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Business Leader: NZ First Asian Bashing Bad Joke

2 April 2008

Media Release

Auckland Business Leader says NZ First Asian Bashing A Bad Joke

Auckland Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Michael Barnett says Asian New Zealanders should see New Zealand First’s latest round of Asian-bashing as a bad joke by a minor political on the ropes in an election year.

Mr Barnett was responding to New Zealand First’s attempt to capture racially-biased headlines and votes by making an obvious call for New Zealand to limit migrant access to the country by Asians.

Mr Barnett says rational New Zealanders, and particularly rational Aucklanders, value the contribution that Asian people make to the economy and broader society.

Mr Barnett says the Auckland economy would be noticeably poorer for having fewer businesspeople of Asian extraction.

“Across the Auckland isthmus productive enterprises gain huge benefit from the involvement of the local Asian community, be they as business owners, customers, educators, students, parents or children.”

“I also invite New Zealand First to reflect on the fact that, for example, Japanese investors who might never even visit here, let along live here, help sustain New Zealanders lifestyles by lending them money.”

“Asian New Zealanders, and those overseas, should see this for what it is: a pathetic piece of political posturing by a minority party.


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