The Dominion-Post has a hard-hitting editorial today on Peter Brown's startling and offensive comments from Wednesday - here 'tis: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4463174a26494.html
The leader writer cuts quickly to the chase:
"But more likely Mr Brown has taken a look at the polls and decided it's time to play the race card. It's a strategy that served his party well in the past. In 1996 his leader Winston Peters catapulted NZ First up the polls by cynically tapping into public unease about the growth of Asian communities in Auckland.
Tellingly, asked on Wednesday to comment on his deputy's outburst, Mr Peters chose instead to object to journalists questioning him as he walked towards Parliament's debating chamber, just as, a day earlier, he responded to attempts to find out when his party would repay the $158,000 it misspent at the last election by threatening a review of media ownership laws. Robert Mugabe would have been proud to call that line his own."
I have no doubt that Brown was merely articulating Peters's views. New Zealand has moved on since Peters made Asian-bashing an art form in 1996, and there has already been widespread condemnation of the NZ First outburst. For Peters to remain as Foreign Minister, the diplomatic face of the New Zealand government borders on the unthinkable. Helen Clark should demand his resignation. If she fails to act, she by default endorses New Zealand First's racist worldview.