Immigration policy may be the end of Winston

Winston Peters in front of his campaign bus

Nobody does hypocrisy like Winston Peters. He campaigned on reducing immigration for his entire career. Now that he is deputy prime minister, he seems to be suffering from memory loss. It cannot possibly have escaped his notice that, of those who voted for him in 2017, many did so because of his promise to reduce immigration. The previous government had allowed immigration to get out of control, and a housing and infrastructure crisis was the result. Also we were seeing some significant immigration fraud, which he indicated he would stop. Somehow, Winston always seems to manage to forget all of his election promises once he gets into government. This time, there is no excuse. This time, it is worse than ever. quote.

Coverage of the issue died down over the Christmas and New Year holiday period but it?s hard to believe that the matter has blown over or the damage to Peters and NZ First will not continue. end quote.

I promise you, the matter has not blown over. There are rallies coming in all the major cities. We are just waiting for the holiday season to end. quote.

One of the many posters advertising the NZ wide rallies on social media

[…] if it?s non-binding and of no consequence, why would someone who has based his long political career on opposing mass immigration agree to it at all? (especially when close allies Australia and the United States have decided not to)e

It is a good question, and we all know the answer. Winston will say ANYTHING to get himself elected, but he knows that he can get away with not following through because, being the leader of a small party, he has always been able to blame the major party in government. Now his power and influence are blatantly obvious, but he is still playing the same game. He won’t get away with it this time. quote.

As one Facebook commenter put it: ?Sorry, guys, but even if you?re right you are still wrong. What is the point in signing up for something which is non-binding unless it?s what you actually want for the future??

What certainly doesn?t help as well is that Golriz Ghahraman ? the Greens? foreign affairs spokesperson and Parliament?s most vocal advocate of open migration ? endorsed the pact.

It?s hard to imagine an endorsement that is more damaging for Peters than one from the Green politician whom right-wingers love to hate more than almost anyone else in Parliament. end quote.

Graham Adams

There is a delicious irony in that. Winston has always hated the Greens, and he can be as dismissive as he likes, but he is in government with them now. Most people who voted for Winston never dreamed that he would go into government with the Green party. He may argue that it is a Labour-NZ First government only, but this government is history if the Greens pull their support. It won’t happen, of course, and Winston knows it. quote.

Voting for the compact wouldn?t matter nearly as much, of course,
 if the government had already cut immigration substantially […] but it hasn?t.

It?s a clear breach of a campaign pledge and Peters can?t even palm off the blame to Labour as the dominant partner […] his success in persuading Labour and the Greens to pass the waka-jumping law alone indicates just how much clout he has.

Few would believe therefore that he wouldn?t get his way if he wanted immigration numbers to be slashed by 20,000-30,000

It hasn’t happened though. In fact, we are nowhere near that number. Now that the UN migration compact has been signed by New Zealand, we will never get down to those numbers. We won’t be allowed to. quote.

Treasury made waves in 2016 when it noted that high immigration could push New Zealanders out of low-skilled jobs, depress wages and increase housing pressures. That view is now widely accepted and is a major reason why National ? which oversaw a huge increase in the population ? is no longer in government. end quote.

The main reason why National is no longer in government is Winston Peters but yes, immigration was an important election issue that both Labour and NZ First promised to deal with. They lied. quote.

Treasury also remarked that while New Zealand had enjoyed a relatively calm public debate about the subject, ?there is always a latent risk of this turning on a dime?.
That prospect could become a real risk this year, particularly if the economy weakens, KiwiSaver balances fall and the housing market slides ? with the inevitable flow-on to employment as the wealth effect that makes voters happy to borrow and spend evaporates. It would be a brave person who believed that New Zealand would not experience more vicious hostility to immigration if voters? jobs and homes were under threat. end quote.

All the evidence points to an economic downturn this year. The September quarter figures, expected late this month, will show a significant fall in GDP. This is unlikely to be a one-off, and although many of this government’s policies certainly do not help, some of this will be due to global trading conditions. A competent government could weather the storm reasonably well, as happened during the GFC under John Key, but we don’t have a competent government. We have a bunch of fools. quote.

[…] it is Winston Peters whose future is most clearly at risk over immigration. A Colmar-Brunton poll in December put support for NZ First at four per cent  ? below the cut-off point of five per cent.
[…] Peters is in no position to continue to ignore calls from his followers to honour  his campaign promises on the one subject that has most clearly defined his political platform for decades. end quote.

That won’t worry Winston. He’ll just introduce a bill into parliament dropping the MMP threshold for small parties to 4%, or less. After all, that is the only way the current government could possibly be re-elected on current polling.

All politicians lie through their back teeth to get into office and lie all the way through their political careers. Jacinda is a fool if she believes otherwise. Winston Peters is the biggest hypocrite of them all. People used to say about Winston that he would ‘keep the government honest’. How can that possibly be true when he is so blatantly dishonest himself?