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Nats’ Kim Dotcom law

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, March 5th, 2012 - 45 comments
Categories: im/migration - Tags:

Labour has obtained a cabinet paper showing the Nats’ plan to introduce a ‘two-tier’ immigration system – those with money go to the front of the queue. It’s more evidence of how everything is for sale under National – our employment laws, our power plants, our farms, our gambling laws, and, now, our immigration law. I wonder if they’ll call it the Kim Dotcom Bill.

45 comments on “Nats’ Kim Dotcom law”

  1. Uturn 1

    This is completely in keeping with NZ culture though. People want to “get ahead” i.e. get rich, and you can’t get ahead when you’re a poor agricultural nation i.e. consisting of poor people with skills related to manual agricultural operations or those that are capable of being taught skills, but have no immediate skill. It comes down to the question of, What does NZ want to be as a Nation?

    At the top of the get ahead mindset are those who are ahead, for the period of their lifetime. Those still rising would argue we need poor people to become slaves so they can reach the upper heights – they don’t often use the word slaves, they call it high productivty, low wage – but this is clearly not some humanitarian angle designed to welcome poor immigrants to a better Life. Utilitarianism rears it’s ugly head again. The get ahead mindset is possesed by Left and Right here in NZ. Those on the Left who are aware, but lack the skills to answer the huge questions that giving up ambition returns, run for cover in the delusions of the middle classes. If life isn’t about making money and getting things, and if it’s really about people, then who are you and what are you to me? Holy shit, import an LCD TV, fast!

    What the general people fail to appreciate – though many have daily brushes with the truth, then ignore it – is that those selling the mindset openly or by masked ommission do not want anyone else to get ahead. Those further down the scale of self interest don’t even know they don’t want other people to rise; not yet, maybe never, no one is going to force them to think. Why would those at the top want more poor people to enslave? Poor is ugly, dirty and troublesome. They have plenty of local poor to choose from right now, enough to keep them comfortable and happy. Let the climbing middle classes look after them – high profits for no work on their part – until they die. And keep selling the myth that everyone can be CEO and live in Hawaii.

    No one who is paying attention to NZ culture should be outraged by this policy. In context it is completely correct, it’s a reflection of what we have become. Until people look for, discover and implement an alternative to getting ahead, this is part of the deal. For Labour to say this is bad is gross hypocrisy and cynical politics. They say it creates a divide? Well how are Labour’s policies any different? As one person put it: Political rhetoric in NZ is all extend and pretend. NZ has no party offering a vision and method of complete social change and a turn away from free market capitalism.

  2. shorts 2

    I think the James Cameron Law would be more fitting… at least Mr Dotcom lives here whereas Mr Cameron may have said as such but the terms of his visa/residency (?) are very, um, liberal

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Yip. 88 days over 3 years, with 0 days required in the first year. Very liberal. Barely ‘living here’ IMO.

  3. Richard Christie 3

    Do others remember the time, a decade or more ago, when New Zealand media stirred up self righteous outrage here when a S Pacific Island nation “sold” passports to the well heeled.
    Occupancy of the moral high-ground can be so fleeting.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Banana republic.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    I totally agree with this change. We have enough of our own people unemployed. Why import more who have a high likelihood of ending up in the welfare system?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Why import more full stop.

      Your use of the term “welfare system” is unwelcome.

      If someone is a NZ citizen then they deserve the same benefits of the NZ social security system as anyone else.

    • happynz 5.2

      Nowhere on the New Zealand Immigration Services (NZIS) literature do they have any excerpt of the New Colossus poem by Emma Lazurus…

      “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

      Immigration for the vast majority of New Zealand bound migrants is about demonstrating that they have the skills, education and financial self-support to successfully pass the benchmarks set by NZIS. Your remark sounds suspiciously like one of those chestnuts often tossed out by the likes of Tea Party members in the States who live in constant dread of brown people speaking Spanish.

  6. Immigration has changed significantly but very quietly since National came to power. Misinformation abounds and this is a perfect example:

    “The changes are aimed at reducing costs incurred through the benefit system and to attract and retain skilled and productive migrants, it says.”

    Actually since National came to power the number of skilled migrants being allowed in to the country has been cut by over a third. Hardest hit are vocational workers (builders, carpenters, mechanics etc.) with rule changes making it more difficult both for migrants and any employers who might need to hire them – for example employers now typically wait months to be told whether they can hire someone when processing in 2008 was often done on a ‘while you wait’ basis in as little as an hour.

    Yes you can mention the recession, but I am talking about people with skills acknowledged to be in shortage in this country.

    The vast majority of migrants in New Zealand (over 80%) are temporary workers who have no ability at all to claim benefits. Most other migrants are hard-working families with a high degree of employment because we only let in those who can get a job. Why would the government want to create a false impression of greedy foreigners taking your money?

    While immigration rules have been skewed to make it harder for skilled workers they have been relaxed for cashed up investors who for example now have to spend less time in this country (Cameron is a case in point) and can get through with a lower standard of English language.

    Hmmm

    This article also creates a false impression in many other areas, for example since National came to power while the number of skilled workers has been slashed the number of family members being allowed into the country has slightly increased (1.2%). Reducing this would then be a significant change which has not started yet.

    Could ‘greedy foreigners’ be being used as a smoke-screen for a different ideological change that does not provide an economic or cultural benefit to New Zealand?

    Cutting costs clearly is a priority despite the damage this might do to a multi-billion dollar income stream for New Zealand. For example family applications, while not being cut, are already moving at a snail’s pace – applications now routinely sit for 24 months gathering dust until they are picked up for processing (creating some difficult situations for many). If this system is likely to get any slower it will come to a complete stop.

    Cash is king, but what is ‘rich’ and what is ‘poor’?

    Parents of migrants who have $1.5 million already jump to the front of the queue (leaving many others waiting for years) and changes being suggested would simply favour rich parents with only one child.

    Of course ‘poor’ parents (those without $1.5 million) cost the country nothing as they still have to pass health tests, have pensions and support themselves. Even if something did go terribly wrong their sponsors would be liable to cover the cost meaning little risk for New Zealand.

    Ironically concentrating on investors over skilled workers has cost the country dearly.

    Last year the immigration department failed to fill it’s quota for skilled workers (because of policy settings rather than any lack of interest) for the first time at a direct cost calculated to be over $1.1 billion. The continuing (and accumulating) cost of this failure equates (according to government figures) to be $16+ million each year in lost productivity.

    That of course doesn’t even start to count towards damage to New Zealand businesses and jobs caused by delays, bureaucracy and skill shortages.

    Don’t blame the officials doing a difficult job in increasingly difficult circumstances, blame ‘policy’ that they have no choice but to apply.

    It is a shame that this article helps to paint migrants, who bring at least $1.9 billion into the country every year, as costing New Zealand money.

    These moves are likely to continue in making it difficult for skilled workers our businesses need to get in the country, or want to try as Australia and Canada are crying out for them, increasing their quotas while ours is reduced. This however does have the interesting effect of keeping job creation and wages low.

    Is this a positive step for New Zealand when simply leaving what was a functional system alone would have assured billions of dollars of additional income?

    • Foreign Waka 6.1

      Thank you for your contribution to this highly emotional loaded issue. A fully agree with your article. Mind you, Australia looks good for NZlaenders, now imagine how it looks for potential immigrants?

  7. tsmithfield 7

    “Why import more full stop.”

    Not “full stop”. Question mark!! 🙂

    Answer:

    1. We need more capital here. Some wealthy potential immigrants have plenty of capital.
    2. We are short of some skills in this country. For instance, GP’s. So we can import those skills from overseas to fill the gap here.

    “Your use of the term “welfare system” is unwelcome.”

    Is that too un-PC for your precious sensibilities?

    “If someone is a NZ citizen then they deserve the same benefits of the NZ social security system as anyone else.”

    Only if we let them in in the first place.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      1) Its stupidity to try and import rich people with the idea that they will move large sums of capital here. Its the global market place – the real capital moves where its directed by the financial centres of the world.

      2) Not un-PC. Destructive to meaning and context is what Right Wing ‘welfare’ languaging does. It does that by taking social welfare out of its context of the larger NZ social security system.

      3) “Only if we let them in in the first place.” Yep.

    • Bored 7.2

      TS, are you paid to spout the tired platitudes and shibboleths of “conventional wisdom” emanating from the neo lib establishment? If not you really need to do yourself a favour and send the bill.

      Just to illustrate how tired these lines are some questions. You say, We need more capital here. Some wealthy potential immigrants have plenty of capital.. How about asking why we don’t have capital? How about questioning why a wealthy foreigner would want to invest money here if the locals wont? How about asking why we need capital at all if all we are doing is off-shoring the profits to the capital provider?

      You say “We are short of some skills in this country. For instance, GP’s. So we can import those skills from overseas to fill the gap here.” True, but why? And why should we cure this with people from offshore rather than train locally? Too many questions around this statement as well.

  8. Foreign Waka 8

    There is a preconceived idea that all immigrants are ending up receiving a benefit of one sort or another. Not many seem to be familiar how the system actually works for the majority of immigrants.
    Firstly, if you are outside the so called commonwealth then you HAVE TO HAVE money to settle because the stipulation is that NO ONE will support you. In fact, if you cannot show that you have savings, you point system just took a major dive. Fail.
    Secondly, an immigrant has to go through some rigmarole before they are allowed to settle especially if they do not have a lot of money. It is also so that the same have to prove that the speak the language, are of good health, have had no convictions (except parking tickets) and above all have a profession, job that no one else can fill. Any of these sections gets points deducted -fail.
    These are the norms for immigrants, especially outside the English speaking world.
    Then there are the Family members who enter on humanitarian grounds of family reunification, asylum seekers and economic refugees. The ones who can “buy” their way in comprise a very, very small percentage but these are treated very publicly and vocal.
    Looking at single groups of benefit recipients and relate these to the actual people affected, all seem to be deserving of some support.I personally would not feel right to deny someone shelter, food and the basics. But then again, some people seem to discover that they can only prosper if they suppress someone else and translate their powerless feeling onto a vulnerable person.

  9. millsy 9

    Rich is the new white.

  10. KJT 10

    Our immigration system is broken.
     
    Why do we need foreigners to bring in capital?
    We can lend it to ourselves through a State bank, encourage our own entrepreneurs, and cut out ticket clipping middlemen. 
     
    Bringing in skilled immigrants is self defeating. It allows employers to keep skilled wages low and avoid training New Zealanders, exacerbating the problem, skills shortages, it is supposed to fix. 
    The number of skilled immigrants is down as they realise that New Zealand employers do not want to pay for skills.
    The ones that do come head for Australia ASAP.
     
    Better to use it to be a good world citizen. Help refugees and the pacific islands in our back yard.

    • Foreign Waka 10.1

      Hi KJT, I do not agree with the assertion that skilled immigrants are not needed. NZ was build on that kind of capital. I see every day illiterate people in the workforce and in time this will lead to a even lower standard. We as adults have an obligation to make sure that the kids today have a fighting chance here and abroad. Skilled immigrants do not just bring the obvious but also different world views, new horizons, new ideas etc. Surely you don’t mean that NZ should isolate itself from the rest of the world?
      As for the ones leaving as quickly as possible, I wish them all the best. Obviously, they will not be missed.

      • KJT 10.1.1

        Some skilled immigrants will build our skill base and I appreciate the rise in standards of Chinese cooking in Auckland, for one.
         
        BUT. Immigration is used in New Zealand so employers can avoid paying skills what they are worth and avoid training New Zealanders.
        They do not have to help raise the standard of training of New Zealanders because they can always bleat to the immigration department for more workers.
         
        Why do you think we have the lowest margin for extra skills in the Western world.
         
        Necessary skills are underpaid while useless parasites like financiers and offshore wealthy remove too much money..

    • KJT – chasing capital coming in to the country would be good for growing New Zealand business. Strangely despite the need to move investment from property into business ideas government recently changed rules allowing foreign investors to put their money in to new building projects.

      It is a popular misconception that skilled migration pushes down wages and skills. If managed properly the opposite is true, the key is knowing where the skill gaps are and bringing in people who have something new rather than those with abilities which can be matched by local graduates. Often the difference is experience.

      The key to this is knowing where the skill gaps are, however sadly immigration now relies on Work and Income to provide this information meaning that the gap between what employers need and what they are being allowed to have is widening at an alarming rate, placing thousands of kiwi jobs at risk.

      Properly managed skilled migration creates jobs for New Zealanders, grows local businesses and brings training opportunities for NZ workers. Numbers of skilled workers are down simply because of policy changes – I have challenged Department of Labour reports and been offered no factual basis for assertions made about issues such as the Canterbury quakes reducing numbers.

      Of course the billions of dollars of income that goes directly into local businesses when skilled migrants invest in New Zealand through buying cars and furniture could be argued to be more useful for NZ business than larger single investments going into businesses whose profits will eventually head back off shore.

      Reducing skilled migration is most likely to keep wages down and slow job creation. It means businesses cannot expand to take advantage of opportunities for growth, endangering kiwi jobs.

      Unfortunately New Zealand is losing the international battle for skills – both for New Zealanders and overseas workers – to Australia and Canada and will continue to do so until the gap between what NZ employers need and what immigration is letting through is closed. 

      • KJT 10.2.1

        What a load of shit.
         
        It is not a misconception that immigration allows wages to be pushed down and employers to avoid training locals.
         
        I see it every day in my own industry.
         
        We are losing the international battle for skills because we do not want to pay skilled workers what they are worth.
         
        New Zealand employers are the authors of their own mis-fortune, to the detriment of NZ youth looking for work and training.
         
        Immigrants expand GDP and things such as housing demand. Again the resulting rise in prices is also self defeating. Giving money to speculators and taking it from locals.

        • Foreign Waka 10.2.1.1

          Hi KJT, laughing because of your use of words – this is not like you ?!
          re: skilled immigrants push wages down. For an immigrant to settle he/she has to show that a job/skill is available, otherwise they are not allowed into the country. I have seen this happen where people had jobs and a life for years and have been sent packing because the profession they work in does not match the degree (yes University!). The tears and sorrows that are inflicted with this is telling. And these people were literate and speakers of several languages.
          Any new immigrant isn’t versed in what the “going rate, higher end market wage” is and assume that they are being paid fairly. What you imply is that this is not the case and I don’t belief this can be put onto the immigrant as their fault. It is rather an indicator to what NZ has become over the years, employers included.
          What perhaps needs to be looked at is the mix of population and what fits within society. It used to be a strong component some 25 years ago.
          An economy needs demand to sustain itself and to feed this you need people with disposable income. So the question really has to be: how much disposable income is there. If you have part time and seasonal jobs as well as repatriation of moneys overseas (not just corporates) than you have a very dire situation. Stopping immigration will not change that. In fact I would say that the moneys coming in from immigrants are offsetting the deficit on the other side of the equation. The speculators as you call them are mostly NZlaenders, you do know that?
          In any case, to increase the income, productivity and wealth, NZ has to stop sending unprocessed commodities overseas. The manufacturing base needs to be reestablished. Countries such as Australia in the Pacific and Germany in the Northern Hemisphere have done just that.
          Training would of cause be another issue in itself. Industry apprenticeships have been largely discontinued and it is high time to make any form of professional training compulsory in the same way as primary and secondary school is. Thus a structured system has to be put in place. We owe this to the next generation.

      • Olwyn 10.2.2

        Mike-move2nz: The problem which you don’t state, but which underlies everything you say is the tendency in NZ to see money as and end in itself.

        “…chasing capital coming in to the country would be good for growing New Zealand business. Strangely despite the need to move investment from property into business ideas government recently changed rules allowing foreign investors to put their money in to new building projects.”

        I think there was even some confidence in the early stages of the housing bubble that it would give people leverage and “be good for growing NZ business,” but what it resulted in was those with property using that leverage to buy more property.

        “Of course the billions of dollars of income that goes directly into local businesses when skilled migrants invest in New Zealand through buying cars and furniture could be argued to be more useful for NZ business than larger single investments going into businesses whose profits will eventually head back off shore.”

        There are two parts to this claim: as to migrants helping the NZ economy by buying cars,, furniture etc. Once they have bought their cars and furniture, then what? More immigrants to keep the car, furniture, etc, businesses going?

        As to businesses that send their profits off shore, surely what we actually need are productive businesses that are able to keep their profits here.

        We seem to have a real difficulty in translating ways of getting money into ways of generating the sort of wealth needed to sustain and engage a society. This makes a big difference to the role skilled migration plays in our economy; whether it adds to a valuable skill base or adds to the number competing for a small number of work opportunities and overpriced housing.

  11. tc 11

    CT will be loving the dog whistling talkback fuelled rant and diversion so focus elswhere people.

    What are the dark lords about to sneak past whilst the MSM are recording rants and passing it off as balanced commentary….this policy is widely known and been going on as part of their first urgency package from memory I think the standard article was tagged ‘democracy has a price, the nat’s have set it’ or similar

  12. Pete 12

    I see, so you prefer people who will be a drain on the welfare system? As long as people can contribute to this country, and they do not have a criminal record, I can see no problem with them having more cash available to look after themselves. That has got to be good for the country. If this becomes just one of the criteria, so be it.

    • framu 12.1

      “I see, so you prefer people who will be a drain on the welfare system”

      i see that you dont have a clue about immigration policy as it currently stands – i will give you a hint, unless your a refugee you must meet quite strict criteria about skills, family make up and ability to support yourself.

      shit pete – its even outlined in Foreign Waka’s comment above at 10:51

  13. Pete 13

    Actually, I have more than a clue. The labour departments own stats show the ‘median annual income of all migrants was $36,000 and only 1 in 4 earned more than $50k. 9% received some form of benefit assistance. So my original comment stands. If the median wage is $36k how is this contributing to the country? This is well below the level that would make some one eligible for Working for families. And 9% of new immigrants on a benefit is just too high. The resources to support low income immigrants is considerable. And of course new immigrants are eligible for a full benefit after two years. There is little information, however, to suggest what the take up rate might be in this category. I am not saying ‘turn them away’, because that would not be ‘right’, but I am saying this ‘rich mates’ rhetoric is just that – rhetoric. What is the harm in allowing some ‘wealthier’ people in if they meet all the tests? That would have to be good wouldn’t it? Why on earth would we favour one group over another?
    Then of course there is the fact that migrants from the Pacific and Asia tend to send considerable sums out of the country.

    • framu 13.1

      use the reply button pete

      also – do these stats separate out refugees or lump them in with all migrants? including them would explain the benefit %.

      do the income figures reflect what they earnt overseas or once settled here? (which tells you more about our economy than our immigration policy)

      As you havent supplied a link i cant quickly check such aspects.

      “What is the harm in allowing some ‘wealthier’ people in if they meet all the tests?”

      the point im trying to make – and why im accusing you of not having a clue, is that currently what your describing is what the situation is. If you meet the test you get let in – the wealthy who dont get let in – dont meet the test (just like the rest who dont meet the test).

      it would seem this suggested policy would allow those with money to either jump the queue and/or not meet the test via a different set of criteria (which by the way already exists anyway).

      as you say ” Why on earth would we favour one group over another?”

      • Pete 13.1.1

        I got this from the Dept of Labour’s website. The link is cut and pasted below. I would not think refugees would account for 9% of migrants (the number who receive assistance). I am not sure if refugees are included in the stats or not. I seem to recall that we take around 700 refugees annually, but I think that number might have dropped. I don’t have time to research this any further.
        Also, what we have now includes a reasonable number of compassionate cases where family members are allow to enter (not sure of the %).
        The income figures are for NZ income post immigration.
        What I was reacting to was the tired old ‘rich mates’ stuff. It does not help discussion, and like a lot of NZ’ers I am tired of the angry stuff that is vented on left and right blogs. It is polarizing and past it’s use by date. I am not necessarily accusing you of this.

        http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/research/lisnz/lisnz-main_09.asp

        • Pete 13.1.1.1

          Refugee numbers peeked at 631 in 01-02 and declined steadily to 72 in 08-09. These numbers from Stats NZ.

          • Mike - move2nz 13.1.1.1.1

            According to immigration department statistics the following numbers of refugee applications were approved under the Refugee Quota:

            2005/06: 791
            2006/07: 748
            2007/08: 795
            2008/09: 757
            2009/10: 639
            2010/11: 705

            Source

            Until this year the residency quota was 45,000 – 50,000 people with around 60% coming through the skilled/business stream, 31% through the family streams and 9% through humanitarian (which includes refugees).

            The immigration department failed to meet this quota last year by around 10% and this has now been changed to a three year quota of 135,000 – 150,000. The family quotas are now being partially removed and the department is on target to miss the skilled/business quota by approximately 22% for the year to June 2012.

            Government reports discussing the shortfall fail to mention that from January 2010 numbers of skilled migrants selected for processing were cut by 30%, instead pinning the shortfall on the Canterbury quakes and international recession. This of course does not explain why percentages of those selected and then declined have doubled over the past five years and only a third of applications that qualify available are picked up for processing.

            That shortfall is now having some interesting effects as the immigration department gains 66% of its funding from fees and levies meaning that the previous Minister appears to have shot his department in the foot (leading to a $28.11 million deficit according to the incoming Minister’s briefing – the first since 1999 when this system was introduced). 

            • Pete 13.1.1.1.1.1

              I got my numbers direct from the Stats NZ website. My recollection was that the numbers were around 700 pa, but when I checked Stats NZ showed approved applications as 72 for there 08-09 year. I have no explanation for the discrepancy.

        • framu 13.1.1.2

          ” I am not necessarily accusing you of this.”

          thats cool pete – the internet is no place for holding a grudge and it kinda pointless getting angry at each other on a blog

          ———————————-

          “What I was reacting to was the tired old ‘rich mates’ stuff. It does not help discussion”

          but to be fair, you did open with

          “I see, so you prefer people who will be a drain on the welfare system”

          which mis-represents the arguments being made, and is exactly the same behaviour who say you are against.

          ———————————-

          anyway – none of which negates that we do have a very exacting entry requirement that is evenly applied to most if not all at the present time. We also currently have wealthy immigrants who jump the queue or side step certain criteria due to their wealth.

          What is being proposed is a two lane system where by default who get treated better if you have more $$.

          Considering that you need to pass a rigourous test anyway to get in, Do you think that is fair?

  14. Kevin 14

    Wealthy people don’t emigrate to New Zealand to seek out and or to establish business opportunities. They emigrate here for the lifestyle , the scenery and in the case of Mr Dotcom, as a safe place to raise your children.
    Mr Dotcom did spend a considerable part of his wealth here, purchasing motor vehicles, property, and services, therefore his contribution to New Zealand’s economy was positive.This is the desired outcome of attracting wealthy people to New Zealand and should be encouraged because collectively wealthy people create a critical mass of idea’s and capital that our economy lacks.

  15. Spratwax 15

    History repeats. Think ‘National’s immigration policy of the ’90’s’. Housing bubble and burst (after they get their passports they bugger off). We don’t need opportunists seeking a passport safe haven, we need people who want to genuinely contribute to NZ society

    Short-sighted, destructive, and a drain on NZ society. Fresh ideas on immigration from this mob? You must be joking!

  16. Olwyn 16

    This is a bit to the side of the thread I know, (although it does involve an immigrant) but to those who live in Auckland: Ahmed Zaoui now runs a kebab shop on K Rd, in the food hall in front of the Lim Chhour supermarket. I have not yet eaten one his kebabs, but I have been told that they are excellent.

    • Drongo 16.1

      Odgers will call him a terrorist because she’ll say he hasn’t proved he’s not.

  17. Bob R 17

    “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”.

    Not sure what the objection to this would be in principle. Welfare systems can’t be sustained if you continually add recipients from home and overseas.

  18. Darien Fenton 18

    This policy change affects migrants who are already in New Zealand, either as residents or citizens. An adult child or sibling of a resident or citizen can apply for residency, but there are very strict controls on this. They have to have a job to come to; the NZ parent or sibling has to sponsor them for five years, they have to meet health and good character tests and there is an 18 – 24 month waiting list. We limit the numbers allowed in on this.

    This will be abolished. It was decided by cabinet last May, yet we are only now hearing about it, because of a secret paper Labour got hold of. The paper indicates that as soon as the announcement is made, the category will be closed.

    The second part of the change affects the parent category, where migrants who are here already as residents or citizens can sponsor a parent to live in New Zealand. They have to sponsor them for five years, they have to meet the health and character requirements, there is a waiting list of 18 – 24 months, and the places are limited.

    So neither of these changes are about poor migrants coming in and getting on a benefit. That’s a definite dog whistle and shame on some of the right wing blogs for going down that path.

    The two issues for me are that this was kept secret from the public despite the Briefing to the Incoming Minister : this is a mini BIM that spells out the real agenda and reveals the Cabinet decided this last year. They forgot to tell us about this before the election. The second issue is that we keep designing immigration policy around wealthy people ; the government has already brought in the Investor Plus category with ten wealthy applicants, including Kim Dotcom. Last year, they brought in the Parent Retirement category, where people with investment funds of $1m and half a mil to live on get preference to retire in New Zealand.

    This latest addition shows a tendency for this government to believe that residency is for sale in New Zealand.

    I accept coming to New Zealand is a privilege; but I can’t accept that money should be the only criteria.

  19. Pete 19

    ‘I accept coming to New Zealand is a privilege; but I can’t accept that money should be the only criteria.’
    Where does it say money is the only criteria? Darien, you say shame on the right wing blogs for going down the path of poor migrants coming in and getting benefits. Well, if they do say this they shouldn’t, but nor should you say that money is the only criteria. You know this to be untrue.

    [lprent: Another unobservant idiot who thinks they’re on KB, and doesn’t use the Reply button. Before the inevitable number of replies seperate one from the other; this slow of mind bozo is referring to this comment by Darien.

    Oh I see he has been doing it all down this thread – auto-moderation. ]

    • Pete 19.1

      Iprent. Is there a valid reason you are so abusive, or is it just because you don’t like my opinion? Forgetting to hit the reply button, doesn’t qualify for this sort of rant. Perhaps you might like to comment on what I said.

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        [gets popcorn]

      • IcI 19.1.2

        I hope lprent does not reply. This is more about your behaviour, than the content of your message.

        If memory doesn’t fail me, he is the SysAdmin for this site. He gets to decide what is acceptable use. In my books, hitting the reply button is good social etiquette. Besides, it keeps content and the structure of this site together.

        • Pete 19.1.2.1

          I don’t disagree with what you say, about the reply button, but their was nothing wrong with my behaviour. I didn’t abuse anyone. I just didn’t see the reply button end of story. Bringing this to my attention would have been sufficient. No need for anything else.

  20. Cactus Kate 20

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/yoursituation-nonres/move-nz/temp-tax-empt-foreign-inc.html

    Wait until you realize Kim also got a four year tax exemption….as will JC.
    Oops.
    (popcorn moment)

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    1 hour ago
  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
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    1 day ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
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    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
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    1 day ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
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    1 day ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
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    1 day ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
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    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
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    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
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    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
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    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
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    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
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    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
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    3 days ago
  • 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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    3 days 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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    3 days 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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    3 days 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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    4 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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    7 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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    1 week 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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    1 week ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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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    1 week 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