A nobody list MP explains why NZ should sign the UN migration pact

Digital image credit: Technomage

When there is an important issue in the news, we expect reporters to ask for comments from the leaders of the various political parties, or at least from the government minister or shadow minister responsible for the issue.

I was reading a Stuff article yesterday about Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters criticising the National party. In the article, he claims that the National party are hypocrites for attacking the coalition government’s apparent intention to sign the United Nations pact on migration because, he claims, the National party initiated the process in 2016. National’s Foreign Affairs Spokesman Todd McClay rejected Peters’s claim. quote.

“We are dealing with a compact process that was signed up to by the then National Party in December 19, 2016 … committed New Zealand to signing the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and to have the process of time going forward to this time in 2018,” Peters said.[…]

“The National Party is out there complaining about a process and document that they were the originators of and were going happily along with until they thought they would get some political advantage and I’m calling them out.”

National’s Foreign Affairs Spokesman Todd McClay asked Peters if he was aware the agreement made no distinction between legal and illegal migration and called for restrictions on freedom of speech and the media.

Peters said he had studied the allegations, which had been made by some countries around the world and some people in a worldwide campaign, very carefully.

“Both those allegations are demonstrably false,” he told the House.

Outside the House, McClay rejected any suggestion National had signed up to an agreement in 2016 that had led to this pact.

He said an agreement had gone through the UN that New Zealand had not spoke out against, but had not actively signed up to – only 15 countries had.

“We didn’t attend the meetings. All countries in the UN allowed it to go through. It was open for signature, the National Government did not sign it – Peters is wrong, but that happens often.”

He said it “felt like this [pact] has been discussed in secret, they won’t release any information, they won’t tell us what to do, four days before the agreement is to be signed.”

McClay declined to say what he thought Peters, long known for his hostility to migration, would have to gain pushing through a powerful pact in the shadows.

[…] A lot of New Zealanders have the same concerns that Australia, the United States, and more than 15 other countries do, the Government shouldn’t be signing this, it commits the Government to doing things that are not in our interests.”

He rejected the idea that National was stepping away from a traditional bipartisan consensus on foreign policy. end quote.

So far so good. The article has quoted two relevant politicians from two different parties for the story but then it gets weird. The reporter for some unfathomable reason then goes to a nobody Green list MP for comment. I couldn’t understand it until I re-read the sentence. It seems that nobody list MP Golriz Ghahraman is actually the Green Party’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman! I did a bit of research and to my horror, she has a whole swath of titles. She is spokesperson for…

  • Human Rights,
  • Immigration,
  • Customs,
  • Disability,
  • Foreign Affairs,
  • Trade,
  • Defence,
  • Security and Intelligence,
  • Corrections,
  • Police,
  • Overseas Development,
  • Courts, and Justice

So what did this nobody list MP have to say on this very concerning issue? Quote.

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman called the National Party stance “absolute fearmongering.”

“When you look at the countries that they’ve noted that have pulled out you’ve got Donald Trump, Israel, and some of the Eastern European nations that have had a rise in that same rhetoric of populism.”

“The compact is an agreement that New Zealand would join to have a conversation about migration with other countries. It actually opens with reaffirming everyone’s sovereignty.”

“It’s absolutely not a threat to sovereignty. It’s about having a collaborative approach and talking to each other about a global issue. Which New Zealand should absolutely do – Canada is doing it, Europe is doing it, we need to stand a counterpart to the politics of xenophobia and hate.” end quote.

So there you have it, folks. Golly G has spoken. All the ‘cool’ countries are doing it so New Zealand should do it too. If President Trump, Israel and patriotic, nationalistic Eastern countries are against it then it must be bad.


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