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

 


Who is a migrant?

Dunne Speaks: Who is a migrant?

29 May 2014


At one level, all of us are migrants – it is just a matter of when we arrived here. At another, if you believe New Zealand First’s bigots and Labour’s xenophobes, we are being overrun today by hordes of migrants arriving here with the expressed purpose of buying up all our houses.

This is not one of those arguments where the truth lies in the middle – because it does not. The first proposition (that we are a migrant nation) is far closer to the truth than some of us might care to appreciate. The second is merely racist buncombe. But that is not really the nub of the argument.

Of far more concern is the developing race between various political parties – now from National downwards – to take the allegedly “responsible” line of proposing immigration curbs. (Perhaps the most ludicrous of the many comments so far was that of the Labour leader who said the problem had arisen because too many New Zealanders were returning and not enough are leaving!)

The reality is that immigration is not just a crude tap to be turned on and off to fit the prevailing political mood. It is in fact a core component of population policy, something we have never had, but which should lie at the heart of our environmental and societal sustainability.

In the rather unseemly debate now occurring, where we are just one fragile step away from defying history’s sober lesson and formally blaming migrants for a range of social ills, only one party – UnitedFuture – is so far prepared to stand in opposition to the approaching tide.

This is because of our strong belief that New Zealand does need a dramatic boost in its population over the next few years, if New Zealand is to retain a sufficiently viable economic base to protect its sovereignty. And then there is the contribution that immigration makes to our national diversity.

The mix of immigrants to New Zealand, from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, alongside our indigenous Māori dimension, has the unique capacity to shape the New Zealander of the future as a person like no other in the world. Our children and grandchildren can have the privileged opportunity of growing up in the world’s first genuinely equal multi-ethnic society, and in turn being equally at home in the various worlds that compose our national tapestry. Our generation has the chance to make this happen, and it is an exciting challenge we should not shy away from.

But then, the grim reality of the contemporary New Zealand debate arises again – a narrow, increasingly bitter and small-minded discussion focused on securing short-term political advantage.

This is a race to the bottom we do not need, nor deserve. Our country’s future, literally, depends on leadership prepared to be firm and principled, and acting in the long-term interests of our country. We need politicians with the boldness to provide that.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news