ACT leader Dr Don Brash this afternoon launched a scathing attack on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, saying it was separatist and racist.
In a speech given to the Orewa Rotary Club, Dr Brash accused Zespri and kiwifruit growers of fostering Maori privilege.
“The kiwifruit industry has been set up in a way that ensures only the fruit with brown skin makes the grade,” said Brash.
“Frankly, it’s racist.”
Dr Brash said that the name of the fruit was offensive to mainstream New Zealanders.
“One of the first things ACT will demand in a coalition government is an end to the culture of entitlement that sees this product being labelled ‘kiwifruit’, when if we were being brutally honest we would call it ‘iwifruit'”, said Brash.
“We don’t believe in special privileges for iwi, because the Treaty of Waitangi guarantees equal rights for all. That’s why we will be demanding a return to the name ‘Chinese gooseberry'”.
Dr Brash said that renaming the fruit would be a sign of goodwill towards the Chinese, and would encourage more Chinese investors to buy our critical strategic assets.
“We should welcome investment by the Chinese with open arms. They are a low wage economy with a self-serving and corrupt leadership. We can learn much from our Chinese overlords.”
The audience responded warmly to the speech.
Barry Gidgers, a car dealer from Silverdale, said he was impressed with the speech, and had become fed up with racist kiwifruit policies.
“Where are the white kiwifruit? Even the golden kiwifruit variety has a brown skin,” said Mr Gidgers.
Dr Brash rejected claims by opponents that he was stirring up anti-fruit sentiment.
“I totally reject those allegations. I want fruit to grow up in this country knowing that they won’t be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin.
“ACT supports one law for all fruit. We want a society where fruits of all descriptions can live together in harmony, without one species being favoured over another. It takes a lot of different fruits to make the perfect fruitcake.
“So if you want more fruitcakes, vote ACT. this November.”