NZ First leader Winston Peters says the restaurant signs on Auckland's Dominion Rd are an eyesore, and show evidence the Government's immigration rules don't work and the council's advertising rules need an overhaul.
Mr Peters said many of the restaurants' advertising signs were not in English, indicating English language requirements to enter New Zealand were useless.
"You've got to wonder what's going on with our immigration programme when you have so many ethnic restaurants down Dominion Rd. If the advertisements are all in a foreign language, tell me what's happened to the English language test? Clearly they haven't required it to be met."
He said he was referring to a Massey University study reported in the Herald this week which found many signs in places including Dominion Rd, Northcote, the central city, Meadowlands and Papatoetoe were in languages other than English. That made new migrants feel comfortable but many local residents uncomfortable.
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Mr Peters said he was not criticising immigrants, but he agreed with Auckland Chinese Community Centre chairman Arthur Loo, who said the signs should also be translated into English.
The MP also said the signs were " ugly" and there was an "appalling" set of standards on street-side advertising.
"How do Paris and some of the world's beautiful cities do business? They don't have all those things cluttering up the cityscape."
Yesterday Prime Minister John Key said he took anything Mr Peters said about immigration with a grain of salt.
"Ethnic restaurants ... add to the fabric of New Zealand. It makes it a lot more interesting place to dine and eat. As far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier."