Robson-on-Politics July 5 2006
The last significant land mass on Earth to be colonised, all migration waves to our country have arrived in very recent times in historical terms.
I'm an immigrant from Australia, my wife's family came from the Netherlands and, judging from his accent, the deputy leader of NZ First must have stepped off the aeroplane in the past fortnight.
Mr Peter Brown put out a statement "warning" the Lab-Progressive government that any increase in immigration must not be an attempt to "artificially boost the economy."
He might be onto something here.
Was the jump in investment and national income that accompanied the major immigration from Britain to Aotearoa after World War II artificial?
How about the mass immigration into the U.S in the 19th century? Did that artificially contribute to making the U.S. the most powerful nation in the world today? Did the immigrant nation of America have an artificial advantage over the closed, racist Nazi Germany in WWII?
Hello? Mr Brown, are you there?
National Identity, Families & Economic
Everything this coalition government does is benchmarked against three over-arching objectives.
To promote the transformation of our economy; to enhance our sense of national identity and social solidarity; and to ensure policies act to strengthen the ties within families, instead of weakening them.
The way we manage immigration and settlement is vitally important to each of these overarching objectives.
Because the last National-United-NZF government (supported from the cheap seats by ACT) demolished the apprenticeship cadet system, we now have very serious skills shortages across a number of key sectors.
Progressive worked hard to put in place the Modern Apprenticeship and other apprentice schemes that are now being expanded but we still have skills gaps to fill. The announcement that we will be welcoming up to 52,000 new Kiwis during the next 12 months in response to continued skill shortages is both economically and socially beneficial to both new settlers and tenth-generation Kiwis alike.
Making globalisation work for the benefit of people
Immigration can play in both the economic transformation of New Zealand as well as the economic development of our neighbours in the Pacific.
Globalisation, or at least regional integration, can only work for people if it includes the freedom of movement of labour across the south Pacific, is accompanied by institutions to enhance workers' rights and educational advancement and is complemented by sustained investment in the infrastructure of our Pacific neighbours.
Achieving fair trade is a very complex issue that progressive-minded people must lead because the reactionaries never will.
Robson's crystal ball
I've had feed-back from my prediction National will lose again in 2008. Let me outline three reasons for my confidence:
The economy: The Labour-Progressive-Green (LPG) bloc won 47.6% (41.1% + 5.3% + 1.2%) of votes cast last September midway through a six-month period of zero economic growth.
The Nat-ACT-United-NZF (NAUN) alternative got 49% (39.1% + 1.5% + 2.7% + 5.7%), but National still managed to end up in Opposition. The economy will be much stronger in 2008 than it was during the zero growth second-half of 2005.
In-fighting on the Right: United and NZF promised to support the party with the most seats to form a government last year. ACT's capture of two seats was the most critical factor in last September's government-formation outcome.
Had National kept Epsom and those two ACT seats instead been National seats, then it would have been 50-50 seats a piece between National and Labour and there is no question that that would have delivered a National-United-NZ First government supported on confidence by the Maori Party.
the Left's saviour last September and on-going in-fighting
across NAUF will be even more intense in 2008.
Maori Party is already sick of National:
A final reason for my confidence is that the Maori Party is getting to know National and it doesn't like what it sees. This is especially so here in Auckland and I'll elaborate in coming weeks.
More Kiwi soldiers head for East Timor
Last Thursday, on the day that our government was to announce more soldiers would be risking their lives and heading for East Timor, the mainstream newspaper here naturally didn't have a front page story on East Timor.
The Irish-owned Herald saved its banner,
front-page headline and story for an item not about our
country, our young men and women in service or indeed about
our region but instead for the latest AFP/Reuters newsfeed
outlining, from an Israeli government viewpoint you
understand, why the Israeli army was about to dish out a bit
more collective punishment against the Palestinian
The land confiscations, apartheid walls, "targeted assassinations," arrest of elected Cabinet Ministers, destruction of electricity and water infrastructure and general strangulation on the giant prison camps also known as the "West Bank", "Old Jerusalem City" and "Gaza" aren't working, you see, so the Israel Defence Force, the Herald informed us, is going to really get tough this time!
Well if you are interested in finding out what is going on in Timor, or Palestine, here's a couple of sites: