NZ Herald on Labour xenophobia

October 23rd, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The editorial yesterday:

Labour’s xenophobic restrictions will not resonate with most.

Appeals to patriotism seek to tap the most accommodating of instincts. They can also be the most dangerous of tools. Too often, politicians talk of it when they want to beat the populist drum without much regard for the potentially dire consequences. So it was with a speech by Labour leader last week, during which he set out policies that promised to give New Zealanders the first crack at jobs by making it harder for businesses to bring in migrant labour. Helpfully, Mr Shearer underlined the dismal nature of this approach by using the word “patriotic” as many as five times.

It must have tested well with a focus group!

The Labour leader said the current requirements for employers to try to find New Zealand workers before migrants were lax, often requiring a boss to show only that a job had been advertised. Labour would require companies to work with agencies, industry groups and Work and Income before approval was given to employ a migrant.

What this means is more hoops and bureaucracy for a business just wanting to get the best person for a job.

Mr Shearer placed his policy in the context of the rebuilding of Christchurch. This was an opportunity to employ and train New Zealand workers but there was a risk it would be squandered because of cheaper migrant labour, he said. Such talk may impress those still harbouring xenophobic tendencies, but Mr Shearer is mistaken if he thinks it will strike a chord with most New Zealanders. Least impressed of all will be the business community. It will be appalled by Labour’s intrusiveness and red tape that will serve only to stifle initiative. It will also point out, quite rightly, that government has no business interfering directly in staffing, as would be the case under a policy requiring companies with government contracts to train one apprentice for every $1 million investment.

 So few people in Labour have ever owned a business, or worked in the private sector in a senior role, that they have no idea how impractical their policies are.
Appeals to patriotism are usually a port of call for politicians desperate to win popularity. But the changed face of New Zealand and an appreciation of the important economic role of immigration has deprived this approach of much of its impact. Making it harder for migrant workers to enter the country will only hinder development. Most New Zealanders understand that. So should Mr Shearer.
He should leave this stuff to Winston.
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33 Responses to “NZ Herald on Labour xenophobia”

  1. williamsheridan (64 comments) says:

    If you train an apprentice, you have to give them a job. That has an ongoing cost. Let’s be conservative and say it cost $50k a year to employ an apprentice (Not just wages/salary- but including the other costs of tools of trade and admin costs of employeeing staff).
    For a $1 million contract in a competitive envronment you would be doing well to make a 5% profit margin…. that’s $50k…. so Labour’s make-work plan is to give out contracts that might give a business $50 k in earnings for 3 years, and charge them $50 k for a working lifetime for the privilege… what a bunch of Dicks.

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  2. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    *Very* stupid policy from Labour (surprise, surprise….).
    Why do orchardists have to bring in people from Fiji to pick their fruit?
    Because unemployed New Zealanders are slack-arses.
    Why do dairy-farmers have to bring in Filipinos to work on their farms?
    Because unemployed New Zealanders are slack-arses.
    I’ve also seen stories of people on the dole being given a job, but then deliberately screwing up so that they can get fired and then go back on the dole. Again – slack-arses.
    If slack-arsed Kiwis can’t be bothered doing a job, then **someone** has to do it. That “someone” might as well be a Fijian or a Filipino. At least then the fruit gets picked, the cows get milked and the country benefits.
    WINZ have a lot to answer for as well. They too are slack. They should be frog-marching the bludgers down onto the orchards and farms.
    No ifs, no buts, no excuses.

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  3. Cunningham (846 comments) says:

    Absolutely outrageous policies by Labour. Who comes up with this sort of shit? You cannot possibly overstate just how stupid Labour are. Havinhg them in government with policies like this is a truly scary proposition.

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  4. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Pretty obvious which labour faction Shearer is courting (hint: it isn’t the rainbow or academic wings).

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  5. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    I’m not so sure labour is wrong here we have to spruce up the local population rather than looking to bright and shiny migrants.
    given:
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4622459/Government-policies-blamed-for-house-prices
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-yarra-monster-is-killing-us-20100822-13apt.html#ixzz22GnjXjDy
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/immigration-link-to-economic-growth-yet-to-be-proven-says-productivity-commission/story-fn9hm1gu-1226179973978

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  6. KH (695 comments) says:

    There are New Zealanders who are genuinely in need of a job. Can’t get one.
    Why would New Zealand then import people to do jobs.
    It’s hard being an employer.
    What can we do to make that more viable?

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  7. KevinH (1,257 comments) says:

    An unintended consequence of employing migrants in seasonal horticultural work is that when the season finishes there is no work for these people, they either return to their country of origin or in the case of migrants who have successfully received permanent residence, go on a benefit and end up cost negative.
    Also in the case of migrant workers employed in dairy, on completion of a two year contract, these migrant workers leave and seek work elsewhere.

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  8. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    and I should add that it is strange the lack of publicity given by the liberal media to the bombshell findings of the Savings Working Group and the Australian Productivity Commision (ours was nobbled to terms that would be :relatively uncontroversial given the desire to establish broad political support for the Commission), it suggests that this is something they can’t handle (in so far as being an argument worthy of airing)?

    January 2011
    “The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf

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  9. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    Sooooo, it will still be really easy for New Zealanders to get jobs overseas.

    But more difficult for foreigners to get jobs in New Zealand.

    Even though we believe (according the routine bi-monthly shlock-horror news articles) that emigration from New Zealand is bad.

    /With bonus New Zealand-companies-becoming-less-competitive goodness!

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  10. Odakyu-sen (871 comments) says:

    Yikes! The socialists are taking on the qualities of nationalists…

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  11. s.russell (1,650 comments) says:

    This is a dangerous weapon for Labour to weild, for several reasons. One is the impact on the immigrant community – many of members of which have been strong Labour supporters.

    williamsheridan,
    Spot on. Labour peoplel just have no idea what it is like in business. It would be just like R&D tax credits they propose – the beneficiaries will be those who redefine their existing activity to fit Labour’s rules. The real world will not change – except for having more paperwork weighing down businesses and more bureaucrats to process the paperwork at the other end to weigh down the economy.

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  12. jgw739 (26 comments) says:

    thor42 – ‘WINZ have a lot to answer for as well. They too are slack. They should be frog-marching the bludgers down onto the orchards and farms.’

    Here in Tauranga this was the standard approach during the kiwifruit season – if you apply for the dole you are sent straight to the packhouses and orchards as the first port of call. The problem with this is that the work is only temporary and 3 months later these people are back looking for work. Over time migrant orchardists have conscripted family members from the ‘subcontinent’ rathar than pay a relatively expensive, possibly unreliable, pakeha or maori from WINZ. PSA has now ruined the kiwifruit industry rendering all moot, but there was a definite push by WINZ to fill those jobs with locals during the Labour govt.

    Like you say though, they are slack – bring back work for the dole!

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  13. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Appeals to patriotism seek to tap the most accommodating of instincts.
    …………………………………………….
    yes but when you pile a few more brain cells onto the job and consider the wider implications of globalisation you’ll find there is a case for acting for the good of the members of a nation rather than acting as though we were one big global community.
    1. Being a member of a nation has an economic value. Globalisation can reduce that value for the majority.
    2. A free flow of Labour would be a disaster as it would erode the welfare system and flood the commons etc. Culture and politics reflect the numbers of arrivals.
    3. Rather than a nation doing the right thing by maintaining a sustainable population , overpopulation is exported.

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/559

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  14. Paulus (2,711 comments) says:

    From the BOP Kiwi Fruit country there is a huge problem looming as told by local growers.
    With the decimation of vines the mainly good Indian led orchard worker gangs have disappeared eleswhere in the country.
    Consequence – nobody prepared to prepare vines, pick, and do other associated outdoor work that they have done over a number of years.
    Growers cannot find anybody with the will to work like these gangs have done – a good 14 hour day often.
    The Kiwifruit export crop will just drop to the ground next March.

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  15. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    Last year we had to help a South African friend renew her work permit. Her employer wanted to keep her on because her job was hard to fill but it took him, and us, FOUR MONTHS to convince Immigration to renew her visa. In that time we had had to support her completely because she was not allowed to work.

    The employer had listed the job countless times and listed it with WINZ – all the things Shearer is demanding now.

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  16. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The Kiwifruit export crop will just drop to the ground next March…

    Bollocks

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  17. Rightandleft (691 comments) says:

    Labour’s immigrant bashing is just another reason I worry about them getting into government. Are they trying to court the NZ First vote?

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  18. Bob R (1,421 comments) says:

    ***Labour’s xenophobic employment restrictions will not resonate with most.***

    1. What about the restrictions that require seasonal labour to come from the pacific islands? IIRC Lockwood Smith noted this problem in 2008 as it made it more difficult to get labour from Asia.

    2. Xenophobia is in fact perfectly natural and makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Pew Global research shows people around the world want less immigration and more focus on preserving their own culture.

    “In both affluent countries in the West and in the developing world, people are concerned about immigration. Large majorities in nearly every country surveyed express the view that there should be greater restriction of immigration and tighter control of their country’s borders.”

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2007/10/04/world-publics-welcome-global-trade-but-not-immigration/

    3. The key is that if labour is to be imported, that they can only permanently reside in NZ if you can be confident they will assimilate and their children will perform to the European mean. Group differences in crime rates and educational outcomes mean that you can’t simply assume different groups will assimilate.

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  19. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    I don’t support Labour and this is simply desperation from the formerly internationalist comrades.

    However there is something intrinsically wrong when one imports labour during periods of high unemployment.

    Local unenemployed mst be pushed.,if necessary to work and become responsible for themselves.

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  20. Bob R (1,421 comments) says:

    Just further to the above, some reasonable articles for immigration policy makers to consider.

    1. Biology, Immigration, and Public Policy KYKLOS, Vol. 65 – May 2012 – No. 2, 164–178

    2. Jason Richwine’s article in American Enterprise Institute Magazine, A Smart Solution to the Diversity Dilemma

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  21. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    Perhaps a better policy would be to require unemployed New Zealanders to do the work we currently import people to do.

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  22. KH (695 comments) says:

    hj at 12.57. Thats an important quote.

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  23. Bob R (1,421 comments) says:

    ***But the changed face of New Zealand and an appreciation of the important economic role of immigration has deprived this approach of much of its impact. ***

    Has South Auckland’s economy benefited? Skill selection is the key.

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  24. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay (2,697) Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    The Kiwifruit export crop will just drop to the ground next March…

    Bollocks

    What crop??

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  25. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    V2

    We’ll still have one here next year, Te kaha isn’t too bad.

    Mind you really really glad I never bought a gold orchard when I did have som,e cash an few years ago

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  26. RF (1,490 comments) says:

    Shearer could do well to remember. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he will feed his family for ever.

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  27. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    RF

    Shearer is a Aid worker – rely heavily on aid organisations and we will fuck you up. If his type taught the men how to fish all those sanctimonious pricks at the UN would be out of a job

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  28. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Putnam found
    resoundingly that, other things equal, the more ethnically diverse the community,
    the less that cooperation tends to take place. For example, Los Angeles was
    found to be a rather uncooperative place. Other things equal, people in ethnically
    diverse communities develop fewer friendships, participate less in community
    activities, watch more television, and are less happy. Bjørnskov (2003) concluded
    that high levels of life satisfaction in still-not-highly-diverse Scandinavia
    are more dependent on social capital than on affluence.

    Singer (2000, p. 44) remarked on the highly-cooperative aspects of Japanese
    society. In 2011, there was not a significant amount of looting in Japan even in
    the wake of a massive earthquake. In fact, 2.3 billion yen of lost cash was turned
    in, having been found in wallets and safes that had disappeared in the aftermath
    of the quake (Daily Mail, 17 August 2011). However, Singer made no mention of
    Japan’s ethnic homogeneity, its high average level of intelligence, or its lack of
    impulsiveness. Nor did he mention its paucity of immigration.
    https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/biology-immigration.pdf

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  29. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Reading through the comments those that favour Shearer are running 2 : 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10842053

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  30. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Richard Crossman called the elaborate system of control that Western elites developed to preserve the status quo as ” the thick masses of foliage which we call the myth of democracy.

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  31. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Reading through the comments those that favour Shearer are running 4 : 1

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  32. hj (7,167 comments) says:

    Chris Trotters Wet Dream

    What the audience gathered at the Hornby Working Men’s Club deserved to hear from Mr Shearer was an acknowledgement that Labour’s challenges are specific and immediate. To raise incomes by re-empowering working people and redistributing wealth. To make New Zealand a place where the diversity of its population is a source of strength and pride, not an opportunity for mistrust and division. To create a community of values, where loyalty is owed not to flags – but principles.
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2012/10/mr-shearers-selective-patriotism.html

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  33. williamsheridan (64 comments) says:

    Reading through recent statistically valid surveys, the support for Shearer is running about 1:5.

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