ACT Tries To Outbid New Zealand First

Published: Thu 5 Sep 2002 12:25 AM
5 September 2002
Act Tries To Outbid New Zealand First
Progressive Matt Robson MP has hit out at what he describes as nutty intolerant statements on immigration fuelled by sentiments increasingly close to racism.
"Recently we have had Winston Peters confusing our immigration policy with tourists behaving badly, and the latest contribution is from ACT's Stephen Franks who seems to think all Muslims are terrorists. He goes on to say we should ban immigrants based on 'religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds'.
"Perhaps the scariest aspect is the extraordinary statement where Stephen Franks is quoted as saying 'I do not respect Islam'. This is reported directly after his own statement that we don't want migrants whose backgrounds include religious intolerance.
"Our immigration policies are not based on deciding one religion is better than another or assuming that all people from a religious or cultural background share the same views. It's like saying all westerners are Christians who believe exactly the same things. We don't, and one example is that many of us welcome a diverse community while others want to ban Asians.
"If Stephen Franks is really concerned about people who don't respect women, religious freedoms, or who have illnesses he can start work here in New Zealand on these issues with those born in New Zealand.
"Our immigration policies should be based on skills and education, keeping families together and there is a small number of refugees who are accepted on criteria set by the United Nations. Skin colour and the cultural and religious background of people are not reliable guides for who will be good citizens.
Act has clearly decided to compete with New Zealand First for the title of the most divisive and intolerant party in Parliament. It is a competition that we don't need.

Next in New Zealand politics

Government Announces Three Phase Public Health Response To Omicron
By: New Zealand Government
Thousands Join Save The Children’s Call To Retain New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner
By: Save The Children
Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
New Zealand Retains Top Ranking In Annual Corruption Perceptions Index
By: Transparency International NZ
Property Prices Increase By A Record 25% In One Year
By: Trademe
Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers
By: Statistics New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media