David Seymour plays traditional Chinese instrument, speaks Mandarin in New Year video

Newshub can reveal the video David Seymour shot for Chinese New Year which he told supporters would make them "lose their proverbial". 

The 34-second clip shows the ACT Party leader wearing traditional Chinese-style dress, plucking a stringed instrument called a guqin.

Seymour told Newshub the clip had been circulating on Chinese social media app WeChat. He revealed its existence to English-speaking constituents at the weekend on web forum Reddit, after someone uploaded a pamphlet they'd received in the mail showing him playing the instrument. 

"You guys are going to lose your proverbial when you see the accompanying video," Seymour told others on the site. "It's really very simple, I value the people I represent, and send a variety of cards and messages throughout the year to show it."

There was suspicion the photo may have been edited, but Seymour told Newshub it was real - which the video confirms.

"Some fantastic friends actually brought the instrument in and they set it up and tried to teach me how to play it."

David Seymour plays the guqin.
David Seymour plays the guqin. Photo credit: ACT/Supplied
David Seymour concentrates as he plays the guqin.
David Seymour concentrates as he plays the guqin. Photo credit: ACT/Supplied

The music you hear in the clip was recorded by a professional however, Seymour saying his efforts to learn the 5000-year-old instrument were "about as successful" as his attempt to learn the guitar.

As well as playing the guqin, Seymour delivers a few lines in Mandarin, introducing himself and wishing people a happy new year.

Census data shows about a third of the population in Seymour's Epsom electorate identify as Asian. 

Some Reddit users accused Seymour of pandering to get votes, while others said it was smart politics.

"If you care about people - and I do care about my friends and constituents in the Epsom electorate who are Chinese - it pays from time to time to show you care," Seymour told Newshub.

"I also send out Hanukkah cards, Christmas cards, generally go to Waitangi, I also go to Christian festivals - a popular Christian festival called Easter."

Seymour has been outspoken against the perceived growing influence of the Chinese Communist Party in New Zealand, noting many Chinese living in New Zealand "feel the same" way.

Chinese New Year, which shifts with the moon, this year falls on January 25.

 

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