"Our country is literally premised on the fact that all New Zealand Europeans are foreigners who have come to this wonderful country which was first inhabited by the Māori people."

Bokyong | Law and Chemistry Student | University of Otago

 

Immigration is an issue that's close to my heart because it's the reason I was born here in New Zealand.  My parents are South Korean and they came over to New Zealand to re-study and re-train themselves.

I’m unhappy with the party-led discourse surrounding immigration and the negative stereotyping of migrants this election.  Our country is literally premised on the fact that all New Zealand Europeans are foreigners who have come to this wonderful country that was first inhabited by the Māori people.  I think it’s really ignorant of our parties to be leading a discourse that is, in itself, ignorant.

I just hope that, as young people who are passionate about these issues, we are able to challenge the parties on what they’re saying and have them represent what we as New Zealanders believe.  Because, talking to my friends and talking to the people who walk down the street, I don’t believe that everyone here in New Zealand is racist and xenophobic.  

I think it’s really important that young people get out there and vote in this year’s election, because this is our country.  

These people are making decisions on behalf of everyone of us and about all aspects of our lives.  Whether it’s the cost of our coffee cups, how many bike lanes we have, or how we prioritise big issues like poverty and inequality, politics really does impact our everyday lives.

So I think it’s kind of stupid if people don’t care about what their future looks like.

 

 

Disclaimer: This blog is a platform for students to voice their views and opinions to encourage healthy and non-abusive discussion.  The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations.

Author: Jessica Reeves