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The Standard

If you can’t beat ‘em, scaremonger about ‘em

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, January 15th, 2013 - 99 comments
Categories: im/migration, jobs - Tags:

The Herald’s running a pretty intense series about how awful it is to emigrate to Australia. A cynic might think the editor’s daughter is talking about crossing the ditch, such is the passion in the anti-Aussie message. But all the stories follow the same pattern: ‘Aussie is bad because of X, yet Kiwis are flocking there in record numbers’. There’s one number that matters: here it’s 7.3%, in Aussie it’s 5.3%.

australia vs new zealand unemployment rate

99 comments on “If you can’t beat ‘em, scaremonger about ‘em”

  1. BLiP 1

    .

    Well, there is another number. In New Zealand its $13.50, in Australia its $15.96.

    • toad 1.1

      That’s $15.96 in AUD, or at current exchange rate around $20.00 in NZD.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        But the prices of many daily things in OZ (food) are about the same as in NZ, so converting back to NZD is misleading.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          Dunno about that.
          Vic market in Melbourne blew me away a few years ago – practically giving veges away. Then I went into I think it was something like “David Jones” and they had tomatoes for AUD14/kg.
          And the utilities seemed cheaper, too. As was public transport (but I’m in dunners, so take that with a grain of salt. If we don’t have the stupidest, most archaic and small minded public transport system in the country, then Hell has a city somewhere in Southland).

          • fatty 1.1.1.1.1

            True…Australians probably don’t get screwed, controlled and cheated by 2 supermarket chains to the extent that we do.

          • Bill 1.1.1.1.2

            McFlock…You saying Hell doesn’t have a city somewhere in Southland not populated by large numbers of conservative presbyterian types and without an even more stupid, archaic, small minded (and expensive) non- public non- transport non-system than Dunedin?

            I see.

          • millsy 1.1.1.1.3

            Re: Public Transport — the Australians didnt pass a law forcing councils to sell their PT services.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          Yeah, needs to be done as Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) but even that’s not exact either.

        • MrSmith 1.1.1.3

          “But the prices of many daily things in OZ (food) are about the same as in NZ, so converting back to NZD is misleading.”

          Your concern Lanthanide we are being mislead is touching, but who is misleading who.

  2. kiwi_prometheus 2

    In Western Australia it’s more like 4%.

    I had the impression that most were going into mining but only something like 15% of kiwi immigrants are – the rest are going into the high skilled professions -health, education, IT over east.

    Getting into mining isn’t easy unless you have a whole lot of relevant skills, experience and formal qualifications/tickets or have inside contacts – at least for the good jobs that make it worthwhile living in the middle of nowhere in 45C heat and flies.

    There are heaps of Eastern Aussies arriving in WA all the time, trying to escape unemployment, casualisation of the work force, low pay.

    You are screwed if you can’t work or got no social network – no safety net for kiwis.

    • tc 2.1

      ‘Getting into mining isn’t easy unless you have a whole lot of relevant skills, experience and formal qualifications/tickets or have inside contacts ‘

      I know of at least half a dozen with none of the above, all gainfully employed in mining now over the last few months, a can do attitude and good references is all it seems to take. Not booming like it was but still up there.

      Oz’s employment scene is better also because of strong unions keeping conditions safer, wages more liveable and unlike here gov’ts in Oz like to create and keep jobs as it tends to keep them in power.

      Keep it up granny, who’s a good lapdoggy then.

      • infused 2.1.1

        oh bullshit. It’s hard as to get in to mining. I know because a mate who tried last year.

        Dreaming mate.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          Might say more about the relative company each of you keep, rather than employment prospects in the Aus mining industry…

        • felixviper 2.1.1.2

          In fairness though, infused, going by the level of your communication here I’d guess that most of your mates would find most things fairly difficult.

          • felixviper 2.1.1.2.1

            edit: sorry mcf, didn’t see that ;)

          • infused 2.1.1.2.2

            It would change if there was anything of worth discussing here. But there isn’t. It’s just a circle jerk. Any opposite view is shot down.

            • felixviper 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Yours tend to fall pretty easily, yep.

            • millsy 2.1.1.2.2.2

              Yeah well, this is a left wing blog site after all. If you want people to agree with you, then point your browser to Kiwiblog or WhaleOil.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.2.2.3

              There are two ways around that:

              1)leave;
              2) actually provide evidence to support your assertion. Even despite that fact that you tried to counter a “half a dozen” anecdote with a single “mate” anecdote, you might have linked to studies on employment of nzers in Aus, job adverts for mining that demand specialised and complex certification, or state-based unemployment rates (to demonstrate an economic schism within Aus).

              But no, when people responded to your anecdotal rebuttal with pretty mild jibes, you complained this site was a circle-jerk. Well dude, your participation here makes you either a willingly spread-eagled focus of attention or a hypocrite.

              • QoT

                It behooves me to point out that you don’t spread-eagle in a circlejerk.

                • McFlock

                  what’s the one where there’s someone in the middle of the circle?

                  Must be bukkake I was thinking of, but even the spread-eagling is optional.
                  Either way, I’ve just found an area of wikipedia that pinged my workplace traffic management :)

                  • QoT

                    A bukkake circlejerk would actually totally work, logistics-wise.

                    • McFlock

                      well I’m glad we have found the correct namey-ology for it.

                      Serendipitous that “beat” is in the post title and the commenter who came up with “circle jerk” was “infused”. Which just sounds rude.

      • kiwi_prometheus 2.1.2

        “I know of at least half a dozen with none of the above, all gainfully employed in mining now over the last few months, a can do attitude and good references is all it seems to take. Not booming like it was but still up there.”

        List them – backgrounds: skills, experience. What positions have they taken up? Contract or employee? Pay rate and conditions…?

        • McFlock 2.1.2.1

          lol

          Do you want names so they can be harassed by obsessive tories, or just a list of characteristics and job descriptions that you can choose to believe are made up?

          Besides, the dude I know in Aus mining, one’s in HR and the other has FB photos of him surrounded by fucking big machines. I wouldn’t know if he operates them or just cleans them, though.

          • kiwi_prometheus 2.1.2.1.1

            ” I wouldn’t know”

            Exactly.

            • McFlock 2.1.2.1.1.1

              So my comment about my knowledge negates

              a) the point that I DO know the experience of one of the; and
              b) everyone else’s comments?

              Nice to know how things work on planet toryboy.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                I’m not a tory you fucking muppet.

                Just because I’m not a doctrinaire feminist, don’t kowtow to all the multicultural PC nonsense, don’t buy into the “evil colonial imperial capitalist patriarchy” mime, doesn’t make me a right winger.

                Who stole the Left ( besides the neoliberals )? I want it back.

                • QoT

                  “evil colonial imperial capitalist patriarchy” mime

                  Shit, we’re meant to be miming? No wonder you’ve received my blog posts so poorly.

                • McFlock

                  People who think domestic violence and rape of a spouse count as crimes, by the sound of it.

  3. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3

    Radionz Insight program has done a very good piece on Oz and Kiwis going there and what they can expect if anything goes wrong. Not much, though the tax they pay isn’t refunded when they leave. Go to Radionz
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/20130113
    gives –
    Insight for Sunday, 13 January 2013
    This repeat Insight explores the pluses and minuses of emigrating to Australia

    • weka 3.1

      If that’s the one they played last night too, it’s pretty interesting. Issues such as kids of kiwis being raised there not having residency status that gives them access to things like student loans when they want to go into tertiary education. Also the problem of kiwis there ending up homeless with no way of getting back to NZ.

      I knew the Aussie laws had changed with regards to kiwis a decade or so ago, but hadn’t realised how far reaching that was or how different it is to how NZ treats Aussie immigrants (fancy that, it’s almost like the Australians don’t want an open border with us. We had a discussion about that the other day with regards to CC refugees coming from Oz to here). It seems like many NZers shifting to Aussie are likewise unaware of the downsides.

      • Fortran 3.1.1

        Law changed in 2001.

        • aerobubble 3.1.1.1

          In response to the Howard government false claim that asylum seekers would us NZ as a back door, and the irrational belief that kiwis in OZ would more likely sit on the dole than their Australian counter parts (when the reality is people want work, they want status, they want to progress in their lives).

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1.1.1.1

            aerobubble
            Apparently that is shown by oz stats – that there were less nzs on unemployment. Now they’ll be on the skin of their backsides I suppose. Howard was amoral towards the Tampa refugees, the malign side of him soon became obvious to those who were looking.
            And his Party too – the Aussies are likely to be false friends at a national level and I don’t know how particular states rate in applying their own applicable laws.

  4. BM 4

    Mining industry in OZ has dropped right off, certainly not the same opportunities that there were a few years back.

    • Luxated 4.1

      That largely depends on what you’re mining. If you’re talking about thermal coal then you’re spot on, coking coal is still OK though. The iron mines are doing fine and copper is making a killing.

      It might explain the discrepancies in accounts from people looking for work. A lot of the mines which are comparatively close to major centres are coal mines if people prepared to go to WA or north Queensland I doubt they would struggle to find work.

  5. bad12 5

    A friend of mine got out of here 10 years ago, being brown and with no qualifications His prospects here were ‘last to be hired and first to be fired’ with the obligatory long periods on the dole in between,

    He got work as a storeman in Sydney within a week and they were paying Him 40 bucks a hour to work weekends,

    He still works at the same place and considers this place to be so backward that He can’t be bothered coming back here even for holidays…

    • kiwi_prometheus 5.1

      It would be time and a half the first 2 hours then double time after that. Which puts him on $20 an hour. If he gets permanent weekend work then maybe he is bringing some decent coin, otherwise its not that great an income in an expensive city like Sydney.

      • felixviper 5.1.1

        lolz, try it in Auckland on $13.50 an hour then.

        • kiwi_prometheus 5.1.1.1

          Great another one who hasn’t walked the talk. Unsurprisingly its Ms felix.

          “My best friend’s Aunty, well her cat babysitter’s step daughter’s fiancee is like making fuckin $1000000 an hour in the mines sitting on his arse in the air conditioned private managers bar drinking free TEDs all day and watching AFL on the big screen!”

          Sigh.

          • felixviper 5.1.1.1.1

            Sorry kp I have literally no idea what you’re on about. Is that comment something to do with me?

            If so could you explain what?

            It certainly has nothing to do with my comment that you replied to, which simply points out that $20 AUD plus overtime in Sydney is a fucking sight better than $13.50 NZD in Auckland with none.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              K_P refuses to believe anyone here knows anybody who has gotten work in the aus mining industry with a minimum-level CV, unless of course the person with the job is named and their entire CV is put online.

              Probably because K_P finds it so difficult to get a job themselves..

              • felixviper

                Or the Sydney warehouse industry for that matter.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  Catty!

                  Yet you wax lyrical about worker solidarity and the struggle against Capital oppressors but you make snide insinuations about what you suspect is a particular worker’s ability to be gainfully employed.

                  Ms felix, I am just pointing out that its not nirvana in Australia for workers, that the Herald article is not conspiring to “scaremonger” anyone, just to foil Lefties use of the Aussie immigration issue as a stick to beat Keys with.

                  I think it is an excellent journalistic piece, it is balancing out the issue nicely.

                  Like I warn below – don’t let the blow hards fool you into thinking you can land a job and make it in Australia real easy.

                  • felixviper

                    Jeez man, do you ever respond to what people actually write? I haven’t seen it happen yet.

                    I dare you, just once, to reply to one of my comments. Actually reply to the words actually in front of you instead of the ones you wish were there.

                    • QoT

                      Is it just me or is k_p referring to you as “Ms felix” in some bizarre attempt to shame you into silence with female pronouns?

                    • felixviper

                      I’m not sure whether it’s that or he’s trying to insinuate that he knows my secret.

                      Either way it’s pretty creepy.

  6. Bill 6

    And lets not forget that the 7.3% is a crock of shit for a number of reasons – including (and yes, this is anecdotal) people simply not signing on and surviving 100% on ‘black market’ activities. Over the past week, I met three such people by chance. And while I have no doubt that some are doing likewise in Oz, I’d punt that the reasons do not include finding the benefit system just too much of a bastard to deal with.

  7. happynz 7

    I left Christchurch last year because of the lack of employment opportunities (maybe if I was more clever and had connections with the “rebuild” I might have stayed). Anyways, I had a crack at Aussie, but I found it way too expensive to get up and running. Since then I have bumbled around a couple of places outside good old New Zealand and somehow scored a pretty decent gig here in Southeast Asia.

    Someday I hope to get back to New Zealand (it is a pretty good place to be, minus the poor quality, ridiculously expensive, rental accomodation, not to mention the lack of decent Mexican food).

    • tc 7.1

      Oz is expensive due to it’s the taxing at federal and state levels but then from taxes comes good roads, medicare etc etc.

      You need to go out a bit or look at a location like say Adelaide which is underated IMO.

      • aerobubble 7.1.1

        I find its ridiculous that kiwis paying taxes in Australia to support Australians on benefits but not themselves.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          Why? In NZ lots of people from overseas work here, pay taxes, but are excluded from the benefit system.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.1.1.1.1

            weka
            How do you mean weka? For how long do they work – is it on special work visas? Are the foreigners likely to be recipients of government help after a certain period. Your remark was too general. We definitely aren’t perfect but we have I think tried to resist the cold eyed bean counters who came to power from the 1980’s Labour government and still the malady goes on.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              There are lots of non-NZ residents working in NZ, on various kinds of visas. They pay tax, but they don’t qualify for welfare or state medical care (and no doubt other things). All I was saying is that that seems standard to me. So I’m curious as to why NZers in Oz should be given special treatment over say Asians or anyone else who is not a resident. It could be argued that we have close ties and a special relationship, but given that the law change was in 2001 I’m not sure that argument works so well now.

              Aerobubble said –

              “I find its ridiculous that kiwis paying taxes in Australia to support Australians on benefits but not themselves.”

              But I’m not sure that is true. Isn’t it that non-residents pay tax but don’t get the benefits? And that kiwis that have residency pay tax and get resident benefits?

              Or am I missing something?

  8. undercoverKiwi 8

    Problem is New Zealanders have gained a reputation overseas as being cheapskates. Heck, we even underpay our own workers wherever we can.

    • aerobubble 8.1

      Kiwi’s innovate out of necessity, this innovation invariable requires that they try all the mistakes of the past, that are less inefficient. This approach works in NZ, in the back lots as there is little stress on solutions, but as we move to a suburban nation, populations rise, the innovators who don’t research their existing overseas markets will only randomly achieve success. Does that explains why so many small companies never grow larger? I mean its a social culture in NZ to have a upside down view of economic ideas, ignore current reality and speculate how wonderful it will be if only….
      The rest of the world runs on engaging reality, reiterating it ad nausum so nobody can be in denial,
      and then solving rather than talking about it, because everyone is on the same page. NZ is bereft of
      this willing culture of to talk about mistakes and solve the description problem, and just jump to the end game phase of happiness in a solution, any solution that looks great in all the shiny plastic wrap.
      What is Novapay, but speculative wishful thinking that got past the plastic wrap phase, nothing worse for NZ than parliament actually implementing policy revolutions, all because neo-liberal rogernomics was such a success. NO IT WASN’T

  9. JonL 9

    We have a cousin who packed up and moved back to NZ after 25 yrs abroad – mainly in West Aus.
    After 6 months in NZ, she is packing up and moving back to Australia – expensive food, abysmal wages, no jobs, a disturbing government and police state feeling to the place, all outweighing being back among family and friends.
    Luckily, she took 12 months leave of absence fro her job, so she can step back into work over here, but, she says NZ was a real eye opener, and not at all the place she expected it to be, to live in, despite having been back for the occassional visit.

    • aerobubble 9.1

      It happens like that doesn’t it. When a person, family, company or nation just can’t deal to their assumption that pandering to the property developers above all else (and keeping farmers onside until they realie the huge land prices are forcing their kids off the land). We’ve geared NZ to service global speculators and are reaping the rewards of inequity, disease, poverty, malaise, inefficient and unproductive economic methodology.

  10. Rich 10

    So to summarize: Aussie’s bloody hot in summer with lots of bushfires, redneck racism and they don’t let you vote. Apart from that, it isn’t much like Canterbury.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    Another set of numbers: per capita income:

    New Zealand……….$30,057 USD……….ranked 30th in the world.

    Australia:…………..$39,721 USD……….ranked 16th in the world.

    The average Aussie makes more than 31% more than the average New Zealander.

    Speaks volumes.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And Australians get that better pay even though they work fewer hours a year than NZ workers (according to the OECD). NZer’s are getting the shaft from our slave-wage economy.

      http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=ANHRS

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        That’s because kiwis like to work longer and so don’t need the extra pay to spend when there is no time in the day to do so. And so we don’t get the churn of money through the economy that employees more people and so employers don’t have offer higher salaries, training, etc to get and keep staff. I mean this was the country that didn’t mondayize holidays.

  12. infused 12

    I thought that’s what the authors at the Standard do.

  13. Jude Marshall 13

    You can’t generalise over the whole of Australia. In QLD the mines are going great, although WA is the latest boom. People get into mining all the time without specific skills. They need cleaners and cooks too!
    The best thing about Queensland (apart from warm winters and continual sunshine) is the superannuation. At least 9% paid by the employer. Add 1/3 of your wage available tax free (if you work in some areas of human services) and it doesn’t take long to realise this is paradise!

    • kiwi_prometheus 13.1

      “In QLD the mines are going great, although WA is the latest boom. ”

      BS.

      Most mines in WA are not recruiting or even laying off workers. Several big projects have been put on ice, scaled down or the investors are threatening to pull out all together.

      The Gorgon Project has blown its budget to the tune of 9 billion +, not surprising since even an unskilled labourer on Barrow Island gets something like A$120 000 + sweetners.

      Exploratory drilling is dead, has been for the last year.

      “People get into mining all the time without specific skills.”

      SOME people do. Mines may have literally 100s of CVs on file and arriving every day, only a few dozen win that lotto.

  14. Huginn 14

    It’s appalling that Australian-born children of NZ’ers are specifically blocked from access to tertiary education, student loans or scholarships in Australia.

    But it’s not surprising.

    Australia attitude towards NZ is one of colonial exploitation – a place where Australian enterprises eg banks, can extract extraordinary profits but not vice versa – think aviation. And Australian administrations work to preserve that relationship. Think what you like about a free trade agreement with the US (and I’m not a big fan so far) or defence relationships (likewise) but bear in mind that the objections have come not from the US, but from the Australians who actively lobby the US to keep NZ isolated.

    That’s one reason why the NZ-China FTA,, negotiated by the Clark govt in 2008 is so important to NZ. Because it ever-so-slightly reduced NZ’s vulnerability to a predatory, neo-colonial neighbour by bringing in another player.

  15. millsy 15

    The possibility of the Liberal Party holding office in every state government, as well as the federal goverment next year should put anyone off going…

  16. kiwi_prometheus 16

    Just a warning – seems to be a few blow hards on here, eg tc, prattling on about how awesome the mining industry in WA is and anyone can land a job off the plane and be rolling in the money.

    You have to wonder why tc isn’t over there getting rich and living the dream then?

    It ain’t anything like that – well maybe if you have all the WA wielding tickets and 5 – 10 years specialist experience to back them up, or if you have 15 years underground mine site supervisor experience…

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Move to Australia. NZ$13.50 at Pak n Save ain’t that hard to beat in Australia.

      • kiwi_prometheus 16.1.1

        Go on then big mouth, take your own advice, do it.

        • McFlock 16.1.1.1

          lol

          Who says CV’s on minimum wage, or even a worker?

          But lots of people are doing it. You know, the relatives Key reckoned we weren’t going to have to wave good-bye” to.

          • kiwi_prometheus 16.1.1.1.1

            I’m not saying they aren’t going. I’m not saying Keys hasn’t failed abysmally.

            But a lot of them are crashing and burning. This needs to be made known, but that isn’t convenient for those wanting to use it as a stick on Mr Keys.

            But obviously I’m suppose to go along with you lot using the issue as a political football or otherwise I get thestandard.org equivalent of a necklacing S African style.

            • bad12 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Now there’s a idea to add to my Pol Pot’s guide to political dialogue for beginners…

            • McFlock 16.1.1.1.1.2

              How many are “crashing and burning”. Compared to people who are left behind in National’s “Brighter Future”?

              • Colonial Weka

                McF, have a look at the rnz link upthread. It’s worth a listen for an overview of the on the ground issues and who is being affected how.

                • McFlock

                  I think I gathered most of the issues, but missed out on exactly how many are worse off in aus compared to if they came back to NZ.

                  Sorry. Brain turned to mush as I was for 1TB of server space to do an annual backup via usb XHDD. Methinks there is an easier way, but I’ll take the Nuremberg Defense. And maybe write something for theDailyWTF.

        • bad12 16.1.1.2

          What do you have to be wielding to get a ticket over in western Australia, a baseball bat or tiaha or something???, illiterate moron…

          • kiwi_prometheus 16.1.1.2.1

            “illiterate moron…”

            Go choke on a dick.

            [lprent: Make a point to go with the insult – bad12 managed to attempt it. Otherwise I stop warning and start banning. ]

            • bad12 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Youv’e obviously just choked on your own, you havn’t answered the question tho fruitcake…

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.3

          Go on then big mouth, take your own advice, do it.

          Nah KP, fuck you prick. You’re not going to run this block yourself.

    • QoT 16.2

      Because the climate in Western Australia is vile, and I sunburn easily, and not all of us are purely motivated by profit, hence the whole “not being whiny little rightwingers” thing.

    • tc 16.3

      Been there done that. Contributing back home now so what’s your story KP ?

  17. Murray Olsen 17

    I’m in Australia (Brisbane) because I couldn’t get a job in the field I’d trained for back home. I earn over $A100k a year, have 22% of that going into super, have a permanent position with sufficient research money available, and free hospital care. My wife and I pay about $A100 a month for power, with aircon on a lot of the summer, and $A440 a week for a fairly luxurious 2 bedroom flat. Public transport is better than anything I’ve experienced in Aotearoa. Back home I’d probably be on a sickness benefit being forced to take “ready to work” tests and being told that cancer in remission doesn’t mean I shouldn’t work 40 hours a week at some crap job. Here, I can’t access state welfare, but if and when I get too sick to work, the super fund will pay me $A60k a year. Kiwis are prized by employers here for their work ethic. This applies all the way from hairdressing to high academic positions. We are not the useless lazy lot that Key and Bennett like to paint us as. Some of us are even roof painters and, if we arrived after 2001, we aren’t accessing any benefits while we paint the roof.
    On the down side, the food tastes like shit, especially the meat and kaimoana. Kumaras taste like cardboard and Brisbane is actually a fair distance from any reasonable beach. Thinking only foreigners should be put in concentration camps is enough to make you a socialist. Whaleoil would fit comfortably into the Labor Party here and the state government is run by an undersized dictator who’s busy selling everything to his friends and relatives. I want to come home, but in all honesty I’m wondering if I’ll recognise the place. It seems far nastier and punitive than anything I can remember.

    • Shona 17.1

      Thanks Murray for putting it into perspective. Your experience of OZ and it;s decent wages and plethora of opportunities is similar to my that which my partner and I experieced 30 something years ago and our offspring (one resident there the other commutes to oz for work)are repeating the experience. Yes the ozzie govt discrimination aginst us is unlawful and unjustfied on any grounds, but kiwis will always get work there because we are a cut above most migrants.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1.1

        Wait until Abbott gets in. He and immigration spokesman Scott Morrison have made an art form of whipping up xenophobic fears about 5 to 6 K boat people (claim they are illegal when they are clearly not). So imagine how they will spin 60 to 70 K kiwis taking over Australia? And check what shadow minister Andrew Laming said about some Tongans causing disturbance in Logan City. We will be back to the White Australia policy soon.

        • Murray Olsen 17.1.1.1

          If China stops buying the stuff they dig out of the ground, Labor is capable of being every bit as nasty with immigrants as Abbott is. It would be hard to slip a cigarette paper between the two parties on this issue.
          Australia has serious problems and the racist bigotry is more mainstream than in Aotearoa, but I see a lot of Aussies fighting for a better society. I think they could get better in many respects, but I can’t see much short to medium term hope for my own country. From what I can see, Kiwis are becoming more bigotted and the government is running riot, with justice policy being decided by McVicar and that Police Association creep. Economic policy is effectively decided in Wall St. and social policy is decided by refugees from failed Tory think tanks back in Britain.
          I still want to come home, and will, even though I know I’ll be taking a drop in income and my working days will be over. I wish I could be more optimistic, but not much has happened in terms of broad movement since 1984 that I can be anything but pessimistic about. Oh well, la lucha continua.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1.1.1.1

            If anything things are getting slightly better in Australia. They non news ltd media ridicules the Gareth McVicars of the world and now even Abbott is on the run for his xenophobia. He is still favourite to become pm, but will his own party accept him? Witness the distaste for the Alan Jones and his antics. And proud to say Paul Henry has been sent packing. Thank goodness for the ABC.

    • karol 17.2

      Things aren’t so great in Queensland for people who have been working in the public sector – massive lay offs, including one or two people I know.

      The full list of job losses, department by department is:

      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island and Multicultural Affairs: 15 (new staff total for department is 363)

      Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: 450 (1,948)

      Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services: 385 (6,045)

      Community Safety: 345 (10,579)

      Education, Training and Employment: 405 (66,204)

      Energy and Water Supply: 135 (273)

      Environment and Heritage Protection: 220 (1,117)

      Health: 4,140 (66,110)

      Housing and Public Works: 1,425 (3,989)

      Justice and Attorney-General: 510 (4,715)

      Local Government: 15 (105)

      National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing: 130 (1,329)

      Natural Resources and Mines: 360 (2,444)

      Police: 215 (14,978)

      Premier and Cabinet: 45 (621)

      Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts: 110 (1,895)

      State Development, Infrastructure and Planning: 145 (800)

      Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games: 15 (107)

      Transport and Main Roads: 1,450 (7,360)

      Treasury and Trade: 85 (1,094)

      Total: 10,600

      The Budget papers state that the total reduction in FTE positions is about 14,000 – with the difference between that figure and the numbers above due to the Government discontinuing temporary positions and not filling vacant positions.

  18. Aww 18

    I’d rather move to Chile.

  19. ropata 19

    Most Americans think New Zealand is a tiny island nation in the middle of the Pacific populated by Hobbits. JK and the Natzy boys are encouraging this delusion, so we get wealthy Americans buying large chunks of land here and making property completely unaffordable to the average Kiwi.

    http://crooksandliars.com/nonny-mouse/greatest-nation-earth-isnt-us

    Although Crooks and Liars is generally a left wing site, they seem to like NZ for all the wrong reasons :(

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