The vile stench of racism is drifting across the Tasman…



The vile stench of racism is never far from Australian politicians keen to exploit community ignorance and fear about asylum seekers landing on their shores.

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was an early exponent with his infamous lie that asylum seekers threw their children overboard in an attempt to circumvent Australian immigration. It was left to a foreign vessel Tampa to take on those refugees while Howard fanned the flames of race hatred against these defenceless people. His government called them “queue jumpers”, “illegals” and a threat to Australia’s borders. These were just more lies to be fed to a gullible, fearful public.

Of the four million people who arrive in Australia each year only a few hundred arrive as asylum seekers by boat but these people, most fleeing war zones or worse, are subject to denigration and vicious racially motivated political attacks.

The Australian Labour Party is no improvement. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was better known for her unwavering support for Israeli apartheid than concern for Palestinians or non-white refugees arriving by boat. She continued policies to process asylum seekers in offshore territories.

Now current PM Kevin Rudd has gone a step further saying on Friday that he would “combat the scourge of people smuggling” with a policy that “as of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.” He has made an arrangement with Papua New Guinea to take all Australia asylum seekers, process them there and if accepted as refugees to be settled in PNG.

In the battle to be the most racist Australian Prime Minister ever Rudd has hit the lead and will be a hard act to pass. It deserves to be his political obituary.

New Zealand politicians have applied similar racism in immigration policies. Last year John Key passed legislation to prevent asylum seekers arriving by boat and a former Labour Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel was very favourably disposed towards New Zealand accepting white Zimbabwean farmers under attack from Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe but without similar sympathy to accepting black Zimbabweans caught up in the same brutal conflict.

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Both Labour and National government’s here have operated racist policies which allow Australians to enter New Zealand freely to work but which tightly control Samoans and Tongans wanting to work here.
For now the vile stench of racism drifting across the Tasman will cause some nostrils to sniff a political opportunity at the expense of defenceless refugees.

Too cynical? Just wait and see.


  1. Do your research properly. The boat policy applies to anyone regardless of their colour or race. And last year more than 40,000 people attempted to arrive by boat. Not a mere few hundred. It costs over ten billion dollars a year to try and resettle these people. People who jump the un refugee resettlement program. The problem is the efficiency of the UNresettlement program an that’s where resources should be directed.
    Nzers love to harp on about Australians being racist. Come live here only about every fifth person you talk to has an Aussie accent. That’s pretty tolerant if say. When nz had a small influx of Asian immigrants in the 90s the country freaked out and didn’t cope and slogans of invasion flew everywhere. At the moment Ramadan is on and everyone is aware of it and what it means. Could Nz say the same thing? Could nz really cope if every second person was from a differing country with a different accent? I think not from past displays of behaviour.

    • Do tell me how many white people try to come into Australia via boats illegally. Australia embraced all those wonderful white south africans and Zimbabweans escaping the mess that they had primarily made.

    • Jonny, I concur.

      While Australia has embraced its Asian/global identity, New Zealand is too nervous to move beyond its White and Maori/Pacific Islander racial and cultural identity.

      While East Asians and Chinese in Australia thrive and can call themselves proud Australians, here in New Zealand they are often vilified. Politicians like Winston Peters can ride straight into Parliament riding the wave of New Zealand’s anti-Asian xenophobia.

      • The original inhabitants are beside themselves with joy about the paradise they get to live in. The Indian students who get attacked in Melbourne love it. The Chinese attacked on buses were just asking for it. Race relations in Australia stink as much as they do in Aotearoa. This is not something for either country to be proud of, nor to deny.

        Rajiv, do you believe the rubbish you type?

        • Ovicula,

          Which country does not have random and criminal acts of violence? I’m sure the Chinese kill and maim thousands of Chinese in China, just as Indians kill and maim scores of other Indians in India.

          Citing random, isolated events of “racial” and criminal violence in Australia often committed by intoxicated teenagers doesn’t make the whole country racist.

          White Australians have been far more open and accommodating to East Asians who don’t “look like them”. It’s not just about being “NICE” to Asians, but Australians have also successfully tapped into Asian resourcefulness, good work-ethics and potential to enrich Australia.

          Only in New Zealand, racist whites and racist coloured Maori/Pacific Islanders would team up and vote for Maori Winston Peters to “keep the Chinese out”. Such Idiotic, Tribalistic and organized racism that singles out one group (East Asians) with its ugly political presence does not exist in Australia.

          Pauline Hanson’s incendiary racist politics in Australia could only last for a while. But New Zealand brand of cowardly Crypto-Racism can get you into Parliament (with votes from both Whites and Coloured people) and keep you in power for years and years.

          As far as “Native people’s rights” are concerned, yes, Australian record is horrendous, but they’ve been admitting their dark past and moving towards reconciliation. Many New Zealanders like to think they’re morally superior than Australians because they treat their native Maori better. There is a reason why Maori of New Zealand can get the respect and attention they do. It’s called Demography. Maori make up around 15% of New Zealand population whereas Aborigenes make up barely 3% of Australian population.

          Maori rights “activism” as practiced by White New Zealanders is a very lucrative industry in New Zealand, and no White politician, Union leader, social worker, academic, lawyer, writer, broadcaster, artist, journalist, writer or blogger wants to miss out on cashing in on it. Ah, Truth is Always so Dirty…..

          I am not making assertions. I am giving you the facts. If you consider facts rubbish then you’re welcome to live in your La-La land. But remember, those who live in Glass Houses…..

          • Your truth is dirty, because you make most of it up to suit your Tory view of Aotearoa. When will you know which position you get on the NAct list?

        • Ovicula,

          As for Australian racism versus New Zealand racism, I have responded to your comment in detail. If the comment does not appear here then I gather that the vigilant folks at The Daily Blog consider it inappropriate and irrelevant.

          But in the interest of open and robust debate in New Zealand Democracy, I invite you to take a look at it on my blog and respond there if you so wish:

          Thank You,

    • Only 20% of people in Australia have an Australian accent? Dunno who you’ve been talking to, Jonny. By the way, I don’t love harping on about how racist Australians are at all. I’m sad that enough of them still are that a Labor PM thinks this is an election winner. I’m outraged by racism wherever it rears its ugly head.

      • Ah in West Australia my compadre’s were a mix of Irish, northern Irish, welsh, Hawaiian, Burmese, Italian, French, Norwegian Arab, kiwi and Australian. Here in Victoria I have just arrived so at my workplace we are kiwi, philipino,polish,Peruvian,Argentinian, French and one Australian.

        • Over a day, I never would have got below 50% Aussie accents. Some days, it’d be close to 100%. When I’m in rural Queensland, I wish it were 0%. Different places, I suppose.

  2. Agree with most of this except the reference to Julia Gillard supporting Israeli apartheid. Gillard is simply saying that Israel can defend itself from Arab racists and murderous Islamists; she wanted peace in Palestine, but the Palestinian/Islamists aren’t interested.

    • They are very very interested, but they have 2 possible “leaders” and negotiating with one turns the other into a “terrorist” group.
      Palestinian representatives said no flatly to Netinyahoo’s ideas because they were pretty abhorrent, supported the current apartheid and gave no quarter to the Palestinians who have had their land confiscated from under them. Israel is historically a major abuser of human rights and a constant source of war mongering in the middle east. Murderous Islamists? what about the murderous Christians, secularists and Jews.

  3. How many of the commentators here were around when Muldoon mounted his dawn raids, and supported them? After all, we all know Samoa is patriarchal, they look different, they were taking our jobs, the young men were sexist, they were illegal economic migrants,……….
    Try to give honest answers, please. I was around and I welcomed Samoans as my brothers and sisters. Sometimes we had sibling squabbles, but I never wanted to send them home.

    • I have two things to say on this, plus a conclusion:

      First, do you want to hear something interesting? We have another Robert Muldoon today, who vilifies people of certain race (East Asians), encourages prejudice against them, robs them of their dignity and self-respect on daily basis, threatens to deport them, restrict their entry to New Zealand (even when New Zealand economy needs them).

      This new Robert Muldoon is not White. He is Maori. His name is Winston Peters. He is voted in power by some racist Whites, and other xenophobe Maori and Pacific Islanders.

      Second, Yes, I condemn Dawn Raids of Muldoonism, because they were clearly racist. During the Dawn Raids, there were a lot of visa over-stayers in New Zealand from the UK, for example. But they never faced Dawn Raids, because they were White and European. Even today, people from the UK continue to be one of the biggest overstayers in New Zealand. But why bother them or talk about them? They’re our White cuzzies after all.

      Immigration to New Zealand–or any other Immigrant country– is not a Brother/Sister/Cuzzy issue. Immigration is an economic issue, and only those immigrants can come to New Zealand who can add to the economy, create more jobs and opportunities for New Zealanders. (Of course, as any humane/democratic country, New Zealand must also retain a small quota for people to come and live here under humanitarian/refugee categories).

      Martyn Bradbury’s latest post on TDB mentions alarming rates of unemployment among Pacific Islanders. We should not import more Pacific Islanders to New Zealand to add to human misery. We should focus on Pacific Islanders who are already here and try to reduce problems of unemployment, lack of education and poor health among their communities.

      We cannot import human beings from foreign countries– who will most likely become unemployed and cost New Zealand tax payers enormously in terms of unemployment benefits– just because we happen to have brotherly or sisterly feelings for them. We cannot afford to do that. No country can.

      In summation, it is deplorable that Immigration in New Zealand–unlike any other immigrant country like Australia, Canada, U.S.A– is not an issue of public interest. But it is an issue of emotions. It is an issue of prejudices, as Winston Peters knows.

      We must align our immigration policies with our public interest and not with our personal preferences or politics.

      P.S.– Immigration policies based either on racial preferences or racial prejudices don’t work. As the Australian experience in this wonderful 4 Episode SBS documentary, Immigration Nation, tells us:

      • I have no idea how the fact that so many Kiwis see the disgusting old xenophobe from Whananaki as a better bet than a National Party who attacks them or a Labour Party who refuses to defend them makes the racist and probably illegal policy installed by Rudd acceptable in any way, shape or form. I doubt if you do either. You seem very confused.

        • I’m not confused. I addressed Rudd’s policy in my very first comment which never got published here.

          In short, every country discriminates arrivals based on their economic status. People who hold Samoan, Tongan, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian passports are not allowed a visa-free travel to Australia or New Zealand, for example. Countries do that to protect their citizens from uncontrolled flood of economic immigrants which could cause massive chaos and unemployment.

          However, I oppose Rudd’s policy on moral and legal grounds because economic status of refugee status claimants is irrelevant. Under international law if genuine refugee claimants reach a country by boat, or plane, or land, or submarine, their application is processed and their case is evaluated before a decision is made. This is due process of law. Kevin Rudd cannot and ought not override it.

          But additionally what Rudd is saying is that he is only discouraging the lucrative and illegal international trade of people smuggling. He is saying that he is stopping “merchants in death” who ship people off to Australia in dingy boats and cause tragic deaths.

          Maybe Kevin Rudd is exaggerating but he has a fair point too. Yesterday, there was a news that Christians/Catholics of Australia oppose Rudd’s policy because it violates asylum seekers’ human dignity. Eventually, Australians have to come together and work it out.

          We, as New Zealanders, have no moral right to lecture Australia on its “Racism” when for the last 10 years or so we have been voting for, supporting or at least tolerating an openly Racist political party led by a Maori man. New Zealand First is a New Zealand Democracy’s Farce.

  4. One day Australians will be [climate] refugees themselves.
    watch that space….coming in the near/mid term future when Australia really starts to cook.

  5. Some basics. Oz accepts almost 14,000 refugees a year. Nz accepts 750. Even per head to pop that number is still in Australia’s favour. Nz passed boat laws refusing entry via boat. In fact in nz they’ll be put on a plane and sent to country of origin guaranteeing certain death. We have done this already sending gay people by plane back to Iran. Australia’s policy isn’t great. But 46 million people displaced isn’t great either and one country cannot be the saviour for many. All UN countries need to work together financially and legally to resettle these 46 million people rather than the current pot luck system. And rather than pissing on any countries goodwill we should be asking them how can we help.

    • Yes, I’m aware of that number of New Zealand’s refugee quota. What is more, this number has stayed the same for many years–750… Dismal.

      Australian number, on the other hand, has actually INCREASED. How many people in New Zealand know that? Actually, how many people in New Zealand are even bothered?

      More often than not, New Zealand version of supporting human rights is to try to cash in on Treaty of Waitangi, Maori “activism/rights” industries. And then celebrate “multiculturalism” by getting drunk, dancing and eating at some Pasifika festival.

      And when they’ve done the above, they can always puff their chests and say how racist Australians are towards their exceptionally diverse immigrants and 14,000 plus a year refugees.

      What a joke.

  6. Here in WA they are currently coming in at 1,000 a week! The Indonesians don’t care – it’s big money for them – the “fees” paid to Indonesian officials/warlords/etc are more than the “people smugglers” get – it is a form of people trafficking. Average cost $5-7,000 US a person! Ship them through and grab their cash on the way! The money being spent on Detention centres, etc, would be far better spent on looking after the people who are actually here – near us is a new immigration/detention centre – cost $700 million, ( I know because our firm are the Quantity Surveyors on the job), yet there are families sleeping on the streets because of severe accommodation shortages, and this is only one in a number of facilities!
    Don’t label people who need things to change, racist! Far from it. In our office there are 3 Sri Lankans, 4 Chinese, 1 Kiwi, 1 Pom and 2 Australians and we all agree, the trickle is now a flood, and is not sustainable.
    Whilst I don’t agree with the populist political propaganda being pushed by Rudd (and Abbot & co), in the last year, things have got totally out of hand.

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