|Chinese Voice 22 October 1998 issue|
|Written by Lachlan|
|Sunday, 22 July 2007|
22 October 1998 issue
Recently Georgina te Heuheu, Minister of Women's Affairs and Associate Minister of Treaty Negotiations spoke to the Wellington Chinese Community Forum organised by Pansy Wong MP.
The Maori and Asian people have always had much in common. Professor Ranganui Walker of Auckland University sums it up in this way: "Maori have more in common with Asians than Europeans. They share in common values of kinship, the extended family and deep sense of spirituality and reverence of ancestors. We also have in common a history of colonisation by the West. While Asians have won their struggle against colonial masters, that struggle is still being waged in New Zealand."
The Maori people in New Zealand occupy a special place in this country as the first settlers and as equal partners with the Crown under the Treaty of Waitangi. Asian people also occupy a special place in this country with a long history stretching back as far as the period of the early European settlement. Asian and particularly Chinese people have achieved great things in this country and have contributed significantly to the prosperity and colourfulness of our nation.
[George Gee - Mayor of Petone, Thomas Doo -businessman, in the past, and currently Pansy Wong MP, Mai Chen- constitutional lawyer, Victor Wu - company director. Manying Ip - academic] and many more …. make a huge difference to our country through your culture, your expertise, your skills and your unique perspective of life. These are things we cannot put a price on and they must be encouraged. In short Asian people must continue to occupy positions of power in order that your voice is heard, and that you are adequately represented at all levels of our society.
It is an accident of history that we live in a society rich in cultural diversity -… a vibrant and colourful mix of Europeans, Maori, Pacific Islanders and Asians. We must ensure adequate representation of all groups at all levels.
I believe MMP or some form of proportional representation is essential to achieving this. It is my hope that this new political era of proportional representation continues so that we have representatives from all walks of life to participate in the most powerful decision-making process - the Parliament. It is important that Asian people and Asian leaders as well as other ethnic minorities grasp the opportunity that MMP offers and that your leaders participate in the political process in New Zealand to advance the cause of your people.
Georgina te Heuheu also explained the principles of the Treaty settlement process.
The full text of the speech will become available at http://www.stevenyoung.co.nz in about 2 weeks.
Chinese in Australasia and the Pacific: Old and New Migrations and Cultural Change; 20-22 November 1998, organised by Dr Jim Ng and Dr Brian Moloughney for the Association for the Study of the Chinese and their Descendents in Australia and the Pacific Islands and Otago University. Contributors will include Pansy Wong MP, Dr Manying Ip, Auckland, Dr James Ng, Dunedin. Local contributors will include Prof. Sik Hung Ng, Lynette Shum, Michael Lowe all from Victoria University, Nigel Murphy, Alexander Turnbull Library, Harvey Wu and Steven Young. We hope to have relevant papers available on http://www.stevenyoung.co.nz after the conference.
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