Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

The Govt's politically correct immigration agenda

Newman Online Weekly commentary by Dr Muriel Newman MP

The Government's politically correct immigration agenda

This Week Newman Online looks at the Labour Government’s softly, softly immigration process and outlines how tighter visa application controls and a national quota system would better protect New Zealanders from the threat of terrorism.

This week, concerns over the Government’s running of the crucial immigration portfolio have hit the headlines again. This time it is over allegations that foreign nationals, who are considered to be security threats, are being allowed into New Zealand.

In particular, at least three visitors from Iraq with links to Saddam Hussein’s genocidal regime have been found to be living here. A number of other Iraqis with permits to visit New Zealand have also been identified. With some 46 countries considered to be of security concern, it is thought that these cases could be just the tip of the iceberg.

As the scandal escalates, doubts about Labour’s ability to keep New Zealanders safe from the threat of international terrorism continue to grow. It adds to the grave concerns highlighted by the Ahmed Zouie debacle. That case, reputed to have cost taxpayers well over $2 million, has resulted in a situation whereby an illegal immigrant, deemed by the SIS to be a risk to national security, is now walking free. In spite of tough talk by the Prime Minister at the time, the glitch in the law that allowed that situation to occur has still not been fixed.

This latest fiasco highlights the fact that our Labour Government has a very lenient approach to immigration. It welcomes people like the Tampa refugees who were considered to be undesirable by Australia. The fact that the original 131 refugees have been able to bring an additional 253 family members into New Zealand under Labour’s family re- unification policy is a cause of further concern.

The point is that it is not unusual for terrorist interests to seek out countries with lax security regimes from which to plot, scheme and recruit, safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to be detected. Those skeptics, who feel that these concerns are unwarranted, should remind themselves of when they first saw those horrifying images of planes flying into the Twin Towers and thought for a moment that it surely had to be an elaborate hoax.

A lasting concern about the events of the past week is that it has, once again, sent a signal around the world that as far as issues of national security are concerned, New Zealand is a soft touch. This is even more worrying considering that in one of the most foolish decisions of any government in New Zealand’s history, Labour decided to scrap the air-strike capability of the Airforce. Helen Clark justified her move with the limp claim that the world is now such a benign place that we no longer need a proper Airforce to protect ourselves. How wrong she has been proven to be!

These days, enemies to national security come in all shapes and forms and it is a core responsibility of government to make sure that we are not only well prepared for any eventuality, but that we are well protected from any threat.

New Zealanders need to rely on strict immigration criteria in order to ensure that all of those people who are invited into our country – including visitors – are subjected to stringent security checks. Only people who pose no security risk, have no history of criminal offending and have a clean bill of health, should be accepted into New Zealand.

It is particularly important to be careful with visitors: while the majority of people who come here first as visitors and return to settle permanently do so through the proper channels, there are others who, once they have arrived, simply disappear and become one of the estimated 20,000 plus illegal over-stayers, who are living here on a permanent basis.

As an adjunct, any new immigrant should be subjected to a five year period of probation, during which time, if they commit a crime serious enough to warrant imprisonment, then their right to stay in New Zealand should be terminated and they should be sent straight back home.

For a small isolated country like New Zealand, a balanced population policy, which produces stable long-term growth, is essential. That means ensuring, as far as possible, positive net migration whereby the number of people arriving exceeds - by a modest margin - the numbers leaving. Over the last five years this has changed dramatically: in the year to the end of March 2000 there was a net loss of 9,000 people; in 2001 year a net loss of 12,000; in 2002 a net gain of 25,000; in 2003 a gain of 41,000; in 2004 a net gain of 27,000; and in the 2005 year a net gain of 10,000 new migrants.

Clearly the number of people arriving and leaving the country can be greatly affected by a multitude of external events, including disasters and changes of government.

They dramatically affect housing markets, schools, hospitals and all other essential infrastructural planning.

It is important that annual reviews are held to make sure that the balance is right. That means reviewing the trends in all of the immigrant categories including international treaties, refugee quotas and family reunifications.

It is also time that we stopped being politically correct with regard to immigration and introduced a national quota system based on our track record of success. Immigrant groups - irrespective of language tests and other criteria - who have been shown to be able to integrate successfully into New Zealand society, should be prioritised ahead of all other ethnic groups that have proven to be less successful.

In particular, the recent announcement by Labour that they are lowering the barriers for Pacific Island immigrants - which will result in hundreds of new migrants coming into New Zealand and going onto welfare - is a serious concern. We have enough New Zealanders on welfare as it is - including many beneficiaries who are quite capable of working and would do so if work requirements were toughened up - without having the Labour Government wanting to import more!

New Zealanders deserve better management in the immigration portfolio – let’s hope the problems of the last week serve as a wake-up call for better performance in the future.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election