Thoughts as the immigration data disappear

Last month marked the end of an era.  In a country with larger and more variable migration flows (in and out, New Zealand and foreign) than almost anywhere else Statistics New Zealand released the last ever set of permanent and long-term migration data.  The numbers were only ever approximations –  because people changed their minds –  but they were (a) based on data collected from every person crossing the border, and (b) reported quite quickly (October’s data were released on 22 November).

As I’ve written about here previously, there is a new system being put in place, but the numbers it produces will have (on SNZ’s own reported estimates) huge margins of error each and every month, and it will be at least a year after the event until we can have even moderate confidence in estimates as to what was going in any particular month.   The issue arises most seriously in respect of the outflows of New Zealanders, for which –  of course –  there is no other administrative data, such as (say) visa approvals.  It is cavalier, another step backwards in terms of having timely data  –  whether for economic monitoring, or political and economic debate –  but perhaps convenient for governments and officials who would prefer the issues not to be debated (“just let us get on with our ‘Big New Zealand’ project”).

Even the total movements data –  which was part of understanding tourist inflows and outflows data –  is now going to be worse.  This is from the recent SNZ release

Removing departure cards means changes to the timing and composition of this release. Statistics on short-term movements (including the current report International visitor arrivals to New Zealand) will be published in a new international travel release, and long-term movements in a new international migration release.

Both releases will be published on the same day, up to 30 working days after each reference month. November data, previously published just before Christmas, will now be published in January, and December data in February.

From about 15 working days to 30 working days.  That is SNZ’s –  and the government’s idea of progress?   Then again, these are the people who seem to have stuffed up the latest Census so badly  –  and no heads, political or bureaucratic, have rolled.

But to mark the passing of the PLT data, here are a few charts.  Here is the quarterly annualised data by citizenship.

Last PLT 1

For all the talk in recent years about “New Zealanders coming home”, there was only a single quarter with a (tiny) net inflow.   The net outflow of New Zealanders is still modest by historical standards, but interestingly while there is a net outflow to Australia there is still a small net inflow (the gap between the blue and orange lines) of New Zealanders from the rest of the world.   If leaving for Australia has got harder –  and the headlines about New Zealanders’ rights in Australia more grim –  perhaps it is harder still in the rest of the world?   And, despite the fall in residence approval visa numbers (mostly granted to people already here), the net inflow of non-New Zealanders remains large.

We won’t have this timely data in future.

Migration data by citizenship is available. on an annual basis, back to 1950.  Here are the cumulative PLT numbers since then.

Last PLT 2

In the early period the net outflow of New Zealanders was tiny. For the 16 years up to an including the year to March 1965, the net outflow of New Zealanders was 10576, or an average of under 1000 a year.    In a normal country you expect to see an outflow of citizens: most people obtain citizenship by being born in a place (or naturalised in it), and some proportion of natives will always choose to leave –  whether falling in love, or simply preferring the opportunities some other place has to offer. But in normal countries –  especially normal advanced countries –  those outflows are typically small.   (Estimates, such as they are, of the number of American citizens living abroad, short or long term, come to less than 3 per cent of the total US population.)

Here is the same chart starting from the year to March 1966 and coming all the way forward to the year to March 2018 –  53 years of data.

last PLT 3

Over that period a net 968000 New Zealanders are estimated to have left –  from a country that in 1966 had a population of just under 2.7 million.

And, on the other hand, successive governments have brought in (because it increasingly has been a matter of conscious and deliberate policy) almost 1.4 million non-New Zealand citizens.  Even just in the last 30 years –  when it has all been conscious and deliberate policy –  the net inflow of non NZ citizens has been 1.1 million people (in 1989, the total population was only 3.3 million).

Even allowing for the 50 year span, they are staggering numbers (in both directions).   And perhaps what is all but unprecedented is that combination.  There are countries –  even in the modern era of largely controlled immigration –  that have had very large inflows (you could think of modern Israel or Australia in the 1950s. or Portugese settlers flooding back home in the 1970s, or the French settlers back from Algeria after independence).  And you can think of countries that have had very large outflows in modern times –  Cuba, or modern day Venezuela, Syria, or some of the eastern European countries after they joined the EU.  But I can’t think of a single case that parallels New Zealand’s radical population experiment –  a mass exodus of its own people (mostly to better opportunities across the Tasman, quite rationally), accompanied by such active large scale controlled inflows of people from other countries.  Some of the places people leave from en masse are hellholes (each of the first three of my list), but the countries in eastern Europe typically aren’t –  almost all of them now, for example, have average GDP per capita above that of the median country.

As a matter of economics, I think the policies pursued by successive governments have been daft and damaging, embarked on (and, worse, continued) in a cavalier manner that paid no serious heed to the ongoing economic underperformance and constrained opportunities of New Zealand.  Or even to how unusual New Zealand’s approach to population and migration was. I’ve laid the arguments for that case out elsewhere (eg here) and am not going to repeat them here.   I’m pretty confident that –  on narrow economic arguments – material living standards for the average New Zealander would today be better (probably materially better) had governments respected the signal in the behaviour of New Zealanders, and perhaps kept the average annual inflow of non-New Zealand citizens to, perhaps, 10000.  Over the full period that would have meant perhaps 900000 fewer non-NZ immigrants.

We’d have been smaller –  but small countries abroad do just fine –  we’d have worked more within the constraints of our natural resources, we’d have reduced the extent of the disaster that is the housing “market”, and more internationally-comparable real interest rates and a lower real exchange rate would have made firms operating in the tradables sector better-positioned to succeed from here.

But as I was thinking about the issue, another dimension occurred to me that I hadn’t previously given much attention to.  The component of the population that wouldn’t have changed much with a much different immigration policy is the people identifying as Maori.    Those people were 15 per cent of the total population at the 2013 Census, and for the sake of argument we’ll assume it is still 15 per cent now.     With a different immigration policy –  along the lines I sketched above –  the population now might only be about four million, probably less  (a net 900000 fewer migrants, but they have children and grandchildren, filling out a total population effect over several decades).  A Maori population that is 15 per cent of 5 million, would be almost 19 per cent of a population of 4 million.

This is all highly-stylised, and I’m not putting any weight at all on precise numbers, but it is a reminder that immigration policy –  going back many many decades (see Vogel on this point about his immigration policy) –  has been about reducing the relative importance (numerical weight) of Maori in modern New Zealand.  Sometimes that was intentional, and at other times probably mostly not, but effects (especially entirely foreseeable one) matter more than intentions.

Reasonable people might differ on whether this is a good thing, or even a legitimate topic for discussion.  Were one Maori, one might quite easily think it a very bad thing.  You might view the resurgence of things Maori in recent years as a “good thing” and wonder about the “what ifs” around a quite different path of immigration in modern times.  Not only would your people have been clearly the single largest non-European ethnic grouping, but your overall share in the population –  and claim on power, resources, and esteem would have been that much greater.

But it is quite possible that many others would see things differently.  Many other voters –  consciously or not –  might welcome large scale immigration partly because it can be used to relativise and reduce the position of Maori (“just another minority in the cacophony of voices”).  As someone who is sceptical of our immigration policy (over decades) for economic reasons, I’m genuinely curious as to how the liberal strongly pro-immigration voices in our society reconcile their enthusiasm for high rates of immigration and their regard for Maori (the Labour Party itself, with such a substantial Maori caucus, is the most group to wonder about, although one could wonder about the National Party too.)

Of course, if one were being hard-headed about the matter one might wonder what such an alternative society might look like.  A country that was, say, 20+ per cent (identifying as) Maori  –  with higher fertility rates than other ethnic groups –  and just a couple of per cent each Pacific and Asian (a plausible mix if we’d been targeting 10000 net non-citizen migrants for the last 50 years).  That would look and feel very different to today’s New Zealand.  One can see reasons why some –  Maori and non –  would have embraced such a mix.  But, realistically, one can also see reason why for some European New Zealanders it might have been more of an impetus to have followed the economic opportunities and gone to Australia.   Who knows which tendency would have predominated, and what  political dynamics might have emerged in the process, or what the economic implications might have been.  My arguments about the economics of immigration in the New Zealand context have tended to proceed as if there are no ethnic faultlines –  and remember my “for economic purposes, I don’t care in the migrants come from Birmingham, Bangalore, Brisbane or Beijing”.  But that isn’t so, and it may –  genuine uncertainty, at least in my mind –  matter even in thinking about likely alternative economic outcomes.  In my view, it is almost always better to let societies work these thing –  including competing interests and values – out themselves over time, rather than have governments might a heavy hand on the scales (as they do by large scale immigration programmes).

(Some earlier thought on immigration policy and Maori are here.)


55 thoughts on “Thoughts as the immigration data disappear

  1. I’ve made this comment on a similar thread a while back, but it bears repeating – NZ’s per capita inflow of migrants in 2016 is significantly larger than the per capita influx of migrants in the same year to Germany. Yes, that’s the year Germany accepted 1 million asylum seekers from the Middle East (primarily). The year that saw headlines such as:
    EU migrant crisis: Sweden may reject 80000 asylum claims
    EU signs deal to deport unlimited numbers of Afghan asylum seekers
    Migrant crisis: Austria passes controversial new asylum law
    While un-screened asylum seekers are different to our “skilled migrant” programme, the fact remains that many countries were worried about the impact on society of such large numbers arriving in one whack, but here it’s just government policy. And the numbers provided on this blog about the potential non-impact of skilled migrants on NZ’s economy make me think that maybe we could accept the same number of asylum seekers and do just as well.


    • With NZ land mass, 289 skm which is 80% of Germany’s 357 skm and a population of 4.5 million versus Germany at 83 million. Our 10 million cows eat, create wastes and dominate land resources to the tune of 200 million people anyway.


      • That’s the developers favourite line (we are only x% urbanised). But when you look about you see that sheep and farm animals or crops are everywhere they can be and the fact of the matter is that cities live off the countryside.
        Today the government is building motorways here and there but it is all a whopping ponzi scheme. The government is morally bankrupt


      • But NZ exports 90% of our milk and meat production Germany they would consume 90% of their production. In effect we are subsidising China’s consumption.


  2. For Young New Zealanders the lure of significantly higher incomes and lower housing costs still outweigh the 3rd class nature of their (Not Very) Special Category Visas for Australian work permits. I guess beggars can’t be choosers.


  3. More extreme brands of libertarians might argue so, but most economists wouldn’t. Most – and I’d number myself among, as a fairly strongly market-oriented economist – would argue that economies are about/for people, and that policy is or should be primarily about the interests of the people of the relevant jurisdiction. People are tins of beans, blocks of butter, or even just a financial flow.


    • Seems simple; two variables items and people so four possible combinations:
      1. low (imported) wages and cheap (imported) items
      2. low (imported) wages and pricey items
      3. high wages and cheap (imported) items
      4. high wages and pricey items.
      NZ’s current take on globalisation is the 1st option. I would prefer the 3rd option. Note if that sensible policy had been followed in 2003 then I would never have become a NZ resident.


      • You have to blame successive RB governors and officials of the RBNZ previously that saw higher wages as inflationary and discouraged successive governments from paying their staff a living wage.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Here we go …….. I will keep banging the drum
    Votes for citizens only and make it compulsory to vote
    Absolutely no votes for those who choose to remain uncommitted to our country.
    Problem is getting this into the numbskulls in Wellington.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seventy years of very high immigration and zero result economically; clearly there has to be an explanation that is devoid of logical thinking.

    A cause of NZ’s exceptionally high and multi-ethnic immigration is could be that our establishment class of politicians, academics and senior civil servants is fashionably cosmopolitan.

    From the dictionary: Cosmopolitan means “familiar with and at ease in many different countries and cultures” and has synonyms: worldly, worldly-wise, well travelled, knowing, aware, mature, seasoned, experienced, unprovincial, cultivated, cultured, sophisticated, suave, urbane, polished, refined; liberal, broad-minded, unprejudiced, cool.

    So our decision makers are quite willing to over-look exploitation of low-wage immigrants that is besmirching our countries international reputation and handicapping our honest businesses because to do otherwise would make them appear ‘prejudiced’ or ‘uncool’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s actually 160 years of high immigration. Much higher at 80% migrants previously to a much lower 25% of total population today.


      • And 160 years ago it worked (although maybe Maori would disagree) because there were resources to exploit. If we had intellectual resources to exploit as per Silicon Glen and its UK Silicon Fen then it could work again in NZ – but we would be bringing in hundreds of thousands of software engineers and bio-technicians not bakers and chefs and tour guides.


      • It worked when the UK took all of the wool that we can produce from 80 million sheep for the British Navy and army uniforms that had to be thrown away in various British Empire skimishes and uniforms had to be regularly replaced due to blood stains and bullet holes. As well as all the meat to feed the the UK population.


  6. There is a definite lack of awareness over the new United Nations immigration policy – a policy our government seem keen on signing but that has already been rejected by the US, Aussies and Eastern European countries. the implications are very serious, particularly the expectation that signatories will develop a very open policy of 3rd world immigration and enact legislation (which the EU is in the process of doing) making public criticism (private criticism legislation to follow?) of both the principle and effects of immigration illegal. Any media outlet discussing the issue in a negative light can be shut down.Truly, an Orwellian nightmare from the globalists.
    Here’s a bit more on that:


    • David: I’m not too conerned by it – it seems more orientated to illegal immigrants and economic refugees and they are both far away from NZ and usually prefer wealthier countries. For example they may land in Italy cross France to queue in Calais to be smuggled to the UK. Encouraging the crossing of national borders without approval is a step in the wrong direction but most of the fears in your article are about the potential for a non-binding treaty to become binding.

      However one issue we are in total agreement – this seems to be big news in Australia but almost suppressed in NZ or maybe I’m just missing articles discussing the merits and otherwise of this treaty. There is a danger the govt will do as they did years ago and blunder as they did when committing to a CO2 emissions target that ignored our rapid population growth.


      • Thank you Bob. We are most definitely a target for economic migrants, while we are some way from the top in global wealth we’re a long, long way from the bottom. The UN have cunningly added the category of climate change refugees to the mix. We could find ourselves well and truly on the back foot trying to fight that one; just a simple drought could invoke the expectation that we open our borders.
        These UN agreements are couched in terms that make them appear relatively innocuous, non binding etc. Only later, when national policy is being decided, the collectivists raise their clamour and insist on “honouring” the intention of the UN above the interests and wishes of the people. We have seen it many times. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (unless you’re a European native of course) for example. This “declaration” is regularly trotted out to assist in pushing through egregious corruption of basic principles of legal equality.
        Don’t be fooled, these supra national globalists/collectivists are deadly serious, they want your country, your rights, your prosperity and your mind.


      • My cousin, her husband(mid 40s) and 2 kids were denied residency in Australia and in NZ. They are now happily settled in Canada and posting beautiful pictures of snow capped Ontario.


      • GGS: your cousin clearly is worse than a proven drug smuggler wanted in his country of origin for committing a violent attack. My mind has trouble contemplating how evil your relatives are. However my families experience of INZ is similar – mind boggling incompetence that gets worse the higher you go.


  7. 6.6 Conclusion
    This chapter has presented findings from interviews and archival research that have illuminated the nature of many labour issues affecting the Tourist Hotel Corporation from the 1950s to 2000. Key findings that will be carried forward to the discussion chapter will include, firstly, empirical evidence that suggests New Zealand has suffered from a very negative public discourse regarding the status of hotel service work.
    Secondly, the industry’s ongoing claim to have uniquely pressured labour issues that required exceptionally flexible labour practices was explored. Furthermore, the findings show that managers have long been aware of the problems regarding recruitment and retention of labour in their sector and have a long history of using migrant labour to mitigate local shortages.
    The chapter presented detailed findings of managers’ views regarding the impact of low wage rates in the sector before going on to highlight longitudinal hotel hourly pay rates. Key findings from this wage data include the fact that hotel hourly rates, after rising steadily from 1957 to 1974, fell by 24.6% in real value (adjusted for inflation) from 1974 to 2000. By providing comparison data against national average hourly rates, the findings show that hotel rates began to diverge from the national average in 1974 and fell from being 82% of the national average in 1974, to 66% of the national average hourly rate by 2000. While many commentators point to the Employment Contracts Act of 1991 as a key cause of wage collapse in this and other sectors, these data suggest that the hotel wages began to decline in the mid-1970s, long before major employment legislative changes.

    Click to access 80334118.pdf

    The THC couldn’t get staff (at those pay rates)
    When they tried to hike room rates the traveller resisted.
    They brought in working holiday visa people.
    Why aren’t the falling wages rates acknowledged in the good news story that is NZ tourism?


      • As a migration expert (“he eats it for breakfast” – Tim Watkin) he should have his pay indexed to the minimum wage?


      • Strange how other countries manage to have a high pay tourism industry with minimal immigrant workers. Isn’t the solution a simple work permit tax that is equivalent to the cost of training and retaining New Zealanders? That does seem win win – better for our tourists to meet Kiwis, better for the govt revenues, better for low paid and unemployed New Zealanders. Everyone wins except the lazy businesses that want low wages and minimal training and the politicians they lobby.


      • Other countries have a better balance of highly automated factories that balance out their tourism industry needs for low paid workers. In Rome many family run restaurants continue to use child labour to clean and to service tables as well.

        In NZ we decimated our manufacturing in favour of 10 million cows because our economists failed miserably at maths and forgot to count the massive land use resources.


  8. Australia is very close to New Zealand, culturally, sort of close geographically, and most importantly, New Zealand’s such a small and isolated country with a developed, modern, highly specialised economy with all the demand for labour mobility that comes with that.

    Think about other countries where you have a small country next to a big one, and perhaps outflows might be of a similar magnitude? How about the Republic of Ireland (to the UK), or French-speaking Belgians to France, or Swiss emigres to Germany?

    I have no idea how they compare to our numbers but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some large migration flows there.


  9. There were big outflow from Ireland for decades – not just to the UK, but also to the US in particular. But when the big outflows were happening, there weren’t even bigger inflows from other countries (Ireland had some big inflows in the peak boom years, but by then the outflows had largely stopped – and, more importantly, Ireland no longer had control of its inflows, because of the EU rules.

    I’m not aware of really big net flows among the other pairs you mention – and wouldn’t expect them given the fairly similar living standards. There were also big flows from Turkey to Germany, and from Portugal and Spain to France back in, I think, the 60s, but again there were no large inward migration programmes being run by the countries from which the migrants were moving. In all these cases, the emigration tended to help (in particular) the sending country, in much the same way that people leaving Invervcargill or Taihape helped hold up the living standards/wages of those who stayed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Governments are hell-bent on breeding the indigenous populations out of existence

    Not news
    On croakingcassandra February 2017

    North America: The total population of the North American Indian is 4.5 million while correspondingly there are in excess of 3 million illegals in USA at any given time: They are breeding the indigenous population out of existence

    Australia: The total aborigine population is 450,000 and not increasing, yet Australia imports 400,000 new migrants each year. The government is hell-bent on breeding the indigenous population out of existence

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I too am genuinely curious as to how the liberal strongly pro-immigration voices in our society reconcile their enthusiasm for high rates of immigration and their regard for Maori. I have emailed various ministers asking questions along such lines but never had a proper reply. It seems that Labour (and the Greens) suffer from cognitive dissonance in this area. Surely Maori MPs must see what will happen if such immigration policy continues, especially as Maori TFR continues to decline (albeit slowly)


    • You might get a better response if you had a Maori name. Although there are some exceptions I expect most ministers have only a cosmetic public regard for Maori and they would be nervous to express any opinion relating to Maori in writing. The underlying thought process of our politicians about immigration would be: house prices up, coffee shop prices down both good; debate risky.

      I’m still waiting to hear a good explanation as to how NZ can be Bi-Cultural and Multi-Cultural simultaneously.

      The areas that are traditional Maori are for rather sad historic reasons rural and poor. It has long been known (since the 1920s) that immigrants tend to move into cities and especially the largest and wealthiest cities. Therefore there are few chances of conflict between Maori and recent immigrants (owners of Dairies in South Auckland being one exception).


      • But Maori is in charge of both the government and the opposition party. Therefore Maori sets the agenda.


    • I notice on Facebook RNZ you have house Maori who are keen on any identity issues plus diversity agendas.
      Those Maori are happy as long as they have Maori jobs and Maori are seen as Number One.
      Tod Niall
      You mentioned Pacifica. Is that going to be a challenge for Auckland: the place of Pacifica and the place of Maori in an increasingly diverse society.

      Julie Zhu
      I don’t want to conflate the two. I think for me what is more significant about the next 38 days or the next few years whenever it happens, is not the point where Pakeha become a minority but the point when Asians overtake Maori as the next biggest minority. I think that’s very significant for the implications that could have for Maori bicultural kind of state. Apparently we don’t sown the foundations for people to understand why the Treaty of Waitangi is so important why the role of tangata whenua here is so important. And i think that will get invalidated even more as they are overtaken by a different minority.

      Tod Niall
      Because I would argue it has taken Maori a long time to get to a place where they are not yet where they feel they should be.

      Is there a new dynamic here that we have to worry about Paul?

      Paul Spoonley
      Well there is and I mean, in terms of Auckland it has already happened. So the Asian community is considerably larger than the Maori community of Auckland and yet Auckland is the largest Maori community in the country. So I think Auckland is the test case or laboratory in which we get to play around and decide how we do politics and in this case recognition of diversity and we started to day by talking about the council and the wards you know we are far from getting that right so we need to ask the question right around the community “are there difference between people who are tangatawhenua in terms of recognition as opposed to those who are immigrants and their descendants?” My answer is yes! I mean I think the conversation should be a very different conversation. And so i react quite strongly and quite negatively when people say , you know, there’s me, Im Pakeha and there’s others who are different. No there are not they are not all the same.

      Julie Zhu
      “but that kind of positioning sort of positioning of Pakeha and everyone else. I always try to think of the ideal as Maori and everyone else because Maori are kind of the only unique aspect of NZ that really needs to be upheld if we are to move forward and I think there just needs to be solidarity.”


      • It does not matter that Asians becomes a larger minority than Maori. The Treaty of Waitangi is a racist bi party agreement between the Crown and Maori as British subjects protecting Maori rights. This treaty does not include any other races nor any other country. The dilution of British settlers with an increasing Asian population can only increase Maori dominance over whatever remaining crown assets not in private hands which is still very substantial as it also includes control over all State owned enterprises..


      • The TOW is a convenience. It stood because we had a benign period of race relations but the 1970’s saw activism fed by anticolonisationists wanting to put Humpty Dumpty back together. At present we are going through the farce of thinking we can satisfy claimants. Personally I think, those like Gareth Morgan misjudge bad actors as good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was Julie Zhu who shared a stage with Paul Spoonley many years ago at a Massey Uni public lecture. She was that evening quite remarkably incoherent except for making the only sense I heard all night when she joked that her uncle’s response to NZ immigration was “now we are in let’s close the door”. Ms Zhu apologised for her elderly chinese uncle but I echo his words – not sure why they let me in but very grateful to be here and why not lift the drawbridge.


      • Unfortunately Julie Zhu and uncle are not party to the Treaty of Waitangi and her views do not carry any weight under that Treaty. Maori wants the asian migrants. It is strategically important towards ultimate control of the government because Asians are merely canon fodder in displacing white New Zealanders.


  12. “My arguments about the economics of immigration in the New Zealand context have tended to proceed as if there are no ethnic faultlines…” Well, wake up! The unprecedented (because it’s insane) neo-colonial level of “immigration” is only going to end in blood and tears…

    The Chinese, for example, are not migrants; they are lebensraum-seeking colonists and they see No Zealand as Xin Xinlan and view the Maori as just another type of Dao Mao (darkies) and think that “Kiwi” is a synonym for Pakeha, are are unable to conceive of the fact that Maori, for example, are Kiwis. Laying the groundwork for civil war… open your eyes and prepare your children…

    Perhaps you could write on the fact that resident foreigners (non-citizens) can vote in No Zealand (absolute madness)?

    The faultlines are thus: 50% Haves (predominantly foreign and elderly) versus 50% Have Nots (mainly young and local)


    • Two points in response:

      First, my main interest in immigration policy has been around the economic dimensions. There are all sorts of other dimensions to the choices involved, but they aren’t my focus (I’m mainly interested in lifting the long-term living standards of NZers after a really bad 70 years). But do note that my slightly cryptic comment yesterday was partly about suggesting that a low immigration NZ might have produced fewer economic gains than I have often suggested, precisely because that world would conceivably have been one of heightened Maori/European tensions, and greater Maori claims to “power-sharing”. Those sorts of serious fault lines aren’t typically great for economic performance.

      Second, on voting rights, see my post here on exactly that issue. I believe it would be appropriate to shift to a citizenship-based voting model, but I don’t believe doing so would make any material difference to electoral outcomes. After all, some of the individuals who most concern people – in Parliament (Jian Yang, Raymond Huo) or out (Yikun Zhang) are now fellow citizens.


      • You can see the fault lines affecting our moral stand against chinese interference through money politics. Maoris $60 billion in assets are predominantly in Primary industries and tourism which gives Maori Iwi and businesses a huge exposure to the chinese market and as a result silence is golden.


    • I get the gist of what you are saying and you maybe right in implying rapid immigration of highly different cultures almost inevitably leads to breakdown in civil society while the wealthy establishment justs tut tuts about the lower classes being racist. However the three NZ Chinese I know best do not correspond to your generalisation – married to a Kiwi engineer, born here 75 years ago and more Kiwi than Ed Hillary, from Hong Kong and hates communism.


      • Ropata is right

        Today in New Zealand there is more racism in Auckland than there was 50 years ago. Where would you think that comes from? 50 years ago Auckland society was relatively harmonious and homogenous. Not so any longer. You need a larger sample than 3 to draw such conclusions. It has been publicised some 5 years ago that the long established chinese diaspora are unhappy about the ostentatious overt behaviour of the recent arrivals.

        Liked by 2 people

      • And hasn’t Susan devoy been a disaster. 90% of what she did was suppress dissent from New Zealanders objecting to the enforced transformation of society from one with the warmth of a common history and heritage to a collection of foreigners with mixed loyalties and a necessary overlord (managerial state with it’s media wing) to control the unruly mob?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Iconoclast: from my sample of three I deduce a single conclusion – generalisations about people are wrong. We live in a weird society where we create categories and attach a label when there are more exceptions inside the category than their is outside. Saying Chinese or Pakeha or European or Maori is just about meaningless – it keeps sociologists and identity warriors happy but is useless when it comes to concrete decisions to be made about individuals. When it comes to decisions about who to marry or who to employ then identity categories imposed from above have no value (OK gender does matter to me about marriage).

        I wasn’t here 50 years ago but I’m confident you are right about rapid large scale immigration will lead to racism and high risk of disharmony. That is the main reason I am against it.

        The CCP effectively controlling Chinese language media does the Chinese community in NZ a great disservice – a range on voices is needed. Talking to Chinese immigrants is remarkably similar to talking to UK immigrants – it is quite common to miss things from home; it is also quite common to appreciate NZ more than most native New Zealanders and it is also very aggravating to see NZ govt making mistakes that are obvious to anyone who has lived in another country.


      • Many of our internal policies are deeply flawed, almost designed to reduce social cohesion, understanding and shared values . Why would a government institute and pay for something as idiotic as full immersion Maori schools? So that the kids don’t even speak the same language, don’t share a schoolroom, friends or sports teams?
        Multiculturalism (taken to that extent) is a very bad idea – as any study of history will tell you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That is why we have social welfare and wealth distribution taxes such as our Robin Hood Capital Gains taxes being proposed our Labour government led by Sir Michael Cullen. It is the price of peace.


    • 4 million tourists plus 100k international students spending $17 billion in NZ needs to be serviced. An aging population needs groomers and cleaners, jobs that kiwis do not want to do well. Police want more policemen, nurses want more nurses, teachers, bus and train drivers all striking for less work and more pay.


      • as I said. As vacuous as ever. People don’t exist for the economy – the economy exists for the people (of the nation). You don’t create an economy of low paying jobs. My father (ex POW – Japan) looked after himself until he pushed the button and died next day in hospital. The low paid staff brought in from overseas are next generations old people.


      • I think you got the the wrong way around. The economy is created by people. Without people you do not have an economy. 10 million cows generate an economy of $15 billion. 10 million people generate an economy of $600 billion even if we base it on our currently lousy GDP per capita.


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