Australia’s refugee problem

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, October 24th, 2018 - 89 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, australian politics, climate change, global warming, immigration, International, Politics, racism - Tags:

Although the final results are not in yet it looks like the Liberal party has lost the seat of Wentworth. The best New Zealand comparison I could come up with would be if the National Party lost Helensville or Labour lost Mangere. The young gifted and beautiful people of Mangere are far too smart to ever think of this as an option but you get the picture.

Katharine Murphy in the Guardian has the details in this article with the title “[t]he Wentworth byelection isn’t just a loss for the Liberals. It’s a disaster”.

Her introductory comments are:

Let’s not sugar coat this, the outcome in the Wentworth byelection is a disaster for the Liberals. Counting isn’t over yet, but the anti-government swing in this contest will be north of 20%, which is the biggest swing ever recorded against a government at a byelection.

It is a repudiation. A repudiation of a chaotic period in government characterised by self-obsession and self-harm. A repudiation of the party’s lurch to the right, and the hollowing out of the sensible centre.

A repudiation of amoral plots, schemes, coups, and seat-of-the-pants bullshit – a howl of frustration from voters, from the most well-heeled to the couch surfers, about the endless weasel words from their disconnected, half-deranged politicians – a group with scant respect for facts and evidence, intermittent competence and no plan in evidence to address the problems the country faces.

It was a rebellion against political business as usual. People are sick of it.

And Labor need to be careful and respectful.

The rise of the independents isn’t just a problem for the Liberals. Representatives connected to their communities, with a will to serve them, can take seats away from Labor too, and from the Nationals. This is a major party problem, not just an affliction confined to a government that has forgotten how to be competent.

There’s an earthquake going on in Australian politics. So far it’s just a rumble, but if the incumbents don’t hear the rumble, and start to change things up, make no mistake: the rumble will become a roar.

And let’s concentrate on two of the details, climate change and the treatment of the Nauru refugees.

The Liberal’s refusal to accept that climate change is actually happening played a significant part in the result.  From News.com.au:

While the swing against the Liberals undoubtedly reflected widespread anger about the treatment of Turnbull, Dr Phelps said the party’s stance on failing to take real action on climate change also played a huge role.

“There was absolutely no question that climate change action was a major issue at the Wentworth by-election,” she said.

“It was something almost everybody was talking about. You couldn’t miss the presence of climate change activists in the area.

“What we need to do is accept the science on climate change. Climate change is real and I’m science trained and I’ve been satisfied by the evidence for a very long time.”

The right is in danger of winning the culture war and keeping its core happy but losing the battle that really counts, for political power.  Too many people realise that climate change is happening and accelerating for the Liberal’s tawdry climate denial actions to work.

As said by Professor Judith Brett in the Conversation:

To be sure, those who doubt the seriousness of climate change are now more likely to describe themselves as sceptics rather than outright deniers, but the effects are the same. Doubting the risks of climate change, opposing serious counter measures and believing in coal’s long-term future is an identity issue for many Coalition politicians.

As an identity issue, it is largely impervious to evidence, as we saw in government ministers’ hasty dismissal of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report – before they had even read it, one suspects. Identity issues are also resistant to the normal processes of bargaining and compromise with which many political conflicts are resolved. The National Energy Guarantee was the last of the government’s energy policies to founder on the suspicion that a market mechanism might damage coal. Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s Clean Energy Target met the same fate.

So now, some members of the party of private enterprise and the free market, which argued for and oversaw the privatisation of most of Australia’s power utilities, are seriously advocating that the government develop a coal-fired power station.

As for the Nauru refugees what is really good is that Kerryn Phelps is actually human and wants to do something for them.  Again from the Guardian:

Kerryn Phelps has said she believes the “writing is on the wall” for Australia’s offshore detention policies as prominent members of the crossbench urge the major parties to strike a deal to get children off Nauru.

The independent, who is now all but certain to claim the Sydney seat of Wentworth from the Liberals, said on Monday night the massive swing towards her and against the government showed “the people have spoken” on refugee policy.

“I think the most important thing is that we give now the government an opportunity to respond to what the people have said,” she told the ABC’s Q&A program. “The people have spoken on this issue, I believe, in this byelection.”

New Zealand’s offer to take the Nauru refugees is still on the table.  The Australian Government is now contemplating accepting that offer but with a rider to make it very difficult for them to then get into Australia.  From Katharine Murphy again:

Scott Morrison has put resettlement in New Zealand on the table provided the parliament supports government legislation shutting the so-called “back door” entry to Australia for people transferred from Nauru.

[Labor shadow immigration minister, Shayne Neumann] says Labor is prepared to countenance the bill but the government must first guarantee acceptance of New Zealand’s longstanding offer to resettle asylum seekers “and the removal of all children and their families from Nauru to New Zealand”.

“We trust you have been engaging already with the New Zealand government on arrangements to move vulnerable asylum seekers as soon as it becomes possible to do so,” the shadow minister says in the correspondence.

Neumann says the next condition is ensuring that any lifetime ban “is only applicable to the cohort transferred to New Zealand”.

“Your government has argued consistently and continues to argue that the issue of concern is specific to New Zealand due to the unique trans-Tasman travel arrangements we have in place.”

He says if the government is concerned to ensure that asylum seekers resettled in Nauru don’t then relocate to Australia, “then limiting the legislation to New Zealand will achieve this outcome”.

How tawdry.  After mistreating and abusing the refugees for so long the Australian Government is now prepared to accept New Zealand’s offer but as a kicker will discriminate against them by refusing to allow them entry into Australia.  Of course the refugees should accept the proposal just so they can get out of their current awful situation.  But this rider is despicable, abhorrent, and a direct repudiation of Australia’s obligations to consider refugee applications seriously.  All for political advantage.  There should be a special place in hell reserved for these sorts of politicians.

And time is ticking for the Liberals.  They no longer have a majority in the House of Representatives and will be severely restricted in what they can do.  The next election is due in May 2019.  I suspect it will be touch and go if they last that long.

89 comments on “Australia’s refugee problem ”

  1. Dukeofurl 1

    yes the seat has been lost but when you look at the primary votes, the liberals ‘won it’ by our electoral process.

    Votes Liberals 32,000 43%, fall from last election -19%

    Independent 21,000 29% ( new)

    labour 8500 11.5% -6%

    Greens 6300 8.5% -6%

    many national Mps here have a seat based on 43% or less of the vote!

    of course Australia uses preferential voters and as Devanand Sharma has only 43%, the second preferences of the other votes are distributed. So in effect the Independent Kerryn Phelps has most of the labour and greens votes added to her tally to get just over 50%
    They reckon in Sharma got 45% of primary votes the preferences would have got him to 50% +1 sooner . But he didnt.

    https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-22844-152.htm

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    The offfer to take 150 of the refugees from Nauru was first made by Key back in 2016 so was a bi partisan issue- unlikely to be supported by Bridges now as hes a weasel.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11664913
    John Key says NZ will take 150 refugees from Australia if required. ( Jun 2016)

  3. Ad 3

    Not much for any future Labor-led coalition to celebrate there.

    And these voices were nowhere when Turnbull and his Energy Guarantee was killed off.

    This vote feels more like a safety valve letting off steam.

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      What are you talking about Ad ? The Coalition will be pushed out of office come next may based on nationwide polling.
      Thats the Core reason Turnbull was pushed , 30 consecutive monthly polls showing labour was leading on the preferred vote ( the one that matters)

      • ScottGN 3.1.1

        Turnbull was pushed out by the right wing cabal of Christian hardliners and Coal/Mining climate change deniers who’ve always felt he was too centrist to be a Liberal prime minister. The run of bad Newspoll numbers was just a stupid line in the sand that Turnbull himself had drawn.

    • Bill 3.2

      Not much for any future Labor-led coalition to celebrate there.

      I agree. An Independent taking 30% of the vote ‘right off the bat’ to Labor’s 11% is heartening. It’s only a by election, but insofar as it’s reflecting the pattern seen elsewhere in the Anglosphere and ‘the west’ in general – a rebellion against political business as usual [because] People are sick of it. (as Micky puts it), there’s cause for cautious celebration.

      Next stop NZ? We can only hope.

      • Dukeofurl 3.2.1

        Its the wealthiest electorate in Australia, it will never have any meaning for labour Australia wide.
        This will as it shows polling nationally
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Australian_federal_election#Graphical_summary

        labour only has to get to 51% ( 2PP) to just win government, the national polls give them something like 52-53%
        That assumes there will still be cross bench of 5-6 inc Greens

        • Bill 3.2.1.1

          Ah well, if the Independent is nothing more than some kind of Morgan type character, then I’m guilty of looking for things and sometimes seeing them when there’s nothing there – or to steal a topical US term when there’s “no there there” 🙂

  4. ScottGN 4

    Having said just a day or so ago, in the wake of the Wentworth disaster, that the NZ offer is a possibility, it looks like the right wingers in the government have reasserted themselves and ScoMo is backtracking like crazy. Clearly the Liberal government would prefer to leave the refugees suffering on Nauru rather than have to give credit to Shorten and Labor for helping to resolve the issue.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-23/labor-backs-moving-refugee-children-on-nauru-to-new-zealand/10416720?section=politics

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      All the child refugees (and their families) are being moved to Australia as we speak. This has been ongoing for some time but kept quiet for political reasons under the guise of medical evacuations. They say if even a child gets a stubbed toe, its off to Australia for treatment and are not going to go back to the island

  5. RedLogix 5

    Overall a great post and a good read mickey. But I trip over at this point:

    But this rider is despicable, abhorrent, and a direct repudiation of Australia’s obligations to consider refugee applications seriously.

    Why? Australia has already considered the potential refugee status of these people and decided no. It’s that simple.

    NZ cannot stand on any moral molehill here; if our geography was located a lot closer to the Equator we’d have exactly the same controversy on our hands. We’d handle it no better. (And if and when people smugglers discover that the Jordan Series Drogue enables small craft to sail safely through big storms; we’ll have them arriving here too.)

    Nor is there anything sacred about NZ’ers right to travel to Australia. Our entry is subject to an SCV444 (Special Category Visa) that can be revoked absolutely at the discretion/whim of their Minister. Granted Peter Dutton’s deportation whims were often capricious and cruelly unfair… but denying entry to people a govt doesn’t want in country is a routine matter everywhere.

    • Ad 5.1

      We’re just damn lucky Australia does our heavy lifting for us.

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Ad , does UK say to Ireland ‘we are doing heavy lifting for you’ through a world war and the cold war , while Ireland wasnt even part of nato.

        Does the US say to Canada – we are doing heavy lifting regarding migrants from central America ?

        of course not. geography decides every countries strategic situation. We are further away from Australia than Britain is from North Africa and the distance changes everything. We have our own policy on these matters and arent Australias hand bag any more than say Ireland is to UK .

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          Ireland were neutral.

          Yes US says it to everyone.

          We are to Australia what the Cook Islands are to us.

          • marty mars 5.1.1.1.1

            Rubbish. Talk about cultural cringe trev…

            • Ad 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Have we ever had to make a hard call about illegal immigrants arriving by boat?

              • Macro

                In the early 19th C they came in their hundreds Ad.

                Today asylum seekers mostly arrive on aircraft. There are up to 450 arrivals to NZ a year of people seeking asylum
                https://www.immigration.govt.nz/documents/statistics/statistics-refugee-and-protection-status-pack (see page 2)
                Around 30% of those arrivals seeking asylum in NZ are approved

                • Ad

                  So answer was no.

                  We’re a weak state making moralizing calls from no vantage of virtue to a far bigger country with actual refugee issues.

                  I don’t have any sympathy for the Liberal governments’ handling of them, but I have none for our governments’ actions either.

                  • Macro

                    No Ad – you didn’t understand the implication of my first sentence.
                    Read it again and have a think about the legality of those first arrivals in NZ and Australia for that matter. They were all so desperate to escape from servitude, persecution, and starvation that they risked 6 months of a sea voyage during which many died. OK so Cook had “claimed” NZ for England – but just how valid was that. And what right did those first immigrants have to come and settle?

                    As for the second part – I showed you that NZ does have a growing number of people arriving at our boarders at least one or two a day off aircraft who are seeking asylum – we don’t send them off to the Cooks or Nuie into detention, but they stay in Mangere, and then have temporary visas while their case is reviewed.

                    Actually Australia’s draconian and inhumane treatment of those traveling to Australia by boat has not stopped the passage of asylum seekers.

                    Although the numbers fluctuate, usually only a small proportion of asylum applicants in Australia arrive by boat—most arrive by air with a valid visa and then go on to pursue asylum claims. While the number of boat arrivals has risen substantially in recent years, it is worth noting that even in high arrival years they still comprise just over half of onshore asylum seekers in Australia and a greater proportion of those arriving by boat are recognised as refugees. In 2014, arrival numbers fell again and there was only one boat arrival in Australia. As a result, the majority of asylum applicants arrived by air.

                    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1415/AsylumFacts

                    • RedLogix

                      Read it again and have a think about the legality of those first arrivals in NZ and Australia for that matter.

                      How ‘legal’ was any of human history by modern standards? And if not what exactly do you propose doing about it?

                    • Macro

                      We need to acknowledge that – If you visit the Melbourne Museum sometime you will see a very powerful exhibition on the atrocities that were perpetuated upon the first nations of Australia, and which to some extent are still going on. A recent exhibition in the WA art gallery in Perth by Julie Dowling looks at the experiences of modern day first nation peoples.

                      The exhibition takes a step back in time to a period (1993–2005) when First Nation Badimaya artist, Julie Dowling, emerged as one of the most important artists in Western Australia and the country.

                      In this period, the real-life stories she shared about First Nations peoples’ experience in this country were abrupt, brutal and challenging. Many of the stories she shared were, and still are, largely unknown or acknowledged in mainstream Australian society.

                      http://www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/exhibitions/WA-Now-Julie-Dowling.asp
                      This is a start. And when we begin to understand that all europeans are immigrants in these new lands and have behaved badly – then we might begin to treat others with more respect and humanity.

                    • McFlock

                      Waitangi Tribunal and dispute settlements, perchance?

                    • RedLogix

                      And without subtracting anything at all from the tragic consequences of the Australian colonisation; does anyone here imagine that it was never going to happen? That some magic force field bubble would have remained in place around the entire continent keeping the Aboriginal people living undisturbed in the ancient way of life?

                      And if such a thing was possible, and you asked the Aboriginal people in 1750 say, to turn it on and protect them from the tragedy that was about to fall upon them … what would have been their choice do you imagine?

                      And then consider that immigration policy is nothing more than the rather miraculous modern day equivalent, but a lot more selectively porous.

                    • Macro

                      And then consider that immigration policy is nothing more than the rather miraculous modern day equivalent, but a lot more selectively porous.

                      It’s just that Europeans don’t like what they did to others happening to them.

                    • Brutus Iscariot

                      Right of conquest.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        ‘oz doing our heavy lifting’ by keeping refugees at bay, (playing their trump card of being an island)! So that we can instead import cheap labour who pay their way to get here, and go into debt that they might impossibly be able to pay back some day, if the promised wages don’t come through.

        Whereas refugees have no money or credit to draw on – they have lost everything because of manufactured conflicts in their country that make it impossible to grow their food, housing or water, safety – have lost everything except their poor little souls crying out for a place of safety and something better.

        Yes it is easy to see why immigrants brought in through dodgy agencies, robbing their own people all the way with our connivance, are better for NZ. We don’t expect to do much for them, we are taking them out of poverty aren’t we!!

        Can we be real about this Ad.

        • Ad 5.1.2.1

          New Zealanders would react the same way as Australians do. We just haven’t been morally tested on it. And if we were tested, it would reveal a heart as dark as any.

          The anti-immigrant sentiment has grown under this government due to their cutting off foreign direct investment in most areas. We play for the cameras and that’s about it.

          Even worse, the New Zealand government would probably do pretty much the same as well.

          It took us nearly two decades to increase our refugee quota – and when we did it was by a tiny amount. We only let the “good” immigrants in.

          That Grey is the reality.

          • Dukeofurl 5.1.2.1.1

            Long has time passed when we were considered ‘to be in this with Australia ‘

            Its a 100 years since 1915. They now do their own thing with little consideration for us, we should and do return the favour

          • greywarshark 5.1.2.1.2

            The reality is what I pointed out Ad.
            That you don’t seem to have noticed.
            That instead of taking increased refugees in, we have taken poor immigrants in on the basis that we can make money from them.
            So indeed And if we were tested, it would reveal a heart as dark as any.

            But we argue against that, some of us, just as some of the Oz people do. And we win at times. But when pollies and decision makers are as pragmatic as you, they override what is fair and reasonable and doable.

            So go on your way whistling happily while you work, because you have found a suitable paradigm for your mind to cope with this reality.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2cfu6PKtqg
            (This in Finnish but you don’t comprehend English anyway so it doesn’t matter. And it’s safe to listen to, because the Finnish haven’t been driven out of their country yet,)

            • Ad 5.1.2.1.2.1

              On the contrary, the refugees that get here are among the hardest-working New Zealanders here. And the second generation of them are among the most successful.

              You will find them at the Avondale Markets, Mangere Markets, and Otara markets. There they work all hours God gives them and get their children into universities. I know plenty of them in New Lynn and in the major construction jobs within central Auckland as well.

              Those refugees that get here make a massive contribution to our society.
              Our state could and should bring in hundred more but the increase announced two months ago is in reality tiny.

              The refugees that get here withstand plenty of scrutiny and by and large come out shining. Because they work, they have social cohesion, and they are proud. As they should be.

              If our government displayed some similar actual idealism in this matter, New Zealand would not look so self-serving in its international pronouncements.

    • KJT 5.2

      Don’t like refugees.

      Simple answer. Stop impoverishing and bombing their countries.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        That would help with some but most seem to be people who left their own countries fully expecting to be able to claim refugee status once they got to where they were going.

        I really don’t have any sympathy for these people. If they want a better life then they should make their own country better.

        • marty mars 5.2.1.1

          How? You can’t even make this country better and it’s pretty benign compared to the hell holes these refugees are escaping from.

          The truth is it’s all hot air from you on HOW to do anything you propose.

        • KJT 5.2.1.2

          Bit difficult when the West keeps “bombing you back into the stone age”.

    • mickysavage 5.3

      Hi RL. In terms of the legality of what is happening the UN thinks it is:

      “A key United Nations body has condemned as arbitrary and illegal Australia’s indefinite incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers, issuing critical statements on five separate cases in a year. But those unlawfully held remain in indefinite detention, where they have been held for up to nine years without charge.

      The working group on arbitrary detention is a key part of the UN’s Human Rights Council, on which Australia now sits after a years-long public and diplomatic campaign for the position.

      The working group is an independent body of human rights experts that assesses cases of alleged arbitrary detention and reports to the council.

      Since June of 2017 the arbitrary detention working group has published five opinions critical of Australia’s open-ended detention of asylum seekers and refugees. It has consistently argued Australia’s indefinite detention of some refugees and asylum seekers is unlawful.

      In each of the five published opinions, the working group has recommended Australia immediately release the men held and pay them “compensation and other reparations” for their unlawful detention.

      None of the men have been released. The youngest is 29 years old, the oldest 45. They each face detention without charge – in theory, potentially until the end of their lives.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/08/un-body-condemns-australia-for-illegal-detention-of-asylum-seekers-and-refugees

      In terms of the refugee issue per se I agree our geographical location mean that it will be less of a problem for us and that it is a growing problem world wide. But I take an absolutist view in relation to legal obligations.

      • Dukeofurl 5.3.1

        The men on Nauru arent in detention, technically they have 10 year resident visas to live on the island and are free to move around.

      • RedLogix 5.3.2

        I’d not presume to challenge your legal expertise mickey, but in response I’d suggest that the entire notion of ‘refugee’ as defined by international legislation was only ever intended to apply to individuals who could point to specific reasons why they as individuals were no longer safe in their nation of origin. It’s reasonable to suggest that the signatories to this agreement would have anticipated this scope.

        But would anyone have intended that the notion of refugee should apply to entire classes of people arriving in a potentially unconstrained numbers for largely economic reasons? Clearly there has to be a threshold here; otherwise it becomes a loophole to defeat the right of any nation to determine it’s immigration policy.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.2.1

          /agreed

        • Macro 5.3.2.2

          RL – all of those people who are now detained on Nauru and Manus have been processed by the UNHCR, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty, to which Australia as well as NZ is a signatory. Those people are no longer asylum seekers, they are classified as bonafide refugees, and as such, Australia has an obligation to provide them refuge. They are not economic refugees – there is no such category under the UNHCR charter. Each asylum seeker has a different story to tell, and I can tell you, from second-hand experience, (my daughter worked at the Mangere centre and in the Department assessing applications for asylum) that these stories can be truly harrowing. But these stories are not just taken on the verbal evidence of the asylum seeker. Each story is double checked and confirmed by independent research via UN and other sources. It can take up to a year for these background checks to be completed. So an asylum seeker may not be confirmed as a refugee under the UNHCR treaty for sometime. In the case of those incarcerated illegally on Nauru, almost all, have been found to qualify for refugee status. Those who are not so assessed, can be returned to their country of origin, and I would assume they have been. It would be a further crime against humanity if Australia was to return bonafide refugees back to the country of origin from which they had fled for their lives!

          • Dukeofurl 5.3.2.2.1

            The vast majority of those on Nauru were returned to their own countries when they werent classified as refugees. Yes the remainder are refugees but arent eligible to be settled in Australia.

            In 2014 there were 1200, this year there are now 190.

    • McFlock 5.4

      I do wonder how Germany would deal with being in Austraya’s location. Their experience with Syrian refugees suggests to me that there would still be friction, but they’d still be hugely better than Aus’ response.

      Unless we’re talking Germany 80 years ago, in which case offshore internment camps would be right up their alley.

      • RedLogix 5.4.1

        OK so I’m a skinhead Nazi apologist now?

        • McFlock 5.4.1.1

          No, not at all, and I apologise for not making that clear.

          My point was that European nations have had their own influx of refugees in the range of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands each, and different nations have dealt with it in different ways. The German approach has been much more enlightened than Australia’s.

          Then the observation came to mind that that is Germany now, not then.

          Would NZ handle it like the Aussies, or like the Germans do now? Dunno. But the aussies don’t have to handle the issue like they are.

          • RedLogix 5.4.1.1.1

            Agreed Germany has been able to absorb a significant number of refugees. Although not entirely without problems, nor is it clear that such enlightenment can be extended indefinitely. But certainly it has been a more generous approach.

            The thing is, Australia is full of immigrants; I’m one. But almost all of them arrived legally, via a reasonably challenging and expensive process; citizenship is valued and respected. Illegal boat people may well arrive by a differently challenging and expensive process, but one that nonetheless devalues the legal path.

            Australia has seen waves of immigrant groups over the past 200 years; and none of them got given an ‘easy ride’. Newcomers were tested and challenged to see if they’re going to ‘fit in’ and join the big Aussie tribe. Some of it was indeed a bit rough, but it worked.

            But in the past decade or so Australia this process has broken down; partly because multiculturalism means it’s no longer PC, and partly because many immigrants from an Islamic background regard themselves as a morally superior people and simply don’t want to ‘fit in’. Cultural ghettos in North Melbourne and West Sydney have become areas the rest of Australia avoids if at all possible. (We innocently stumbled into a shopping mall in Nth Melbourne in our first year and were quite unsettled at the hostile vibe.)

            As a result the wider population is no longer all that accepting of large numbers of newcomers, and certainly not ones arriving via what is seen as in illegitimate process.

            • McFlock 5.4.1.1.1.1

              Travelling around Melbourne suggested to me that ghettoisation isn’t a new thing in Aus, going at least as far back as “Celestial Alley” in Melbourne’s “Chinatown”.

              Vietnamese, Lebanese, Greeks, Italians, all had their base suburbs for those fresh off the boat.

              And the large numbers are sweet FA compared to the numbers headed to Europe. Nobody says it’s painless, but some nations do demonstrate that a nation doesn’t have to be dicks about receiving asylum seekers etc.

              The wider population in Aus is indeed most interesting. They seem to be concerned that the latest run of immigrants will treat them the same way they treated the Aborigines.

              • RedLogix

                Vietnamese, Lebanese, Greeks, Italians, all had their base suburbs for those fresh off the boat.

                Hell yes; and why would it be any different? Almost everyone prefers to live around and near family, relatives and community you identify with. This doesn’t necessarily means you irrationally loath all outsiders, but a preference to be near people you understand and feel safe associating with, is completely normal.

                And within two generations the groups you mention above all pretty much became ‘Aussies’ while still retaining their own cultural markers. But the sense you get from Muslims in Australia is not the same; they seem determined to remain separate.

                • McFlock

                  I dunno – some parts of Melbourne (e.g. some stores and restaurants around little bourke st) are definitely English as a minority language. Not just the owners: packed house of customers. Australian, but not Aussie.

                  This isn’t a bad thing, either.

                  Islamic immigrants just aren’t that exceptional in the great salad bowls of cosmopolitan nations.

            • Macro 5.4.1.1.1.2

              Red you need to understand just who and what defines a Refugee in terms of the UNHCR to which Australia is a signatory and has been since 1951.

              A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

              Someone who presents them self at the border without adequate documentation to enter a country can claim to be seeking asylum. The fact that they make this claim does not automatically make them a refugee, and if their claim is found to be false they may be sent back to where they came.

              Almost all those people who are now domiciled in Melbourne, (and I agree, having recently visited, that it is quite mind blowing the numbers that now inhabit the city) are people who have arrived in Australia with adequate documentation. If Australia wants to limit the number of arrivals, then they need to place more restrictions upon the issuing of visas. However, these arrangements for entry to one country are usually on a quid pro quo basis, and Australians, who also like to travel, may find that placing restrictions upon entry to foreigners would result in restrictions upon them travelling as well.

          • greywarshark 5.4.1.1.2

            Thank you McFlock for keeping the niceties up while we argue against mechanical management of desperate human beings. Any deflection from understanding of the pragmatic TINA is an excuse to stray from the point at issue it appears.

            • McFlock 5.4.1.1.2.1

              RL’s interpretation was reasonable, given that I’m perfectly willing on occasion to call a fascist a ****** fascist piece of **** 🙂

              But in this case I was juxtaposing Germany’s approach with Australia’s, and then afterwards the thought occurred that what a difference a few decades makes. Although to be fair, at that time Australia still enslaved Aborigines in chains and didn’t recognise them as people, so maybe it’s just staying the same…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      Why? Australia has already considered the potential refugee status of these people and decided no. It’s that simple.

      Yep.

      NZ cannot stand on any moral molehill here; if our geography was located a lot closer to the Equator we’d have exactly the same controversy on our hands. We’d handle it no better.

      QFT

      Many people on the Left just don’t seem willing to accept that we can’t accept people as they turn up, that our limited land denotes a maximum sustainable population.

      Nor is there anything sacred about NZ’ers right to travel to Australia.

      I keep thinking that it would be better if that special category was simply dropped and that NZers would have to go through all the same procedures as everyone else. We’re not special in any way.

  6. “But this rider is despicable, abhorrent, and a direct repudiation of Australia’s obligations to consider refugee applications seriously. All for political advantage. There should be a special place in hell reserved for these sorts of politicians.”

    Yep. Political poos imo. The aussies are a disgrace – they are at the forefront of treating refugees like shit and then hand wringing and weeping when something bad happens like suicide and deaths – but they only cry while the cameras on.

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      Lets be fair in other respects they take far more ‘approved’ refugees than we do , even for the bigger size of the country.

      Have a guess at the numbers, its nearly 19,000 per year. Its the boat people who arrive and arent allowed to settle.

      The breakdown is 9400 through UNHCR and others who arrive under own steam and are classified as refugee status and family reunions.

      For the 10 years till 2015 Australia settled 140,000 refugees
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-21/where-does-australia-rank-on-its-refugee-intake/7864070

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        Yeah sure their halos are on straight lol. Smokescreen mate – did you read the actual post?

        • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1

          The post covered a lot of things , Ive mentioned 3 different bits.

          Does 140,000 refugees mean nothing to you – because ?

          • marty mars 6.1.1.1.1

            I read your link.

            I’m talking about “and a direct repudiation of Australia’s obligations to consider refugee applications seriously. All for political advantage.”

            You may think everything is sweet as, I don’t.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1.1

              So how many are in detention on the 2 islands?

              Would that be less than 1% of the 140,000 over the 10 years. Im not saying its sweet as, just the context is important.

              Im not into the details but didnt someone else here say they have been considered under the rules for assessing refugees and didnt qualify so they remain as a different category – asylum seekers?

              • “The mainstreaming of xenophobia regarding refugees was perfected by Australian politicians more than 20 years ago. Along with a media-savvy mix of dog-whistling against ethnic groups with little social power, refugees have been accused of being dirty, suspicious, lazy, welfare-hungry, and potential terrorists—and they’ve been accused of refusing to assimilate, despite the country’s largely successful multicultural reality.”

                https://www.thenation.com/article/australias-brutal-refugee-policy-inspiring-far-right-eu-beyond/

                The numbers are a small part of the story imo

                • Dukeofurl

                  I dont disagree with you about Australias xenophobia.

                  macro , who seems to be well informed on the Nauru situation says all have been processed against UNHCR criteria.
                  Those that dont qualify largely have been returned to their home countries, some have gone to US, those that remain are refugees but arent eligible for settlement in Australia –
                  Australia , like NZ has always selected those who it wants to settle from the UNHCR – some 9500 last year. The UNHCR doesnt decide who goes to what country.

      • marty mars 6.1.2

        The truth

        “What we’re seeing on Nauru, we’ve seen time and time before, as a result of extreme violence, war, famine and terror.

        Tiny children draw pictures of blood, weapons, barbed wire and sadness and tears to try and make sense of what they’re experiencing.

        These extremely traumatised kids have been robbed of the joys of childhood and consequently fail to thrive.”

        https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/10174688

      • marty mars 6.1.3

        “With the US-Australia refugee deal now in doubt, an unprecedented coalition of more than 70 organisations has joined forces to call for immigration camps on Nauru and Manus Island to be immediately closed, with all refugees and asylum seekers brought to Australia.

        Noting the “humanitarian crisis” in the camps, a joint statement by the groups said the “situation has reached crisis point, and immediate action must be taken”.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/03/close-manus-and-nauru-bring-refugees-here-say-70-organisations

  7. RedLogix 7

    Somewhere there has to be a middle ground between ‘shoot the boats out of the water’ and ‘open borders for all’.

    It’s lazy and dishonest to make virtuous noises about ‘tropical rape camps’ and ‘despicable and abhorrent’ … and then remain silent on the position you would positively advocate for.

    Yes illegal immigration is a massive problem (and the USA is about to have a caravan of at least 5000 Hondurans arrive at their Mexican border within days) … but exactly what does anyone propose in response? Open borders everywhere?

    • Bill 7.1

      Well, since capital is liberal and nation states exist on one level as ‘pens’ to keep labour segregated at various levels of hardship…and since degrees of economic oppression would lose effectiveness in the absence of borders…and since it ought to be anyone’s right to live where they feel “home” and not be subjected to either military or economic “bad shit”…and since military enforcement of economic agendas wouldn’t really work if nation states weren’t in existence….yup. No borders.

      But if you want to hang on to liberal capitalism and to nation states as repository poop bags for the shit that flows from that, then no. Open borders in that situation would be problematic, as opposed to no borders in a different situation.

      Worth noting, that in that different situation – where capital had lost the structural concomitant that allows it to rule and diminish and harm, that people would have little or no compelling reason to flee from here to there or wherever.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Well, since capital is liberal and nation states exist on one level as ‘pens’ to keep labour segregated at various levels of hardship…and since degrees of economic oppression would lose effectiveness in the absence of borders…and since it ought to be anyone’s right to live where they feel “home” and not be subjected to either military or economic “bad shit”…and since military enforcement of economic agendas wouldn’t really work if nation states weren’t in existence….yup. No borders.

        Which is a load of of bollocks. We need to restrict money as well as people. Each nation has the right and the responsibility to ensure that it’s not over-populated and to maintain it’s own culture.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          Well, since when did any country contain only one culture?

          And in a world of no borders (I think you’ve missed the obvious point that liberal capitalism collapses in that scenario) why would affected people suddenly not make decisions around population and resources?

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            And in a world of no borders (I think you’ve missed the obvious point that liberal capitalism collapses in that scenario) why would affected people suddenly not make decisions around population and resources?

            So, in a world without borders we’d still have borders?

            Borders exist because the people affected by excessive immigration choose for them to exist.

      • RedLogix 7.1.2

        Climate change, ocean pollution, offshore tax avoidance, illegal immigration … name any of the big intractable problems we frequently talk about here, and they all have one thing in common. They’re all problems at a global scope, all problems the nation state by itself struggles to respond to.

        • Bill 7.1.2.1

          And so we get (perhaps) to a discussion of centralised world governance versus a more organic global democracy – ie, imposing order from above versus allowing order to (more or less) naturally arise and develop.

          I prefer the latter (as you know) because power is dispersed – not concentrated.

          • RedLogix 7.1.2.1.1

            Well at the moment in the absence of effective global governance we have instead the tyranny of unconstrained capital and the last desperate hurrahs of empire building.

            You’re entirely justified in being suspicious of a single global institution. If the nation state can be authoritarian and capricious, how much worse a single, unchallenged global power? Yet just as the answer to bad nation states is not ‘no govt’ … the answer to the possibility of bad global governance is not necessarily ‘no global governance’.

            We look on failed nation states with weak and dysfunctional govt with horror and pity at the crime and chaos; yet from a global perspective this is exactly the position the whole of humanity stands in.

            • Bill 7.1.2.1.1.1

              The idea of decentralised, dynamic democracy is not at all the same as “no governance”. In fact it’s kind of the diametric opposite of that – it’s ubiquitous governance.

              Regardless, we agree that nation states are no longer fit for purpose (if they ever were).

              • RedLogix

                My position is simple; a global federation of the nation states in which it’s members cede some of their powers (but not all) to a universal body. But just as the nation state itself does not supersede local democracy, nor the sovereignty of the individual … neither does global govt have to imply the end of nations.

                First up the right to make war. We have no choice; the extreme lethality of AI and associated tech improvements (autonomous killing machines) rapidly coming down the road will compel us.

                Climate change. We have no choice, the rules must be clear and imposed evenhandedly on everyone.

                The oceans are dying.

                Mass movements of people fleeing desperate circumstances.

                And on and on.

                Much of the pragmatic infrastructure needed to achieve all this is in place now. Looked at from a purely practical perspective we already live on a global planet, with a myriad mechanisms operating at that scale. This internet thingy for a start.

                But we’re missing the key political part; exactly how do we go about achieving an authentic democratically accountable federated govt that embraces all the nations? The obvious place to look is the UN, to see what’s worked and what hasn’t.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    It’s true that refugees are a sticky problem, and one that many countries have greater problems with than NZ.

    But camps are not a very good solution. They are a fair short term response to short term dislocations, but they create new and greater problems over time, so that only an unusually stupid government would choose them when other options are available.

    Repatriation is another option, but as numbers increase the practice is increasingly criticized. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/22/europe-rebuked-for-removing-afghans-to-one-of-worlds-most-dangerous-countries

    Nevertheless, it avoids the problem of criminalizing and incarcerating children, who, being born in the incarcerating state, have some legitimate claim to naturalization.

  9. Gabby 9

    The real solution to refugees is invasion.

  10. Well the Nauru camps are not good at all, but the Aussies see them not as refugees but as illegal immigrants. I suppose that’s why the inclusion of a ‘ kicker’ . But then we have Australian crims that are of NZ descent. They get sent back here to NZ.

    Harsh as it may seem we are not like Australia with close proximity to those who want to land on our shores illegally. We do not experience that and therefore our opinions are shaped differently. I guess the camps are a cheap and nasty way of holding because transporting them back comes out of the taxpayers money,- as foreign govts are loathe to foot the bill for repatriation of their own citizens.

    All in all,… its a hard world out there at times.

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
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    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
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    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
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    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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