A backlash within Labour to Cunliffe’s new immigration stance

May 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am by David Farrar

has tried to stand for , is a long-time activist, and a former ministerial staffer. He tweeted:

And in case there is any doubt about whom he is referring to:

Ouch. A former staffer and aspiring candidate says the leader has jumped the shark and compares him to Don Brash. Worse, he says he will not even vote Labour now – and I suspect James has voted Labour all his life.

I can’t wait for Labour to clarify if it only wants to reduce the number of skilled migrants that can come to NZ, or if it also wishes to reduce the number of refugees and those coming under special quotas such as the Pacific Islands.

A Labour Party leader campaigning on NZ should have fewer migrants is like Tony Abbott deciding that we need to increase tax rates on the higher income earners. Both go against their core values.

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55 Responses to “A backlash within Labour to Cunliffe’s new immigration stance”

  1. tas (655 comments) says:

    Having too many people wanting to live in NZ is a good problem to have.

    Being one of the more sparely populated countries in the world, we should not have trouble accommodating more people, who will continue to contribute to NZ. Labour’s kneejerk response is plain wrong and even their core supporters don’t like it.

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  2. Redbaiter (10,417 comments) says:

    What a basket case NZ politics is with both parties being so far left wing.

    Neither stand for anything and don’t even appear to know what they should be standing for.

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  3. tas (655 comments) says:

    Maybe Labour are worried about NZ First. They need some policies in common if they want to work with them. Either that or they want to steal Winston’s fire.

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  4. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Both go against their core values.

    Labour core values are – getting elected, getting elected, getting elected and spending other peoples money.

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  5. Redbaiter (10,417 comments) says:

    And McCarten is IMHO all over blown reputation.

    He really wouldn’t have a clue, and as long as he has a say in Labour strategy, they’ll always be incoherent.

    How many wrong roads have they been down since he started working for Cunliffe?

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  6. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    A backlash within Labour to Cunliffe’s new immigration stance

    Certainly provides a handy comparison to the shameful lack of integrity Nat MPs showed when Brash was playing the race card…

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  7. georgebolwing (1,011 comments) says:

    It is possible, just possible, that this election will see the shattering of two bedrocks of Labour’s self-image; that Labour “owns” the Maori and PI votes.

    With Shane Jones leaving and the trainwreck in Tāmaki Makaurau, it is possible that Labour will win none of the Maori seats.

    Their immigration policy, if played right by National, has the potential to build on the dissatisfaction that the conservative, christian PI voters have had with Labour’s social agenda.

    The irony is that Labour is planning a strong “get out the vote” campaign in South Auckland, on the assumption that there are 800,000 potential Labour voters residing their. It is possible that this will be an own goal of massive proportions; they spend time and effort making sure that their opponent’s voters vote.

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  8. 3-coil (1,199 comments) says:

    We live in a country of immigrants – ALL of us are immigrants, or of immigrant stock (including Cunniliffe).

    For a bloke with such a self-proclaimed genius IQ Cunners sure says some bloody stupid things.

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

    I suspect when Cunliffe realises he’s gone a bridge too far, Labour’s policy will change. Again. It will probably settle on “we will pick and choose”, and consult with Shane Jones as to how to do that.

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  10. Redbaiter (10,417 comments) says:

    All the Labour Party stalwarts who don’t like Cunliffe’s stance on immigration need to do is switch their support and vote to John Key.

    Gawd, what a stuffed up situation.

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  11. ROJ (125 comments) says:

    Wonderful opportunity for the CC party to make a charge in South Auckland – probably his natural consituency on policy grounds, even if he doesn’t see it himself or by the MSM

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    Don’t worry Red. That’s exactly what they’ll do.

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  13. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    A list of anti-immigrant parties:

    National Front, France
    UKIP, UK
    Golden Dawn, Greece
    National Front, Christchurch
    One Nation, Australia
    Labour, NZ
    Greens, NZ
    Mana, NZ (except for a specific German immigrant who is paying them for a parliamentary seat)
    NZ First, NZ

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  14. Odakyu-sen (863 comments) says:

    Labour wants to “help the poor refugees/immigrant” and also to “help the poor workers” but what happens when the poor workers are head-to-head with the poor immigrants? Labour can’t keep both of them happy, and will probably upset both of them.

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  15. Ed Snack (1,940 comments) says:

    That’s one more vote for the Greens then.

    However the up-themselves political elite don’t see the issue with immigrants as for them any issues only affect someone else. Rather like vote buying only costs someone else.

    The “multiculturism” mantra has an awful lot to answer for as it posits a celebration of all cultures but the one in the host nation, which is always denigrated in as many ways as possible.

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  16. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    3-coil (1,190 comments) says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 10:47 am
    We live in a country of immigrants – ALL of us are immigrants, or of immigrant stock

    That maybe so, but historically when the ‘immigrants’ arrived there were different requirements to what there is today.

    Your argument is extremely outdated, and if you can’t see the faults with it, I sincerely hope you have a time machine and can morph yourself back to a time in which you can be happy.

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  17. Lance (2,713 comments) says:

    So is the burning issue before the public high house prices or the need for strong new immigration restrictions?

    Because they aren’t actually the same thing… just saying.

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  18. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I do not think Cunliffe’s statement has gone too far.

    I think some of you are vastly out of touch with the feelings of the community in general.

    Maori do not like the levels of immigration
    PI do not like the levels of immigration from Asia & other non-pacific nations
    many European New Zealand Citizens do not like the levels of immigration from anywhere but Europe
    Not many seem to like the South African immigrants according to some blogs.

    SO … just who are the New Zealanders that really LOVE the levels of immigration – and do they make up the majority?

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  19. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (900 comments) says:

    Bros – James Caygill is nobody compared to Cunliffe. Him not voting Labour is to get attention of Cunliffe so that he will nominate him higher on the list or give him a safe Labour seat. Non issue. Moving on…..

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  20. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Psycho

    Certainly provides a handy comparison to the shameful lack of integrity Nat MPs showed when Brash was playing the race card…

    Yes, one rule for all was very offensive to groups that expect special race based rights and privileges.

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  21. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Judith

    Maori do not like the levels of immigration

    And somehow Maori can’t be racist… is that because they have brown skin. Willy Jackson is the master of this socially acceptable racism… If I (being white) said I didn’t want Asian immigration I’m racist – if a Maori says it we say .. Oh sure, I see why you say that – here have a bigger benefit …..

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  22. I Say Look Here (57 comments) says:

    So we get a poll saying Maori are uncomfortable with Asian immigration. Then with indecent haste Cunliffe comes over all anti-immigration. Yes we know what you did there, Dave.

    Now we hear some within Labour are unhappy about their leader – well, just being himself, really.

    What does this tell us about their readiness to govern the country?

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  23. Zapper (1,048 comments) says:

    It really irritates me when I see people refer to Don Brash as racist. He wants one law for all. That is the opposite of racist

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  24. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Judith>SO … just who are the New Zealanders that really LOVE the levels of immigration – and do they make up the majority?

    I’ll put up my hand as one of those NZers. Although I’ll note that the level of immigration hasn’t changed much over the last decade. We’re a small country trading in a big world. We need to be outward focused. If Auckland can’t be like London, it should at least be like Sydney as an international city. Without immigrants we’re forcing our best hi-tech export industries to move overseas so they can hire talent. For example, Weta Digital employs hundreds of immigrants to work on films. Without skilled immigrants there is no future for Weta in Wellington, and Wellington would be a much duller place.

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  25. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    If Auckland can’t be like London, it should at least be like Sydney as an international city

    Then why don’t they go and live in Sydney and leave Auckland how it is for those that like it just the way it is?

    There was a time when NZ didn’t mind being different to the rest of the world. When it was great to be Kiwi – and recognised for having determination, innovation and the gall to stand up for what you believed in, despite how the rest of the world felt.

    Now it seems, at a least National, wants us to more like the rest of the world than it wants us to be ‘kiwi’.

    The ‘rest of the world’ is a very big place – and there are planes leaving for it every hour – most aren’t full – can I suggest those who like the ‘rest of the world’ environment – go live in it, and leave those of us who don’t, to amble along at our own pace. And don’t bother coming back with but we ‘need’ to to maintain our lifestyles, because we don’t – we need it to increase our standard of lifestyle to be like the ‘rest of the world’.

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  26. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    I will never vote for any party that campaigns on an anti-immigration platform.

    James Caygill isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. When Cunliffe was Immigration Minister, thousands of migrants moved here. Labour is clearly pro-immigration.

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  27. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,253 comments) says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Burt, you clearly don’t understand what racism is. Maori are perfectly able to be against immigration levels and not be racist.

    It is share madness to have a high level of immigration when we already have high levels of unemployment – just for starters. As many Maori have difficulty getting employment in the country of which they are citizens they have the right to complain – or are you of the opinion that Maori shouldn’t have the same rights to complain, as yourself? In which case, you know what that makes you.

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  28. Unity (637 comments) says:

    Yes, Davidp, I agree with what you say about needing skilled people here. This is what we desperately want/need but we don’t want to just let people come in willy nilly without some forethought on what they might or might not contribute towards our society. We certainly don’t want people who come in here that don’t fit in with our way of life and/or will be a drain on the State.

    We need to be selective. We are a great little country and we don’t want to destroy the fabric of our society by indiscriminate immigration. We must take some care.

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  29. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Unity (87 comments) says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    We need skilled people, and yet we make it harder and harder for students to undertake tertiary study – is it not better to put our efforts into growing our own skilled workforce? Isn’t that what is best for NZers – the NZers the government is meant to be representing?

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  30. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    National has no qualms about deporting people to a likely death.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1405/S00474/kidney-case-deportee-dies.htm

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  31. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s immigration stance is pure dog whistle politics. That is what makes it s offensive as he will not put a figure on it nor will he say which immigrants will be excluded. Will it include skilled immigrate we need for the economy?? Will it include students on study visas, extended family members? Aussies?? Returning kiwis?? He does not say. He just leaves it vague. Labour traditionally have good support from recent immigrants will that continue??

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  32. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    When Cunliffe was Immigration Minister, thousands of migrants moved here. Labour is clearly pro-immigration.

    Labour is clearly anything you want it to be. It has bobs each way on everything. I can guarantee you that Cunliffe will be telling Chinese New Zealanders that he loves them coming here and under his watch heaps came here. Then he’ll get on TV and hold hands with Winston decrying all these bloody Asians stealing “our” homes.

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  33. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    National has no qualms about deporting people to a likely death.

    Hang on ross, the New Zealand health system is for New Zealanders, isn’t it? That’s what Cunliffe and Peters are telling everyone. On that basis, she made the right call.

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  34. Manolo (14,169 comments) says:

    National has no qualms about deporting people to a likely death.

    The duplicity of some Labour supporters sinks to new lows. Shame on you, comrade ross001.

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  35. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Unity>I agree with what you say about needing skilled people here. This is what we desperately want/need but we don’t want to just let people come in willy nilly without some forethought on what they might or might not contribute towards our society. We certainly don’t want people who come in here that don’t fit in with our way of life and/or will be a drain on the State.

    Which is exactly the system we have at the moment. I’ve known skilled European IT workers who weren’t even close to getting the points they needed to emigrate here. Which is why immigrants tend to have lower rates of unemployment and crime. Like, I don’t think I know any Asian people who aren’t in paid employment or run their own business.

    So who are these immigrants who don’t fit in with our way of life? I can think of only a couple… this extremist guy who has been banned from his mosque, and a German fraudster who has had a tantrum and decided to “destroy” our government.

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  36. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    I can guarantee you that Cunliffe will be telling Chinese New Zealanders that he loves them coming here and under his watch heaps came here.

    If they live and work here that won’t change….

    Have you contacted the Chinese ambassador here explaining why you should be able to buy property in China?

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  37. hj (7,165 comments) says:

    Being one of the more sparely populated countries in the world, we should not have trouble accommodating more people, who will continue to contribute to NZ.

    We’re a small country trading in a big world. We need to be outward focused.

    ……
    Spot the cliches.
    We only need a big population if we have large industries and manufacturing requires fewer and fewer people due to technological advances. The truth is it is the construction industry that requires immigrants so they can build houses etc. Houses aren’t factories.
    There are countries with large populations which are rich but more which arent and there are countries with low populations which are rich.
    There are countries with large populations which are rich (most arent) and counties with low populations which are wealthy

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  38. Redbaiter (10,417 comments) says:

    Don’t worry Red. That’s exactly what they’ll do.

    Yep, might as well Adolf. The Nats are run by their kind anyway.

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  39. Unity (637 comments) says:

    Yes, Judith, we should certainly be upskilling our own people first and I’m a firm believer in helping them more in this direction especially financially. However, if you are ‘Maori’ you get all your fees, equipment and training paid for but non-Maori don’t. I personally know of a ‘Maori’ person training to be a Chef and being totally funded by the Government whereas my daughter also doing the same thing had to pay for all her own requirements, including uniforms and equipment herself. Part way through this ‘Maori’ person decided she didn’t want to be a Chef any more and wanted to be a nurse. Again fully funded by us. My daughter met her recently and she didn’t finish the nursing course but went back to finishing her Chef training. Again fully funded.

    davidp, I know this is happening also but something is not right here because we have many unskilled immigrants on the benefit, so obviously they are also letting in people who don’t contribute. Probably refugees and people from the Pacific Islands.

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  40. hj (7,165 comments) says:

    We are a country of migrants = appeal to tradition fallacy.
    Michael Reddell points out people came here because wages were higher as we improved communication, built dams, brought in refridgeration, broke in the hill country, but we have plateaued and migrants no longer increase overall incomes (except property developers – eg developers of Success Way Omaha Beach).
    Ain’ it the truth!

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  41. Rightandleft (691 comments) says:

    I haven’t forgotten the immigration law changes that Labour made back in 2005. Those changes made it a much longer process for getting citizenship. National pointed out the unfairness of the changes at the time and voted against them. As a result of those changes I’ve been living in NZ for near a decade but still have another year before I can apply for citizenship. Now Cunliffe is leading them down the anti-immigrant road again.

    I also find it very confusing when these xenophobic left-wingers attack Don Brash and National for being supposedly racist when all Brash ever promoted was equal treatment for all races. Recently there was the claim that it is immigrants’ lack of respect for the Treaty that is the problem. That’s ridiculous as there is not a single understanding of what the Treaty means, there is in fact a heated historical debate over the interpretation. They suggest compulsory Treaty education for migrants, which is even more laughable. I understand very well what the Maori and English versions of the Treaty say. I’ve taken university papers on Te Tiriti O Waitangi and that has only made me more sceptical of bi-culturalism and determined that the Treaty should never be included in a written Constitution.

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  42. Bob R (1,420 comments) says:

    ***James Caygill has tried to stand for Labour, is a long-time activist, and a former ministerial staffer.***

    Isn’t this the muppet who wasn’t selected for Lianne Dalziel’s old seat because he was a heterosexual white male?

    Why is he still in Labour anyway?

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  43. Bob R (1,420 comments) says:

    ***So is the burning issue before the public high house prices or the need for strong new immigration restrictions?***

    @ Lance

    A net immigration flow equal to one percent of the population is associated with a 10 percent increase in house prices.

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  44. hj (7,165 comments) says:

    These two wankers are just what UK Labour needs to pull support from UKIP!
    Yeah right!

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  45. Bob R (1,420 comments) says:

    davidp,

    You forgot Likud and basically all Israeli political parties?

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  46. hj (7,165 comments) says:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9dQWmq-STfI

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  47. wiseowl (975 comments) says:

    It was claimed in Parliament today that half the immigrants that have arrived (maybe in the last year,missed that part), are not skilled and many of these were because of family reunification.

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  48. Odakyu-sen (863 comments) says:

    Judith noted: “We need skilled people, and yet we make it harder and harder for students to undertake tertiary study”

    Not all tertiary education will provide skills that will be useful in the workplace. I take a dim view of some of the ways tertiary institutions market themselves to young people.

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  49. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Odakyu-sen (302 comments) says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    So do I. Degrees in Moonbeams etc are not on. One of the biggest mistakes we have made is allowing technical institutes to take on the role of the University. The two institutions should have different skill sets. Allowing the blurring of lines has given rise to a heap of personal interests to be defined as educational qualifications – thus devaluing the academic degree, and the technical Certificate/Diploma.

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  50. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Judith

    200,000 people certified in filling out a form might disagree with you.

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  51. lolitasbrother (774 comments) says:

    It would have been seriously disappointing for James Caygill to lose the pick for the seat his hoped for in the East Christchurch
    It was clear and tidy that he was the best candidate.
    And we know what happened, , it was that allocation rule
    There were quite a few conservative people down here who backed him, quietly.
    He is still young, and the immigration thing is tough, when you consider our house prices..
    Down here we need more people, I want to run away from Winter but so far we can not get a tenant even at very fair price for a really good home .

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  52. lolitasbrother (774 comments) says:

    sorry to come straight in here again but
    quote ”
    Rightandleft (582 comments) says:May 27th, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    I haven’t forgotten the immigration law changes that Labour made back in 2005. Those changes made it a much longer process for getting citizenship. National pointed out the unfairness of the changes at the time and voted against them. As a result of those changes I’ve been living in NZ for near a decade but still have another year before I can apply for citizenship. Now Cunliffe is leading them down the anti-immigrant road again.
    I also find it very confusing when these xenophobic left-wingers attack Don Brash and National for being supposedly racist when all Brash ever promoted was equal treatment for all races. Recently there was the claim that it is immigrants’ lack of respect for the Treaty that is the problem. That’s ridiculous as there is not a single understanding of what the Treaty means, there is in fact a heated historical debate over the interpretation. They suggest compulsory Treaty education for migrants, which is even more laughable. I understand very well what the Maori and English versions of the Treaty say. I’ve taken university papers on Te Tiriti O Waitangi and that has only made me more sceptical of bi-culturalism and determined that the Treaty should never be included in a written Constitution.
    ” unquote

    Righthandleft,
    it is disturbing to read your report about citizenship when I was able to bring my wife to Residency
    [ not citizenship ] very quickly, less than two years.
    Then soon enough she was sent some papers to be on the electoral roll, and ninety dollars later she had full driving licence.
    As well as this I am an old dude and she is allowed to join me in superannuation half each.
    Now I don’t know what people will think about this. It is important to realise that this ‘ shared superannuation’
    is only slightly more than a single man would get

    Therefore I ask you what the need for citizenship is when Residency confers such good advantage all ready, but I can easily see that the birth
    New Zealander with has some intrinsic advantages in this thing

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  53. SPC (5,665 comments) says:

    If Caygill thinks immigration policy is the most important factor determining his vote, then maybe he is a Pakeha Shane Jones.

    I suspect this is more about him not getting a place on the ticket and having an issue to moralise on as they part ways.

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  54. Rightandleft (691 comments) says:

    Lolitasbrother,

    You are right that citizenship would not actually grant me any special rights that I really need or desire. My US passport lets me travel as easily as an NZ one would, and I would never want to live in Australia so free entry there would mean nothing to me. I want citizenship because this is my home and I consider myself just as much Kiwi as I am American and I’d like to make that official. I think it ridiculous that despite living here near a decade, my entire adult life, and teaching a course on NZ identity and citizenship to Year 9s for years now, I am still not actually a citizen because my years on student and work visas don’t count.

    I also find it interesting that immigrants are so often stereotyped as one of two groups: wealthy Asians who buy up houses in cash, or Pacific Islanders who supposedly depress wages and take up public resources. Both stereotypes are exaggerations of course. But they also ignore that many migrants are like me, former international students who, coming over at young ages, have assimilated well, have NZ educations in skilled areas and have to start at the bottom of the housing market flatting with mates just like most NZ born Kiwis.

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  55. SPC (5,665 comments) says:

    Rightandleft, congrats you qualify as my favourite type of immigrant – uni graduate who wants to work here afterwards (and fitting into a wanted skills category).

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