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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 9. June 27, 1957


New Zealand consists of a couple of islands cast away by themselves in the middle of the South Pacific.

With Australia, it forms a scattered archipelago of transplanted North Atlantic democracy not very far off the Asian mainland. The Asian nations are our nearest neighbours of any significance.

A realistic foreign policy would be directed towards coming to terms with these people, and working out some method of mutually satisfactory peaceful co-existence with them. Our polticians pay lip-service to this goal. The National Party's booklet 'A Record of Achievement' describes one of the Government's foreign policy aims (the third of three) as being "the strengthening of friendly relations with the free countries of Asia."

But in fact our foreign policy is dominated, as it hits been for generations, by hostility and suspicion towards the people of Asia—summed up in the old nightmare of the "yellow peril."

Our contribution to the Colombo Plan is excellent, as far as it goes. It makes at least a gesture of real economic assistance to the under-developed lands on Asia's fringes. But our immigration laws (which are almost as xenophobic as Australia's) have not been relaxed. Asian students can still be summarily ordered out of the country (as the Indian Pat Sharma was only a few years ago), and those who come without 'official assistance have to contend with the ignorant prejudices of New Zealand's professional landladies.