The NZ Herald editorial says about time:
When the National Party published its candidate list on Sunday a greater ethnic diversity was immediately apparent. Six Maori, three Asians and a Pacific Islander have been placed high enough on the list to get into Parliament if National polls as well as it expects.
I am guilty of this myself, but I amused how Asians are all lumped together, when in fact in winnable places are a Chinese, a Korean and an Indian Sikh. All quite different races and cultures. But hey as I said, I do it myself sometimes.
Samoan Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Korean-born Melissa Lee and Indian Kanwal Bakshi can probably count on joining Pansy Wong, too long National’s solitary representative of immigrant communities.Indeed, she has been almost a solitary Asian voice in Parliament, for Labour has supplied only the Pakistani Ashraf Choudhary, who has been practically silent, and the smaller parties have offered no seats to non-Maori minorities.
Is Choudary still an MP? My goodness.
National’s list, incidentally, still looks light on women; only four rank in the top 24, from which a cabinet would be likely to be drawn.
There is still some way to go. It looks like women will comprise 26% to 28% of National’s caucus, much the same as is currently the case. This is more than double the international average for female parliamentary representation. The problem is not so much where women are placed on the list, but that not enough stand to be a candidate. I may touch on this at some later stage.
As for the top 24, it would be very foolish to assume that the top 24 are automatically the Ministerial pool.
Though only one Maori, Georgina te Heuheu, ranks in the top 24, three more, Tau Henare, Hekia Parata and Paula Bennett, are in positions for an almost certain return to Parliament and two others, Rugby Union director Paul Quinn and Tauranga prosecutor Simon Bridges, will make it if National wins 60 seats. Six of 60 would be an advance on the present three of 48.
It is possible that after the election National will have more Maori MPs than Labour.