New ethnic party unnecessary?

Of course leaders of existing parties think that new competing parties are unnecessary – they want everyone to vote for them and not get distracted by some political interloper.

NZ Herald: Political party for Indian & Asian migrants angers Winston Peters

NZ First leader Winston Peters says a move to set up a new ethnicity-based political party for Asian and Indian immigrants is a “an extraordinary demand” which will harm New Zealand.

The People’s Party has been set up and acting leader Rohan Nauhria told RNZ it would campaign on issues such as crime and was aiming to get into Parliament by focusing on the Indian and other Asian communities.

The announcement of the People’s Party got a frosty reception from NZ First leader Winston Peters who said race-based parties were bad news.

“No country is going to progress if we have political parties spending time accentuating their differences. For people to come into New Zealand and say we’re going to start an ethnic-based party is an extraordinary demand to make.”

I don’t know how angry Peters actually is but this is pathetic.

One of the key aspects of political campaigning is accentuating differences. Peters does it all the time, that’s a reason why he has generally been successful for so long.

Peters seems to have a problem with immigrants becoming politically active. Does he want to limit voters and party starters to New Zealand born pensioners?

I haven’t seen the People’s Party making any demands. Like other aspiring parties they are offer themselves and people decide whether to support and vote for them or not.

It’s Peters who is virtually demanding immigrants butt out of competing with him.

John Key had a much less abrasive reaction.

Prime Minister John Key said he was not surprised the party had emerged given the recent focus on migration.

“It’s not just Winston Peters with an anti-migrant message, it’s also been people like Labour. So you’re always going to get people wanting to make sure their voice is heard the other way.”

In an open democracy like ours starting a political party is one way of being heard. And Peters has already listened.

Key doubted it would get into Parliament, based on the history of similar one-issue parties and its lack of a well-known leader.

That’s a reality of our system of MMP. Key’s National has ensured that a ridiculously high 5% threshold remains in place to make it very difficult for new parties to succeed.

He said it was important for ethnic communities to be represented, but they were better served by the major parties selecting candidates from those communities rather than forming their own party. “I think that’s a far more effective and likely to be successful.”

A small party that doesn’t get elected may potentially have more impact than an ethnic National MP virtually anonymous in a large back bench.

When Dr Parmjeet Parmar was announced as a National list candidate I don’t recall the media giving Winston publicity so he can have a rant. The People’s Party has already had an impact.

Peters said ethnic groups were already well represented in Parliament and there was no need for a separate party.

It’s not about need as perceived by a crusty old campaigner. Our democracy gives us all the right to have a go and participate in any way we see fit.

Perhaps a fresh new party will be a good thing for a significant number of voters who have no interest in a cantankerous old anti-immigration crank.


And Rohan Nauhria is hardly a ‘lack of a well-known leader” (as Key put it).

NZ Asian leaders: Roshan Nauhria

Roshan Nauhria commenced self employment in New Zealand in 1976 invigorating the hardware supply industry through the import of wire nails to the building industry.

2009 Appointed member of the New Zealand order of Merit.

Through continued research and development…

Nauhria – Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2015; Supreme Winner – Business Excellence Award – South

Sounds like an excellent sort of immigrant to me.  he has been successful in business in new Zealand a very long time – since before Peters first became an MP way back in last century.


Leave a comment


  1. Corky

     /  31st August 2016

    What’s happens if they gain political power.?

  2. Zedd

     /  31st August 2016

    sounds like the Indian/Asian-wing of ‘Team Key’ to i&I ! 😦

  3. Jeeves

     /  31st August 2016

    “It’s not just Winston Peters with an anti-migrant message, it’s also been people like Labour. So you’re always going to get people wanting to make sure their voice is heard the other way.”

    Where is the ‘anti-migrant’ message from Labour?
    I heard Little’s response to this new party, and it was along the lines of “well that’s what democracy is all about- its great, and I welcome it” (on a RNZ interview on Tuesday am)

    • Iceberg

       /  2nd September 2016

      “Where is the ‘anti-migrant’ message from Labour?”

      Have you just landed here? Nanu Nanu

  4. Jeez, Winnie should complain … while I rather like NZFirst now they have a much broader base, they started life as an age-ist and anti-immigration [racial or arguably borderline racist] political party.

    Nowadays I must give Peters some credit for expounding both sides of what might be an irreconcilable yet unavoidable ethical connundrum … the best policies for New Zealanders … since undeniably we are here in Aotearoa-New Zealand … and a respectable immigration policy … Winston alone is prepared to “speak the paradox” …

    There’s plenty of cantankerous voters cranked up along anti-immigration lines PG … and for numerous reasons. Immigration, after all, goes to the very heart of globalisation and neoliberalism as well as issues of Western ‘values’ and “terrorism” …

  5. Chris

     /  31st August 2016

    If peters is anti race based parties, why isnt he pushing hard to get rid of the Maori Party and Maori seats?

    • Gezza

       /  31st August 2016

      Abolishing the Maori seats is already his policy – subject to a typically usefully ambiguous statement that: “the future of the Maori seats is a decision for the people to make having examined the significant increase in representation numbers of Maori MPs under MMP.”

      My guess is he thinks its a bit risky to push this one at present, & best to not antagonise Maori & subject himself & his party to constant attacks for strongly advocating abolition of the Maori seats. But, as usual with Winnie, who really knows?

      • Corky

         /  31st August 2016

        Its like a lucky dip. You are excited because you will be receiving a prize.,,,but disappointed beforehand because you know it will be a trinket.

  6. “NZ’s first political party dedicated to immigrants;” This headline is an absurdity. No-one in New Zealand is NOT an immigrant or descended from an immigrant -Maori included. Would an Asian/Indian ethnic qualification for membership of a new party pass the tests of the Human Rights Act, and the discrimination on basis of race laws of New Zealand?

  7. Blazer

     /  2nd September 2016

    should take votes away from Natz.Tend to be very conservative and big on law and order,do the Asian immigrants.


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