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

 

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news