so farewell pansy wong ... dammit, where's david slack when you need him??
i'm not any good at poetry, so i'll stick to a prose farewell. i've known pansy wong for many years, if regularly bumping into a person at various ethnic events could be described as knowing someone. i actually still remember the first time i'd met her. the local women's branch of the nz society of accountants (as it was then called) invited her to speak, so i went along, mostly to fill up my quota of CPD hours. even though i totally disagreed with her politics, i have to say that i was reasonably impressed with her as a person. of course, i wasn't really very interested in politics at that time.
the only other in depth experience i've had with her is that we were both the first interviewees of the asian radio show, broadcast on radio live (sorry, don't know how to link to the actual clip, so you'll have to visit the site if interested). we were interviewed by tarun mohanbhai who is one cool dude.
as things go, ms wong is someone i found easy to get along with, non-confrontational, & she has a good way with people. as a minister, of course it's a different story. i've been frustrated, as i'm sure many readers will be, with her inaction in regards to her ministries (women's affairs & ethnic affairs). she has remained silent while some pretty stupid things were being done, and has shown no plan for action nor any progress in either of the portfolios. that she remained silent through the whole paul henry thing showed a marked contrast to her predecessor, who would have had a press release out within hours & would have been visible in his vocal opposition through a variety of media. the census of women's participation shows that women have in fact gone backwards under her watch.
i can't say it's good thing she has resigned from her portfolios, because i can't see anyone of any greater competence to replace her. georgina te heu heu is also someone i have a lot of respect for, but i don't think she was effective as maori affairs spokesperson in opposition & i can't imagine her achieving anything substantial now.
so, yes, farewell pansy wong. i'm sorry that such a long and respectable career has ended in this fashion, even if it was entirely your own fault.