New party welcome to try

Two editorials on the rights of New Zealanders to start up political parties versus the rants of people who oppose new parties.

NZ Herald: An Asian political party would be welcome if migrants feel they need it

A new political party aiming to represent Indian and other Asian immigrants ought to be welcomed by all New Zealanders. Our electoral system has been designed to give a voice to minorities. Oddly, the “People’s Party” has not been welcomed by Winston Peters, an enthusiast for MMP who exploits its fragmented politics at every opportunity. “No country is going to progress if we have political parties accentuating their differences,” he said, probably with a straight face.

It is a daring move to form a distinct political party. Newcomers to a country are naturally unsure of their right to assert themselves in its decisions. They know there will be many like Peters, who calls it “an extraordinary demand”. If they elect their own party it might confine itself to issues of particular concern to migrants. That would be a pity.

It is a strength of this country that it has a place in its politics for minorities and it is not for others to tell them how they are represented.

A key aspect of a health democracy is participation, something that New Zealand has a growing lack of.

So more parties and more options for representation should be welcomed by those who value democracy rather than their own narrow self interest.

Dominion Post (Stuff): New party welcome to try for Parliament, but the task will be difficult

The New Zealand People’s Party aims to have its first candidate ready for a by-election in Auckland’s Mt Roskill, if current MP Phil Goff leaves to become the city’s mayor.

Not surprisingly, NZ First leader Winston Peters is agitated. “A whole [lot] of New Zealand people are getting sick and tired of people who think they can walk into our country and now demand to have a say in the political system,” he says.

This is typically gutter-level stuff – “our country” and the fight to protect it from uppity outsiders who “demand a say”. No need for the dog-whistle here.

It’s nonsense. Those who live in New Zealand as residents or citizens are New Zealanders. This is their country and they don’t need to demand a say: they have it as of right.

Yes, it is everyone’s right, including the 25% of New Zealand residents or citizens who were not born in this country but have chosen to live here. And a lot more are children of immigrants – the population of our country is built on immigrants.

Political representation is part of the deal. If a party wants to pitch its tent as a voice for minority communities that it believes are often ignored, then that is fine and no-one should be troubled by it.

An entirely different question is whether it will be successful.

Success will be very difficult to achieve if their aim is to get seats in Parliament, but publicity given them by Winston Peters’ dog whistling may help.

 

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22 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  7th September 2016

    No doubt it will be an uphill battle. Most political endeavours like this fail. However, some don’t- Hitler, for example. The thing is, imagine this party gains some power. What’s their perspective? Foreign. How will they operate? Foreign.Who are they looking out for? Foreign.

    What can we do about it? Nothing. We are a democracy. That’s how Sharia law is gaining power in Britain.

    I’m not saying this Party is out to destabilize Aotearoa. But they will add no power to our native culture and way of doing things..How can they. They aren’t of our culture.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  7th September 2016

      “But they will add no power to our native culture and way of doing things.”

      You live in a cave, right?

      What is “our” way of doing things?

      Reply
    • Corky – “What’s their perspective? Foreign. How will they operate? Foreign.Who are they looking out for? Foreign.”

      In other words, they’ll be precisely the same as what we’ve got now!

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  7th September 2016

        “In other words, they’ll be precisely the same as what we’ve got now!’

        No, political power changes things. They may want to change immigration quota’s eg extended family entitlements. Holy horrors, they may want to stop Maori privilege, believing naively everyone should be legally the same under the Treaty of Waitangi. They don’t understand our patronising mollycoddling of Maori that is encompassed by the “New Zealand Way of life ”

        Most immigrants, by upbringing, are hard workers. They may want that to be carried over to making beneficiaries work for their money. Again, they may not understand our indulgent ways of welfare.

        I cant see them not excising political power to their advantage. Only a fool wouldn’t. Again, I don’t think they have any ambitions to take control of New Zealand. They will just be wanting more advantages that are politically favourable to them…..and our democracy allows that.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  7th September 2016

        Penny dropped, I think…….just shows, interpretation can be a subjective thing.

        Reply
  2. Klik Bate

     /  7th September 2016

    Can’t see Roshan Nauhria’s ‘People’s Party’ appealing to many of Mt Roskill’s Muslim Community – the fun begins @1:20s. LOL!

    Reply
    • Klik Bate

       /  7th September 2016

      Whoops, wrong vid – had just downloaded from someone else’s post. Try this:

      Reply
  3. Jay3

     /  7th September 2016

    Judging from the interview with it’s leader Roshan Nauhria on Q + A, it is essentially an Indian immigrant party, concerned primarily with issues affecting the Indian community. I doubt it will have much appeal to Chinese and other East Asian immigrants who tend to be more aspirational. Further Nauhria has such a strong Indian accent his English is almost impossible to understand, downright impenetrable to Asian second language speakers I would imagine.

    Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  7th September 2016

    I dont have a problem with ‘a new party’ (the more the merrier).. BUT are they really a ‘NEW’ party ?

    The ‘news’ that they have given donations to NZF & even Labour (?).. has created some ideas, that they are ‘sitting in the centre’ BUT if you listen carefully, the biggest donation.. by far ($25k ?) went to ‘Team Key’ !!

    I agree with Winston, they are probably just the ‘Indian/Asian-wing’ of this Govt. I wonder whether Dr. Parmar, Ms Lee & Mr. Singh have any ‘connection’ or affiliation to them ??? :/

    Reply
  5. Pete Kane

     /  7th September 2016

    I Just picked up on Chris Trotter’s recent article (various papers including ODF and Waikato Times) re Mt Roskill and the ethnic as well as ‘list’ challenges for the Labour candidate. Actually I knew it had challenges quite a bit since the well over a decade ago that I lived in Auckland. I still feel though, that a number of commentators are looking at the “Asian” vote in a more monolithic way than is perhaps warranted. Still, as I say challenging.

    “The man the Labour Party has chosen to replace Goff is young, intelligent, hard-working, and has already proved his ability to attract the votes of his neighbours by being twice elected to his local community board. As Goff’s electorate chair, he worked tirelessly to keep the Mt Roskill seat in his party’s hands. But, this otherwise ideal candidate does have one important factor working against him – his ethnicity. Michael Wood is a Pakeha New Zealander.”

    “Some Labour wags even referred to it as the “Bible Belt”. Not anymore. Today, Mt Roskill’s 25,000 Christians share their electorate with more than 3,000 Muslims and nearly 6,000 Hindus. This religious diversity reflects the fact that “Asians” comprise nearly 40 percent of the electorate. More than 45 percent of today’s Mt Roskillites were born overseas.”

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2016/09/labour-vs-peoples-party-mt-roskill-up.html

    Reply
    • “More than 45 percent of today’s Mt Roskillites were born overseas.”

      That’s a lot, but a sizable 25% Kiwi-ites were born overseas.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  7th September 2016

        Wonder how those national percentages would compare with the large (but quite different) waves of immigrants in the 50s, 60s and 70s?

        Reply
        • They will be spread through the decades no doubt. It would be interesting to know how they are spread.

          It’s possible 25% has been somewhere around the proportion for a long time, since it was much higher with early immigration.

          Reply
        • This could be worth a post. I found some numbers so far but just recent:

          2001 – 19.5%
          2006 – 22.9%
          2013 – 25.2%

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  7th September 2016

            What’s your hunch for Roskill Pete? (And I meant to ask if you are snowed in up there on the hill?)

            Reply
            • Very windy (up to 130 km per hour) and a bit cool and wet but no sign of snow at 100 m, nor at 200 m (Highgate web cam). Might get a bit on the hills by morning.

            • I really don’t know about Roskill. Presuming Goff resigns, if the People’s Party stand a candidate it could as easily take votes from National’s ethnic Indian candidate. Depends on whether Greens stand, whether NZ First stands etc etc.

            • Pete Kane

               /  7th September 2016

              NZ First will be interesting. Where there’s immigrants, there’s anti-immigrants. Actually, there’s no reason why NZF can’t make inroads into the PI community. They have their own take on Asian immigration – here and in the Islands.

            • The only thing I’m fairly sure about is that it won’t give us much idea of what the general election may deliver.

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