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Bilateral mobility a bad idea

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, November 4th, 2014 - 166 comments
Categories: im/migration, uk politics - Tags: ,

Sounds good doesn’t is?

Boris backs call for Kiwi freedom in UK

London Mayor and parliamentary hopeful Boris Johnson is backing a report by a British think-tank which calls for New Zealanders and Australians to freely live and work in Britain.

Neat! Who wouldn’t want the option of easy access to Britain, and hence Europe? But, hang on…

[A report] recommended establishing a “bilateral mobility zone” which would allow Kiwis and Aussies to travel and work in Britain and Britons to travel and work reciprocally in those two countries. A similar argument was made for Canada.

In my opinion opening up NZ to Britain’s millions would be a terrible idea. In the short term it would throw fuel on the already insane house-price fire, pricing Kiwis even further out of their own homes. In the medium term there is an even bigger issue. As the effects of climate change bite hard it is going to become apparent that NZ is one of the best and safest places in the world to live. We are going to want good control of our own borders when the climate change migrations start.

[PS: So of the Commonwealth countries, this access is being considered for Australia, NZ, and Canada. Why would it be OK for those three countries to have such free access to Britain I wonder? There’s something very similar about them, but I just can’t put my pale white finger on it. It’s a mystery…]

166 comments on “Bilateral mobility a bad idea ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I also oppose this sort of bilateralism, but for a different reason – I see it as a subtle form of economic colonialism. The British and Canadians will get to do what Australia already does – syphon off our expensively educated and trained best and brightest talent to better paying jobs in the hearts of the old Empire. Put simply, our country is not rich enough to afford the educate the doctors, nurses and teachers for Canada, Australia and the UK.

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      The British borders are already essentially open to our best and brightest. I just came home from 6 years over there. Their points system means that if you are Kiwi, well educated and under 30 you can go and stay as long as you are employed. I don’t think any doctors, lawyers or accountants who want to chase the pound are prohibited from doing so under the current system. So opening the borders up won’t create a rush for the exit gates from New Zealand.

      It is those who don’t have a degree who struggle to stay over there.

  2. weka 2

    Spot on r0b, on all counts.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Would those who do travel to the UK be able to access Permanent Residency? Or would they get stranded in the same Kafkaesque temporary visa/guest worker arrangement that Australia foists on New Zealanders?

    Devil in detail.

  4. Ad 4

    Isn’t New Zealand constructed of a series of immigrant-pushed revivals?
    Why would this one be any worse?
    Most such waves have brought something good.

    • weka 4.1

      Waves of immigration have also brought substantial negatives.

      “Why would this one be any worse?”

      R0b outlined several his post – CC pressures, effect on housing prices, entrenching white privilege.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Climate change migration as a motivation hardly seems a negative – more a human rights issue to take into account.

        As for having an effect on real estate prices, cutting migration won’t solve or even alleviate it.

        Have a good read of Belich’s Making Peoples. Each wave of migration brought new impetus, new kinds of culture, strongly motivated people, a richer country. Open up to it.

        Auckland for example is the most diverse city in the world – and Auckland’s boom is greatly assisted by that diversity.

        We already rely hugely on imported people – and turning them into citizens is a whole bunch better than selling land and businesses to foreign owners.

        • weka

          Who is talking about cutting migration? R0b’s post is about a specific scheme that looks to bring more problems than benefits.

          There are a whole bunch of false arguments in your comment eg who is suggesting here that we should sell land to foreign owners?

          You seem to be arguing that immigration is always good without actually addressing the issues raised.

          • Ad

            Who is proposing entry by anyone? And we have a substantial human rights appeal process to immigration.

            A better framing for Robs post is: why should we stop them? There’s entry of existing criteria to refine – why not debate that. They’re all set out in regulation. Rob could find out if there’s a problem with a number than just the standard Winston Peters speech.

            As for selling land to foreigners, that’s precisely what Rob talks about in “throw fuel on the already insane house price fire” means.

            Why don’t you do some actual arguing. You don’t get to decide what’s relevant.

            • weka

              “Who is proposing entry by anyone?”

              Possibly Bill, but why are you asking me?

              “As for selling land to foreigners, that’s precisely what Rob talks about in “throw fuel on the already insane house price fire” means.”

              I took him to mean people who immigrate here (permanent or temporary), not people living overseas. Do you consider people living here to be foreigner owners?

              R0b put up some clear points for debate, I can’t see that you have addressed any of them other than saying that immigration is good.

        • weka

          “Climate change migration as a motivation hardly seems a negative – more a human rights issue to take into account.”

          It’s both human rights and environmental.

          Out of curiosity, do you know of any country that has open borders and considers entry by anyone to be a human right?

      • cogito 4.1.2

        “entrenching white privilege”.

        LOL. Britain is far from white these days!

  5. i am puzzled by the fear of more people coming to live here..

    ..we have so much room…!

    • DoublePlus Good 5.1

      No we don’t, unless we want to overpopulate ourselves to the extent of Europe. And more people means more infrastructure needed, more power stations, more houses, less room, more pollution….sorry, why do you want to cram more people in?

      • Enough is Enough 5.1.1

        “more infrastructure needed, more power stations, more houses”

        Sounds like a recipe for jobs and greater economic activity to me

        • weka

          Maybe, but it also comes at an environmental and social cost.

          At it’s most obvious, we only have so much land, so logically there will be a limit to how many people can fit in here. Saying blithely that there is heaps of room is based on not knowing how much land it takes to support a population. We’re in overshoot already.

          • Enough is Enough

            Yes and you balance that.

            Having a bilateral agreement with Britain does not mean 20M Poms are going to turn up wanting to mine the Coromandel.

            The simple fact is we cannot afford to look after our aging population. We need a real solution for that which does not involve austerity.

            • weka

              how do you balance being in overshoot by 100% and having more people come into the country?

              btw, you don’t need 20M poms to fuck housing prices, you only need half a dozen in a rural area.

              • Enough is Enough

                I haven’t questioned your assertions that we are in overshoot by 100%. Sounds quite scary. As we are already so in excess whatare our prospects of surviving in this environment in the next 50 years??

                It sounds like we should be sending people to Britain

                • weka

                  Britain is in a far worse situation than NZ, hence the issue that r0b mentioned around CC pressures. An open door policy will make us very vulnerable in the future to CC refugees.

                  NZ is actually pretty well placed to manage, assuming we don’t get catastrophic AGW*, in which case nowhere will be safe. Most of NZ’s overshoot is probably due to factors we can control – food miles, food production, energy use, consumption etc. Adding significantly to the population will decrease the likelihood of us changing. That’s partly because of the increased number, but also the compounding factors like immigrants will be mostly wealthy and add to the pressures of the equality gap in NZ, making environmental issues harder to focus on.

                  *needless to say, this is another excellent reason for not increasing population. Our best chance at doing something about mitigating the worst potentials of CC is to learn to live within our means.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    I was being facetious with the Britain comment….woooosh

                    • weka

                      sarcasm is often hard to read in comments. You can use this /sarc

                      So now I have no idea about the first part of your comment and whether I should take it seriously.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    I was being facetious with the Britain comment….woooosh

              • The Al1en

                “you don’t need 20M poms to fuck housing prices, you only need half a dozen in a rural area.”

                There goes the neighbourhood lol

            • Draco T Bastard

              The simple fact is we cannot afford to look after our aging population.

              That’s not a fact. I figure that it’s nothing more than scare tactics from those who want more profit and that we can look after our aged if we had access to all the higher productivity that we’ve produced over the years rather than it going to the 1%.

              • Enough is Enough

                I shall rephrase what I said.

                Under the current system we cannot afford our aging population. We have a Labour Party supporting austerity and a National Party ignoring the problem. Three quarters of the population support these two parties.

                If we assume the system won’t change (I know you don’t, but the rest of us live in the real world) we have to look at how we pay for things.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Then it’s the current system that needs to change.

                • Foreign waka

                  I wouldn’t worry too much. The pension you get is too much to die and too little to live on ($ 540.00 for a couple per week, what a disgrace). With the majority of the population afflicted with a high sugar/fat diet because that is cheaper than healthy food and no money for the remedy, the doctor,it wont be long until the increased life expectancy is fully reversed to the stats of 1800. So you might need higher immigration.

        • DoublePlus Good

          Imagine if we just invested in all that awesome stuff without having to try and support a larger population too…

          • Enough is Enough

            You have it backwards. A larger population supports the creation of jobs and infrastructure.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No it doesn’t.

              • Enough is Enough

                Thanks for your insightful comment Draco. Tell us all again how we can be self sustainable in these shaky isle with no need to interact with the rest of humanity.

                Lets close down the borders and say fuck off to everyone else who wasn’t lucky enough to be born here

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The population we have now supports the same level of jobs that we would have with a higher population under the same conditions. We know this because the UK is running similar levels of unemployment and under employment.

                  Having more population doesn’t create any more jobs. To create more jobs we actually need to utilise the increased productivity that we’ve spent the better part of two centuries building up by shifting out of the traditional farming and into R&D and manufacturing – and manufacturing is using less and less people as it becomes more and more automated.

                  BTW, it’s that increased productivity that allow us to produce everything we use here in NZ from NZ’s resources. Our present reliance upon trade is a misallocation of resources and capabilities.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    Does the population support the level of infrastructure we need?

                    Absolutely not.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That, like most of what you’ve written in this thread, makes absolutely no sense.

                      Can we build the infrastructure that we need? Yes.
                      Are we building the infrastructure that we need? No.
                      Why aren’t we? Because some arseholes want to be rich and to control us.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Look at Auckland you fucking moron. A small population by world standards that can’t move and can’t afford to build a first public world transport system. It is a big city but not enough people in it to pay for what it needs.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Two things:

                      1. Adding more people won’t actually change that because of the added infrastructure needed to maintain that increase in population and
                      2. Auckland has plenty of money to pay for what it needs. The problem isn’t the money but the lies about the money.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Yipee tin foil hat conspiracy time.

                      Please Draco, tell us about the lies re money. It will be mildly entertaining on a slow Wednesday.

                    • locus

                      Commitment to building a better public transport system in all nz major cities is not going to come from letting nz population grow quickly or by attracting more businesses and rich people to come and grow our economy.

                      Commitment to a 30 year program of civil works and urban development with long term planning for infrastructure wont ever happen in our neolib country that has a demonstrated aversion to state funding of social welfare and city development projects, and is busy selling off state assets

      • phillip ure 5.1.2

        have you been for a drive around this country..?

        ..we hardly need to ‘cram’..

        ..you know the japanese call nz ‘the empty islands’..eh..?

        ‘..and no..i’m not suggesting the density of japan..

        ..but there is a middle ground..

        ..there are many areas of nz that wd benefit from an influx of new people..

        ..new energy..new life/ideas..

        ..and new infrastructure doesn’t have to be a bad..

        ..that can be the reason to go as green as possible..

        ..at the moment..nz is a giant animal-concentration-camp/gulag..

        ..could we do/be better..?..

        ..i think so..

        ..and more people wouldn’t hurt..

        • JanMeyer

          I’ve been waiting a very long time for this! I agree with Phil Ure (well, leaving aside the stuff about concentration camps)

        • DoublePlus Good

          I’m astounded that a person with such a green outlook on things can’t see the difference in environmental values between NZ and Japan, and concluded that it would be much better to be sparsely populated.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3

        No we don’t, unless we want to overpopulate ourselves to the extent of Europe.

        I’m of the opinion that we’re already over-populated.

        • phillip ure

          what are we going to do with all that land after the great dairy-collapse..?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Hopefully we’ll replant it in native forests and let it grow for 500 to 1000 years. After that we can carefully harvest it so we can have fine wood furniture.

            • weka

              Yeah, the land doesn’t look so empty when you restore native ecosystems.

              And thinking about it, the whole idea that the land is empty is reminiscent of colonisation, where the incomers looked at the natives and decided they weren’t doing anything useful with the land and that it needed to be burnt and ploughed and tamed and made productive. As if it wasn’t productive already. The irony is that in NZ we managed to fuck the land in a mere 100 years while at least Europe took several millennia.

            • b waghorn

              Never tasted fine furniture how many calories to a kg

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Haha nice one. More seriously, we’re turning that shit into firewood and charcoal is what we’re doing. “Fine furniture” will become a luxury for the 0.1%, in future times.

            • Lloyd

              I think you would find that beech and totara forests would be quite suitable for harvest after fifty years or less. This is only a little more than twice the time you need to use the land for cheap pinus radiata.

          • Bob

            In fact, New Zealand’s population density is only just higher than the global average (by 2 people per sq Km)….if you include the Oceans, Lakes, Rivers etc!

            • Colonial Rawshark

              You North Islanders are the ones who screw things up, with your ridiculously packed in 30 person/km2 population density. Four times that of the South Island.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes, I am. For most of time the world population has been ~500m or lower and life on Earth thrived. It’s only been recently that our population has exploded and over that same period the rate of extinctions has also exploded.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    In my view New Zealand needs migrants. We are under populated and our birth rate is average at best.

    Someone has to pay for the baby boomers retiring. Austerity and cuts to entitlements is not the answer.

    • DoublePlus Good 6.1

      The baby boomers can pay for their retirement. After all, they got free education, help into houses and other government support, that they then decided to take away from the next generation and burden them with loans and housing debt that makes financing the baby boomers’ retirement more crippling.

      • Enough is Enough 6.1.1


        So your answer is baby boomers don’t get the state pension. Cheers for your insight Roger Douglas.

        • weka

          that kind of reactionary and false comment is hardly like to help.

          • Enough is Enough

            Help what?

            He said baby boomers can pay for their own retirement. That must mean he thinks that the state should not have to pay for them.

        • DoublePlus Good

          Well, those baby boomers that made out like bandits and have millions in assets don’t need it. Make sure it gets to those who do.

      • cogito 6.1.2

        “they then decided to take away from the next generation”

        BS. Who exactly are you referring to? not me!

        I’m a baby boomer and I never took anything away from the next generation. On the contrary, I am using up my limited retirement savings to support my kids so that they do not need to be mortgaged to the eyeballs!

      • Foreign waka 6.1.3

        @ Enough is Enough: Either you are a hater of older people or completely oblivious what is going on in the wider community. Investigate, research and get same facts.

    • weka 6.2

      NZ uses twice it’s fair share ecological footprint ie the amount of land needed per person for food/shelter/life is twice what the planet can sustain. We are not underpopulated. Big increases in immigration will make the footprint issue worse.

      • Enough is Enough 6.2.1

        New Zealand can’t afford to look after its retired population. We need more young workers in this country.

        • weka

          Of course we can afford to look after our elders. We just can’t do it while so many people are being greedy. NZ is not a poor country.

          But even if what you say is true, it doesn’t negate the physics level reality of living on a finite land mass. There are only so many people we can support, and our footpring is currently 2 x more than is fair on a global scale. No point in saving the oldies if the grandkids are going to fry (or at least I’d like to see you try selling that one).

        • Ad

          More motivated, wealthy Londoners setting up lifestyle wineries in Central Otago. They and Californians are huge in Queenstown and Wanaka. They are proud, with plenty of capital, happy to be away from the world, and grateful to be here. They fit easily into that Queenstown-Lakes culture. It’s a long sustained boom down there. And there’s more blocks going up every month.

        • Molly

          Transferring the cost to the upcoming generation is a tired and failed solution to the issue of superannuation, as you point out.

          Using this failure as an argument to allow more into the country so that the aged population can be supported under the same system, is a delaying tactic and still doesn’t solve the original problem.

          Create a supported system where family who look after their elderly and extended whanau are recognised, and taxed or rebated accordingly. Stop funding overseas corporate retirement homes, and use the multi-generational caring cultures that exist already in NZ to help provide a new way of supporting and integrating our older people without isolating them in groups.

          • Foreign waka

            1800’s again. You guys must be desperate to constantly go over the turf that was turned a number of times in the past. NZ is an immigrant country, many do not have extended family here and have to work twice as hard (minimum wage remember) to make headway. Retirement is most likely a luxury that they cannot afford and this means working until jumping into the grave.
            Why not save all those who see older people as a “burden” a worry and just put them all out to sea in a dinghy where they can fend for themselves? Just open your eyes and look at the elderly around you, you might discover how many are very poor. No wonder, who on earth can live on $ 350.00 per week?

            • Molly

              I don’t see older people as a “burden”. I believe that looking after our elderly is part and parcel of looking after all NZers.

              But my in-laws, were placed in a retirement home about six years ago by their children, who are all (partner excluded) mortgage free. The cost of the home was $700/wk per resident – so until three years ago when my mother-in-law died, that cost is propped up by the state ($1400/wk). Two of the siblings are fit, at home and not working.

              Very few Maori and Pasifika residents in those homes, they are cared for by their families. Why can’t we look at giving tax rebates to those who care for their elderly at home – and keep them integrated into the community for as long as possible, while giving those who care for them some alleviation of the costs of doing so?

              There seems to be little innovation in dealing with the cost of an aging population. Just more of the same.

              More working people to pay the burden of those who are retired now – forget about their long term future, and cut superannuation costs.

              Meanwhile the cost of housing people perpetually rises, and government policy is often providing overseas retirement corporations with a subsidised income.

        • Draco T Bastard

          And what happens when those get to old to work and we still won’t be able to provide for the elderly under the current system?

      • phillip ure 6.2.2

        a large part of that large footprint is because we are that animal concentration-camp/gulag..

        ..you are making the mistake of building yr thesis around a single fact..and ignoring so many others..

        ..then of course there are the many many ways we could be more efficient/greener..

        ..and hey..!..if you..as a green…really put yr food where yr mouth is..

        ..and walked the walk..instead of just talking the talk..

        ..you’d be vegan..eh..?

        ..’cos my personal environmental-footprint compared to yours..is tiny..


        ..but ill-thought-out words/posturing is cheap/easy…eh..?

        ..and i guess that you..as a green..will be more than happy for nz to just continue as that animal concentration-camp/gulag..?


        ..if not that..what..?..and how to get there..?..in yr mind..

        • weka

          “a large part of that large footprint is because we are that animal concentration-camp/gulag”

          [citation needed]

          Check the footprint on importing agribusiness soy while you are at it.

          edit for clarity, I didn’t read the rest of your comment.

          • Enough is Enough

            You are asking for citations….classic.

            • weka

              how so?

              Some people seem to take [citation needed] as a pejorative. I actually want to see what phil is basing his statement on so I can counter his argument.

              • Enough is Enough

                citation required for:

                ” our footpring is currently 2 x more than is fair on a global scale.


                “No point in saving the oldies if the grandkids are going to fry”

                • weka

                  Well thanks for asking.

                  I can give you a citation for the first one, because it’s a fact (will post in a minute).

                  The second one is an opinion, which can’t be cited other than that I stated it, which is already evident.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    fair enough…you pulled me up for being reactionary and false. Yet you have no problem in expressing an opinion that our grandkids are going to fry.

                    Seriously how do you sleep when you hold these apocalyptic opinions. It must be frightening.

                    • weka

                      It is frightening, but I take the view that it’s better to face fears than be in denial of them.

                      Saying the grandkids are going to fry is only hyperbolic in the sense that it’s shocking phrasing. It’s a very real potential future unless we do something pretty much immediately.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      I don’t deny climate change. Shit I am a member of the Green party after all. I think I would be excommunicated if I did.

                      But I believe in fact based evidence and to date I have not seen any that comes close to predicting humans will cook.

                    • weka

                      I wasn’t meaning denial that CC is real. I was meaning the cognitive dissonance that happens when people start talking about how bad things are likely to get.

                      “But I believe in fact based evidence and to date I have not seen any that comes close to predicting humans will cook.”

                      Try reading Bill’s posts here on ts. Lynn’s too. Lynn is more conservative (he things the timeframes are longer), Bill more scarey, so you get a good balance between the two. One of Bill’s key points is that we have this window to do something, but it’s rapidly shrinking. Thing years not decades.

                      And in Good News

                      Idiots, Cowards and Bastards.

                      I feel like I’m missing a few of Bill’s links there, can’t find them. Lynn’s are easier to find, click on his name and search for obvious titles.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But I believe in fact based evidence and to date I have not seen any that comes close to predicting humans will cook.

                      The book Six Degrees lays it out fairly well.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Not really

                      Unless you live on Planet Draco which lucky for the rest of us 99% of the population do not (plus or minus .03%.: Source Man on the street and 2014 election results)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      /shrug – you’re the one living on Planet Key.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Great response…at which point in time have I ever remotely supported John Key.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I didn’t say that you supported John Key, I said you were living on Planet Key. And I get that from all the times that you’ve said that the present system cannot/will not change. All the times when you’ve said that we just don’t have enough money. All the times you’ve said that we can’t afford our retired people.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      I love your optimism that the current system will not change.

                      However many years from now you will die a very frustrated person as the system isn’t changing.

                      For better or worse it in entrenched and no amount of lunatic ramblings from fringe players claiming inevitable collapse will change that.

                      For those of us in the real world we will work towards a progressive green and sustainable future.

                      Your utopia has never is human history existed. There is no evidence that it can exist. There is no prospect that it will ever exist.

                      Now lets get back to working with what we have rather than day dreaming.

          • vto

            Hey weka, you should ask r0b for a citation for his claim that this is for NZ and Australia for white people reasons. You know, just for consistency / credibility reasons ………

            • weka

              I’m not asking him, because he expressed an opinion as a question. He was speculating. How can he give a citation for that? Unless you want a citation for Canada/Oz/UK being white dominated cultures.

              • vto

                Oh ok. But you are always demanding of citations from others when they are clearly expressing an opinion ….

                … maybe its the subject matter

            • phillip ure



              ..look out the window..go for a drive..

              ..and..’ I didn’t read the rest of your comment.’

              ..we all know you did..

              ..you just don’t want to answer the questions/contradictions-exposed..

              ..heh..!..yr funny..!..(in a strange uptight-green kinda way..)

              • vto

                yep, this whole arena does get me uptight …. as well evidenced by now …

                ’tis the injustice and imbalance you know

      • Foreign Waka 6.2.3

        The so called “footprint” is caused by those millions of cows and certainly not the people.

    • left for deadshark 6.3

      I don’t know how many of you here live in Auckland,from my view,the place is struggling now with it’s lack of forsight,with infrastructure planning.Have a read of NZ Geographic,..march issue .

      • Molly 6.3.1

        Agree, left for deadshark.

        Lack of maintenance, forward planning and long-term thinking means that infrastructure in Auckland is failing with existing population numbers.

        As usual it is those with the resources of finances and time that are able to utilise the lion share of what is available in terms of addressing those shortfalls.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    This kind of sentiment reminds me of the Paula Bennet effect. The bene who did good and pulled up the ladder behind her.

    With the exception the tangata whenua, we are all immigrants or recent descendants of immigrants. This country has been built by immigrants. Yet many now seem to have decided that the time has come to shut the door behind them. That same door that welcomed them in.

    • factchecker4all 7.1

      How did the tangata whenua appear in NZ if not by immigration ?

      • Enough is Enough 7.1.1

        1000 years ago isn’t recent in my mind. But sure lets include them, which just adds to the argument I am making.

    • +1
      I have had the same argument here enough and I’ve come to the conclusion that fear is the major driver. This fear may be partially justified if people want everything to stay the same but my reading of life is that nothing stays the same, ever. I think some think climate refugees will arrive here like zombies from WWZ – I say if you are going to say that some cannot come here then you get out there with a rifle and shoot them when and if they arrive. It is the thin end of the wedge – in that others may decide that we or us or you are not desirable for saving, for living.

      We either care about people – all people – or we don’t. As soon as triage begins in this area we have lost and imo we may as well give up the pretense of caring at all.

      • Murray Rawshark 7.2.1

        I’ve thought about the ethics of this quite a bit and my opinion is the same as yours, mm. I’m not all that comfortable with it, but ethics and logic drive me to it.

        That the very people who talk about GW being a global problem want us to keep ourselves happy and safe locally is not entirely consistent. In fact it’s “parents should feed their own kids” on a larger scale.

        • miravox

          +1 marty mars & Murray Rawshark.

          We either care about people in need or we don’t.

          An alternative form of caring (that the EU is struggling with at the moment with Eastern European migrants and refugees) is that if you want people to stay in their own space then you fund and work with them to improve their conditions. However, climate change will make this option nigh on impossible.

          • marty mars

            Yep miravox – we really are going to have to ditch old antiquated ways of thinking to deal with this worldwide issue – for me the key is developing resilient communities – I just don’t believe in the maxim – kill a family to save a village – that philosophy is not acceptable to me.

        • marty mars

          Yes Murray that gets me as well – we have a global human-spanning issue and some want to make sure that their tiny inherited shared space is okay – when lefties start saying this stuff we know that individualism and selfcentredness has won.

          I also agree that it is a difficult position to get to but the alternative is unacceptable to me.

  8. vto 8

    Lordy, yet more unsubstantiated claims of racism. Tell me r0b, why have you grouped this around Commonwealth countries? I don’t see any reference to Commonwealth countries in the information posted, just reference to NZ and Australia. And a similar something for Canada. Is it because it suits your view on white people?

    • factchecker4all 8.1

      It’s called middle class liberal white angst.

    • weka 8.2

      from the OP

      “[A report] recommended establishing a “bilateral mobility zone” which would allow Kiwis and Aussies to travel and work in Britain and Britons to travel and work reciprocally in those two countries. A similar argument was made for Canada.”

      I’m guessing that the focus is on Commonwealth countries because of historical preferential agreements between the UK and the wider Commonwealth.

      Then, in the link in r0b’s post, there is this,

      “Mr Johnson has written a foreword to a Commonwealth Exchange report which calls for Kiwis and Australians to be given the same rights to travel and work in the United Kingdom as people from the European Union.”

      After that, r0b raised the question of why those particular Commonwealth countries (Canada/OZ/NZ) and what they have in common as opposed to other Commonwealth countries


      Maybe I’m missing something, but r0b’s comment seems self-evident.

      • vto 8.2.1

        Of course it seems self-evident to one of similar opinion and ilk..

        Do you think this has been promoted because of the gigantic historic and cultural links between for example, NZ and the UK? Links that are larger and more significant than pretty much every other ‘commonwealth’ country? (how many other countries jumped so quickly into UK’s wars? how many others took until 1947(?) to gain full independence, such was the link and desire to remain with the UK?) Do you think this had something to do with it? The colossal cultural links? Or was it mostly about race?

        • weka

          I think it’s about both. But I also think that the British Empire has a history of giving privilege to white folks, so I can understand why the question would be raised.

          Am curious why it wouldn’t be offered to India, given the gigantic historical and cultural links.

          • vto

            Maybe because, relatively, the links with India are nowhere near as large as with New Zealand. For example, New Zealand has a population of which maybe 80% of the population has UK ancestry. How much would India’s population have? New Zealand has become a mini UK, India is nothing like it.

            (dunno why I am going on about this – last thing I want here is more poms, which is what would happen. The flow would be inwards to NZ, not outwards to UK)

          • vto

            weka ” I also think that the British Empire has a history of giving privilege to white folks”

            That is absolutely not the preserve of the british. In my opinion (so you don’t ask for citation) all empires and expanding colonies and peoples the world over have given privilege to their own kind over others. It is human nature, not linked solely to the british.

            I would have thought such would be self-evident? Why would you think only the British have ever done this?

            • weka

              Why would you think that I think only the British have ever done this?

              “It is human nature,”

              No. Plenty of cultures don’t do expansionist colonisation in the way the Brits and others have. That’s a fact btw, not just an opinion.

              • vto

                citation needed

                and be sure to separate our human nature as measured over the millennia from a particular cultural circumstance

                also, you do realise of course that when humans walked out of Africa a few hundred thousand or million years ago they were doing just what the british were doing. it has been going on since. some went west and some went east, then they all met up again in places like aotearoa.

              • factchecker4all

                Which cultures are you thinking of that haven’t been expansionist in nature ?

                • weka

                  Many gatherer/hunter cultures. They tend to establish territory and then live within that because that’s the resource base that meets their needs and they then tend to establish relatively stable populations because they are dependent on the ecosystem they live within. Problems occur once you start farming, because then you have specific land you have to defend and families get larger due to food availability and the need for labour. Those increasing families then need land of their own, so off they go.

                  I’m not saying this is absolute (am sure someone will now bring up examples of nomadic tribes that did expand), and there are overlaps between nomadic cultures and those that farm. But in general you see expansion and colonisation once people settle (Brody, cited below, says that farming cultures are actually more nomadic than hunter/gatherer ones, because h/g ones stay in the same region for very long periods of time. This in part explains the different relationship with land that they tend to have).

                  There are however also examples of settled peoples who don’t appear to be colonisers. Am thinking of some of the Native American cultures in the south. I’d have to look that up though.

                  I don’t think these are oddities. You can find examples of this throughout the world. And just because vto managed to ask so nicely, here’s the citation – The Other Side of Eden by Hugh Brody. Brody is an anthropologist who worked with Canadian and Inuit nomadic peoples in the 70s and 80s. He addresses the issue that vto raises, looking at the cultures that are nomadic, their world views and relationships with the environment they live in, and how this is distinctly different from farming cultures.

                  • vto

                    Nice answer there weka but I think you have mixed up a whole bunch of things. Those settled populations were such due to particular circumstance, not so much due to human nature, I would suggest. You see, how did those settled peoples get there in the first place? Including the British. By being explorers to set off and find other lands – this is innate to human nature imo…

                    … and to bring this back to the start point about imposing privilege in favour of ones own exploring / conquering people, in my knowledge banks I cannot think of any who did not do so, when confronted with other peoples in the lands so explored / conquered.

                    Can you?

                    • Molly

                      The first Australians are probably a good example of those hunter/gatherers that lived within their own means and territories.

                      The fact that they were also the longest surviving culture may help with determining the level of their success as well.

                    • weka

                      vto, you claimed that colonisation was human nature. I’ve given you examples of peoples who don’t/didn’t. It’s pretty clear cut.

                      If you are now ammending your assertion to be that of the colonising cultures, all of them favoured their own people over the conquered, well I would agree. That’s the point of colonisation after all. However you will find that different cultures handle colonisation differently.

                    • weka

                      🙂 at Molly.

                • Liberal Realist

                  China with the exception of Tibet.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Sounds remarkably like Boris Johnson wants to re-colonise the ex-colonies.

  10. It would be interesting if this were proposed for Scandinavian countries rather than the UK.

    A race to the top for environmental awareness, ‘new economies’, liberal values, cosmopolitan worldview, etc. rather than what is likely to happen from a bilateral with the UK. They also have similar population densities/sizes to New Zealand.

    Also, if Enough is Enough is correct, opportunities for the ‘best and brightest’ Kiwis in the UK are already ok so why not link with more interesting countries in this kind of initiative?

    Finally, I haven’t noticed a shortage of recent UK migrants in New Zealand.

  11. Ovid 11

    [PS: So of the Commonwealth countries, this access is being considered for Australia, NZ, and Canada. Why would it be OK for those three countries to have such free access to Britain I wonder? There’s something very similar about them, but I just can’t put my pale white finger on it. It’s a mystery…]

    I don’t think it’s race, rather it’s economic conditions. The vocal critics of European free access to the UK point to the access they enjoy to the British social welfare system. People from NZ, Australia and Canada already have access to similar systems so there’s little economic incentive for the most marginal in those countries to resettle. The fact that we share the same head of state also has some bearing.

    I would hope that if this idea has legs, there would be suitable analysis of the costs and benefits before our government makes a decision on whether to agree to this or not.

  12. Augustus 12

    Sounds like Boris Johnson is positioning himself for future UK premiership. Anti-EU sentiment in the UK is often mixed with “lets keep closer ties with our old colonies, especially our kin in Canada, Australia and New Zealand”. The UK under Camoron does not like to deal with its neighbours, it prefers to phantasize over long lost domains (as derived from “dominate”), because dominate they can’t in Europe.

  13. weka 13

    Citations for ecological footprinting. Ecological footprinting looks at the amount of land needed to support a person for food, shelter, transport, energy etc.

    A few comments first. One is that it’s quite tricky to measure such things accurately (many variables), so there tends to be quite a variation in figures.

    The other is that the tools are still quite blunt instruments. In NZ food is a large part of the footprint. Some of that is production and some of it is food miles. But the production side looks to me very hard to calculate because pretty much all of our meat and dairy farming is aimed at export. I think the calculation on those would be different if they were being done sustainably for local supply.

    Food miles are a significant issue. Truck transport around NZ accounts for a sizeable portion of this. This is why eating local makes such a difference. We could do with eating less meat and dairy, but eating small amounts of mutton from a local farmer has far less impact than imported soy from the US or China , or even from one end of the country to the other (the problem here is that you can’t easily buy meat direct, animals have to be shipped to the freezing works, then the meat shipped to back to the person wanting to eat it. That’s a solvable problem though).

    Energy is the other big issue, despite our high use of renewables.


    New Zealanders are not clean and green. An ecological footprint calculates the resources humans use and the amount of waste they generate. This is measured in terms of global hectares (a hectare with world-average ability to produce resources and absorb wastes) per person. New Zealand had the sixth highest figure (7.7 hectares) in the world, only slightly lower than one of the worst offenders the United States (9.4 hectares), and much higher than the world average (2.7 hectares).


    An ecological footprint measures the amount of resources humans use and the waste they generate: New Zealand has moved from requiring 5.9 “global hectares” per person in the 2006 WWF report to an average of 7.7 global hectares.

    A global hectare is a standardised hectare of land able to produce resources and absorb wastes at world average levels.

    Worldwide, the average ecological footprint jumped from 2.2 global hectares per person to 2.7 global hectares per person, but the world has only an average 2.1ha available per person.

    “Humans are now exceeding the planet’s regenerative capacity by about 30 percent,” the report said.

    If demand kept growing at the same rate, the equivalent of two planets would be required in the mid-2030s to sustain current lifestyles – or 3.5 planets if everyone on Earth used resources at the same pace as New Zealanders.


    At the bottom of this next link is a chart that shows the % within NZ’s footprint for various land aspects of the footprint. Grazing is 30%, Energy is 47%, Forest is 11%, Cropping is 6% etc.

    “Energy land is the total forested land required to sequester the CO2 released by New Zealanders into the earth’s atmosphere, and includes both NZ plantation forests and indigenous forests.”

    I’m assuming that’s to do with fossil fuel transport and a bit to do with other energy uses.


    I can’t find the exact bit about NZ using 2x its fair share, but it’s most likely in this PDF. Bear in mind that it’s a much more optimistic citation than the WWF one, which puts us at 7.7 ha/person when the world has 2.1ha/person available.



    • Enough is Enough 13.1

      Now is New Zealand’s footprint a result of our population or our lifestyle?

      • weka 13.1.1

        It’s a bit more complex than that. Lifestyle factors are a important in the sense that we can control them and thus reduce our footprint. However as far as I can tell the footprinting models aren’t taking poverty or class politics into account. There is the ideal (buy local food, drive less) and the reality – many people in NZ simply aren’t in a position to make such choices. Many of the rest don’t want to. So if you increase the population you are increasing the pressures to continue the status quo. How many immgrants or visiting workers are going to want to support a decrease in their privileges, or things that will make their lives seem harder?

        The other issue is that I think the footprint modelling uses global tools. I don’t think anyone has done the work on NZ and what population we can in reality support with the climate, land etc we have once we move to a post-carbon world. Given the impending realities of CC and Peak Oil, it would be prudent to look at those things before opening the doors.

  14. Bill 14

    Oh well, fuck any move to internationalism and any freedom of movement for people. Except, as somebody else already noted, the relatively privileged middle classes can move around the world with relative ease, and the elites already live in their very own Martini-Rosso ‘anytime, any place, anywhere’ world. (google, if needed, is your friend for the cultural reference)

    This “we’ll be overrun” (by the poor and unwashed) really is a nasty, sick fuck way of thinking. Why would millions suddenly flood into NZ anyway? Middle class people already can come here if they want, and they don’t.

    And the global warming excuse? 50% of emissions are caused by between 1% and 5% of the human population…in other words, a goodly proportion of the middle class and the financial elites. But hey, use AGW as an excuse to keep the working class in their (relatively speaking) non-emitting place (which sure as fuck ain’t your place, right?), while your entitlement compels you to be flying and driving here and there for work and pleasure and otherwise ‘eating up’ resources that will result in really bad shit landing overwhelmingly on …yup, the pesky poor and unwashed again.

    • weka 14.1

      Not sure who the ‘you’ is in that, but let’s unpack this a bit.

      The middle classes from the UK do already immigrate here, and have already caused problems with land prices. Johnson’s proposal is to make that easier, so it’s not a stretch to assume increased numbers. It’s also reasonable to assume that the people that would come here would primarily be middle class not the poor and unwashed.

      One thing I notice amongst the middle class immigrants I know (mostly from the UK and Europe) is that they pretty much all fly home to visit family. Even the ones with a high awareness of the environmental issues with that. Family is a very strong bond and will generally override more abstract concerns. It’s going to be hard enough getting NZ to shift to flying less anyway, without increasing the cultural pressures to do so.

      “This “we’ll be overrun” (by the poor and unwashed) really is a nasty, sick fuck way of thinking.”

      Has anyone actually said that?

      “Why would millions suddenly flood into NZ anyway?”

      Who is talking about millions? Are you suggesting that if NZ had a general open borders policy there wouldn’t be a big increase in population? Seriously?

      “And the global warming excuse? 50% of emissions are caused by between 1% and 5% of the human population…in other words, a goodly proportion of the middle class and the financial elites. But hey, use AGW as an excuse to keep the working class in their non emitting place (which sure as fuck ain’t your place, right?), while your entitlement compels you to be flying and driving here and there for work and pleasure and otherwise ‘eating up’ resources that will result in really bad shit landing overwhelmingly on …yup, the pesky poor and unwashed again.”

      I don’t see how this relates to the post or the conversation here at all, and is full of so may holes I don’t know where to start. Do you honestly think that most of the people that would come here via the scheme come from places that have low emissions? Who are you thinking of exactly?

      Pretty sure that most of the UK will fit into the 5% you quote, as does most of NZ. And those Brits that don’t are unlikely to be affording to fly to NZ to look for work.

    • r0b 14.2

      fuck any move to internationalism and any freedom of movement for people

      No, don’t fuck it, but manage it better than this proposal.

      This “we’ll be overrun” (by the poor and unwashed) really is a nasty, sick fuck way of thinking.

      I find that interpretation of what I said both upsetting and unfair. The “poor and unwashed” won’t rush to NZ, they haven’t the resources. But the well off might, throwing further fuel on the property fire flames that make things harder for our own “poor and unwashed”.

      while your entitlement compels you to be flying and driving here and there

      You know nothing about me Bill.

      • Bill 14.2.1

        The ‘you’ in my comment is not a reference to you r0b. It’s the general ‘you’ as in ‘one’, and I’m responding as much to the tenor of comments as I am your post.

        And (to Weka) it’s simply not true that most of the UK’s population (or NZ’s) is in that global ~ 5% responsible for a huge chunk of emissions. Well, unless you’re thinking that , more or less, ‘everybody’ in the UK and NZ is middle class.

        edit – as for house prices, they can be controlled and (here’s a thought!) many people don’t want to buy a fcking house and would be content with a secure, affordable rented home.

        • r0b

          The ‘you’ in my comment is not a reference to you r0b. It’s the general ‘you’ as in ‘one’.

          Ahh well, then my apologies for misreading you.

        • weka

          “And (to Weka) it’s simply not true that most of the UK’s population (or NZ’s) is in that global ~ 5% responsible for a huge chunk of emissions. Well, unless you’re thinking that , more or less, ‘everybody’ in the UK and NZ is middle class.”

          My head is full of footprinting figures. I’d like to see the 5% definition re emissions (and I assume it’s only some classes of emissions) if you have a link handy.

          Footprinting models look at things like how your country generates power, how many people live in your dwelling etc. In the UK and NZ everyone who uses power is part of the emissions issue.

          The dwelling one is interesting, because globally one of the core reasons for the west having a big footprint is because of the size of housing relative to the numbers of people living there. Even where you have full occupancy, the footprint doesn’t shrink that much. It’s probably something to do with embodied energy in the build too.

          In that sense being middle class or not is less of an issue than how countries collectively are managing resources (that’s a different thing entirely than who is responsible of course).

          “edit – as for house prices, they can be controlled and (here’s a thought!) many people don’t want to buy a fcking house and would be content with a secure, affordable rented home.”

          Yes, of course (although renters are affected by middle class immigration to NZ too). But is it likely that NZ will any time soon do anything useful about land prices?

          • Bill

            If I live two streets away from a person who hops back and forth to China on business, my ‘footprint’ will be massively and artificially increased due to the averaging embedded in any ‘footprint’ modeling.

            The ~1 – 5% = 50% is a long observed and accepted universal ‘rule of thumb’ (ie, it’s not precise) relating to system inputs and outputs. Think wealth distribution or any other number of things from mechanics through to the natural world, and the 20/80 ratio is just…there. When you run it recursively (twice), you arrive at 1:50.

          • Foreign Waka

            Very unscientific and politically colored argument – carbon footprint. Reduction of emission is correct in term all else is a money spinning exercise. carbon Credits are no traded like shares. What does that tell you?

    • adam 14.3

      The most sensible comment on here Bill.

      There was a time when internationalism was a part of the labour movement – seems were all individuals now.

      Ever wondered why the elites spend so much time and effort on policies of division and conflict?

      • weka 14.3.1

        Adam, are you proposing open borders? Is that what you mean by internationalism?

        • Enough is Enough

          That is a good question Weka.

          How far do our socialist leanings and concern for humanity lead us. Do we only care about the underclass that were born within our geographical borders. Why does our humanity not extend further than that?

          Do we simply say fend for yourselves because you were unlucky enough to be born in an impoverished lawless country. That is an attitude righties have towards beneficiaries in New Zealand.

          Not an easy question to answer. I don’t have the answer.

          • Bill

            AGW won’t be recognising any silos. It’s a global human problem and it doesn’t matter a flying fuck whether a person located in the UK is producing emissions or whether that same person is residing in NZ. The same end results.

            As for under and over population, it takes two seconds of thinking about it to realise that a sparse population can result in increased per head emissions – as can an over populated area. Nobody seems to be wondering what any optimum population density might be.

            Now, it’s just possible that NZ should be open to immigration precisely because of AGW.

            If that’s a reasonably arguable position, and I believe it is, then the next question is whether immigration policies should embrace notions of equity, or continue to be administered on the basis of economic privilege, where the more privileged enjoy enhanced access while the economically disadvantaged are figuratively ,and sometimes literally, cast adrift.

            edit – comment made in spite of favouring open borders.

        • adam

          Yeap – how did my Whānau come did, oh that’s right on a Waka. I even have a whaling seaman who jumped ship. That’s beside the point, actually it is the point – if you can survive sailing here – I say come.

          Hell, the majority of people who come here – leave – even Maori now are leaving in great numbers. How many Maori in Australia? 140,000- 170,000 +

          Most people don’t want to leave family and home – so I’m guessing we won’t see massive migration anyway. That said, why should working people be excluded because they are working people?

          What is wrong with migration, why is migration now a class privilege?

          Environmental issues on this issue, are just a smokescreen for beating down on the poor.

      • Bill 14.3.2

        You mean division and conflict that produces results like the Indo- Bangladeshi, 3 400 km long, 3m high, floodlit, barbed wire fence that will hem in climate refugees attempting escape from Bangladesh- oops, sorry, that’ll stop drug smuggling?

  15. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15

    What? “Share”? “Help other survivors”? It’s a dog-eat-smaller-yappy-dog world out there, “friend”, and if ya ain’t strong enough to defend yourself… Oh, I see what you’re about, you want to stick a crazy straw in my neck and steal my stuff, don’t you?! That’s right, back away from the crazy person… Crazy-Prepared like a FOX!

  16. Ad 16

    Do we have an immigration expert among us that can discuss the Au-NZ Transport Tasman Travel Arrangement?

    The report is calling for an extension of this to include UK , as a mechanism.

  17. This is just a way of getting rid of all them Eastblock bludgers, bennies and troublesome Muslims. A kind of lets send our unwanted to Australia/New Zealand again!

  18. Aerobubble 18

    Oops. Tory UK wanna bee pm, not even a mp, said something.

  19. Chooky 19

    +100 Anthony Robins…great post!…totally agree!

  20. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20

    “Good control of our own borders” is such an obvious dog whistle for keeping out people like Ev.

  21. Chooky 21

    Interestingly Prof David Bloom is in the country discussing the economics of aging populations and argues NZ should concentrate on immigration policy amongst other things



    Professor David Bloom is a specialist in economics and demography based at the Harvard School of Public Health. He consults internationally to public and private sector organisations, including divisions of the United Nations, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He says an ageing population need not be an economic burden – and explains how such a burden can be avoided.




  22. Chooky 22

    Any population increase should be up to the Tangata Whenua…of New Zealand

    Tangata whenua (Māori pronunciation: [ˈtaŋata ˈfɛnʉ.a]) is a Māori term of the indigenous peoples of New Zealand and literally means “people of the land”, from tangata, ‘people’ and whenua land.

    ( Remember Palestine….Remember Tibet….where the natives of the land have been swamped and driven homeless by uninvited)

  23. GRiM 23

    When will the left grow the fuck up?

    It is a form of arrogance to think everybody shares your beliefs and ethics,
    It is naive to think people from different backgrounds will play by your rules.

    Believing in fairness and equality is all well and good, but don’t expect everyone to subscribe to your viewpoint.

    No I am not talking about immigrants!

    No I’m talking about the right wing corporate cocksucking arseholes who when specific topics are mentioned flock to this site, and the soft cock PC rose-tinted glasses wearing, regardless of our differences, “we’re all the same” delusional fools that think they are here for meaning-full discussion. They are not, they are here to fuck with you.

    There are junior nats that post here regularly pretending to be labour/green etc who’s sole purpose is to twist and disrupt meaning-full debate, if you know where to look you can see them gloating about it,

    You wonder why the left online communities can never build momentum or form a consensus?

    • Chooky 23.1

      @ GRiM…yes they are all over here and other Left sites like a rash…but they are usually easy to spot and ignore

      ….and who knows?….some of the more ethical and those able to think for themselves ….may actually learn something …and even change their minds on issues

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