Deputy PM Winston Peters has lit a firestorm in his own support base over the government’s decision to sign the controversial UN Migration Compact—a move National says it will overturn.
NZ First’s Facebook page went into overdrive as one-time NZ First voters voiced their anger. After all, NZ First campaigned strongly against the previous government’s immigration policies and stood out in demanding stricter controls on migration.
Now the party appears willing to adopt the UN’s rules on open, regular migration.
So did Peters miscalculate? In Parliament he had been using the UN compact to bait National, because it was the government in 2016 when offering support as the compact was being initiated.
And he went to great lengths to insist there was no foundation to objections the compact could undermine NZ’s sovereignty.
He says NZ, in supporting the UN Compact, has been satisfied that fears about the document are baseless.
“The Government would not support the UN compact if it compromised NZ’s sovereignty or could in any way take precedence over our immigration or domestic laws. But the compact does not do that. The Crown Law Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have provided legal advice which confirms this UN cooperation framework is neither legally binding nor constraining on this country setting its own migration policies.”
On Newstalk ZB Peters contended the UN Migration Compact has been misrepresented by people who are spouting nonsense and want to lie to the public. He told listeners “uninformed people” and the “alt-right” are intentionally misleading the public about the true nature of the agreement.
As Peters describes it, the compact is an agreement in principle about how to reduce harmful, illegal migration and how to stop trafficking.
“We have decided as a matter of principle it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sign up to the agreement. Just because there have been people dog whistling false information on this, that doesn’t mean we will sway.”
Winston Peters says he is comfortable with the compact – but if he read the comments on the party’s Facebook page, he will find he may have miscalculated the support from his supporters.
Here’s a sample:
NZ FIRST FINISHED. Winston Peters and the greatest act of political TREACHERY in our history.
Peters is a liar a fraud and a self serving conman. NZFIRST is finished.
Lower immigration and putting NZers first was what he campaigned on. He’s a total turncoat. I feel a bit sick actually
The government are traitors to the NZ people
I voted for NZ first for there hard line on this topic.
But looks like Winston has sold his soul for power.
You lose my vote next election
Lost my vote then. We need to start a petition about this. Otherwise NZ will turn into a dump like all those cities in europe.
No way should this government have signed this pact. When were us the people asked ?. This document limits the media or anyone from disagreeing with uncontrolled immigration, and thats ok ?
I have nothing but contempt for Winston Peters now. Signing that UN migration pact is signing away our sovereignty and taking away the right of this country to make it’s own decisions. We need a Donald Trump as our leader !!
Stephenie van Dusschoten
SAD!!! Anything to do with the UN is MASS MIGRATION…goodbye New Zealand….
why sign it if it means nothing, hidden agenda maybe?
Lost my vote Mr Peters. I think you have miscalculated very badly any support you think you may have had around this issue. Pity. I have voted NZ First for the last 4 elections and Im not in your target demographic, but never again.
You have really let down the NZ public on this one.. Such an important issue should have had a lot more consultation with the people of NZ… We didn’t vote you in to look after the UN’s plans and ambitions, We voted you in to act in the best interests of NEW ZEALANDERS!!
Winston. You’ve just screwed us mate.
I did not vote for you so you could bend over to the UN. What you’ve done here goes against everything you campaigned on. You’ve looked us in the eyes and lied.
With one signature, you’ve just lost half your supporters. Good luck trying to get us back on board for 2020. I’ll remember this, my two ticks will be going elsewhere next time.
Peters might have a lot to think about when he goes fishing over the holidays.