Xenophobia

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, July 7th, 2010 - 81 comments
Categories: im/migration - Tags:

John Key is claiming that we need to defend our shores against a coming wave of boat people by buying into a detention center in Timor.

I don’t know whether he’s trying to flank Winnie or whether he’s just shooting off at the mouth after being influenced by the Aussies but whatever the reason the idea is plainly racist.

Ironic really that concerns about the damage foreign investment does to economic sovereignty are passed off by the right as xenophobia while this sort of refugee-bashing is welcomed with open arms.

81 comments on “Xenophobia ”

  1. I reckon Gillard has snookered him into it, and Key’s too green to have understood what was coming. Probably still doesn’t. I wonder how many refugees Key has met in his life?

    Always a sad day when pollies get into refugee bashing.

    • Tigger 1.1

      Any evidence of a refugee ship being turned away as Key claimed on the news last night? It sounded very much like a ‘Bill and Mary Smith’ moment…

      Why on earth would we want to wade into this issue? Apart from brown-nose points with the new Aussie PM it gains us nothing and throws us into the middle of a variety of human rights and international law issues…

      And just calling it a ‘processing centre’ stings my liberal heart. Makes them sound like beans to be canned…

    • Extra sad Sprout when the person making the refugee bashing comments is the son of a refugee. Amazing how some people cforget their roots . In fact its a common tread among the Political Right, take Basher Bennett as another example.

      • prism 1.2.1

        And more – Gillard is the daughter of Welsh immigrants. But when do you start closing the door to the Ark?

        • the pinkpostman 1.2.1.1

          There is a bid difference between being an immigrant and a refugee.
          immigrant come and go when they like but refugees have one and one only chance of a decent life, I am an immigrant but must admit some of my fellow immigrant give me the shits,They never really leave their country of birth . However most refugees prove to be the very best of citizens, our history is full of refugees who have become citizens to be proud off. Lets face it if a person is willing to sail the cold deep sea in a rust bucket ,in fact risk their lives to come and live here I say WELCOME . they are just the sort of people this underpopulated country needs. Black green or brindle who cares lets make such determined people welcome.

    • toad 1.3

      Please, sprout, don’t use “green” in that context – Key is not at all Green, and has no idea what Green is about.

      This is the right jumping onto genuine concerns about foreign investment, like the Chinese bid for the Crafar farms, and trying to distort it into a xenophobic argument about refugees.

      That is why it is always so difficult to raise foreign investment issues as issues of principle – because the racist right will always seize on it to their own ends.

      But we must keep trying.

      • big bruv 1.3.1

        ‘the racist right”?

        This from a member of the Greens, a party that supported the Labour government and allowed it to introduce the seabed and foreshore legislation?

        This from a member of the Greens, the only party (aside from the Apartheid Maori party) who is supporting openly racist legislation and the creation of two types of Kiwi.

        I know you are desperate Toad but as soon as you label all those on the right as racists you begin to look like a bigger idiot than you already are.

        The real racists are the Maori party and the Greens.

  2. Daveosaurus 2

    I was interested to hear some overseas investment person whinging on and on about racism on the radio news last night. Oddly enough, though, I must have missed hearing this person’s outrage when the Government were ripping off the TÅ«hoe a few weeks back. The radio mustn’t have thought it was sufficiently newsworthy on that occasion…

  3. just saying 3

    This, and the foreign ownership statement recently, are empty rhetoric aimed at alarming the public (ie whistling the dog), sounding masterful, and romancing the winnie vote IMHO.

    • Rosy 3.1

      Yes, dog-whistle politics 101, and watch this get picked up by the media. There will be some other detestable decision the nats want ignored.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    strange how when wealthy foreign investors come here, the left considers it a bad thing. “Asylum” seekers who bring nothing? pile them in. It’s “racist” to turn away the “asylum” seekers. It’s not racist to turn away business folk.

    • Emp 4.1

      oh don’t you understand, you must be STUPID tighty righty, people who can make an economic contribution and investment and create jobs are bad, people who will live off welfare for 10 years and vote labour good.

      • george 4.1.1

        Idiots. Foreign investment doesn’t mean anyone has to come and live here.

        • TightyRighty 4.1.1.1

          idiot. it’s still racist and xenophobic to turn it away on the basis of it being foreign if it’s also racist and xenophobic to turn away boat people if they are foreign

          • felix 4.1.1.1.1

            Come on TR you can do better.

            It would be racist to turn away foreign investors on the basis of their race.

            So if anyone were saying (for example) “let’s have Africans invest here but not Slavs” then you’d have a point.

            But they’re not. So you don’t.

            If you need further clarification I’m a little busy today but if you leave a message here I’m sure someone will be able to help. Do try to figure it out on your own if you can though, a lot of other kids need attention too.

            • TightyRighty 4.1.1.1.1.1

              it’s racist when based on race, it’s xenophobic when based on being foreign. come on felix, try to keep up. Your example is ridiculous. If africans could invest here, it would put bob geldof out of a job. Maybe there would be a live aid for sheep?

              • felix

                You said:

                it’s still racist and xenophobic to turn it away on the basis of it being foreign if it’s also racist and xenophobic to turn away boat people if they are foreign

                Your words TR. Racist and xenophobic you said.

                Show me a single example of someone advocating racist policies on foreign investment. Just one. I dare thee.

                Actually don’t bother, no one gives a shit what you think.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        You may not have noticed but almost none of the wealthy foreign investors that come here produce jobs.

        • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.2.1

          Bingo. Yet when NZF was pointing out that the thousands of “business migrants” were “investing” in flash homes in Howick in which they abandoned their teenage kids to attend local schools while they returned to conduct their business in their country of origin, both left and right screamed “racist”.

          Yet the bit about increasing our refugee intake (IIRC it was about 700 a year at that stage and we’d suggested *gasp* 900) was never mentioned by our opponents, or the media.

          Indeed one media floozy went so far as to take a comment I made on background about finding abhorrent the kind of knuckle-draggers who “drive round the suburbs throwing bricks and screaming “[racial epithet]” at people”; and use it to ask “did you or did you not say ‘[racial epithet]’ earlier today?”

          With that kind of utter dishonesty being the benchmark for reporting the wider issues, facts like that raised by Draco never enter the debate, and nor do the moral and ethical obligations we have toward genuine refugees.

      • uke 4.1.3

        “people who can make an economic contribution and investment and create jobs are bad”

        I wonder why you didn’t add…

        – Drain off NZ wealth by way of profits going off shore
        – Run down national assets (eg. railways)
        – Exert pressure on the political process (eg. right, we want to mine your national parks)

        “Investment” – such a neutral-sounding word – actually means “I want something for nothing, gimme”.

        • TightyRighty 4.1.3.1

          simpletons of the world unite, you have found your champion in Uke. Uke – if that is all investment consisted of, i would be a millionaire.

          • uke 4.1.3.1.1

            Maybe you have been “investing” so as to not to make a profit? There’s your mistake!

            • TightyRighty 4.1.3.1.1.1

              I’m not simple like you Uke. I hope to profit from my investments. That’s why armaments companies figure high in my portfolio.

        • A Post With Me In It 4.1.3.2

          Not all foreign investment is good for NZ. Not all foreign investment is bad. That it is why it is a tricky issue.

          Trying to argue this in a black an white fashion will be a pox on both your houses. However investment is an ECONOMIC issue.

          Refugees are a MORAL issue.

          It is rather amusing to watch people try to argue the two against each other and rather sad that people let trolly righty drag you into it.
          It appears the only common ground the two topics have is racism?!

          lolz

        • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.3.3

          “Investment’ such a neutral-sounding word actually means “I want something for nothing, gimme’.

          One of the dictionary definitions of investment is

          a devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, etc., as for a purpose or to achieve something: “His investment in the project included more time than he cared to remember”.

          Every day I deal with business people who’ve “invested” in their businesses – their money, then at least some of their profits; their energy and most certainly their time. Many have employed other people as their business has grown and contributed to the employment of thousands more though their purchase of raw materials and support services.

          Business investment is not inherently bad. If a foreigner wished to move themselves and their family here, bring their assets with them, and genuinely invest in starting or buying a business then they should be welcomed. But then that’s not “foreign investment” it’s more like “foreigner investment” 🙂

          The fact that the kind of “investment” NZ has experienced has more often than not been closer to uke’s definition than to mine comes down to one factor only: a succession of National, then Labour, now National politicians who have consistently refused to listen to New Zealanders on this issue.

  5. Fisiani 5

    The only person critisising the possibility of humanely helping refugees is that xenophobic red neck Phil Goff. This post is yet another pure beat up.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    …trying to flank Winnie or whether he’s just shooting off at the mouth…

    or trying to flank Winnie by shooting off at the mouth?

  7. So the New Zealand left is opposing a suggestion by the leader of Australia’s left? Hmmmm.. interesting …

    • lprent 7.1

      You seem to be a bit monolithic today. The left disagree with the left all of the time.

      For that matter reading the right in the sewer you get the impression that many of them hate John Keys government….

  8. tsmithfield 8

    If its racist to refuse entry refugees who arrive outside normal due process, often without documentation, and queue jumping those who follow the rules, then count me in. I’m racist.

    • joe bloggs 8.1

      ditto

    • Bored 8.2

      No, just plain stupid. People desparate enough to risk life on open oceans in leaky boats dont think about rules and regs aka due process. They merely seek safe haven. You are probably not racist TS, probably only suffering from an extreme compassion defecit.

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        I realise this Bored. However, it is very difficult to screen people coming in under those circumstances. Potentially there could be terrorists seeking to infiltrate NZ amongst the refugees. Once they are actually on our soil it is much harder to send them back.

        Sending them to an offshore processing centre is a very humane thing to do. At least they will be fed and taken care of while they are there. It is certainly a lot more humane than forcing their boats to turn around. They can then be thoroughly checked out and possibly accepted as legitimate refugees. Don’t really see why the left would have a problem with this solution.

        • Pete 8.2.1.1

          That’s all well and good if this was a zero-sum game ts, but it’s not. There are options besides penning them up offshore and turning them round.

          The problem is they are seeking asylum in Australia and being sent to an offshore territory for ‘processing’ – breaking Intl law, and for NZ our committments under the Refugee Convention.

          Geddit now?

          • tsmithfield 8.2.1.1.1

            Yeah. We could lock them up for years in Mount Eden prison pending an infinite process of legal action and huge waste of taxpayers money as per Ahmed Zaoui. An offshore centre sounds much more preferable from the point of view of both the refugees and the taxpayer.

            • Pete 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Zaoui is brilliant example – but unfortunately bears no relation to the issue at hand. But I’m glad you’ve bought it back to what really matters – money trumps human rights and being a signatory to international conventions – Cheers.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And if we don’t have the resources to feed, house and cloth those refugees (which we won’t in a few years) what then?

                • george

                  You are assuming that refugees are a net cost to the economy. Refugees I have met have all been hard-working people who contributed positively to the economy and to our culture.

                  I don’t think I can say the same for some of the forgiven investors that have come here and stripped assets, bought IP and shipped profits home.

            • Lew 8.2.1.1.1.2

              The whole and entire point with Zaoui was that his status should never have been challenged to the extent that it was in the first place. That was where the monetary savings would have come from, not to mention the other issues in play.

              L

              • tsmithfield

                Not intending to argue the merits or otherwise of the Zaoui case.

                However, it does serve to demonstrate how much money can be expended on these sorts of cases once they get into NZ. And how there can be little option but to treat such individuals as security risks and thus have little option but to confine them in less than humane conditions (e.g. Mount Eden prison) until there status can be determined. In the Zaoui case he was confined alone. At least in the proposed option refugees will remain with friends and family who have traveled with them.

                • Pete

                  So, the problem you have is:
                  a. the amount of (taxpayer) money spent on keeping someone in an inhumane location (supposedly Mt Eden prison)
                  b. away from the family and friends they have travelled with (to the country they wish to seek asylum in)?

                  So, would the best solution to this problem be:
                  1. To send them to an overseas territory (breaking the UNHCR convention) to be ‘processed’ (i.e. potentially held indefinitely (Tampa), following the law of the territory in which they are detained)?
                  2. Turning their means of travel around to get around having to face the potential problem of a litigious case of asylum (despite the legitimacy of all asylum seekers aboard)?
                  3. Going through the normal process to determine the legitimacy of their asylum claim (as per the UNHCR convention), laying NZ’s Immigration NZ acceptance criteria over-top (to prevent acceptance of ‘unwanted’ persons), and accepting the asylum seeker (if they comply) under the refugee quota say, while they are located (with friends and family) in a secure refugee facility somewhere in NZ?
                  4. Something else.

                  BTW – here’s the UNHCR convention and protocols if you want to have a read:
                  http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html

                  • tsmithfield

                    The conventions are more to do with people ACTUALLY DO receive their rights rather than WHERE they receive their rights.

                    Also, the conventions were written prior to 9/11 which provides a new context in which to interpret conventions. Therefore it is entirely reasonable to locate refugees outside NZ/Aus while they are being checked out.

                    Furthermore, we have a limited quota of refugees that we accept so it is a zero sum game with respect to refugees. If we too easily accept refugees who have not followed due process we might be affecting the rights of those who actually do follow go down the right track. This is just as much of an injustice as is locating some refugees off shore until their status is determined.

                    • Pete

                      Sorry, how is locating asylum seekers in an offshore location (aside from the country they are seeking asylum in) OK in a post-9/11 world? It would appear that this would be falsely interpreting Articles 31, 32 and 33 of the convention. Maybe a lawyer could chime in here to confirm or dispell.

                      And ts, what is your so-called ‘due process’? Yes, if we accept ‘boat people’ we will have to reduce the number of other asylum seekers as refugees under the quota – but how are they any less acceptable as refugees (assuming they meet the UNHCR/INZ requirements)? And how does locating these asylum seekers in another territory resolve that problem?

                    • Pete

                      And here’s the UNHCR’s report on the end of the ‘Pacific Solution’, which would be used as the template for the Pacific Solution 2.0 (Timor-Leste):
                      http://www.unhcr.org/47ac3f9c14.html

                      And I quote:
                      “today’s closure of the centre on Nauru signals the end of a difficult chapter in Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. Many bona fide refugees caught by the policy spent long periods of isolation, mental hardship and uncertainty and prolonged separation from their families”

                      Didn’t someone once say “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing” – is this not true here? And does the actual state of how things may be in Timor not give you pause?

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Sorry, how is locating asylum seekers in an offshore location (aside from the country they are seeking asylum in) OK in a post-9/11 world?”

                      Pete, it seems to me that the spirit of the convention is that refugees should be treated well and fairly. The location doesn’t seem to matter so far as that is concerned.

                      Those same conventions also have definitions for what legitimately qualifies someone as a refugee and specifies ground for which refugee status may not apply. Consequently, it is not actually clear that people arriving on a boat without documentation even meet the definition of “refugees”. Until this can be determined it is not even clear that the conventions you point to would apply. Bringing them into the country as refugees is therefore premature.

                      If they are actually physically located here they would become the focus of every bleeding heart zealot too naive to grasp the possibility that these people could be security threats in the future. This would put considerable drain on the legal system. 100 Zaoui cases anyone?

                      Along with the terrorism threat there is also the possibility of infectious diseases and the like, so locating them offshore would help keep possible contagious diseases out of the country.

                      “And ts, what is your so-called ‘due process’? Yes, if we accept ‘boat people’ we will have to reduce the number of other asylum seekers as refugees under the quota but how are they any less acceptable as refugees (assuming they meet the UNHCR/INZ requirements)?”

                      You’ve asked and answered your own question. At the time they arrive we don’t know if they meet those requirements, so by being allowed to stay here they are getting a huge and unfair advantage over those refugees who take the time to validate their credentials as refugees before coming.

                    • Pete

                      “At the time they arrive we don’t know if they meet those requirements, so by being allowed to stay here they are getting a huge and unfair advantage over those refugees who take the time to validate their credentials as refugees before coming.”

                      FFS, this is NOT what happens.

                      You have to be in the country you wish to seek asylum in before you can claim asylum there and have your refugee status confirmed or otherwise.

                      This is the whole damn point. Asylum seekers are being taken away from the territory they wish to seek asylum in IN ORDER TO PREVENT THEM LODGING AN ASYLUM CLAIM, or, to significantly delay it.

                      NO refugee will ‘validate their credentials as refugees’ before coming – that is simply a stupid statement. That all happens after they have arrived and asked to be considered for refugee status under the convention.

                      Maybe if your thinking weren’t so insular you could understand what the debate is about in the first place.

                    • tsmithfield

                      There is a BIG difference between refugees we accept under our quota and those who rock up to our shores in their boats without our permission. I stand by what I said. Those that we accept under our quota have been pre-vetted before they even get here. They are a much lower risk than people we know absolutely nothing about.

                      We obviously need to detain people somewhere while their status is determined. What is wrong with East Timor? Along with meeting the immediate humanitarian needs of the refugees it will bring much needed jobs and income to the East Timor economy.

                    • Pete

                      OK, excuse the semantics of refugees v asylum seekers, what I was referring to was their rights.

                      From the site you referred me to (here http://www.refugeeservices.org.nz/faqs/refugees_in_nz):

                      On asylum seekers:

                      “These people are sometimes referred to as Convention Refugees but their status is then really just the same as other refugees who arrive in the official quota”

                      “Asylum seekers who arrive in New Zealand without proper documentation are often detained on arrival, to allow the government to confirm their identity and ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security or have criminal intentions.

                      Once this has been established, such people may be “conditionally released” into the community. They must live in an agreed location and report periodically to the authorities while they are awaiting the outcome of their application for refugee status.”

                      What is wrong with Timor-Leste? They cannot logistically do it. They are still having to sort out the issues that are the result of recent wars and war crimes. They shouldn’t have to become embroiled in another action that will see them viewed negatively on the world stage (except by the likes of you).

                      Oh, and it’s quite sweet that you think the asylum seeker’s humanitarian needs will be taken care of. You should look up how other boat people have been treated in Nauru, Christmas Island et al.

                    • tsmithfield

                      OK. So now our only point of disagreement is where they should be detained.

                      Here is what I think would be a reasonable solution to the problem.

                      Firstly, the UN should establish refugee camps at strategic locations around the world specifically for boat people, or others who attempt to gain entry to countries through informal means.

                      Secondly, countries who detain these individuals send them to the nearest camp.

                      Thirdly, these refugees/asylum seekers are vetted through the UN processes and are repatriated to a member country through the existing refugee program.

                    • Pete

                      That’s not actually a bad proposal ts if it means that the location is secure (and a signatory party to the convention, with other rights afforded within the country), free from corruption, family groups remain together, human rights are upheld, and the vetting process is short and sweet.

                      That’s not likely to happen in East Timor, and in the meantime NZ should continue as it always has by recognising the rights of asylum seekers in the same way they do now – including the potential for detention if a security risk is recognised. But not allowing them onshore to create an asylum claim is not right, regardless of potential health/security threats – as shown in Australia’s examples where a massive proportion of the boat people were found to be genuine refugees after their asylum claims were finally processed.

                      Your proposal would also mean a major change to the way we treat refugees now – which isn’t a broken system, and doesn’t appear to be under threat (we are always well under the quota and receive around 200 asylum seekers per year on average).

                    • tsmithfield

                      “That’s not actually a bad proposal ts if it means that the location is secure (and a signatory party to the convention, with other rights afforded within the country), free from corruption, family groups remain together, human rights are upheld, and the vetting process is short and sweet.”

                      Thanks for that. And I would agree with your stipulations. I think we both agree that potential refugees need to be treated well and fairly.

                      What I like about this idea is that it would standardize the process so that all refugees are treated the same so far as repatriation to member countries. A major problem with the way things are at the moment is that those who arrive informally can be treated in an ad-hock manner which may impinge on fairness to them and other refugees.

                      I really have no qualms about where the location of the UN camps are.

            • Richard 8.2.1.1.1.3

              tsmithfield wrote…Yeah. We could lock them up for years in Mount Eden prison…as per Ahmed Zaoui. An offshore centre sounds much more preferable from the point of view of both the refugees and the taxpayer.

              If that’s what you want to do. An offshore detention center would be more expensive than locking them in Mt Eden. If any boat people refugees appear, they are not going to nicely appear at our off-shore detention facility.

              They are going to appear on our shore somewhere. The taxpayer will then need to pay to get them flown/shipped to the off-shore detention facility. And then the taxpayer will still need to pay for them to be detained at that facility.

              • Bored

                TS is as usual shooting off wildly prior to identifying and targeting his quarry. Personally if a boat person ships up safely on our shores in a leaky tub I am going to offer them a job as my personal launch master. Might even send them back out to sea with TS with a defined set of instructions on the treatment of trouble makers in maritime places.

                • tsmithfield

                  So they can all come and stay at your place then Bored? 🙂

                  • Bored

                    Yeah, why not, as they say more colour more movement, party at Boreds place. Theres always the option of shoving them on the launch.

              • tsmithfield

                Costs will be much cheaper in somewhere like East Timor. Will easily cover the transport costs to get them there.

                • Tigger

                  Costs for what? Why pay for something which isn’t actually a problem nor is likely to be a problem.

    • uke 8.3

      Unfortunately, the nature of the refugee experience cannot guarantee a “normal due process”. Refugees do not have all the time and money in the world – like, say, a rich American or Chinese “investor” – to get their papers in order.

      • joe bloggs 8.3.1

        nor can you guarantee that a refugee is truly a refugee…

        • uke 8.3.1.1

          Fair enough – nobody is arguing against some kind of process of acceptance. But to demand a blue-ribbon standard of “proper” documentation is just ridiculous.

          PS It’s funny – I guess one can’t guarantee an investor is a true investor (ie. isn’t trying to fleece the country) either, eh?

    • Pete 8.4

      The experiences of refugees, due to the nature of what they and their families flee, mean that ‘due process’ and ‘proper documentation’ are not options available to them. Often they are unlawfully detained, documents taken, bombed out of their homes, have no possessions etc. And, sorry, when were the boat people queue jumping?

      And ts, you’re probably not racist, just ignorant, and need to think a bit more before you post.

      Same goes for Fisiani upthread – the least ‘humane’ options is penning them up in an offshore territory and delaying assistance in the hopes they’ll turn around and head back to what they have fled – how does this make Goff a red-neck?

  9. joe bloggs 9

    So let me see if I have IrishBill’s logic worked out:

    It’s racist and xenophobic for Key to say that boat people are a potential problem for New Zealand… but it’s not racist or xenophobic for Goff to claim that Boat People are not New Zealand’s problem.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3892236/Boat-people-not-NZs-issue-Goff

    Frankly that’s complete bullshit IrishBill

    • Pete 9.1

      Apart from being a good global citizen it is not ‘our problem’ to be dealing with refugees seeking asylum in Australia – Goff was suggesting that we’re only getting ourselves into sh*t by having anything to do with Australia’s proposed policy and process – thanks for the link.

      • joe bloggs 9.1.1

        nup he’s washing his hands of the whole refugee issue – “It’s not in my back yard, that’s your issue fellas” says Phil.

        Sounds pretty xenophobic.

        • Pete 9.1.1.1

          Xenophobia is a fear of foreigners and/or foreign cultures (amongst other things ‘foreign’ – other defns online).

          Phil Goff is suggesting that Key putting his oar in on an Australian political issue (boat people is BIG in Australian politics) is not a good idea for us AND does not appear to be good for the people of East Timor.

          Looking at the article and your cries of ‘xenophobia’ – I can’t actually see the correlation. The title ‘Boat People Not NZ’s Issue’ also bears no relation to Goff’s statements:

          “Mr Goff said there was “an outside chance” that boat people could try to reach New Zealand but he doubted that would happen.”

          “I’ve read the intelligence reports for nine years on this – you can’t absolutely rule out the prospects of a boat reaching New Zealand but overwhelmingly we know the people smugglers are interested in Australia as a destination,”

          “Mr Goff said it would be unwise for the Government to become involved in an intensely political debate that was going on in Australia in the lead up to an election.

          “That is very rarely an environment in which good decisions will be made for the long-term future.”

          “Mr Goff said East Timor was dealing with the problem of 100,000 internally displaced people.

          “Why we should load this problem onto them I just can’t understand,” he said.”

          So, please, point out the xenophobia to me here joe, and also how Goff is supposedly ‘washing his hands’ of the issue by not demanding we involve ourselves in something politically expedient for the Australians.

          • joe bloggs 9.1.1.1.1

            You’re as dull as my gradfather’s hammer Pete…. of course there’s no xenophobia in Goff’s comments – just as there is no xenophobia in Key’s stance … and to label either racist is equally facile.

            Yet IrishBill uses both descriptions in his initial post. I guess that’s what happens when morons try to learn new words.

            • Pete 9.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re a real clever clogs aren’t you joe? Thanks for adding your wealth of knowledge to this discussion, you champion of truth you.

              And sorry, where’s the ‘racist’ label? I’m not the one throwing round names here.

              And for what it’s worth I think the title of the post is going a bit far, but the writers of this blog are entitled to write what they want. If you write something that’s stupid on the face of it I’ll call you on it.

        • felix 9.1.1.2

          It’s funny (but a bit sad) when these morons try to learn new words.

          They haven’t even figured out racism and now they’re trying to use xenophobia in a sentence.

          lolz

    • Bored 9.2

      Maybe, who knows where Goffs at?

      Bills line about Key wanting NZ to buy into a detention centre in Timor needs more investigation and informed debate. It reads to me that Australia are trying to keep their front line boarder security as far away from their coasts as possible and that NZ might also benefit in a joint forward strategy. In a world that energy and food shortages will make far more volatile expect the future to be full of refugees and displaced desparate people. To Australia t, the issue of boat people is an everyday reality. But for the Tasman it would also be ours.

      • Tigger 9.2.1

        Goff is only speaking common sense. It’s like us trying to fix Australia’s bush-fire problem by helping fund fire stops… The real xenophobia, as the post points out, is Key beating up the ‘boatloads of stinky refugees turning up on our shore’ problem. There isn’t a problem, Key’s just creating a climate of fear and distrust.

        Where is ACT, asking why Key is content to spend NZ taxpayer money on an Australian problem?

        Oh, and watch Key distance himself as soon as he realises he would be aiding a Labour government’s re-election bid by co-operating with Australia. This is a big election issue in Oz and their tories will have words for him.

  10. I listened to the radio play “The Outsiders, by Ben Story” (someone maybe able to link direct to the play) and it really bought home to me how utterly terrible the conditions refugees have been and are in. To leave their culture, country, and continent, to be afraid and abused. I would recommend a listen – there is something very illuminating in hearing real stories that happened to real people coming across with a thick kiwi accent. We should provide refuge for these people and yes, everyone wants to stop people trafficers but adding to the abuse of victims is not the answer.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sundaydrama

  11. PK 11

    ***Ironic really that concerns about the damage foreign investment does to economic sovereignty are passed off by the right as xenophobia while this sort of refugee-bashing is welcomed with open arms.***

    The primary concern should be what is in the best interests of the people who pay taxes and elect the government. Whether that results in xenophobia is really a red herring (although it’s a useful emotive weapon for people to silence debate).

  12. Bill 12

    Why are none of the right wingers arguing that the free market principle should apply to movements of labour?

    How would that work? People freely moving to Australia rather than NZ from wherever due to higher wage levels and availability of work etc. In response, NZ wages and general work conditions would have to gravitate upwards…

    Ah! Can’t have that.

    Better to lock em up in detention centres and keep those extortionate levels of profit flowing.

    • PK 12.1

      ***Why are none of the right wingers arguing that the free market principle should apply to movements of labour?***

      Plenty do, look at the US where big business has pressed for unskilled labour from Mexico. In the short term that is great for keeping wages down for the corporations. Unfortunately, the overall impact on the states is disastrous as they impose greater costs for health, education, housing than they pay in taxes.

      Also, where subsequent generations have lower levels of academic performance you get an underclass. This is the case in California where the state is almost bankrupt.

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112167023

  13. burt 13

    Key is just stupid, everybody knows that we need to protect our shores from Canadians armed with cheque books more than we need to block a few people who just want a place to live. Once we have sold our assets to the Chinese we won’t be allowed to stop these people entering our country. But then Key also needs to keep the Canadians as friends because he might need to use their airports to meet the Dalai Lama every few years.

  14. Brewer 14

    The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis.

    “Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’s nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.”

    Finding themselves somewhat short on terrorists, Gillard and Key focus on immigrants.

    http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares

    • prism 14.1

      Brewer
      I think you will see eventually that it is more pragmatism than dark fantasies that shape political moves on refugees in NZ. It is money and electoral power that is the limiting factor.

      It’s not racism, it’s awareness that there are many people with nothing much willing to give up the little they have to escape. And when they get somewhere permanently, they have mental disorders, tb, sexual diseases, malnourishment and probably mental conditions and a completely different culture that may never become compatible with our aspirations for society. And it all costs government money even if private charities assist and the community that does help out, usually not at the wealthier top, may be fully occupied with their own difficulties.

    • PK 14.2

      ***Gillard and Key focus on immigrants.***

      Can you name some countries, european or non-european that don’t focus on who is allowed into the country?

  15. max 15

    You need to pull some Swayze on John Key
    “im not going to paddle to new zealand”
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102685/quotes?qt0982662

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  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
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  • Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article written by Christian Turney, University of Technology Sydney and Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge and first published on February 14, 2024. Adrien Demers/Shutterstock Last year, the world experienced the hottest day ...
    1 week ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
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  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
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  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
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  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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