Monday, October 01, 2018

NZ First vs NZ values

NZ First held its annual conference over the weekend, and in addition to drivel like saying we need to buy back Kiwibank (its wholly government-owned), they also passed a remit requiring immigrants to respect "New Zealand values":

A remit to introduce a Respecting New Zealand Values Bill for migrants and refugees was passed by party members despite some opposition, and will now go to the caucus for policy consideration.

These values would include respect for gender equality, legal sexual preferences, freedom of religion and a commitment not to campaign against alcohol consumption.

As others have already pointed out, Winston Peters voted against the Bill of Rights Act (which enshrined freedom of religion and forbade the government from discriminating on the basis of gender), against homosexual law reform, civil unions and marriage equality, against easter Sunday trading, and for raising the drinking age. These positions are generally shared by his party. So, those values NZ First wants to force migrants to "respect" are not values they respect themselves.

So who would NZ First ban? In addition to a couple of their own bigoted MPs (Dail Jones and Peter Brown), they would also have rejected that notorious immigrant anti-alcohol campaigner, Kate Sheppard. Except of course they wouldn't think of any of those people as "immigrants", because they're white.

NZ First's "values test" isn't really about values at all - values NZ First has shown it despises. Like other, similar proposals in places like Australia and the Netherlands, its really about race and discriminating against migrants due to the colour of their skin. Which, fundamentally, is what NZ First has always been about.