Racing ahead

New Zealand First has experienced a late surge in the polls thanks to its strong anti-immigration stance.

Leader Winston Peters has contributed to the rise with speeches that call refugee scams "Asianisation by stealth" - interpreted by opponents as racist.

To prove his critics wrong, Mr Peters held a public meeting for the Chinese community in Auckland yesterday and issued a Chinese translation of his speech.


He even went as far as claiming that, because he is part Maori (and part Scottish), he has Chinese blood in him.

His claim is based on research from Massey University that shows Maori came from mainland China and were part of a High Mountain national tribe called Gao Shan Zhu.

A betting man

Education Minister Trevor Mallard seems fairly sure his handling of the school teachers' pay dispute won't cost him his portfolio if Labour is re-elected. At a press conference last week, a reporter asked him whether he expected to remain minister of the troubled education sector. Mr Mallard offered to wager a bottle of wine on it. None took him up on it, so it is probably a bet they would expect to lose.

Cards on the table

The PPTA has taken a leaf out of Labour's book by issuing its own election credit card detailing what it thinks the Government needs to do to solve the secondary teachers' crisis. In a newspaper advertisement, the union sets out a list of five commitments including "genuinely" valuing teachers, adequately resourcing the NCEA and planning properly for the future with an adequate supply of new teachers.

They said it:

* "No New Zealand First immigration policy has ever been anti-Asian, anti-Chinese or anti-any race." - Winston Peters sets the record straight.


Where the leaders are:

Helen Clark is in Auckland and Wellington.

National's Bill English holds a public meeting in Waikanae.

Green co-leader Rod Donald campaigns in Nelson; colleague Jeanette Fitzsimons holds a meeting about safe food in Waihi.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters talks about immigration "fiddles" in Rotorua.

Act's Richard Prebble holds a press conference about education in Wellington.

Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton speaks in Paraparaumu and Levin.

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