30 Sep 2018

NZ First members want migrants and refugees to sign to core values

12:53 pm on 30 September 2018

Who should and shouldn't be allowed to make New Zealand their home was the hot topic at the second day of the NZ First annual conference in Tauranga today.

A remit to introduce a Respecting New Zealand Values Bill for migrants and refugees was passed by party members despite some opposition, and will now go to the caucus for policy consideration.

These values would include respect for gender equality, legal sexual preferences, freedom of religion and a commitment not to campaign against alcohol consumption.

While some party members were concerned the conversation was bordering on racism, another was vocal about certain types of people "creeping in''.

Roger Melville from Wairarapa said he found the country was filling with people "who aren't really New Zealanders".

He described the attitudes he had encountered by immigrants across the whole country.

"Arrogance, down right ignorance of putting people down and forcing their ways and means, which I find specially from, and I'm not trying to be racist - of Pakistan, Indians and some Asian-type of attitudes,'' Mr Melville said.

NZ First MP and Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said she would prefer to give some consideration to a citizenship test, similar to Canada.

She said it was good to have robust debate.

"This is the beauty of New Zealand and NZ First. Nobody died here today, nobody was threatened with death. They argued it, they passed it and we'll see how we can work it,'' she said.

New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell helped draft the bill and read out its intentions.

"New Zealand is a tolerant society. Our tolerance means that if an individual wants to immigrate to New Zealand, they must accept, respect and adhere to the tolerance our society expects," it said.

"Immigrants must agree to respect New Zealand's values and to live a life that demonstrates that they respect New Zealand values."

The party also passed a separate remit that professional and trade qualified immigrants who come to New Zealand should be bonded in the regions.

The NZ First conference wraps up this afternoon with NZ First leader Winston Peters' keynote speech.

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