looked into the profits of the banks, the escalating interest rates and how this is justified when these bank profits are so high. So, those are sort of some tangible things.
And the other thing is to actually, you know, really open the box and look at where we can, you know, a mini budget prior to Christmas and actually get some things moving straight away as soon as we can. But the big one is to invest in our economy, invest in small businesses, get rid of some of the bureaucracy, allow us to grow again. We’ve become a society under this recent government that we demonize people for being wealthy. We don’t celebrate their success and want to emulate it. You know, we’ve made anybody with wealth the enemy and, you know, just yet another level of division that we forced upon us. And, you know, small businesses are despairing, they’re hurting, and we’re doing nothing to help alleviate the burdens that they’re carrying.
MW: Lets look at Crime. The increase in crime over the last 6 years is huge!
This is mind blowing. There we go. Crime, look at that. Out of control. So these are figures, victimizations per capita. That’s the KPI and that’s sources from the NZ Police. So here’s national, and that’s from 2014, August. And here we are here at March.
CC: And this is again another area, you know, if you can recall when, you know, the alarm bells were being rung about what was going on and the sense of fear New Zealanders were living in. And we were again being told by the Labour government that, you know, there wasn’t, there wasn’t the issues that we were experiencing, that they were trying to dress it up, that it was easier to report crime, therefore that’s why the stats were changing, that their focus was on different types of crime being reported and all this sort of stuff. When we knew, all of us knew, that people were living in increasing fear and frustration that even when you did experience crime, the challenges of getting police to respond and attend were just compounding that sense of discomfort that people were living in there. People were living in genuine fear. And that was the part that the one solution that the Labour government kept promoting, that they gave an 1800 new police. And that was a New Zealand First initiative that New Zealand First campaigned on and then negotiated in the coalition talks to get those 1800 more police. It wasn’t a Labour initiative. By 2020, you know, Labour took the credit for it and it was the only thing that they were promoting as being the action that they’d taken to combat increasing crime. And the most despairing thing beyond the statistics is the impact on victims that we have become a society where we have increasingly become more concerned about the circumstances of the offenders, of how we’re going to support the offenders, of how we’re going to protect the offenders from having to go to prison and have ignored, in a lot of circumstances, almost completely ignored the rights of the victims. And that’s just abhorrent……
….I think what’s happened with the police force is that if you consider the police has become the only 24-7 support network, there are no 24-7 mental health services, there are no 24-7 social workers. And I think once we can get to the point where we have functioning mental health services, we have, you know, a functioning health system that we can, you know, we can get policing can go back to functioning and focusing on those fundamentals of upholding the law and protecting public peace.
MW: Good points. I want to bring social unity here because it seems to be a good place to bring this in. And that’s probably the third biggest concern that we have and that is on social unity. 77% of NZ feels more divided.
CC: Yes, and what I’d highlight to that is that I was involved with Hobson’s Pledge and we did a similar survey prior to the 2020 election. And at that point, New Zealanders, the survey that we conducted was that New Zealanders were 72% felt we were more divided than we had been in the previous year. Now the survey is two years on from that and they’re saying we’re 77% more divided. So we’ve actually got more divided. So the division is getting greater. And the sad part is that we have created more division and delivered no better outcome. We’ve said the reason, the justification for this is that there’s a demographic of society. We’re calling out Māori and saying that, Māori, we’re doing badly, so therefore this division is justified. And yet we’ve had, you know, 40 years of growing justification for division and separate rights and separate treatments. And yet, statistically, in every one of the categories that you would measure success outcomes Māori are performing worse than they were 20 years ago. So therefore the justification of this division doesn’t exist. And rather than re-locking it, you know, this isn’t working should we do something else, the solution is do more division. And we’re now talking about completely separate governance structures and completely separate justice systems and completely separate health systems. When we know partially there was no justification for it before. It hasn’t succeeded, it hasn’t improved outcomes and now we’re going to do more of it. And this is just crazy stuff.
And I always come at this from the Māori perspective. Like if you are, you know, we’re developing a society where we’re telling our young people, we expect less of you, you’re capable of achieving less because of Māori ancestry. And it’s just not true. You know, the justification for a separate Māori health authority was that poor health outcomes.
The politicians who stand on these platforms actually rely on Māori not succeeding. Because if Māori actually did succeed, if they broke all the glass ceilings and broke through, those leaders, those self-appointed leaders would lose their relevance because they wouldn’t need them anymore if Māori actually did succeed to the level that they can do.
And the sad part is Māori are succeeding. You know, this is what we keep ignoring. You know, we talk about the prison population. 99.7% of Māori aren’t in prison. 0.3% of Māori are in prison. Yet we write social policies as if half of Māori are in prison. It’s just not true. So we use the statistics to support a logic that is flawed. And...
This is about delivering outcomes and putting aside what ethnicity, when your ancestors arrived here. One of my favorite sayings is Martin Luther King’s when he said, you know, we may have all come here on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. And never before in New Zealand has that been more important.
MW: Tell our readers why they need to vote for Casey.
CC: I think fundamentally, this is my town. This is where I live. This is where I’ve lived just about all my life. I understand this community. I understand how we function. And we’re the backend of the Auckland City Council and we’re the top end of Waikato Regional Council. And we need to carve out an identity. And we need to, and I think that having an MP that is willing to fight for this. I’m not a career politician. This is not, this is, I’ve come in here to make a difference and to, you know, rattle cages and be accountable. And I’m more than willing to hand out my phone number, send out my email. You can contact me anytime. This is me, I’m here. And you can come up to me anytime.
Yeah, and that’s absolutely right. This concept of change has really driven this election result. This has been the platform that the major parties campaigned on. All of us were talking about the need for change and for a correction.
….I think what’s happened with the police force is that if you consider the police has become the only 24-7 support network, there are no 24-7 mental health services, there are no 24-7 social workers.