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October 8, 2018 | by  | in Politics | [ssba]

The Party Line

New Zealand First may seek a law change to force migrants and refugees to sign up to a set of core Kiwi values. The Respecting New Zealand Values Bill would require new migrants to respect gender equality, legal sexual preferences, freedom of religion, and a commitment not to campaign against alcohol consumption. Should New Zealand have the right to force Kiwi values onto migrants? Where should we draw the line?

ACT on Campus

While ACT supports the idea of ensuring migrants entering New Zealand share our values, we don’t believe a party like New Zealand First are the right people to draft this sort of legislation without resorting to xenophobia. We believe this could be abused by those with nefarious intent to keep entire groups of well-meaning people from entering the country. Also, considering Winston Peters has voted against homosexual law reform, civil unions, marriage equality, tolerant alcohol laws, and child abuse prevention, we don’t believe he could even pass his own “Kiwi values” test!


The Young Nats believe that migrants, by their very nature of being immigrants, already both embody and enrich the values of New Zealand. The idea of working to better your life and embracing everyone’s views and traditions are all apart of what makes New Zealand a fantastic multicultural country. If anything we consider the remit passed by the New Zealand First conference to go against the very notion of what it means to be a New Zealander. For 25 years New Zealand First has pushed xenophobic, agest, and homophobic policies. They pushed for immigration numbers to be slashed in the last election, the increase of the drinking age, and Prime Minister Winston Peters voted against Homosexual Law Reform, Civil Unions and Gay Marriage. As such the Young Nats would like to invite New Zealand First to leave their values in the 1840s and join the 21st century.

– Grahame Woods


“There needs to be a question about who is deciding what “Kiwi values” are and who decided that those who are coming from elsewhere do not already hold these values. Will they make everyone sign this, or will it only be people of a certain religion or country? It feels as though it will be targeted, based on prejudice. There are many people who already live in New Zealand, who were born in New Zealand, who do not prescribe to the values listed. There are even people sitting in Parliament who don’t subscribe to these values. The current and previous leader of the National Party voted against marriage equality and the same party voted against Jan Logie’s domestic violence bill, clearly showing their stance on legal sexual preference and gender equity. There are many campaigns in New Zealand to combat our harmful drinking culture, why is it only an issue when migrants also campaign against it? This bill sounds like a justification for racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia and a discriminatory excuse to not allow refugees into the country, when they are of no threat in the slightest to New Zealand or our values.”

Greens at Vic

How does Winston interpret “New Zealand values”? However Winston wants to. Plenty of Kiwis don’t have respect for gender equality, religious freedom, or New Zealand law. Maybe we should put this test to everyone, not just migrants, and exile anyone who fails? We already have a system in place to ensure that if someone violates a value that we hold to be important enough, they are punished. They’re called laws. Migrants are already required to obey them. Winston is talking about denying refugees entry into the country. Is it really worth letting people die to uphold “New Zealand Values”?


About the Author ()

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