It is really difficult sometimes to truly express our opinions in the pacific space in NZ, because it is such a small world with so many unseen, ingrained, (sometimes messy) affiliations, connections, relationships.
Yet, our relationships are so important, particularly our respect for others, those in strategic roles/positions.
When it comes to politics, its simply,
A few weeks ago, a press release was disseminated by pro National party supporters, about Pacific people needing to vote for National and how Labour is kaea(crap) and all etc.
Journalist Michael Field picks up the story and uses it to his benefit and his views:
“A small group of influential Pacific Island clergy have sparked fierce debate in South Auckland after they declared they would switch their support from the traditional Labour Party to the National Party.”
Then Whale Oil fat guy waddles in with his own slant:
“The Pasifika community is breaking ranks with Labour after years of paternalistic attitudes and the “we know best” attitude of the Labour Party”
Meanwhile, the so called prominent Pacific people involved in this parody get all upset and cry foul on social media.
Then Su’a William Sio of Labour Party drops into the matter with his views.
So much noise but no one stopped to ask me, and the actual Pacific people that they kept harping on about.
….and so, here I am, I am one of thousands who represent the so called Pacific vote.
I am a Pacific person in New Zealand, a taxpayer, a person who will vote based on the policies and for the politician who I ‘some’ faith in…..and so far, still looking.
I am not going to let supposed prominent Pacific personalities blur my opinion, but what concerns me is that the National Party is doing this deliberately, using Pacific personalities to raise their profile.
They did it with Michael Jones and Inga the Winger in the last election…..and I dare say, where are they now? Has any of their ventures succeeded with the National Party on their side?
It is so sad because I have so much respect for these people but they are undoing their hard work simply for the fleeting share of the limelight and rubbing shoulders with politicians who wouldn’t care otherwise on a non-election year.
….and all this – because someone wrote a parody of a press release.
My message to you the Pacific person in New Zealand?
Please go out and vote for the Party that you believe advocates and proposes policies that will help you.
If a Pacific ‘personality’ or politician rocks up to you – ASK THEM THE HARD QUESTIONS:
What is their position as a candidate and as a Party on:
- Poverty —–child poverty to be specific (hint hint….John Key doesn’t give a rat’s arse, he’ll say “whaaa! eat cake!” or say “I don’t recall”
- Education….Pacific Languages – hint hint,….ain’t no party got time for any other languages aside from Maori/English at the moment.
- Education: Equity and access to tertiary education…what do they offer you?
- Climate Change? (climate refugees, Emissions Trading Scheme, accountability in terms of agriculture industry?
- Gay marriage? (i add this because it the issue that made me lose a bit of faith in Su’a William Sio, so ask the rest of the candidates where they stand).