Green Party MP Keith Locke has accused New Zealand First’s deputy leader Peter Brown of stirring up racism and undermining this country’s progress to a multi-cultural society.
“Mr Brown is giving credence to ugly, racist, anti-migrant views that we as a society are trying to move beyond,” said Mr Locke, the party’s immigration spokesperson.
“It is sad that New Zealand First is again using Parliament as a platform for bigotry, in a desperate attempt to push their vote this year over the 5 percent threshold.
“Mr Brown has it the wrong way around. It is his comments that are leading to ‘division, friction and resentment’ in our society, not anything immigrants are doing.
“Rather than asking migrants to drop their native culture and ‘integrate’, Mr Brown should try integrating himself into the now dominant New Zealand culture of tolerance.
“Mr Brown is trying to present a monocultural English version of New Zealand that never existed in the first place.
“The bi-cultural New Zealand established by the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi has been enhanced from the beginning by Chinese gold-miners, Irish Catholics and Dalmatians, followed by waves of migrants from other lands.
“We have been enriched by the growing cultural diversity of our nation, with its many cultures and many languages.
“Mr Brown’s fear that people may conduct conversations in a language he cannot understand is evidence of the pathetic insecurity that is the basis of New Zealand First’s policy.
“We must condemn New Zealand First’s white supremacist belief that European culture has some greater value than that of other national groups.
“Mr Brown’s party does this country a great disservice by migrant-bashing for electoral advantage.”