National Party Associate Education Spokeswoman
24 November 2005
Chinese storm in a teacup
National Party Associate Education spokeswoman, Pansy Wong, says it remains a mystery whether Immigration Minister David
Cunliffe mocked her accent during yesterday’s Question Time in Parliament.
“I was not aware of his comment and therefore can take no offence from it, and acknowledge his assurance that his
comment was not deliberate. Parliament is a robust forum and should remain so.
“I can only assume that slip, or whatever, was no doubt brought on by my intense questioning of the Minister about the
clash of international student immigration policy between the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Government, and the
effect this could have on export education.
“If anything, the media reports about the incident should be applauded only if they draw attention to an issue that many
Asian Kiwis face every day – where their accent is used as an excuse to deny employment or promotion.
“I am very proud of my tri-lingual ability – I speak Mandarin with a Cantonese accent, and Cantonese with a Shanghai-ese
accent, and I make no apologies about my unique ‘Pansy-speak’,” says Mrs Wong