Dunne wants Parliament to pass Multiculturalism Act

United Future leader Peter Dunne
United Future leader Peter Dunne
United Future leader Peter Dunne wants Parliament to pass a Multiculturalism Act.

He said today legislation would give formal recognition to New Zealand's growing multicultural status, and would be similar to Canada's.

"Official statistics already show that almost one in three New Zealanders today are of non-European origin -- within 15 years that is likely to increase to just over 40 percent," he said in a speech to the New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils in Wellington.

"By 2021, for example, it is projected that a quarter of our population will be of either Asian or Pacific origins."

Mr Dunne said while New Zealand had a strong and enduring bicultural tradition flowing from the Treaty of Waitangi, the rigidities that this was imposing were increasingly out of step with modern reality.

"It is also one of the reasons why United future wants an early referendum on the future of the Maori seats in Parliament," he said.

"The question we have to consider is how fair it is to continue with separate representation for one group of the population at a time when the country is becoming far more ethnically and culturally diverse."

He said his party believed New Zealand could be the world's first truly multicultural, multi-ethnic nation.

Add a Comment