Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Act's Chinese language ploy under attack

Don Brash. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Don Brash. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Labour has slammed Don Brash's foray into the local Chinese online media in a bid to woo the Chinese vote as "scaremongering" and the tactics used as "inflammatory rhetoric".

The Act Party posted a newsletter in Chinese script on popular online site last weekend in which Dr Brash, the party leader, warned voters that Winston Peters and Hone Harawira could be forming the Government if they did not vote Act.

"Relying on the coalition Government with the Labour Party, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters became the Finance Minister and Treasurer following the general election in 1996 and then Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2005," Dr Brash wrote.

Mr Peters is an outspoken critic of New Zealand's immigration policies and many in the Chinese community perceive him as "anti-immigrant" and "anti-Asian".

Dr Brash also said Green Party co-leader Russel Norman "wanted to be finance minister in a Labour-Green coalition" and that "ex-Maori MP" Hone Harawira, and his newly formed Mana Party, "is likely to form the next Government with Labour and the Greens".

He added: "At a time when the world economy is so gloomy, many voters will know in their heart what a Labour-Green-Mana coalition government will do to New Zealanders."

Labour's Chinese affairs spokesman, MP Raymond Huo, said Dr Brash was "deliberately misleading" and "scaremongering".

"Sadly, some Chinese voters rely on materials translated into their ethnic script as a primary source of information, but Dr Brash's statements are not helpful in assisting them to become informed voters.

"He is wrong to believe he can get away with it simply because it is hidden in another language."

- NZ Herald

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