National is desperate for you to know its party list is a diverse one. It’s a diverse list alright. I mean you’ve got a woman at 7, another at 10, yet more at 17 and 20 – you’re talking up to four women in a National Cabinet! And two of them aren’t even Pakeha! OK, all 16 men in the top twenty are Pakeha but you’ve only got to look to 26 to see your first Maori man. The top 30 is only 77% Pakeha male (that’s about the same ratio as the population, eh?) and 35 to 38 is token central with a Maori woman, a Pacific Island man, an Indian man! Just imagine how influential those diverse faces will be back in the third row in Parliament.
And they’re so proud too. Like the racist who says ‘but I’ve got plenty of Maori freinds’, National proudly rattles off the non-Pakeha it has added to its list. Of course, no other party would feel the need to trumpet the fact that it has a few faces to differentiate its caucus photo from a Scots College Old Boys line-up; having candidates that are not male Paheka isn’t something extraordinary for other parties. But good on National for joining the twentieth century. I look forward to the day they move beyond tokenism but I won’t be holding my breath.