In his maiden speech in Parliament today, newly-elected Green Party list MP Ricardo Menéndez March criticised “the Winston Peters and Bob Jones of the world” for “scapegoating immigrants” for the housing crisis and unemployment.
Responding to the speech, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “As a self-proclaimed socialist, Ricardo Menéndez March is an MP watched closely by the Taxpayers’ Union.”
“Unfortunately, Ricardo used his Parliamentary debut to abuse his Parliamentary privilege and smear Sir Robert Jones as some kind of anti-immigrant populist.”
“Had Ricardo taken five seconds to google Sir Robert, the newly-minted MP would have found the top results include opinion pieces titled ‘Migrants good for NZ - the more the merrier,’ and ‘Welcome illegal immigrants with open arms’. He might have even discovered that Sir Robert sponsors a scholarship for the daughters of refugees, with recipients including the likes of Fanus Amanuel Mehreteab, whose family fled war-torn Eritrea and who writes ‘I sincerely thank Sir Robert Jones, and everyone involved in this scholarship, for giving young refugees an opportunity to make their dream come true.’”
“Sir Robert has certainly expressed controversial views, but the suggestion he has ‘scapegoated immigrants’ appears to be nothing more than a figment of Ricardo’s imagination, conveniently justifying his own prejudiced views of New Zealanders who don’t share his politics.”
“The Green Party claims to stand for honesty and civility in politics. We have no doubt the Greens’ leadership will insist that Mr Menéndez March corrects the Parliamentary record tomorrow.”
Disclaimer: Sir Robert Jones is the landlord of the Taxpayers’ Union’s excellent offices on Lambton Quay in Wellington and Shortland Street in Auckland.