Winston Peters launches attack on immigrant reporters
Winston Peters has admitted to sounding Trump-esque after launching a scathing attack on two journalists of Asian descent for their report on record immigration numbers.
Lincoln Tan and Harkanwal Singh, two reporters for the New Zealand Herald, wrote an article in which they used immigration data to show that record work visa numbers are not sourced from Asia.
"Despite China and India being among the biggest source countries for permanent residents, they are not among the top five for direct migrant workers," the report said.
Today Mr Peters lashed out at the journalists, saying in a press release the article was "propaganda" and saying their research was "completely wrong and based on flawed analysis".
He claims their writing was based on a flawed analysis of immigration data released by Statistics New Zealand on Wednesday. He also told Newshub the Statistics NZ data were "flimsy".
"They came out with the report saying the mass majority of immigration is not coming from Asia. Then they look at the figures and immediately get it wrong," Mr Peters told Newshub.
"You have two immigrants themselves as reporters for the Herald writing what is clearly misleading information [and] headlining it on the front page.
"It's ridiculous [and] it's misinformation."
Mr Singh turned to Twitter to respond to Mr Peters.
NZ Herald editor Murray Kirkness has called Mr Peters' statements a "wildly desperate swing at the media" in a scathing response posted on Twitter.
Mr Peters also slammed the reporters for not asking New Zealand First for comment.
"When somebody like those two reporters doesn't bother to call the one party that's been strong on immigration ... if someone suggests that they're biased before they start, you can call that Trump-esque or Brexit-esque or whatever-esque you like.
"This is the election period and we expect honesty with the New Zealand public."
Mr Peters accused the entire publication of being biased towards immigration.
"And then I read the rest of the pages they have information about what's going wrong with the infrastructure in Auckland. Can't they make the connection between the two?"