Try to get your head around this: A Chinese Maori Party candidate that feels… Maori

Immigrants have no voice, they’re sick of it, and a Maori Party candidate has put his hand up to be their champion.

Beekeeper and former pharmacist and nutritionist Wetex Kang has today become the Maori Party’s first ever Asian candidate. He’s Malaysian-Chinese, speaks three different Chinese dialects and understands Malay.

Kang says he thought about joining the National Party, but he didn’t want to carry someone’s briefcase and water bottles for the next 10 years. Then someone suggested he should join the Maori Party, so he did.

“My grandmother’s half Malay, and I always have felt within my blood that I have a good link to tangata whenua. I want to show New Zealand that we can all live here peacefully together, and we’re all just New Zealanders,” he said.

Erm, Wetex is a good enough bloke, but geez… the raison d’être for the Maori Party is to specifically push Maori issues.   He may very well feel connected to the land.   Most of us do – it’s not a Maori-only privilege.  

He believes there are two issues that desperately need to be dealt with – immigration and law and order.

“I actually wrote the immigration policy for the Maori Party,” he said. “Asian MPs are just there to market the main parties and get donations, and nobody’s actually standing up to identify and talk about the elephant in the room. Asians are talked about and talked to… but they have no voice and they’re probably sick of it.”

Kang says it’s not the immigrants’ fault, it’s the failure of the National Government to manage immigration.

Botany is an ethnically diverse electorate where 39 per cent of the electorate are Asians. It’s a seat that’s been held by National Party whip Jami-Lee Ross by a large majority since 2011, and before that, former National Party MP Patsy Wong had held the seat since its inception in 2008.

Kang believes his culture will go a long way in helping him get votes in Botany.

“The current Botany MP cannot possibly be a voice for our people because he can’t communicate efficiently with many of them from both a language and cultural standpoint,” he said. “My goal is to be the true voice of Botany, not via a translator!”

You have to admire the pluck of a Malaysian-Chinese immigrant man saying that a Pakeha New Zealander is less representative to Chinese voters than he is because of his cultural links to the Maori people.

Good luck with that.

“I want my kids to be able to tell their friends, hey look, my dad came to this country, he made a difference and he made this country a better place for everyone to live in. Pakeha, Maori, all my Pacific brothers and sisters, Somalians, refugees, everyone. We shouldn’t have any dividing lines between different cultures and we should celebrate diversity,” he said.

Now, who knew the Maori Party had such a wide ranging and diverse policy on immigration?  Here it is, in full:

http://www.maoriparty.org/kawanatanga

Now that I’ve looked it up, it does seem to be a rather simple stance:  acknowledge the Treaty and the Maori people’s special role as being first among equals, and you are allowed in.

Sold.

 

– Gia Garrick, NZ Herald


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

38%