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We need to talk about immigration

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, February 5th, 2017 - 189 comments
Categories: greens, im/migration, International, labour, national, Politics - Tags:


The anti-immigrant and protectionist sentiments that got Donald Trump, Theresa May, and Malcom Turnbull elected in their countries could easily be visited here. New Zealand has remained isolated from anti-immigrant sentiment compared to what we have seen it in U.S., E.U., and U.K. elections of recent years. But with such high inbound numbers we are at high risk this will change.It matters to New Zealand, because whether it’s super-rich Mr Thiel or a struggling Syrian refugee, people really, really want to live here.

It matters to the global left broadly, because immigration is the global left’s Achilles heel. We can’t be afraid of the debate.

None of the three biggest political parties – National, Labour, or Green, have challenged the consensus of at least the last 15 years that New Zealand needed plenty of unskilled migrants to push the economy along. In sentiment terms, we are all descended from migrants, so door-open policies are consistent with that.

I work in an industry that requires global expertise, working on huge, expensive, and complex infrastructure. That expertise is rarely found in New Zealand, since to make their careers such specialists go where the continuous work for them is. We can’t stop the need for skilled migrants.

Net migration alone is increasing New Zealand’s population by more than 1% per year at the moment and that’s before natural population growth adds to the pressures. And not all migrants are the same. The breakdown for approved residencies from 2010 2016 is: 70% business or skill category, 21% family category, and 9% humanitarian. These days, the Skilled Migrant points required have gone up to 160,and two investor-class migrants have to invest $3M!

In 1979 we used to get most of our inbound from the Pacific Islands – now it’s about 30%. We used to get about 5,000 a year from Europe – now it’s 20,000. And from tiny numbers previously, we get over 40,000 a year from Asia. But only a fraction of all of them are permanent.

But maybe the wave feels so big so fast now that the statistical breakdowns no longer matter. Which is when it really starts to get political.

Back in 2015, the OECD concluded that “Rapid population growth and a low responsiveness of supply have led to housing and urban infrastructure constraints.” If anything, it’s got worse since then.

Apparently we’re heading for over 5 million people here within a decade.

More roads become needed, more rail, more health spending, more housing becomes needed, and with that, the need for more taxes and rates to pay for it. Either productivity has to go up fast and helps expand the economy and hence the tax base, or rates and taxes and national debt will have to go up to cover all those costs. That means costs for taxpayers and ratepayers alike because of the infrastructure costs.

For Labour, the immigration debate is the new Third Rail, because for many elections, new immigrants have backed them solidly. For National, they represent sorely needed domiciled investment capital, as much as it means Phillipino cockies in Southland. For Greens, they represent demand on our resources.

I can’t find good evidence to show that migrants are taking Kiwi’s jobs. But really high immigration suppresses wage growth: why pay more for locals when you can just import them? Wage growth has been much lower than everyone expected in the last three years, at least partially due to strong net migration soaking up the pressure that would otherwise have been applied to wages. That in turn makes it so much easier to undercut remaining union bargaining power, every year.

Of course we don’t need a wall when there’s thousands of kilometres of ocean there. Yet as Richard Burton intoned in the famous radio version of The War of the Worlds, ‘But still, they come.”

The left has to face the immigration debate before its globally powerful agenda engulfs us as it has almost every other strong democracy in the world.

189 comments on “We need to talk about immigration ”

  1. Bill 1

    But really high immigration suppresses wage growth: why pay more for locals when you can just import them?

    So put robust employment legislation in place.

    More roads become needed, more rail, more health spending, more housing becomes needed…

    We desperately need to overhaul NZ’s infrastructure, regardless – if we’re going to do anything besides just sit ‘as is’ and get hammered by the effects of climate change. And that requires huge numbers of people to be very much ‘hands on’.

    A lot of coastal development/infrastructure needs to be variously shifted or upgraded/retrofitted now. Housing needs to be retrofitted to withstand likely climatic impacts now.

    A sane response would see the army being refocused and a lot of the relatively low skilled tasks being rolled out and made available to any willing unemployed people. And still we’d need extra hands.

    • I agree. We could be doing so, so much to future proof our infrastructure, create meaningful jobs, support our environment, support peope. And that could allow us to help so many including immigrants. But there is more fear around the thought of others or being the other. Especially fearful, and hard for those privileged within out present system.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Yes, attending to infrastructure and community. Part of that is also that going into a harsh CC future, what is the population that the NZ land base can sustain? If we had to grow our own food, fibre, shelter etc, just the basic needs, how many people could the land sustain?

        Then, what compromises would we be willing to make in order to take in more people? Develop National Parks? Are you ok with Golden Bay being converted from a rural space into a large city? I’m not being facetious here, the world is finite, so where is the limit?

        I think we should be taking more refugees regardless, and that raises a whole other set of ethical questions about who. But it’s a different issue than immigration.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          The land could take lots of people. There is space and potential to grow heaps and even have some cows. I’ll accept we need infrastructure development management and sustainability focus but I think it is not conclusive that we have scarcity in these areas.

          Yes national parks are a white middle class nice to have – not essential. Living in the land not looking at pretty vistas is needed imo.

          • Rae 1.1.1.1.1

            So you are saying humans should just breed and breed and increase our numbers willy nilly, to hell with wild places, to hell with other species. Seriously, if that is what the left thinks, I might hand my resignation in.
            The human race needs to address its own overpopulation of the planet, we have have already overshot by more than double what is capable of supporting without terrible consequences.
            I do not think left leaning economic ideals and humane depopulation of the planet, rather than waiting till we get to a break point and declare war on each other, yet again.
            I believe that just allowing open immigration is tantamount to us not addressing the issues we have regarding our numbers.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Poverty is the main driver of population growth. What is the main driver of poverty? Exploitation and other right wing policies.

              Bring people up to a higher standard of living and population stabilises – a robust conclusion based on measured global trends: it’s already happening – see Hans Rosling’s documentary media for example.

              So your fearmonger scenario just isn’t true. Sorry.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Except for the fact that the world really is over-populated and the environment is being destroyed because of it.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Says who?

                  A tiny minority cause the environmental degradation that we witness in this country. A tiny minority are responsible for the bulk of global carbon emissions. As you are fond of pointing out, we cannot afford the rich. That’s got fuck all to do with global population.

                  Meanwhile, the global birthrate has stabilised (see 13).

                  Your assertion doesn’t match reality.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Even without all the energy that the developed nations use we’d still be over-populated.

                    http://www.postconsumers.com/education/10-facts-overpopulation/

                    b>Fact Nine: There Is an Ideal Population Number

                    When you calculate out the anticipated resources that will be available in A.D. 2100, the optimal world population would be about two billion people. That would give people a standard of living of about half of what Americans experienced in the 1990s. The actual anticipated world population by A.D. 2100 is over 11 billion, according to the U.N.

                    The problem is, of course, consumption and consumption is going up as well as population. Even if the developed nations started to decrease consumption. It’s unfortunate but the developing nations cannot get to the level of consumption as the developed nations.

                    Cars are a good example of this. Most people want their own car despite the fact that the world cannot afford for everyone to have a car.

                    That latter means that one should have a car BTW.

                    And, yes, the developed nations need to decrease their consumption down to that of the developing nations and they need to do it fast.

                    But if we did that we’d still have far too many people. At present population levels we cannot maintain a good standard of living for everyone.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      When you calculate out the anticipated resources that will be available in A.D. 2100…

                      [citation needed much?]

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Go re-read Limits to growth. So far it’s projections for BAU are spot on.

                  • weka

                    A tiny minority cause the environmental degradation that we witness in this country. A tiny minority are responsible for the bulk of global carbon emissions. As you are fond of pointing out, we cannot afford the rich. That’s got fuck all to do with global population.

                    Two things. Actually make that three.

                    My stance on population is based on looking at industrialised nations, and how to support a decent standard of living for non-industrialised nations. Ethically this means we have to take a cut in our standard of living.

                    We are already in overshoot thanks to industrialised nations. Short of euthanising or sterilising many of them, what’s the solution if we don’t address population? CC isn’t waiting for generational drops in carbon footprints, it’s here now.

                    Developing nations want the same standard of living as industrialised nations. Given the huge population involved in that globally, what’s the plan to prevent increasing GHG emissions?

              • Rae

                You seem so so angry about this you can’t even see that I actually argue for that very same thing, its just it is only going to stick if fixing the issue is done where it is, and we all need to do our bit to see it is done. No point in us taking a handful of immigrants from a battered country and leaving everyone else in it to carry on suffering.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I thought you were talking about immigrants, not refugees. Thanks for making your position clearer. Let them rot in the civil wars our foreign policies foster. Classy.

                  • Rae

                    Yeah you got an anger issue, can’t see anything for what it is without twisting it to suit your narrative. Bye

                    • rob

                      Unfortunately I agree, always comes across nasty and defensive even thou on same polictical leaning but hey I’m over it already.

                    • weka

                      I also agree. OAB brings in some good political points but too often they’re lost in the abuse and dogma.

            • Rae 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Darn, hit submit accidentally then a phone call so I’ve lost my chance to edit. Meant to say “I do not think left leaning economic ideas and human depopulation of the planet are mutually exclusive”.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                See the statistics presented at 13, below. The “problem” doesn’t exist.

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1.3

              No rae that isnt what I’m saying not even close you can say what you want but please don’t say I’m saying things that I’m not saying

              • Rae

                Then “Yes national parks are a white middle class nice to have – not essential. Living in the land not looking at pretty vistas is needed imo.” means what?

                • I dont think adding people till we pop is the answer. And i think that peopke could live in the parks as they once did. I’d add that this would be after tangata whenua input. Obviously environmental and climate factors would need to be considered too. I’ve never said turn the tap on and leave it running, ever. I do say we can fit more in, a lot more if we wanted but the dominant group dont want that because of fear mainly imo.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.2

            “The land could take lots of people”

            Sounds like a National Party policy marty 😉 Why bother basing our politics and planning on reality, let’s just say there’s lots of room therefore there must be lots of capacity for people, and completely ignore my point, which is that somewhere down the line we overshoot. What then?

            “There is space and potential to grow heaps and even have some cows. I’ll accept we need infrastructure development management and sustainability focus but I think it is not conclusive that we have scarcity in these areas.”

            I’m fundamentally against development because it always comes at the expense of ecosystems. Even worse, in NZ we take a ‘how much can we get away with by doing the most damage with the least consequences?’ approach. Not even close to thinking and planning sustainably, it’s not in the mainstream culture.

            “Yes national parks are a white middle class nice to have – not essential. Living in the land not looking at pretty vistas is needed imo.”

            Funny, this white middle class person grew up thinking that National Parks were about conserving native ecosystems. But in the absence of you answering my question more fully, or being willing to address the finiteness of NZ and the planet, I’ll assume you are ok with Golden Bay being turned into a city, and with National Parks losing their protected status and being developed.

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.2.1

              It diminishes you to insult me with your first sentence. As for whatever else you wrote – didn’t read it so argue with yourself.

              • weka

                Problem is marty, that’s what you do everytime this comes up. You avoid the issues that are raised in response to your comments about immigration and open borders.

                I apologise for the insult, because it was really meant as a pointing to how what you say comes across rather than hurting you. So let me put it another way. When you propose open borders but won’t discuss detail, it sounds ideological. It’s frustrating for me because despite us disagreeing strongly on this issue I value your opinions and would like to see this debated in depth. Otherwise the arguments get left to the mainstream narrative which too easily turns to race/ethnicity.

                • I wont discuss it with you because, like imo vegan stuff, i dont find you open. I also have issues that I’m pretty unopen about.

                  I discuss and debate the way that I want. And i often prefer to answer my way. Sorry if you don’t like it or it irritates cos I always do it around this subject from your point of view.

                  • weka

                    Likewise. Although IMO I’ve never gotten to the gist of it in these convos so am not being closed minded so much as pushing for deeper.

                    • I started by agreeing with Bill that we could use resources to future proof infrastructure. I agreed that improving that would be necessary before too many immigrants came in. Water for instance would be an important one I think we can fit more people here – how many more – dunno, nobody does.

                      Walk through takaka any day of the week – it is packed with immigrants. A city in golden bay? Scare tactic that does not help the debate imo. Using worse case scenarios or catastrophising is not the only option.

                      Hope those wee points help you see my position better.

                    • weka

                      thanks for coming back to it marty. Where I live the citification is already happening. This includes changes in the culture, and money is a huge part of that. The push for development is huge. Some of that is immigration from overseas, some of it is immigration from the NI. For me this isn’t about scare tactics, it’s about lived reality and losing ground (literally and figuratively).

                      In this subthread then I guess the issue isn’t even immigration but simply population and what happens if we keep growing. I’m not arguing for closed borders btw.

                      “Water for instance would be an important one I think we can fit more people here – how many more – dunno, nobody does.”

                      At the level of infrastructure planning, it seems important to figure that out IMO (and the water issue is clouded by industry use).

                    • Yes good we can keep talking.

                      Climate change changes everything because the timeframes are buggered and more often that not from now it will be too little in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. So the crisis is here and the immigration issues will be managed via crisis. Not the best spot to be in for sure.

            • Rae 1.1.1.1.2.2

              We have virtually done away with wetlands apart from South Westland and Fiordland

          • rob 1.1.1.1.3

            I think you are so wrong on so many levels but it is your opinion after all.
            I for one don’t think the land can can take much more as you say.
            every other thing must suffer or change to accommodate the change, and change isn’t always for the better just look at the govt as an example of how things have got worse for most NZ citizens

  2. Pat 2

    5 million?….guess again

    https://nzier.org.nz/static/media/filer_public/22/52/225276fb-3492-4773-99b0-66424ccb0b7e/wp2012-01_grow_for_it.pdf

    “It is feasible to adopt a population policy with the aim of the population reaching 15 million in the next 50 years – an annual growth rate of 2.5% per annum. This would bring the size and density of the population to levels closer to more prosperous European countries. Fifteen million – two and a half times current projections – is a good target, too, as it allows for several large cities, fostering competition within New Zealand.”

    • Rae 2.1

      The problem with the whole population growth thing for growth is there is no “optimum” number of people, it requires ever growing numbers to work, ask Japan.
      The thing humans must do is figure out how we prosper WITHOUT growth.
      The advent of technology and robotics will create absolute havoc among large populations where there is not enough land for people to have a bit of stake in and give them some semblence of independence, they are basically “confined to quarters” probably in a high rise with no relevance and little to do. That whole trajectory is disastrous.

      • Pat 2.1.1

        preaching to the choir here…..in fact we should be working on systems that function in a negative growth environment but that would run counter to the only (self destructive) game in town.

  3. saveNZ 3

    Totally agree there needs to be more honest discussion.

    In 30 years of immigration policy we have never improved our productivity. Maybe that is because our ‘high skills category’ are things like restaurant managers and chefs.

    Migrants that are truly top of their field can’t stay here due to the low wages and poor working conditions such as when Wellington Hospital lost its leading cardio-electrophysiologist, Dr Alejandro Jimenez Restrepo. http://werewolf.co.nz/2014/12/public-health-the-silent-crisis/

    We are losing the best and brightest, Kiwis and migrants.

    In NZ we have an anti intellectual society, we are adding to that by importing in blue collar labour, that takes jobs away from locals and stops companies in NZ using technology and creating higher and better paid jobs. Why bother improving conditions when someone will offer you $20k just to get a job so they can qualify for residency and citizenship in 5 years or so. Then you can bring in the rest of the family for free health and super – great investment!

    Yes we need more liquor stores and Dairy businesses in NZ! Sarc.

    If you calculated ALL the costs of importing a blue collar worker in such as health care, super, education costs for their children, state subsidies such as working for families and so forth – you will be losing money. That’s why we need to borrow so much just to keep going.

    For some reason more intellectual people never seem to qualify to move here (no jobs apparently!) . We need ideas to get out of our comfort zone of agriculture, tourism and selling land, houses and assets off shore and that means actually stopping lazy immigration and work out why NZ youth, Maori and a growing amount of Kiwis of all ages are being shoved on the scrap heap and told the are ‘pretty hopeless’ and why our skilled shortages are for skills that should be easily filled locally.

    Why offshore businesses are getting all the grants and corporate welfare instead of investing in local entrepreneurs who will actually stay in the country because their roots are here.

    Migration is an important part of neoliberalism for without it, it would have stopped years also as the locals ran out of money. Like a ponzi scheme it needs new migrants money to keep the scam going.

    The right have check mated the left on this issue. The right want immigration for neoliberalism, but the left support it too.

    Then the far right win again, when enough people are finally on the scrap heap they vote to end migration by supporting a far right group as a last resort.

    • keepcalmcarryon 3.1

      Yep
      I’d go further. the question isnt “how” the left justifies a pro immigration stance, its “why”.
      Somehow the unions support foreign labour here(case in point the union banner on display during the indian student deportation story the other day) in our country.
      What is a country? Why should others have a right to be here or work if they are not from here and the jobs are clearly able to be done by kiwis?
      By supporting illegal student entry and immigration here the left is devaluing NZ pay.
      The left must not support the globalisation of labour, our own workers lose in the process, how stupid is that? Not to mention under invested infrastructure and a housing bubble we will all suffer from.
      Why on earth is the lefts postion to support the globalisation of our labour market when our own workers are the losers? – you know the workers the labour party was birthed to represent? It sure makes dairy farm owners and the likes of Mr Fletcher happy though eh.
      Failure of the left to understand and address the REAL problems with immigration are fuel for people like Mr Trump and Winnie Peters and guess where the votes are going.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        Are you complaining about globalisation or immigration?

        Germany, the second highest immigration destination in the world (source – Wikipedia), also has relatively low inequality and decent wages.

        So your assertions on that score simply don’t hold water.

        • Andre 3.1.1.1

          One major difference is Germany’s birthrate has dropped so low that high levels of immigration are only just keeping the population count roughly static. Wheras here high immigration is on top a what’s still a naturally increasing population.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            One major difference is that Germany has a relatively decent set of employment laws.

            Stop making excuses for racist incompetent National Party drivel.

            • Andre 3.1.1.1.1.1

              You don’t think the information on these two linked pages indicates any practical difference in how easy it is to accommodate immigrants? None whatsoever?

              https://populationpyramid.net/germany/2016/

              https://populationpyramid.net/new-zealand/2016/

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You don’t think employment laws affect wages and employment conditions?

                • Andre

                  I’m suggesting that even if our laws were up to Germany’s standards, we would still have much more difficulty in accommodating high immigration levels. Because of the demographics of the population that’s already here.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    …because of the xenophobia deliberately fostered by incompetent right wingers desperate to divert attention from their own behaviour. FIFY

                    Fix the law first, then if there’s still a problem, fix the xenophobes.

                    • Andre

                      In your ideal New Zealand, what sort of policy would we have for controlling immigration? Completely open door?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In my ideal New Zealand, everyone would speak English and agree with me all the time /sarc

                      I just don’t think you’re reading anything I’m writing, that’s all. What part of “the problem is the right wing people who already live here” isn’t getting through?

                    • Andre

                      I’m honestly curious what sort of policy you advocate. Because if we did fix the right wing laws and attitudes we have now, we would have many many more people wanting to come here. How would you want to manage that?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Beyond the lack of competent policy settings to match the related needs, I don’t give it much thought: my sincere observation is that people who do either have some pretty base motives or are ignorant of the facts.

            • saveNZ 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Germany has a train system and huge money and power from the EU – you can’t compare with NZ.

              Also NZ has far greater migration per capita than Germany.

              Think of 5 million people settle in Germany that have 82 million Germans.

              Think of 5 million people settling in China that have 1.3+ billion Chinese.

              Think of 5 million people settling in India that have 1.3 billion Indians.

              Now think of 5 million people settling in NZ that has 4.5 million Kiwis.

              That’s not migration, that’s colonisation.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                All five million are from the same country in your made-up story, eh.

                Germany has strong employment protection. New Zealand doesn’t. I fucking hate xenophobes.

                • weka

                  What do you think the upper limit is on population for NZ OAB?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That depends. If you measure by per capita pollution level we’ve already exceeded it.

                    So again we come back to the same problem: right wing policies.

                    There’s no plan: no plan for the dairy herd, no plan for our level of immigration, no plan to improve working conditions, no plan for housing, no plan for superannuation, you get the picture.

                    We have a bunch of grasping settlers with no ethics and less responsibility, causing most of the problems we face and blaming everyone from Māori to Syrian refugees, without once looking in the mirror.

                    All they can do is wail and blame and it’s past time we stopped playing along.

                    • greywarshark

                      OAB
                      You have summed up our dilemma in NZ.

                      We need to spread attention across everything you name and establish some policy that provides a fair situation for the people,
                      and the country, build well designed adequate state houses. Employ some of the people waiting for them in helping the build for instance. Don’t set up any more committees, ask each local body if they have some spare land and give them money to set it up along with a government inspector that watches over the projects like a hen over chickens and ensures they are doing right.

                      Be fair in immigration to those still in the system, then go lower, a pause for a cup of tea nad think, and in that time establish a policy that is as fair as we can make it. Don’t forget about allowing Pacific Islanders in to have work temporarily, they are our neighbours, and we should be attempting a Sister Islands policy as with cities around the world. We should also do projects overseas like the old Colombo Plan.

                      Policy needs to help our businesses in the meantime so we can keep up the economy, but sets up special training to supply the people they are looking for, and ensure they get the right path of employment to get further skills and experience. I am thinking here of professionals, in IT, medical, etc.

                      Stop being a lazy laissez faire, which is basically French for she’ll be right, government. NZ people become a resource for the country then no-one old or young be forced into a situation where they are regarded as useless.

                    • weka

                      So are you in favour of stabilising the population and it not growing? I’m not so much interested in National policy (we know that’s fucked up) as what the Left can do (which is what I took the post to be about). Always prefer the Left to be proactive rather than just reacting against National.

                      “We have a bunch of grasping settlers with no ethics and less responsibility, causing most of the problems we face and blaming everyone from Māori to Syrian refugees, without once looking in the mirror.”

                      Yes, all all I see many on the Left doing is reactively saying all immigration is good and anyone who speaks against it is racist/xenophobic etc. Would love to get past that one too.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m not saying all immigration is “good”. I’m not saying it’s “bad” either.

                      It’s a thing that needs to be taken into account in planning terms. That includes disempowering racists until they choke on it.

                    • weka

                      Ok, so I’ll take that as a yes (we need to stabilise population). And that we need to do that in a way that isn’t racist and doesn’t rely on fucked up policy. Agreed on that one.

                      Can I take it then that you don’t support open borders for NZ?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, you can’t take it that I don’t support open borders.

                      I simply haven’t given it that much thought, because the “population problem” doesn’t exist, not locally, not globally.

                      If there were a problem, how would we be able to see it through all the layers of right-wing bullshit, fear and xenophobia?

                      A tiny minority are destroying this eco-system right now. Are they recent immigrants? Erm, no. Are they the ones who benefit from xenophobic lies? Erm, yes.

                      Any government of me would jail them long before worrying about people who want to come and live here.

                    • weka

                      “A tiny minority are destroying this eco-system right now. Are they recent immigrants?”

                      Sure they are. You think NZ doesn’t have immigrants that are way above their footprint?

                    • Bill

                      What was the population density in places like India and China before colonisation and modern industrialisation? Both those population masses managed to feed and house themselves comfortably for a millennia or more, and I’m picking that population density levels were way beyond those of contemporary NZ.

                      Where else does NZ compare to in terms of area and population?

                      The UK (very roughly), but with a population only about the same as Scotland – where there is plenty of wilderness and room (same can be said for northern England, the south west (Devon and Cornwall) and for Wales too.

                      The South Island is about the size of England and Wales and has only around 1 million people.

                      What about the soils and climate of NZ? How’s it compare to other places? (Favourably)

                      Whatever the population limit might be for NZ, we are a long, long way away from even coming close to it. Plenty of time to lay in appropriate infrastructures and developments that will be, of necessity, completely different in terms of configuration to today’s hopeless city plans that are only as they are in order to service a fossil hungry industrial model that we can all read the ‘Do Not Consume’ date on.

                      NZ will not consist of conurbations stretching off into the distance. That kind of development is dead – will not serve our needs.

                    • weka

                      “Whatever the population limit might be for NZ, we are a long, long way away from even coming close to it. ”

                      Actually, for the standard of living we have currently we are already well in overshoot (something like two and half times from memory)

                      When you take fossil fuels and all the power that goes with that out of the picture, it looks very different. For instance it takes more land to grow the same amount of food sustainably than it does using FFs and artificial fertiliser (that’s the point of FF and phosphates). When you add in ecosystem restoration (desperately needed in NZ) that’s even less land available. Then we have to look at things other than food. Then we have to look at what we would need here if we stopped expecting the third world to grow food for us and take our pollution off our hands.

                      And as an aside to that, I personally don’t want to see the SI populated to the extent that the UK is. Not only would that require more destruction of ecosystems, some people live here because of the peace and quiet. There’s a case to be made around refugees, but that’s different than immigration, and certainly different from the immigration policy that is being used currently.

                    • Bill

                      Dunno who the ‘we’ is that’s determining this standard of living. If some minority have to take a hit, then hey.

                      Intensive agriculture based on fossil might grow more food (I’m skeptical), but industrial harvesting techniques definitely trash huge quantities.

                      And since future development is going to have to very different to current development (and will be, due to different needs and requirements of that development), the argument that more people de-facto equates to environmental destruction is spurious.

                      The same might be said for the pollution argument – industrial society is dead, meaning that industrial processes, one way or another, will change in scope and design – radically so.

                      Peace and quiet? If we’re taking the UK as a comparison, you any idea how utterly remote and peaceful places there are all around the UK? (Caveat – bar the peace being shattered by the fcking RAF flying maneuvers. You can’t easily get away from that, but that’s got nothing to do with population)

                    • weka

                      “Dunno who the ‘we’ is that’s determining this standard of living. If some minority have to take a hit, then hey.”

                      We in NZ. Not sure what minority you are talking about though. If you clarify I’ll let you know if I actually think they have to take a hit.

                      “Intensive agriculture based on fossil might grow more food (I’m skeptical), but industrial harvesting techniques definitely trash huge quantities.”

                      Not sure what your point is there. That industrial ag is wasteful supports the idea that it’s more efficient at quantity.

                      As for doubting that intensive ag can grow more, that is the whole point. It’s not about growing more food for people to eat, it’s about growing more to make more money. But artificial fertiliser does increase that precisely because you can make more money out of it. Once the oil and phosphates are gone, it takes more land and labour to grow the same amount of food sustainably.

                      “And since future development is going to have to very different to current development (and will be, due to different needs and requirements of that development), the argument that more people de-facto equates to environmental destruction is spurious.”

                      No, it’s not. Increased population is directly equated to increase in development. When you build more houses you use land that nature can no longer use. Pretty simple fact of physics that one. Even if you build upwards, you still have an increase in the land used to produce the resources to make those buildings, and then support the humans in them. Seriously, read the NZ footprint project for what ecological footprinting takes into account.

                      If you don’t think that population affects nature, please explain how NZ could have moved from 200,000 people in the early 1800s to 4.4 million now without altering the landscape.

                      “The same might be said for the pollution argument – industrial society is dead, meaning that industrial processes, one way or another, will change in scope and design – radically so.”

                      Right, so if we then have to manage our waste, how much land is needed to do that? Or do you think there will be no waste?

                      “Peace and quiet? If we’re taking the UK as a comparison, you any idea how utterly remote and peaceful places there are all around the UK? (Caveat – bar the peace being shattered by the fcking RAF flying maneuvers. You can’t easily get away from that, but that’s got nothing to do with population)”

                      I’m sure there are remote and peaceful places in the UK, but surely you aren’t suggesting that that that is equivalent to NZ somehow? Compare landmass to population and tell me how that works.

                      Of course the UK RAF is related to population. If the UK didn’t have the population it does it wouldn’t have a large military.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Compare landmass to population and tell me how that works.

                      For example:

                      Greater London: 1,572 km²

                      Auckland: 4,894 km²

                    • weka

                      thanks for supporting my point OAB 🙂

                    • Pat

                      Can Auckland ( with its comparatively low population density) be considered a model city , a successful example or even a functioning entity?……and we are aiming for 9 more??

                    • Bill

                      We in NZ. Not sure what minority you are talking about though. If you clarify I’ll let you know if I actually think they have to take a hit.

                      Pareto’s 20/80 rule which, as in other scenarios (eg carbon emissions), tells us that something like 5 -10% of the population consume about 50% of resources. Meaning the average is way out of whack and if that 5 – 10% was more in line with what people actually consume etc…

                      That industrial ag is wasteful supports the idea that it’s more efficient at quantity.

                      No. It really doesn’t. If 30% of harvested peas are getting trashed then 30% of harvested peas are getting trashed no matter the volume harvested.

                      You said. No, it’s not. Increased population is directly equated to increase in development.

                      Not necessarily. Society shifts away from current configurations (as it must) and many, many thousands of buildings are available and may be suitable for re-purposing….all the hotels and motels and a goodly number of those warehouses and factory buildings spring immediately to mind.

                      Right, so if we then have to manage our waste, how much land is needed to do that? Or do you think there will be no waste?

                      Isn’t it yourself who has previously argued about the need for cradle to grave production techniques/mind sets?

                      And the UK has a stupidly large air-force because of its former position in the world…it could have an air-force 1/10th the size of the one it has and the noise pollution would be as ubiquitous. Fighter jets doing maneuvers blast the peace for many miles around – “cars in the sky” they ain’t.

                      From this and other similar exchanges, it seems that you’re simply against immigration and throw out all manner of supposedly reasonable objections … (shrug).

            • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.1.1.3

              “One major difference is that Germany has a relatively decent set of employment laws.”

              Relatively decent for who? Certainly not those workers at the bottom of society,

              https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/21/mini-jobs-germany-britain

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Relatively decent by comparison with NZ employment law.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Is it just?

                  http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30317

                  “A 2009 – IAQ Report – 2009-05 – from the Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation (Institute for Work, Skills and Training) located at the University of Duisburg-Essen – – found that:

                  1. The average real wage in the low-wage sector had not increased since 1995 and in recent years declined in the West German regions.

                  2. The number of low-wage workers rose by 350,000 between 2006 and 2007, comprising around 21.5 per cent of the total wage earners in Germany. In 1995, this share was well below 15 per cent.

                  3. More than 20 per cent of workers are now working at hourly rates which are below the minimum wage.

                  4. A declining percentage of workers without formal educational qualifications now make up the low-pay workforce. In other words, formal education is now longer a guarantee (as it was in the past) of a well-paid job in Germany.”

                  Not convinced an employment framework where 20% of the workforce work at rates below the minimum wage can be considered decent. Were you saying it was decent at legalizing injustice?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Start with the word “relatively” and the word “comparison”.

                    You’re defending Andre’s assertion (rote-learned? Probably) that immigration hurts wages and employment conditions. Perhaps Germany wasn’t the most perfect example; there are plenty others.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      “You’re defending Andre’s assertion (rote-learned? Probably) that immigration hurts wages and employment conditions.”

                      Well it turns out your wrong about that too. Today is a good day for you, you can get over two of your embedded prejudices at once.

                      http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.nz/2016/03/mass-immigration-is-last-fraud-of.html

                    • Andre

                      “Andre’s assertion (rote-learned? Probably) that immigration hurts wages and employment conditions.”

                      Where did I do that? Link please.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A blog post is your source?

                      I am in good company:

                      We believe that the evidence we have assembled for the 1980’s confirms the conclusions from earlier studies of 1970 and 1980 Census data. In particular, we find little indication of an adverse wage effect of immigration, either cross sectionally or within cities over time. Even for workers at the 10th percentile of the wage distribution there is no evidence of a significant decline in wages in response to immigrant inflows.

                      Card & Butcher 2009

                      …these effects cluster around zero. Such a small effect is a rather surprising outcome, given that in a closed competitive labour market an increase in labour supply may be expected to exert a downward pressure on wages.

                      Longhi et al 2005

                      …the 4 percent increase of the workforce through immigration has not increased either aggregate or foreign unemployment.

                      Brücker & Jahn 2011.

                      Your blogger reckons are far superior, I’m sure. Who will you cite next, Winston Peters?

                      PS: beg your pardon Andre, it was Savenz et al in the International Journal of Blog Reckons.

                    • Andre

                      All cool.

          • Mike Steinberg 3.1.1.1.2

            So does Japan, but Japan is not increasing its immigration levels due to strong cultural resistance.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 3.1.1.2

          Immigration as we do it IS globalization of labour.

      • saveNZ 3.1.2

        Many of the low paid and service type jobs are more and more being filled by migrant labour so migrants are becoming the people the unions represent.

    • Rae 3.2

      Right on the button, it is a ponzi scheme, no more, no less

  4. Jenny Kirk 4

    One thing really missing from the immigration debate – as Bill and Marty Mars allude to above – and that is WHO pays for the cost of improving all our infrastructure so NZ can actually, really cope with all these incoming immigrants.
    Part of the transport problems in Auckland are exacerbated by incoming immigrants – most of whom expect to find a public transport system which will take them easily from A to M, and back to Z …… but they don’t find this, so they learn to drive and buy themselves big cars and get out on our roadways instead.
    Ditto the Auck City’s sewerage system – it cannot cope already with the massive amount of home building going on . And I suppose the same is starting to happen in other towns and cities around NZ.
    But will the current Govt support local govt in funding for this necessary infrastructure? The Nats are reluctant to help out with Auck’s rail/ roading problems …… which is typical of them – and absolutely non-thinking as well. Dumb bastards that they are.

  5. saveNZ 5

    One in five people living in NZ were not born here. Now that is social engineering!

    There are zero economic reasons for doing what the government is doing. The stats show we are not improving productivity, all our indicators are down.

    How many people think their lives have improved over the last 20 years? So socially we are not gaining either.

    The types of places that have mass immigration policy NZ are places like Israel – and social cohesion are not the words you think of when you think of Israel. Someone is gaining a home and land but someone is losing them.

    On top of that we have pitiful refugee quotas. I feel embarrassed that instead of supporting stateless people to have a new life here in NZ, our government instead wants 60,000 new migrants plus 188,000 (or whatever it is) foreign students who get work permits, whom 25% will gain residency.

    So we choose fake commerce over humanitarian reasons which is even more shameful.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Apparently we’re heading for over 5 million people here within a decade.

    And to start the debate we need to discuss, with full scientific research, just how many people NZ can support under currently available technologies and without importing oil.

    IMO, 5 million is hitting the upper limit if not actually exceeding it.

    More roads become needed, more rail, more health spending, more housing becomes needed, and with that, the need for more taxes and rates to pay for it. Either productivity has to go up fast and helps expand the economy and hence the tax base, or rates and taxes and national debt will have to go up to cover all those costs. That means costs for taxpayers and ratepayers alike because of the infrastructure costs.

    And that’s a misunderstanding of economics.

    The amount of anything we need will remain proportional to the population base. The reason why we’re having problems is that, although population is rising at >1% per year, we’re not building up the necessary infrastructure at the same rate and so the infrastructure is falling behind.

    Increasing productivity within an industry means that we can proportionally decrease the amount of population dedicated to that industry while still being able to supply all of needs. Hence why an increase in productivity should result in a decrease in wages.

    Same applies to infrastructure. If we increase the efficiency of existing infrastructure then we don’t need to expand it so much. One example would be to replace cars with buses and thus reduce the need for more roads.

    As long as we can supply what we need from our own resources then we don’t actually need to go into debt – ever.

    Yet as Richard Burton intoned in the famous radio version of The War of the Worlds, ‘But still, they come.”

    No, it wasn’t a radio show

  7. Cinny 7

    I agree that our country does not have the infrastructure in place for massive population growth.

    I feel we need to cap numbers.

    Am sick of reading about the wealthy being let into the country and our lack of compassion to accept more refugees. I’d like to see those who need a home coming here, increase the refugee quota. Give priority to those that need to change their country rather than those who have money.

    I love our diverse society, our multi culture. There are around 28 different nationalities at our local school of a few hundred and I love that so much.

    Would even be so bold to suggest that we limit numbers by country. Like so many from China, so many from England allowed in etc

    I think it is unfair that Aussies can get benefits in NZ and we can’t over there, this needs to change.

    I also think it is unfair that elderly migrants can get the super after ten years, i think that is unfair to NZ born oldies. Maybe the money saved from both of those examples could be used to improve infrastructure?

    • Andre 7.1

      “I also think it is unfair that elderly migrants can get the super after ten years, i think that is unfair to NZ born oldies. ”

      For one point of comparison, in the US you aren’t eligible for Social Security until you’ve paid Social Security tax for at least 10 years.

    • Tanz 7.2

      Australia used to be kind to New Zealanders, it all changed in the last ten years.
      Should have the same benefits for both sides. Seems very unfair.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    “…New Zealand has remained isolated from anti-immigrant sentiment compared to what we have seen it in U.S., E.U., and U.K. elections of recent years. ..”

    Really? It is a HUGE issue for almost any New Zealander I talk to. New Zealanders generally are very uneasy about the current levels and type of immigration going on. They are not racists in the way the Americans or British are, but there is definitely a nascent nationalist backlash at being overrun by migrants from China, India and South East Asia. And the number of elderly Chinese! I don’t remember that many young Chinese here years ago. People who have never paid a cent in taxes are being brought here to leech off our superannuation scheme. It is outrageous. A third generation part-Chinese NZer of my acquaintance just recently went off his rocker at a couple of Chinese migrants within our ear shot who didn’t realise he could still speak Chinese and were busily and frankly advising one another on the best way to get their parents here to rip off the Super scheme. At least you couldn’t automatically label him a racist, You should have to have to have had paid taxes in NZ for at least 25 years to qualify for super IMHO.

    Speaking entirely personally, I am opposed to any more migration until I am happy my cultural identity isn’t threatened. I work in a team of 24, of which just three are native born New Zealanders. I don’t mind that – but I do mind it when Indians (and they are all Indians, having arrived with the last seven years) tell me they are not interested in knowing what Waitangi day is about, have no interest and are completely ignorant of even the the most basic aspects of our history.

    We need to halt the low value migration to this country of people who are imported simply to make the GDP figures look good, all the while suppressing wages and forcing down the GDP per head figures. Immigration for the benefit of fat cats and corporations needs to be resisted at all costs, because eventually it will amount to a cultural genocide.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    In the longer term if we are to survive on the planet ( and reverse warming) then I suspect that the overall population has to drop – slowly but steadily.

    Looking back a couple of decades New Zealand & most westernized countries ( for want of a better way of putting it ) had birth rates at or around replacement rates. So level population is probably a desirable social goal.

    Part of this low birthrate was the social contract of spreading lifetime costs over the whole community with resources going into free education and pensions at the other end of life.

    So first I think we need to deal with the myths:
    The aging population myth – it’s not how old the population is but how sick it is towards the end of it’s life and how many are needed to care for them. Many people keep on happily working into their 70’s and even 80’s although maybe at a reduced rate. So no immigration policy should be forcing those workers into earlier retirement than needed.
    The pension is in some ways a bit of a distraction – the children in the workforce who “pay” it will enjoy larger inheritances. We need to stop the corporate farming of elder resources (which is highly regressive) and go for higher estate duties on the very well off ( leave the rest alone)

    And to point out the truly obvious -we are not going to lower the population aging if we bring in younger workers and their parents as well.

    Immigrants bring needed skills
    Well up to a point but they can also bring unwanted skills & attitudes. And are these needed skills one’s we should be nurturing and teaching in our young? No immigration scheme should displace our own workforce and up skilling the same .

    Honestly , when I look around the workforce I don’t see too many migrants at the excessive skill level but I do see a lot that have inappropriate skills – micro managing staff because they come from low education workforces, inappropriate job fragmenting because they come from very large overseas organisations, rotten decisions because they are unaware of population density or local cultural issues, failure to work within the law because they don’t know it exists or think they can ignore it, discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, age the list goes on ..

    Watering down productivity gains & incurring excessive future costs
    Bringing in more and more low/medium skilled incurs infrastructure costs and keeps wages down and simply divides the productive gains among more people. I see other commentators have tackled this one.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      And then there’s Mr. Peter Talley, shitting on his workers and thumbing his nose at the law.

      Exploitative right wing trash come in all nationalities. You won’t fix this problem by closing the borders: the right wing trash are already here.

      • RedBaronCV 9.1.1

        Actually , I wasn’t suggesting closing the borders, just looking at some basic overall ideas and I am well aware we have plenty of home grown right wing as well.

        And while I’m here I think we do need to have a solid look at residency & citizenship? Should residency be use it or lose it , should it be harder to obtain, capable of being lost ( I’ve known a number of people who have it that we are unlikely to ever see again) should citizenship be harder to obtain?

        Should welfare benefits be on a longer time frame? Are we exposed to “granny dumping” where elderly parents or family are left here on our welfare while the income earners are in Australia or elsewhere? How do we tidy up the Australia issue so we aren’t being exploited by third parties??

        On the other hand we have younger people here who have lived here most of their lives but are the children of migrant parents and may have 2/3 passports but no citizenship that they can pass onto their children unless the children are born in country

        • Craig H 9.1.1.1

          Resident visas allow people to remain in NZ indefinitely, but also have 2 years travel conditions, so new residents have to show their commitment to NZ in that time after which they qualify for (and should apply for) a permanent resident visa. People who leave NZ without travel conditions or upgrading to a permanent resident visa will find their resident visa has expired.

          That said, the Australian method of Returning Resident Visas with 5 years travel conditions make sense to me – if you never leave, you don’t need another one, but if you travel a lot, you have to remain in Australia enough to qualify for the next RRV.

          • RedBaronCV 9.1.1.1.1

            Okay so do we need to make the permanent resident visa harder to get ?

            I’m trying not to get bogged down in detail here but any system where you can obtain permanent residency and/or citizenship with a relative short period of actual living here will be open to abuse.

            • Craig H 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I think just follow the Aussies – nice and simple. Any permanent system has the issue that someone can leave once they have it no matter how tough you make it.

      • saveNZ 9.1.2

        Right wing trash may be already here, but we are importing people who not only are right wing, but come from countries that don’t have democracy, don’t have freedom and bribes are part of the social fabric. They don’t have a welfare system – and think that if you do have one, you should use it as much as possible, indeed some religions even believe people are born in a certain class and should always stay there and their should be 2nd class citizens in a society, like untouchables in India.

        Wonder why National seem to be winning come election time?

        I know a lot of migrants who are great people. But they think Kiwis are lazy (especially Maori), there should be zero quotas in places like Medicine and in short believe that competition is much better than collaboration or diversity.

        In my view in a few years with the environment on the decline, it will be shown that competition is very dangerous to society because to ‘win’ is actually not the most important things in life.

        So although I think you should welcome new citizens I’m not sure if I’m going to continue to be proud of being a New Zealander as things develop here. Already people are getting tired of hosting the thousands ‘new’ New Zealanders when they turn up on NZ passports in OZ or the UK.

        We were a Nation of farmers, now we are a Nation of Shop keepers, Restauranteurs, property developers (for new migrants, Westfield malls and retirement homes) and middle managers too. Are we winning?

        Margaret Thatcher and Pauline Hanson come to mind on the famous shop keepers turned political change agents. Be warned.

        • mac1 9.1.2.1

          saveNZ, regarding your comment above.
          “Margaret Thatcher and Pauline Hanson come to mind on the famous shop keepers turned political change agents. Be warned.”

          Be warned against unsubstantiated and ridiculous claims?

        • Incognito 9.1.2.2

          Maggie Thatcher ran/owned a shop??

          • Ad 9.1.2.2.1

            According to her biography Thatcher grew up living over a grocery store.

            • Incognito 9.1.2.2.1.1

              Ta

              Not quite the same though …

              • mac1

                The real point is to actually discuss the issue as to whether we can make blanket warnings upon the danger of people such as shop keepers. Especially we should be careful of such warnings when based on wrong information since Thatcher is the daughter of a shop keeper as is Hansen the daughter of a fish and chip owner who later became one herself.

                Maybe we should say that the children of shop keepers are suspect and we should be warned?

                But then again, that is what I am- the son of a grocer. Be warned, indeed!

                saveNZ’s warning is itself a product of the same prejudice as much of the argument about immigrants, for heaven’s sake!

              • saveNZ

                My point is we are not really advocating immigration from the best and brightest, it’s anyone who can fabricate some docs without getting caught that show they have enough money, and take a basic IT or cookery diploma and then get a job here at minimum wages. That seems to be our criteria for residency.

                Or you have some money and can invest in a business like a shop or residential property or a farm.

                Or you are some far right thinking billionaire like Peter Thiel who gets in for “donating money”.

                At the same time we have one of the worst refugee figures. So it really seems to be more social engineering to me.

                The want a certain type of compliant worker who is not too creative or intellectual or someone rich who has friends in the National party and invests in National party crony businesses. It’s not like we are getting some vibrant cross section of migrant society or someone who might have some affinity with the environment or culture here.

                If we just wanted more people, refugees would be the obvious answer and they need the help the most.

        • keepcalmcarryon 9.1.2.3

          Yes , save NZ, I wondered at this in the OP:

          “For Labour, the immigration debate is the new Third Rail, because for many elections, new immigrants have backed them solidly”

          when certain sectors of the immigrant community certainly seem to be staunch national voters.

          I asked the question above, what is a “country” ?- noone answered. Is a country only a geographical construct and nothing else? Globalists would say so. What of culture and identity? What of local markets ,wages and costs of living? if we have such open borders all we get is high local cost of living but an increasing falling real wage as we approach equilibrium with massive offshore labour markets.

        • Brutus Iscariot 9.1.2.4

          According to OAB, only white people can be right wing.

  10. Craig H 10

    I can’t remember where I read it, but Immigration is a slight positive overall on an economy, so not really a great improvement or negative. Typically, the number of jobs created are about the same as are taken, but it might move the industries that the jobs are in.

    I think a bigger issue is that a lot of the entry level jobs are harder to get because of the increased competition from people with open work rights with minimal skills but a willingness to do basically anything for money. By way of explanation, open work rights allow the visa holder to work for any employer in any occupation and are primarily found on student visas, partnership visas and working holiday visas.

    Personally, I would remove the work rights and post-study work visas for students studying qualifications below NZQF level 7 (bachelor’s degree) other than qualifications on the long term skills shortage list (LTSSL). This removes the incentive to come here to do a rubbish course like a Diploma of Business, sometimes work in breach of the actual visa by overworking the 20 hours per week, paying for the qualification if necessary, and then get 3 years worth of visas for work of minimal value.

    I would continue to allow partnership visas for partners of students and workers, but make them visitor visas rather than work visas.

    Working holiday visas – largely leave alone, since the above are major changes and should probably be bedded in first, and these have natural limits on them.

    Skilled Migrant Category – I would make it easier for highly skilled individuals to get SMC without job offers by:
    – Decreasing the points value of current employment
    – Increasing the value of the bonuses for qualifications and work experience relevant to occupations on the LTSSL and identified future growth area (currently IT, biotechnology and creative industries)
    – Making the bonus points for employment outside of Auckland available for people getting SMC without a current job offer.

    • RedBaronCV 10.1

      Handing out a small number of points if you are from a jurisdiction with similar welfare & medical benefits ( as that is unlikely to be a motivation for moving)

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      I can’t remember where I read it, but Immigration is a slight positive overall on an economy, so not really a great improvement or negative.

      That depends entirely upon how it’s handled. ATM, NZ is handling it so badly that immigration is quite a significant negative.

      Typically, the number of jobs created are about the same as are taken,

      That depends upon productivity. If productivity is increasing then demand for workers is decreasing even with an expanding population. The only way we can support more workers is if we’re exporting more and that brings up the question: Just how much of our resources can we export before NZ can no longer support any economy at all?

      I think a bigger issue is that a lot of the entry level jobs are harder to get because of the increased competition from people with open work rights with minimal skills but a willingness to do basically anything for money.

      As someone who’s about to graduate I find the big problem is that NZ employers don’t actually have any entry level positions. They only seem to want to employ people who are already senior within their profession which means that NZ skills aren’t being developed. The employers then complain about lack of skills in NZ and import people instead.

      We have the capability the same as every other nation but our employers are too selfish and greedy to develop that capability.

      • RedBaronCV 10.2.1

        You are not wrong about the no entry level positions for graduates – on the other hand few employers seem to care if a lot time is taken up with training overseas entrants to our workforces.

      • Craig H 10.2.2

        A good economic impact from immigration does not preclude poor societal outcomes in other areas, which is why immigration needs to be managed carefully, and I fully agree that this government has not done that. GDP per capita hasn’t dropped, but immigration is unlikely to make it go up that much either.

        The lack of entry level positions and unwillingness to train in skilled occupations is not a new problem, but agree that something needs to be done – I would levy employers who employ non-residents and use that to fund more entry level positions, while also demanding that SOEs etc do their part. I would also make it a condition of government tenders.

    • Incognito 10.3

      I can’t remember where I read it, but Immigration is a slight positive overall on an economy, so not really a great improvement or negative. Typically, the number of jobs created are about the same as are taken, but it might move the industries that the jobs are in.

      I don’ t know if the following snippet helps:

      The report cites a 2013 study by BERL economists Ganesh Nana and Hugh Dixon – “Fiscal Impacts of Immigration in 2013” – which assessed the value of migrants to the Government accounts at $2.9 billion. On a per capita level, it was equivalent to $2,653 per migrant.

      “By comparison, native-born New Zealanders contributed a positive $540 million, or $172 per person. This reflected the older age structure of the native-born population,” the New Zealand Initiative report says.

      Should migrants pay for infrastructure costs? by Liam Dann; it’s worth a read.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11790031

    • Gabby 10.4

      Working holidays = slavery.

      • Craig H 10.4.1

        How so? Most of them come in with some cash (there is a minimum funds requirement to get the visa) and then travel round, only working here and there to supplement funds. How much slavery is there in that?

  11. Visubversa 11

    The Medical School has to have it’s prizegiving and Oathtaking ceremony in November – just after exams finish. This because such a high % of students will have departed from NZ by the time of the Capping ceremony in May.

    Walk down Queen St, you are lucky if you see a Pakeha face. I waited for a friend who was in the queue for the Justice of the Peace service at the Auckland District Court. The queue was out the door and there was not one Pakeha person in it. They were all young Chinese or Indians. All getting their immigration papers stamped.

    Take a drive around the new subdivisions north of Albany. You won’t see a pakeha face there either. There are streets where literally 99% of the houses are owned by Asian people. The houses all look the same – crammed onto the section, lots of car parking and hardly a blade of grass. All 5 or 6 bedrooms and the same number of bathrooms. Nothing “affordable” for local families.

    Catch the bus to New Lynn any day after 9am. Lots of older Chinese people doing the shopping. All with Gold Cards and trolleys they leave in the bus isle.

    The New Zealand economy is like a bouncy castle. It relies on being pumped up by a constant flow of cash-rich foreigners. That is how the NACT government keeps an illusion of growth and prosperity.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      NB: Pākehā are all immigrants. Raise the double standard.

      • saveNZ 11.1.1

        OAB – and how did that work out for Maori – signing the treaty and becoming ‘partners’ with the Queen.

        Learn from history – don’t repeat it!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1

          I’ll make sure to look closely at the terms of any treaty recent immigrants offer us. One problem though – treaties are between nations? Which nation will be offering the new one?

          Nah, “your” “argument” is so fucked I think it’s far more likely to be xenophobic sophistry: worse than worthless.

          • saveNZ 11.1.1.1.1

            Thanks OAB “xenophobic” is what the right wingers like to call anyone who calls them out on their immigration plans.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Whereas I’m calling your drivel xenophobic, because it’s so chock full of false equivalences and obvious gobshite.

              I learned that from history.

              • Sanctuary

                There is always one, the obnoxious self righteous dickhead who can’t have a conversation with the grown up without running around shrieking.

                Do us all a favour One Anonymous Bloke – fuck off until you learn to be polite.

                [The fucking irony! This is the only warning you get – and if Ad calls it tougher and throws a ban at you for hypocricy on top of blatant personal attack, then hey] – Bill

                • Ad

                  Bill go for it – you have clearer site-wide judgement than I.

                  Need it be said this is a controversial topic, and a debate without emotion would be soft-cockery.
                  But going to straight name-calling and belittling is simply bannable.

    • Incognito 11.2

      Could you please back up these wild allegations with links and/or hard verifiable facts?

      This because such a high % of students will have departed from NZ by the time of the Capping ceremony in May.

      Sure, but are you suggesting that these all are immigrants/non-residents? What is the % if you’d be so kind?

      When I need a JP or similar I will not go and stand in a queue because I know better than to waste my time. Maybe “Pakeha faces” also know more convenient ways to get a document signed?

      If the first house in a new sub-division has been sold to an Asian the whole sub-division is 100% Asian-owned! Run for the hills!

      Catch the bus to New Lynn any day after 9am. Lots of older Chinese people doing the shopping. All with Gold Cards and trolleys they leave in the bus isle.

      I would put it to you that older Chinese people don’t drive themselves for a number of reasons, which is why you see lots (??) of them on the bus. You know for a fact that they all have Gold Cards and all leave their trolleys at the bus station?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Ah, so you don’t like immigrants being non-white and seem to have real problems with those of Asian decent…

      Yeah, get a life will ya.

  12. Ad 12

    Some very thoughtful comments above. Keep them coming.

    I was slightly expecting the need for more moderation, so good on youse.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 13

    Repeated verbatim from Gapminder:

    The World has reached Peak Number of Children!
    BREAKING NEWS FROM UN POPULATION DIVISION

    world population continues to grow, but the number of children in the world has now reached its peak.

    In 1960 we were 1 billion children below 15 years of age and we were 35% of the world population.

    Now there are 1,9 billion children in the world, but they are but 27% of world population.

    In 2050 there will still be an estimated 1.9 billion kids, but they will be only 20% of world population.

    The reason, 40% of world population has less than 2 children per women and thus compensationg for the 18% that get more than 3 children per women.

    http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/p2k0data.asp

    Can I cut off some Chicken Little heads now?

    • Andre 13.1

      And yet, in absolute numbers, the world population is continuing to grow at around 75 million per year. While this is down from the peak of 88 million in 1989, that’s still a hell of a lot of extra mouths. So the two sources below still project us going from around 7.3 billion now to 11 billion by the end of the century.

      https://populationpyramid.net/world/2015/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth#Human_population_growth_rate

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        The number of children being born has basically stabilised. Most “population” complaints can be summarised as “there are too many poor, brown people.”

        This, from privileged pundits who live in some of the most densely populated areas in the world: cities.

        Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury.

        • Rae 13.1.1.1

          Population has decreased where women have control of their own destinies and their own fertility. Often their ability to do so is hindered by religion

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1

            The countries where this has happened are mostly addicted to over-consumption. See 14.1

        • saveNZ 13.1.1.2

          Actually from what I am reading OAB you are the only one who is saying there are too many poor brown people.

          I’d say many of the migrants around Auckland are actually not poor and not brown.

          They are privileged middle/upper class global citizens buying a 2nd passport that our government so thoughtfully provides them in return for foreign capital.

          The poorest people in Auckland seem to be urban Maori and they are from this country. So not sure about your logic, your understanding of what people are saying and any understanding of living in Auckland where most of the migrants are settling in.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.2.1

            Let’s be perfectly clear about this: what you’d “say” is worthless. Worse than that, it feeds hate speech.

            Auckland’s problems aren’t caused by immigrants, they’re caused by right wing incompetence and prejudice. The National Party persistently refuses to plan or provide for Auckland, and sabotages any plans anyone else makes.

            Why have you so little moral fibre that you blame recent arrivals?

            • One Two 13.1.1.2.1.1

              Why do you insist on using insults and aggression in your comments?

              Do you understand what drives your repetitive behaviour?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Why do you insist in authoring so many comments with zero substance? Do you understand what drives your repetitive behaviour?

                Unsupported opinion is worthless. It fosters false beliefs and leads directly to prejudice.

                • One Two

                  That you parrot responded fits well..

                  Nothing unsubstantiated about your handles comment history and emotive/agressive style

                  It’s a documented record which you created, and continue to build!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    “A pithy commenter who cuts to the bone.”

                    I get good reviews too you know 🙂

        • keepcalmcarryon 13.1.1.3

          “The number of children being born has basically stabilised. Most “population” complaints can be summarised as “there are too many poor, brown people.”

          This, from privileged pundits who live in some of the most densely populated areas in the world: cities.

          Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury.”

          Hypocrisy is sitting at your computer in your comfortable house/office and moralising about the third world poor. Undoubtedly you are donating the balance of your high western wage/super to the 3rd world poor. Good on you.

  14. Rae 14

    Increasing population is totally counter to my world view, so I am making my comments according to that.
    I believe the planet may well be way, way past peak people and I think the whole human race has got to address this. It has been said that by 2050 the ocean could well contain more plastic than life forms. That is more of OUR rubbish than life.
    We must do something about our destructive influence on this world, there is NO planet “b”.
    I see no point in open door immigration when most of the people using it are coming from countries that have not done much to address this situation.
    As I said above, in the population growth=economic growth ponzi scheme there is no full stop, there is no optimum number, it must always keep going up, it is wasteful and destructive but it will stop one day, one way or another. It will stop because we choose to stop it and sort it for ourselves or nature will stop us, we will end up at war with each other over what little is left of the place.
    The best way to control our population is via women and social welfare, especially pensions for the aged. Women who are educated, have control of their own lives and fertility have fewer children and have them later in life, “nobody die” as they say. Having a welfare backup means people do not need to have many children in order for the parents to be cared for in old age.
    Of course, there are many cultures in the world that this is totally radical thinking, but at some point they will need to give it some thought or they will be forever destined to be at odds with each other. I am afraid the rest of the world cannot solve it by just shifting the numbers around. The problems need sorted in the countries they are in or they will simply perpetuate. That is the challenge.
    China is in a bit of a predicament now with their ageing population, it will not be uncommon for couples to have responsibility for their own child and 4 grandparents. No wonder they seek out our pensions, even fraudulently, I’d probably do it myself, given half a chance. And if Chinese couples in China are still only having one child as I imagine they can’t afford much more, the situation is going to repeat itself over and over.
    Again, I say left wing economics and population control/reduction are not exclusive, in fact if you think about it, quite the opposite.
    Mechanization and robotics will only make having large populations worse, much worse.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      It’s time for your reality check.

      It’s overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem: By almost any measure, a small portion of the world’s people — those in the affluent, developed world — use up most of the Earth’s resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2

      it must always keep going up

      False. You’re contradicting basic demographic statistical trends, as I have linked at 13. Please try and react to problems that actually exist.

      • Pat 14.2.1

        and you believe a peak of between 9.5 and11 billion and a slow decline thereafter to a sustainable level will all occur before the planet is completely trashed beyond human existence?…if not then population is a factor.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.1.1

          The planet is being trashed by a minority. I believe this point has been made several times already by eg: Bill (Pareto’s 20/80 rule).

          • Pat 14.2.1.1.1

            a minority are disproportionately responsible…not entirely responsible….Bill (and others) has also made the point that ZERO (net) emmissions need to be achieved by 2050 (if not before) and the concept of a carbon budget.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.1.1.1.1

              If/when the people who are dis-proportionally responsible clean up their act, the rest will have no choice but to follow them, because they own all the infrastructure.

              • Pat

                if/when the people who are disproportionally responsible clean up their act we will then see the true state of overpopulation as our ability to feed, house and clothe 7.5 billion plus disappears before our eyes.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You make it sound as though shelter food and clothing are things people can’t make themselves.

                  • Pat

                    as he says its much more eloquently than I ever possibly could I submit the following…..

                    “That decline is likely to go very far indeed. That’s partly a matter of straightforward logic: since global population has been artificially inflated by pouring extrasomatic energy into boosting the food supply and providing other necessary resources to human beings, the exhaustion of economically extractable reserves of the fossil fuels that made that process possible will knock the props out from under global population figures. Still, historical parallels also have quite a bit to offer here: extreme depopulation is a common feature of the decline and fall of civilizations, with up to 95% population loss over the one to three centuries that the fall of a civilization usually takes.”

                    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/dark-age-america-population-implosion.html

    • saveNZ 14.3

      +1 Rae. Too many people, too much consumption.

      I have a lot of migrant friends and their favourite hobby is always shopping. It doesn’t matter if they are Asian or European. They love Malls.

      They also favour new houses and new cars.

      Every single migrant I know is trying to get their parents over. Most of them leave soon after, but the parent stay. They want their kids educated here in NZ, but once getting their degrees the kids are off.

      Looks great for the Natz, in fact they have made an economy out of it.

      Work out how many retirement villages are springing up with all the crony sales of public land into overseas private investment that build retirement villages.

      As the .01% get rich off it, the few workers left in the country will have to pay for the health and super. And we all know where a big block of voting power lies – the elderly.

      • garibaldi 14.3.1

        Perhaps the elephant in the room is our creeping loss of self sufficiency. With globalisation etc we are becoming more specialized in our roles and losing our ability to look after ourselves ie being more self sufficient.
        What % of kiwis are still reasonable gardeners, mechanics, renovators or even light bulb changers?
        When the Canterbury earthquakes happened where was the rush to get apprentices into the trades?
        We should invest in upgrading Kiwi’s abilities rather than relying on heaps of immigrants without providing the necessary infrastructure to support the extra burden.
        Our future is indeed bleaker than it needed to be because of our appalling lack of planning.

      • Bill 14.3.2

        ffs!

        I’m an immigrant and…

        I hate fucking shopping malls (won’t go near them unless I absolutely have to). I do not want to own a house and have never owned nor wanted to buy a new car. I never tried to get my parents nor any other family members over here.

        But keep on peddling bullshit there saveNZ.

        Just before submitting. Reflecting on other immigrants I know (a fair few) – none have sought to have family members enter NZ. And none of them fit that stereotype your trying to push – none of them.

        • weka 14.3.2.1

          Have to say that shopping mall comment above is pretty weird.

          I actually think bringing family in should be part of our immigration policy. It’s been a big part of Pacifica immigration here, and it builds community.

          • Bill 14.3.2.1.1

            Weirdness in a coating of delicious xenophobic gunk. In order, it ran…

            ‘They’ consume too much.
            ‘They’ consume too much.
            ‘They’ consume too much.

            There are too many of ‘them’.
            ‘They’re’ only here to rip us off.

            ‘They’re’ buying all of our stuff and ‘they’re’ old and and and…

            • weka 14.3.2.1.1.1

              Yeah. I haven’t been following all the conversation here but suspect there is a fair bit of that at the surface. .

          • Craig H 14.3.2.1.2

            Visas for partners and dependents of workers and students are pretty easy to come by, so we’re on the right path there.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.3.3

        GROWTH: too much of a ‘good thing’?
        % of NZ citizens that lack the security of owning their own home.
        % of wealth controlled by the wealthiest 1%.
        Pollution of NZ waterways and beaches.

        Given the stable (and ultimately unsustainable) natural population growth of the last 40 years, the recent record NZ immigration numbers should drop and the focus shift to increasing our pitiful per capita refugee quota.

        Population Mythbusters: New Zealand’s population is only growing because of migration

        “Because they loved their money more than anything in the whole world.” ‘Greed is good’ is steadily strangling our once egalitarian, fair go, help-thy-neighbour society.

  15. Ad 15

    Anyone prepared to give a Maori perspective on this subject?
    I timed it for near Waitangi Day, slightly cheekily.

  16. Jen 16

    Good to see some discussion here about immigration. Fifty year old female here, left voter all my life but parted company with the left a couple of years ago. I would consider myself alt right now, ban me if you want, but I consider all the progress towards civilisation we have made in these old anglo-western democracies like ours deeply at risk now from rampant immigration from countries that have a culture alien to ours. These anglo-western democracies and our wonderful education, health and social welfare systems have been a magnet for people from non western countries, but I am not convinced that our societies will survive now that our countries are open to all comers. It is at the very least a huge experiment, and one I am not interested in participating in.I have two adult daughters, and I would like them and their children to have a homeland where they are safe and don’t become a possibly persecuted minority.

    It would be less worrying if immigrants were integrating, but they are not, it seems they haven’t come to be kiwis but instead to take advantage of our naive generosity. We are not a multicultural society, we have a number of parallel societies. At my local mall all I see are groups of people from the same race hanging out together. Immigrants used to have to integrate because there were so few of them and so many of us, now immigrants arrive and slot straight into a mini version of their own country of origin.People in the west have been guilted into the belief that race doesn’t matter, but no-one seems to have told that to the new immigrants.In a democracy numbers count, once these voting blocks of people from other cultures get big enough all bets are off as to the future direction of this country. And we should only be giving voting rights to citizens in this country, not to permanent residents who may or may not have any loyalty to this country. We give everything away too easily, including residency and citizenship.

    I would also like the left to have a rational debate about muslim immigration. The petition Labour put out decrying Trump’s “muslim ban” guaranteed me and many others won’t vote left this year, the incredible naivety about the dangers of islam is terrifying.Does no body on the left in NZ read overseas newspapers? The situation in europe is dire, decades of muslim immigration (mostly “refugees”) and the high birthrate of muslims is a demographic time bomb, several european countries are likely to become caliphates in my lifetime. I won’t vote for any party that is going to bring in any more muslim refugees. Our dollars are much, much better spent supporting people in safe areas in middle east than bringing them here.The west has been fighting against islam for virtually the whole of recorded history, fighting to retain our freedoms and tolerance in the face of an extremely intolerant religion/political system, it would be naive in the extreme to expect that they will adapt to us when that has never been the outcome in the past. How the left can embrace gay rights, womens rights and animal rights and then embrace islam which is the opposite of those things really beggars belief. Leave islam to the already islamic countries, we don’t need it here in any greater quantities than we already have.

    • Cinny 16.1

      Hey there Jen
      I do agree with your thoughts in your second paragraph about immigration, naivety etc, for sure.

      But personally I’m not into any sort of religious intolerance. So many brainwashed people out there, not their fault they have been preyed/prayed on.

      You can’t change your race or the place you were born, but anyone can change their religion any day of the week.

      I imagine it would be pretty hard to turn into a nature loving hippy in Syria, but here… the possibilities are endless, we can even be a Pirate, or create our own religion.

      Probably a good idea to keep away from Destiny or Gloriavale. Maybe a religious book on entry, detailing all the religions here etc. Far out knowledge is everything, educate them don’t condemn them, that’s not the way forward.

      Is religious diversity common in the middle east (Islamic countries)? If not why? Oh I don’t know maybe because you could be slaughtered?

      Sure there are problems in Europe, but is it any wonder when whole countries of a certain denomination are fleeing for fear of their lives. Then end up suffering complete culture shock rather than assisted integration.

      I really like how NZ looks after refugees when they arrive here and feel proud to be part of it.

      • Jen 16.1.1

        Cinny,

        I think we need to learn from the european experience with muslim immigration. Europe started the experiment with immigration from muslim countries several decades ago. The europeans expected muslims would embrace the freedoms of the west, but it did not happen, muslims instead wanted their new country to conform to their beliefs and practices. 25% of voters in France, Sweden and the Netherlands are now single issue voters on the subject of muslim immigration, they want it stopped, they have had enough of the violence, the no go zones, the fact that so few of the immigrants work and so are a huge burden on the state. Many of the problems in those countries are being caused by second and third generation offspring of middle east and african immigrants.Muslims have a birthrate much higher than the indigenous populations of european countries, they are going to inherit europe in a generation or two because of mass immigration and also because they outbred the natives.

        I think what has enabled western countries to be such amazing places is that the people who created those societies have a great deal of empathy, but I think that our empathy will be the end of us if we don’t start chanelling that empathy more sensibly. It might feel good settling refugees into NZ, but a short term feel good without thinking about how this might play out in the long run, what it might mean for our descendents if year upon year we import people from an extremely intolerant religion until we get to the point these people are a significant voting block. First priority for most people is their children, it seems to me that the left in western countries is so concerned about people from other countries we are risking leaving our children without a safe homeland. We can help people without bringing them here, our dollar goes much further if we help people in camps close to their embattled countries.

        • Tanz 16.1.1.1

          agree with Cinny, through and through. Well said.

        • Tanz 16.1.1.2

          Also. leaving our children without the chance of buying a home or a chance at a decent job – both due to mass immigration, causing demand to outstrip supply in both areas.

          • Cinny 16.1.1.2.1

            So hearing you Tanz. I’m sick of property investors controlling the market, so many people don’t have a chance anymore.

            And because houses are so expensive there is no way they can afford to buy, save up for a deposit, then prices go up, big vicious circle that one.

            We sure don’t have enough housing for everyone and i honestly do feel immigration is a factor combined with a failure to plan by a selfish greedy outgoing government.

        • Cinny 16.1.1.3

          Thanks for explaining Jen,

          We helped to settle a refugee family back in the early 1980’s, they had suffered in Cambodia. All the kids are grown up now, university educated with great jobs.

          This experience changed my life, and I’m so very proud of them all. The nicest people you could ever meet. They had nothing, nothing and still they would invite our family often for a meal, amazing meals created from next to nothing.

          I remember Mum taking me to see The Killing Fields at the movies, i was underage, but it was the best way for her to show me how these families had suffered in the labour camps of Cambodia.
          Cried my eyes out, couldn’t believe people could be so cruel. Helped me to understand why these families were so happy to be in NZ, so grateful, and they have given so very much back to NZ as a result.

          So that’s why I strongly support increasing the refugee quota. Our system works for resettling those displaced and fleeing war. There are so many many families who want the very best for their children and growing up in Syria (for example) at the moment is not good for any child, for any one.

          The family we helped went through the refugee centre in Auckland before settling down here, great work is happening Mangere

          Not into buying into the Muslim excuse, it’s just bullshit power and control narrative as far as I’m concerned, culture of fear psychological manipulation of the masses, whose other side effects include justification of mass invasive surveillance.

    • Ad 16.2

      Well Jen, that’s a nice dense comment. It’s precisely the kind of comment I had hoped to see because it starts to address one of the reasons the left is getting its arse kicked all over the park electorally in otherwise secular liberal democracies – like the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Poland and TBH the United Kingdom. I can easily see that same schism happening here.

      If you’d like a really solid discussion about why liberal secular Enlightenment values are still the best for a state – and I mean in the truly normative sense – ask your local library to get you: Roger Scruton: The West and The Rest: Globalisation and the Terrorist Threat. It’s cocky, but it’s robust.

      Scruton’s work also has a ton of good rerefences as well. You don’t have to go to Breatbart and Whaleoil to sift through a tonne of quartz for an ounce of gold.

      I don’t think we need to worry too hard yet about the volume of Muslims in New Zealand. So far, we’re still in the ‘crunchy salad’ stage.

      My own electorate of New Lynn is about as segregated as you can get: English and Germans and Dutch in the well-to-do forested Titirangi, but in New Lynn central it’s about 60% coastal Chinese, and another 20% Indian subcontinent.

      These days you have to be in Nelson to get back to that 80%+ ex-British stock majority population still visible. Rare.

      So there’s no reason to be complacent, but definitely width for debate.

    • Charmaine 16.3

      Perfectly said. 100%. Have voted Labour last two elections. All my family will be voting NZ First this coming election for the reasons you have just explained. The left are going to destroy Western civilization and they are not listening and they don’t get it. Bravo.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.4

      As the saying goes, this argument is so bad it “isn’t even wrong”.

      …fighting to retain our freedoms and tolerance in the face of an extremely intolerant religion/political system…

      Yes, the National Party is a threat to the rule of law and human rights: it’s vital that we don’t let them – and the people who vote for them – get away with it. They congregate in little groups like Cabinet Club, in a mini version of their own country.

      You don’t seem too concerned about that, and that’s the way they like it.

  17. NewsFlash 17

    A couple of points that seem to have been overlooked, firstly, unfettered immigration to western countries has generally occurred to help increase economic growth through increased economic activity, mostly RW govts have taken this pathway, (as there general economic policies don’t work that well) and the result has been a lowering of the average standard of living for large sections of the population, well documented, just look at the great US of A, most middle and low incomers haven’t seen an increase in income for thirty years.

    The second point is China, thirty years ago they legislated an abatement of the population, the “one baby” law, and the reason at the time was concern over the ability of the country to feed the rapidly growing population. And just how did that work out for them thirty years later? While the population still grew, but much more slowly and little migration from out side China, they did very well economically, lifted millions out of poverty, spent trillions on infrastructure to catch up with the rest of the world, and are now an economic power house, this was not a planed outcome, but I imagine, a very welcome one.

    I suppose, is there anything of value in these two points that can improve the lives of the general population?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      Sure there is: neoliberal policy settings lower wages and employment conditions, and because right wingers are utterly devoid of personal responsibility, they do their best to invoke divisive xenophobia instead.

      The papers cited here are by no means an exhaustive list of the research on the subject: their conclusions contradict your beliefs.

      • Mike Steinberg 17.1.1

        The irony is that neo-liberal policy also favours open-borders to allow the easy flow of labour for employers. I think Milton Friedman pointed out that you can’t have a welfare state and open borders.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          Sure: that’s the hypothesis. Now go and look at the various studies of reality I’ve referenced. The hypothesis is wrong: it simply does not happen.

          You remember how minimum wage rises are supposed to cause unemployment except oops! They don’t.

          Who profits from these false narratives?

  18. Alfred 18

    Why on earth is a story about immigration to New Zealand being illustrated with a New Zealand passport. Immigrants don’t have New Zealand passports. Citizens do. And citizens returning home are not immigrants.

  19. Mike Steinberg 19

    The most obvious issue is the role of non-citizen immigration in driving house prices. NZ has the highest per-capita intake. Michael Reddell has pointed out that the high levels have also raised interest rates & the exchange rate, so reducing the target of around 50,000 a year to something like 20,000 a year would have numerous benefits. In terms of house prices, Reddell notes:

    “From 1991 to 2013, non-New Zealand citizen immigration accounted for around 71 per cent of the change in the number of households (or dwellings required). For the last two intercensal periods the contributions of non-New Zealand citizen net immigration were as follows:

    •2001 to 2006 70 per cent
    •2006 to 2013 106 per cent”

    https://croakingcassandra.com/2015/06/23/immigration-policy-106-per-cent-of-net-new-housing-demand/

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      So demand went up and supply didn’t. Imagine if we had some sort of central body that could act to increase supply!

  20. Tanz 20

    Mass immigration is stealing jobs, houses, schools, right under Kiwi noses. Sinple as that. But not allowed to talk about it, not allowed to complain. Invaded and birthrights stolen, no, never can say that. Betrayers in charge.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      Plenty of people say it, including right here.

      The problem, it seems to me, is that it isn’t true. It simply does not happen.

      What’s lacking in all the examples you give, is a government that legislates to protect your list and plans for immigration too. You think Mr. Peter Talley is going to stop attacking human rights if we only close the borders?

      Invasion and immigration are entirely different things, however, so I suspect your argument is more emotional than anything else.

      • McFlock 20.1.1

        yep

        And I’ll add to that: apparently we’re looking at a significant demographic bubble entering retirement soonish and this will strain the conventional government budget if we want pensions to enable life with dignity.

        Seems to me that immigration now is one way to offset that bubble and lower the strain on the government purse, if we had productive government policies to go alongside the immigration.

  21. Tanz 21

    Immigration is just legalised invaders, it’s not their fault, but the fault of the enablers.
    Selling the future of NZ down the river, or that’s good is it?

    • McFlock 21.1

      Well, “legalised invaders” without the bombing, tanks, slaughter, pillage, etc.

      Other than that, immigration is totally like an invasion /sarc

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    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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