Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau) Bill - Second reading

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

STUART SMITH: It is a pleasure to speak on the Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau) Bill. I would like to start by mentioning what my colleague Su‘a William Sio was just talking about across the House in regard to the only really successful landing that New Zealand did in the First World War on 29 August 1914 when we landed in Samoa without a shot being fired or a life being lost. We ran the union flag—as it was in those days—up the pole without any resistance whatsoever.
So we do have a special relationship with our Pacific Island neighbours, particularly the three nations of the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau, which we are talking about this evening. I think we were reminded earlier this evening by Alfred Ngaro that the triple star in our national anthem actually refers to those islands, which I suspect most people do not realise. I think that is something that we should actually ponder from time to time, because it is quite important.

Despite what is being said around Supplementary Order Paper 71 around the 5 years after 50 stipulation, I think it would be quite wrong to fix an inequity by creating another one, because, effectively, no New Zealander is allowed to come home without meeting that 5 year rule and then claim superannuation, even if they want to live here. So we would be creating another inequity in order to fix one. I am getting the signal, so it is with great pleasure I commend the bill to the House. Thank you.