Most NZ Chinese are still in shock from the dramatic turn of event last night. But I saw many local Chinese media has changed the nickname of Jacinda Ardern from “Bunny Tooth Girl” to “Lady Ardern” to show their respect of the PM-designate.
However, from what I saw and heard, most of the local Chinese are unhappy about Labour’s policies. Complaints are viral on wechat claiming:
1, Drop of NZ currency
2, Benefit increase and free tertiary education
3, International students visa restriction
4, Work visa restrictions
5, Foreign speculator banned from house buying in NZ
6, and more…
And, I think their unhappiness are reasonable.
The successful businesses owned by the local Chinese (not Chinese companies such as Huawei or the Airlines) are mostly based in industries closely related to international education, immigration consultancy, international investment (property or business), currency trading, travel and import n export, all with/for Chinese customers in China. While the Labour policies seem to make their businesses harder, aren’t they?
I don’t want to attack the values of Labour here, because I understand there must be a reasonable way to explain why those policies came into form in the first place. And I believe such explanations should be given to the community in a more explicit manner. I don’t mean that Labour has the obligation to do such a thing, but it is something wise to do, especially with the Chinese Labour MP who can speak Mandarin.
In the meantime, the local Chinese businesses need to adapt, since they are risking their bread and butter if they only stay in the “niche market”. They need to see themselves as kiwi companies, instead of Chinese companies in New Zealand.
Labour proposes to pass the bill of Healthy Homes, demanding landlords to provide warm and clean rental homes for the tenants. You can interpret the policy as “to care for our people by asking our landlords to pay for the upgrade”, or you can see it as the opportunity to invest in your property to get in a good position to attract quality and long-term tenants.
Another example is the international students’ (IS) open visa. Labour proposes to remove such visas without a job offer for low-level qualification graduates, which is a big change, but not unpredictable. But many low-level IS came to New Zealand not contributing as much as what Labour and NZF are expecting. If you are a IS consultancy business, the best way out of this is to start to move your portfolio towards a higher qualification with effective support on the essential capabilities to study in NZ, such as English language proficiency, communication, critical thinking, etc, and it is your business to make these the selling points for acquisition.
Many people commented saying that the local Chinese were all on the National side, and National was selling the country to the Chinese. But the fact is, as immigrants themselves, there are many good reasons to fear a catastrophe the new government could bring about based on their policies and histories (NZF and Green), and most NZ Chinese are hard workers, never on benefit, good spenders, with great business acumen, friendly peacekeepers, honest and respectful citizens. They deserve a leader who also cares about what they care about.