Whaleoil transcript: Gun & hate speech law reform + Winston Peters?s previous comments on Islam

Guyon

Let?s put some of that to the Acting Prime Minister, Winston Peters who joins us now, good morning to you.

Winston

Good morning.

Guyon

We?ve just had Nicole McKee from the Coalition of Licenced Firearm Owners, I know you probably wouldn?t have been able to hear all of that interview but she is saying that the way that this law is written is going to make, well, in her words, ?criminals out of most of the 250,000 people that she represents. She was claiming that parts of these weapons, if they are in possession, will mean that they are breaking the law, that the law is poorly written and rushed. Do you have a response?

Winston

Well that sort of verbal, stylized nonsense which, with respect, she?s got time to make submissions on before this law is passed, the second thing is should she? does she understand what the word amnesty means? And they?ve got all the way to the end of September to look at the law and hand in weapons that are illegal, and will be defined as illegal under that law and be fully compensated for that. And it won?t cost billions.

Guyon

How much will it cost?

Winston

Well look, I? we can?t say that because we don?t know how many ah? military semi? or you know, automatic type weapons are out there. However, if we were to go by the Australian experience and we should not be too far removed from theirs, ah? then there?s sort of an upper limit and perhaps a lower limit and it?s better to prepare for the worst and think of the upper limit, and it could cost, now this is an extravagant statement but it may well be true. It could cost up to 300 million dollars to set what?s wrong, right. But it?s not billions, as she said.

Guyon

So, you?re saying 300 hundred million, the minister was saying 100 hundred million, I appreciate it?s not an exact science at this point, but do you? you must have a calculation on what you?re roughly going to pay and how many weapons are out there to make such a judgement?

Winston

Well here?s the problem and everybody in politics and in fact a lot of people in society should own up to it. We?ve been pretty lax about this, we?re pretty slack about it and all of a sudden, a day of reckoning has come when we?ve got to act as we should have done a long time ago. And there was a time when what happened in Australia should have been a signal to us. We didn?t act then either so here comes the rub. Because we haven?t done it these decades, we just don?t know how widespread the potential illegality when the new law is passed will be. But at the outside it will be 300 million.

Guyon

Okay, yeah. So just 211 guns handed in so far. That?s not many is it?

Winston

No, it?s not. But then they don?t know and they?ve been told they will get a law to read and see and understand, they don?t know out there exactly what it is we are saying, but they will have plenty of time between now and the end of September with a widely broadcast publicity programme we intend to put around this to know the laws and what we expect of people.

Guyon

Do you support a gun register?

Winston

Well, I?ve? look? that is part two of the legislation that is planned and I really have to talk to our coalition partners on that before I give that answer. What I think doesn?t really matter unless we can make it a majority in the interest of a combined cause that works.

Guyon

Can I move to this discussion that the nation is having over hate speech, I see that the Human Rights Council wants, or Human Rights Commission, wants the government to consider changing the law to protect religious groups against hate speech. This has been supported by the Federation of Muslim Associations. What do you think?

Winston

Well, this is a great question actually. The fact is we are going to have to have a serious debate about what we mean by hate speech. This is clearly a case where we need to have laws where it?s not just hate speech, it?s actually a call to violent crime and terrorism in many cases. And so, there?s got to be? there have to be laws to stop that, but whilst we do that, we?ve got to ensure there?s a serious balance in favour of the great thing about our society, and that is freedom of speech. Just because you don?t like something it should not be called hate speech. They?ve got to have far greater characteristics to conform with any new law change we have, where it means far more than just ?I hate what he?s saying? but it?s worse than that, he needs to be stopped saying that because it?s going to be violence and death.

Guyon

Have you reflected on your own comments about Muslim communities in the past in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack?

Winston

What do you mean by that?

Guyon

Well, for example, your speech, the end of tolerance, in 2005 where you said that?

Winston

Well guess what?s happening in 2005 and before that, guess what?s happening with 911. And then onto the London bombings. And guess what the Imams in London were saying and around the Islamic world were saying about those? some of those in their midst? They were saying precisely what I said back then.

Guyon

Well let?s? let?s

Winston

And I? and I don?t resile from that. And I?ve just come back from the ah? Organisation of the Islamic Corporation where number one in their mind was Islamic state terrorism. Erdogan said it and numerous others said it. So, you?ve got to understand what you?re talking about, and I was talking about not mo? law abiding and ah? ah God loving, Allah loving moderate Islam. I was talking about extremists in their midst, and I don?t resile from that.

Guyon

Okay, well you said in that speech that moderate Muslims were operating hand in glove with extremists. You said, quote ?this two-faced approach is how radical Islam works.?

Winston

Let me stop you right there. I know what I said. I?m not happy you read.. you?re repeating misinformation. I said?

Guyon

Well? well it?s your own speech Mr Peters.

Winston

Ah look, you just said that. That?s the third time. I?m talking about what Islamic moderate leaders were saying themselves?

Guyon

No, no. I?m talking about what you said as a leader in NZ.

Winston

I know that Guyon, and I?m repeating what I said, when I got up in front of them. They were the first ones that said that. They were saying we have to? those of us who are moderate, not let these people abuse us. We?ve got to call them out ourselves.

Guyon

You said in the NZ Muslim community they have been quick to show us their moderate face but there is a militant underbelly as well, these groups are like the mythical hydra, you said, a serpent underbelly with multiple heads capable of striking at any time and in any direction. You don?t resile at all from that section?

Winston

Look? look Guyon, stop trying to be the state prosecutor here, right? You?re just not up to it.

Let me tell you, I talked to the ah… Foreign Minister for Pakistan. He said, ?Mr Peters, I understand what your country is going through. Let me tell you, we?ve had 70,000 people die from similar events in recent years ourselves.?

This is a leading Islamic country. They understand what [indistinct] you?ve done – trying to make something out of a political point this morning.

Guyon

In 2013 you defended one of your own MP?s, Richard Prosser, who said that if you are young and male?

Winston

Oh, here we go again? here we go again.

Guyon

They should be banned from riding on planes.

Winston

No, I didn?t. No, I didn?t defend him, I didn?t defend him, I sent him down to the mosque to get an education. He went down to the mosque and got… got an education and? and resiled from ever saying those things again.

Guyon

You said, quote? you said, quote in February of 2013 ?There?s an element of truth to what he?s saying.?

Winston

Well, the word ?what is done? came out in the NBR. That?s the National Business Review, you remember that? No, you don?t, I do. All I was saying is?

Guyon

No, he wrote this? he wrote the piece for Investigate magazine, Mr Peters.

Winston

[Indistinct]? the leading commercial or business newspaper in this country.

Guyon

No, no he wrote the piece for Investigate magazine. But it?s probably neither here nor there.

Winston

No, you got the phrase ?what is done? from the National Business Review from many years before, all about the wine box. All I?m trying to tell you, because you?ve been pretty brief in this business, is the real history behind what he said. And I sent him down to the mosque to get himself re-educated. Which he did. Remember that?

Guyon

So, you don?t resile from any of your comments? You? you… about the Muslim community at all? You?ve got no problem with what you?ve said, you?ve thought about it and you think that was fine?

Winston

Well, I can listen to people like you, Guyon, and bore your listeners mad, or I can tell you I?ve been off to see 57 countries, Islamic ah? Organisation of Islam Corporation, got a serious round of applause, and some people actually crying in the aisles when we told them the truth about New Zealand and showed them a video. We went there to ensure that we were not? we were not misunderstood. That?s what I am more keen to do, rather than have this repetitive mindless argument about what you think.

Guyon

Thanks very much for your time, that is the Acting Prime Minister, Winston Peters.

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