Anita at Kiwipolitico writes:
In early December two new National MPs were welcomed as heralds of the new multi-ethnic National Party. The maiden speeches of Sam Lotu-Iiga and Melissa Lee were the perfect showcases of a new look party: ethnic heritage, community languages, younger faces, respect for the tangata whenua. Yet despite the effort National has put into the semblence, today’s party is no more more inclusive than it was under Brash or English, it’s just a little less out-dated in its conservatism.
Lotu-Iiga, with his Auckland Grammar schooling, his Cambridge MBA and his career in Finance and Law is not typical of New Zealand Samoans. Lee’s career as a TV journalist is far from the experience of most Asian immigrants. They are as unrepresentative of their communities as Key is of state house kids.
This is unbelievable. Anita says while it is good they have achieved, it means they are not a sign of social inclusion, because they are now sucessful.
Sam was born in Samoa, grew up in South Auckland and went to Mangere Central Primary School. But hey that does not count towards social inclusion because he has dared to do well. Never mind he grew up with up to 16 people sharing a three bedroom house – he is not declared to be unrepresentative of his community.
Likewise Melissa Lee was born in Korea, grew up in Malaysia. To help support her family once they moved to NZ, she would work during the day as a reporter for Sunday News, and then work in the family dairy until 11 pm. But again she is declared unrepresentative of her community because she has done well.
I guess Anita saw Taito Philip Field as a better sign of social inclusion.
But more of a concern, is how many on the left might share this viewpoint – that no matter what your background is, if you do well, then you no longer represent “mainstream New Zealand”.