New Zealand Party Urges Asian Immigration Ban

NZ Party Urges Asian Immigrant Ban

The Associated Press
April 2, 2008

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand should shut its door on Asian immigrants to prevent the country from being inundated with people who will not integrate well into society, a leader of an anti-immigrant party said Wednesday.

The comments by New Zealand First deputy leader Peter Brown followed the release of figures showing that the country's Asian population is likely to grow 3.4 percent a year through 2026 faster than any other ethnic group.

“The matter is serious,” Brown said in a statement. “They will form their own mini-societies to the detriment of integration and that will lead to division, friction and resentment.”

New Zealand's overall population is projected to rise to 5.5 million from the current 4.2 million over the next 18 years.

Some 14 percent of the total population is expected to claim Asian ethnicity in 2026, with their numbers nearly doubling from 400,000 in 2006 to 790,000, government statistician Geoff Bascand said.

All the nation's main ethnic groups, including Maori, Pacific Islanders and ethnic Europeans, will grow in the next two decades, Bascand said. But those with Asian links are likely to grow the fastest, he said, surpassing the total number of Maori.

Brown blamed New Zealand's “open door” immigration policies. Many Asians come to the country for work and then never leave.

“No other country follows blind policies of importing people and exporting jobs like New Zealand and it is time this foolishness was ended for the sake of the people who live here now,” he said. “There is real danger we will be inundated with people who have no intention of integrating into our society.”

There was no immediate response from the government. The chief executive of the country's Employers and Manufacturers Association, Alasdair Thompson, said Brown's comments were “racial stereotyping of the worst sort.”

“We need our newer migrants,” he said. “We don't need Mr. Brown's racism.”