National MP Amy Adams apologises for incorrectly describing candidate Catherine Chu as Chinese

Senior National MP Amy Adams has apologised for incorrectly describing the National Party's Banks Peninsula candidate Catherine Chu as Chinese. 

Adams was defending National's lack of Chinese MPs in an interview with Magic Talk on Monday after list MP Jian Yang announced his retirement from politics. She was asked if there will be another Chinese candidate to take his place. 

"Well we have, of course, Catherine Chu down here in Banks Peninsula where I'm from in Canterbury, and Catherine's doing a great job," Adams said. 

"I think National is always going to want to represent the Chinese community in New Zealand. It's a big community in the same way we have Indian MPs and Filipino MPs and Korean MPs."

But Chu was born in Christchurch to South Korean parents. 

Adams has apologised to Chu, saying she thought she was Chinese but was mistaken.

Chu says she understands where the confusion came from telling Newshub her ancestors migrated from China to Korea a few hundred years ago.

Catherine Chu was 23 when she was selected as a National Party candidate in December. 

She will challenge the Port Hills seat - renamed Banks Peninsula - which is currently held by Labour's Ruth Dyson, who announced she will not seek re-election.  

It's not the first time National's leadership has ascribed a member to the wrong race. 

Back in June, National Party deputy leader Nikki Kaye wrongly identified Pākehā National MP Paul Goldsmith as Māori in an attempt to defend having no Māori MPs on the front bench.