Winston Peters fumes over Chinese-language Caltex job ad

Winston Peters fumes over Chinese-language Caltex job ad
He says the employer is "blatantly side-lining New Zealand workers" (Winston Peters / Facebook)

NZ First leader Winston Peters has attacked a Trade Me ad seeking a Chinese-speaking store manager for an independently owned and operated Caltex-branded petrol station in Opotiki.

"An employer in Opotiki is blatantly side-lining New Zealand workers. They are advertising for a store manager who is fluent in Chinese. This is unacceptable, especially as there's no shortage of workers in Opotiki and the rest of the Eastern Bay of Plenty," he wrote on Facebook.

The ad said a "full time position is available at Caltex Bridge Street Opotiki", and "applicant must be fluent in Chinese language" - however it has now been expired.

Mr Peters claims the store owner is using the language requirement in order to pay lower wages.

"Employers are taking advantage of National's record immigration numbers. They know that migrants are cheaper labour and will work under any conditions to just stay in the country. National has allowed unfocused immigration instead of targeting the skills we really need," Mr Peters wrote.

"A service station manager should not be on the skills shortage list."

Mr Peters' Facebook post has sparked angry comments and debate.

Gerard Kean agreed with Mr Peters, saying: "It's discrimination. It's saying I only want Chinese people for this job without actually spelling it out."

However one commenter wrote that there was a good reason for the language requirement.

"I was concerned enough about this to apply for job, got one of the nicest emails back that I have had in a long time regarding job applications," wrote Carole Hirst.

"Turns out why he is advertising for a Chinese speaking manager is although he says a wonderful team of Kiwis, Maori and Pakeha and he would love to have someone as a second manger to help him better understand English and all the council bylaws etc in running a business."

Caltex says the store is independently owned and operated and they are not involved in the store's management.