Winston Peters says Maori seats aren't needed, promises referendum

by Benedict Collins / 17 July, 2017
Winston Peters giving his keynote address at the New Zealand First conference in Auckland. Photo / Benedict Collins

Two referenda would be on the cards if NZ First is part of the government after the election.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has warned the country is on the verge of an economic and social nightmare because of government neglect.

Mr Peters used his election convention speech in Auckland this afternoon to attack the government's record on housing, immigration and foreign ownership.

Mr Peters told more than 500 party members and supporters that if elected, New Zealand First would "drastically reduce" immigration from 70,000 a year to 10,000 - a level that he said was sensible and sustainable.

Mr Peters also said that if New Zealand First was part of the next government, he would let the public to decide whether to abolish Māori seats and cut the number of MPs in Parliament to 100.

He said Māori seats send a terrible message and vowed to hold a mid-term binding referendum on the two matters.

"The fact is that Māori don't need to be told that they're not good enough to be equal, or that somehow they should be handicapped or somehow they should be pigeon-holed," Mr Peters said.

"When did you ever hear Buck Shelford say don't tackle me too hard I'm a Māori, or all those women playing in our netball team or any other team, when have you ever heard them say don't hit me too hard I'm a Māori?

"Māori don't need the Māori seats - they don't need any more tokenism."

Mr Peters said he expected New Zealand First would be attacked by other political parties for the plan - but said if they did they would be hypocrites.

The last time the public was asked if the number of politicians in Parliament should be cut, 82 percent of people agreed, Mr Peters said.

"Because they've known how long and [how] much time Parliament has spent in the last 30 years getting rid of New Zealand taxpayers' assets - flogging off our wealth".

Mr Peters estimated the referendum would cost $27 million.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Whole grain diets could reduce the risk of bowel cancer
83269 2017-11-18 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Whole grain diets could reduce the risk of bowel c…

by Jennifer Bowden

There’s good news and bad about New Zealand’s second-biggest cancer killer.

Read more
7 personal questions for cartoonist Tom Scott
83303 2017-11-17 14:33:23Z Profiles

7 personal questions for cartoonist Tom Scott

by Clare de Lore

Cartoonist, political columnist, playwright and film-maker Tom Scott marks his 70th birthday with the release of Drawn Out: A Seriously Funny Memoir.

Read more
The disappearance of Jim Donnelly: 'There are more questions than answers'
83250 2017-11-17 06:37:31Z Crime

The disappearance of Jim Donnelly: 'There are more…

by Paloma Migone

On Monday June 21, 2004, Jim Donnelly signed into work as usual. Thirteen years later, he still hasn't signed out.

Read more
Auckland rates increase: 'It's a good time to be selling'
83248 2017-11-17 06:27:23Z Property

Auckland rates increase: 'It's a good time to be s…

by RNZ

Homeowners in one of Auckland's cheaper suburbs could find themselves out of pocket when their next rates bill arrives in the mail.

Read more
Tracey Donnelly: Life as I knew it stopped when my husband disappeared
83282 2017-11-17 00:00:00Z Crime

Tracey Donnelly: Life as I knew it stopped when my…

by Tracey Donnelly

"My life was normal. We were a family of two adults and two children. Then one day, everything changed."

Read more
Kiwi actor Vinnie Bennett: 'I'm just grateful to be doing this'
83021 2017-11-17 00:00:00Z Profiles

Kiwi actor Vinnie Bennett: 'I'm just grateful to b…

by Laura McQuillan

The Kiwi actor's performance in new film Human Traces landed him a rising star award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Read more
Ockham winner Catherine Chidgey lays herself bare in experimental new work
83047 2017-11-17 00:00:00Z Books

Ockham winner Catherine Chidgey lays herself bare …

by Nicholas Reid

Catherine Chidgey took daily notes on things she had heard in 2016. What she made is not a diary, but "A Found Novel".

Read more
A new convert to e-bikes shares his revelation
83245 2017-11-17 00:00:00Z Technology

A new convert to e-bikes shares his revelation

by Paul Thomas

If hills put you off cycling, a battery pack and motor will electrify the experience. Peter Griffin has seen the light.

Read more