For reasons perhaps only Prime Minister John Key understands the depth of interest by this National-led Government in everything Chinese, from train locomotives to dairying, from the housing market to coal has been the biggest revelation. Billions of dollars have been invested or are potentially going to be invested in New Zealand. You might think this is great, but when most of the income is geared to move away from Christchurch, then there is a problem. When non-New Zealanders are making up such a portion of the market that normal New Zealanders feel like they are being priced out of the housing market, not surprisingly they are grumpy.
So imagine then if you can the following:
I should not be surprised that the Prime Minister appears to have no regrets that a secret luncheon was held where the he was a starring guest. Multiple National Members of Parliament including Christchurch list Member of Parliament Nicky Wagner went. Dr Jian Wang was another. People might say it is just politics and that it has been going on for sometime. Maybe, but this is different, as much because of the sheer brazenness of holding that luncheon.
I try not to concern myself with the incidents like this luncheon. The despairing state of New Zealand politics makes me wonder what the future holds too much. So I try to ignore as I know of much worse overseas, but I love the one country that I know far too much to ignore it. I would like to think that some angel will come and make everything hunky dory. Except that I should be. I really should be, because if this appalling behaviour is not stopped forthwith, it:
- Further damages New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible global citizen
- Potentially extends all the way to the Prime Minister’s office – be very difficult to find a way out of this one
- It tells me that this Government sees, hears and feels no shame showing such contempt for New Zealand democratic practices
You probably SHOULD think there is a problem when a Prime Minister or other elected official is apparently going behind the backs of normal New Zealanders such as myself to support changing the flag. Despite knowing how contentious the flag debate came, the Prime Minister attended a luncheon for Chinese investors in a bid to shore up a change to the flag.
The secrecy of National on this has been really quite incredible. Far indeed we are from having these sorts of issues resolved, and a dosage of civics thrown in to educate the masses, a new sense of outrage seems to be manifesting itself. The idea that a New Zealand journalist such as Tracy Watkins or even the editor of the newspaper should be so critical towards the officials as to shorten the interview time, or otherwise improve how they look and feel.
Not surprisingly there has been an attempt in Parliament to trip the Prime Minister up with questions about how a secret luncheon came to be so important. Less surprisingly still the Government has tried to down play the issue, and yet is aware that honesty with the voters is the only way to go about this job.