Wellington, November 20, 2019
There is a famous Maori proverb which reads He Aha Te Mea Nui O Te Ao (What is the most important thing in the world?)
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata (It is the people, it is the people, it is the people).
You will note that the proverb refers to people, and places importance on people.
It does not refer to a religion or ethnicity.
When Minister Shane Jones decries the emotions of Kiwi Indians, most of who have earned their right to be New Zealand citizens by being law abiding residents, paying their taxes and contributing to New Zealand, hence integrating with mainstream society, and asks that in case we do not agree with his treatment of immigrants, we take the first flight home; it deeply saddens us.
It upsets and disappoints us as his statements are opposite to the teachings of Maori culture and basic values of human kindness.
Same skin and colour
I had an opportunity to meet and interact with Mr Jones some time back and still recall what he said at the time- that we are of the same skin colour.
The behaviour on display of a man who is also a Senior Cabinet Minister, when the Prime Minister of New Zealand wants to be the champion of diversity globally; highlights the inherent deep divides of this coalition.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly refused to take any responsibility for her Ministers, while her Deputy Prime Minister continually claims credit for Immigration Services cutting down immigration numbers in to New Zealand, under his watch.
Clarity on visa sought
My office has been inundated over the past few months with concerned and dismayed constituents who seek clarity on partnership, parental and student visas.
I have asked, and would now urge the Minister of Immigration to provide clear policy so that applicants can feel assured that their applications will be considered fairly or else proverbs such as He tangata, he tangata, he tangata will continue to sound hollow.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is Member of Parliament on National List. He is the Party’s Spokesperson for Internal Affairs.