Congratulations must be extended to Michael Wood for his first successful appearance in the Chinese community.
At the WTV Chinese New Year celebration at the TelstraClear Events Centre on the weekend, Michael was met with rapturous applause by the 800-strong audience when he greeted the crowd in perfect Chinese. He even gained a nick-name from festival-goers – ‘Labour’s handsome candidate for Botany’.
Chinese New Year falls on February 3 this year and with it brings various New Year celebrations, culminating in the two biggest events – the Chinese New Year and Market Day Festival at the ASB Showground’s and the WTV Lunar Festival at the TelstraClear Events Centre, with both events attracting more than 60,000 visitors.
Phil Goff was greeted warmly at both events and stuck a chord with the audience during his two speeches.
Sitting back on reflection of the two functions, it was striking from the way that the audience interacted with Phil Goff that the country needs a man of substance as opposed to a ‘smile and wave’ leader.
A constituent later told me that she felt grateful to John Key for his ‘honesty’ in showing National’s true colours. She said it appeared National had no plan
in how to grow the economy apart from selling our precious national assets.
For the Chinese community (like any other ethnic community) creation is preferred to speculation when it comes to the economy.
An example of this attitude is found in an early Chinese settler, Mr Chew Chong.
Mr Chong arrived in New Zealand in 1886 and was a key figure in the establishment of New Zealand’s dairy industry where he pioneered the use of refrigeration on dairy goods and is responsible for producing a New Zealand icon – the one pound of butter!
Seventy years after his passing, Mr Chong’s contribution to New Zealand business was acknowledged with his induction into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame
Mr Chong exemplifies the pioneering, hard-working and generous spirit which we expect and would like to see from all our migrants.
Another example of the attitude of creation over speculation comes from an ‘official friend of China’ – Mr Victor Percival
Mr Percival was a regular traveller to China for over 50 years, where he committed himself to creating a trade relationship between the two countries
In 1981 he founded the New Zealand – China Trade Association and was a constant source of advice and information for government officials and China traders.
Sadly, Mr Percival passed away in July last year but his vision of a Free Trade Agreement with China was realised in 2008 when Phil Goff, as Trade Minister, signed the FTA with China.
I believe that sooner or later more Kiwis will appreciate that smile and wave politics may work to keep the polls on your side but won’t create real jobs and economic stability.
For a small, export-orientated country like New Zealand to stay strong and resilient we need to be more creative and less speculative.