In a dramatic, though unsurprising bid, the New Zealand First Party has made an astounding claim on being the sole guardians of the so-called ‘NZ-values’.
On Sunday, September 30, a ‘Respecting New Zealand Values Bill’ was passed at New Zealand First party's AGM that would require migrants to sign up to so-called 'New Zealand values' like gender equality and marriage equality.
The Bill was introduced by New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell, went through some superficial discussion, then passed and received the final backing of the party’s leader Winston Peters.
The bill is audacious as it seeks the sole claim on some subjective universal values such as gender equality or marriage equality as an exclusive prerogative of New Zealand-First Party, in the guise of being NZ-values.
This is audacious for a political party that has 7.2 per cent vote share at the time of last elections, and still, it believes it has the “moral authority” to stake a sole claim on something as intangible as New Zealand-values.
This is dramatic as it comes at a time when the party is already exercising far more authority in government in proportion to its vote share and seemingly seeking more at the cost of migrants.
This is not surprising though, given the current trajectories of thinking of New Zealand First party and of their leader Winston Peters.
However, this is not acceptable!
Purely for the reason that the claim is rooted in the sense of arrogance, disrespect, and the very intolerance that it apparently seeks to weed out from the Kiwi life, in the guise of value testing.
In fact what it seeks to create is a ‘second-class citizenry of migrants and refugees,’ who will be called upon to be answerable, not to the state and state institutions, but to the whimsical political leaders and their fanatic followers, and almost their whims.
Does this scenario look anywhere like the Kiwi life that they are trying to protect from the so-called charge-ins of the migrants?
It is for ordinary Kiwis to decide.
However, from a migrant’s perspective, this is absolutely unacceptable, purely for the reason that they also adore and cherish the very Kiwi way of life for which they have migrated to the land of Aotearoa and feel obligated to preserve and protect it from the charge-ins of self-styled guardians of kiwi-Life.
Kiwi way of life is more in danger from these so-called self-styled guardians as it seeks to destroy the basic tenets of freedom, tolerance, and respect of others, under the guise of protecting these values.
It is not rocket science to understand that the values of freedom and tolerance are evolved from the collective consciousness of a society without least intervention, forget about forceful intervention from political forces, threatening to capture state institutions.
Fortunately, the bill has so far not received much approval in parliament or in government, however, if left unchallenged vigorously, can change in future.
In this regard, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, fresh from her recent foray on world stage in New York, where she displayed remarkable diplomatic skills in expressing NZ’s opposition to Trumpesque political instincts would have to step up and do more and address this rising home-grown Trumpesque political back here.
Mere smiling away or side-stepping as she did on the AM Show on Tuesday, October 2, is not enough.
An equally bold and unwavering response to this NZ First’s “values bill” from none other than the Prime Minister Ms Ardern is in the order.
Little would Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have thought that she would be called upon to decry Trumpism all over again right here on home turf.