Victoria Young writes at NBR (where she was a reporter, and is now on her OE):
When I first read the article, I was enraged at the party I voted for and felt frustration toward the journalist, who is a person I respect.
So Young voted Labour in 2014.
I am a born and bred New Zealander, and for the first time in my life I doubted whether the society in which I grew up actually wanted me.
Why? Because my last name sounds as if it could be Chinese.
Labour’s PR stunt will have made many NZers feel this way.
But Phil Twyford, by releasing this data in this way, has made me uncertain about how welcome we almond-eyed black-haired folk are.
Words cannot encapsulate the unsettling feeling that perhaps the country you love and adore, and is your only home, doesn’t actually want you, or at least views you as the cause of a major social problem.
As you’re buying up 40% of the homes!
This behaviour, from a senior politician, has planted doubt in my mind. It has made me wonder how many out there agree that the Chinese are the problem but won’t say it out loud.
I don’t own a home but my boyfriend (who just so you know was born in the US but is Taiwanese and a New Zealand citizen) put a deposit on a yet-to-be built apartment before we left for our UK OE.
Unfortunately, the developer raised the price and so my boyfriend cancelled, ironically a victim of the rising Auckland house price inflation we people with Chinese sounding last names are said to be the cause of.
When we do come home with our hard-earned pounds, euros and dollars, after exploring the world as Kiwis do, we will want to buy a home.
Do we dare show our yellow faces at auctions or open homes?
Another Chinese NZer with a media background also writes in the Herald:
The Labour Party’s message to the Chinese people is clear. We are not racist. We just don’t want people with Chinese sounding names voting for Labour.
The Labour Party has yet to provide examples of Kiwi property sellers rejecting an above market price for a house from people with Chinese sounding names in favour of a lower price made by a struggling Kiwi family.
A useful reminder, than when you restrict buyers, you reduce the value for sellers.
In the 1930s in Europe similar debate also began with a list of names. It was a list of names which did not sound like proper German names. The names on this list were also viewed as the problem in denying hard-working Germans their rightful share of business and property ownership. In the 1990s Slobadan Milosovic’s minions no doubt had a similar list of names.
The Labour Party’s targeting of people with Chinese sounding names is of course justified as being in the national interest, expressed through democratic means with the socialist agenda of indoctrinating Kiwis into believing that home ownership is their manifest destiny, an inalienable right. But Labour’s approach is clearly the continuation of nationalist socialist democratic politics by other means.
Carrying on with Little and Tywford’s logic, which seems to have adopted the xenophobic fear-mongering tactics of New Zealand First, lists of other ethnic names could also be used to generate national debates on other topics.
Lists of Muslim sounding names buying property could be used to generate debate on possible terrorist activity in specific suburbs. Lists of Maori and Pacific Island names could be used to generate debate on credit risk and propensity to commit crime. By the Labour Party’s logic, none of this would be racist. It would merely be a means to the ends of generating a national debate.
Harsh but not unfair.
We must respond to Labour’s call to arms by attacking their centre of gravity- at the polling booths at the next election. Spread this message through the bamboo networks. Vote strategically in the next election because a vote for Labour is a vote for second class status in a country we are proud to call home.
I consider myself a New Zealand patriot. I have worked for the New Zealand Army, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the New Zealand Stock Exchange. But because I have a Chinese sounding name, Labour views me as part of a problem for which it has a solution in mind. But of course it’s still not racism.
But people with Chinese sounding names do not have to fight alone. We welcome people with Korean, Indian, Muslim, Pacific Islander, Maori sounding names to stand with us at the next election. Vote strategically against the new Labour Party- the party with nationalist, socialist democratic agendas.
I wonder at what point Labour might admit they made a mistake.