Tom Peters at World Socialist writes:
Over the past month, New Zealand’s main opposition Labour Party, the Greens, the Maori nationalist Mana Party and the right-wing NZ First Party, have intensified their xenophobic campaign to restrict immigration, particularly from China and other Asian countries. The parties are seeking to make this a central issue in the lead-up to the September election.
Labour, which lost the 2011 election by a landslide, is floundering in the polls and widely seen as no different to the conservative National Party government. Since National was first elected in 2008 it has implemented a series of brutal austerity measures to impose the global economic crisis on working people, leading to soaring living costs and increasing poverty and inequality. Labour essentially agrees with the government’s attacks—including thousands of public sector job cuts, health and education cuts, and an increase in the regressive Goods and Services Tax.
Now Labour and its allies are whipping up hostility to immigrants, blaming them for the deepening crisis, particularly the soaring cost of housing.
So the Socialists and the Greens are both attacking Labour for their attempt to blame house prices on immigrants.
They also attack Mana:
Depicting Chinese immigrants as a new colonising force, intent on dominating NZ’s economy, provides the rationale to support the US build-up to war against China, or else take a neutral position. At the same time, the campaign reflects the material interests of layers of big business and the petty bourgeoisie, including the Maori elite represented by Mana, who see foreign investors as rivals.
Mana’s statements are further proof that there is nothing remotely progressive about the party, which uses national chauvinism and racial identity politics to divide the working class and block any challenge to the capitalist system.
I think Mana gave up being progressive when they took the $3 million from Mr Dotcom.