National will overturn the Government’s support of the United Nations Compact for Migration, confirmed by Winston Peters today in spite of his reluctance to front up to New Zealanders, National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Mr Peters has sprung the signing of the Compact on New Zealanders on the last day of Parliament, even though both he and the Prime Minister were this week still claiming no decision had been made. The Compact has been under consideration since February.

“The decision is an unwelcome one.

“In spite of the spin from Mr Peters the legal advice clearly bears out the concerns raised by National. It accepts that New Zealand courts have an obligation to interpret our laws with the Compact consistently and by supporting it the Government has also indicated their intention to act consistently with it.

“This already happens, for example UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, another non-binding declaration, is already being used to interpret New Zealand law. Mr Peters was right when he said to the media two weeks ago ‘non-binding sometimes means binding’.

“National is Parliament’s most pro-immigration party. We know the benefits migration brings. But we believe individual countries should set their own immigration policy to meet their own needs. This document seeks to restrict that and that’s why National does not support it and will overturn it.

“If the Government wasn’t concerned why has it been so secretive and why has it waited til the very last day of Parliament to front up?”

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