Raybon Kan writes in a newspaper about Labour’s race-baiting dog-whistle policy against Chinese.
Being Chinese in New Zealand always puts you on the back foot. We don’t play the race card: we show up with it stuck to our face. So, when mainland Chinese house-buyers are accused of being the nation’s problem, I can’t help but feel attacked as well. Because I don’t entirely buy it when you say it’s not about being Chinese in the face. We know what you mean when you say foreign ownership. You don’t mean state houses being sold to Australia. You don’t mean Canadian pension funds. You don’t mind the white: you don’t see the white. White is how things should be.
There’s a pattern. Historically, Chinese have never been welcome. From the gold miners and railway workers who weren’t allowed to bring women, to the Poll Tax, we’ve always been singled out for worse treatment. And easily so: Well, look. The people who attack mainland Chinese house-buyers say they’re not being racist – they say they’re being economist. But I bet if a wave of white investors showed up and paid way over the odds for houses, you’d be thrilled.
Whatever the valuations now, I think we’ll look back on today’s million dollar prices as mere blankets and beads. You think mainland Chinese house-buyers are rich now? These ones are Communists. You think there’s a lot of Chinese now? This is how many there are under a one-child policy. Imagine if we tried. We can’t win. If Chinese buy houses and pay you too much – you don’t like it. If Chinese in China buy houses over the phone, pay too much and don’t even move here – you don’t like it. What do Chinese people have to do?
No wonder you see lots of Asians at Auckland house auctions. It’s the only time in New Zealand that Asians get shown any love. In fact, if I’m ever in Auckland and feel depressed, I’ll pop into a house auction, just for the hugs.