27 Apr 2011

Peters deplores emergence of 'race-based' parties

10:30 am on 27 April 2011

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says there should be no room in New Zealand politics for race-based parties.

Mr Peters says that if independent MP Hone Harawira launches a new Maori party on Saturday, there will be three parties set up on a racial basis - the Maori Party, Mr Harawira's Mana Party and the New Citizens Party, which targeted Chinese voters in the recent Botany by-election.

"A party formed on the basis of race and looking out for only one type of voter, that is, mainly Maori, is not the best thing for our country," Mr Peters told Waatea News.

"I'm not putting Maori down, I'm just saying that we have the ability to compete against the best in the world if we knuckle down and put our best foot forward and put our minds to it.

"But looking at preference on the basis of race is no way to go forward."