SPEECH: National Immigration ‘Cowboys’ Need Reining In

06 September 2017

Blenheim Public Meeting,
Marlborough Convention Centre,
42A Alfred St, Blenheim
10am, 6th September 2017

NATIONAL IMMIGRATION ‘COWBOYS’ NEED REIN IN

New Zealand First is not into PC. Our policies are adopted with one thought in mind – just one. What is in the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders? This is the question we ask. For us, it’s all about New Zealand. Not China, not Australia, not the UK. But New Zealand. That is why we have made a stand on immigration – when other parties haven’t, or are too scared to.

 

LIGHT BULB MOMENT

There was an editorial in your local newspaper the Marlborough Express on Monday (September 4). It’s worth reading. The editorial says:

“A surge in immigration in the last five years is one of the factors that has helped push property prices into the stratosphere ….”

They must have had a light bulb moment but New Zealand First has been saying this for a long time. Then the editorial stated:

“Whatever the intentions of individual immigrants the flow of them into the country should be controlled if for no other reason to give the country and its communities time to absorb new arrivals without creating undue economic and/or social upheaval.”

No the editorial writer is not a member of New Zealand First. But New Zealand First again has said this for a long time and been slammed by our critics left, right and centre. We say allowing immigrants to enter New Zealand and live here is fine. Immigrants with skills we really need bring much to New Zealand But not mass immigration which does not work in our best interests.

NO MORE TAXI DRIVERS

We don’t need any more taxi drivers or barbers. Having 72,400 immigrants net settling here permanently every year is just ludicrous for a small country like New Zealand. Wages are driven down, jobs, housing, schools, healthcare, roads and general living conditions suffer.

This is not slamming immigrants – it’s just facing reality; telling the truth. How can the government get on top of the housing crisis, which they say is not happening, when you are fuelling it with thousands of immigrants pouring into the country with most of them going to Auckland? In the not too distant future more than half New Zealand’s population will live north of Taupo.

UNEMPLOYED NEW ZEALANDERS

The fact is also we have more than 90,000 15 to 24 years old New Zealanders who are not in employment education or training. We have 139,000 New Zealanders who are unemployed.

At the same time a record 226,000 work visas were approved in the 2016/17 year and that’s expected to go up to 243,000 next year. This cuts Kiwis desperate for work out of jobs.

We say - let’s get unemployed young New Zealanders off the welfare and back to work in their own country. The government and business has to start investing in training the people already here.

IMMIGRATION FIGURES INACCURATE

One thing the government won’t tell you either is that the record number of immigration – 72,400 - is not accurate. Last week Statistics NZ admitted over 60,000 immigrants slipped through unrecorded as migrants on the figures officials put out.

That’s a 20% underestimate. As might have been expected big discrepancies have occurred in student visa classifications. The massive underestimate was revealed when StatsNZ switched to a new system that uses the history of their time in New Zealand instead of arrival/departure cards on which they state their intentions.

Neither the National Government nor the Labour government paid adequate attention to immigration to realise there was a huge bungle in counting the number of people coming in. There are thousands of more immigrants here than what we thought. Again this is not slamming immigrants – it is facing reality. Mass immigration is not the answer. We need to control immigration and bring it down to more sustainable levels.

You can’t be too careful - Adern v Australia

The Labour Party should have been more careful about its leader gaining a reputation in Australia. It’s one thing to “talk back” to the Aussie Foreign Minister, who had turned a somewhat acid tongue on her.

But it is totally something else to throw down the gauntlet to our big cousin on immigration policy. The current Labour leader’s advisors need to be a whole lot more careful, if they are not, it will cost young New Zealanders in Australia plenty.

Telling Australia that if they dare raise the cost of Uni fees for Kiwis, which they have already done, she’ll do the same here, will fill young  New Zealanders in Australia with dread. They are being maltreated now in Australia and we in New Zealand should be trying to fix it, not retaliate.

Especially when the ratio is worse than five to one in Australia’s favour. Following in the footsteps of National’s Gerry Brownlee is not the smartest idea. He dropped some clangers when he put on his training wheels as Foreign Minister. And probably got a clip round the ear from the PM.

The Labour leader’s advisors need to pick up their act. We all know Kiwis in Australia don’t get it easy – they are shut out of many services, even when taxpayers. In fact, they are worse off than immigrants to Australia from any other country.

Why?

Because in 2001 Labour leader Helen Clark signed their rights away. She did that because despite both Labour and National being warned of the consequences of huge immigration numbers using New Zealand as a temporary bolt hole on the way to Australia, the old parties did nothing.

By 2001 the Australians were fed up. Tens of thousands of immigrants had flooded in from New Zealand. Our easy immigration policy allowed them to use us as a stepping stone to a country that without us they would never have got to – namely Australia.

They came here, stayed a couple of years and moved on.

Australia was always their goal. We were used. That’s why, if you are going to turn around the mistreatment of young New Zealanders in Australia, we should begin with an unreserved apology and a commitment to fix it. Being “dingoistic” doesn’t cut it. Being persuasively diplomatic may do.

New Zealand First warned for years that immigration here was an open door. Australia sensibly was more guarded about entry. So let’s not curse our neighbours to feel good. Let’s not stoop to tit for tat.

Let’s start out to fix it with Australia and end Kiwis being second class citizens in Australia. The trick is to get Australians to listen, but it can be done.

BATTLING EXPLOITATION

And speaking of exploitation before more workers are brought in – regions like Marlborough must look to your locals first. Millions of dollars leave New Zealand because we have become so heavily dependent on overseas workers. That’s money that should be circulating in our economy.

Migrant workers should also undergo an induction upon arrival. Key industries vulnerable to labour exploitation must be monitored.

With only 54 Inspectorate Officers, this is impossible at present. New Zealand First will treble the number of Labour Inspectors across the country. And any immigrant employers caught ripping off workers should face deportation. No-one should adopt another country and abuse its laws. If the employers are citizens, that’s doubly concerning and proves we should tighten citizenship laws.

CONCLUSION

The first obligation of any decent government is to look after and work for your citizens.

But what is happening in this country is that sections of our society are becoming increasingly marginalised.

They’re missing out.

The result is we have increasing anti-social behaviour. If we don’t help our unemployed get jobs and sort out those more than 90,000 young New Zealanders aged from 15 to 24 who are going nowhere – we will never get on top of family poverty and homelessness.

These problems will grow and continue through to the next generation. New Zealand First knows most New Zealanders are looking for closer scrutiny on immigration and migrant workers.