Peter Brown, deputy leader of New Zealand First, bluntly told immigrants they were not welcome in New Zealand unless they were prepared to give up any cultural traditions or values that conflict with those of New Zealand. He particularly expressed his anger at immigrants who come from nations in which women were treated as subservient to men or had a “class system.” Brown spoke at a meeting which contained many immigrants and emphasized to them New Zealand was an “egalitarian society” and only wanted people who share those values.
The Brown speech came at a meeting in which eight political parties expressed their views to a crowd containing many immigrants. Brown’s comment undoubtedly represents the feeling of many people in New Zealand who fear strangers, particularly those from Asian societies. Of course, the ironic aspect of Brown’s comments regarding coming from a “class society” given that most original British immigrants came from a class society. Has Mr. Brown ever read the history of British migration to New Zealand and Austrialia?