There's a special brand of apoplectic, imploding, impotent fury reserved for Chinese people reacting to anything Winston Peters says about them. '...But ...it's.... not even TRUE!' they splutter, 'And if it was... so WHAT?? GGGaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagghhhh! [soft sound of brain haemorrhage follows]
While I was picking up my cerebrum from the floor, the Herald pointed out that, yes, it's completely untrue that 'Asians' will outnumber Maori by 2021.
While backpedalling to the Herald, Peters:
... said the definition of "Maori" [Statistics New Zealand] used was shonky.
Its website says "the ethnic concept used in these projections is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. People who identify with more than one ethnicity are included in each ethnic population they identify with".
Mr Peters said for this reason he did not believe the "Maori stat" and doubted few other Maori did.
So: there is, according to Winston, a statistically significant number of fake Maori people out there, who only think they know what ethnicity they are.
Further points that the Herald didn't mention:
1. Newsflash! Maori have already been outnumbered by Pakeha. Who have had a somewhat more significant impact on changing Maori society and culture than the recent rise of Balmoral Chinatown. Peters' press release, New Zealand - The Last Asian Colony seems to imply that Maori are perfectly happy with having been colonised by the British, because they're used to it by now. Well get this kids - the impact of Balmoral Chinatown on a non-Chinese person consists of tasty things that you can eat if you want, but which you actually don't have to. Though I strongly recommend QQ Rice, and the New Flavour dumplings - yes, they really do have 'all kinds of dumplings'. What Balmoral Chinatown does not bring is a repressive ideological system, a plague of measles, or an imperial war.
2. 'Asians' are not one ethnic group, making it even more unlikely that any one Asian ethnicity will outnumber Maori in the forseeable future. So even if, say, the combined forces of multi-diaspora Chinese, Indo-Fijians, India-Indians, Koreans, Burmese, Tibetans, Cambodians, Kazakhs, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolians, Thais, Malays, Taiwanese-Manchurians, Peranakans, Acehnese and Ibans one day collectively outnumber Maori - SO WHAT? GAAAAAAH! Brain haemorrhaging!!!
3. Some of the projected future Maori population and projected future Asian population will in fact, be both Maori AND Asian. And I don't mean the people that Peters thinks are just 'pretending' to be Maori (but are actually sneaky Asians trying to get on the Maori electoral roll), NOR the anthropologically-defined 'Asian-Maori' that Peters claimed to be in 2002 when he said to the dumbfounded Auckland Chinese community associations "I have
Chinese blood in me". No, I mean people like the remarkable Jenny Lee. Sorry, wrong one, I mean this Jenny Lee (see writer credits), and her huge extended family. Or Bic Runga. Both Chinese and Maori, not pretending either way, and neither side taking away from the other.
Peters was obviously influenced by the recent 'Maori uneasy with Asian immigration' Herald story, without having read the longer Central Leader article (not online unfortunately) where researcher James Chang found that "most Maori, when they talk about Asian immigrants, the people, it's in a positive tone."
Then, surprisingly, the article says cute l'il Jimmy is "assisting Auckland University academic Tze Ming Mok with further research into the Maori-Asian climate." Yeah, um, that would be Manying Ip actually. Not such a strong resemblance; names not even mutual anagrams. And it's 'Chinese-Maori encounters' she's researching, not the 'Maori-Asian climate'. I don't think Manying is surveying Maori on the weather in Bhutan, for example.
Right, I have a headache now. And the election campaign has barely started.