Thursday, November 15, 2012

The plot thickens

Yesterday, we learned that National had sold our immigration law to China Southern Airlines, allowing wealthy members of its frequent flyer club to bypass normal immigration requirements when visiting New Zealand, despite concerns being raised about security and access by organised crime. Now the plot has thickened: according to information tabled in Parliament today, National's best friends SkyCity were involved in the deal. And its pretty obvious why: those wealthy frequent-flying Chinese organised criminals and corrupt officials like to gamble (in part, because its a useful way of laundering money). So weakening immigration restrictions on them directly benefits SkyCity's bottom line. But the downside is that we're directly supporting money laundering, and indirectly helping to sustain a culture of crime and corruption in China.

These are not the actions of a good neighbour, or of a responsible member of the international community. But I guess all those things go out the window when it comes to helping National's mates make a quick buck.