After New Zealand-based Indian couples expressed concerns on the country’s latest visa rules modifications, parliamentarian Shane Jones labelled the Indian community's concerns a “Bollywood over-reaction” leading to a tensed situation in the Wellington.
Infuriated by Jones' "racist" remarks on the "insensitive" visa rule that has made it difficult for people in arranged marriages to bring their spouses to New Zealand, Indians as well as New Zealand natives have taken to social media to slam the MP.
Shane Jones is a loose cannon. Park him on the sidelines, best to ignore.— Ken Horlor 📚 (@KHorlor) November 5, 2019
'Arranged marriages, imported overseas partners ...cultural thing?, requires race card response NZ 1st Shane Jones comment; 'If you don't like it, ...... 'So what' was off the cuff comment! is not immigration policy, confrontations wrong response..— Anaru Nahu Nathan (@Nahu13iwi) November 5, 2019
It’s really concerning that the leaders of @nzlabour and @NZGreens haven’t made explicit statements calling out Shane Jones’ latest racist comments about the Indian community. There is no excuse not to - basic moral decency is far more important than internal coalition politics.— Jack McDonald (@tautokai) November 5, 2019
Jones shooting from the hip again. He really is becoming a liability.— Blackie (@clone278) October 26, 2019
Racial stereotypes that paint migrants of colour as backward caricatures, here to fleece the system, is never legitimate immigration debate.— Golriz Ghahraman (@golrizghahraman) November 5, 2019
It is always deeply harmful, not only to the targeted communities, but us all and a nation of equalshttps://t.co/DUAGWKbieO
As of now, Jones is pushing back against claims that he is being insensitive, saying he will not be told what to do by migrants, reports suggest.
According to media reports, this latest statement from Jones comes just a month after he asked the tensed Indian community there to stop bringing their “whole village” to New Zealand if they have issues with the country rules, otherwise, the MP suggested Indians “catch the next flight home”.
In 2018, nearly 4.7 per cent of New Zealand's population identified themselves as Indians making it the fourth-largest ethnicity in the country after Europeans, the Maori and Chinese.
In addition, 2.5 per cent of the current population of New Zealand - nearly 117,348 people were recognised as “born in India”.