Tuesday, May 31, 2005



More on state racism

In his immigration policy launch speech, Winston Peters complained that

[w]e have now reached the point where you can wander down Queen Street in Auckland and wonder if you are still in New Zealand - or some other country.

The problem is that many of those whose presence Winston is objecting to, and who make Queen St an "alien" place to his elderly supporters, are citizens, whether by naturalisation or birth. And as such, they have as much of a right to be here as Winston himself. Unless Winston is proposing stripping people of citizenship on the basis of ethnicity - something which might stir some memories - so he can "send them back where they came from", those who are feeling culturally insecure will just have to get used to it. Just as they have had to get used to Maori asserting their cultural identity (though I expect many of Winston's mob of adoring pensioners aren't too happy about that either).

I should really have made this point in saturday's post, but I was pursuing another angle then...

4 comments:

Winston's not particularly original -- I remember Michael Bassett writing almost exactly the same comment in the Herald not so long ago.

Yeah, there are a lot of Asian kids on Queen Street, but it's right by the university which deliberately targets o'seas students, not to mention the large number of language schools there as well.

I challenge Mr. Peters to go to Newmarket in the weekend and make the same observations.

Posted by dritchie : 5/31/2005 02:52:00 PM

About 5% of Auckland's total population are international students - many of them from Asia. Most tend to congregate/study/live downtown and that is why Queen Street's demographic has changed since the influx c.1999/2000.

The problem is these people aren't "migrants" per se so Winston would have to limit their number as well as working migrants if he wants to reverse the flow. I think that 1 in 20 being foreigners who are not even migrants is far too high. However prejudiced he is his "flying squad" idea is precisely what they should of had from the very beginning (pre-Asian immigration) as a lot of British undesirables have managed to get in over the years. I know one case of a man (previously a North Shore City Councillor) who emigrated from the UK, did not declare his convictions and jail time, was done for another crime here and he was not deported! That was unacceptable then and is unacceptable now.

If people were asked whether they would like to see every main street in every town and city with the same ethnic composition as Queen Street I wonder what there reply would be. The tourist towns would probably be in favour.

If we accept a large volume immigration policy (as at present) then we must ensure that we are "culturally secure". If we are not then our culture is determined by the immigrants who by sheer force of numbers can alter the cultural landscape with their values/behaviour etc. - and not always for the best. Bad habits and lower standards are all too quickly adopted by the locals. Spitting, littering, crowding etc is the tip of the iceberg. Maori were and are culturally secure but that didn't stop the huge tide of foreigners who couldn't care less about their ways of doing things from forcing Maori to do things their way.

The enforcement of the English language test for migrants is a good start. At least we can argue with each other.

Posted by t selwyn : 5/31/2005 04:18:00 PM

Aye, Winston is playing fast and loose with the truth in pursuit of rhetorical advantage. Confusing the students with immigrants is one part of that. He also carefully jiggers stats to exaggerate. Some examples from a post I made elsewhere:

"There is a net outflow of just over 18,000 New Zealanders to Australia and more elsewhere each year while in the same period we bring in a net increase of 19,000 new Asian immigrants." Because we all know that Asians can't be New Zealanders. Unlike Poms, presumably.

"Establish long-term labour market demands and import skills needed if sufficient New Zealanders cannot be trained." This is policy anyway, and has been for years.

"What these projections showed was the Asian population in New Zealand will increase 145 percent from an estimated 270,000 in 2001 to 670,000 in 2021." Note that there is no mention of the growth in OTHER segments of the population. Or for that matter, any discussion of why an increase in the Asian section of it might be bad. I guess it just goes without saying - it sure did here.

Etc. It's really in need of a good fisking, I'm just a bit tied up at the moment.

Posted by stephen : 5/31/2005 04:24:00 PM

PS: while the bulk of Winston's admirers may be pensioners, the converse is not true. I think of my own superannuitant father who wouldn't cross the road to spit on WP. It's bad enough having Winnie being divisive on race lines, without us helping out on the age front.

Posted by stephen : 5/31/2005 04:41:00 PM