Perilous Whites: Labour, China and the Liberal Intelligentsia

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THE OUTCRY precipitated by Labour’s critique of overseas Chinese investment in the Auckland housing market is profoundly disturbing. The “Liberal Intelligentsia” (to use Steven Joyce’s term) has reacted to Phil Twyford’s and Rob Salmond’s data as if this is 1915, not 2015.

China’s revolutionary self-emancipation and her transformation into a global economic superpower – a process spanning the whole of the twentieth century – appears to have passed the Liberal Intelligentsia by entirely. It’s as though they are still living in the days when most Chinese New Zealanders were green-grocers and market-gardeners. When Pakeha children intoned racist rhymes about “Ching-Chong-Chinaman”, and their parents openly parroted the prejudices of those earlier generations of New Zealanders who had erected a viciously discriminatory legislative cage to contain the “Yellow Peril”.

The liberals seem blissfully unaware that the period in which tens-of-thousands of economic refugees poured out of a China in search of safety and the chance to build a better life ended more than half-a-century ago. The Chinese immigrant of today arrives with capital to invest, a factory to build and/or a business to run. And the New Zealand government is only too eager to assist. Indeed, in 2015, it’s the Kiwi exporter heading north who travels in hope of a better deal. And his destination is a hundred years distant from the China laid low by the superior firepower of Western imperialism. We are the supplicants now.

The failure of the liberals’ historical imagination is even more astonishing when one considers how very loudly they have proclaimed their support for tino rangatiratanga. Their outrage at the thought of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand being relieved of their lands, forests and fisheries by rapacious British colonists was awesome to behold. And it mattered to them not at all that most of these real estate transactions were without legal blemish. How quick the Liberals of the 1970s and 80s were to remind us of the words of the Lakota War Chief, Red Cloud: “The white man made us many promises – more  than I can remember, but he never kept but one: he promised to take our land – and he took it.”

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All of which raises a very interesting question: what makes it so difficult for the Liberal Intelligentsia to see what is happening to their country; to its people; to its assets; when it is all unfolding before their very eyes? Is it possible that the answer really is, as they insist, racism?

If racism is at work in this matter, then it is not in the Labour Party. No, the racism at work here is born of the towering arrogance and ignorance of the Liberal Intelligentsia itself. So sure are these people of their own superiority that they simply cannot accept that in this little corner of the world, at least, the power of the West is waning. That white, well-educated, urban professionals, like themselves, are no longer calling the shots in New Zealand. That, for some time now, the future of this country has been decided thousands of miles from these shores – where New Zealanders don’t get a vote. These blissfully unconscious racists still see Chinese New Zealanders in terms of a helpless minority to which they, with infinite condescension, are duty-bound to extend their protection – as if the “victims” are still green-grocers and market-gardeners. The idea that it might be the Chinese who, increasingly, are calling the shots in New Zealand, is beyond their comprehension.

Raybon Kan’s brilliant essay in this morning’s Herald said it all. We Kiwis have become so smug, so insular, so convinced that we have all the answers, that we have failed to notice how very large and dangerous the world has grown. Land will always end up in the hands of those who best appreciate its value. If we are unwilling to assign a credible price to our little paradise at the bottom of the world, then there are millions of other human beings out there who will happily do it for us.

That is all Labour’s politicians are trying to say. It is a fact of real political importance that the Liberal Intelligentsia can no longer hear them.

61 COMMENTS

  1. Very good! You have explained something that has puzzled me ever since this firestorm broke.

    As you point out, these indignant cries of “racism” are patronising towards the very people they are supposedly ‘protecting’, and what makes it even worse is that it is largely just ‘PC’ posturing, because many of the critics are themselves ‘racist’ in that they are the same people who so loudly denounce anti-racist ‘affirmative action’ type programmes, for example programmes to address the scandal of the disproportional imprisonment statistics of Maori, which they, in their supreme ignorance, also denounce as ‘racist’.

  2. Crikey! I didn’t even know we had a liberal intelligentsia. Who are they? Where are they? Are they aligned with any particular class or profession or belief system? And crucially, are they the accidental millionaire Auckland homeowners or are they renting cold damp houses? We wait to see.

    • Maybe Donna they are hugely mortgaged “millionaires” living in cold damp overpriced houses…….

  3. If Raybon Khan wants popular support all he has to do is to support the calls to halt foreign property purchases. But if he just wants to slag people off as racists for trying to solve a real problem he will decrease local tolerance for his ethnicity.

    • Stuart Munro says:

      “If Raybon Khan wants popular support all he has to do is to support the calls to halt foreign property purchases. But if he just wants to slag people off as racists for trying to solve a real problem he will decrease local tolerance for his ethnicity.”

      And your comment perfectly (and without any sense of irony whatsoever) illustrates the problem.

      If you (or I, or anybody) disagree with Raybon Kan, we can simply address that criticism to him. A person. One particular person. Called Mr Kan. Nobody else. Just as I am not responsible for every Pakeha word and deed, nor is he for every ethnic Chinese, nor they for him.

      You, however, make him responsible not for his own individual actions and consequences, but for an entire race. And you can’t even see that you’re doing it.

      What’s the word for that again?

      • Actually, by writing what he wrote and having it published in the countries biggest circulated daily newspaper, I think you will find that Kan set himself up as spokes person for every Chinese immigrant, investor, non resident property owner from Mainland China etc. As they say, Blood is thicker than water. Most people identify with their minority ethnicity for some reason. If Kan is that disenchanted with New Zealand’s alleged Xenophobia maybe he should try living in China and speak English and see how he is treated there. Otherwise a brilliant commentary CT.

      • Mate he ran crying racism but admitted he himself wasn’t comfortable with foreign buying. I want foreign buying stopped but it seems that if I say so, not being of a minority race, morons like you think you get to call me a racist.

        If you had any integrity you’d apologize. I won’t hold my breath.

    • He supports a ban on non residents buying property. It’s in the 4th paragraph of his article, you buffoon.

  4. We live in interesting times, lucky it’s a beautiful country// On one side the TPPA threatens to take all. The other trillions of yuan to take the land. Won’t be much left?

  5. Beautifully written, Chris. Nothing Labour has done is racist. Stupid, yes. Statistically inept, yes. But racist? No.

  6. Ah yes the worthless, shallow witterings of the self -promoting, self styled “humorist” Raybon Kan. He has never been funny.
    He has nothing of value to add to the debate having lived here for so few years. Carping on about how Kiwis don’t value their country when they have been utterly betrayed by successive neo- liberal governments who have sold our country out from under us when we have said emphatically this is not what we want , is of no help at all. That we are stupid enough to allow migrants who strip our coastlines bare each summer and practice illegal fishing in our reserves and camp illegally on Doc land into our country at an ever greater rate speaks volumes about how stupid our government is. But our governments have not represented our views since 1984. Tell the young New Zealander with a $50,000 student loan a crap job and whose only hope is to earn $50 to $65,000 p.a. if they get lucky, that they don’t value their country and you’ll get told . Their country doesn’t value them!

    • First, he is from New Zealand.

      Second, this is what he said:

      “It astonishes me that anyone without the right of residency can buy New Zealand houses. It’s a glaring mistake. Land is power. Why would you give so much civic power to someone who’s not even permitted to vote?”

      I think an apology to Mr Kan is in order.

      • I stand corrected on Mr Kan’s birthplace and for that I apologize I thought his family moved here after when he was a baby.

        • The comment from Kan’s article that I take issue with is the one that suggests that NZ property has been undervalued. Monetarily it has always been overvalued. I remember my father telling visitors many times, through the 50 and 60s and 70s that it was puzzling why land and property in general in this country was very expensive compared to other countries which had much larger populations relative to their size. So I guess that means New Zealanders have always valued their country. It’s just that now, it’s harder for them to afford to buy it.

    • Absolutely true on all counts. Governments have not represented our views. That was Helen Clarks downfall. Not listening to the people and becoming smug. By crikey she has changed now. However since Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party things are changing. There has been a change in strategy and they are canvassing input from members. I recently ripped shit out of him for some crap about cutting the pension of working retirees. Got a reply back pretty smartly. So if people want to see change then they need to get involved and change from the inside out. BTW, even those exstudents with loans who do not live in NZ because their are no jobs, still value NZ and would live there in a heartbeat if they could afford to. It’s almost a reverse of what CT has written here about the early Chinese and other immigrants including my father, from Dalmatia. Now it’s our young people who are migrating to get a better life elsewhere.

      • yes my daughter was virtually a straight A university student….although invited to do honours in both her majors of Film and Commerce ….she could not afford any more student loan…she is now working in Europe…still burdened with a student loan

        …paying Asians have no doubt taken her honours place at university….when she graduated I realised she was a minority NZ grad student in her own land…and she sure as hell had no prospect of buying a house here

        I support Labour’s stand and I am very disappointed with the Greens framing of it as “crude racial profiling”(cheap shot)..it is factual…and it should be of concern to New Zealanders …the tangata whenua of this land whether they be Maori, Pakeha or some other mix

        • Well said as usual CHOOKY 🙂 I wish your daughter well in whatever she does. Pity she has been rejected by her own country, when obviously she could be an asset to NZ! But that’s what this rotten government excels at, disloyalty towards its own!

          Haven’t heard any comments from the Maori Party yet on Labour opening a can of worms re foreign domiciled investor buy ups of NZ property! So I guess they are with the NatzKEY mob here on this one, toeing the line, calling it racism, when it’s anything but!

          Given this issue, no doubt Crosby Textor would have been preparing some venomous spin for FJK to nastily spit at the Opposition, (something he always does so well, never failing to disappoint) when Parliament resurfaces from recess again next week!

      • Having watched TVNZ’s One News tonight, and having seen that item on how business owners and managers in Auckland now treat the homeless sleeping outside their shop fronts or near the delivery access, I despair about the direction this country is heading into.

        They are using sprinklers now, to “piss” water onto the homeless, to scare and drive them away, to find shelter somewhere else.

        Michael Barnett, another “neoliberal” fanboy and business opportunists and vocal vested interest promoter, he gave comments about the “filth” these people leave behind.

        Even that pampered reporter, clearly white middle class, never needing to freeze in the cold herself, looked little convincing, reporting on this.

        So the born and bred New Zealanders that have in ever greater numbers become homeless, are now treated worse than street roaming dogs, and labeled as “filth”, yeah, New Zealand has certainly “caught up” with the “rest of the world” now, as a consequence of “globalisation”.

        Division, arrogance, lone fighters and abandonment of the last remnants of a social conscience, that is the new “normal” in this country, as MONEY and PROFIT are all that count, no matter where it comes from, hence the sell off of this place, bit by bit, houses, apartments, farms, businesses, forests, fishing rights, conservation land and huts, all “on the block” for SALE, stuff the people.

        No wonder people leave and never come back, what is the point, when things are getting worse and worse here. Few dare speak their minds, with useless media and feel there is no point in saying anything.

        What a total disgrace, and they want to force ever more of all this onto us, and any questions asked, any criticism, is swiftly silenced, soon we have no protests allowed anymore, the new Harmful Digital Communications Act will eventually also be used, to silence criticism online:

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2015/0063/latest/whole.html

  7. I actually don’t think Labour’s recent claim about Chinese speculators being responsible for the overheated Auckland housing market is actually racist. It seems to be largely true. But, lumping all the Chinese into one basket is not a credible way to base your statistics. It does not take into account those who have NZ residency, nor how long they have lived here, nor those who have changed their names through marriage, nor those who might have come from other countries such as Australia or Malaysia.
    Mike Williams’ suggestion that Labour should have checked the electoral roll to see which were NZ residents is not particularly credible, either. I have a lot of Chinese associates and in my experience most Chinese are completely uninterested in politics, elections or voting and many never enrol because they don’t have democracy in China and thus little practical understanding of its benefits.
    As you point out Chris, New Zealand greatly benefitted from the presence of Chinese workers in its early colonial years. New Zealand’s railway lines were built largely by Chinese workers and the Chinese were always among the first to provide the services that people needed – restaurants, vegetables, laundry. The Chinese are relentless workers who put most other cultures to shame with their work ethics.
    The Chinese are not really to blame for this Auckland housing crisis. They are simply taking advantage of an indifferent and lazy National government and reaping the rewards, like any good business people would do. There is nothing illegal in that. In previous decades we had Americans buying huge areas of (mainly) farmland but because it was far away from Auckland no-one seemed too worried.

  8. Sorry Samuel, Mr Kan has alot of friends in the media.He has always been labeled a humorist. He is not funny never has been . He said we don’t value our country. This is simply untrue. i have never understood why he has such a high profile. I read widely . I have a tertiary qualification in English Literature and theatrical performance. I stand by my opinion.

  9. “Land will always end up in the hands of those who best appreciate its value.”

    What utter rubbish. Would you have said that as the Japanese swept into China from the East in the early 20th century? Do you say the same now about the PRC where the State owns every inch of land in the PRC, and which bars foreigners and locals alike from owning any land at all?

    Is that all just about “appreciation”?

  10. Well thought out, Chris, and yres, there is a kind of perverse racism at work here.

    As during WW2, westerners did not think that Japanese could amount to much in battle. So we – especially the Bris and our American cuzzies, took them for granted. Big mistake.

    They nearly won that little event. (Who knows, in an alternative reality, they probably did, and we’re part of the “Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere”. Read, “Man in the High Castle”, by Philip K Dick)

    Then it was America, with their interminable cultural imperialism; military adventures all over the globe; and their toxic food (which people like David Farrar insist we must have a right to consume, en masse, even as it kills us.)

    But an economic threat from China? Hah! No way. That can’t be real, ‘cos we’re better at capitalism than they are. In fact, because we are *superior* to them in capitalist endeavours, any criticism must be *race-based*.

    This isn’t racism.

    It’s left-over paternalism.

    Now I’m going to read Mr Kan’s piece in the Herald.

    • Agreed.

      I would disagree with Mr Kan on one point though.

      I think that if NZers saw a bunch of Americans buying up our residential property, that we would still be pretty pissed off.

      But yeah. He has some pretty good points. Much of NZ is deeply racist.

      • “Much of NZ is deeply racist”

        Which is a perfectly natural thing to be. Who says it’s wrong to be racist? Why is it wrong to be racist? and who’s telling us it’s wrong to be racist? Ask the people of Tibet and Xinjiang what they think about racism.
        It’s projected that in just 20 years time the under 40’s native English will be in the minority.
        The cultural Marxists who are hell bent on destroying European civilisation think that’s a good idea.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFE0qAiofMQ

  11. Raybon Khan’s article , whilst making a couple of salient points, was i thought, pretty simplistic.
    A country that houses one fifth of the world’s population flexing there new found financial muscle around the world. Wow , i hope he enjoys the schadenfreude moment while it lasts. We should be eternally thankful.
    But it doesn’t solve the average young Aucklanders’ dilemma.
    Earning the average N.Z wage , wanting to live an average Kiwi life ie. partnering up and having a family with a couple of kids and live in an average home in an average street , they will, however, now have to be anything but average.
    Even the ‘silverspooners’ , of whom i know a few, are struggling with the proposition of financing Rupert and Sophie into their first homes with a $250,000.00 deposit each and leaving them a $500,000.00 mortgage to service and pay off!
    I actually can’t feel sorry for them.
    But the people i do feel for , and there are many , is some one like the 38 year old ‘Waitakere man’ who i deal with from time to time.
    This guy is a whirl wind of activity at work and highly efficient at what he does. An employers dream.
    He works 7am to 5pm weekdays and 8am to midday on Saturdays. Has always worked in N.Z , and saved as much as he could while bringing up two kids.
    I asked him how things were going . He muttered , “i’ve just had to shift for the third time in 18 months and that means shifting the kids to another school and it’s starting to piss me off .”
    I said , ” why so?”
    He said ,( holding his thumb and forefinger about a millimeter apart), “mate, about 5 years ago me and the missus were that far away from having enough for a deposit on a house and then out of the blue the f**k’n market just went f**k’n ballistic. There’s no chance now . I’ve had five eighths of sweet f**k in pay rises .We’re stuffed !
    I’m f**ked if i know how Kiwis can afford these astronomical prices.
    We both work full time , I’m not a piss head and we don’t smoke. I don’t get it.”
    ” It’s the mythical ‘free market’ at work “, i said, “and unfortunately your one of it’s sacrificial lambs.”
    Raybon needs to get over himself. You don’t need to be Chinese to feel discriminated against.!

  12. It would be possible to accuse Labour of racism against Chinese if those house buyers were acting as individuals, but there is some evidence that the whole thing is being orchestrated by the Chinese banks. In recent years three major Chinese banks have become established in Auckland, where the action is. Incidentally, the Chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is Don Brash, former National leader. Another bank, the Bank of China, was recently accused by Italy of money laundering.

    The Chinese trade surplus last year was about US $ 400 billion and there is not much you can do with such a vast surplus except buy up real estate and capital assets.

    Since 18th March, 2014, NZ has been trading our NZ$ directly (without first converting to the US$), against the Chinese renminbi. NZ is one of only six nations to have this facility.

    While none of this proves that these banks are orchestrating the bulk purchase of Auckland homes they have certainly set up a structure to facilitate it.
    Even if the Chinese buyers are doing nothing more than what is their right under present law, it would still be fair to say that this should no longer be permitted. What sense is there in opening up Nz’z relatively small real estate to the whole world, which is our present situation.

  13. It is much simpler than Chris tries to explain the bizarre developments and reactions of the last few days. This is all about the arrogance of the property and other capital owning and controlling elite, who have long ago managed to tie in a large part of what we used to call the “middle class”, to side with them, to ensure the neoliberal economic system they want, is protected from the slightest bit of a challenge or even threat.

    Yes, it is the ones who own and run most of the business sector in NZ, the ones who make a living from selling whatever commodity, including housing, who are happy to do business with the noveau riche or upper middle class buyers and “investors” and also speculators, from whatever place on earth. In our part of the world, it is now Mainland China, where decades of impressive growth has made hundreds of thousands millionaires or billionaires, while they still have armies of cheap migrant workers in their own back-yard, who actually created the economic miracle there.

    Wealthy, comfortable, often well educated, business savvy and smart people have made lots of money there, same as in some other East Asian nations of smaller size. They now join, or to some degree also replace, the well off from other places.

    Our elite has learned the ropes from the US Chicago boys, Roger Douglas and his allies opened the floodgates for them to take over economic management in NZ. Once conservative, rather nationalistic National Party members have changed and become modern Chicago Boys, stepping alongside the more extreme ACT Party version of them, all well familiar with how modern business is done, and it knows NO borders, NO significant restrictions, it knows NO sense for social charters and collective spirit, it is entrepreneurial, individually minded, opportunistic, and firmly committed on one mission, to make money, to create more growth, to earn as much revenue and make as much profit as can be made.

    So they do not care, they have no scruples to sell even farms, residential homes, various shares or full ownership in businesses to overseas interested parties, as growth and money into their pockets comes first, the rest of the population are either only other business partners or competitors, or merely useful human capital to maximise output and grow consumption.

    They do not worry much about tomorrow, that is the environment, about sustainability, growth is the mission and salvation they believe in, and greed is behind it. So they have made a plan, to grow the population, to grow the economy and markets, to grow tax revenue and earnings for business, to keep the false “perpetuum-mobile” going. That is behind the madness of one Len Brown’s “global metropolis” for Auckland, also driven by gathering more rates, behind the government not constraining immigration and allowing more overseas buyers onto the local real estate market. The market will “right” itself, they believe, and better not upset the new big boy on the block (Mainland China), as that may hamper more growth.

    Decisions are made, by them, and we as common people are not even asked about immigration, about who buys homes here, who invests where and how, we are condemned to feel “grateful” for the “glorious” leader and his gang, to offer us jobs, and for the rest shut up.

    And when someone dares raise issues, even gets some leaked figures and names from Barfoot and Thompson, he and his party will be SHOT DOWN, targeted and humiliated, that is what TV3 was engaged in again, Wednesday night, virtually blaming Andrew Little and Labour for the loss of the job of a real estate business employee, held responsible. More attacks are coming, Little’s diary was “leaked”, and this was headlines again, after the night before, they showed old pictures of Nazi concentration camps, along comments from a disaffected Labour member (P. Quin), labeling Labour as “racist”.

    Does anybody get it? If you dare challenge the status quo, dare criticise the vested interest parties, they use the dirtiest of strategies and tactics to shut us all up. And for the rest, the news are read, other programs presented, distracting from what really matters, diverting attention, and getting emotive about sentimental stories, about a lost cat, about some pictures of Pluto, about snow falling in Queenstown, about a bit of romance, of more trivial stuff, so people do not get “silly” ideas, to disturb the picture, telling us, “all is well in New Zealand, all is well”, do not worry, get on with it.

    • Absolutely brilliant – and so simply and clearly expressed. So much of it resonates with what we have been thinking but would not have been able to put so succinctly (and chillingly). Everyone in this country should be made to read this piece! Thank you very much, Mike in Auckland for making the effort.

  14. Racism.

    What a joke.

    The one size fits all catch phrase criticism for any nitwit out there who hasn’t got an answer and uses that worn out expression as an emotive bludgeon to muddy the waters.

    To a point – Khans right.

    We gave em an opportunity and like anybody else they are taking it. Its that simple.

    It doesn’t matter what overseas outfit you enable to do so – the answer should have been right back at the beginning to have had laws in place and a Foreign Ownership Register.

    Economic takeover is still what it is – economic takeover . And that’s the real issue here – not some cooked up politically correct crap about racism.

    A small history lesson . When Che Guevara traveled with his friend on a motorbike through Latin America his eyes were opened to just what was going on and it was that which radicalised him.

    Him coming from a well off middle class background.

    And what was for him one of the motivating factors for participating in the 1953- 1959 Cuban revolution?

    Simply because he saw Cuba had become the rich mans playground – mostly because of American ( USA ) finance. Which , typically in those times …had happened throughout Latin America.

    And one of the prime reasons it motivated him was because he saw that for so many of Latin Americas peoples they had been disenfranchised financially and of their lands- basically had become serfs and tenets in their own lands.

    Now our conditions are no way as bad as that – but the principle remains the same – if you let foreign interests make significant inroads into buying your land , your businesses , your banks- eventually you become in servitude to their interests.

    And this is precisely what has been going on for 35 years in this country with the neo liberal agenda.

    What was that talk recently about privatising state property’s and parceling them out to some Aussie private interest?

    Do we need to provide a long , long list of all this activity ?……because if we did – it’d stretch back so far there would need to be a large book to list them all by now.

    This isn’t about racism – this is about ENABLING – and keeping hush hush to prevent the public’s backlash .

    THAT’S WHY there was never any serious attempts by National to create a Foreign Owners Register – BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T WANT THE PUBLIC TO KNOW !!!

    So its not the Chinese – the real fault lies with the ideology of neo liberalism – and this country is paying the price LITERALLY NOW for suffering this negative ideology for over 3 decades.

    You brought it on yourselves in your greed. You cant blame the Chinese or any other group.

    You can only blame yourselves.

  15. ”And it mattered not to them at all that most of these real estate transactions were without legal blemish”, unquote,

    Really Trotter???, and it mattered not to You at all that the settlements between Maori and the Crown are restricted to the ILLEGAL actions of the Crown in removing from Maori their tinorangatiratanga over their forests,lands and fisheries and previous private land transactions ARE NOT part of that process,

    In the current round of childish finger pointing which changes the question of house price inflation from that point to one of who is the racist then i put my money firmly upon Phil Twyford and those who support his use of the Chinese as a scapegoat as being just that,

    The stupidity of Twyfords use of the figures half inched from an Auckland real-estate company carries on with him this morning falsely claiming those figures as ‘proof’ of the number of off-shore Chinese speculators in the housing market,

    There are 471,000 asian New Zealanders, to suggest that only those who reside in Auckland are involved in price speculation in the Auckland housing market is spurious rubbish,

    The hilarity of all this overt racism is that should we drive those who are not citizens out of this speculative market,(and we should, only those who hold a New Zealand passport should be able to purchase property), the blinkered among us seem to have a belief that such speculation will stop,

    That is simply dreaming, there are enough white middle class wankers who are citizens enabled by tax rules with deliberate favoring of those who choose to speculate over those who genuinely want a Home along with a Banking industry falling all over itself offering long term interest only loans as the tool to fuel that speculation which will keep the merry go round spinning,

    Do i with some paternal misconception believe that the Chinese need my protection, hardly, as i point out there are 471,000 asians resident in New Zealand, like any other race that has been scapegoated they are likely to see Twyfords stupidity as an attack on all of them,

    Bravo, go Labour, can we expect 20% next election…

  16. i think, that some liberal white thinkers need to understand that frankly, what happened in 1915 matters little to the young ones of today, that can’t move out of their parents house because there is no housing.
    It matters little to the young ones of today that would like to get married but can’t move out of their parents house because there is no housing.
    It matters little to the young ones of today, because regardless of race, gender, ambition, sexual orientation and what evs, they can’t get housing to start their own lifes, they can’t get jobs to start their own lifes, they can’t move and become someone because our current government is depriving them of the means to start a life, the option of a job, a house/apartment and a future.

    So, go on, those middle class, middle aged, men and women of all races and creeds that have bought their houses when they had to compete with only a few kiwis for a property, that completed their studies without a student loan, that were provided with milk in their schools, had their parents raise them on a union wage in a state house for life, you go and tell these young ones that they and their parents are racists for pointing out what has been rumored and openly talked about now for a few years in AKL and in regards to the purchase of large dairy farms and other choice pieces of land. Namely that an influx of Mainland Chinese Money is distorting the market in NZ and making it impossible for anyone but the super monied to buy a house. Go rubbish Labour for doing what they did, receive information – information that the National Party refuses to make public – and making it public. Oh noes…..racism.

  17. Strategically for the left to be arguing about whether this issue is racist is foolish, it plays into the hands of the right and it’s a worry that so many can’t see it, or alternatively, can see it but think it’s not very important.

    Unfortunately I think this is one of those things where people their personal identity wrapped up in the issue – as in; “I’m a progressive person who is not prejudiced and I always stand up for what is right” sort of thing.

    The same thing has happened over the race riots in the US and in fact in just about every flame war on the internet. People defend an ideal as if their very existence is at stake – which in many ways it is if their self worth is based on the ideal.

    This effect is also mutiplied if those ideals make them feel superior to other people, at which point it morphs into passing judgement – something that can be really hard to resist if we don’t feel good about ourselves.

    I think this is why the left so often shoots itself in the foot, the urge to point the finger overwhelms our common sense. It’s a very human trait but it’s not helping.

    So to sum up: It’s painfully obvious that our country is currently in the process of being sold to the highest bidder and we’re sitting round arguing about whether the messenger is racist or not.

    • Strategically for the left to be arguing about whether this issue is racist is foolish, it plays into the hands of the right and it’s a worry that so many can’t see it,…

      It’s the right doing the racist labelling Aaron. Phil Quin is known to be right wing. He’s been running Labour down for years. I bet there were a few cheers in the Labour Party when he did his very public resignation act. There’s a few others like him who have hopefully followed suit. Labour is well rid of them. Some PC liberal types are getting in on the act but few pay much attention to them any more. It’s sad that a lot of Chinese NZers think they are being targeted. They’re not of course. I suspect they are being deliberately misinformed.

        • Umm I didn’t make myself clear Aaron. I’m with you all the way – not agin you. Just pointing out the racist label was a National meme in the first instance.

          I would catagorise Ng and Tiso as PC Liberals on this issue at least.

          • Yeah – but my respect for Ng as a statistician just evaporated. His argument is fallacious.

            Not that statistics are particularly necessary – that real estate firms advertise in Mandarin and employ Mandarin speaking agents demonstrates unequivocally that a large proportion of property transactions are not local.

      • The Mainland Chinese “media” and “social media” take serious, and give overly much “respect” to authority, and that does especially mean “government” and “the state”.

        They will read and listen to what our Prime Minister and his other Ministers say, and we know what has so far come from the mouths of Steven (Spinning) Joyce, that mad looking Minister for Housing, and some others.

        That will be interpreted as a land where a “good” government feels troubled by “racist” sentiment amongst a population they rule. They will believe the government here, and think the people may be misled by opportunistic “trouble makers”. Such “trouble makers” they get told of, they have in Tibet, in some local villages and towns, where “protestors” cause “trouble”.

        Such news are received with worry there, and just as well, while this may discourage some “investment”, if that is residential homes in Auckland, we may have achieved something. Sad to say this, it should not work this way, but with the dishonest, lying, inactive government we have, there are few measures left to send the message and get heard.

    • @ Graham White –

      Well they would perceive the issue as racist, wouldn’t they? They stand to lose if a ban on foreign domiciled property investors is activated!

  18. It should be a no-brainer to restrict off-shore buyers. It does also highlight that the liberalisation of immigration policy over the past 30 years has been a significant factor in driving up house prices. Something that ex-Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell has pointed out.

    It’s bizarre politicians seem at a loss as to what to do when, as Reddell points out the obvious causes are:

    a) NZ’s relatively high inward migration levels – which I understand Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, could reduce to take the heat out of the market; and

    b) Restrictions on housing supply.

    As Reddell points out, the Australian Productivity Commission found limited benefits to local residents, but it seems to have become an article of neo-liberal faith that high levels of inward migration are an economic benefit. Reddell notes:

    “Economic success allows a country, if it chooses, to support more people at high incomes. And emigration eases the pressures in the source country, lifting living standards among those who remain.

    There is, of course, an exception to my story. Immigration has transformed the economic prospects of some physical territories, but only by totally taking over and largely replacing the indigenous population, and the economic institutions of that culture.

    I have had Official Information Act requests in for some time with Treasury and MBIE for copies of advice to ministers on the economic impacts of immigration, and on the target level of permanent residence approvals. As is customary with government agencies, the responses to the requests have both been extended/delayed. These aren’t particularly time-sensitive requests, but I will be interested to see what the departments have had to say. MBIE is well-known to be strongly pro-immigration, and I have heard reported that current Secretary to the Treasury (himself a temporary migrant) recently reiterated in private a view that “immigration is good; it is as simple as that” (repeating the tenor of comments in a speech earlier this year). Perhaps, but let’s see the argumentation, in the specific context of New Zealand, and in the light of cross-country economic history and experience.”

    http://croakingcassandra.com/2015/07/16/the-productivity-commission-looks-into-immigration/

  19. I cannot believe that a mainstream political party who hopes to be in Government would choose such a simplistic almost idiotic way to make a point that would obviously resonate with the public. To choose names that SOUND Chinese is stupid and shows a real ignorance that by doing that the result would at best be questionable and at worst provoke the sort of outcry that has happened. Trying to score a political point is fine but you must have evidence that is at least 90 per cent accurate. The numbers released prove nothing with regard to accuracy. We are none the wiser now as to how many NON RESIDENT Chinese are buying houses than we were before. The Asian vote in Auckland has probably now deserted Labour who need every vote in Auckland they can get. Win Auckland and you win the election. I can’t see how this helps Labour’s chances. For Phil Twyford to express surprise that the agent lost his job shows a complete lack of understanding of how a business operates. By doing things of this nature Labour are not helping their chances of regaining the Treasuary benches. While most people would see what Labour were trying to achieve they would not be impressed at the ham fisted they went about it. If this had been done by Labour itself in a professional manner with accurate figures the outcry would have been avoided. By going about it this way they have risked the Asian vote and the dopey Herald have risked losing probably their largest advertiser in B & T. Not very clever all round really.

    • The only thing Premier Kee is capable of regarding a bright future is our society going up in the flames of mass discontent.

      And seeing as how he and his govt has orchestrated one of the most darkest eras in corruption and anti democratic subversion in this nations history …the flames against that background would be seen for thousands of kilometers.

  20. Chris

    It’s a sad day for you.

    You demean yourself by giving support to the clearly unsupportable.

    • What, precisely, is “unsupportable”, and why, AndrewO? Slinging a bit of mud at someone without saying why or giving an alternative is piss-easy. Any twit with a keyboard can do it. Feel free to explain a bit further.

  21. I remember the old marxist cry that a rapacious capitalist was just that no matter what his creed or colour, giving rise to wrought articles about arabs,the bete noir of the late 70’s as newfound oil wealth swept up assets abroad.
    The bald truth is that NZ in order to regenerate it’s increasingly tatty regions is not billionaire property tycoons who’s wealth has been generated in a once in a millennium shift from command economy to capitalist free for all (Sic Russia and China). Instead NZ should be opening itself to the huddled masses of south east asia to build a critical mass of population that will form a healthy internal market les dependent on flogging cow juice to the chinese.
    In that mass of immigration will be the seeds of entrepreneurial endeavor that will populate the 3 or 4 major cities that our abundant islands can easily sustain. The mean age of the population will decrease and the food will improve immeasurably.

  22. A good article once again, monsiuer Trottoir, and raising some salient points.

    A good article once again Raybon Kan, and nicely expressed through your humour.

    It never ceases to amaze me how reliably and vituperatively the poor ol’ Kiwi bird manages to consistently grab the wrong end of the stick, even when that particular end may actually deliver 10,000 volts of wrong end. Aue!

    The simple answer is to read both articles once again. But this time engage the brain first and read what is actually written there without the guidance of your own quirky prejudices. You’ll find it all makes sense.

    Which is more than can be said for the peculiar interpretations being expressed throughout this blog…

  23. Interesting read which is close to my thinking. Below is my response to Bryce Edwards’ Herald blog. Cheers.

    Hi Bryce, I have felt moved by your blog (NZH – Political roundup: Labour’s dangerous racial politics). Its strident attack on Labour’s calling for strict controls on investment in Auckland land and property by non-residents seems shallow and only based on the fear of ‘racism’. You may be happy to see ‘investment’ of hot capital in Auckland property from overseas. I don’t. It is ‘investment’ that does nothing for the growth of our economy and is totally distorting the market but does shut out home ownership for my children’s generation in their own city. Disgraceful.

    The comfortably off middle class liberal’s bandwagon of ‘racism’ doesn’t stick. Get a better grip on the logics of the situation, read Bryan Gould’s piece (NZH – Banks fuel housing market by ‘creating’ money), think about the laws of demand and supply and then consider the soon to be actioned release of many billions of dollars of private Chinese investors’ capital. Then consider the big picture of China and the USA trying to stake their claims and muscling up in the Pacific and Asia. Think TPPA. We are bit players in a big game. The least we can do is look after our own as best we can. We’ve sold most of our infrastructural and business assets, do we also hand over our land and dwellings as well?
    By the way, my children are half Chinese and half Irish Kiwi. Yes, my wife of 40 years agrees with what I am writing. She is Chinese and is not stupid, she is bright. Get over your childish middle-class affectation, ask why this negligent administration did not start gathering purely accurate data two years ago when Auckland’s prices starting ramping up. The Labour move was clumsy, no doubt, but at least it highlights the need for good data. It also is making a stand for the New Zealand resident and citizen, my children and their many peers of many heritages. Who are you making a stand for?

  24. This country does not belong to the descendants of anglo saxons. Reading this post you would think this is only a debate between white people of different political hues. Where I live 25% of the resident population is Chinese. As the largest group of new residents it is not surprising that they would be prominent house purchasers. I look forward to NZ becoming as ethnically diverse as the suburb I live in.

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