I found the principles in a book I have had for many years. A Reader’s Digest Publication entitled “New Zealand’s Yesterdays”. I subsequently also found them in “The Encyclopedia of New Zealand”. (See link below.)
At a meeting of the Dominion Executive of the National Political Federation, held in February 1936, it was decided to convene a conference at which the executive would recommend that a new party be formed. [..] The Federation’s recommendation, that a new party be formed, was unanimously agreed to. Subsequently, after alternative names had been discussed, it was decided that the name “The New Zealand National Party” be adopted.
The objectives of the party were stated to be:
“To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.
An entirely new form of organisation was drawn up and the rules of the new party were adopted. These have remained virtually unaltered. Hopes that the new arrangement would attract wider public support were borne out by the results of the 1938 general election when National won 25 seats.
So there we have what the Party was all about, but there is another facet that needs to be discussed in this context and that is Sid Holland, who took the National Party to its first successes, and established it as the preferred party for New Zealanders in most elections since its inception. The text below is from Barry Gustafon’s biography of Holland.
Determined, vigorous, with a good memory and naturally aggressive, he detested socialism, which he defined as equality of income, irrespective of capacity – ‘the very antithesis of private enterprise’. He was a formidable impromptu debater, whose bluff ebullience, arrogance, tenacity and use of ridicule against the Labour government stood out in a Parliament in which the opposition was weak and divided.
Holland, who learnt by listening and doing rather than reading, was no theorist. But he knew what type of society he believed was best for New Zealand. In his speeches he stressed individual freedom, initiative, opportunity, enterprise, responsibility and reward. He disliked bureaucratic regulation and state ownership and, while not an uncaring man, feared that Labour’s social security system (which he once described as ‘applied lunacy’) would make people too dependent on welfare payments and would prove very costly to taxpayers. A fervent admirer of Britain, he claimed to be ‘a Britisher through and through’ and was determined to maintain New Zealand’s links with the United Kingdom. However, he also stressed that he was a New Zealander, who valued ‘a sturdy New Zealand philosophy of independence and self-reliance rather than … any imported theories’, such as socialism. [..] He stressed that ‘the basis of New Zealand’s material future was a little word with big meaning – work’.
So from observing these founding principles, and the personal beliefs of its foundational leader Sid Holland, we can see that since the late fifties, the National Party has slowly moved away from those ideas that brought them real success, and the country real prosperity, as the Labour Party has gradually infiltrated it. The National Party of today is an even worse example of leftist political influence than the Labour party was back then, and Sid Holland’s proud and successful Party, that stood for something real and good, has been consumed by the rise of Fabian socialism, that leftist strategy that has left us with nothing to choose from but rank collectivists who only differ on the slightest of issues.
Those fine principles above cannot be found at all on the National Party’s website today. They have been replaced by a set of words and phrases rooted in the language of Progressivism and that Helen Clark would be proud of. And as weak as those principles are, the Nats cannot even abide by them.
The compromisers John Key and Jenny Shipley and Jim Bolger collectively destroyed the National Party by caving time and time again to the left. I don’t recall one time that any of them have clearly identified socialism and spoken directly against it. Their lack of adherence to the above founding principles has reduced National to a party that stands for nothing and does nothing and says nothing, and today it is merely a puny politically weak easily manipulated organ of the left, existing mainly as a symbol of the vanity of one man who just wanted to be PM for the sake of it. A man who in that meaningless ambition, in his directionless weakness, is most noticeable for being almost the direct antithesis of the brave and gallant and principled and persuasive Sid Holland way back in 1936. What an utterly disgraceful and shameful state the party has been brought to.
Update- Fisking Farrar.
Source “Principles” – The Encyclopedia Of New Zealand.
Source “Sid Holland”- The Encyclopedia Of New Zealand.
Categories: NZ Politics