Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, October 1st, 2018 - 106 comments
Categories: alcohol, human rights, identity, immigration, national, nz first, Politics, racism, religion, sexism, winston peters - Tags: clayton mitchell
New Zealand First had its conference on the weekend.
The headline was created by new President Lester Gray calling for immigrants and refugees to “respect New Zealand values” which he said were founded on Christianity. Gray was heavily pushed by Clayton Mitchell. I wonder who has been advising them.
Lucy Bennett at the Herald has some of the details:
Migrants and refugees will have to respect New Zealand values or be shipped back to “where they came from” under a bill to be discussed by the New Zealand First caucus.
The Respecting New Zealand Values Bill, drawn up by NZ First’s Clayton Mitchell on behalf of the party’s Tauranga members, was put to the vote by delegates at NZ First’s annual convention in the city this morning.
The idea already has the backing of leader Winston Peters.
He wasn’t at the conference when it was being debated but told reporters later if people coming to New Zealand “didn’t want to salute this country’s law”, they shouldn’t be here.
“If you’re coming to this country as a refugee, surely you respect the country you’ve come to. In the case of some refugees, if you’ve gone past 42 other countries that have your religion for one that does not, why wouldn’t you actually have some respect for the new country you’ve come to and their religions,” Peters said.
Mitchell said that under the bill “immigrants must agree to respect New Zealand’s values and to live a life that demonstrates that they respect New Zealand values.”
His justification for the Bill is apparently in the preamble and was noted by Jo Moir at Television New Zealand:
New Zealand is a tolerant society. Our tolerance means that if an individual wants to immigrate to New Zealand, they must accept, respect and adhere to the tolerance our society expects,” it said.
“Immigrants must agree to respect New Zealand’s values and to live a life that demonstrates that they respect New Zealand values.”
We shall not tolerate intolerance!
The feedback from NZ First members was interesting, “this is our country and these are our rules” and “when in Rome you have to do what the Romans do” were two comments. One poor member was incensed that he had gone into a shop and the shopkeeper had spoken a different language to him. Talk about first world problems.
David Seymour supports the proposal. Alarm bells should be ringing.
So what are these New Zealand values? And where is this evidence of rampant refusal of recent immigrants to respect New Zealand values?
As for the values Jo Moir at Radio New Zealand reported that they include gender equality, all legal sexual preferences, religious rights, and the legality of alcohol.
It is interesting there is no mention of the Treaty of Waitangi. It is our founding constitutional document. And there should be respect for Tangata Whenua. But failure to do so is not something that is exclusively the behaviour of immigrants, at least more recent immigrants.
And surely racial tolerance should also be included in core values. And the underlying requirement to respect “Christian values” underscores a lack of tolerance of religious diversity.
As for sexual preferences and gender equality it is interesting that a party that is essentially conservative should want to be at the forefront of these articles. As asked by Andrew Geddis on Twitter, where does this put the 32 National MPs, all seven NZ First MPs and the four Labour MPs who voted against Louisa Wall’s Same Sex Marriage law?
I presume that one of the targets is child brides. I have not seen any evidence of this being a local problem myself and the laws regarding marriage and also prohibiting sexual contact with young people under the age of 16 would presumably solve this issue. All you need is to require all immigrants, as citizens do, to swear to uphold the laws of New Zealand.
And if it is not illegal why should it be proscribed? For instance why require anyone to agree that alcohol should be legal. Does this mean that the Temperance movement is suddenly a terrorist movement?
The bill will create a discussion and give New Zealand First and especially Clayton Mitchell publicity. But I would prefer that we celebrate the fact that we have a multi cultural society where everyone gets on pretty well and where diversity is celebrated rather than have a debate suggesting that crushing uniformity of culture should be the norm.