Monday, 1 October 2018

NZ First AGM: "Respect" and All That

Apparently, the only thing worth reporting from the NZ First AGM that was held in Tauranga over the weekend was Winston Peters' proposed Respecting New Zealand Values Bill for migrants and refugees, which would insist on them respecting our views on gender equality, legal sexual preferences, freedom of religion, a commitment not to campaign against alcohol consumption, and, for those who become employers, respect for our work standards and minimum wage.  (Assuming, of course, that our "values" are "commonly shared.")

Apparently, the motion was only narrowly passed, either because many members did not agree with its provisions or perhaps because they thought it unnecessary.   NZ First MP and Minister of Internal Affairs Tracey Martin was in the latter camp. "I think the Bill that Clayton read out might be covered in a whole lot of other places,” she said.

Cameron Slater in his Whaleoil blog thinks, "Tracey Martin isn’t fit for purpose. She constantly goes against NZ First policy and increasingly seems to have her own agenda. Time for NZ First to recast their list for the next election."

Perhaps so, but by announcing her mildly contrary position before the Coalition caucus meets she is paving the way for a "compromise" Bill that could be passed with amendments, thereby satisfying Winston and his NZ First members, Labour and the Greens." We could in fact have a "consolidation" Bill.

Meanwhile, the proposed Bill was opposed by the Refugee Council of New Zealand and the Human Rights Commission, saying it stripped them of dignity;  Green MP Golriz Ghahraman thought the proposed Bill would "cause disharmony more than anything",  and Opposition Leader Simon Bridges labelled the Bill as "headline-grabbing nonsense." 

Respecting New Zealand Values Consolidation Bill,
or no Bill at all?   

Either way,  it's given the media something to write about while Parliament is in Recess.


Related. Gordon Campbell on the proposed Bill

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