Tuesday 19 January 2016

Winston's Choice.

Which Way Will He Go? This is the choice that Winston Peters must make. To go on doing what he has been doing since 1993: dog-whistling softly – but not at a pitch to arouse the entire kennel – so as to secure for himself and his followers a seat or two at the top table. Or: to do what he has all along known he has the power to do – unleash hell upon the New Zealand political class.
HOW DOES WINSTON PETERS wish to be remembered? In this, the middle year of John Key’s third term as prime minister, the leader of NZ First must surely be asking himself the same question. Will he be recalled, ultimately, as the gad-fly of New Zealand politics? Memorable for the amount of irritation he was able to cause – but for little else. Or, will all that came before the 2017 General Election be seen, simply, as the necessary preparation for the triumph of his final, finest, hour?
His Northland by-election victory, in particular, must be giving him considerable pause. Something was revealed there which can only have sent shivers down the spines of both the National and Labour parties. A vast and inchoate rage, bubbling and churning like magma just below the apparently placid surface of New Zealand politics. There can be little doubt that Peters sensed its presence – hence his unshakeable confidence that the seat was winnable. But, it is doubtful that he foresaw its size and power. On the night of his runaway win, even the wily Mr Peters must have felt a shiver or two.
The same sort of shivers, perhaps, that Dr Don Brash felt when he sat on his sofa and watched the National Party record an unprecedented 17 percentage point surge in the Colmar Brunton opinion poll on the strength of his Orewa Speech. Dr Brash’s right-wing populism came within an ace of victory in 2005. The ground heaved and flattened, heaved and flattened, but, crucially, the magma did not break through. New Zealand did not burn.
Eleven years on from Orewa, as Mr Peters undoubtedly knows, the target of “Middle New Zealand’s” rage is no longer just “Maori privilege” (although that still rankles). In 2016 the unease is generated by much larger and more profound changes in the shape of New Zealand’s population. If the dominant Pakeha fraction of Kiwi society felt challenged by the Maori Renaissance, it is experiencing the early stages of existential dread about the growing influence of Asian immigration.
There is more to this dread that old-fashioned racism. It originates in the pervasive sense that New Zealand is being changed in ways that most New Zealanders have neither asked for nor desired. That decisions concerning their nation’s future have been made on the basis of research and discussion about which most Kiwis remain completely unaware.
New Zealand’s turn towards Asia, for example, and the dramatic shift in population policy it required, have never constituted the core of a Labour or National election manifesto. Both of the major parties have, instead, quietly accepted the advice of an elite group of senior public servants and academics that New Zealand must prepare for a multicultural future, and that this option is much to be preferred to the country remaining a singularly misplaced, and increasingly isolated, outpost of European civilisation.
NZ First was the only political party to question the wisdom and desirability of the Asian turn – and it was viciously criticised for its pains. Taunts of racism are the political class’s stock response to any individual or organisation foolhardy enough to demand a democratic mandate for a population policy as radical as the one into which New Zealanders have been strapped.
Not that the major parties are unaware of the additional heat New Zealand’s unsanctioned population policies are adding to the magma bubbling and churning beneath the surface of its political landscape. Concern over the sale of New Zealand land to foreigners – out of which both National and Labour, as well as NZ First and the Greens, have sought to make political capital – is but the venting of steam and ash.
The whole political class is acutely aware that if New Zealanders’ concerns about the changing composition of their society; their worries about the neglect of provincial New Zealand and the growing economic power of Auckland; and their fear that the country’s future is being determined without a democratic mandate; were ever to become the core of a political party’s electoral appeal, then the whole country could erupt.
This is the choice that Winston Peters must make. To go on doing what he has been doing since 1993: dog-whistling softly – but not at a pitch to arouse the entire kennel – so as to secure for himself and his followers a seat or two at the top table. Or: to do what he has all along known he has the power to do – unleash hell upon the New Zealand political class.
If a single fissure in Northland could lay the Government low, just imagine what a nationwide rupture could do. Yes, New Zealand would burn, but fire is only a bad thing when it destroys what people value. There is much in contemporary New Zealand that its people would happily consign to the flames.
This essay was originally published in The Press of Tuesday, 19 January 2016.


peteswriteplace said...

Give the system a shake-up Winston. Give Andrew a few clues how to make political change through implementation of democratic socialist policies - real Labour!

Anonymous said...

Did someone say Huka lodge is for sale?

Anonymous said...

A great piece of writing and opinion.

I live in Auckland and go into the city most days, about 50% of the people on the bus are Chinese, about 20% Indian.
Britomart travellers ( bus and trains ) make up about the same percentages. Employees of bus companies are different with about a 40 % Maori and Pacific Island imput.
Indian people seem to make a high percentage of train staff.
Where I live ( eastern suburb's ) my neighbours are about the same percentage as my bus travellers.
I go to the Casino regularly and find the same percentages as my bus travellers in patrons and staff of the Casino. There are some staff who are Maori or Pacific Islander with the majority of the cleaning and security staff being Maori or Pacific Islander.
NZ has changed forever and in Auckland the majority of City dwellers are non-European
I have no complaints except I am disgusted and have disquiet with house prices but I do not blame the immigrants, I blame the 2008 Labour government which did a free trade agreement with the Chinese government which allowed Chinese folk to buy property in NZ whether or not they resided here !!!. ( totally unfettered buying of our properties ).
Winston Peters is aware of the FTA rules and must be aware that despite the odd rant and rave to get the locals votes, he is powerless to change anything.
The venting of steam and ash will continue but nothing will change.
The pox on Little, Twyford and Salmond for stirring racism against the Chinese people in Auckland for a situation the Labour party caused.
I understand that it is not to late for the Race relations commissioner and the police to be involved with Labours race hate activities.

Brendon Harre said...

Chris do you know what became of New Zealand Firsts -Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill? Which wanted to outlaw ISDS processes from trade agreements. It seems to me that ISDS is a direct challenge to the principle of Parliamentary Supremacy our oldest and most important constitutional principle.

There is this Press release last March -http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1503/S00302/nz-first-bill-throws-down-the-gauntlet-over-tppa.htm.

Has the Bill come and gone or is it yet to be debated?

If it is the latter then that will surely add fuel to the fire.

Anonymous said...

Northlands voting for the old charlatan was simply the political pulling of a brown eye by the electorate at they're beloved National party, they know a tory when they see one and Winston is most certainly a tory.

Can the old charlatan set the political world on fire - not likely, hes been round too long, made the same promises to often - hes all mouth and no trousers.

Yes he will bang on about asians, maoris and any other dis-valued minority groups if it will rev up his dim-witted followers, this will trundle to 5-7% in 2017 and may get a kingmaker roll and the baubles for his last years before submission to the conqueror worm.

It will be interesting to see if Shaw trumps peters at the post and throws National a deal they can't refuse - a carbon tax for 3 years in power, might put Peters into adult nappies and a zimmer frame, that would be nice.


Guerilla Surgeon said...

Wow – a topic that won't have to be somehow turned round into a discussion on immigration. JH will be pleased.

Stephen Keys said...

The crucial point you make is that mass immigration, was never put to the electorate, particularly of Asians from totalitarian political systems with values around democracy, money, the environment and welfare often completely at odds with established priorities. Treaty of Waitangi? Will not last another 20 year at this rate as first generation immigrants join with mis informed Europeans to overwhelm the old contract.

Jack Scrivano said...

I think Winston will need to tread lightly. A big chuck of his support comes from the pensioner brigade. As one said to me just a couple of weeks ago: ‘I’ll vote for Winston. He got us our Gold Cards.’ A bit later in the conversation, the same person said that she used to vote Labour. ‘But now they’ve gone all weird. A bunch of poofs. And their leader is always angry. You can’t have someone like that running the country.’ Thinking about how sprightly the 80-year-old commentator looked, there’s a good chance that Winston might well check out before her. Oh well.

Kat said...

All the rightie 'Anonymouses' trolling here again as usual. Winston's will, will ultimately prevail, they know it, they fear it and they hate it.

Anonymous said...

Brendon Harre, It is my understanding the FFCC was defeated by Peter Dunne

Anonymous said...

Kat: "fear and hate" you must be joking, surely you mean "laughter and amusement" LOL

greywarbler said...

Asians from totalitarian political systems with values around democracy, money, the environment and welfare often completely at odds with established priorities.
I have noticed comment made that indicate the immigrant speaking is quite prepared to overturn agreements about fairness and integrity in favour of teeth-gritting winning of advantage where possible. Many have come for the advantage, fixed against sharing and socialistic ideas, 'programmed to receive' but not give, except to family priorities. That's a worry, to add to those I felt when old Kiwi revisionist rednecks began holding the floor with their heartfelt prejudices during the Constitution Conversation meeting.

Victor said...

Any chance of my voting for Winston (and it was never very likely) has disappeared since I learned that the super-annuitants' champion wanted me to lose some of my Super, as I've only been in NZ for 31 years.

So much for comprehensive superannuation.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Where are you JH? I know you're still posting. You've just tried to turn yet another topic into a discussion on immigration. Yet here we do have a discussion on immigration and you've gone all shy.

Wharewaka said...

Winston will be a major player in the next Election people in NZ are starting to see through National, there are some quite promising intelligent people in NZF however they are shut out by National's control of MSM.

jh said...

That decisions concerning their nation’s future have been made on the basis of research and discussion about which most Kiwis remain completely unaware.
Is that implying the research was correct?
“The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.


Unknown said...

The whole political class is acutely aware that if New Zealanders’ concerns about the changing composition of their society; their worries about the neglect of provincial New Zealand and the growing economic power of Auckland; and their fear that the country’s future is being determined without a democratic mandate; were ever to become the core of a political party’s electoral appeal, then the whole country could erupt.
and we have an institutionalisation of public discourse as can be heard on Nurse Rached Radio. power and resources go to only one side of a story.

Isn't it insulting that government money is being used to promote "super diversity"
Since Steven Vertovec first introduced the expression ‘super-diversity’ in 2007, this ‘summery term’ and its underlying conception is being increasingly adopted not only by scholars from a wide range of disciplines, but also by policy makers and practitioners. There are two main reasons why this concept is presently proving itself to be highly popular in academia and public policy:
At first, after the so-called ‘backlash against multiculturalism’ (Vertovec; Wessendorf 2010), there is still a large demand for new ways of looking at societies that are ‘getting increasingly complex, composite, layered and unequal’ (Sigona 2013). Old ‘multiculturalistic’ policies and research agendas, which had a simplistic view on group identities of immigrants and ethnic minorities, simply do not fit the reality anymore.

Furthermore, another value of ‘super-diversity’ is that the concept ‘naturally’ rejects methodological nationalism: using a ‘super-diversity lens’ does not mean to analyse migration-driven diversity from the inside, e.g. within a national frame setting, but throughout a social transformation view of global interactions. This outside-in perspective seems to be much more appropriate in an age of international migration, globalization and transnationalism.
Review of the #superdiversity conference 2014

So it is just a marketing term masking mass migration. Multiculturalism = multiforeigners. Cultures come with people attached; people compete for resources.

Unknown said...

Professor Paul Spoonley has written 27 books
Racism is the ideological belief that people can be classified into ‘races’ ... [which] can be
ranked in terms of superiority and inferiority ... racism is the acceptance of racial superiority … It is often used to refer to the expression of an ideology of racial superiority in the situation where the holder has some power. Thus prejudice plus power denotes racism in the modern sense ... racism is essentially an attitudinal or ideological phenomenon. … A dominant group not only holds negative beliefs about other groups but, because of the power to control resources, is able to practice those beliefs in a discriminatory way ... This ideological concept structures social and political relationships and derives from a history of European colonialism. The idea of ‘race’ has evolved from its use in scientific explanation (now discredited) and as a justification in the oppression of
colonised, non European people

As recent as 2011:
Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism.

jh said...

Notwithstanding this ambivalence, there seems to be clear recognition and acceptance that New Zealand society is going to become more diverse in terms of ethnic and cultural groups over the next 20 years. Immigration will play a major part in this diversification of communities, especially immigration from countries in Asia. Fortunately, there seems to be a broad consensus among the main political parties as well as many of the minor ones that this is not something to be feared or resisted at all costs. In this regard, there appears to be some consensus of party view (excluding the position adopted by New Zealand First) that continued immigration at or above present levels will produce positive outcomes for the country's economy and society.

That's why the main parties hate NZ First and as Michael Reddell argues they can't show tangible evidence for the benefits.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

There is a point to your second post unknown? If so it escapes me. I'm assuming that the large quote is from Professor Spoonley? It might help us to understand if you explained exactly why you are quoting this. Do you agree with it? Do you disagree with it? Why/why not? Exactly what the significance of his 27 books is I also fail to understand. Most academics have written a number of books by that stage of their career. It is after all part of their job description.

jh said...

The future of Auckland is the focus of a panel discussion chaired by Bill Ralston at the Auckland Museum. It features Marina Matthews from the law firm Chen Palmer; and Waikare Komene, a young architect from Otara, along with Professor Damon Salesa from the University of Auckland, and business commentator Rod Oram, well-known to RNZ listeners.

Bill Ralston: I mean Marina picking up on the Herald thing and based on your massive study. Going back (I think it was 2014) 67%of our island city was pakeha. Now it is down to 54% and falling rapidlyIt wont be long before Pakeha Aucklanders are a minority. Is that necessarliy a good thing or could it be a bad thing?

Marina Mathews: I think it could be a good thing. I’ll just draw on my experiences working 10 years in the public sector in Wellington. I mean when you look at Wellington it has it’s ownethnoburbs as well. Um the population and ethnicity of folk in Eastbourne (across the water) is a bit different to that of Cannons Creek by Porirua . So it is slightly systematic. It ‘s starting to grow across NZ. Asia NZ did a survey (a 2015 report)on the population of house buyers in Auckland. It was just a little more scientific than Phil Twyford may have ventured about people who had surnames that might have sounded like some foreign word who were house owners. What they did say is that 25% of the population of Pine Hill in NZ are Chinese. Um 10% of the population of house owners in Glenn Innes are Indian and so what is happening as a result is that businesses are having to alter what they are doing, how they are delivering and how they are coping. The number one seller at Pac nSave in Albany is white rice (not white potatoes). Another big seller is chicken feet. And so you are seeng the market (I love the French market in Parrnell) It’s a lot different to if I went down to Otara on a saturday.

Ralston: It’s a lot different to if you went down Sandringham Road where there’s a whole pile of medium spice shopsand Restuarants, um and down the back of Dominion Road there is the biggest Chinese Supermarket I’ve ever seen (bout 2 or 3 football fields in size) and you can buy whatever you want. That’s the gift, I suppose, that diversity brings.

Rod Oram: Absolutely! That makes Auckland a fabulously interesting city. And obviously the key thing we need tocare a lot about about are that people are moving around and are appreciating and taking more interest year round rather ratjher than just turning up at Albert Park for a lantern show or Diwhali festival. And of course there are people who just hunker downin their neighbourhood or their community. But I’d like to think there are people particularily amongst the younger generation who are strong in their own identity but are keen to apprciate othe identities too.

there are a lot of flaws in that argument eg diminishing returns on the number of restuarants/ supermarkets and cultural depth. Also hunkering down is what people do in diverse societies as we evolved in small groups of like and related individuals as demonstrated by Putnams massive study.

Unknown said...

Guerilla Surgeon said...

There is a point to your second post unknown?
The quote was Margaret Mutu quoting Spoonley. You'll note Spoonley claims racism is a product of British colonialism. Ethnocentrism also explains racism. That has little to do with colonialism and everything to do with evolution and is backed up by experiments with oxytocin. So I'm saying Spoonley is out dated.

Unknown said...

"moncultural" Japan has the largest number of Michelin stars

jh said...

Questioner: Green belt. With the price of land and the value of what we are putting on our properties here, um I just am feeling more and more beautiful land is being mowed down in housing. I know I behave better when I have something beautiful around me and um if we are going to be impoverished with our environment we need to plan for it.

Rod Oram: when we get a much better build environment here in terms of form and quality of build and all the rest we can do that and in addition this is such an amazing climate we can do it in such a way that buildings become largely self sufficient for energy and water too. So and that's the whole living building challenge which is a very demanding discipline but we can do all these things and make this a very exceptional and beautiful place to um live.

Such optimism!? After all one see flag houses; one sees subdivisions on shrunken landscapes. One sees cheap apartments. And if one does see what Rod Oram sees one sees increased immigration and gentrification.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Thank you unknown. I'll have to think on this. I am studying racism at Massey this year, though unfortunately not until the second semester. So it might be a while before I get back to you :-).

jh said...

On Kiwiblog they aren't racist

Pete George (24,803 comments) says:
July 11th, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Is the foreign ownership ban Labour policy? No sign of Andrew Little or anything from the Labour Party on this.
Twyford and Salmond flying a racist kite? The problem with this is it sounds like it’s pissed off potential Labour voters and it’s hard to see it attracting many of Winston’s voter-base.

Peters has been criticised for milder targeting of the Chinese.


It appears he's a struck off real estate agent


jh said...

re Nick J and The Arch Druid.
This explains The Standard which claims to be "the voice of the labour movement". In fact it is an overflow from the academic world with a narrowed world view to push (critical white studies etc). NZ First (on the other hand) lacks the resources to generate a loud voice.
Politics are decided before a general election. The battle begins at the party level and the results decide what will be for dinner at the general election. The battle also depends on funding and vested interests. On Kiwiblog they like to ask "where's that $158,000 Winston?". Parties and their ideas should be given enough funding to make a presence in the public mind; it shouldn't be up to newspapers, TV stations and the biased and corrupt journalists.

Hi Vis. said...

The Rt.Hon. Winston Peters. He is a Statesman. Can anyone suggest another in the House?