The Indian Association of New Zealand is demanding an apology from National Party leader Simon Bridges after a secret recording of him discussing the value of ethnic minorities with former colleague Jami-Lee Ross.

Association president Veer Khar said the association, which represents Kiwi Indians in South Auckland including Ross' Botany electorate, took strong exception to their comments about whether Indians were worth as much as Chinese.

"While Jami makes a belittling statement [that] two Chinese are better, Simon foolishly affirms the same," Khar said.

"The conversation...clearly highlights the MMP system breeds tokenism and the association believes that this system bringing in MPs just for raising party funds needs to be thoroughly re-looked into."


The audio file of a telephone conversation between the Bridges and Ross was released on social media by the disgruntled Botany MP.

The two discussed a $100,000 donation to the National Party and also potential candidates and a dinner Bridges shared with businessman Zhang Yikun.

"Two Chinese would be nice but then you know, would it be one Chinese and one Filipino? Or, you know, what do we do?" Bridges was heard saying.

Ross replied: "Two Chinese would be more valuable than two Indians I have to say."

Then Bridges said: "Yeah, which is what we've got at the moment, right?"

Khar said the association is demanding an "immediate apology" from Bridges and also reactions from National's two Indian list MPs.

He said the two Indian MPs have so far "unfortunately preferred to stay dumb".

The two MPs - Kanwaljit Bakshi, National's spokesman for Internal Affairs and Parmjeet Parmar, its research science and innovation spokeswoman, have been approached for comments.


The association will also be raising this issue at a forthcoming national executive meeting of the confederate body in Wellington to discuss any further course of action.

Yesterday, India's High Commissioner to New Zealand Sanjiv Kholi also expressed his shock via twitter.

"Shocking attitude," Kholi said.

"Highly inconsistent with NZ values."