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Hickey on immigration and wages

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, August 22nd, 2016 - 79 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Globalisation, im/migration, wages - Tags: , ,

Bernard Hickey writes the best economic analysis in NZ. Here’s yesterday’s contribution:

Bernard Hickey: Too many visas, not enough pay

Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler is tasked with under-standing how supply and demand affects wages and prices in the economy and last week he pointed at migration, in particular the 160,000 people who have arrived in New Zealand since 2013 and increased the size of the workforce by 4 per cent. “That has added some downward pressure on wage outcomes in terms of the expansion in the labour supply,” Wheeler said. “Clearly it has added quite a lot of pressure into the housing market as well.”

Wheeler was particularly interested in the quality of the migration surge, and he’s not the only one. Treasury warned the Government in December it was concerned low-skilled migration was dragging on productivity and wages and may frustrate the Government’s push to move beneficiaries into work because lower-end jobs were being scooped up by migrants.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse and Finance Minister Bill English said this week they had seen no evidence the surge in low-skilled migration was suppressing wages – but there are plenty of signs in the statistics.

Why not leave the market to work by letting the stronger demand exceed the local supply and lift wages?

Immigration New Zealand awarded 209,461 work visas in the year to June 30 – up 23.5 per cent from two years ago. The top 20 occupations for those visas show just four were in higher-skilled occupations. If those work visas weren’t awarded, the market would start to generate heat and increase wages at the low end.

Woodhouse, however, is reluctant to unleash the market. “If you completely remove the international labour market and have a pure supply and demand model, I think in the short term that could be quite damaging,” he said this week. For whom? Employers? Workers?

It wouldn’t damage the Government in the short or long terms. The best way for an economy to grow is for the market to allow wages to grow. Allowing a flood of low-skilled migrants is frustrating that market mechanism with the short-term aim of keeping wages low for employers. It does nothing to develop the economy and the society in the long term.

Plenty more in the full article in The Herald. It suits the Nats and their business mates to keep wages low. Does it suit the rest of us?

79 comments on “Hickey on immigration and wages”

  1. b waghorn 1

    On top of the downward effect on wages ,how much does the money being sent out of the country to families in their home countries drag the economy down here.

    • Siobhan 1.1

      That is particular issue of sending pay checks home is a red herring…it is peanuts compared to the corporate profits going overseas, let alone the money that flies away, and the locals who aren’t employed, every time anyone buys a book or a shiny bauble off Amazon etc.

      World wide, all countries, our budgets are being decimated by ‘tax minimization’. As workers turn on one another, the winners are the Corporations and their investors.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Don’t forget now, Michael Woodhouse and Bill English’s cynicism and malice are caused by lazy bad parents.

  3. Paul 3

    I put this article on Open Mike and it completely fits this thread

    “But the causes of this political crisis, glaringly evident on both sides of the Atlantic, are much deeper than simply the financial crisis and the virtually stillborn recovery of the last decade. They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and embraced at its core the idea of a global free market in goods, services and capital. The depression-era system of bank regulation was dismantled, in the US in the 1990s and in Britain in 1986, thereby creating the conditions for the 2008 crisis. Equality was scorned, the idea of trickle-down economics lauded, government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized, immigration encouraged, regulation cut to a minimum, taxes reduced and a blind eye turned to corporate evasion.

    The reasons are not difficult to explain. The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour: international trading agreements, drawn up in great secrecy, with business on the inside and the unions and citizens excluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being but the latest examples; the politico-legal attack on the unions; the encouragement of large-scale immigration in both the US and Europe that helped to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce; and the failure to retrain displaced workers in any meaningful way.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/21/death-of-neoliberalism-crisis-in-western-politics

  4. Paul 4

    And more wealthy immigrants on their way heighten the housing crisis further.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11698368

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Winston has it right. Reducing immigration numbers by 90% or more is the only way to go. We have hundreds of thousands of underemployed Kiwis who can do the work.

    And we can do all of this while tripling the refugee numbers that we accept.

    • vto 5.1

      Yep. Business people simply need to toughen up and get use to the free market…

      If they can’t find employees then they clearly are not offering enough pay ….

      this is the way the free market works businesspeople … you seem to have forgotten. … rather conveniently forgotten

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        A nation which actually invests in its people giving them good training good jobs with good pay…a novel concept

  6. vto 6

    Why not remove the minimum wage?

    Then we could seriously compete with labourers from the Phillipines .

    eh Woodhouse

    50c per hour here we come

    • Andre 6.1

      If removing the minimum wage was part of a package that included introducing a reasonable UBI, then yeah, I could swallow hard and support it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        Yeah, because look how Parliament has respected the original intent of the ACC scheme 🙄

        • Andre 6.1.1.1

          Most of the population is pretty disconnected from how ACC actually improves their lives. So there’s not much pushback when government fucks with it. But with a UBI, everyone has a stake in what the government tries to do with it. So there’s a chance it’ll be a lot harder for a government to trash it. Look at how untouchable Superannuation is for an example.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1

            How long do you think it would be before right wing politicians started muttering about the need for people to work for their UBI?

            Plus what CV said, especially re: the tax take.

            • Andre 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “Should have to work for the handout” is fairly likely to come up in conversations about benefits now, even among some lefties, so I fully expect that to continue into everything to do with a UBI. But if the U part of it is truly made universal and unconditional, then there’s a chance it will be robust.

              At the moment, we’re very good at sneaky hidden subsidies for low wages. WFF, progressive tax rates, accommodation supplements, community services cards etc. Seems to me going to a UBI and removing most of the other complications in the system makes it all a bit more transparent.

              I’m skeptical removing the minimum wage in the context of a UBI will lead to a significant overall drop in wages, particularly if immigration policy is tightened back up to reasonable levels – ie mostly targeted to skills shortages.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If it won’t lead to a significant drop, there’d be no problem keeping it as it is then.

                • Andre

                  Well, yeah. But a whole bunch of righties getting woodies over the idea that wages might drop might help get a UBI over the line.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That assumes their response to the policy is based on anything more complicated than its provenance.

                    PS: and frankly, basing anything on how cretinous bigots will respond is a mistake.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        Not sure that it is a good idea to subsidise large private sector corporations in this way; also under the current tax system (which needs severe reform) allowing wages to dramatically drop would collapse the income tax revenue that the Crown collects.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.3

        Multiple studies are showing that the minimum wage is too low and its increase will improve the economy. Why would the left undermine this? The UBI policy is purportedly supposed to increase wages but will no doubt actually be about undermining social welfare if it ever moves ahead. Why would adding other concessions to the right be an improvement here anyway?

        http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=34153

        • Andre 6.1.3.1

          Totally agree that in the current environment minimum wage is too low, and that the evidence is pretty good that raising the minimum wage does not reduce employment and in fact boosts the economy by putting more money into the hands of people that will spend it.

          But to my mind, going to a true Unconditional (and Universal) Basic Income is such a large improvement in the structure of society that if there needs to be a concession like removing minimum wage to get it over the line, then I’ll probably be willing to grit my teeth and support it. Because I think that having the backstop of being guaranteed enough money for food, clothing etc will give people the freedom to tell cheap, shitty employers to stick it. Which I think will do a better job of lifting pay and conditions than legislation would. Not to mention giving a lot of people enough security to have a go at starting something of their own and eventually becoming employers themselves.

    • Pat 6.2

      except it runs completely opposed to the strategy all central banks are relying on to inflate the debt away …..mind you our govt has been doing everything it can to frustrate the RB for years.

  7. Garibaldi 7

    Bernard Hickey has been fantastic for years as has Rod Oram, and Colin James and many others. The question has always been how come no one listens? It’s like hitting your head against a brick wall .We are still up against a very strong right wing “machine”.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The MSM is much more likely to put on an economist from one of the Big Banks rather than dissenting voices like Hickey, Oram, James.

  8. smilin 8

    Welcome to a history lesson from the 1800 the local population aint worth anything, the rich get everything and the environment is turning to shit from fossil fuels, industrial / population pollution and over use of the water just like BRITAIN was then
    We really have slipped

    • Leftie 8.1

      +1 Smilin.

    • Jono 8.2

      So true smilin. I think this is a replay of Victorian England all over again. Remember people emigrated away from there to places like our own. Where are we going to disappear to this time back to England???

  9. Tarquin 9

    Is this the same Hickey who moved to Wellington 5 years ago because the Auckland market was about to crash?

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Are you claiming that property markets cannot ever crash? Or just that predicting the timing of these things is a bit fraught?

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Indeed. Everyone thinks the game of musical chairs can keep going one more round. And often it does. Until it doesn’t.

        For instance Vancouver housing prices and volumes seem to be experiencing a strong decline.

        http://vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/real-time-sales-numbers-show-a-decline-in-average-vancouver-home-prices

      • Tarquin 9.1.2

        Not for a moment. I well remember the late nineties in Auckland. I was renting a house that was on the market for 300K it sold for 180. I don’t claim to be an expert on these things, but think the likes of Hickey should be judged on their record – in his case take it with a grain of salt. I also think we should cut immigration right back and make people who come here take out citizenship immediately.

        • Psycho Milt 9.1.2.1

          …the likes of Hickey should be judged on their record…

          Their record of attempting to predict inherently difficult-to-predict outcomes? Why would we use that to judge his uncontroversial point (well, it should be uncontroversial, anyway) that “Allowing a flood of low-skilled migrants is frustrating that market mechanism with the short-term aim of keeping wages low for employers”? It’s not a prediction and the evidence for it is pretty strong.

        • Bill 9.1.2.2

          ..and make people who come here take out citizenship immediately.

          Ah well. You’d be kicking me out after 20 odd years then. Cheers. Any suggestions as to where I should go if your idea was put in place?

          More broadly on immigration.

          How about removing the investment category from immigration? I can’t remember the details, but if you have enough $ you can more or less just walk into NZ…and buy houses or whatever.

          And then, why not push to have pro-worker employment legislation in place to help boost wages and conditions?

          In essence, why not stop fighting on the convenient and xenophobic divide and rule fault lines that are being presented and fight on the side of workers – all workers?

          You could cut immigration to zero, and because the market isn’t a self regulating wonder that’s constantly coming to a state of equilibrium off the back of supply and demand, employers will continue to screw workers over.

  10. Garibaldi 10

    There have been a few recent threads on wages, immigration, jobs, unions.
    With regards to the union issue many commenters blame the unions for their own demise. I don’t agree with this view. I would love to join a union but it would cost me my job. It is a taboo subject at work and cannot be mentioned. The owner of the business will not tolerate anything to do with unions.
    This approach by employers is a direct result of the Employment Contracts Act and individual contracts. This is what has killed the unions and it was central to neoliberalism being introduced.
    One of my major criticisms of Labour is over this issue.
    All workers should be automatically given the right to join their union. And please ,any wishy washy labourites, don’t respond by saying that I have that right because I (and thousands of others ) don’t.

  11. save nz 11

    Agree with everything everyone is saying about getting immigration down. Also the working visas for students is also having a bad affect on local students in ways not just about taking jobs away from them to try to pay now their student loans. Pre the governments luring overseas students here by suggesting they can work and then get residency really easily, there used to be part time jobs for students.

    Now there are very few jobs for local students. This means they don’t get work experience and therefore when they do enter the work force they may well have all the issues complained about like punctuality, poor work ethic and so forth. However if they had been working part time for 4 years during their studies they would be much more experience at working!! Young kids are crap at working, like everyone, as they get more experience they get better at it! Who is the employer going to hire, the 30 year old migrant with work experience and degree desperate for that minimum wage job or the 19 year old Kiwi looking for part time work who has never had a job before and can work out that after travel costs to work they are not really much better off? Yep maybe you do have to put more into that 19 year old but that is called society and making it better. Do people want that 19 year old on the streets because they have no work, that might be their only option. 30 years ago local 14 year olds did fruit picking and got work experience on farms, not we import in Fijian Indian work gangs.

    Seriously, if young Kiwi’s can’t get their own house and go flatting, can’t get a job because of massive competition for that crap job at Pizza Pit, (using your own car for minimum wages) or fruit picking, they effectively never get responsibility to grow up. We are creating the Peter Pan syndrome in next generation and then this government is blaming the youth for being “pretty hopeless”! No wonder they are turning to drugs, suicide and Reality TV, they have first hand experience that neoliberalism does not work. Not only that because of the last 30 years of the commoditisation of children from toys to child care, these children grew up with out being able to take risks, now with NCEA they can’t even fail, and helicopter parenting, only to find out that the world past 18 years old is a very different one…

    How about blaming politicians poor policy and short term ideological lunacy to hide their pathetic long term robbery of the country, (in every aspect from selling off assets to robbing generations of self determination, jobs, housing and education) for being pretty hopeless!!

    • Leftie 11.1

      I’m blaming Money Trader Prime Minister John key for running the country like a Ponzi scheme.

  12. jcuknz 12

    Altogether the politicians have sold the workers down to river as folk above detail.

  13. Bill 13

    Not buying into this clap trap.

    NZ could set immigration to zero and given current anti-worker employment legislation, wages wouldn’t suddenly get a bump.

    NZ could set immigration at present levels and with pro-worker employment legislation wages would go up.

    Since when did people start buying into the neo-lib, supply and demand in a market tending towards equilibrium bullshit again? Was I asleep?

    • Leftie 13.1

      Uncontrolled immigration does drive down wages. Pro-worker employment legislation and turning the tap down on immigration will most assuredly see wages go up.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        Is that in any way responding to my argument? Not really. You moved the goal posts.

        But lets ask a few questions, eh?

        Of those 209 000 work visas, how many were for orchard workers and the like that are shipped in from various Pacific Islands at harvest time to work in conditions that are, to be kind about it, fucking abysmal?

        Of those 209 000 work visas, how many were for back-backer type tourists/travellers who are taking up temporary and often bullshit work in the tourist industry or the fruit picking industry?

        I don’t know the numbers, but would hazard a guess that the answer is “many”.

        So, you want to stop immigration and (for example) force unemployed people to relocate on a temporary basis to wherever fruit is being picked? Please think through the ramifications of that before responding.

        If you think (correctly in my opinion) that pro-worker employment legislation in a low immigration scenario would be a good thing for workers, then why would it not also be a good thing within the current immigration context?

        • Leftie 13.1.1.1

          Not enough jobs, housing and so on, and I didn’t say stop immigration altogether, I said turn the tap down.

          • Bill 13.1.1.1.1

            The back-backer isn’t looking for a house. The people coming in from Pacific Islands to do orchard work aren’t looking for houses either.

            Those people are generally taking the lowest paid work and it’s so lowly paid, and the conditions are so bad, because NZs employment legislation is ‘a gift’ to crap employers.

            Get decent (pro-worker) employment legislation in place, and the wages and conditions of those bottom rung jobs improve. That in itself would have a knock-on effect before even taking into account the more general or wider effects of any pro-worker employment legislation.

            So if I’m traveling through NZ and need (say) $5000 to top up my budget, I can either work some shit hospitality job for six months to top up my money, or I can work for three months if decent pay and conditions prevail.

            In a situation where decent pay and conditions are the norm, then as a traveler I might find that the jobs that were previously up for grabs have been taken by people who live here. And that’s fine. That’s the expected lot of a traveler – you gets what you can and if you can’t get anything, then hey…

            btw – any immigration/work visa debate is really fucking difficult when temporary work visas aren’t separated out from those work visas being given to immigrants.

            So 160 000 people arrived in NZ since 2013. How many are returning Kiwi’s and how many people left in the same period? Or is the 160 000 a net figure? Regardless, I can’t see how 209 000 work visas can be issued to 160 000 immigrants over the space of one year, even disregarding the fact that those 160 000 arrived over a three or four year span.

        • Psycho Milt 13.1.1.2

          So, you want to stop immigration and (for example) force unemployed people to relocate on a temporary basis to wherever fruit is being picked? Please think through the ramifications of that before responding.

          Is there some reason it’s OK to expect people to relocate temporarily from Vanuatu or wherever to do this work but outrageous to expect people already living here to relocate for it?

          • Bill 13.1.1.2.1

            Did I say that was okay? No.

            Are you suggesting that everyone be pulled down to the lowest level of agency – if it’s alright for them, then it’s alright for you? I sincerely fucking hope not.

            • Psycho Milt 13.1.1.2.1.1

              OK, so if it’s not OK to expect people to relocate temporarily from Pacific Islands for this work, we can both agree with Hickey that stopping it would be a good thing.

              Which would mean employers would have to offer pay and conditions that would attract locals to do the work, regardless of the current government having written the employment legislation to suit employers – which, in turn, is Hickey’s point. The maliciously biased employment legislation is a related but different issue.

              • Bill

                You want to slam the door on migrant workers and leave them to essentially rot in places with very low welfare and no prospects? That’s misanthropic bullshit. Workers coming in from other Pacific Islands are driven by a desperate lack of options.

                Far better to ensure their desperation isn’t exploited to the max by Kiwi employers, no?

    • miravox 13.2

      Yup, Immigration isn’t the cause of low wage growth, it’s one of the tools being used to achieve the policy goal of lowering wages. There are others – like destroying job security, NAct has not been too shabby on using legislation to make that happen either.

      Blast from the past rationale – wages should drop so interest rates stay low.

      • Leftie 13.2.1

        +1 Miravox, that was the point.

        • miravox 13.2.1.1

          Yeah, but the it’s not immigration reducing wage growth, it’s the determination of this government to keep wages low. And the government will do that with or without immigration because we (collectively) focus on a tool rather that the objective.

          Applying the brakes to immigration won’t lead to increasing wages because the government will use another tool to keep wages low. Maybe have another shot at employment legislation for example.

          The government could , if it wanted to, choose to put more money into infrastructure (maybe build some houses) and increase R & D to improve the quality of our exports – that would soak up a fair bit of the increased immigration. But the government is not doing that. Because they don’t want to. That may lead to wage growth.

          I do agree immigration is too fast for the country to absorb. However, imo, people on the left should telling the govt that if it wants immigration we call for policies to promote employment growth, wage growth and the infrastructure required to successfully accommodate an increased number of New Zealanders rather than becoming a stuck record on linking immigration to lower wages. This victimises people, promotes racism and divides the workers and in the end won’t help wages much simply because the govt is more concerned about interest rates, lower taxes and increasing the share of the economic pie for the already wealthy.

      • Bill 13.2.2

        Yup, Immigration isn’t the cause of low wage growth, it’s one of the tools being used to achieve the policy goal of lowering wages

        It’s a tool or mechanism that can only work when there is woeful employment legislation in place. If employment legislation was geared to empower workers, then immigration as a ploy to lower wages and conditions wouldn’t work.

        But sure. Lets just blame workers for workers having a crap time of it (it’s easy) and kick them the fcuk out of this ‘god zone’ – I’m sure it will help matters /sarc

        • miravox 13.2.2.1

          That /sarc was aimed at me?

          I think I’ll just ignore it.

          • Bill 13.2.2.1.1

            Nope. Intended for those who seem to reckon that the primary cause of low wages, shit conditions, lack of jobs and expensive housing is….tha immigrant.

            • Leftie 13.2.2.1.1.1

              I think most know that Immigration is not the primary cause, it’s just one of a number of reasons.

              • Bill

                Gee, I must have been reading the wrong comment thread. The one I was reading was mostly made up of comments asserting that a cut in immigration numbers was needed because that would see wages rise and whatever.

                They didn’t generally mention or sign post any other prescription to bring an end to low wages, crap conditions and lack of jobs. Those things, or so it appeared from a goodly number of the comments in the comment thread I was reading, are happening as a direct result of immigrants.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Yes Bill, your refusal to accept that immigration settings are one of a number of ways of encouraging lowering of wages, needs to be pandered to by everybody else in their arguments. Obviously everybody better tiptoe around this particular point, and otherwise suggest nice sounding alternatives first for fear of hurting your delicate sentiments.

                  Lets say that in in fact however the population of NZ turns out to be a bunch of racists who detest immigration. Do you accept that they are legitimately entitled to determine (through political representation) the immigration policy of the country? Or is democracy only acceptable to you when you approve of the outcomes?

              • miravox

                “it’s just one of a number of reasons.”

                No. The impact of immigration on jobs is an outcome, not a reason.

                Immigration can occur and not negatively impact on wage rates. Immigration can have a positive outcome if used well. But the government wants the negative outcome and plans for it. The reasons for why the government wants this outcome is where our focus should be, imo.

                • miravox

                  I just think we have to hang together with all workers on this. We’re being taken for a ride by allowing the government to set the objective of immigration and having us react to the outcome; leaving it above the fray and able to transfer blame when the people who came for precarious jobs are attacked.

            • miravox 13.2.2.1.1.2

              Ah, ok. Right you are.

      • joe90 13.2.3

        like destroying job security

        The recent sale of a Whanganui petrol station to out of town interests and the replacement of the entire staff by recent immigrants has many former clients and a goodly number locals openly boycotting the business.

        • Bill 13.2.3.1

          And who or what’s to blame?

          The recent immigrants? The previous owner? The current owner? The employment legislation that allows, among a clutch of other shit, employees to be fired when a business changes hands?

          If there were no immigrants, what would there be to stop any new owner doing exactly as has been done by way of playing workers off against each other and employing those either willing to take lower wages and conditions or desperate enough to take lower wages and conditions?

    • Nic the NZer 13.3

      While the govt could improve employment outcomes in NZ if they do not then the change in immigration policy would help or hinder wage changes in and of itself. We will have to consider ourselves lucky if the govt even lifts a finger i expect.

      If we had a govt interested in this issue (rather than focused on inflation) then they might have setup a job guarantee. In this case the immigrant workforce would be expected to increase the numbers taking up such positions so the ‘burden’ of immigration on policy or the economy is not nothing.

      The govts present policy setting of declaring skill shortages on jobs and facilitating immigration of workers into positions where NZs are unemployed is undermining the existing workforce wage prospects. NZ is fully entitled to decide against this outcome democratically.

      • Bill 13.3.1

        Again. Those numbers. What is the total net inflow from immigration since 2013? How many of that number are returning Kiwis? How many are children?

        How can 209 000 work visas be awarded in one year to (at face value) 160 000 immigrants who arrived over a three or four year period?

        This immigration bullshit is a distraction from the fact that employers in this country have been given a free hand to fuck workers over.

        Even assuming that 160 000 is a net figure and that they are all working age adults seeking work, then 40 000 people per year (2013 – 16 inclusive) in an environment that has between 100 000 and 200 000 people officially unemployed (the actual number will be higher than any official count) and probably well in excess of 100 000 in work but needing more hours of work to make ends meet….yeah, 40 000 people taking up some measure of work every year simply isn’t the problem.

        • Poission 13.3.1.1

          One number is for permanent residence,the other is for temporary residence inclusive of those with visitor/student status.

        • Nic the NZer 13.3.1.2

          None so blind…

          209 is the number of visas issued over the year. Most in areas where NZers have the skills and are unemployed. Say there were none of those are you seriously saying that we would still have 100,000 odd unemployed?

          On the immigration your dismissing 20 to 40% of the total unemployed (each year) whos arrival apparantly does not take up jobs in areas where NZers are employable (and unemployed). Of course this is contradicted by the data cited by Hicky already.

          Even if there is no positive outcome on wages this is already increasing income as the income is paid into NZers pockets (rather than the

    • b waghorn 13.4

      the problem with going to zero is that small towns like Taumarunui would have no doctors ,less nurses and aged care workers .

  14. Observer Tokoroa 14

    . “209,461 immigration work visas given to foreigners – June 30 2015 to June 30 2016”
    . Against the topmost advice, Woodhouse and Billy English poo pooed it.
    .
    . This is treason against New Zealand citizens. Only 4 persons of that massive number had major skills.

    . Just in case you don’t know who is destroying Kiwi Citizens it is:
    .The Maori Party, United First Party, The Act Party, The National Party.

    .Each of whom are outrageously wealthy. Each of whom seem to be part of a cluster of incompetents.

    . They work solely on the twin basis of “Spin” and the Loading up of very wealthy people with more assets and more “Wealth”.

    .

    • Leftie 14.1

      Heaps of plus 1’s Observer Tokoroa.

    • Barfly 14.2

      Mate read the article…I agree with your line of argument but get the facts straight

      “The top 20 occupations for those visas show just four were in higher-skilled occupations.”

      4 occupations out of 20 doesn’t mean 4 people only please.

      • Craig H 14.2.1

        Also, I’m not sure how Student got on that list, or how a Registered Nurse or Dairy Farm manager is not a higher-skilled occupation – they are both skill level 1 on the ANZSCO (highest skill level), and Registered Nurse (Aged Care) is on the Long Term Skills Shortage List.

  15. Observer Tokoroa 15

    .
    .Thanks Leftie
    .I appreciate that you are aware of what is going on in our once fair country.

    What cheeses me off is the fact that PAYE workers pay for Billy and Johnny. The Tax evasion by the wealthy ministers in the Parliament doesn’t pay. Nor the Tax havens or Trusts.

    It is the trapped and wedged and bludged-on workers that pay the Debts for Billy.
    . The rightful huge payments to Treaty Settlements is not paid for by Johnny or Billy or wealthy Maori. They are paid for by paye workers whose wages are so low they cause despair and unhappiness and violence.

    Billy’s Billions of Dollars Debt will not be paid for by anybody but the NZ low end earners.

    The sheep the paye workers paid for and which were sent over to Saudi Arabia – courtesy of National corruption… paid for by very impoverished Kiwi workers. Not by the stinking wealthy tax cheats inside Parliament.

    As I see it, the Unions of NZ should demand that Little and Robertson cut PAYE tax to one cent per pay. Eh Leftie. Plus an annual bonus of $150, 000 per year for each worker.
    .

  16. Plan B 16

    “….we’ve had one of the very largest planned immigration programmes anywhere, and one of the very worst productivity performances among advanced countries for decades. ”
    Start reading Michael Rendell, he is from the ‘right’ but he is not wrong!

    https://croakingcassandra.com/2016/08/18/woodhouse-on-immigration/

    “Ministers like Woodhouse and Joyce devote huge amounts of time to recounting stories of labour shortages in particular sectors, or regions, or firms and how they – and their wise bureaucrats – closely monitor emerging pressures etc, juggle and refine the approved occupational categories to match supply and demand. It has all the overconfidence of a Soviet-era central planner – and not a jot of faith in the markets, or indeed in their fellow New Zealanders.”

    “New Zealanders won’t do the job. they will say.
    In fact, New Zealanders won’t at the prevailing wage – which both they, and employers, treat as given. But it isn’t a given. Pull back on the ability to bring in lowly-skilled immigrants and the market will adjust”

  17. Guerilla Surgeon 17

    Well, we certainly not just importing in areas where we have skills shortages. We are definitely importing labour in areas where bosses don’t want to pay higher wages, particularly farming. And that’s probably because we export most of the farm produce and the farmers don’t give a fuck about New Zealanders being able to buy it.

  18. aerobubble 18

    Retailers can up prices and pay workers more, or keep prices the same, lower quality, pay the same. It no surprise to me that Thatcher who brought us such food scares as mad cows, lowering quality of the food system, is again happening. You see the neos believe that govt should get out of the way, the social counter balances can be ignored, and think this isn’t also an incentive, a intervention, by govt, since govt is everything there can be no small govt, there is only private government. Key has, by lower trading standards with China, yes its not just letting in lots of millionaries in, he did not stop there, he’s lower food quality standards, this allows companies, incentivizes via govt regulation the zero inflation low wage economies. And the nasty joke is those trade agreements have no easy means of raising standards because big global corps were nicely placed in the room to make sure free markets means voters lose big lowest quality pollution and resulting production crap is the norm, strangely removing the invisible hand of greater quality and quantity. Neo-libs all talk the game but they are nothing more than old time big govt private partnership corruption.

  19. Observer Tokoroa 19

    .
    .Hi Joe 90

    .”The recent sale of a Whanganui petrol station to out of town interests and the replacement of the entire staff by recent immigrants has many former clients and a goodly number locals openly boycotting the business.”

    . Billy English will be thrilled that staff were kicked out! It is right up his dodgy alley.

    . It is good that Kiwis look after fellow Kiwis. Isn’t Joe ?

    I mean no harm to any Business men, but they can always return home to their place in Canada, Germany, Britain, India and China and Phillipines. They can do their Business there. No problem.
    .
    . We are certainly not a nursery for wealthy foreigners. We are a Nation. Committed to our own responsibilities here for our people and our children. Anything else comes way way second.
    .

  20. Is it possible for our Supporters to collectively send a message of good will to wonderful brave Helen Kelly. After seeing her o Q&A Sunday all I can say is that there is only one New Zealand-er of the year Helen Kelly

  21. Observer Tokoroa 21

    .
    .
    Good one Pink Postman + 100%

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  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
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    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
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    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
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    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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. ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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, ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks 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. ...
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    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago