Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Political correctness paralyses Labour on burkas

Political correctness paralyses Labour on burkas

More than eight months after Labour Ministers knew they would have to decide our law's attitude to extreme Muslim clothing preferences, they still have no idea what to do, ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said today

"Today in Parliament the Police Minister George Hawkins could not tell us straight whether there are immigrants whose license photos show only a shroud.

"Rule 12 of the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999 says applicants don't have to remove things that obscure their face if they sign a statement that they must wear the item for religious reasons. I've been told of at least one burka-shrouded license photo, and no one in government has denied the likelihood that there are more. A Land Transport NZ letter only says the number is `likely to be very low'.

"The Government's lawyers fought hard to ensure that burka-wearing witnesses could keep their faces masked in court. Meanwhile, the Transport Minister's officials are puzzling over what to do about the rule that lets Muslim women refuse to remove their burkas for their driving license photos.

"George Hawkins should have made up the mind of the dithering Minister of Transport. When basic legal principles are at stake, tell every immigrant `when in Rome do as the Romans do'.

"The answer is only hard if you're politically correct. So Labour can't use the simple principle `one traffic law for all, to be enforced equally, without discrimination by race culture or religion'.

Think of the problems if their political correctness continues. For example:

• How are police expected to know whether a license belongs to a Muslim women or a hunted rapist, when both can hide under a burka and the license photo shows only the burka?

• How will traffic police apply the district court ruling the Government fought so hard to get, that Muslim women shrouded in burkas only have to show their faces to females and old men?

• How many male traffic police are old enough to check burka wearers?

Why has it taken so long to change the bizarre license photo rules? Is it out of embarrassment because so much police prosecution effort went in to ensuring Muslim witnesses can stay masked, or simply the paralytic political correctness of the entire Labour Cabinet? I think it is the latter," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election