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President Eric Livingstone responds to American Bill Foley’s TV comments


Our President, Eric Livingstone, has responded, on behalf of all the Society’s members, to the comments made last Monday (March 12, 2012) on TV One’s ‘Close Up‘ programme, regarding an American Bill Foley’s comments on Chinese investment in New Zealand. 

Eric issued the following letter to the editors of The Dominion Post (Wellington), The NZ Herald (Auckland), The Press (Christchurch), the Listener and also directly to the editorial staff of ‘Close Up‘ themselves.

 His response was:

We are gravely offended by the narrow cultural attitudes that American businessman Bill Foley, investor of Wairarapa, showed on Television One’s ‘Close-up‘ on Monday. We apologise to all Chinese Kiwis and our Chinese friends overseas for his speculative comments claiming Chinese investors are in investment in New Zealand purely for their country, whereas he as an American is not.  To also claim that New Zealanders and Americans come from the same social economic background whereas Chinese do not, beggars belief.  Why does he choose to live here when he is prejudiced against a huge percentage of our population and in particular against our Chinese Kiwis and investors?  We are embarrassed to have such views proclaimed on national television and sincerely hope Mr Foley will realise the ignorance and offensiveness of his comments.  We would encourage Mr Foley to make contact with one of our 15 branches so we may give him the chance to make good the offense he has caused and join us as we celebrate 60 years of friendship with Chinese.

Eric Livingstone
National President
New Zealand China Friendship Society Inc