Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern finally clarified her position on New Zealand First Minister Shane Jones comment against Kiwi Indians on partnership visa in a brief media standup in Bangkok.
PM Ardern is attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN Summit in Bangkok where she met Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha along with Agricultural Minister Damien O'Connor.
In a brief Q&A session with media, Ms Ardern was asked by RNZ's political editor Jane Patterson. if Minister Shane Jones' comment 'if you are not happy, catch on the next plane back home' targeting the Indian community, was acceptable for a minister.
Ms Ardern readily responded that her party does not endorse such comments.
"It's certainly not the position of my party," Ms Ardern asserted.
"Of course, as you have heard it from me many times before, we are three different parties in the government together, and I see him speaking as a member of New Zealand First and not as a Minister," Ms Ardern added.
On asked if she was worried about the effect on Labour, as there has been a strong reaction against the Labour Party in particular from some of the Indian community and if that concerns her, Ms Ardern reasserted that the statements [made by Shane Jones] are not she agrees with.
Trade Minister Damien O'Connor was also asked at the Summit if Mr Jones' comments would affect New Zealand's trade with India, where he said New Zealand is trying to build a strong relationship with India.
"Certainly will be making it clear on behalf of the Prime Minister and our party" that the views were not shared," Mr O'Connor said.
The last week has witnessed several Indian community organisations demanding an apology from Minister Shane Jones for his 'racist comments' and protests at different intervals of the week.
National List MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern questioning Labour Party for not condemning Shane Jones' appalling comments towards the Indian community.
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