White-haired Mt Albert pharmacist David Baird met his first living, breathing politician yesterday - and gave her an earful.
"Hi, I'm Melissa Lee, National candidate for Mt Albert," said the politician.
"Well you won't be getting my vote because I don't think we need any Asians in Parliament," the pharmacist shot back tartly.
Korean-born Ms Lee, a former journalist who has been in New Zealand for 21 years, asked brightly, "Why not?"
Mr Baird said he had his reasons. "They are very difficult people to deal with. They don't spend any money. I don't see that they bring any money into the country. Another problem is their English is very bad.
"You're all right," he told the candidate later. "You are almost 100 per cent. But, seriously, we find it difficult, particularly old people. We have Titus here to talk to them."
Chinese-born Titus Jiang, fresh out of the Otago pharmacy school and preparing to cast his first vote in Mt Albert, smiled when his name was mentioned. He said later he did not know much about politics but "at the moment National seems all right".
He's kidding right? He's quite happy to employ an Asian staff member, and he's quite happy to have Asian customers, but he just doesn't want Asians in New Zealand. But then we see why:
Mr Baird voted NZ First last year and has not decided whom to support in the June 13 byelection, caused by Helen Clark's departure to the United Nations.
Ah, that explain it all! Winston may be gone, but his faithful supporters remain as xenophobic as ever. I'm sure that the health consumers of Mt Albert will make their own judgment on this man, and vote with their feet.