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Peters attacks on immigrants an embarrassment

8 September 2002 Media Statement

Peters attacks on immigrants an embarrassment


Speaking to an audience of 200 Asian business people in Auckland Jim Anderton today attacked Winston Peters for his outrageous comments attacking Asian immigrants.

“I hope all of you and your community regard him and his politics as an embarrassment, like a bad joke, which we tolerate in a free society.

“Winston Peters has been doing what he always does - shouting from the rooftops about whatever it is that he can try to turn into a scandal, and fooling some of the people, some of the time.

“Ninety per cent of the population did not vote for Winston Peters, and my guess is that the vast majority in this country regard him as an embarrassing political opportunist who has used racial attacks to lift his political profile in a way that disgusts the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders.

“Winston Peters sometimes seizes on things which have an element of fact - and then distorts them in his campaign for publicity, often adding explicitly inflammatory references which are designed to attract headlines.
Many media representatives find these outbursts good copy.

“Perhaps his most outrageous example was his attempt during the election campaign to link the Oklahoma bombing (carried out by far right-wing white Americans) with imagined security threats posed by immigrants to New Zealand.

“As regards all the rest of his rantings, I will deal with them in due course in another speech on another occasion,” said Jim Anderton.

ENDS


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