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Chinese storm in a teacup

Pansy Wong
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


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