Labour ‘not likely’ to support NZ First’s values test

The AM Show 02/10/2018

Labour will not be supporting New Zealand First's proposal to test whether the values of migrants and refugees meet those of Kiwis, Jacinda Ardern has announced.

The Respecting New Zealand Values Bill, which passed at NZ First's AGM on Sunday, includes asking new arrivals to respect gender equality, religious freedom and New Zealand law.

But the Prime Minister said the Government does not support the bill, telling The AM Show on Tuesday the bill is not racist, but it is "not likely to be something Labour will be supporting at all".

New Zealand First's Bill is "not a Government bill," the Prime Minister emphasised, telling The AM Show it is "really for them [NZ First] to speak on their policy".

The Prime Minister did, however, share her views on what it means to be a New Zealander, telling The AM Show Kiwis are "a very fair-minded people, we're very pragmatic, we don't like to be told something can't be done".

"We're pretty innovative, and the one I try to put emphasis on is that we really celebrate those who volunteer as much as we celebrate an entrepreneur," she added.

Appearing on The AM Show on Monday, Massey University Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Spoonley said citizenship tests are "confusing and inconsistent".

"There isn't a test which establishes what your values are, it's nonsense really," he said. "It is always controversial, and if you look at the UK citizenship test, it's generally described as a very bad pub quiz."

The New Zealand First Bill would make immigrants and refugees "accept, respect and adhere to the tolerance our society expects", said New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell at the party's AGM in Tauranga.

The motion to support the Bill was apparently hotly debated, and only just passed.

Internal Affairs Minister and New Zealand First MP Tracey Martin said the Bill sounds great on paper, but that it probably was not necessary.

Watch the full interview with Jacinda Ardern above.

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