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Border Force fiasco – how would NZ respond?

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, August 29th, 2015 - 128 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, activism, australian politics, racism - Tags: , ,

Yesterday Melbourne stood up for human rights:

Controversial Australian Border Force visa checks, Operation Fortitude cancelled

A major policing operation planned for Melbourne’s CBD this weekend has been cancelled after a backlash over plans to include Australian Border Force (ABF) officials in the crackdown.

Victoria Police issued a press release saying Operation Fortitude had been cancelled this afternoon.

Earlier, the ABF had said it would be checking people’s visas on the streets of the city centre as part of the operation, which also involved Victoria Police and other agencies.

The original announcement quoted ABF regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith as saying officers would be positioned at various locations around the city and would speak “with any individual we cross paths with”.

The ABF then issued another statement saying: “To be clear, the ABF does not and will not stop people at random in the streets … the ABF does not target of the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity”.

More details were expected to be released in a press conference at 2:00pm, but the event was cancelled after demonstrators began assembling outside Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station to protest against the operation.

The statement about the operation’s cancellation was then issued. …

Other coverage:

An operation involving the Australian Border Force that was to target potential visa fraudsters in the heart of Melbourne has been cancelled following a public backlash.

The Abbott government is under pressure to explain why the police-led operation including the ABF involved stopping people for visa checks – a measure independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie compared to East Germany’s Stasi.

Well done to the people of Melbourne. It’s inspiring to read of people standing up en masse to oppose the abuse of state power. But I must admit that on this occasion I am also left with a slightly uneasy feeling. Would have done it in NZ? In the same position, would we stand up? Given what we let the Key government get away with, I fear that we would not.

128 comments on “Border Force fiasco – how would NZ respond?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    One third of the protesters are just the sort of rent-a-crowd mob who oppose any kind of Police state, and the rest are misinformed.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1

      I would have thought we should all oppose any kind of police state or do you think that there is some sort of benevolent police state

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      One third of the protesters are just the sort of rent-a-crowd mob who oppose any kind of Police state, and the rest are misinformed.

      Simply brilliant ha!

  2. Tinfoilhat 2

    Perhaps if we look back to some of the comments on this site during the xenophobic bashing during the release of information regarding house purchases by those with ‘Chinese sounding’ names we might get an idea of how the NZ public might react ?

  3. JanM 3

    I think that would be a step too far, as many people would imagine it impacting on them personally, unlike many of this lot’s nastier policies which are happening to ‘them’, i.e the poor and dispossessed

  4. adam 4

    To answer the question “Would have done it in NZ? In the same position, would we stand up?”

    If we look to the past, especially over water – we rolled. The anti democratic practices in Canterbury – we rolled.

    On the good news front – Ireland.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Protest scheduled for next weekend is targeted to shut down the ‘Stasi’ police state passport checking operations at all Australian airports and borders.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Whats police state about that ?
      Passports are what is required for international travel, not domestic.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        And so are visas. More especially while a passport and visa is required to enter a country, a visa is what determines the terms and conditions of your stay.

        I guess I’m asking the question – if we accept that it’s is ok to check for these things at the border – what is fundamentally different about checking for them inside the country?

        • freedom 5.1.1.1

          if you have to ask that question, chances are you won’t understand the answer

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1

            Go on – give it a go.

            • freedom 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Sorry Red, not going to play this game. 🙂
              but I will borrow from some words of others.

              ‘First they came for the over-stayers, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not an over-stayer.

              Then they came for the unemployed, and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not unemployed.

              Then they came for the low wage workers and I did not speak out—
              Because I was not a low wage worker.

              Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.’

              • RedLogix

                OK fair enough. You obviously have strong enough feelings and ideas on this to make a comment, but now you don’t want to back yourself.

                Because logically if you don’t think a nation-state should have the authority to determine and enforce it’s border control regulations – specifically it’s visa terms – then really you should just say so.

                Or if you DO think it’s reasonable for a nation to impose visa’s – but you don’t like the way they were going to go about enforcing them in Melbourne – then I can’t see what is so hard about saying that either. I’d likely agree with you.

                Or is there something else I’ve missed?

                • weka

                  how about a link explaining what the protest is about?

                • I think the key is this

                  “The ABF then issued another statement saying: “To be clear, the ABF does not and will not stop people at random in the streets … the ABF does not target of the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity”.”

                  which is untrue.

                  Border checking is more loved by the authorities because then you can sort them at the border based on what??? race, religion and ethnicity. Much harder when inside the borders – but the principles are the same – look for those different looking/sounding ones and just ‘check’ their documentation. This practice has a long history and it never works well for those inside the tent or outside it imo.

                  • RedLogix

                    Border checking is easier because the numbers are far smaller and you can afford the resources to just process everyone regardless.

                    Once inside the country visa control is much harder because of the sheer numbers involved.

                    As it happens I’m heading into Melbourne this afternoon. I’m here on a SCV444 visa category like many other kiwis. If I was stopped and asked for evidence of this the chances are I wouldn’t be carrying my passport, so this would be an administrative challenge right there.

                    And in nations like Aus and NZ we certainly aren’t accustomed to carrying documents around all the time, and being challenged to produce them by officials. I do understand the connotations and I am aware of how I would likely feel in the not neglible chance it were to happen to me.

                    On the other hand from it’s own data the ABF damn well knows it’s got a significant overstayer (visa fraud) problem in Melbourne. Are we arguing they should just turn a blind eye and not enforce them because it’s ‘too hard’?

                    In which case why bother issuing visas in the first place? Why bother with passports? What is the justification for borders at all?

                    • weka

                      No, Red. People are arguing that this particular operation was stupid and racist (and it’s been made plain why they think that). YOU are the one trying to make the argument about border protection in general. Why not say what you mean and make your case?

                    • “What is the justification for borders at all?”

                      I cannot see any justification personally – the reason they are enforced is to ensure the resources of an area are available for the elite and when that stops working the elite change the borders. Of course island nations and so on have physical boundaries that are borders. Indigenous peoples have seen this in action all over the place since year dot.

                    • weka

                      and yet most cultures for human history have devised ways of allocating how resources can be used by geography. This makes sense to me, especially if we look at the issue from an ecological point of view. There are only so many humans that can live on an area of land sustainably. Beyond that is either species overshoot and collapse, and/or ecology collapse.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      What is racist about checking visas?

                      And if you insist it is racist to check them on the street, then why is it NOT racist to check them at the border? What is the difference?

                      @marty

                      Which is a fair answer. I really don’t mind you making that case.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What is racist about checking visas?

                      You should ask poor and working class Blacks in the USA what’s racist about being stopped by police and having their car searched or persons frisked.

                      Police have a right to ensure people aren’t carrying weapons or contraband, right? Nothing racist with that…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I cannot see any justification personally – the reason they are enforced is to ensure the resources of an area are available for the elite and when that stops working the elite change the borders.

                      Wrong. Borders are enforced because governments actually realise that a limited amount of land has limited resources and thus can only support a limited number of people.

                      Then there’s the cultural chaos that happens when a local population become the minority by an immigrant population (I’m Māori can tell you about that).

                      Then there’s the chaos that happens when a population expands faster than the infrastructure can be expanded to support them. Result is not enough food, declining housing and social tension often leading to violence.

                      We don’t have free movement of people because it doesn’t friggen work thus we have borders and we control them.

                    • RedLogix

                      @CV

                      Police have a right to ensure people aren’t carrying weapons or contraband, right?

                      Well that is part of their job description. If you think they should stop doing these things, then make a case.

                      But otherwise the best way to stop racist targeting is for the police to simply stop and search everyone.

                    • weka

                      “What is racist about checking visas?”

                      I haven’t said that checking visas is racist, please stop making shit up. Then, tell us how the police in Melbourne were going to check visas in a way that wasn’t racist. I’m really curious to know that.

                      Then read what CV said, because he addresses the actual point, which is that the state carries out policy in racist ways.

                      I’m gobsmacked that that has to be spelt out tbh.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well that is part of their job description. If you think they should stop doing these things, then make a case.

                      But otherwise the best way to stop racist targeting is for the police to simply stop and search everyone.

                      Why should I have to make a case for the protection of universal civil liberties?

                      And do you really think if everyone’s civil liberties are infringed upon equally by the authorities, its all OK?

                      RL, that’s not the way it EVER happens.

                      How often do you think the cops in the US pull over an old Taurus driven by a black man, compared to a new Mercedes driven by a white guy in a suit.

                      How often do US police shoot a white person running from them compared to a black person running from them?

                      Running is a sign of guilt, right?

                    • weka

                      “But otherwise the best way to stop racist targeting is for the police to simply stop and search everyone.”

                      Would you prefer the police to have more funding to do this or that they drop some of their other work?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why should I have to make a case for the protection of universal civil liberties?

                      What universal civil liberties?

                      No-one’s allowed to break the law.

                    • McFlock

                      Red, you’re required to have a visa to be in Aus.

                      Imagine you didn’t. Bit were still stopped at every streetcorner and your papers were checked for no reason. And if you weren’t carrying your papers, you were detained until your identity was verified.

                      Yeah, nah.

                    • RedLogix

                      @McFlock

                      Well what I do carry with me at all times are a Drivers License and a Medicare card. Surprising how often I need them.

                      So from there I’m sure any electronically connected ABF Officer could do a fast lookup for my current visa status within seconds.

                      If you didn’t have them, then probably I’d get asked for my address, my employer, bank card, phone number, where I was staying or some such. If I could give sensible answers I doubt I’d be detained.

                      Your question is – should be have to carry identity documents with us at all times? The answer is, pretty much for all sorts of practical reasons it is the case by de-facto already.

                      Would I enjoy the experience? Of course not – such intrusion is naturally unwelcome. Would I consider it a cost worth paying to reduce immigration and visa fraud? Harder to tell, I don’t have a fixed idea on that just yet.

                    • @ draco

                      no not wrong at all

                      what happened and is still happening to Māori is colonisation and that mate is a little bit more than just immigration.

                      sure fear colonisation all you like but immigration is not the same thing.

                      btw I’m consistently amazed by how you go from distrusting govt to trusting them depending upon whether it fits your argument or not…

                    • weka

                      Your question is – should be have to carry identity documents with us at all times? The answer is, pretty much for all sorts of practical reasons it is the case by de-facto already.

                      No, it’s really not. One, we don’t have to carry documentation unless we are engaged in a specific activity (eg driving). That’s a basic civil liberty right there and not one to be given up lightly.

                      Two, I don’t always take my wallet with me when I go out, so it’s not defacto, but this relates back to One, there is no penatly nor enforcement.

                      “In which case why bother issuing visas in the first place? Why bother with passports? What is the justification for borders at all?”

                      That’s just stupid. Obviously the visa system enables all sort of things including checking at airports, but also applying for jobs etc. You seem to be arguing all or nothing, which is one good reason why you ideas shouldn’t form the basis of civil liberties protection.

                      The other stuff about stop and question is ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff and it’s hard to see how it would work. Put a check point at every train station? That would require either compulsory carrying of documentation, or a huge bureaucracy to process the people who didn’t have any. If I get caught driving without a licence I just have to present it within x days to the nearest police station. I’m betting the ratio of stops to people without licences on them is pretty low.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      Of course there is no mandatory requirement to carry ID at present. And like most people I’d hugely prefer it to stay that way.

                      But in practise most people do carry something with them, most of the time. As I said before, for all sorts of quite ordinary transactions you need ID.

                      Here’s one – a few months back we spent a really interesting day in the Federal Parliament building in Canberra. And to gain admission required a similar security process to an airport. You need a Medicare care for every doctors and chemist visit.

                      You need shitloads of ID to get a phone or power connected. More to rent a place. Or to apply for a job. Did I mention the library? It’s pretty much an unfortunate fact of modern life that you need ID for any commercial transaction beyond a simple cash purchase.

                      So while in principle I agree with the civil libertarians here – in practise most of us carry ID most of the time – and the world has not come to an end. Even it is a tad irritating at times.

                      Obviously the visa system enables all sort of things including checking at airports, but also applying for jobs etc.

                      Immigration Officers probably used to be able to do an effective job by targeting workplaces. But there is reasonable evidence to suggest that isn’t so effective anymore. Too many dodgy employers and illegals colluding to evade the law.

                      Clearly people are not willing to accept carte-blanche mass checking of visa and residency status across the board. But equally the problem is not going away either, and if we look past Australia and New Zealand – it’s not hard to find countries with far more draconian regimes than we are used to.

                    • McFlock

                      it’s not hard to find countries with far more draconian regimes than we are used to.

                      This is true.

                      It is not a reason to copy them, though.

                      What next – bringing back the Dawn Raids? After all, it’s only a minor inconvenience, and most people would have their ID at home, anyway… they’d also be a damned sight more successful than announcing an inner-city dragnet of random stops ahead of time.

                    • weka

                      @ Red, I live in the country and would only take my wallet out the door with me if I was going to town or the dairy. The rest of the time I don’t. I’d say that’s true for many people here.

                      You’re still missing the crucial distinction between lots of people carry ID a lot of the time and everyone has to carry ID or they will be punished. For you the freedom is a nice to have you are willing to give up to get rid of the nasty immigrants. For me the freedom is something crucial to the commons and I would fight to retain it.

                    • RedLogix

                      It is not a reason to copy them, though.

                      Australia and NZ have relatively easy borders to manage. I’m not sure how smug and judgmental we should be about other nations with far more difficult borders and immigration challenges.

                      Nor, in the light of what is happening in Europe, have we much grounds for complacency.

                      The clumsy and bungled ABF thing in Melbourne was an easy and fat target for ridicule. Clearly the idea of stopping people at random in the Melbourne CBD was never going to fly. But equally we cannot so lightly dismiss the fact that in the absence of effective border control, Australia and NZ would be very, very different places.

                      Somewhere in between these two extremes we are going to have a lot more debate in the coming years.

                      Anyway – I’m off. To Melbourne for the evening ironically enough.

                      @weka

                      Of course there is no mandatory requirement to carry ID at present. And like most people I’d hugely prefer it to stay that way.

                      So you read this as me not being able to tell difference between voluntary and mandatory carrying of ID? Where did I go wrong?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      no not wrong at all

                      what happened and is still happening to Māori is colonisation and that mate is a little bit more than just immigration.

                      You were wrong then and still wrong now. When immigration overwhelms the native population, as Europeans did with Māori, then we have colonisation and that is what would actually happen with the free movement of people.

                    • nah you are incorrect – they are different processes but I do find it interesting that, like the righties, you think immigration leads to colonisation – incorrect as that is – maybe this will help

                      I have to say, I really love it when white people compare the migration of non-whites (immigrant minorities) to wealthy countries to the colonization of other lands by whites as if those two concepts were simply reversals of the other (kind of like when white folks bring up “reverse racism”). They are no such thing: One involves wealth, power, and privilege, and the other – more often than not – involves escaping a place with few opportunities for one where there is (at least theoretically) more opportunity and freedom, and often very little power at all.

                      http://jilliancyork.com/2009/08/28/because-colonialism-and-immigration-are-basically-the-same-thing/

                    • weka

                      It seems like an important distinction, but…

                      Open borders doesn’t just mean the migration of non-whites/poor people. In NZ I’m willing to bet that the biggest influx would be middle class Europeans and USians as much as anyone. People who could afford a plane ticket for a start, who already speak English, and many who already know people here. We already have far more people from those places wanting into NZ than we are willing to take, including many who have visited here as tourists or on working visas who would have stayed if allowed.

                      The other thing is that there seems to be this implication that there would be some kind of balancing out with open borders. How does that work?

                    • Perhaps we need to address the idea that the nation states within borders are immutable and unchanging – as in the people there want to keep it the way it is and ‘always has been’ verses the reality of continuous change as people come and go.

                      Personally it seems to me that the situation we are in now cannot accept the new reality – something will have to give/change/adapt – I think that will have to be us – the western world.

                      There are no easy answers and the clock continues to tick with the effects of climate change and cheap energy kicking in – I find I can’t move much from, “what if they were us”.

                • freedom

                  sticks and stones blah blah blah Redlogix

                  You do realise you just supplied the perfect example of why I will not be playing (any further)
                  “Because logically if you don’t think a nation-state should have the authority to determine and enforce it’s border control regulations – specifically it’s visa terms – then really you should just say so. ”

                  1: I never said any such thing
                  2: mm no, number 1 pretty much covers it

                • weka

                  “I guess I’m asking the question – if we accept that it’s is ok to check for these things at the border – what is fundamentally different about checking for them inside the country?”

                  Because most people assume that once they’re inside the country they have civil liberties.

                  Because the state is institutionally racist.

                  Because there is no way to check visas by looking at someone other than by looking at someone. As opposed to say looking at everyone’s paper work that gets off a plane.

                  How about you explain how visas could be checked on the street if not by looking at someone. Or do you think that it’s a good use of the police’s time to stop people randomly (what % of people in Melbourne would have dodgy visas), and how would you make that blind?

                  I’m also curious as to how stopping someone on the street would be a useful way to check their visa. Do you carry your passport and entry documentation with you at all times?

                  • RedLogix

                    Because most people assume that once they’re inside the country they have civil liberties.

                    Does this include the ‘civil liberty’ to commit visa fraud – or overstay?

                    Do you carry your passport and entry documentation with you at all times?

                    No and as I replied to mm above obviously this may be an issue.

                    On the other hand maybe the ABF could use some other ID I always carry like a driver’s license, or Medicare card (both with photos) as a first pass. I’d imagine they could cross-check that information with their own database pretty quickly.

                    The core question is – is the act of being stopped and questioned at random in streets an inherently ‘police state’ characteristic. And if so how is it so different to the fact that in the two years I’ve been here I must have been stopped while driving to check for alcohol, license and warrant at least a dozen times?

                    • weka

                      “Does this include the ‘civil liberty’ to commit visa fraud – or overstay?”

                      Please point to where someone has said that.

                      “The core question is – is the act of being stopped and questioned at random in streets make this a ‘police state’. And is so how is it so different to the fact that in the two years I’ve been here I must have been stopped while driving to check for alcohol, license and warrant at least a dozen times?”

                      May as well cut to the chase and just go for dawn raids.

                      It’s not the core question. You want to make it the core question, but I think you should just come out with it and say what YOU think instead of projecting your views onto others. eg if you believe that Australians should carry citizenship ID by law, then just say so.

                      For many of us here the core question is why people end up illegaly immigrating and what are the ethical ways for the state to respond to that. You are focussing on how to catch illegal immgrants and appear to be advocating a reduction of civil liberties and human rights to do so.

                    • RedLogix

                      You are focussing on how to catch illegal immgrants and appear to be advocating a reduction of civil liberties and human rights to do so.

                      State power enforcing any and all illegal acts involves the reduction of ‘civil liberties’ to some degree.

                      One of the important roles of politics is to define the balance between the individual rights and the right of society to impose it’s rules and norms.

                      So my question remains – if we accept that overstaying visas IS illegal – then what is an acceptable way to go about enforcing this?

                      You’ve ruled out dawn raids, random stopping in the streets and you’d probably object to ABF visits to workplaces as well. So either you are arguing that the problem is too hard and we should just give up on enforcing them – or you have some alternate ideas that would be an acceptable balance between enforcement and liberty?

                    • weka

                      “So my question remains – if we accept that overstaying visas IS illegal – then what is an acceptable way to go about enforcing this?”

                      FFS Red, answer your own questions. Go on, I dare you.

                      “You’ve ruled out dawn raids, random stopping in the streets and you’d probably object to ABF visits to workplaces as well. So either you are arguing that the problem is too hard and we should just give up on enforcing them – or you have some alternate ideas that would be an acceptable balance between enforcement and liberty?”

                      Nah, today I’m standing up and saying the police action in Melbourne is ill conceived, probably racist, and stupid. R0b has asked use to consider what would happen in NZ. I’d be interested in talking about that. I’m not interested in developping Australian state and police policy on immigration control, not least because it’s deeply complex and related to a whole bunch of race issues specific to that place which would require a much more detailed conversation than we are having here. If you think that superficial actions like street control are useful and valid, make the argument. If you want to say what you think should happen, have at it.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      I’ve made a clear case that IF you accept the case for border controls, then logically you also have to accept some loss of civil liberty in the pursuit of enforcing them.

                      Everyone else has loudly denounced things like random street checks and dawn raids. Which leaves the traditional approach of investigating workplaces, which is probably not as effective as it once used to be – but at least it’s conducted out of sight and doesn’t cause most people much discomfort.

                      But given that border control generally is becoming a more stressful issue for all nations, it is fair to ask where does the left want to go on this?

                      At one end of the scale we could argue to simply abandon them altogether as marty has done. In a more ideal world I could actually get my head around this.

                      Or we go down the ‘fortress island’ route which by accident of geography NZ has the luxury of being able to assume as a default position. By virtue of isolation and small size NZ does not have a significant overstayer issue. Certainly not one to justify random street stops and checks.

                      But it’s not the same in other places. Border and visa control varies considerably around the world. When I was working in Russia some years back, I literally had to make a trip to the city visa office every 72 hrs to get a stamp. Or try making a visa mistake when entering the USA. And as you rightly point out, Australia does have it’s own unique context, different to NZ’s.

                      The days of our forefathers being able to roam the planet with no bureaucratic constraints are over. Indeed since WW2 the trend has been for the barriers to only be raised. And in that context I suspect it is only a matter of time before visa checks generally become more intrusive and will impinge on civil liberties more than we would like.

                    • weka

                      I’ve asked multiple times for you to state what YOU think (instead of simply asking questions). In the absence of you doing so, I am now going to surmise that you are in favour of decreasing civil liberties as necessary as much as necessary in order to control illegal immigrants.

                      Other people have put up arguments about how to address migration problems, which you appear to be completely ignoring in your synopsis of the issues.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ weka

                      In my reply at 2:21 I have stated what I think. That immigration control and visa issues are becoming more challenging and not less. Any realistic expectation is that nations will respond to this with more intrusion in our lives not less.

                      It’s worth remembering that that once upon a time the idea of police randomly stopping drivers was considered pretty horrible, yet with the right legal checks and balances, combined with better police tactics and training we’ve become accustomed to them. It hasn’t been the end of the world.

                      Dealing with the wider issues and causes of uncontrolled immigration is a wider and perfectly fine debate. But that was not what the OP focused on.

                • dukeofurl

                  Why dont we have street checks to see if individuals are complying with their parole conditions. There could be a few, very few on release from prison which may be outside their curfew.

                  Then there is taxes, lets stop people and check they are up to date with student loans and their taxes.
                  A golf club on saturday would be a interesting result !
                  I bet you would march in the streets to stop street checks on taxpayers!

                  Do you now see the absurdity of your reductio ad absurdum argument.

                  The state requires compelling reasons in a free and democratic society to impose its police powers.
                  Checking border documents at the border meets that need, walking the streets on a friday night isn’t one.

                  • weka

                    spot on.

                    In NZ we should start with benes. Street checks to make sure they’re not high, or shop checks to make sure they’re not spending the state’s money on luxuries. Better yet, just make them all have IDs and eftpos cards that allow only certain kinds of transactions.

                  • RedLogix

                    Checking border documents at the border meets that need, walking the streets on a friday night isn’t one.

                    That blatantly evades the issue.

                    If you are ok with checking visas at the border; but someone chooses to commit an offence by overstaying or breaking the terms of that visa – then what?

                    How do you think the state should go about responding to this?

                    @weka

                    Not a good comparison. Overstaying is a crime; benes spending money on ‘luxuries’ is not.

                    • weka

                      “If you are ok with checking visas at the border; but someone chooses to commit an offence by overstaying or breaking the terms of that visa – then what?”

                      Answer the question yourself Red. You are the one blatantly avoiding the issue. Just state plainly what you think.

                      Myself, I don’t care that much if someone is overstaying or breaking the terms of their visa. Sure, the state should be trying to do something about that, but not by targeting people on the street (which is what this thread is about). There are class and ethnicity issues on why some people are allowed in and some people aren’t and so sneak in or overstay. I’m in favour of border control, but you aren’t arguing border control, you are arguing for increased surveillance to catch criminals. Those increases will be abused and will lessen civil liberties.

                      As for benes, it’s illegal to take drugs and yet benes are the ones being targeted by the state, because. The comparison is around how we lessen civil liberties in an attempt to target certain classes of people, a point you appear to have missed.

                    • RedLogix

                      Myself, I don’t care that much if someone is overstaying or breaking the terms of their visa.

                      If someone gets a six month tourist visa, but just disappears with the assurance that the state will do little or nothing to enforce it – then you’ve pretty much negated the purpose of your border control.

                      It’s like having parking meters on the streets, but no-one to actually enforce them.

                      you are arguing for increased surveillance to catch criminals. Those increases will be abused and will lessen civil liberties.

                      As a general argument that’s pretty weird. Of course all state power reduces civil liberties to some extent and can be abused. But we also accept that this does not justify eliminating (or in this case neglecting) them either. On the balance they deliver a greater good than evil.

                      The comparison is around how we lessen civil liberties in an attempt to target certain classes of people, a point you appear to have missed.

                      Well if you have evidence that there are ‘certain classes’ of people who are more likely commit visa fraud then now would be a good time to point to it.

                    • weka

                      If someone gets a six month tourist visa, but just disappears with the assurance that the state will do little or nothing to enforce it – then you’ve pretty much negated the purpose of your border control.

                      I haven’t suggested that the state do little or nothing, you just made that up.

                      “you are arguing for increased surveillance to catch criminals. Those increases will be abused and will lessen civil liberties.”

                      As a general argument that’s pretty weird. Of course all state power reduces civil liberties to some extent and can be abused. But we also accept that this does not justify eliminating (or in this case neglecting) them either. On the balance they deliver a greater good than evil.

                      I haven’t suggested eliminating or neglecting. You just made that up. You can’t claim that on balance they deliver a greater good until you state what you think should happen. All you have said so far is (a) decrease civil liberties if necessary and (b) that’s going to be ok. Thank god we have actual civil liberties protectors.

                      “The comparison is around how we lessen civil liberties in an attempt to target certain classes of people, a point you appear to have missed.”

                      Well if you have evidence that there are ‘certain classes’ of people who are more likely commit visa fraud then now would be a good time to point to it.

                      No, but I can point to certain classes of people who are likely to have their civil liberties infringed more than others in the attempt to control immigrants and visitors. But of course you are arguing that that is ok, because we have to catch these criminals.

                    • Bill

                      @RL

                      You’re taking into account that an over-stayer will be unable to access social welfare, or to get a legitimate job or somewhere to live and may well experience difficulty in doing something so simple as opening a bank account? (Not that they’re likely to need one given that they’re probably going to be destitute and living right on the fringes.)

                      I’ve been in a country for an extended period where I was unable to access services that were taken for granted by that country’s citizens. Trust me, to say ‘it ain’t an easy way to live’ would be a gross under-statement of the reality.

                      I guess I’m with marty mars on this one. fuck the border controls or the state controls. If you or I or anyone turns up somewhere and the local population is willing to incorporate us into their society*, then that should be that.

                      * there are thousands upon thousands of societies in NZ.

                    • weka

                      “If you or I or anyone turns up somewhere and the local population is willing to incorporate us into their society*, then that should be that.”

                      And if they’re not, what happens?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I haven’t suggested that the state do little or nothing, you just made that up.

                      Actually, weka, you have – by insisting that they don’t do anything within the borders of the state.

                      If you or I or anyone turns up somewhere and the local population is willing to incorporate us into their society*, then that should be that.

                      That’s just it Bill, we’re not hence the border controls, visas and other laws.

                    • Bill

                      @ Weka

                      If ‘we’re’ not, then we do as we do at present and continue to seek a society where we ‘fit’. Given, as I said, that there are thousands of societies in NZ, one will likely be found.

                      There’s an obvious caveat to what I say. The reality, as we all know, is that the societies within NZ have suffered from a process of homogenisation and ‘none’ of them are particularly empowered or coherent at present.

                      But since we’re talking ideas and possibilities in the face of an onerous and largely unaccountable – I’d argue illegitimate – state apparatus…

                    • RedLogix

                      @Bill.

                      I’ve no quibble with your experience. Being an ‘illegal’ is rarely any fun.

                      But the context in Melbourne is a little different. Not too hard to find illegal employment at below minimum wages, and all the ‘social support’ you need to get by. No bank accounts, all cash, no taxes no questions.

                      Of course it undercuts other employers who play by the rules.

                    • weka

                      “Actually, weka, you have – by insisting that they don’t do anything within the borders of the state.”

                      Where have I said that? Link please, so I know what you are referring to.

                      edit, I’ll save use all the bother. Here is where I explicity say the opposite,

                      Myself, I don’t care that much if someone is overstaying or breaking the terms of their visa. Sure, the state should be trying to do something about that, but not by targeting people on the street (which is what this thread is about).

                    • Bill

                      @ RL.

                      Illegal work is always a possible option. Helps if your single, young and fairly fit. But that doesn’t deal with the debilitating effect of always having to look over your shoulder, of being seriously precarious and being intelligently very reluctant to even seek medical care should the need arise.

                      What’s a lowly paid and highly exploited job worth when you have nothing to go with it?

                      I doubt anyone would wish it on anyone. And yet states want to vilify and persecute those in such a position. It’s basic class war in all its ugliest forms. See, the ‘illegal’ with a spare million or ten isn’t an illegal, are they? And yet, they may well contribute far, far less to the country they’re in than the piss poor illegal does.

                    • weka

                      “If ‘we’re’ not, then we do as we do at present and continue to seek a society where we ‘fit’. Given, as I said, that there are thousands of societies in NZ, one will likely be found.”

                      Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought you meant that a rohe could decide eg Dunedin, or St Clair, or whatever. Are you meaning more that there will be people within any given commnity that ok with the immigrants living there? What happens within that community when some people say no we don’t want x people living here?

                      There’s an obvious caveat to what I say. The reality, as we all know, is that the societies within NZ have suffered from a process of homogenisation and ‘none’ of them are particularly empowered or coherent at present.

                      Not sure we were ever that empowered or coherent. Back in the day before there was a state in NZ, British and European people already living here didn’t exactly behave well necessarily. And before that, iwi had protocols for deciding who could live where. You couldn’t just upsticks and go and live where you wanted. I think open borders is a very modern idea that doesn’t quite deal with issues of resource use or local governance. Worth exploring though.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @weka

                      My apologies.

                    • RedLogix

                      @Bill

                      It’s basic class war in all its ugliest forms.

                      And are not illegal’s working for $10 per hour in a war with working people on the minimum wage of $23 per hour?

                      Indeed are we not all at war with Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese or African workers who will do our jobs for 1/10th of what we are paid?

                      This war is somewhat moderated by the presence of borders and immigration controls, but not eliminated.

                      If you want to talk about the root causes of this economic warfare, and the means to eliminate it – I’m all ears. But in the meantime please excuse me if I don’t drop shields while the phasors are blasting hot.

                    • Bill

                      I’m not at war with Indian workers or Chinese workers or even illegal workers here in NZ. If the state didn’t deem them ‘illegals’ then they could be unionised, yes?

                      As for the disparity in international rates of pay and conditions, they are locked in (figuratively and practically) by borders, not ameliorated by them.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’m not at war with Indian workers or Chinese workers or even illegal workers here in NZ.

                      Yes you are. Just as unionised workers are always at war with non-unionised scabs.

                      I agree that is what borders achieve, indeed they do ‘lock in’ to some extent the disparities in incomes and conditions.

                      So when you argue for the dismantling of the nation-state and it’s borders, political and economic – I’d love to know how you would see these disparities playing out?

                      My impression is that in the absence of any constraint, either at the global or nation-state level – big money capitalism would merely drive incomes and conditions down to the lowest possible denominator.

                      At least slaves had to be fed, clothed and looked after reasonably well to get any productivity out of them. But in a world of billions of disposable bodies I doubt we’d even get that much consideration.

                    • weka

                      @ Draco, no worries.

                      @ Red

                      “And are not illegal’s working for $10 per hour in a war with working people on the minimum wage of $23 per hour?”

                      Funnily enough, the people I know who are concerned about their wage rates and job availability are looking at Western European and US workers on legal visas but who are ‘taking’ jobs because NZ employers are offering such crap emplyment conditions (no contracts, low pay). So this has nothing to do with illegal immigrants.

                      “Indeed are we not all at war with Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese or African workers who will do our jobs for 1/10th of what we are paid?”

                      I’m also not at war with those people. I’m at war with the people that create the conditions that means those people will settle for Australia/NZ because there’s nowhere else to go. The West wanted globalisation, so we have it, and the West makes great use of overseas slave labour, so we can hardly turn around and blame the people that have been making our cheap shoes and electronics. Unless we think they should be kept in their place.

                      “If you want to talk about the root causes of this economic warfare, and the means to eliminate it – I’m all ears. But in the meantime please excuse me if I don’t drop shields while the phasors are blasting hot.”

                      Illegal immigrants aren’t ammunition or soldiers, they’re collateral damage.

                    • weka

                      “At least slaves had to be fed, clothed and looked after reasonably well to get any productivity out of them.”

                      Red, sometimes your ignorance is astounding.

                    • “Illegal immigrants aren’t ammunition or soldiers, they’re collateral damage.”

                      That is the point – well made weka

                      plus that slaves comment from red shows he know nots – slaves ffs /shakes head slowly

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      I’m not defending slavery for a moment. It was a brutality from one end to the other. (And at the same time a constant feature of all human life for thousands of years.)

                      But a slave was usually a relatively expensive investment and it made no sense to disable them. They needed feeding, clothing and shelter if they were to ever repay the cost sunk into them.

                      Yet ironically enough in the modern world, we think ourselves free, yet our employers who lay claim to all our labour – are charged with fewer obligations towards us than a slave-owner of old might undertake.

                      So given a ‘market’ of billions of poor, desperate and often powerless bodies to be exploited – just how much obligation do you imagine unconstrained global capital might feel towards us all. Can you tell me how the rush towards gross extremes of wealth and poverty would play out?

                    • Bill

                      @ RL

                      Given the length of this un-nested exchange, I think I’ll make this my last comment. Maybe we can pick up the theme some other time.

                      Just want to say that in the absence of the modern nation state, the market economy falls. Suddenly all that economic power becomes impotent in the absence of a state enforcer/arbitrator. Sure, there is the possibility of private or corporate run militia keeping ‘us plebs’ in our place for a while, but it would a losing end game for the current ‘masters of the universe’.

                      edit – the alternative to states and market economies is, of course, democracy – sadly, an overly misused and abused term/idea.

  6. Kevin 6

    If FJK is comfortable with it? Not a chance of a protest.

  7. weka 7

    So what was the original police operation for? They were going out in force to make sure citizens are behaving themselves? Or is this some anti-terrorism thing?

    Victorian Police release a statement saying the public transport system will “be at its safest … as a diverse team of transport and enforcement agencies take to the streets as a part of Operation Fortitude”.

    The operation will involve Metro Trains, Yarra Trams, the Sheriff’s Office, Taxi Services Commission, Victoria Police and the Australia Border Force (ABF).

    Transit and Public Safety Command Acting Superintendent Campbell Mill says police will be showing strength in numbers.

    “While we are all separate organisations, we all have something in common — a responsibility to keep our community safe,” Acting Superintendent Mill says.

    “In order to do that, we need to ensure that people are behaving appropriately.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-28/timeline-of-how-operation-fortitude-unravelled/6733252

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Well just a tad further down on the same page weka is the following statement:

      The ABF releases its statement on the operation, saying it will speak “with any individual we cross paths with” and warning officers will be checking people’s visa details.

      “You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out,” ABF regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith says.

      I guess there are at least three questions here.

      One is – does Australia (or any other nation) have the legal and moral right to issue visas?

      And if so – was operation an appropriate way to go about enforcing them?

      And if not – then what alternative approaches do you think would be acceptable?

      • weka 7.1.1

        Are you saying that the primary objective of Operation Fortitude was to check visa/immgration?

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          Well it looks like the reason why the ABF were involved.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            RL do you believe that it will stop there. Do you believe that the authorities will exercise their powers lightly or judiciously.

            In some other countries where this is done, if your “papers are not in order” (as judged by the officer at the time) you will be frog marched off into an interrogation centre until your status can be “properly determined.”

            The ability for this to turn into a mechanism for intimidation and repression is huge.

            This is the whole concept behind the US Fourth Amendment.

            British troops were seizing and searching everything and everyone they wanted under the authority of a “General Warrant.”

            18th Century Americans thought that was pretty shit, and went to war over it and related issues.

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1.1

              RL do you believe that it will stop there. Do you believe that the authorities will exercise their powers lightly or judiciously.

              Authorities already have an enormous range of power available to them. More than enough to abuse. Yet the force (even weakened as it is these days) of democratic accountability generally ensures these powers are used judiciously.

              Of course the example you give is a terrific example of the abuse of a power in the absence of effective accountability. What 18th Century Americans went to war over was the right to establish their own democratic mechanisms in order to stop the abuse of the power.

              But note carefully – to this day their own Police still retain the right to stop and search. Obviously Americans are generally ok with police actually having the power and while I’m not pretending to be an expert in US law, I’d guess that there are whole rafts of legal conditions attaching to it’s use.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, middle and upper middle class whites are generally quite happy with the conduct of the police forces in the USA. If the authorities over reach their powers, those are the same types of citizens who have the means to be able to seek legal redress from the government.

                If you are poor, English your second language, aren’t educated, and don’t have access to the privileges that you and I assume for granted – how do you think that normally goes?

                • RedLogix

                  Badly of course.

                  So what is your response? Yell ‘police state’ and shoot all the cops?

                  Or get some proper lawyers on the job?

              • weka

                “Obviously Americans are generally ok with police actually having the power”

                Except in Ferguson etc. You are bascially making a white man’s argument.

                • RedLogix

                  What they are unhappy with is the abuse of the power.

                  I don’t see many Americans arguing for the police not to be able to perform their legally authorised jobs.

                  • weka

                    The state currently enables racism that routinely kills black people. I suggest you listen to them about what they are arguing for because I don’t think it’s what you suggest.

                    • RedLogix

                      Of course black America is deeply unhappy with the racist abuse of institutional power that convicts, imprisons and kills so many of them.

                      But I’m all ears for a link demonstrating a major groundswell of black Americans arguing for the dismantling, or neutering of their legal system and police forces as the best way to deal with it.

                      I’m trying to draw a really simple distinction here between the legitimate existence and purpose of authority – and the abuse of that authority.

                      Arguing that because power can corrupt implies that all power is wrong – is like arguing that because some people kill that all humans are killers. It’s an argument that deliberately omits the fact that both power and people are more than just corruption and death; that we have other greater virtues which ultimately transcend our failings.

                      Authority is to many people a vile word, but we have yet to devise any functioning world without it.

                    • weka

                      A whole bunch of strawpeople there of your own making, I suggest you take it up with them.

                      I still think that your simplification of what black people in the US think is wrong. There are not just two options here.

                    • RedLogix

                      I was trying to respond to your comment above:

                      “Obviously Americans are generally ok with police actually having the power”

                      Except in Ferguson etc. You are bascially making a white man’s argument.

                      I get they have every reason under the sun to loath a racist police force that abuses its power – but I had already clearly acknowledged that point.

                      So when you say “Except in Ferguson” what was I supposed to understand by that?

                    • weka

                      That the racist policeforce is a deeply embedded tool of the state and the white population. That we resist decreasing civil liberties for very good reasons (the state can’t be trusted). That your argument that it’s ok to decrease civil liberties in order to deal with illegal immigration either doesn’t take that into account or doesn’t care. Your argument is that the state and/or the police use their power judiciously. That’s not true if you are black. It’s a red herring to then start talking about technical differences between power and corruption, given they are so deeply entwined and self serving.

                    • Bill

                      @ RL

                      Only immutable or illegitimate authority be vile 😉

                      And it just isn’t so hard to imagine a world that would function just fine with authority that was neither illegitimate nor immutable and could never be immutable nor illegitimate. Back to that grossly misunderstood and abused term I used up in the endless thread above – democracy.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weka

                      It’s a red herring to then start talking about technical differences between power and corruption, given they are so deeply entwined and self serving.

                      If that is your view then if you are going to condemn the corruption then I’m compelled to assume you are condemning the power as well. Given how you are arguing for them as deeply entwined and inseparable.

                      Suddenly it’s no longer a ‘technical argument’. Because now it seems you are making a case for the demolition of all legal and police authority.

                      My position is simpler and very conventional. As with all human tools, legal power and authority is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. Yet without these tools we cannot construct and maintain the fabric of our complex societies, that used judiciously and fairly, authority generates far more good than evil.

                      The challenge is not the unthinking opposing of authority – but the mastery of it’s skillful use.

                      If we accept that Australia has the legal authority to enforce visa conditions – and yet random checks on the street are not an acceptable method of doing it – then what are your criteria for something you do find acceptable?

                    • weka

                      I’m not opposed to the existence of the state. You are confusing me with other people here I think.

                      The challenge is not the unthinking opposing of authority – but the mastery of it’s skillful use

                      Really? Because I see you wanting to hand tools to people in authoritty who will consolidate their power and abuse it. Who already do.

                      If we accept that Australia has the legal authority to enforce visa conditions – and yet random checks on the street are not an acceptable method of doing it – then what are your criteria for something you do find acceptable?

                      I’m assuming that the authorities in Melbourne intended to stop people on the basis of how they looked. So one criteria would be don’t have policy that’s carried out on such a basis. Because in the hands of pretty much any group of people that belong to the dominant cuture, that’s going to reinforce racism and lead to abuse.

                      If Australia really has such a big problem with illegal immigration that it’s considering such protocol, it’s time to taihoa and rethink the whole situation. What I hear you arguing is that instead of that, let’s just do the racist thing and the thing that will lessen civil liberties across the board because we are on some inexorable march towards more and more state control anyway.

  8. Gabby 8

    Do the Aussies not keep records on who enters on visas, and how long they can stay? Randomly stopping people seems a fairly inefficient way of checking. What happens when the stoppee says ‘Fuck off, I don’t have a visa’?

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Do the Aussies not keep records on who enters on visas, and how long they can stay?

      Yes of course they do. That is how they know they have a problem.

      Randomly stopping people seems a fairly inefficient way of checking.

      Got a better idea? It’s the same way they check for drunk drivers so while it’s inefficient in one sense, it’s not unprecedented.

      What happens when the stoppee says ‘Fuck off, I don’t have a visa’?

      If you are in the country illegally – then what do you expect? A sweet smile and a polite talking to?

      • weka 8.1.1

        “It’s the same way they check for drunk drivers so while it’s inefficient in one sense, it’s not unprecedented.”

        Are you saying that the Melbourne police intended on stopping every person leaving the train station? What’s the equivalent of the breath test?

        “What happens when the stoppee says ‘Fuck off, I don’t have a visa’?

        If you are in the country illegally – then what do you expect? A sweet smile and a polite talking to?

        Actually it’s an entirely appropriate question. Were they intending to arrest people? Is there a legal obligation to provide evidence of visa/immigration status when stopped on the street? If not, what happens when someone tells the police to eff off?

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/border-force-could-you-be-stopped-by-an-official-20150828-gja9gq.html

          Border Force officials have a range of powers to enforce migration laws, including the power to compel a person to produce such documents as visas and tax file numbers to check whether they are an unlawful non-citizen.

          On the other hand this is balanced by the requirement that:

          But the Human Rights Law Centre’s executive director, Hugh de Kretser, said all such powers could only be exercised if the official had a reasonable suspicion someone had breached a migration offence.

          What of course constitutes ‘reasonable suspicion’ is open to interpretation. Clearly just stopping someone because they look Asian is not good enough. Stopping people in the streets at random is not how the ABF normally works, and traditionally they have targeted people working illegally. Whether or not that approach is still considered fully effective is hard to tell.

          On the other hand, there is an enforcement argument that to avoid the accusation of racist ‘targeting’ they could just stop everyone and check – as they do with drunk driving.

          • weka 8.1.1.1.1

            Your first quote doesn’t answer the question. Go back and read it again.

            “On the other hand, there is an enforcement argument that to avoid the accusation of racist ‘targeting’ they could just stop everyone and check – as they do with drunk driving.”

            Who is making that argument?

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I did.

              In the bad old days cops could just hang out down the road from a pub and pretty efficiently target drunk drivers. But this was deemed ‘unfair’ – so they changed tactics to just stopping everyone at a checkpoint.

              No-one much likes it (and here in Vic I encounter one of them around once every two months) – but we accept the trade-off in civil liberty for a gain in road safety.

              Clearly people in Melbourne and NZ don’t see the cost of immigration and visa fraud as worth the liberty cost of being stopped and questioned in the street. (Although oddly enough they accept a far more intrusive checking every-time they pass through an international airport.)

              But I’m not at all sure this makes the issue go away. Because the pressure on the state to manage immigration and apply the law is only increasing.

              • weka

                Why was it unfair?

                Pub goers vs people of colour or accent, I can see why you would make the comparison /sarc

                If you can’t see the difference between what happens at an airport and what was about to happen in Melbourne, I probably can’t explain it to you. Which just leaves us with freedom’s point and not going to play.

                You still haven’t said what you think should happen.

                • RedLogix

                  If you can’t see the difference between what happens at an airport and what was about to happen in Melbourne, I probably can’t explain it to you.

                  Because on one level you can’t. If you strip away all the bureaucratic and legal artifice – it’s just a matter of distance.

                  The difference is that we have all grown up with the expectation that there will be a whole lot of civil liberty intrusion at a border. In fact arrival halls, customs areas and transit lounges are appalling places of legal limbo where your legal rights and civil liberties are massively curtailed.

                  Most people think that the important thing is the passport. It’s not, it’s only a pre-cursor to entry. And it’s only relevant at the moment you pass through passport control.

                  What is critical is the visa. That is what actually gives you the right to be in the country and it sets the terms and conditions you have to abide by. The problem for law enforcement is visa fraud in big countries like Australia is an increasing problem and very hard to deal with.

                  But if every attempted measure to address this enforcement issue is going to be shouted down as ‘police state’ – with no-one willing to state the criteria for what they think would be an acceptable process – then no I don’t have any answer you’d be happy with.

                  • Molly

                    What if you are an Australian citizen – who understandably enough – does not walk around with a copy of an official birth certificate on them?

                    Would it be reasonable for them to say – “Don’t have a visa mate. Born in Australia” and then expect the questioner to leave it at that?

                    If that is the case, then the most rational response to any random questioning on the street would be – “I’m an Australian citizen – don’t need a visa” – especially if you are an overstayer.

                    If you have never travelled overseas or got a driver’s licence – your only official document is a birth certificate. And we all know how easy it is to get a copy of those….

                    Your primary assumption – which is erroneous – is that random stopping will be an effective means of addressing the weaknesses of immigration and border control.

                    That is not true.

                    • RedLogix

                      ABF Officers are a bit smarter than this.

                      At no point did I suggest that random stopping is the only or necessarily most effective way to deal with the challenge. That’s YOUR assumption.

                      And I’ve consistently asked for any better suggestions anyone might have – but even that gets shouted down as well.

              • weka

                and while you are at it, please answer my earlier questions re the comparison with alcohol check points: are you suggesting that the police stop every person coming out of the train station and ask them about their visa? What’s the equivalent of the breath test?

      • Gabby 8.1.2

        If I say to you, ‘Fuck off, I don’t have a visa,’ can you tell whether I’m in the country illegally?

        • RedLogix 8.1.2.1

          If you do say that, then I’d suggest you have just created grounds for ‘reasonable suspicion’ in the mind of the officer.

          • weka 8.1.2.1.1

            try running that past any number of communities whose people get routinely unfairly harassed by police and see what happens.

            If I lived in Melbourne and I got stopped by police today I’d refuse to answer their questions unless they had a good reason to stop and question me. Of course I’m white and can pass for middle class and have a kiwi accent so I’d probably get away with it.

          • Gabby 8.1.2.1.2

            Reasonable suspicion of what?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.3

            If you do say that, then I’d suggest you have just created grounds for ‘reasonable suspicion’ in the mind of the officer.

            Reasonable suspicion has always been the legal grounds for gaining a court warrant to authorise the conducting of a search of a premises or persons.

            Australia seems to want to go down the old well worn road of utilising a “General Warrant” to go on fishing expeditions against people it does not like.

            That’s the end of liberal democracy for you right there.

            • RedLogix 8.1.2.1.3.1

              Reasonable suspicion has always been the legal grounds for gaining a court warrant to authorise the conducting of a search of a premises or persons.

              Immigration Officers work to a different set of rules. At a border control they have very broad and sweeping powers around detaining and questioning people, and not constrained much by the need for Court Orders.

              It does raise an interesting question – are those powers legally diminished or different outside the context of a border control ? I don’t know for certain, but I suspect not.

              • RedLogix

                More helpful information:

                Could ABF officers request visa information from people in the Melbourne CBD?

                ABF officers may in some circumstances be able to request details of a persons immigration status if they were in the Melbourne CBD. This is largely from existing powers under the migration act that would allow officers to require a person who they “know or reasonably suspect” is a non-citizen to present evidence of their lawful immigration status, or to provide details of their identity.

                These kind of “compliance checks” have happened in the past, as noted by the former immigration communications manager Sandi Logan. But in previous instances compliance checks were undertaken in much more limited ways, and often when there had been a tip-off about concerns at a particular location about immigration statuses.

                In the event ABF officers were deployed around the city to conduct visa checks, it’s difficult to see how they could “reasonably suspect” that a person was a non-citizen in order to request their visa details without any existing information to support that view.

                But if a lawful search resulted in finding that a person was in breach of their visa conditions and should not be residing in Australia, it is possible they could be taken into immigration detention.

                http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/aug/28/australian-border-force-melbourne-cbd-six-things-you-need-to-know-explainer

                So in principle it appears that ABF Immigration Officers have potentially more power than Police Officers – but that by convention they restrict themselves to exercising them at border controls or in a limited manner outside of that context.

  9. Gabby 9

    But nobody who lives there permanently has a visa. Maybe I look ‘foreign’.

  10. Bill 10

    Anyone mentioned the ‘Dawn Raids’ in relation to how NZ or NZ-ers might be expected to react?

  11. In the first sentence of the post is the term ‘human rights’.

    As red has noted above when borders, or to be frank immigrants/refugees, get policed we can expect some lowering of our civil liberties – OUR civil liberties – but as we’ve seen the human rights of those immigrants/refugees are not given due consideration – that’s why we can have 71 dead in a truck and 200 dead on the water and these are daily occurrences, daily deaths and misery. We can blame the traffickers and the exploiters of these poor people but the policies we put in place allow them to flourish and allow them to take advantage of desperation, and we know the line is blurred when governments pay off the traffickers to take the immigrants/refugees somewhere else – to die or live in even more misery.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    At the end of the day I can see western democracies becoming more illiberal, more authoritarian, and feeling much more like East Germany in atmosphere and attitude. Keep your head down, stay out of the spotlight, don’t draw attention to yourself. In case.

    Fucking brilliant civilisation we’re finishing up as.

    • Bill 12.1

      It’s the natural final resting point of social (faux) democracies – an inevitable crystalising of their inherent authoritarianism.

    • b waghorn 12.2

      And serco will be there to make sure it all runs efficiently!!

    • miravox 12.3

      “feeling much more like East Germany in atmosphere and attitude”

      And language – Australian Border Force sounds all a bit militaristic doesn’t it? Perfect for an organisation that sets up stupid plans using heroic names like ‘operation fortitude‘ to interrogate the public exiting their trains.

      Did the Immigration Dept get extra powers (apart from operating outside the physical areas of immigration) with the brawny new name?

  13. philj 13

    How do you know when you are on a very slow slippery slope? When will you know we are in a police state?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 hours ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    19 hours ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 day ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 day ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    2 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    3 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
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    4 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
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  • Transparency and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
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    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
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    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
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    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
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    1 week ago