Winston Peters: Misinformation around the UN migration compact is wrong

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 December 2018, 6:56p.m.
Winston Peters has defended the UN Global Compact on Migration . (Photo / NZ Herald)

The Foreign Minister is pretty confident we won't regret joining the UN Compact on Migration.

New Zealand will join the UN Compact on Migration tomorrow morning, despite a number of countries and immigration experts expressing concern over the deal.

They say if the compact is binding, it would limit freedom of speech and national sovereignty.

But Winston Peters told Larry Williams his legal advice says otherwise.

"It does not mean that you have a right to migrate, it does mean that your sovereignty is in any way compromised, and it does not mean that this overrides or prevails over the immigration law of any one country."

Peters says that they sought legal advice as there had been a lot of misinformation spread about the compact. 

He says that Crown Law found that the seven major criticisms of the agreement were fundamentally wrong. 

Professor Paul Spoonley told Larry Williams earlier that it may make it harder for New Zealand to discriminate against illegal migrants. 

Peters says that he is wrong in law and practice. 

"He's wrong as to how the Danish have interpreted it, and we won't be interpreting it in the same way."

The Free Speech Coalition says the UN Compact for Migration prohibits all critical speech of open-border migration, and encourages reporters to be educated on migration terminology.

They say that's unjustifiable in a free society.

But Peters says they haven't read the whole thing.

"It begins by saying this, this and this, and it reaffirms that the media have the utmost right to practice their trade, free without fodder from politicians or governments."

Peters says that in their statement to the United Nations tomorrow morning our time, they will be making it clear how New Zealand is interpreting the compact. 

National Party Simon Bridges has vowed to pull out of the deal if his party gets into Government.

However, Peters says they initially signed up to the deal back in 2016. 

"They won't [pull out], because they were the ones that started this." 



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