Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Chinese influence creating 'Supercity of sin' - Peters

Winston Peters. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Winston Peters. Photo / Sarah Ivey

New Zealand First Leader and former Foreign Minister Winston Peters has again lashed out at growing Chinese influence, saying it is turning Auckland into "the Supercity of sin".

Mr Peters, who has often been criticised for stirring up xenophobia for the sake of political gain, warned that New Zealand was turning a blind eye to the level of corruption in China. That corruption had already affected New Zealand through the recent revelations about fraud involving Zespri's exports to China and the earlier Fonterra melamine scandal.

"It stands to reason that corruption can be exported and imported" Mr Peters said in a speech to North Shore Grey Power.

Mr Peters took aim at the Government's relationship with casino operator SkyCity and the recently announced international convention centre deal and its gambling concessions which represented "a preferential treatment licence to make money".

While "gambling dens" like SkyCity encouraged, "misery and crime, money laundering and shady dealing", Mr Peters said the present Government saw it as "a great chance to bring in rich Chinese tourists".

He said the "half baked' deal struck by the Government earlier this year to fast-track visitors visas for China Southern Airline's frequent flyers prompted the question, "who in Hades is running things here, us or them?".

Mr Peters said that when "so called rich tourists" from China had finished gambling "there's another attraction nearby" referring to the John and Michael Chow's plans for a 15 story hotel and entertainment facility including a brothel on Victoria St.

"Thanks to our generous student and worker visa schemes - the Chow brothers will be able to provide genuine home grown sex workers for the visitors if that's what they want".

"It makes you wonder if the City of Sails is becoming the Supercity of Sin."

Mr Peters said a blind eye was also being turned to people trafficking in the sex industry.

"Where are all the so called liberals and women's liberation movement? Or is liberty, freedom and human rights of no importance when the victims are Asian women?".

He also claimed an Asian student cheating industry was emerging and that tradespeople were increasingly complaining about being undercut by immigrant based businesses which effectively operated using "slave labour" and paid no tax.

He claimed NZ First was not against immigration or foreign investment, "but the facts are stark an unavoidable".

"Today Auckland is in crisis. And a senseless economic plan linked to a senseless immigration policy is helping create this crisis."

- NZ Herald

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