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Peters Wants To Be New Zealand's Pim Fortuyn

16 May 2002

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says Winston Peters' attack on Muslim immigration shows he wants to be New Zealand's Pim Fortuyn.

He says Mr Peters' attacks mirrors his attack on Asian immigration before the 1996 election and its timing shows it is clearly a political ploy.

"It has the hallmarks of the type of message Mr Fortuyn was promoting in the Netherlands and that other far-right politicians have been promoting throughout the rest of Europe."

"Their common theme has been to identify an obviously external group as the cause of a nation's problems and to imply that things will get better if only this group is dealt to."

"As the ultimate populist, Mr Peters has obviously looked to the opinion polls in Europe and decided that if it works there, it can work for him here," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says everyone accepts that preventing terrorists from entering New Zealand is vital, especially in the wake of reports that our comparatively benign security environment made it more likely such people would seek to re-locate here.

"However, terrorists come in all shapes and sizes and we should be vigilant across all boundaries, rather than singling out a particular group the way Mr Peters is."

"What his latest attack underlines is the need for New Zealand to develop a far more comprehensive population, immigration and resettlement policy."

We need to ensure that across all categories of migration, including refugees, we are getting the best skilled people for New Zealand, rather than resorting to these types of knee-jerk reactions.

"We should be using population and immigration policy to make New Zealand the world's best multicultural nation in which to raise a family," he says.

Ends

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