New Zealand lawmaker under fire for making Asian 'joke'

This article is more than 12 months old

New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters told an audience in Auckland on Sunday (Aug 10) : “As they say in Beijing, two Wongs don’t make a white.”

Peters, a high profile New Zealand lawmaker made those comments in his campaign launch for the ​New Zealand general elections on Sept 20.

He made the cringe worthy line which he defends as a genuine attempt at a joke. 

“The reality is a Chinese guy thought it was a joke, he told me that and I thought it was funny, so did my colleagues,” he said.

“There’s nothing racist about it... what we don’t need is a few journalists who decide that they’re going to be the Nazi politically-correct police of this country,” he continued. 

Not funny

His fellow politicians however did not share his sense of humour.

New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy, labelled the comments as "disappointing and shameful".

Prime Minister John Key said that the Peters was being deliberately provocative in an attempt to gain attention ahead of the election. 

“We’re better than this and our political leaders need to realise that," he added.

Peters is a long-standing anti-immigration campaigner who in the past has warned about New Zealand becoming an “Asian colony".

Source: AFP, New Zealand electoral commission



New Zealand