Raymond Huo

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Raymond Huo
MP
Raymond Huo.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party List
Assumed office
16 March 2017
Preceded by Jacinda Ardern
In office
8 November 2008 – 20 September 2014
Personal details
Born Qianshan, Anhui, China
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Auckland
Profession Lawyer

Raymond Huo (Chinese name: 霍建强, Huo Jianqiang) is a New Zealand politician who was a Member of Parliament from 2008 to 2014 and returned to Parliament in March 2017. He was first elected in 2008 as the New Zealand Labour Party's first MP of Chinese descent. He is the third Chinese New Zealander to enter Parliament, after the National Party's Pansy Wong and ACT's Kenneth Wang.

Early life[edit]

Huo was born in Qianshan, an eastern part of China where his mother still lives.[1] Huo's father was a doctor, and his mother was a head nurse. They were in their early thirties when they volunteered to move from the Capital City to Qianshan to help the local population fight Schistosoma, a parasitic disease. It was here that Huo first picked up some of the ideals and beliefs, such as social justice and equity, which would lead him into politics.[2]

Being a medical professional did not spare Huo's father from persecution during the Cultural Revolution. His father—an "intellectual"—was ordered to stand at the gates of the hospital for an hour, three times a day with a white board stating "counter-revolutionary medical expert".[1] Raymond Huo, only 5 years old at the time, joined him with a smaller whiteboard saying "little counter-revolutionary medical expert". He later said he secretly believed it was his little sign that ended the Cultural Revolution soon afterward.

Huo credits his time in the small rural town as a major influence on his desire for free-will that he has carried into his politics and world view.[3]

As a teenager Huo taught himself to speak English in China by listening to the radio.[4] Huo went on to study English at Anhui University in Hefei and Law at China University of Political Studies and Law in Beijing.

Huo emigrated to New Zealand in 1994. He worked as a journalist for the New Zealand Herald where he was the Asian Affairs reporter. He subsequently obtained MLitt (First Class Honours) majoring in political communication and LLB from the University of Auckland. Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Huo practiced law in Auckland at Brookfields and Hesketh Henry.[5]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th List 21 Labour
2011–2014 50th List 21 Labour
2017 51st List 21 Labour
2017–present 52nd List 13 Labour

Huo was elected via the Labour Party list at the 2008 election and appointed as spokesman for Statistics, the Law Commission and Chinese Community Affairs. He also sat on the select committee for Law and Order and a Trustee on the Board of the Asia:New Zealand Foundation.[6] Huo was re-elected in 2011, but due to his party's poor showing in the 2014 election lost his seat in Parliament.

In February 2017, Labour list MP Jacinda Ardern won the Mount Albert by-election, 2017, which allowed the party to bring a new list MP to parliament. Huo was the third-highest ranked Labour candidate not to enter parliament at the 2014 election. Both people ranked higher, Maryan Street and Moana Mackey, announced they would decline the chance to return to Parliament.[7][8] Huo was declared elected on 15 March 2017 and sworn in as an MP on 16 March 2017,[9][10] and appointed Labour's spokesman on Land Information.[11]

Member's Bills[edit]

Huo and Ruth Dyson at a Labour function in 2013.

Huo was a strong advocate for Ethnic Representation on the new board of the Auckland Council Super City and submitted the Local Government (Auckland Council) (Asian Advisory Board) Amendment Bill to the House. Although Huo's Bill was voted down in Parliament by 64 votes to 58 on 4 November 2009, the Government soon after announced that an Ethnic Advisory Board Panel would be established on the new council.[12]

Huo has also been vocal about the need for New Zealand to overhaul the Export Education sector which is worth over $2.3 billion to the country's economy. Huo believes that New Zealand has a reputation for "ghetto education" in Asian countries and must change this or risk losing hundreds of International students from the Asian region.

In February 2011 Huo said because of its economic importance, he will write to the Prime Minister to adopt the Education (export education by private training establishments) Amendment Bill to be included in the current Education Amendment Bill (No 4).[13]

Controversy[edit]

Following Russel Norman's controversial protest to PRC Vice President Xi Jinping during Xi's 2010 visit to New Zealand, Huo wrote a blog entry defending Chinese rule over Tibet.[14] Thuten Kesang, spokesperson for the New Zealand Tibetan community, accused Huo of "promoting communist China progaganda" and said he would lay a formal complaint with the Labour Party.[14]

Author[edit]

Huo has published a number of books and articles including, Now in New Zealand, Something to Crow About, Jinma: Philosophy on Wisdom and Human Life (five volumes), Simplified American novels with Chinese notes: Love of Life, Life in the woods and five others, Lexicon of Contemporary English, Collected Works with Equivalent Chinese, Lexicon of Contemporary English, a Concise Edition,[15] and The New Zealand Quartet.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "We need to talk about China". The New Zealand Herald. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Raymond Huo". Huo.co.nz. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Trevett, Claire (26 January 2009). "New voices: Nikki Kaye, Todd McClay, Raymond Huo". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Raymond Huo". Huo.co.nz. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Raymond Huo". Huo.co.nz. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived 21 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Labour's Raymond Huo set to return to Parliament after Maryan Street steps aside". The New Zealand Herald. 21 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Labour victory signals there's more to come". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "New List MP for New Zealand Labour Party". 
  10. ^ "Daily progress". New Zealand Parliament. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Jacinda Ardern to hit the road while David Clark and Megan Woods promoted in Labour's line up changes". The New Zealand Herald. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Tan, Lincoln (4 November 2009). "Asian input critical to city's future, says Huo". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Tan, Lincoln (16 February 2011). "'Ghetto education' creates suspicion in major market". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Tan, Lincoln (3 July 2010). "MP's pro-China blog appals Tibet's friends". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Raymond Huo". Huo.co.nz. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Books by Raymond Huo - Wheelers Books". www.wheelers.co.nz. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 

External links[edit]