A survey commissioned by New Zealand People's Party, the country's first ethnic political party claims that immigrants are viewed as having a positive influence in New Zealand.
Aucklanders were surveyed across multiple age groups and ethnicities about their attitudes towards immigrants. The results found that there is a positive attitude towards immigrants, although work needs to be done to improve understanding between the diverse cultures that make up the New Zealand society.
Riding on this survey NZ People's Party wants a bigger representation for the immigrants in New Zealand parliament.
The party president Roshan Nauhria, who is currently standing in the Mr Roskill by-election, says that “too often politicians use immigrants as scapegoats for issues such as the cost of housing and unemployment rates. We wanted to show that this is not true and that immigrants are viewed favourably by many New Zealanders,”
The key finding of this survey was that 43% of all respondents thought that the migrant communities were not well represented in Parliament.
Another 42% identified the main reason that migrant communities were not well represented in Parliament was due to established parties or voters not recognising migrant needs.
It was an online survey involving participation from 762 Aucklanders across multiple age groups and ethnicities.
The survey was based on multiple choices where respondents could tick multiple responses to the same question.
The NZ People’s Party believes that the poll reflects support for increased representation of immigrants in New Zealand’s Parliament and validation for their existence as immigrants based purely ethnic party.
Although, despite such visible optimism within the party, it is not clear from this survey that there is a wider recognition for pure immigrants based ethnic political party.
The survey did not include a question about the need for separate immigrants based ethnic political party to enhance immigrant representation in the NZ parliament.
Indian Weekender reached out to the leading political parties to seek their comments on this claim from the NZ People's Party.
Michael Wood, the Labour Party candidate for the Mt Roskill by-elections where Roshan Nauhria is also in the fray was 'appreciative' about the general outcome of the survey about New Zealanders being receptive to migrants.
Though he did not comment anything about the NZ People Party's claim of this survey being an indication of the need for immigrants based separate ethnic party.
"It is encouraging to see confirmation that Auckland is a tolerant, welcoming multi-cultural community.
Like many other people I value the contribution made by multi-cultural communities to Mt Roskill and believe that we are all better off when we learn from one another," says Mr Wood.
Mahesh Bindra, List MP for the New Zealand First had an indifferent opinion towards this claim made by the NZ People's Party.
"New Zealand First policies are for ALL New Zealanders. We do not believe that New Zealanders born overseas should be treated any differently.
We do not make any distinction between New Zealanders on the grounds of their race, religion, colour, gender, language, ethnicity or socio-economic status" says Mahesh Bindra.
National's candidate Dr Parmjeet Parmar was still unreachable for comments on this latest media release from the Roshan Nauhria's office.