Could Dog-Whistle Politics Be Creeping Into New Zealand Too? – Dunne
1 February 2017
UnitedFuture Leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling for a more rational policy debate on immigration.
“Over the last few days we have seen virtually every political party in New Zealand condemn the extreme immigration stance taken by the United States via an ill-thought out executive order,” said Mr Dunne.
“But there is a disconnect between the anti-Trumpian rhetoric being used by Labour and the Greens and the policies that they then espouse regarding immigration here.
“In response to this travel ban in the United States and the halting of the refugee programme, UnitedFuture outlined an alternative policy view that endorsed an immigration system that was more open to business and families sponsoring new residents.
“The current Government, has also been resolute in maintaining an open and mostly tolerant immigration system, regardless of their tepid condemnation of the United States’ change in policy.
“On the other hand we have opposition parties loudly beating the drum of condemnation regarding President Trump while also blaming immigration for unemployment (even though it is reducing), Auckland house prices (even though Auckland house price inflation is reducing), and calling many migrants “low-skilled”.
“An argument on immigration that talks about new migrants as problems, rather than as people, is exactly the same ‘us versus them’ narrative that contributes to reactionary and damaging policy regarding immigration,” said Mr Dunne.
“UnitedFuture does not begrudge parties that want to explore changes to immigration, but we happen to disagree with many views that advocate large restrictions, and more than that, we oppose the rhetoric that uses immigration as a political device that fails to recognise that real families with their own hopes and aspirations lie at the root of that discussion.
“I wholeheartedly stand in support of those who condemn the shift in United States policy, but I call on political parties to ensure that their contributions to the immigration policy discussion in this country remove elements that would see lists of names that sound a certain way or extreme caps on immigration be proposed.
“We can have a sensible, tolerant and respectful discussion about immigration in this country, without descending into the politics of blame and persecution.
“It is time parties like Labour and the Greens match their stated opposition to Trumpian immigration policy with what they advocate in their own policy,” Mr Dunne concluded.