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Key is relaxed about widespread refugee crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, September 1st, 2015 - 58 comments
Categories: aid, helen clark, International, iraq, john key, national, Syria, war - Tags:

refugees are human beings-1

In good old sleepy Aotearoa we do not really get a feeling for the extent of the refugee crisis that is unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.  Three failed states, Syria, Iraq and Libya are imploding and millions of their citizens are on the move looking for a better life.

The causes are slightly different.  In Iraq through continuous interference and the undermining of a civilised society over a period of decades the administration has fallen apart.  George Bush’s and Tony Blair’s war on Iraq based on non existing weapons of mass destruction were the last straw.  Blair’s appointment as a Middle Eastern envoy was a joke and he failed miserably at the role.  If for no other reason than to see the look on Blair’s face I hope that Jeremy Corbyn wins UK Labour’s leadership contest.

In Libya a butchered military intervention did not bring freedom.  Instead it destroyed any chance Libya had of recovering from Gadaffi’s extremes.

And in Syria Bashar al-Assad had responded to an Arab spring by a brutal put down of any sign of dissent including the use of chemical weapons on its citizens.

The growth of ISIS in each of these states is of concern.  But the lesson has to be that the use of military force to shape or change a country is never going to work.

In Lebanon, with a population similar to New Zealand’s, there are now 1.2 million refugees.  Think of a New Zealand where every fifth person present is a refugee and this will give you an idea of the extent of the crisis.  In Turkey there are 1.6 million refugees.  Germany expects to take in 800,000 refugees this year.

And John Key’s response?

From Radio New Zealand this morning:

The Prime Minister is flatly rejecting an emergency intake of refugees despite the escalating migration crisis in Europe.

This year alone, the International Organisation for Migration estimates, 2373 people have died trying to reach Europe by sea, and 3573 in the past 12 months. Almost 300,000 people have arrived in Europe in 2015.

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out an emergency intake of refugees.

Amnesty International said the international community, including New Zealand, could not continue to turn its back on the situation.

It wants the Government to consider an emergency intake of refugees on top of doubling its annual quota of 750.

But Mr Key yesterday again said New Zealand was already doing its bit.

“Everyone accepts the enormity of the challenge of what’s taking place, but New Zealand can pride itself on the fact that it’s one of the countries that’s consistently taken refugees for a long period of time.

“There are quite a few countries that don’t take refugees,” he said.

Just like the Government’s response to climate change Key is relaxed because we are doing our bit.  The use of the word “bit” is rather appropriate.

He previously claimed that New Zealand accepted 4,000 refugees a year.  He had mistakenly quoted the three year figure and had included those allowed in under the Family Reunification policy but this would be a more acceptable figure.  If the figure was acceptable to him then it should be acceptable now.

Helen Clark is very discrete in discussing local issues but on her recent visit she said this:

I think of people from all parts of the world, fleeing all kinds of oppression who have come here, I think they’ve repaid us thousands of times….Having said that, don’t think it’s enough to add another 250 or another 500 to the refugee quota.”

Ms Clark, who is the administrator of the United Nation’s Development Programme, said Syria’s neighbours, in particular, needed more support.

“I don’t know whether it’s widely appreciated in New Zealand how great the burden on some of the neighbours is. Lebanon has a population the same size of New Zealand in an area that is probably smaller than the Waikato. They now have 1.2 million refugees from Syria,” she said.

Her comment made feel rather nostalgic for a time when our leader was a compassionate humanitarian who could see the good in all people and whose desire was to improve things.  Instead we have a leader who is totally indifferent to the plight of millions of people and believes that doing a bit is enough. And a Government that is willing to spend $11 million on a Saudi Sheep farming operation but do nothing extra in the face of one of the gravest humanitarian crises the world has ever seen.

58 comments on “Key is relaxed about widespread refugee crisis ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    These will be remembered fondly as “settled times” once peak oil bites.

    • maui 1.1

      +1, people really need to look into self-sufficiency. Our economic, oil and food systems aren’t nearly as stable as most people think they are.

  2. BM 2

    Have the media asked for Andrew Littles opinion.?
    Is he for or against?

    Myself I’m against, let Europe sort it out and once everything has settled down repatriate the refugees back to their home countries.

    Much easier to do that from Europe than NZ.

    • CrashCart 2.1

      Yes because Europe has a great record of sorting things out in the Middle East.

      My guess is you really don’t give a shit about anything that doesn’t directly impact you so bringing more reugees here would actually make it a problem you have to consider. So screw Europe and the Middle East BM is enjoying his comfortable life in NZ.

    • Tracey 2.2

      Where do you go for your information about stuff BM?

      In April this year Little said we need to increase our quote to help out

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/67910538/Call-for-Government-to-lift-refugee-quota

    • Arthur 2.3

      “Evil is the absence of empathy.”

      Attributed to American Chief Justice Robert H Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials.

    • McGrath 2.4

      Taking more refugees is not a vote winner for JK and his support base, which is why it was kicked to touch with great haste.

      Personally I’m against bringing in any more refugees. Call me harsh, but this is Europe’s problem and not ours.

      • McFlock 2.4.1

        I wouldn’t say “harsh”.
        “selfish and short-sighted”, though.

        We could easily double or treble our refugee intake without significant negative social impact, and lots of positive results.

      • Pat 2.4.2

        I guess climate change is the EU, Chinas and the US s problem too eh?

        • McGrath 2.4.2.1

          In a word, yes. Without EU, China, and the US doing anything, NZ’s contributions are minimal at best.

          • Pat 2.4.2.1.1

            I see your logic….. you are obviously a person of deep thoughts.

          • Tracey 2.4.2.1.2

            Lucky for you and John the rest of the world doesn’t feel that way about us or we wouldn’t even be at the TPP table

            I wonder how we got onto the Security Council, or why we wasted so much money doing that?

      • Corokia 2.4.3

        Following your line of reasoning there McGrath, when sea level rise makes low lying Pacific islands unihabitable New Zealand won’t ask for any help in resettling the climate refugees, after all it will be our Pacific problem and not Europe’s.

      • Tracey 2.4.4

        Yeah, anther 250 would wreck NZ forEVER!

        And yet, we have expectations of being treated well within a worldwide community but under this PM we only do the obvious “what’s it worth in monetary terms” stuff.

    • Molly 2.5

      And our lifestyle and choices contribute nothing to civil unrest in these countries?

      Inconceivable!

    • Foreign waka 2.6

      Coalition of the willing, first to destroy and last to rebuild. A sign of the bagage that is the source of the flood of refugees.

  3. tc 3

    Key’s just playing the numbers as all bankstas do, the folk upset by this probably don’t vote for him and the ZB rantland rednecks would love it.

    CT would be giving him the thumbs up and wonder how they’re advising Cameron to spin it in the CT UK division.

    Big issue in Europe this summer with the Ultra’s etc flexing their muscle, mostly by probably throwing molotov cocktails at refugee locations in Germany. Banners at Budelsiga games this weekend taunting the brits for not taking enough so the scene is set.

  4. Bill 4

    This three minute film “Where are the Syrian Refugees?” is informative and precise.

    http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/where-are-the-syrian-refugees/

    In summary.

    Pop Syria 20 million.
    Refugee numbers now. 12 million. (8 million internally displaced and 4 million spread across Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan)
    250 000 have made it to the EU.

    Syrian refugees aren’t allowed to apply for asylum through the embassies of European countries in the region around Syria. They have to make footfall in Europe to apply for asylum.

    The EU is planning to allow a global total of 20 000 refugees to apply for asylum without them having to be physically present in Europe. If that number was applied to only Syrian refugee numbers, it would account for 0.2% of the total, or1 in 500.

  5. Detrie 5

    Like many ‘great leaders’ Mr Key, like many politicians, simply has no empathy for others. He is there for himself and building a personal legacy – Like the new flag. Humanitarian issues like this are an evil distraction to him. Only ‘refugees’ bringing lots of money with them to buy up our homes, businesses or land are welcome here.

    • AB 5.1

      Perhaps some re-balancing of the selection criteria for immigration is part of the answer?
      For years it seems we have used having money – and promises to invest money – as a qualifying criterion for immigration. I’m not sure this has served us well as it contains the assumption that the wealth of communities is driven top-down by the brilliant solo entrepreneur.
      This is pretty rare actually – far more likely it is driven bottom-up by an educated, healthy, happy, and engaged populace.
      So make the criteria skills first, and humanitarian need second. And make having lots of money a disqualifying criterion?

  6. Tracey 6

    Isn’t Key worried they will sail their ricketty boats here? Afterall if they can get here from Indonesia… the sky’s the limit?

    • Quasimodo 6.1

      .. as long as they don’t run aground in his electorate.

      No one seems to have noted the irony of the son of a refugee forbidding access to refugees in desperate situations.

      It does not say much about his moral and intellectual formation in a private Christchurch college, or his knowledge of the world gained through money trading.

      Those are obviously not the values the selection committee of the “National” party looks for.

      • tc 6.1.1

        Hypocrasy and pulling ladders up behind them are essential traits in keys govt.

      • Rosie 6.1.2

        “No one seems to have noted the irony of the son of a refugee forbidding access to refugees in desperate situations.”

        I was wondering about that. It was his mother who fled nazi Germany wasn’t it?

        While it’s generally not wise to bring politicians families into the media, this should be an exception. Key needs to be asked why, when we supported war refugee’s from Europe do we now refuse to support refugee’s in this current crisis. The suffering of the two groups is the same.

      • Tracey 6.1.3

        well observed

      • miravox 6.1.4

        “No one seems to have noted the irony of the son of a refugee forbidding access to refugees in desperate situations.”

        Oh yes we have. Although the more times it’s noted the better, imo.

  7. Quasimodo 7

    German Companies See Refugees as Opportunity

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/a-361702.html

  8. Rosie 8

    Every night on Al Jazeera, they cover the refugee crisis in depth. Every night, of late they have been referring to this as the largest refugee crisis since WW2. It’s extremely depressing viewing. Seeing this and knowing we have a modest quota of 750, and theres nothing our government will do to increase that number is also depressing. We assisted European war refugee’s then, whats different now?

    Our PM is depressing the way he turns a blind to eye to immense suffering and misery and instead goes all gooey eyes over Richie McCaw. The guy has no idea about the priorities of humanity, only his vain self advancing priorities.

    He’s a bloody hypocrite as well. Plays the hero and sends NZ troops to Iraq to “train” troops there yet turns his back on the desperate civilians of that area. What level of incomprehension is that?

  9. hoom 9

    And in Syria Bashar al-Assad had responded to an Arab spring by a brutal put down of any sign of dissent including the use of chemical weapons on its citizens.

    This is written as if Syria is all Bashar al-Assads fault, which is bollocks.
    He is not innocent for sure but was Secular & Syria was quite stable previously.
    Its yet another US sponsored & armed extremist Islamic revolution gone terribly terribly bad.

  10. AB 10

    Her comment made feel rather nostalgic for a time when our leader was a compassionate humanitarian who could see the good in all people and whose desire was to improve things.

    But she was hated for “telling people what to think” eh? (Also known as having a different opinion from mine and expressing it in a way that sounds threateningly decent and therefore contains a hint that I’m a bad person.)

    I’d much prefer to get Richie’s opinion on it.

  11. dv 12

    And yet both Keys parents were immigrants.

  12. Clean_power 13

    Micky Savage: How many refugees are enough for you? How many should New Zealand take?

    • mickysavage 13.1

      A lot more than 750. When humanity needs help we should do what we can.

    • locus 13.2

      New Zealanders could welcome one refugee family in every town in NZ. Would that be so difficult?

      There are 542 towns in NZ so a family of four in each town would mean 2,168 refugees. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_towns_in_New_Zealand

      I am humiliated by the utterly selfish small-minded unstatesmanlike prime minister who currently struts around NZ doing dinner-party deals with crooks, bribing businessmen and believes 26 million on a flag is more ‘interesting’ than the global problem of refugees

      I’m angry that New Zealand currently has troops in Iraq, was complicit in Afghanistan, and has a prime minister who jumped up and down because NZ refused to be involved in the ‘coalition of the willing’

      and I am humbled by the response of the people around the world who are doing so much to take in refugees and deal with the disastrous outcomes of the West’s intervention in the Middle East –
      …… many of thes people are from European countries that had nothing to do with these wars or their outcomes ….

  13. Bill 14

    Clubs and clubs?

  14. Mike the Savage One 15

    Without any doubt, John Key’s “brighter future” requires immigrants that “pay their way”, those who “bring” talent, skills and INVESTMENT, into the country, including those with healthy bank accounts, that have enough credit to buy into the Auckland real estate market, or at least set up a 2 Dollar Shop or something else.

    People that have spent their last bit of money, to get out of Syria or Iraq, or some crisis regions in Africa, they are deemed to be a “burden”, I suppose, as they come with just their bare hands and may require a bit of up front investment, to integrate them, house them and get them up-skilled for jobs there may be.

    That is about the approach we must expect from Key and NatACT in government.

    Those expecting anything else are dreaming.

    JK did not make millions by being a humanitarian or human rights promoter, he comes from the currency trader, merchant banking and business background. “Capital”, including “human capital”, is only considered if there is a perceived immediate or soon opportunity to make use of it.

    Hence refugees cannot be a priority, the government prefers tens of thousands migrants that come in the “normal” way.

    But as for the man at the helm of the nation himself, I wonder, has he forgotten where he comes from, is he totally out of touch with reality? I leave this to the reader to decide.

  15. Mike the Savage One 16

    “And in Syria Bashar al-Assad had responded to an Arab spring by a brutal put down of any sign of dissent including the use of chemical weapons on its citizens.

    The growth of ISIS in each of these states is of concern. But the lesson has to be that the use of military force to shape or change a country is never going to work.”

    I tend to disagree with the latter now, after much consideration.

    While I agree that it will hardly help to send “western” or other foreign troops into Syria, ways must be found to have opposition groups there united once for all, and to be assisted to take action, as those that believe that ISIS will simply sit down and negotiate to work out a future peaceful, fair, just and functioning state with others, are really out there dancing with the fairies.

    Jabhat al Nusra are another powerful group fighting in Syria, like many others, but are nowhere as extreme or ruthless as ISIS.

    It seems that some other groups cooperate with them, at least temporarily.

    The US and “west” have failed so far to work with and to support the right kinds of groups, and that is the major fail. We have some Gulf states interfere, but that is only “helping” some groups advance, but does not resolve the crisis.

    It will though only be possible to resolve the multi faceted war there by having local forces win it, or at some stage negotiate a peace.

    And without ending the war there, the flood of refugees will not stop, it will increase.

    The refugee wave into Europe seems to be part of ISIS’s strategy, thus overloading the patience and resources of many Europeans, and create tensions between groups in society and state governments, weakening the whole EU, and with that also NATO states. The disarray “the west” is in only gives them confidence and helps them to continue building their Caliphate.

    So some smart, effective and longer term measures must be taken, besides of humanitarian support, or soon we will have the right wing nationals win elections in at least some European states. Hungary building barb wire fences will then only be the “harmless” start to something, that may to some degree resemble what has happened before.

  16. miravox 17

    So the New Zealand Prime Minister is refusing to bring forward a review on New Zealand’s refugee quota of 750 per year. He says New Zealand is “doing a good job”, without acknowledging those 750 places for refugees have not being filled in 3 of the last 6 years.

    This is despite an international refugee crisis that is considered the worst since the second world war. This prime minister is on record as supporting interventions in the Middle East that have destabilised the region and led to this massive movement of people towards safety in Europe, despite the perilous journeys they must make.

    At least Angela Merkel hasn’t forgotten her history

    “If Europe fails on the question of refugees, this close connection with universal civil rights … will be destroyed and it won’t be the Europe we want,” she said…

    Merkel was openly critical of the idea voiced by Slovakia on giving priority to refugees who are Christian. The chancellor said that Europe’s values are based on the dignity of every individual, and that saying Muslims are not wanted “can’t be right”.

    More people in Germany and Austria agree with her than I expected. I went along to the demonstration in Vienna in support of better treatment for refugees and was surprised that 20,000 people turned up – with only minimal police presence and we only encountered one lone voice in opposition (my partner was still in his office clothes so maybe this lone haranguer thought it was a bit safer to have a go at someone who looked conservative).

    The chant of the protest was “Internationale Solidarität”. The protest also highlighted the failure of the Dublin Regulation which states “The country that the asylum seeker first applies for asylum is responsible for either accepting or rejecting asylum, and the seeker may not restart the process in another jurisdiction “. This regulation has put undue pressure on Southern European countries and prevented refugees from joining family in countries like Germany. It also adds to the people smuggling business when refugees try to avoid being processed in the first European country they arrive in.

    The poignancy of Austrian trains laden with refugees out of Hungary and to safety in Austria and Germany unexpectedly arriving at the station the march started from, as the demonstration began, will not have been lost on many.

    New Zealand’s Prime Minister, with his policy briefing and his very personal connections with people escaping war and persecution knows what these people have been through. He knows why they’re leaving the Middle East. He has said so, and used the plight of the Syrian and Iraqi people to justify sending a contingent of the New Zealand armed forces to Iraq. It’s time for him to Get some guts over the refugee crisis and be a decent person. In his speech in parliament to support sending the army training personnel to Iraq, when talking about our independent *cough* foreign policy he said:

    New Zealand is a country that stands up for its values. We stand up for what’s right. We have an obligation to support stability and the rule of law internationally. We do not shy away from taking our share of the burden when the international rules-based system is threatened…”

    I believe playing a part in resolving the current refugee crisis, that in part is a result of foreign interventions he supported, is part of that obligation. It sickens me to think of what New Zealand’s values are if this in not true.

    If you can sell a flag that no-one wants “Double the Quota” shouldn’t be too hard for a politician of his calibre to sell to a possibly poorly-informed and reluctant NZ population. That he doesn’t even try is more than embarrassing, it’s shameful.

    • Macro 17.1

      I believe playing a part in resolving the current refugee crisis, that in part is a result of foreign interventions he supported, is part of that obligation. It sickens me to think of what New Zealand’s values are if this in not true.

      Quoted for truth.
      NZ’s commitment to the world refugee problem, fostered by our PM, is shameful – there is no other word for it.

      • Mike the Savage One 17.1.1

        I fear though, the PM is “mindful” of some polling, telling him, the majority of the population here, is not that keen on refugees, particularly not ones of the Muslim faith. As I observe it, people are rather self focused, and also more interested in the hoped for success of the All Blacks during the RWC, and some do take an interest in the new flag, plus other not so political matters, “having to pay” their taxes to help feed and integrate refugees is only on the minds of a minority.

        We can thank years, perhaps decades, of continued conditioning, that the greatest purpose of life for many is to look after oneself, and that greed is somehow “good”. The occasional “humanitarian” outpouring also seems to be a bit of tokenism, used as a bit of a feelgood factor.

        The New Zealand of 02 September 2015 is very different to the one ten years ago, it is one extremely different to the country and society 20 to 30 years ago.

        • Macro 17.1.1.1

          What you say Mike is perfectly true – however it does not mitigate the fact that it is shameful. I am becoming less and less proud to be a New Zealander.

  17. Anthony Blomfield 18

    Thank you The Standard for publishing this appalling situation in the middle East and our Goverments evil response to the refugees crisis. On this issue alone I am sick to think I ever supported Mr Key. This goes far past economical ideology past incompetence to complete incompassion … I am ashamed ashamed :-/

  18. AmaKiwi 19

    “When they have made the world a solitude, they call it peace.”
    (Tacitus, Roman Senator 117 A.D.)

    Now the destroyers are overwhelmed with refugees whose lands they have laid waste to.

    Former Sec. of State Collin Powell’s warning before the overthrow of the Hussein regime: “If you break it, you own it.”

    My solution: Europeans hire huge passenger liners and send the refugees to the USA. Then see what the American public thinks of their Middle Eastern experiments like Operation Iraqi Freedom, the War on Terrorism, drones, depleted uranium bombs, etc.

    Those who broke the Middle East now own it. We did our small part to break it, too.

  19. weston 20

    personly id like it if more refugees meant more small market gardens in and arround every town and therefore much greater participation made of village markets but if many more refugees meant bumping into another fedora arround every corner id find it tough going .I still think a large area of land preferably in australia matching the approximate environs of the countries displaced people have come from would be a better option As well it would be a much better use of money to spend it building a brand new city than on fences border guards and police and if transport was legitimately laid on youd get rid of the people smugglers too.Theres a shitstorm happening in the east that will proably only get worse and weare kidding ourselves if we think increasing our refugee take to 1000 or even 2000 would make any difference .Thats exactly the debate we will have though for months if not years

  20. Aspasia 21

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11506105

    Comments here demonstrate exactly WHY John Key is so relaxed. Ugly stuff!

  21. freedom of will 22

    I don’t like sanctimonious hippies / left winger who crave for “world peace” yada yada to enforce other real tax paying citizens to pay for their dreams of having those illegal migrants / refugees / whatever-they-are-called to be taken into NZ.

    I don’t need to inflict self-harm to prove that I’m a good person, and I don’t want someone currently shamelessly sitting on his/her arses demanding Europe to pay for his/her lives to come to my neighbourhood to prove myself.

    For me, I simply don’t care. And I don’t want to be forced to do anything.

    If you love them so much, please donate your own money so they can have a life somewhere ELSE. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be forced to do anything contradictory to your free will. If you respect freedom and democracy, that’s the real way of resolving the issue.

    I suggest people should spend more time sorting out their Kiwisaver investment strategy given the current economic instability and your fund may well be losing money! The essence is, learn some economics and stop worrying about bs.

    • Foreign waka 22.1

      And so you have left the genetic difference behind that makes up a human being.

      • freedom of will 22.1.1

        Tell me, how long are you going to live in this world? And why is everyone so distracted with things which are not their problems.

        This site is crammed with the typical left-wing/greenie uni student twitter hashtag activists type of people, and they are the exact kind who, instead of getting an internship to get the right network and starting a potentially well paid, excellent career (eg. STEM, med, dentistry, law, and finance, IB, and if parents are rich, business), they waste their time on those non-issues and trash talk John Key (who worked his way out of poverty and I respect him deeply for that) for not caring about those who are thousands of miles from us. I only left UoA less than five years ago, and I have seen those roaming around always getting “outraged” about something.

        If those people fail in their lives, they should have no RIGHT to claim others are screwing them, it’s simply because they are losing their mind and prefer to waste their preciously limited amount of time to inflict self harm (though I doubt those activists pay much tax because most of them are poor) and the rest of the population (forcing others to pay for those so called refugees, which I WON’T).

        That’s why I’m a libertarian: your life, your choice, your consequence, and no, you don’t get to protest about your own failures caused by your own doings.

        Though I doubt, in case we allow those refugees to come to NZ, they will live even close to where I am, I extremely dislike the idea of imposition of your desirable to those who think otherwise. That’s why I suggested, if you love them so much, donate your own money so they can start a life somewhere ELSE.

        And I do think some of those activists hate businesses, hate success, hate people pursuing their dreams so they want to drag everything down to their standard: make no money but provide free services for all and everything, which is insane and treacherous to the national interest of NZ.

        • Mike the Savage One 22.1.1.1

          You live on a complacent kind of “mental island”, I fear.

          The day may come where you or any of your family’s offspring may themselves end up being refugees of sorts.

          I may just point out the actual arms race that is happening in various regions on this planet, and that today Mainland China is holding one of its largest military parades ever, to demonstrate the power the nation has built, and will not be afraid to use in future conflicts!

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/sep/03/china-military-parade-to-commemorate-second-world-war-victory-live

          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-31706989

          Japan is worried about the increased military spending and is itself spending more:

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/31/japan-plans-largest-ever-defence-budget-to-counter-chinas-reach

          Russia is under Putin doing its bit:
          http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russian-defense-budget-to-hit-record-81bln-in-2015/509536.html

          While the US is cutting some spending, it is by far still the most powerful military force in the world, and over recent years the US government has intensified cooperation with allies in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, to improve military resolve.

          Trade is reaching its limits, in fact, trade is competition that at times resembles warfare without using violence. But all the so called FTAs are now not bringing that much in advantages for nations, particularly not the ordinary residents, and when trade is no longer achieving “growth” that benefits people, then pressures increase on governments, who have a habit of beating the nationalist drums.

          We are heading for a repeat of past great wars, I dare say to you, and the day will come for large scale conflicts at a scale not seen since WW2.

          Little New Zealand may consider itself far away from it all, but as resources, including such as fertile land and water in good climate, needed for growing ever more needed foods, become scarce, this little lot of islands will not benefit as much as in the past from isolation.

          Instead of joining the casino capitalism you seem to favour, perhaps prepare for some hard times ahead, and you may be one less desired specimen on a piece of land, that others may one day desire to call their own. Look for an example at Indonesia’s gradual, quiet colonisation of West Papua. Who says New Zealand, with NO significant defence force, that is not even able to scare off illegal fishing vessels from overseas, can remain to be a “safe” place forever?

          P.S.: Perhaps turn on the Chinese TV channels available on Freeview here in Auckland, or tune into one on FM radio, and listen to the endless anti Japanese “reflections” on the past war, which is understandable to a degree, but there must be better ways of remembering the past, I suggest.

        • Delia 22.1.1.2

          What if I told you that New Zealand could face sanctions with trade if they are perceived to have broken refugee treaties? Would you give a stuff than? You think you are a libertarian, but all you really are an insular person clinging to his money saying ‘I am OK Jack’ believe me that is not how the Dutch and French Resistance pushed back the Nazi’s. You think you are cool, but really you are callous, people like you are a dime a dozen. Now you gave the Standard readers your opinion of them, now you have heard my opinion of you.

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    2 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
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    2 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
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    4 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
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    4 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
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    5 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
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    6 days ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
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    1 week ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
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    1 week ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
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    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
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    1 week ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
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    1 week ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
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    1 week ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
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    2 weeks ago