Citizenship – one law for the rich

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, July 3rd, 2017 - 185 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, class war, im/migration - Tags: , , ,

As well covered in the media, Peter Thiel spent only 12 days in NZ before being granted citizenship. Apparently he’s our first ever secret “great ambassador” for NZ.

The Thiel case is inviting comparison with others. We’re denying citizenship to those who have lived here for 30 years. We’re ejecting an outstanding academic because of an autistic stepson. We’re deporting a blind 5 year old. We’re deporting those running a business here. And so on and so on.

Bill English is trying to spin away the obvious – that Thiel effectively purchased his NZ citizenship. A very clear case of one law for the rich. We need more transparency in the process.

185 comments on “Citizenship – one law for the rich”

  1. Gosman 1

    The vast majority of the political parties in NZ accept that NZ needs both skills and capital from overseas. Peter Thiel offered both. What’s the issue here?

    • ropata 1.1

      Thiel’s “capital” has enabled him to purchase massive tracts of prime waterfront real estate and reap a $20 million profit from taxpayers. Thiel’s “skills” have helped NZ how? Where is he an ambassador?

      I might be able to accept the Nats “bolthole for billionaires” plan if there weren’t THOUSANDS OF KIWIS SLEEPING IN CARS FFS

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Peter Thiel has invested millions and can potentially invest much more in NZ. This is new capital brought in to the country which we need.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          It seems that he’s suckered the government into putting more taxpayer money back into his pocket than he’s actually spent on buying up stuff here.

          • tc 1.1.1.1.1

            ‘Suckered’ surely not as national are such economic geniuses with uber business savvy to get the best deal for the taxpayer

            • Andre 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m feeling charitable towards the Nats this morning. No idea why.

        • ropata 1.1.1.2

          Gossie’s wet dream is for foreign billionaires to buy up all NZ property and make us all tenants. He thinks there’s a buck in it for him and his bankster mates.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3

          He seems to have taken more ‘capital’ (it’s actually only money) out than what he brought in.

          He’s actually brought nothing of value to NZ at all.

        • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.4

          …which we ‘need’ because the neo-liberal economic plan has utterly failed.

    • Your lack of ethical and moral fibre?

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        I had nothing to do with the decision to grant Peter Thiel citizenship. Why would my ethical and moral fibre (or supposed lack there of) be an issue?

        • ropata 1.2.1.1

          Nat shill wants to pretend there is no issue and bury the story.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1

            What IS the issue then?

            Why do we allowed skilled migrants to enter the country?

            • marty mars 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Are you so blinkered you can’t see what the issue being raised is? From many quarters and many angles and YOU can’t see a problem – dim bulb indeed.

              • Gosman

                What IS the issue then?

                • Do some reading lazybones – typical actoid always wanting handouts and someone to do the work for you. If you dont get it – fuck off and do some research but no you won’t because you are really just a nest soiler.

                  • Gosman

                    The problem for you is a lot of people don’t see this as an issue. If you can’t articulate WHY it is one then they are simply going to switch off. Your whole argument seems to rest on having everyone accept that there IS in fact an issue here.

                    • “People” immediately see the undeserved granting of citizenship to a privileged billionaire as “an issue” – it’s you, Gosman, who can’t. As for articulating WHY, that’s been done in great depth; your splashing around in the shallows with your eyes closed and ears filled with sand has meant you are deaf and blind to the issues so clearly covered. For someone as lightweight as you, the cartoon at the head of this post should provide some guidance, but it seems even that low-brow approach comes in at too great a height.

                    • Gosman

                      No, no they don’t. This issue would not resonate on the average voters political concerns radar I strongly suspect.

                      Of course you will probably blame the media for not drumming it in to people’s heads that this is a terrible thing and National Ministers should all be locked up for it.

                    • Your problem gossip is you twist so much you end up forgetting your prepared lines and mess them up and then look even more foolish – we are used to it but jeepers are you the best or worst of the rwnjs? Cos you might have your hat on inside out i think.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The problem for you is a lot of people don’t see this as an issue.

                      If we had a referendum on it I think you’d find that the majority of people have an issue with it.

                      If you can’t articulate WHY it is one then they are simply going to switch off.

                      1. They twisted the law into a pretzel in granting this bludger citizenship
                      2. He brought no benefit to NZ but has already got massive subsidies from NZ taxpayers – and he got them faster than beneficiaries with less hassle
                      3. He has absolutely no intention of living here at all, ever, but has huge land holdings which means that NZ is being sold off

                      There’s probably a few I’ve missed.

                  • Johan

                    Gosman never takes other peoples comments seriously. The man is simply pig ignorant about reading basic information.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Gosman never takes other peoples comments seriously.

                      QFT

                      The man is simply pig ignorant about reading basic information.

                      He ignores everything that doesn’t back up his beliefs. In other words, he simply ignores reality.

            • Dv 1.2.1.1.1.2

              BUT he is NOT IN the country Gossy!!!!!

        • Robert Guyton 1.2.1.2

          Your confusion over the issue, “What’s the issue here?”, reveals your lack of the aforesaid. If your were possessed of some, you’d not need to ask the question.

    • Peter Thiel offered both. What’s the issue here?

      The fact that the rules on skils- and business-based immigration were ignored in this case because the guy’s rich. Did you read the post?

    • Stunned Mullet 1.4

      Trolling fail Gosman.

      • “Trolling fail Gosman” – Stunned Mullet calls it. Such a dishwater-weak effort should result in Gosman’s dismissal as a commenter from the topic; a self-imposed retreat would be the honourable thing to do, but, Gosman. If he hasn’t the fibre to recognise the issue here, he’ll find it impossible to own his failing and act accordingly. I guess he’ll soldier on in an attempt to gain some small ground, but that went from under his feet with his first comment.

        • Gosman 1.4.1.1

          Many commentators on the left think this is an issue. Fair enough that is your choice. But simply believing something is an issue is not usually sufficient to convince people who are of two minds about a topic. Your arguments are currently boiling down to – It’s an issue because we think it is an issue.

          • Robert Guyton 1.4.1.1.1

            Where as your, “It’s not an issue”, is nuanced and comprehensive, hence the excellent support you’ve received here. Stunned Mullet’s assessment still stands. In fact, it’s strengthened by each successive comment from you, Gosman.

            • Gosman 1.4.1.1.1.1

              See my comment below and select an option where this is an issue and explain why.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      The vast majority of the political parties in NZ accept that NZ needs both skills and capital from overseas.

      The problem with that is that we don’t need them at all. We should be developing it here.

      Peter Thiel offered both.

      No he doesn’t:

      1. He doesn’t live here
      2. He doesn’t work here
      3. He’s made a huge profit at our expense which he’s then taken offshore

      • Gosman 1.5.1

        Except you can’t magic up capital as much as people like you and Kim Jong Un think it can

        • wtl 1.5.1.1

          He could still have invested in NZ without becoming a citizen, plenty of people do, so your argument is invalid.

          • Gosman 1.5.1.1.1

            My argument isn’t invalid. Someone can work in NZ without getting citizenship too. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t encourage people with skills to immigrate long term here.

            • wtl 1.5.1.1.1.1

              It is invalid. We don’t hand out citizenship to everyone who works here. Instead, there is a path that potential immigrants can follow and eventually obtain citizenship if they show long term commitment to living here and being productive citizens. The point is that Thiel has shown no such commitment, so shouldn’t have received citizenship until he did.

              • Gosman

                There are lot’s of paths to NZ citzenship. Thiel took one of them.

                • McFlock

                  That path being “hope the minister or department spontaneously decide to ignore every citizenship guideline on the books”.

                  It wasn’t necessarily corrupt (although with this government toss a coin), the decisionmakers could have been rendered incompetent and enthralled by the sight of a billionaire.

                  • Gosman

                    It would only be corrupt if the decision makers in question received direct or indirect benefits from the processor the guidelines were ignored. Otherwise they were doing their job.

                    • McFlock

                      .. incompetently. Finished it for you.

                      12 days? Investment in overheated markets? How does that justify ignoring the immigration criteria?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.5.1.2

          Money is magicked up all the time. In fact, that’s how our entire financial system works. And money is all he brought but even then he took out far more than he brought and he’ll continue doing so.

          • Gosman 1.5.1.2.1

            Yes Draco. Keep believing money can be created without any negative consequences.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.5.1.2.1.1

              I didn’t say that there weren’t any negative consequences. I just said that’s how our financial system works. In fact, a good example of it creating negative consequences is the housing bubbles that we see around the world as the private banks create ever more debt on non-productive capital.

        • Stuart Munro 1.5.1.3

          Bill magicked up money pdq over SCF. Guess it’s a matter of priorities.

        • SpaceMonkey 1.5.1.4

          Umm… yes you can. Banks do it every day.

    • Nic 181 1.6

      The issue is that it looks as dodgy as fcuk and it is another example of National’s arrogance.

  2. “The Thiel case is inviting comparison with others.”
    You’re having trouble identifying the problem here, Gosman. Focusing on this aspect may help.

  3. mike 3

    It must be great comfort to the superrich that, as Goso has just shown, there is always a forelock tugging toady eager to rush to their defence at no cost to them and with no gain to himself.

  4. greywarshark 4

    You’re a great lot on TS so kind and determined to not leave Gosman alone in the dark like a Leunig cartoon person looking up and saying Why?

    Gosman is in a perpetual fog but he is useful, I feel his lack of thinking represents the well-known song about the hole in the bucket which can never contain anything but you in explaining to him whatever, define your thoughts in your own mind. It’s rather like a game of mental squash, there are high sides to the location that contain the questions and answers and they get bounced back and forth. And the players get more skilful all the time.

    • ropata 4.1

      Gossie seems to be getting denser. Is he Mike Hosking?

    • mac1 4.2

      Gosman is useful. He is my informant as to what the Right is worried about, just by what he comments on.

      My response to Gosman is why does Peter Thiel require NZ citizenship to do what he does?

      I can think of two reasons. The first is that citizenship allows him to buy property here without examination by the Overseas Investment Commission. That body’s website states that generally you have to be a citizen to avoid their inspection.

      Secondly, there is a limit to the amount that political parties can be given as donations by overseas persons, of $1500.

      “An overseas person is an individual who resides outside New Zealand and is not a New Zealand citizen or registered elector.”

      Further, what evidence do we have of Theirs’ good offices in acting as an ambassador? That is a specious claim in substance as well as in this particular case as being a reason to fast track or confer citizenship.

      Or is it only as a realtor’s shill that Thiel acts- promoting New Zealand as a bolthole when Armageddon comes in what ever form the one per centers fear?

      • Bill 4.2.1

        You should look up the orgs the guy’s been associated with.

        There was one group looking to establish a haven for right wing nut jobs like Thiel. They targeted the legislature of one of the US states (can’t remember which one off hand) and ‘put out the call’ for “the right sort of person” to commit to moving there in order that the legislature could be ‘captured’. (A very Leninist gameplan it has to be said 😉 )

        The off-shoot of that was an idea to establish some place off-shore…

        Then there’s the whole genetic engineering, agelessness and what not bullshit.

        Here’s a starter. Seasteading.

      • garibaldi 4.2.2

        If Thiel is a result of the “american dream” then it is more proof that the dream is indeed a nightmare. Individuals such as this unsavoury prick need to be held to account and not treated as messiahs like this stupid govt does. His contribution to our wellbeing is negative in the extreme.

      • mac1 4.2.3

        Here is what Bill English himself said about Thiel’s ambassadorship today.

        “While Mr English was unable to name anything Mr Thiel had done to promote New Zealand as an “ambassador”, he agreed with Mr Guy’s assessment on the economic benefits Mr Thiel would bring.”

  5. Venezia 5

    A great cartoon by Murdoch. NZ sure has been suckered by this wealthy parasite.

    • roadrage 5.1

      Technically people who live here for thirty years get citizenship unless they are unfortunate in the timing of their application in having been out of the country more. And reapplied and got citizenship. Labour, Shane fellow got a Chinese businessman in. Its a fact that dot com got in when Key changed the rules. Sure 12 days, wow.

  6. ianmac 6

    Why would Thiel bother to become a citizen?
    Because it gives him free access to the purchase of NZ land.

    As a speculator Thiel can afford to buy large tracts, bank it, and sell for immense profit when the time is right.

  7. Gosman 7

    Let’s take this back to basics.

    1 – Has any law been broken by the granting of citizenship?

    2 – Does New Zealand get benefits from the granting of the citizenship?

    3 – Are their any negatives that New Zealand suffers as a result of the granting of the citizenship?

    If the answer to 1 is Yes then there is an issue.

    If the answer to 2 is No and the answer to 3 is Yes then there is an issue

    If the answer to 2 is Yes and the answer to 3 is also Yes but the negative outweigh the positives then there is an issue.

    Any other options there is no issue.

    • Bill 7.1

      It’s discriminatory.

      We all know the only ones who took some twisted- very twisted – idea of socialism to heart are the very rich. All’s equal in a world of sloshing millions. You want it? Well, it’s for sale. So, buy it.

      Meanwhile, those who are not drowning in millions are told an entirely different story and subjected to entirely different immigration criteria.

      Even allowing for a two track immigration process (and I don’t think we should), was he even in the country for the time required to ‘legitimately’ buy his way in?

      As for his cash. He doesn’t carry it around in suitcases for christsake. He could have invested it here or there or anywhere without any citizenship badge and at the pressing of a button.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Our immigration policy IS discriminatory. All parties want it to remain like that. We don’t allow just anybody in.

        • ropata 7.1.1.1

          NatCorp(tm) immigration policy

          1: Super rich? – *tick* regardless of moral character

          2: Highly skilled but not rich? – *jump thru hoops* *demonstrate character* *be in perfect health* *line up a job* *pledge allegiance to queen fragg*

          3: Unskilled but willing to work for peanuts? *come in on student visa* *go into debt* *work like a slave* *go on the rubbish heap* *get deported*

    • “Trolling fail, Gosman”, means something very different to Gosman than it does to the rest of us. To him, it means, deploy constant battering ploy; “never show that you’ve nothing to say, keep saying nothing. In the end, they’ll fade.”
      It works too; Gosman’s strategy has has been tested by his people and proven to cause enough disturbance to be worth the ridicule it attracts: trolling 101.

    • McFlock 7.3

      1 – no, unless the decision to ignore every aspect of residency requirements is later found to be unlawful, in which case yes

      2 – nope. He just extracted profits that someone else would have accrued.

      3 – yes. People remember us being labelled a tax haven and money laundromat, and now we’ll give citizenship to anyone with a large enough chequebook.

    • mickysavage 7.4

      There is the negative for New Zealand that thanks to the stupidity of this Government’s negotiation of the joint venture Thiel gained a cool $23 million, half of which should have been ours.

    • Blade 7.5

      2 – Does New Zealand get benefits from the granting of the citizenship.

      Sure does, and it gains us important contacts in the ”high stake world”

      If we can open our door to refugees, cooks, the family of cooks, asylum seekers and crooks….why the hell not a rich prick, as they are called by another rich prick…Sir Michael Cullen.

      • McFlock 7.5.1

        Wow – did you just conflate two classes of humanitarian immigrants with crooks? Outstanding.

        And what crooks did we open our door to?

        • Blade 7.5.1.1

          ‘Wow – did you just conflate two classes of humanitarian immigrants with crooks? Outstanding.

          Yes, read the context.

          ”Does New Zealand get benefits from the granting of the citizenship.”

          With refugees ,it’s a mixed bag. Some excel, others will need state support for their whole lives. Thiel wont.

          • McFlock 7.5.1.1.1

            The context doesn’t make your conflation any better.

            as for Thiel, no, he won’t need much state assistance. He’ll be overseas. He’ll probably take some profits out of the country, but you’d view that as a good thing.

            • Andre 7.5.1.1.1.1

              He’s already received state assistance to make a stock market profit about the same order of magnitude as a year’s worth of alleged benefit fraud across the entire country.

              • Blade

                ”He’s already received state assistance to make a stock market profit.”

                Tell me about it?

              • Blade

                ”He’s already received state assistance to make a stock market profit.”

                No, he hasn’t. He entered into an agreement. A poor one for New Zealand by looks of it.

                But is not a refugee deal not a sweetheart deal compared to ordinary immigrant application processes?

                Welfare for life, free healthcare, free house etc…

            • Blade 7.5.1.1.1.2

              ”The context doesn’t make your conflation any better.”

              I’m not interested in conflation, or the humanitarian aspect. I was interested in what an alien to our country will cost the country.

              ”He’ll probably take some profits out of the country, but you’d view that as a good thing.”

              True socialist boogie man. What profits? Not the million he gave to Christchurch I hope.

              • McFlock

                “Alien”?
                🙄

                Besides, I know you don’t care about the humanitarian aspect, it’s sort of my point that you’ll list refugees alongside unidentified “crooks”. Classic false equivalence to make a bad decision seem rational (though not “good”).

                As for “what profits”, the profits on the investments he made, you sillybilly. He probably made back his chch donation within a year. And for that he got a nice shiny new passport.

                • Blade

                  You have no sense of proportion. No sense of overview. You are hidebound to your liberal worldview and groovy catch phrases like”Classic false equivalence.”

                  No sense in us carrying on , is there? All you have left is abuse.

                  • McFlock

                    Pointing out a false equivalence is abuse? gosh. Maybe my use of the perjorative “sillybilly”. Such a precious snowflake you are.

                    Or maybe you couldn’t really justify Thiel’s citizenship without abandoning all moral judgement, so you found an excuse to huff and puff and walk away in indignation.

                    • Blade

                      ”Or maybe you couldn’t really justify Thiel’s citizenship without abandoning all moral judgement, so you found an excuse to huff and puff and walk away in indignation.”

                      Well, here’s my comment at 8.1… false equivalence included. As you can see I have accepted a moral argument.
                      If you want to go down the path of not impinging on the laws of debate and argument we would not have a blog. Do you know why few people read academic papers?

                      You should read before hacking into the jungle and getting lost.

                      Blade 8.1
                      3 July 2017 at 11:48 am
                      Look, I agree. Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.
                      We have hopeful migrants jumping through hoops to gain citizenship, while a rich dude or a refugee can waltz in with minimal fuss.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, the false equivalence was 7.5, you know, near the top of this subthread (not some other thread):

                      If we can open our door to refugees, cooks, the family of cooks, asylum seekers and crooks….why the hell not a rich prick, as they are called by another rich prick…Sir Michael Cullen

                      refugees, asylum seekers, cooks and crooks… one of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same.

                      And your acceptance of the moral argument consists of “Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.” That looks more like a rejection of the moral argument when it comes to immigration policy. It exists, but gosh darn it it’s just not realistic.

                    • Blade

                      ”Actually, the false equivalence was 7.5, ”

                      Yeah, OK, if that helps you out. But have another look at 8.1.

                      ”And your acceptance of the moral argument consists of “Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.” That looks more like a rejection of the moral argument when it comes to immigration policy.”

                      Do you want a thesis? Make your mind up? There is no moral argument regarding immigration. Its legal and political. You are so hidebound by ideology you have no sense of proportion.

                      Blade

                      ”We have hopeful migrants jumping through hoops to gain citizenship, while a rich dude or a refugee can waltz in with minimal fuss.”

                    • McFlock

                      There is no moral argument regarding immigration. Its legal and political. You are so hidebound by ideology you have no sense of proportion.
                      1: Of course there’s a moral dimension to immigration, especially refugees. Their lives are in danger, FFS. Even regular migrant policy can kill people (e.g. repatriating people to countries without the medical care they need), or divide families and loved ones.

                      2: Even if you were right, how is my position disproportionate?

                    • McFlock

                      boo, fucked up the quote marks on above comment. my bad. You can probably see which paragraph was yours, though.

              • “What profits”, asks Blade, who seems not to have read Mickey’s comment, 7.4 or to have given the issue any real thought at all.
                English claims, New Zealand will profit, though he can’t think of any ambassadorial work Thiel has done since picking up his certificate. Will Thiel profit from his gift from the National Party? Will they profit from gifting him citizenship to our country? You bet he and they will. But will we, once the losses we’ve already accrued and those ahead are taken into account?

      • savenz 7.5.2

        I’m not sure our government is so generous to other migrants by offering them $22 million in inappropriate commercial deals. But what is the exchange for, I wonder??

        “A Wall St analyst told the Weekend Herald the clause left the Government facing a “horrendous risk-return proposition” that had no place in agreements between commercial parties.

        “If a professional investor signed this deal, they would be the butt of their colleagues’ jokes all the way out the door,” the analyst said.

        “This is a clear ‘heads I double win, tails I lose’, ‘heads the taxpayer loses, and tails the taxpayer loses’ proposition, and a very savvy deal for Thiel.”

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11794020

        • ropata 7.5.2.1

          To the RWNJ “investment” means “pillaging the public purse” and then they pat themselves on the back for being so savvy, and write articles in the paper blaming the poor for record levels of inequality in NZ

      • Draco T Bastard 7.5.3

        Man, you really do talk some Billshit.

        No, we don’t get any benefits from Theil or from who he knows.

        The Many Contradictions Of Peter Thiel’s New Zealand Citizenship

        The most unsettling notion expressed by some New Zealanders, however, is the idea that Thiel may have paid for his citizenship. The venture capitalist began his citizenship process in late 2010, and in December of that year received a letter from a DIA official that his application needed to show “additional balance.” On April 13, 2011, a file note submitted to Thiel’s citizenship application file noted that the billionaire had been “approached on behalf of the Prime Minister to play a role in the offshore initiatives in relation to the Christchurch Earthquake Fund,” which aimed to raise money following two seismic shocks that heavily damaged New Zealand’s third-most populous region.

        Thiel, however, had no known track record of donating to any type of disaster relief causes

        All indications are that he bought his citizenry and that National helped him do so.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.6

      1. No but the action of granting him citizenship on such specious grounds is inherently immoral.
      2. No.
      3. Yes.

      So, even by you’re own ethical position there’s an issue.

      • Gosman 7.6.1

        Except your last two are value judgements.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.6.1.1

          No, they’re very much objective.

          2 – Does New Zealand get benefits from the granting of the citizenship?

          No it doesn’t. Having Theil as a citizen brings no benefits to NZ. In fact, it probably prevents benefits to us as it prevents us developing our own people.

          3 – Are their any negatives that New Zealand suffers as a result of the granting of the citizenship?

          Yes there are.

          1. He becomes an offshore owner pumping money offshore
          2. He gets control of large tracts of land with all the benefits shifted to him offshore
          3. He’s obviously getting huge influence with our parliament which is detrimental to our democracy

          Essentially, everything about this Theilsteal is detrimental to NZ.

    • Stuart Munro 7.7

      law broken – yes, Thiel fails on several counts:
      duration of residency, intention to reside, and good character. Should never have been granted – even the neo-liberal sock-puppet Dunne admits it.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94303029/Peter-Dunne-wouldn-t-have-approved-Peter-Thiels-citizenship

      NZ gets no benefits from this citizenship – Thiel has cost us net $15 million so far.

      NZ attracts more corrupt parasites – and democracy is eroded as the failed National party is able to obtain financial support it cannot muster from its constituents, who are not prospering under Bill’s gross economic mismanagement.

  8. Rae 8

    Buying citizenship, to me, is wrong, on a very instinctive level. Just wrong, should not be any way to do it.

    • Blade 8.1

      Look, I agree. Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.

      We have hopeful migrants jumping through hoops to gain citizenship, while a rich dude or a refugee can waltz in with minimal fuss.

      • mac1 8.1.1

        Yes, the world can be very unfair, unjust and immoral. It would be even more so if good people did not point out the wrongness of all this. Sometimes shame can work in a positive way.

        The world can also be fair, just and moral. I know which I prefer.

        Our citizenship, as a French customs official once told me while examining my passport, is a precious and rare thing.

         It is not a house, or a jewel, or a yacht, an art work or rare book to be bought………… or sold.

      • McFlock 8.1.2

        You have no freaking idea about the process of gaining refugee status, do you. Takes a lot longer than twelve days.

        • Blade 8.1.2.1

          I’m sorry, McFlock. I see you are a literal reader. My mistake.

          • McFlock 8.1.2.1.1

            No, I didn’t think you thought refugees had to do a waltz to gain citizenship. I figured you used the term to imply that gaining refugee status and assignment to NZ as being a trivially easy action “with minimal fuss”.

            It isn’t. It’s more difficult than the process a legitimate, “stays longer than twelve days” hopeful migrant receives.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3

        Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.

        Ah, the typical it’s just the way things are and so we have to put up with it BS as they try to distract from the fact that it’s been set up that way by unscrupulous arseholes and that we can, as a matter of fact, change things so that they are fair and ethical.

        I think you’ll find that refugees can’t just waltz in here.

        • Blade 8.1.3.1

          Pity you didn’t tell Labour that when they were in power. You are another hidebound ideologue.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3.1.1

            Ah, so no argument against the truth so you’re trying the typical RWNJ ad hominem attack.

        • Blade 8.1.3.2

          Draco

          1- Strawman argument.

          2- Presenting opinion as fact.

          3- Presenting a conclusion before due process.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3.2.1

            1. What strawman?
            2. Which opinion?
            3. How so?

            • Blade 8.1.3.2.1.1

              Geez. You were meant to be taking lead.

              ”Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works. ”

              That technically is a generalisation, but can be proven by facts to be correct millions of times a day.

              ”Ah, the typical it’s just the way things are and so we have to put up with it BS as they try to distract from the fact that it’s been set up that way by unscrupulous arseholes”

              That statement is opinion and draws an unwarranted conclusion.
              It is also abuse ( attacking the man).

              As I have said previously, if we followed the intricacies of correct debate we wouldn’t have a blog.

              So really you need to get a life, and accept I don’t take bullshit from the likes of you. ( that’s justified abuse).

  9. Ad 9

    Would Xero have its US market share without the citizenship sweetener of New Zealand citizenship?

    To me it’s pretty cleat that is what the deal was.

    And if I were Minister of Immigration, I would be fine with that; Xero is where much of private R&D in the whole of Canterbury is found … so long as …

    ….. .so long as there was some bind on Xero shares that they can’t get hoovered out of the NZX. For example if NZSuper and ACC took out a really good percentage as a long term hold – that would generate some happiness that dividends (should they appear) would come back here.

    To me that is where it breaks down.
    Xero is a worthy cause. Ticks huge numbers of boxes.
    It needs help. Locals are in investment terms too conservative to help.
    It’s still struggling to make real money after many years.

    But the shares have no loyalty to stay here and hence get more New Zealanders rich.

    So I can easily see a public good in facilitating investment in Xero by a US investor who knows what they are about.
    But there don’t appear to be any tags to how that inward capital flow benefits New Zealand over the long term, or whether any benefits continue to stay here.

    • ropata 9.1

      Foreign billionaires get the best advice on how to pay off the Nats and tick the boxes so they can hoover up NZ land and assets.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        That’s in the nature of any billionaire, foreign or local.

        The political question is whether there were policy benefits to the decision.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          That’s in the nature of any billionaire, foreign or local.

          Then we need to change it so that it’s not. No one should have advantage just because they’re rich.

          Of course, we can’t afford the rich and so we should be legislating them out of existence.

    • savenz 9.2

      @ AD – No way, selling citizenship as ‘sweetners’ so that private NZ businessmen can benefit. Rod Drury has sold in the US market before, he’s a professional, he doesn’t need our government to bribe people.

      And in my opinion Thiel was was more likely feted by NZ government for his electioneering connections in companies like Cambridge Analytic etc nothing to do with investment side.

      As well as his ties to security software firms for 5 eyes.

      We don’t need right wing, Trump supporting, anti women and muslim people here, thanks, at any price.

    • Siobhan 9.3

      Xero is a worthy cause?
      Is that what we have come to…calling for profit companies who’s only beneficiaries are the shareholders are now ‘worthy causes’.
      And yep…to all you who might say “Its the economy stupid”,
      the question/conversation needs to be ..for whose benefit is the modern economy?

      Because it would appear to be a smaller and smaller group; shareholder payouts at the expense of jobs and employment rights; invisible ‘profits’ at the expense of the Tax Department and to the detriment of the average citizen.

      An economy that is benefiting a country should be able to provide adequate housing for all, free education, decent health and employment opportunities…yet it seems to me, the greater the economy, the greater productivity..the more these things are being eroded.

      And Thiel is the poster boy for this massive world wide transferal of wealth. We owe him nothing, certainly not Citizenship.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        +111

        • greywarshark 9.3.1.1

          Xero is a worthy cause?
          Is that what we have come to…calling for profit companies who’s only beneficiaries are the shareholders are now ‘worthy causes’.
          And yep…to all you who might say “Its the economy stupid”,

          This is it in a nutshell. We are the shells they are the nuts oozing with oil and getting their nutrition there while we get the shells and the sweepings. You can do quite a lot with nutshells but I don’t fancy living on them, boiled walnut shell casserole anyone?

          I heard Bill English on rnz this morning –
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/334336/video-pm-has-no-regrets-over-thiel-citizenship

          Politics
          9:13 am today
          VIDEO: PM has no regrets over Thiel citizenship

          Prime Minister Bill English says it is misleading to suggest that US billionaire Peter Thiel “just turned up at the airport and became a citizen”.
          Mr Thiel was granted citizenship in June 2011 despite only having spent 12 days in the country, and not intending to live here in the future.

          The Department of Internal Affairs was forced to reveal the fleeting nature of the entrepreneur’s time in the country last week after RNZ complained to the Ombudsman.

          Normally a permanent resident has to spend more than 70 percent of their time in New Zealand over five years – more than 1300 days – before they can apply for citizenship.

          Mr English told Morning Report it was wrong to suggest that Mr Thiel bought his citizenship.

          The technology investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist had already been granted residency in 2006 under the previous Labour government, he said.
          “He didn’t just turn up at the airport and become a citizen.”

          He said Nathan Guy, who was Internal Affairs Minister at the time the citizenship was granted, had used his discretion and was “quite happy” with that decision.

          “I think we need to remember the context. At the time that New Zealand was coming out of recession, looking for flows of capital, things that might help us get ahead.”

          Mr English said Mr Thiel’s contacts in the US tech sector were useful for New Zealand’s industry.

          And he said more people wanted to be citizens of a safe, stable, credible country and that New Zealand’s profile was rising around the world.

          Perhaps we would do better if we revealed how unsafe, unstable, incredibly deceitful a country we are.

          What happened after the USA have invested in a country and vote in a left wing politician who talks about taking back national assets (I think that Chile’s Allende was talking about seizing rather than buying. Probably couldn’t afford to do so, once someone else owns and selling your resources where do you get your funds to buy them back?

        • greywarshark 9.3.1.2

          This relates to a comment about Bill English on Thiel this am on Rnz.
          And Guyon was quite pissistint to old Bill. Good work.

          Talking about Thiel having access to money to invest which we need to prop up the farce that is ‘The NZ Economy’ I thought about what happens when a country decides that it wants to get its goodies back so it can make its own living. Link to Chile and Allende is instructive.
          https://history.state.gov/milestones/1969-1976/allende
          and
          http://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/01/world/fbi-watched-an-american-who-was-killed-in-chile-coup.html
          and
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Horman
          and
          https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/chile/

      • Grafton Gully 9.3.2

        The customers benefit as well as the shareholders and employees (and subcontractors if they use them).
        97% customer satisfaction looks pretty good. Probably higher than the shareholder satisfaction.
        https://reviews.financesonline.com/p/xero/

        • mpledger 9.3.2.1

          But you’re interfering in the market to benefit xero over some other product that might have evolved and potentially been better without that market interference.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2.1.1

            For the RWNJs market interference is fine as long as it’s only for the benefit of the rich.

      • Ad 9.3.3

        Xero is definitely a worthy cause.
        Xero’s staff are high-tech, high-R&D focussed, highly qualified, low-carbon impact workers. There are very, very few companies in New Zealand of that scale. Not even Jade equals it in Canterbury.

        That also means those high salaries pay a lot of tax per head – to help finance public schools and public houses.

        Xero itself needs lots of support to be persuaded to stay here rather than fly off to where its larger markets are. That means government assistance. If you were going to make a case for a specific intervention by a government for a company, on my list Xero would be right up there for “carrot”, and Fonterra would be right down there on “stick”.

        The price of Peter Thiel’s investment in Xero was citizenship of New Zealand. That’s a pretty cheap price for the taxpayer to pay. And worth it.

        • greywarshark 9.3.3.1

          Ad
          This is cliffhanger stuff. We need finance, why can’t we get it without bribery. It just creates corrupt practices, and we are supposed to be selling our Transparency International good looks that we know are just painted on.
          Soon people are going to really notice the paint peeling off.

          So Thiel was worth it you say. If we can bend the rules so we can get his
          money, why then government itself could bend the rules for us, try creating the money with some QE, and we could get it straight from the horses mouth not trickling down from some trickster.

  10. Rae said:
    “Buying citizenship, to me, is wrong, on a very instinctive level. Just wrong, should not be any way to do it.”
    Blade, in reply said:
    “Look, I agree.”
    Just wrong, should not be any way to do it. Let’s credit him for that. He’s strongly agin Thiel’s citizenship.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Heh. Once again showing the tory ability to sacrifice principles when offered a glimpse of cash.

      That’s the thing I love about this – as proof of his commitment to NZ Thiel bought property and shares. Neither market is suffering a shortage in capital, and like all investors he aims to extract more than he invests. No actual benefit to the country, net capital loss.

      Basically, it’s like someone buying a car because he saw a pretty woman in the car ad. The merest glimpse of something he knows to be most likely unattainable provokes the tory to throw all reason and principle out the window and buy a car he doesn’t need and actually makes him look like a bit of a dick.

      • Blade 10.1.1

        Lol…McFly. Your talent is wasted on this blog. You really should be writing books. But what genre?

        1- Fiction.
        2- Children’s bed time stories.
        3- Self Help. ” Know your Tory, but still lose the election.”
        4- Political- ”Thiel, the unknowable story.”

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          If I wrote children’s bedtime stories, you’d still need help with the larger words.

          The lesson you can get from Robert’s comment 10, dear reader, is to never agree with comments that you don’t understand.

          “That’s a very long sentence” said the blade,
          “I think a reply must be made.
          “‘unfair’ is a word near the end,
          “so that is the task with which I must contend!
          “To look like I’m nice,
          “I’ll agree in a trice,
          “before saying that the world
          “is one full of vice.”
          But at the end of his little brain fart
          Poor Blade had forgotten the words at the start.

          • Blade 10.1.1.1.1

            Not bad…just needs a little polishing. You will have plenty of time after September when postings on this blog will be at a minimum.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Why would I take editorial advice from someone who agrees with comments and then disowns it when other people point out what they actually agreed with?

              • Blade

                I’m afraid you don’t get it. I can see the faults in things I believe in. I can admit the world is a grey area. I can admit sometimes the Left are right on certain issues, and the government is wrong. I accept humans have agenda’s and can be dishonest. I accept hypocrisy abounds all around us.

                Your problem is you are a fanatical idealouge who wouldn’t give anyone without your world-view the time of day.

                So I do see your problem. But I can’t help you. If you are happy in your fantasy world, that’s ok by me.

                • McFlock

                  My response was merely because someone who is so hard of reading would not have the skillset to critique doggerel. It had nothing to do with your worldview.

                  As for your wolrd-view, the problem is not that you accept that hypocrisy exists all around us, the problem is that you accept the hypocrisy that exists all around us.

                  I recognise it exists, I think it is bad, and I try to confront it or point it out.

                  You recognise it exists, and do nothing.

                  • Blade

                    ”I recognise it exists, I think it is bad, and I try to confront it or point it out.

                    You recognise it exists, and do nothing.”

                    Quite the opposite. I try to be ethical in all my dealings. It starts with the individual.

                    • McFlock

                      Tell that to the refugees you equated with crooks. /sarc

                      Less sarcastically, it starts, but doesn’t end, with the individual. It’s not all about you. It’s also about what we do when other people are treated unfairly. In fact, that’s the hardest bit of the job of being human: standing up for others against third parties.

                      This is the bit where you then claim how nice you really are in real life. All that may very well be so.

                      But the evidence in the discussion from this post is that you’ve sought to defend unfairness and pretend that how we treat those who come to us for help or homes is not a moral issue, just a political and legal one.

                    • Cinny

                      “I try to be ethical in all my dealings”… Blade, don’t just try.. be ethical in all your dealings.

                      As well you speak of seeing faults in things you believe in, instead why not see solutions?

                      Blade, if there no faults to find, what would you do with you time? When you discover faults does it really change anything apart your thinking, do your fault discoveries change the world, a community, even one life?

                      Just wondering…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I try to be ethical in all my dealings.

                      No you don’t.

                      In fact, what it boils down to is that all your communications on here are a mixture of deceit, lies, ad hominems and repeating of lies, ad hominems and deceit that you’ve heard from your favourite RWNJ commentator.

                    • ropata

                      “I try to be ethical in all my dealings.”

                    • Blade

                      It was a conundrum:

                      1- I am ethical in my dealings.

                      2- I try to be ethical in all my dealings.

                      I was going to lose either way. I thought No 1 would be the better of two options. I was wrong.

                      No mercy. Narrow mindlessness to the nth degree as the posts have shown.

                      Draco
                      In fact, what it boils down to is that all your communications on here are a mixture of deceit, lies, ad hominems and repeating of lies, ad hominems and deceit that you’ve heard from your favourite RWNJ commentator.

                      How can you argue against this type of crap??
                      Simple…you win an election.

                    • McFlock

                      You were going to lose either way because the lines you’ve been pushing in this post have been in direct contradiction to your claimed ethical dealings.

                    • Blade

                      Give us example….

                    • McFlock

                      Draco gave you one. Here’s another. Compare with here.

                    • Blade

                      He’s strongly agin Thiel’s citizenship.”
                      No , I’m not. What gave you that idea?

                      AND

                      Look, I agree. Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.

                      We have hopeful migrants jumping through hoops to gain citizenship, while a rich dude or a refugee can waltz in with minimal fuss.

                      Just checking..you mean these?

                    • McFlock

                      And the bit you said “I agree” to: “Buying citizenship, to me, is wrong, on a very instinctive level. Just wrong, should not be any way to do it.”

                      So putting it all together, You think it’s wrong, on a very instinctive level. Just wrong, should not be any way to do it. But unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works, rich people waltz in to the country with minimal fuss, but this doesn’t mean you’re agin it, even though you think it’s wrong on a very instinctive level, however did anyone get that idea.

                      Isn’t exactly straight as an arrow, is it.

                    • Just wondering – anyone seen Mordecai and Blade on the same thread?

                    • Blade

                      A bit semantical, however a reasonable call.

                      First, and you should have picked this up. I start:

                      ”I agree… then the rider, ‘but unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.”

                      So we have a situation beyond my control, that doesn’t effect me personally.

                      So next we have the theme of this threat about this situation being exploited, either legally or illegally by the rich.

                      I add some balance by pointing out refugees also sidestep
                      many of the hoops ordinary migrants have to jump through.

                      Some started whining this is a humanitarian endeavour and refugees have to be vetted. True, but that doesn’t negate the fact they jump the line over others. Then upon arriving receive lush support I’m expected to pay for.

                      So Thiel is apparently making money out of this unfairness. So are refugees( relative to past living standards they become ‘ wealthy’).

                      So, given that state of affairs, I am forced to chose what is happening in the present moment. I chose Thiel because he will benefit the country more. Apparently he has eased the way for some of our tech companies into Silicon Valley.

                      Again you are an unbalanced idealouge who’s resorted to semantics to prove your point no matter what. You fail because you have no ‘perspective’, just like the hide bound political party you support.

                    • Blade

                      What is your point, Milt. Spell it out so I know what you are talking about and can respond.

                    • Oh, sure. When I wrote that I was thinking your style is like the commenter Mordecai, whom I haven’t seen commenting for a week or two. I just checked and see that commenter “Mordecai” copped a one-month ban on the 23rd of June, after which commenter “Blade” with very similar style to “Mordecai” has become quite prolific. The word “sock-puppet” sprang to mind. So, yeah, just wondering.

                    • Blade

                      Yeah, well wonder no more, Milt. Unlike some who run multiple identities on blog sites to both gang-bang opponents and have someone to support their arguments, I need none of that. I stand on my own feet. This site should have an IP indicator, so the moderator can put your feverish paranoia, and snide accusations, to rest.

                    • McFlock

                      So we have a situation beyond my control, that doesn’t effect me personally.

                      Irrelevant to whether you support it or not

                      So next we have the theme of this threat about this situation being exploited, either legally or illegally by the rich.

                      The question being whether you support this unfair situation or not.

                      I add some balance by pointing out refugees also sidestep many of the hoops ordinary migrants have to jump through.

                      To jump through even more difficult hoops to qualify as a refugee, but also irrelevant to whether you support it or not.

                      Some started whining this is a humanitarian endeavour and refugees have to be vetted. True, but that doesn’t negate the fact they jump the line over others. Then upon arriving receive lush support I’m expected to pay for.

                      Whether they sidestep or jump over, they go through a more rigorous process than just standard immigration, and this is all irrelevant o whether you support a process for the rich that you agree is unfair.

                      So Thiel is apparently making money out of this unfairness. So are refugees( relative to past living standards they become ‘ wealthy’).

                      Are you fucking kidding me right now? Irrelevant.

                      So, given that state of affairs, I am forced to chose what is happening in the present moment. I chose Thiel because he will benefit the country more. Apparently he has eased the way for some of our tech companies into Silicon Valley.

                      cite pls. Please include the relevant cost-benefit analysis that the profits we know he’s already made are smaller than the profits he’s let some tech companies “ease” from silicon valley.

                      Again you are an unbalanced idealouge who’s resorted to semantics to prove your point no matter what. You fail because you have no ‘perspective’, just like the hide bound political party you support.

                      Well, yes, I’ve resorted to actually using the meaning of words to demonstrate that your argument is inconsistent.

                      So, to recap (removing the irrelevancies I’ve outlined above), you agree that Thiel’s citizenship was unfair and just plain wrong. But you believe Thiel’s citizenship has “eased the way” for some NZ companies to compete in silicon valley, so you’re not against him using a process that is “wrong, on a very instinctive level. Just wrong, should not be any way to do it”.

                      You’re like the pastor who says that sodomy is always wrong but he’s not against it if the guy is really cute.

                    • McFlock

                      @milt

                      acrophobic and maninthemiddle have similar levels of stupidity, too, but there are on occasion subtle differences between them.

                      Another theory is that they’re just fuckwits on a rota who went to the same school of harrassment and interdiction commenting. Dunno about paid, maybe just some RWNJ closed group doing it to inflate each others’ egos. Maybe mid-secondary school level, yet to discover the pleasure of another person’s touch.

                      But whether it’s luck or design, yeah: one imbecile leaves, another appears.

                    • Blade

                      Again you have fallen at the first hurdle.

                      You left out the rider ” Unfortunately fairness isn’t the way the world works.”

                      Then you write:

                      ”Irrelevant to whether you support it or not”

                      Now you have got something right. Hence my rider. Yes, I am irrelevant to the situation. So l’m given no choice in deciding if I make a call, which I have. Thiel.

                      If someone wants to legislate a fair system, I will vote for that. Stop the semantics.

                      Another one:

                      ”So Thiel is apparently making money out of this unfairness. So are refugees( relative to past living standards they become ‘ wealthy’).

                      Are you fucking kidding me right now? Irrelevant.”

                      Germane to the reasons I have presented. Two programmes on TV this week. Romanian Gypsies trying desperately to get into Britain because quote: ” England will make us rich by giving us money and houses. The other was Cali refugee Muslims trying to get into Britain, for a feed of chips and to ‘get rich’.

                      Yeah, funny mind set that, eh!

                      ”cite pls. Please include the relevant cost-benefit analysis that the profits we know he’s already made are smaller than the profits he’s let some tech companies “ease” from silicon valley.”

                      Now you must be kidding me. Yeah sure, after you give me how much refugees cost us per year….and the projected financial support needed for the next ten years.
                      Please provide a separate spread sheet running parallel projections for any increase in refugee numbers as proposed by some political parties.

                      Your trouble, Mc Fly, is you are blinded by your own brilliance. That’s what makes you an easy target.

                    • McFlock

                      Now you have got something right. Hence my rider. Yes, I am irrelevant to the situation. So l’m given no choice in deciding if I make a call, which I have. Thiel.

                      Lol, wet lunch was it?

                      Just to recap: you think Thiel’s method of gaining citizenship is unfair and just plain wrong and there should not be any way to do it, but you support it.

                      This is the position you expect us to believe?

      • Grafton Gully 10.1.2

        They extract more than they invest because the investment sometimes grows in value, but often doesn’t. They believe that the growth is due to their cash input so they should be rewarded for the risk they take in parting with their money. Get it ?

        http://www.finra.org/investors/reality-investment-risk

        Another thing. If Thiel makes money here he’ll stick around to make more, but to do that he’ll need to put his own money on the line, which you and too many other NZers wouldn’t. Right ?

        As for NZ property. Well wait a minute – read up on Taupo for NI investors

        https://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/Learning/Science-Topics/Volcanoes/New-Zealand-Volcanoes/Volcano-Geology-and-Hazards/Taupo-Volcanic-Centre-Geology

        And the Alpine Fault for SI

        http://www.newsweek.com/new-zealand-alpine-fault-major-earthquake-drill-borehole-611319

        • McFlock 10.1.2.1

          lol I get it, I just don’t believe it.

          As for “putting his own money on the line”, I wasn’t aware that the property market or Xero were in dire need of otherwise unavailble capital. Quite the reverse in the case of the property market.

          Besides, Thiel’s payment for his “risk” was NZ citizenship, and yet he still gets rewarded at market rates as well? I guess the super-rich can have their cake and eat it, too. At our fiscal and reputational expense.

    • Blade 10.2

      ”He’s strongly agin Thiel’s citizenship.”

      No , I’m not. What gave you that idea?

      Are you trolling again?

  11. Paul Campbell 11

    I’m still waiting for someone to ask the Nats whether there was a quid-pro-quo – has Thiel contributed any money to the National Party, either directly of indirectly? (say though one of their secret trusts or a corporate front)

    • savenz 11.1

      I’d bet he has!

      Thiel is one of Trumps friends and allies and as such a person of interest internationally.

      His unusual citizenship has made headlines around the world.

      It’s not been good for NZ’s reputation – apart from players in Keys 0 interest tax haven junket as seen in the Panama papers.

      But shady white collar money launderers are not exactly loyal, they are closing down their trusts now that they have to declare their identity.

      Funny that lack of transparency from Key, wanting so much mass surveillance on the common folks and all, but people hiding money is ok from scrutiny.

    • Stuart Munro 11.2

      It’ll be like the TPP – the Gnats hope they’ll get something, but haven’t yet, and probably won’t.

      • ropata 11.2.1

        After the TPPA debacle the Gnats are desperate to retrieve something from Uncle Sam and Thiel has enticed them with his wealth and power. It is a long slide from Key golfing with President Obama to Bling’s pizza antics. Bling is dying to be matey with the Yanks

    • Blade 11.3

      I would say Thiel probably has. I would probably say Andy wished they had a similar benefactor.

      They did at one stage. A guy who worked 7 jobs to get ahead in life. I forget his name.

      • Stuart Munro 11.3.1

        The Gnat’s payoff will be access to Palantir – which they, not having the brainpower merciful providence bestows upon the humble lettuce, have no use for.

    • rhinocrates 11.4

      In response to that question on another thread, Wayne Mapp commented here once that Thiel has not been involved in National Party campaigning. A peculiarly specific denial, I thought.

      • ianmac 11.4.1

        That is a Keyism adopted by Bill English.
        “I have not had formal discussions…” Yes but you have had…

    • Ad 11.5

      They would be a pretty dumb Minister if they didn’t refer them to the party president with a strong nod and wink for a major cheque, through a suitably laundered and opaque vehicle.

  12. rhinocrates 12

    Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich
    Some of the wealthiest people in America—in Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond—are getting ready for the crackup of civilization.

    …By January, 2015, Johnson was sounding the alarm: the tensions produced by acute income inequality were becoming so pronounced that some of the world’s wealthiest people were taking steps to protect themselves. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Johnson told the audience, “I know hedge-fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”

    …In fact, the influx had begun well before Trump’s victory. In the first ten months of 2016, foreigners bought nearly fourteen hundred square miles of land in New Zealand, more than quadruple what they bought in the same period the previous year, according to the government. American buyers were second only to Australians. The U.S. government does not keep a tally of Americans who own second or third homes overseas. Much as Switzerland once drew Americans with the promise of secrecy, and Uruguay tempted them with private banks, New Zealand offers security and distance. In the past six years, nearly a thousand foreigners have acquired residency there under programs that mandate certain types of investment of at least a million dollars.

    …Rohrstaff, who co-owns Legacy Partners, a boutique brokerage, wanted me to see Tara Iti, a new luxury-housing development and golf club that appeals mostly to Americans. The helicopter nosed north across the harbor and banked up the coast, across lush forests and fields beyond the city. From above, the sea was a sparkling expanse, scalloped by the wind. The helicopter eased down onto a lawn beside a putting green. The new luxury community will have three thousand acres of dunes and forestland, and seven miles of coastline, for just a hundred and twenty-five homes. As we toured the site in a Land Rover, he emphasized the seclusion: “From the outside, you won’t see anything. That’s better for the public and better for us, for privacy.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich

    • Halfcrown 12.1

      ” Johnson was sounding the alarm: the tensions produced by acute income inequality were becoming so pronounced that some of the world’s wealthiest people were taking steps to protect themselves”

      The thing they appeared to have overlook is the fact that the peasantry with their pitchforks can also come out of the woodwork down here in NZ.

  13. bruce 13

    Gordon Campbell sums it all up pretty well on his werewolf blog.

    “The administration of President Donald Trump [is] seemingly committed to a winner-takes-all economic model. That spirit is perhaps summed up by Peter Thiel, the tech investor, who declared that: “Competition is for losers.”
    ― Financial Times, May 30, 2017.

    Not a very very Kiwi spirit I feel.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      It’s very much the attitude of capitalists everywhere. None of them like competition and all of them tend to the dictatorial.

    • rhinocrates 13.2

      He’s not too keen on women having the vote either, so I can see why he and Trump are buddies. I guess that he’s holding his nose about our history.

  14. rhinocrates 14

    Peter Thiel’s company Palantir sifts through mass data really fast. It has an office in Wellington, but what is it actually doing in New Zealand? John Campbell investigates.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201849740/why-is-palintir-in-new-zealand

    Essentially Palantir is a contractor to the NSA (their area being electronic intelligence). Looks like Thiel leveraged this to get his seat on Lifeboat NZ.

  15. Drowsy M. Kram 15

    Never mind the missing million, will the world’s first trillionaires have to spend more than 12 hours in Aotearoa to ‘earn’ citizenship?

    Nats – bought and paid for.

  16. Cinny 16

    The Thiel citizenship has angered so many people, political preference is left behind when unfairness is exposed. Even fierce rightwingers that I know are appalled at the situation.

    It’s something everyone/anyone can understand, it’s simple. And most people know of someone who has been refused citizenship after jumping through hoops, living their lives in limbo for years.

    The lady who set up and runs our Community Store (all profits returned to the community), her mother has dementia, is unable to travel, hasn’t got much time left to live, all of her family are here. Yet immigration want to ship this old lady back to the UK to live out the short time she has left in isolation. Imagine being in your 90’s with dementia, on a long haul flight with no one to meet you at the end of your journey and no where to go. Imagine if it was your elderly mum?

    Looking forward to question time in Parliament today, the outgoing government prefer their own egos over humanity, and it reeks of corruption no matter how they try to sell it.

    On the upside not long now until we have a change of government, and we will.

    • Gosman 16.1

      Where are these fierce right wingers you know?

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        looking to hunt down the disloyal?

      • Cinny 16.1.2

        Not here… looks around, over the neighbours fences.. nope not here.

        Wait a minute… whats Todd doing hiding under that desk….? LMFAO

        One owns a vineyard, a few farmers, and some elderly. Winny will be getting a record number of votes this year because of issues like the Thiel citizenship. I don’t know any young people who are right wing.. well apart from my new foot stool under the desk 😀 jking x

  17. OncewasTim 17

    Pardon me. This time I KNOw its a TS contrib. on some ‘platforma going forward’ the display can b ambiguous
    But we’re talking about citizenship and
    PR and related matters.
    And when it comes down to the basics, this is about the supremacy between the citizenry of a nation-state versus ….well some/various others … be they a corporate world or a struggling former dirty filthy BENE desperately pulling ladders up behind her (really phat,blubbery leopardskin arse-now of course, re-imaged, and feathers puffed for anorher challenge to its total BS)
    Oh Fuk
    As you were
    Next
    Next

  18. Venezia 18

    This Thiel citizenship case is yet another of the rorts perpetrated on the NZ population by the National Party. I hope someone is keeping track of the list of them. Is BLIP still doing this?

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