Winston Peters compares multiculturalism to 'rising up mushrooms'

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters told talkback radio this morning that he stands for a "New Zealand culture", not a "multitude of cultures".

In the same interview, Mr Peters told NZME that he's "never been politically correct" and argued with host Leighton Smith on the human impact on climate change. 

Speaking on whether multiculturalism has "failed", Mr Peters appeared to argue it has.

"Well, let me tell you. There is one cultural thing we want developed in this country and that's the New Zealand culture. That's a unique culture that's New Zealand," Mr Peters said.

"It's not a multitude of cultures and a plethora rising up like mushrooms in this country.

"No, we want a New Zealand culture. That's what I've always stood for."

It's a similar message to one he shared on Q+A in 2016.

Back then, he said, "[Immigrants] can come from anywhere in the world. It's not race-based. We want them to salute our flag, respect our laws, honour our institutions and don't bring anti-women attitudes with them."

Mr Peters has long stood against so-called "mass immigration", but has been much quieter on it since becoming Deputy Prime Minister.

On talkback radio today, he also went toe-to-toe on climate change.

The host, Mr Smith, has a long-running interest in climate change scepticism, often challenging guests on the topic.

Today he asked Mr Peters whether he believes in global warming.

"I believe in climate change, seriously, and I believe a lot of it is added to by manmade behaviour," Mr Peters said.

"I expected better of you. You're a realist," Mr Smith responded.

"You can't go past chimneys of black coal smoke-" Mr Peters began, before being interrupted with, "You don't go past any chimneys of black smoke. All you ever see coming out of chimneys now is steam."

"Excuse me," Mr Peters said.

"Go around the rest of the world and have a good hard look at what's going on. The level of pollution and despoliation on the environment is appalling."

Mr Smith should not have been surprised at Mr Peters position on climate change.

NZ First's coalition agreement with Labour promises the introduction of the Zero Carbon Act, an independent climate commission and moving the Government's fleet of vehicles to emissions free by 2025/6.