The National Government has decided to outflank NZ First and target the families of Asian immigrants to make it look like it’s doing something about immigration and the linked housing crisis.
It has temporarily frozen the ‘parents’ category for immigration, blocking the parents and grandparents of already settled migrants from coming to NZ. Minister Michael Woodhouse claims the older migrants are costing NZ tens of millions in welfare payments and hospital bills.
The ban mainly applies to Chinese and Indian families.
Reaction has been swift and furious.
Right wing humbug Phil Quin was so outraged he has joined National just so he can quit.
“In light of National’s calculated decision to deploy racial profiling as a political tactic, I resign my membership of the party. I am stunned that National, as a matter of conscious political strategy, would trawl through a dubiously acquired list of immigrants to identify Chinese sounding names”. He adds, “Am I getting paid for this? $500 for a thousand words sounds fair, OK?”.
Blogger, poller and part time penguin impersonator David Farrar was equally scathing:
“John Key demoted Lockwood Smith for his comments on Asians. Will Key continue to defend Woodhouse? Imagine if for example a Don Brash led National Party had come out with a shonky analysis like this, and used the language Woodhouse did? Every Maori and ACT MP in Parliament would have been calling Brash racist. Instead, we have silence.”
Farrar’s trenchant criticism was supported by the Race Relations Conciliator:
“Dumbing down complex economic woes and blaming them on an ethnic community whose members are already feeling under pressure is neither new nor unique but it’s always disappointing,” Dame Susan Devoy said about something else.
However, Housing Minister Nick Smith said National was not playing the “oldest political trick in the book” by picking on one ethnic group.
“In fact”, Minister Smith went on to not say, “we’re attacking two ethnicities, so we’re twice as tricky as Labour. Take that Twyford!”
Minister Smith went on to clarify his remarks:
“The Government will not be making immigration policy based on people’s surnames. We’ll be making immigration policy based on people’s parent’s surnames, which is a completely different thing.”