Tuesday 14 July 2015

Chinese Whispers.

New Imperiums For Old: China now stands where Britain stood: an economic colossus with expectations of this country that New Zealanders are only reluctantly beginning to comprehend. The thought that the Chinese might want something in return for opening up their market to our milk powder and baby formula has come very late to the ordinary Kiwi.
SONJA DAVIES was only in Parliament for six years. But, she could hardly have chosen a worse six-year period to be a Labour MP. Her time as MP for the Wellington seat of Pencarrow (1987-1993) coincided with the crescendo of Rogernomics and the splitting of the Labour Party. It was not a happy time for the celebrated feminist and trade union fighter, and she was only too happy to hand her seat over to Trevor Mallard and get out.
It wasn’t just the awfulness of life in the Labour Party in the late-1980s and early-90s that depressed Sonja Davies. As a shrewd observer of both local and international politics, she rapidly became aware that New Zealand was passing through a period of fundamental cultural and economic re-orientation. What concerned her most was how little New Zealanders were being told and, therefore, how little they knew, about the changes that were radically reshaping what it means to be a New Zealander.
“If people had any idea about the scale of these changes,” she confided to me early in her first term as MP for Pencarrow,” they’d be horrified. It’s been decided that New Zealand’s future lies in Asia. That’s got massive implications – but most people haven’t a clue. No one asked them and certainly no one’s telling them.”
Sonja Davies: People would be horrified.
New Zealand’s embrace of Asia (remember Jim Bolger’s startling comment that “New Zealand is an Asian country”?) was a policy driven by the same elite group of bureaucrats and businesspeople that had sponsored Roger Douglas’s “Quiet Revolution”. New Zealand’s once heavily-protected economy had been thrown open to the world in anticipation of the world’s major economies doing the same.
Significantly, the corollary of the free movement of capital, goods and services across international borders – the free movement of peoples – remained largely unexamined. Most New Zealanders simply did not realise that if their country was determined to trade freely with the whole world, then, more and more, its population would come to resemble the people with whom it was trading. If most of those people hailed from Asia, then New Zealand would, indeed, become “an Asian country”.
Why Asia? Simply because the traditional destinations for New Zealand’s exports, Europe and the United States, were largely satiated markets. Even worse, they remained highly protected markets. Throughout Asia generally, however, and, more specifically, in China, it was evident that millions of hitherto poor peasants and workers would soon be entering the ranks of a new and materialistically inclined “Middle Class”.
And, if history was any guide, one of the principal effects of these millions of Chinese becoming wealthy would be a dramatic change in their dietary habits. The demand would go up for protein, protein and more protein. And protein was – and is – what New Zealanders do best. Increasingly, the diplomatic and trade focus shifted from the global free trade chimeras of APEC and the Doha Round of the WTO, to the golden prize of a single, bilateral, free trade agreement with the People’s Republic of China.
That agreement was the crowning achievement of the Helen Clark-led Labour Government (1999-2008) and there can be no disputing its enormous and beneficial impact on the New Zealand economy. Equally indisputable, however, are the profound socio-cultural and political impacts of China becoming this country’s largest trading partner.
The New Zealand historian, James Belich, describes the political and socio-cultural effects of New Zealand being transformed into Britain’s “protein factory” as “The Great Tightening”. Essentially, this country was re-colonised by British capitalists and its population re- educated accordingly. That the process was carried out by people who looked like us and talked like us – our own kith and kin, as it were – did not make it any less destructive of our national sovereignty. More than 18,000 young New Zealanders’ died in World War I: their blood exchanged for our butter’s guaranteed access to the British market. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, William Massey, was happy to pay the butcher’s bill.
China now stands where Britain stood: an economic colossus with expectations of this country that New Zealanders are only reluctantly beginning to comprehend. The thought that the Chinese might want something in return for opening up their market to our milk powder and baby formula has come very late to the ordinary Kiwi.
That Labour is leading the discussion about how much, precisely, the Chinese have a right to expect from New Zealanders is entirely fitting. After all, it was Labour who sealed the deal. It was Labour, too, who presided over the electorally unmandated “turn” towards Asia in the late-80s. That they are, at last, addressing the misgivings expressed to me by Sonja Davies’ all those years ago, is to be applauded – not condemned.
Labour’s Chinese whispers have nothing to do with racism. They’re about national sovereignty and the people’s will.
This essay was originally published in The Press of Tuesday, 14 July 2015.


Anonymous said...

Most of the surnames of the present Labour Party are all British, have they or their families ever been denied the ability to invest in or buy lands ,farms or property in NZ, the answer is NO. Twyford and Little are playing the race card and in doing so are showing they are racist. Your piece BS.

JanM said...

Thankyou Chris - in the uproar it's difficult to access intelligent analysis. Oh, the irony of the right accusing the left of racism!

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Let's not get all dewey eyed about Sonia Davies. I'm not sure how she got the Pencarrow seat, but many saw it as a sinecure for her before she finally retired – or died. And I once overheard a group of Labour women expressing their extreme disappointment that she hadn't spoken up on women's issues once in six years. Which may or may not have been true, but then I didn't take a great deal of interest in the minutiae of politics in those days.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should look at Articles 138 and 141 of the China - New Zealand Free Trade Agreement to get an idea of how the "investment" terms are likely to affect us. Mainland Chinese investors, which includes those buying or wanting to buy residential real estate, are not supposed to be treated less favourably than local New Zealand investors. This means, there seems to be damned little we can do now, to ban all non resident, off-shore buying of homes in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or anywhere else in New Zealand. The presently still rather liberal investment rules for off-shore buyers are not meant to be made more stringent, so Labour's demands for tightening access to all overseas investors in NZ real estate may not even be enforceable, certainly not against Mainland Chinese. It would be a breach of the FTA with China, and the Mainland Chinese government, or investors, may be able to take New Zealand to court over any more restrictive measures.

It seems the country has been "sold", so gradually we will become tenants in our own land. Perhaps someone gets some expert legal advice on this, but the provisions mentioned may explain perfectly, why the New Zealand government we have is doing damned little to stop overseas buying of homes here.

Read the details in the text:

It seems that both Labour and National have signed a deal that leaves the country rather vulnerable now, as few New Zealand buyers can compete with the many wealthy coming from other places, some from Mainland China.


Anonymous said...

Why is it that National are now left and Labour are now right? Things have become so twisted. I liked what you said, it's about the will of the people and our soveriegnty, which is being sold down the river with hardly a care. It's so sad that the issue can't even be discussed without screams of racism abounding. Chinese people have been quoted as saying Kiwis are lazy and stupid, is that not in itself racist? How outrageous that China is bulk buying our housing stock. We are all being sold out, and will be serfs to China. I hate the way Key and Joyce are so flippant and arrogant when questioned re this. Key's real legacy: allowing China to outbid New Zealanders on housing, and denying New Zealanders the right to their own home. Thanks, John...not that he gives a split second toss.

Martin English said...

That Labour is leading the discussion about how much, precisely, the Chinese have a right to expect from New Zealanders is entirely fitting.
I grew up in Otaki, went to school with and was friends with kids whose parents and grand parents farmed the local market gardens. Born and bred Kiwi's all of us. And Twyford and his apologists (including you) are saying "You sound chinese, therefore you're bad for the economy".

The yellow background on your blog site is appropriate for the yellow journalism epitomised by your pitiful agenda driven apology for out right rascism.

Anonymous said...

JamM, it not "the right accusing the left of racism" its the people who see racism every day in NZ and know what they are talking about. Take off your rose coloured spectacles and see how NZ society is made up. The Labour Party could have said it was rich people buying the houses, rich immigrants coming to our shores. They did not, they played the racist card(s). The Labour Party is pandering to Winston Peters. The Labour party spreading anger amongst the various ethnic people of NZ, that is racism and it could lead to violence. JamM you need to grow up.

Nick J said...

Anon at 12.40 Howzabout you swap British for Asian then re read. Imagine us an Asian country and our colonisation by British interests. We are talking national sovereignty NOT racism. Stop playing the race card, its very tiresome.

Richard McGrath said...

JanM - are you saying the left could never express racist sentiments, as Labour clearly has in their recent very clumsy attempts to marginalise people with Chinese surnames? Please!

And when will Andrew Little give a straight answer to questions about where the information regarding Auckland property sales came from? For heaven's sake, Paul Henry even asked whether it was from Barfoot & Thompson - does Little really think the rest of the country doesn't already know? This is terribly embarrassing for Labour.

Nick K said...

Yes. We should close our borders. Ban foreign capital. Put tariffs back on imports. Subsidise failed industries. And just sell meat from Waikato to Wellingtonians.

That'll work. I mean, the World doesn't really exist. Or at least we should just pretend it doesn't.

Tiger Mountain said...

I think she deserves more respect Guerrilla after listening to her personal reading of her autobiographical book “Bread and Roses” on Radio New Zealand recently.

I only knew her in the 80s through union executive circles and FOL meetings and she seemed a token inclusion and a bit of a spent force on some occasions, but as an MP she was in a left minority after the joint Council of Labour was abandoned and was personally bullied in parliament by the likes of Rogernome in chief–Douglas himself, many who would have supported her had departed for New Labour etc

her book is heart rending stuff about the minutiae of life in a grindingly sexist old NZ, not that previous hardships should excuse all behaviour but assess it in context

jh said...

I suppose Sonia Davies was referring to this:
The attitudes of New Zealanders in the mid-1990s
towards immigration may not have reflected the positive perspective on the
value of diversity in our society that is contained in the Review of
Immigration Policy August 1986. But this does not mean that the globalisation
of immigration to New Zealand was an “unintended consequence of policy
changes in 1986”. It was a deliberate strategy, based on a premise that the
“infusion of new elements to New Zealand life has been of immense value to
the development of this country to date and will, as a result of this
Government’s review of immigration policy, become even more important in
the future” (Burke 1986:330).

and a bit lower down:
This process of population
replacement is occurring at a time when natural increase amongst all
components of the New Zealand resident population is falling.

The Globalisation of International Migration
in New Zealand: Contribution to a Debate

So where are these immense benefits?

Having read Public Address I get the feeling that the racism is othering of the lower classes (the ones who bear the brunt) by individuals with a superiority complex. That crowd has a right (nay) duty to go over peoples heads

jh said...

Meanwhile on a different planet
At least someone is having fun?
P.S The Government can't find the money for a registry of foreign buyers yet it has 5.5m to study the ("summery" termed) "superdiversity".

Trotsky said...

This sounds like a flaccid longwinded and oily defense of dog whistle politics to me, lets add a few hard numbers and see where we get to.

Up until 1973 the UK was our principal export market, this ended when they joined the EU and effectively shut out our exports. Ten years later (1983) the muldoon government signed CER with australia creating the free trade area. The Clark regime signed a free trade deal with singapore in 2001 and china in 2008. The Key regime signed one with ASEAN in 2011 and is currently closing TPP.

Our current trade patterns are:
Australia 22% - not surprising given the length of time weve been in CER and our proximity to the country.
China and USA around 12% each
Japan, Korea and EU around 8% each.

Based on the numbers we see a reaction of the country to having its main trading partner shut the door and join the EU with its aggressive agricultural protection.

Effectively the UK and EU showed us the middle finger and we were forced to go the Asia to sell our wares, it wasnt so much a tilt to asia but a door closing to europe with the necessity to find other markets - even if theyre recipients are not white skinned.

Im really not sure how you argued how having 12% of our exports (and rising) going to china in anyway justifies Twyfords "Chink bashing", what about aussie bashing - I forgot they are white skinned.

I say lets wait for some hard numbers on foreigners buying our houses (we are getting them as of this year) and make a decision then - which includes white skinned foreigners and not just "Chinks".

Id have to rate this your worst work yet Trotter - an oily defense of race baiting, you should know better, If ACT or National produced this same "Chink Survey" you would be baying for blood, labour so it and you fawn and simper - chicken shit.

Anonymous said...

If Sonja Davies didn't like the policies implemented by Lange's government, why didn't she simply vote against them?

Sean said...

Other than pointing at an assumed racial profile of some buyers...have I missed what Labours actual policy is ? How are they going to address this if they think it s a problem. Of course any policy is likely to put the brakes on rampant housing inflation and be unpopular with those who are financing their lifestyles off it...so instead we get race baiting and fear. When you have a global currency trader as PM don't be surprised to find global capital looking to make a margin on these shores.....

Simon said...

People who choose to live in New Zealand are New Zealanders. Quite a vile attack on immigrants.

Without the last 20 yrs of immigration (asian or otherwise) NZ would look like a 1970s East German workers paradise.

And increasingly productive New Zealanders are identifying more closely with each other, without regard to ethnic background, than identifying with the Left spouting national sovereignty as cover for their rapidly diminishing relevance.

Chris Trotter said...

Both the errors of fact and the recourse to derogatory language in this comment reflects the general intellectual vacuity of the "someone mentioned ethnicity therefore they must be racist" brigade.

If they only knew how pleased they were making Labour, I suspect they would very quickly lapse into silence.

Personally, I'm delighted at all this knee-jerk political correctness. For every Alastair Young and Phil Quin that Labour loses, I suspect it's attracting 5-10 replacements.

That's very good electoral arithmetic.

Mike Grimshaw said...

It is clear racism; what did the Labour Party say when it was South African migrants buying up large on the North Shore?
Surely too, a Labour party, if it is socialist/leftist in any way should be talking about class and not ethnicity?
But the issue is that the Labour Party is intellectually weak and doesn’t want to talk or think about class- or its new permutations. How would it deal with the issue of chinese marxist entrepreneurs:

Richard McGrath said...

Chris, your final sentence is very revealing - is Labour hoping to improve its abysmal and crumbling support by this thinly disguised yellow-peril dog-whistle 'racial profiling'? Perhaps hoping to attract back some of the xenophobes from Winston First? I can't see Labour being pleased about this whole debacle at all - it's ugly.

Trotsky said...

That's very good electoral arithmetic. I cant fault you there Chris, cynical machiavellian race baiting works a treat bring it on Phill

Chris Trotter said...

The electoral arithmetic works for Labour not because it is racist, but because Phil Twyford's position on overseas investment in the Auckland housing market is daily widening the gap between the party and the inner-city suburbs' strident guardians of social liberal orthodoxy. These are the people who have been driving thousands of former Labour voters into the arms of NZ First and, regrettably, National. To see Labour under sustained attack from such people is extremely heartening to Labour's traditional voting base.

So, yes, it is, of course, a matter of class not race - just not in the way all you social liberals think.

Keep up the good work!

Mike Grimshaw said...

But in a post-industrial society Labour's traditional voting base is never going to be large enough to return it to power... so Labour needs to rethink class; secondly the opening up of tertiary education under student loans actually increases the pool of social liberals and unless Labour connects with this group they are doomed to be a party of social conservatism and blue-collar and provincial racism...

Charles E said...

I think Chris is right, it is politics not racism, but wrong about the result. It will not get the votes they want. Perhaps a few from NZF (who wants those!) but they may lose some Chinese votes and some soft existing left supporters to the Greens.

However the other problem is that the billions being invested in our country by Chinese benefits the nation as a whole so the statistics that will also come out on that will make Labour look against wealth creation. NZ has had approaching 200 years of foreign investment that benefits it and it is no different now. Often foreigners lose their shirts too.
Foreign residents, including Chinese may well be paying way too much for fixed assets here. I know of a large forest sold recently which some Chinese bid against each other for and ended up buying for close to double its value. Then there were the Crafar farms bought for huge sums by Chinese. Bet they are feeling sick now. But we benefit from the money coming it.
Years ago there was a great example when Japanese bought Mt Hutt & Coronet Peak ski fields, sank millions into great improvements we enjoy now then sold out at a huge loss to NZers some years later.
I expect there will be a bad house price bust in Auckland some day and those foreigners pouring money into our economy will not get it back, yet the houses will still be here. No worries.

And concerning racism folks. I too have prejudices about Chinese living here and buying here: I like them & I prefer them to most other cultural groups that settle here. I especially like the Chinese from Hong Kong & Singapore. Does that make me racist? Well how can it? I'm talking about cultures not race. We can like some and not others, within reason.

So stuff the race card back in its dark place, it's not the point here. The point is Labour opposes foreign investment which is our lifeblood and freedom to sell our property to whom we choose. As it is with class, or politics ....

Trotsky said...

Your assumption is that its "foreign chinks" who are driving the auckland property market, this assumption cannot be confirmed by the bufoonish study twyford tabled, as he himself admits all we can deduce is aculand properties are being snapped up by people with "chink" sounding names. When we get hard numbers to prove that overseas investors are driving auckland property markets to unaffordable heights then its time for a debate on controlling that irrespective of race.

Interestingly there are some of the left who dont believe the end justifies the means, No right turn bravely bucks the hypocrite trend with the robust rejection of Labour party racism in:

Labour's conclusion (as obligingly passed on by the Herald): OMG! Foreigners are buying up all our houses and leaving decent honest white folk unable to buy their first home! Which might be true, but this data doesn't show it. Because even if you accept that a "Chinese sounding" name indicates Chinese ethnicity, and ignore some stuff about name diversity which could distort the results, you're still left with the fact, as the Herald puts it, that

It is not known if the Chinese buyers were based here or overseas.

Because what your name "sounds like" doesn't indicate anything at all about your residency or citizenship. And to be very clear, New Zealand citizens or permanent residents are kiwis, regardless of what their name "sounds like". Kiwis with "Chinese sounding" names are just as entitled to buy a house as anyone else. And foreign speculators are foreign speculators regardless of what their name "sounds like". By tarring a specific ethnicity (or at least something that "sounds like" it), Labour's point just ends up sounding like an ugly racist megaphone.

And I assume that its deliberate. Its obvious enough and revolting enough that anyone looking at it would say "hey, this sounds like racism!" even in a party as talentless and dysfunctional as Labour. I guess they've decided that Winston really is heading for the exit, and are trying to position themselves to grab his 200,000 dead white racist voters, and bugger their supposed party values. But if this is the direction our largest "centre left" party is heading in, I don't see why any decent person would want to support it.

Now that's a blogger who calls a turd a turd - take a bow Chris.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I too have read "Bread and Roses", and I have immense respect for her up until her time in parliament. After that not so much. After all, she wasn't particularly young, and it would have cost her very little I would imagine to vote against Roger Douglas & Co. Don't know, might be being a bit harsh here.

Chris Trotter said...

The irony of someone objecting to Labour's "racism" repeatedly using the word "chinks" is just too delicious for words!

SHG said...

Reading the all the leftish blogs and Labour party defensiveness over the past couple of days I'm struck by how overwhelmingly the "it's not racist, don't be silly" message is being proclaimed by... comfortably middle-class white people. Almost all of them male.

Because, you know, if there's one thing that people like Andrew Little, Phil Twyford, Rob Salmond, Chris Trotter, angry-neckbeard-guy at The Standard, et al all have in common... it's knowing what racism is.

Then you have Keith Ng and Raybon Kan and Tze Ming Mok writing "fuck yeah it's racist, I'm a New Zealander and I'm fucking offen--" "LOOK WE JUST TOLD YOU. IT'S NOT RACIST. YOU PEOPLE NEVER LISTEN."

jh said...

Simon said...

1. People who choose to live in New Zealand are New Zealanders. Quite a vile attack on immigrants.

2. Without the last 20 yrs of immigration (asian or otherwise) NZ would look like a 1970s East German workers paradise.
1. More than 94 per cent of Chinese permanent residents and more than half of those with NZ citizenship told University of Auckland researchers that they felt a greater sense of belonging and identified more with their country of origin than New Zealand.
The study also found that Chinese migrants aged 15 to 44 felt significantly more attached to their homeland identity than those aged 45 and over.

Manying Ip, the professor of Asian studies who led the project, described this as "surprising" and said the finding contradicted earlier assumptions that older Chinese migrants were more conservative and therefore felt more attached to their homelands.

"The finding is surprising in that it contravenes accepted migration and acculturation theories," she said.
"It indicates that the younger cohort are more attached than their older counterparts to their native homeland and feel their identity is more Chinese than anything else."


2. The Savings Working Group said the exact opposite as does Treasury Paper 14-10 (see Changing Policy Expectations)

Trotsky said...

Your running scared Chris, desperation stuff you really can't seriously sell the specious idea that as long as it ramps labours political fortunes anythings goes - moral capitulation if ever Ive heard it, Ill stick with idiot savant.

I initially bought the idea that Labours dog whistles might buy them some redneck votes from winston and National, Im not so sure about that now. It will cost them with NZ's asian people and will be a long time winning them back, I can never imagine Helen Clarke behaving like this, its desperation stuff. Once we get some hard numbers on foreign ownership and auckland housing inflation we can take a level headed approach if its actually required. For now we have no solid numbers to work with, only micky mouse ones used by dog whistle Twyford.

Enough of this your not worth the time of day good bye to you and your blog best of luck with your new found friends in the KKK's labour chapter

TM said...

Foreign investment in NZ is an issue, but the way Labour have gone about this is blatantly racist. And what makes it worse is the number of white people (especially males) who claim it isn't racist. I have voted left all my life and I find the casual dismissal of my concerns to be quite troubling.

I think this will backfire in the polls, as there is only so much of Winston's vote Labour can get, but a lot of left voters (especially those who are not white) who will remember this as a crude populist move.

Unknown said...

Enough of this your not worth the time of day good bye to you and your blog best of luck with your new found friends in the KKK's labour chapter
and you'll find lot's of friends at kiwiblog (since you're a natural ally).

D'Esterre said...

@Chris: "repeatedly using the word " chinks"
Yes, just marvellous in the context.
I think he may be a Kiwi Chinese: we have dealings with Chinese using this last name. He wouldn't be the first to use a derogatory epithet of this sort, while at the same time accusing the rest of us of being mean to Chinese - or some other ethnic group.

Anonymous said...

Pft to the cries of racism. The call of "Racist" has become meaningless as it has been used so many times to shut down discussion on issues where ethnicity may be involved, or a side issue, and the person making the cry "Racist" wants the discussion shut down.

My major concern is with the lower classes of New Zealand who are being shut out of the housing market. And most of the lower classes are brown (Maori and Pacific peoples). Check out the recent census information for the home ownership percentages of the Maori and Pacific peoples and hang your head in shame New Zealand. Not trying to fix that is Racist. Not talking about the effects on the lower classes and the brown peoples in New Zealand is Racist.

Ignoring the influx of overseas money, which just happens to be pouring in from China, helps to sentence New Zealand's lower classes to a much harder life than they would otherwise have. It doesn't matter where the money is pouring in from. It could be coming from the US, Britain or Australia. And it is a disaster for the lower classes in New Zealand.

It is long past the time when this issue needed to be debated in the wider media.

Charles E said...

Struth AY, I thought I was prone to over-reaction!
You are confusing xenophobia with racism, like many people do. It's not the same. Neither are exactly positive but the latter is deeply shallow, primitive and ignorant. It judges people by their blood.
Whereas the former is just shallow and almost forgivable. It's the fear of being over-run by foreigners, and at times it is legitimate. People are entitled to defend their culture from invasion by another culture or cultures.
Labour is not being racist. It's desperately trying to show it's nationalist, Kiwi, Nu Zilish, mainstream.... an several other base things that nationalism is all about. And before you say 'yeah right, National Socialist', you'd be wrong because it is no longer socialist.

David Stone said...

Hi Chris
It is deceitful weasel-talk to seek to reinterpret any objection to wholesale selloff of N Z assets to international speculators as being rasist; And the people who do so know and understand exactly what they are doing, but are they really sure of why they are doing it ? Why do you people want to champion the interests of foreign speculators to the disadvantage of young New Zealanders? How do you think this helps you? I can see the govt's motive as the incoming speculative money temporarily makes our balance of payments look less disastrous .
@ Charles E thankyou for at least redirecting the discussion back to an economic one where it belongs, but to depend on business failures to establish an advantage to N Z is grasping at straws. The proposal that any "investment by overseas speculators is nonsense . It is simply inviting foreigners with money to play with to dispossess New Zealanders who don"t have money to get by with.
Cheers David J S

Guerilla Surgeon said...

The right always love to use the term racist. Because they so rarely get a chance. And because they are often racist themselves. I don't think it's used to put an end to the debate necessarily, in the way that anti-Semite is used to shutdown debate on Israel, but there is an element of that. I think personally though it's more an element of glee that they found something to smear the left with. If you ever watch Fox news – heaven forbid you should do so seriously – you'll find that term thrown around quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

To Charles E at 1.05pm 15 July - 'the houses will still be here, one day we'll get them back etc' - very blithe, but the point is in the meantime they are priced out of, or rented out to, otherwise local owners, and it is the lower income locals who are hit hardest (I'm willing to bet declining home ownership back to 1950s levels reported this week does not reflect declining rates at the top, but rather, far steeper declines than the average shows, in the bottom half). And that's real lives we're talking about, shut out for 5 year or 10 years or however long it takes, IF the bubble ever bursts, and that's also middle class people forced to put far more into their houses and mortgages than they would have otherwise. The cost is real and felt over hundreds of thousands of people. So it's a real issue. I know you will now write in again saying you are but a poor renter in Otahahu but somehow I believe you are an owner, with little or no mortgage, on a great income, whose children are already well established, or if not, you are in a position to help them, so this issue doesn't seem real to you, given how casually you dismiss it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Anonymous 20:09. Not worth talking to people like Charles about results. They are quite blithe about these too. They don't care if the invisible hand swats a few people. Just the result of bad choices. It's all sort of academic to them, probably because they don't see the results very often.

jh said...

I've been re reading On Point Dear Peter Brown: *Hug*, which I first took as condescending and mocking but on a closer look Keith Ng is being conciliatory. He sees everything as going well: the diverse groups are melting.
I don't think we are and I think the issue is the scale of migrant arrivals and because [my theory] developed countries reach plateaus and as Paul Glass and others are saying growth is occurring due to commodities, migration and the rebuild. As a consequence population increase drives down per capita gdp and there are real consequences in the property market: the migrants get the quarter acre section; we get the apartments (and they wont be flash). The contrary view is what I would call a flat earth view: population doesn't matter, in fact all the evidence shows it increases the wealth etc.

It is interesting to follow the tolerance of intolerance theme (holding out an olive branch) Idiot Savant is the most intolerant:

Steve Withers, 7 years ago
Using “acknowledge” like a swear word misses the point. Ever heard of “feel, felt, found”? First you tell the person you hear what they are saying. You can plac what they said in a wider context by saying that you know of many others who felt that way, too. Then you move on to say that hen you looked at the facts, you found that the feeling wasn’t valid. They may refuse to accept that. But if they do choose to deny what is verifiably true (assuming it is) then their integrity is on the line. They may be cynical and not care. But people looking on usually see that cynicism for what it is.

Idiot Savant, 7 years ago
Email WebTwitter
Steve: By doing that, you are accepting the legitmacy of their interest, and turning it into an empirical debate rather than a moral one. And that is a mistake which gives ground to the racists and the bigots.
If Brown was right and ethnic diversity was causing serious social conflict in New Zealand, would his proposed solution of state racism be acceptable? No, it would not. Discrimination on the basis of race is always wrong, no matter what lofty aim you claim it is directed at.
Turning it into an empirical matter also invites similar empirical arguments on other private issues, such as religion, political belief, sexual orientation and family structure. It radically undercuts the very basis of a liberal society: the recognition that, no matter what our differences, at the end of the day we all live together, and so have to lump each other and try to get along.

Most of the commenters seem to see migration as a right and or good and "racism"/"xenophobia" as mongrel (rather than having an evolutionary basis). Gay marriage is o.k but a preference for a common culture; a nation based on shared ancestry and history,(an extended family) isn't.

Lastly is it education or income that makes you less "racist"/"xenophobic"/bothered? Income gives you freedom?

Anonymous said...

Listener item "Call Helen" makes interesting reading:

jh said...

Matthew Hooton admits he might have backed the wrong horse for the past two decades. …..he opined in the comments section of the Dim-Post blog site that he was reconsidering his long-held stance on immigration: “There is also the argument on immigration that the liberal globalists (of which I count myself one) have spent at least 20 years arguing. ‘Immigration is good for you because it makes a country more cosmopolitan and internationally connected and also a moral duty, and if you are against it you are racist’.

“My regular use of this argument over many years (or at least one like it) was a reaction to the vile way Winston Peters raised the issue in the early 1990s……But it is a false argument. Immigration is a choice. No country has to take anyone if they don’t want to….But for 20 years, no one in authority in New Zealand has really made the case for why immigration is good for us – just if you’re agin it, you’re a racist, provincial xenophobe. Yet as I look back over the last 25 years in New Zealand, I’m not sure that Peters was wrong on the substance of the issue.”
I hope he isn't just getting himself on the right side so he can be more effective?

jh said...

Contested identity

Social struggles from the 1960s onwards showed that, as in every nation, New Zealanders had diverse understandings of their country and its identity. This contrasted with the memory of united suffering and identity from the first and second world wars. Debate about New Zealand involvement in the Vietnam War, the anti-nuclear movement, and the 1981 Springbok rugby tour provoked conflict among New Zealanders as to the nature of their country. Debate also existed about whether New Zealand was a bicultural or multicultural nation, and whether it should see itself as part of Asia, as a Pacific nation, or as still closely linked to the United Kingdom.
Next: Page 2. The land
To me this misrepresents the nature of the debate. The change from a (by definition) ethnic nation ("long awaited" and "too the delight of some") were done behind the publics back. When the nature of the changes became apparent, elites ganged up on anyone who protested calling them racist a joust which the public can't defend themselves against as the whole academic establishment taught nothing but environmental theories of behaviour.

Baizou said...

These are the people who have been driving thousands of former Labour voters into the arms of NZ First and, regrettably, National.

John Hurley said...

The worm is turning Chris?

Barry said...

WhenI started work in 1970 selling to the meat industry I was selling to UK companies - Fletchers(Vesty family), Bothwicks (another English family), The Co-op (A UK retail chain). There were a few NZ meat works.
These outfits all went broke and UK investment ebbed away.
Then came US investment. First McDonalds and now half the countries manufacturing is US owned.
But that will slowly pull out.
The first half of this century will the Chinese Era - theyre deep into dairy processing and manufacturing already.

Will that be any worse than UK and US ownership? The UK meat industry sucked every ££ out of NZ. Amazon etc are child level tax dodgers compared to Vesty Nd Bothwicks.

However our biggest challenge is that by competing with low asian worker wages we have become a low wage economy and that is really hurting NZ.
You can pay someone who makes shoe and shirts and TVs a lot more than minimum wage but only if you are not importing cheap equivalents.
As it is now there is no reason to pay Baristas or phone centre workers anything more than minimum wage. After all they are adding very little to the value of the country.

The current resort to Racism claims is 100% political.