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Peters' divisiveness an assault on modern society

Peters' divisiveness is an assault on our modern society

The NZ First Party's ongoing campaign to try and create mistrust between different groups of New Zealanders highlights an abysmal failure on the part of its leader, says Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

"Any politician aspiring to play a leadership role in New Zealand needs to have an ability to bring New Zealanders together, not to push them apart. Developed societies in the 21st Century, whether they are in North America, Australasia, Europe or Asia, are much more diverse than ever before.

"The NZ First Party's warped type of nationalism may have worked wonders for politicians in the 1800s and 1900s, but they shouldn't wash in the 21st Century.

"In this century, there is an extraordinary amount of exchange of ideas, music, science and people across borders. Tourists by the tens of millions are breaking down barriers of culture, language and religion on a daily basis. We should celebrate these facts, not castigate them.

"After all, the old forms of chauvinistic nationalism led to two horrific world wars which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men, women and children. Surely our mixed societies and multiple voices raised against such conflicts are a healthy sign of civilised progress, which we should celebrate.

"The challenge to those aspiring to political leadership in modern societies is to show the ability to bring people together for the common good, rather than always trying to pull them apart for narrow and temporary political gain," the Progressive leader said.

Jim Anderton is addressing the New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment (NZAMI) conference at the Waipuna Conference Centre in Auckland this afternoon.


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