This post at the Hand Mirror reminded me I'd meant to write a post about this article in Stuff featuring that well-known unrepentant convicted criminal, Phillip Taito Field.
The Hand Mirror post notes Trans Tasman putting Labour MP Rajen Prasad and Natonal MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi on its worst-performers list and comments on it as a matter of Whitey not taking "people of colour" seriously. (Yeah, me too - if I wanted to make a case for "people of colour" MPs being as capable as Whitey, I'd be looking for candidates other than Bakshi and Prasad, who've earned their low places on Trans-Tasman's ranking.)
It reminded me of the Stuff story about Field, because that story highlighted one of the less-wonderful outcomes of reflecting ethnic diversity in Parliament.
While I was working in Kuwait, I was talking one day to an oil industry contractor about the sorry state of the country's infrastructure, given the wealth the govt and major local companies had available to them. He pointed to the locals' tendency to staff their departments and companies with people from the Third World - primarily India (NB: Christians and Muslims only, heathens like Mr Bakshi needn't apply), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia. His view was that if you bring in people from the Third World, they bring the Third World with them. And if you use them to build your infrastructure, your infrastructure will have the problems Third World infrastructure generally has. It was a view that certainly matched our experience - despite being wealthier than NZ, Kuwait was also rich in unexplained power cuts, drains that didn't drain properly, telecoms systems characterised by impenetrable bureaucracy, building sites featuring rickety wooden scaffolding that occasionally left dead construction workers littering the area, and so on.
So, what does that have to do with Phillip Field? Well, here he is:
He maintains that the undervalued work done on his property by Thai tradesmen, who he helped with immigration to New Zealand, was a mere discount between friends, not an act of bribery.
"They were friends, they were like extended family. I paid what they told me to pay, what's the crime?"
In other words, he's brought the Third World with him. From his point of view, there is no crime. In the Third World, the whole point of being in a position of influence is to use that influence to help others, in exchange for reciprocal help from them, with you making on the deal because... well, you're an influential man and these supplicants are... well, not. In that sense, he was quite literally just doing his job, as it's done in the great majority of the world's countries. The rather obvious point that what makes places like NZ attractive migration choices for people in the Third World depends on things like the fact that we'll issue you with a prison term for that kind of business-as-usual, is lost on him. From his PoV, we're just richer and snottier.
So, yeah - ethnic diversity in Parliament. In one sense, yeah, it's great. In another sense, yeah, not so much.