New Zealand

Flag Referendum: Official 109-page correspondence of the Flag Consideration Panel

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I wanted to know the process and how the Flag Consideration Panel came to the conclusion of shortlisting the designs, so I made an Official Information Act request on the 8 of September for “all the official correspondence on the flag selection process and the minutes of the meetings held by the Flag Consideration Panel”. An extension was granted when the standard 20-working day period expired. Also note, I made the request before Red Peak had been added as an option. The request was answered on the 25 November 2015.

For those who are interested, I have also attached the 109-page email correspondence between the Flag Consideration Panel and the official letter in response to the request. The document is heavily redacted, which is unfortunate, but still interesting nonetheless. I have also attached the Letter that outlines the different reasons and sections for redaction [I didn’t bother removing my email address, that is already publicly available on my blog]. The quality of the embedded files are not great but you can download the PDF files below.

Download PDF: Official 109-page correspondence by the Flag Consideration Panel

Download PDF: Letter in Response to the Official Information Act Request

Official 109-page correspondence by the Flag Consideration Panel:

Letter in response to the Official Information Act Request:

 

 

Chart of the Day 1: Attitudes toward homosexuality in New Zealand

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‘Chart of the Day’ is a series where I produce and post an original graph from data I found interesting without comment.

Disclaimer: Correlation does not entail causation. Please note that some of the subcategories can have relatively few respondents that the result may no longer be considered statistically significant.

What is the level of support for same-sex relationships within different self-identified political affiliations in New Zealand?

same-sex relationship and political affiliation

Data Source: New Zealand ISSP 2008 – Religion III Survey, total number of respondents = 1027.

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Gay and Asian and a New Zealander

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I wrote the following piece which was published in New Zealand’s only LGBT-focused magazine, Gay Express, titled ‘Gay and Asian and a New Zealander‘.

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Max Lin writes from his unique perspective as a gay Taiwanese migrant, on the issues the GLBT community must still address in order to become more inclusive.

Moving to New Zealand, at the age of six, was probably the single most life-changing moment in my life. People tend to underestimate the power that moving to a new country can transform someone. I cannot conceptualise who I would be. I probably wouldn’t be able to speak English, have the same opportunities, and I wonder if I would even be able to acknowledge that I am gay – to myself, my family, and to my friends. For this, I am grateful – one of the proudest moments is when I walked across the stage in the town hall and became a New Zealand citizen.

I love this country and I believe we can make it a better place.

Being ‘gay’ and ‘Asian’ while growing up in New Zealand has often required me to navigate the demands of multiple ‘identities’. However, I struggled as I tried to capture to complexity behind what it even means for someone just to be ‘gay’ or ‘Asian’ in New Zealand. I want to believe that my experience is not merely the product of reductive notions of each community. I wondered in what ways self-identification is an intrinsic part of who we are, or simply an insidious process of unconsciously trying to perform the expectations of those identities.

It might be easy to come to the conclusion then, that labels are meaningless – that somehow we are all individuals and equal. I wanted to believe that labels are just fictional constructs; that I am free to be who I am – but I know this is not true.

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What is the relationship between education, age, and the level of support for civil liberties?

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This blog analyses the Role of Government IV data set from the International Social Survey Programme in 2006 in New Zealand. The full report was conducted for a politics paper at the University of Auckland. This is a brief summary to share my findings. A disclaimer to everyone that I have not done any formal statistics at university, so the analyses may contain (accidental) errors and unfortunately it will not be at a super advanced level (partially self-taught). Hopefully the results will still be useful and interesting. 

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Background

Politicians and academics often talk about the importance of education, and it is often linked to developing a more tolerant, pluralistic and liberal society. If you want to be a bit more cynical, the conservative media also portrays higher education as a liberal indoctrination tool. This piece examines that relationship in New Zealand.

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Who am I? Moving to New Zealand and Navigating my Asian Identity in New Zealand

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Below is an article which I wrote for my friend Asher Emanuel for his publication Ours. You should check it out. It contains different perspectives of young people leading up to the New Zealand General Election in 2014.

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Max Lin and his family moved to New Zealand from Taiwan when he was very young in search of a fresh start. But being Asian in New Zealand has brought its own challenges. Now at uni, Max hopes that New Zealand can still live up to the qualities that brought him here in the first place. 

When I was six-years-old my father told me that we would be moving to New Zealand. I didn’t actually question why at the time; neither did I think about what it would all mean. To me as a child, it merely felt like we were going on another holiday – I went through the motions of life and jumped on a plane with my mother, sister and brother. Except this time we would stay here.

My mother had to give up her job as a pharmacist in Taiwan to look after us. My dad had to stay and work in Taiwan despite being a haoemodialosist because his licence would not be recognised here. I know many families who gave up their jobs, left their friends and their culture so that their children would have a better life. I wasn’t allowed to tell any of my friends and extended family that we were leaving (not even my grandparents) because it would jeopardise my parents’ employment and my grandparents would not ‘allow’ it. My parents did not really explain why at the time. They just told me it was a secret and I treated it like a game.

I had never received formal education in Taiwan, so going to school was always going to be a new and frightening experience. This was all the more confusing with was so much going on in my head—I used to think in Mandarin Chinese, and it was impossible to articulate my mind in what would be my third language. I was extremely shy and for the first few years my report card at school was filled with “poor” and “average” ticks.

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