GUEST BLOG: Gerard Otto – Holding National to Account

By   /   December 31, 2018  /   24 Comments

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Under National an increasing large number of people could overstay for ten years or more by rolling over their temporary visas and there was simply not enough money to monitor them…let alone the employers exploiting migrant workers.

By 2015/2016 Immigration New Zealand (INZ) only had the capacity to investigate a third of immigration fraud and migrant exploitation cases that met its criteria.

But in 2016/17 that number plunged to just 18 percent after the number of reported cases almost doubled.

Yeah Immigration NZ just did not have the money to do it’s job properly.

Not only were Immigration staff buckling under the pressure but our visa system lacked integrity.

Under National an increasing large number of people could overstay for ten years or more by rolling over their temporary visas and there was simply not enough money to monitor them…let alone the employers exploiting migrant workers.

Who knew?

Not many – not based on a single lonely article here or there.

And should we be surprised that there are process issues embedded in severely underfunded government departments?

No we should expect that.

But we are barely conscious of these details when our lives are so full of paying our own bills – our personal ambitions, relationships and work to be done.

Unlike the case of Karel Sroubek that dominated daily headlines from mid October through until December 24 2018 – the far bigger issues of inheriting rampant immigration fraud and migrant exploitation ( which had far greater impacts upon New Zealand as a nation ) was forgotten by our story loving media.

Nobody showed us the numbers.

Nobody reviewed the progress.

Not a word was spoken – the media bells all were broken.

Budget 2018 added $34 Million to tighten up our Visa screening services…and at last we got more staff on the job ( 29 ) – but that was just not sensational at all.

It deserved only a single article.

But the Karel Sroubek case involved importing MDMA, and witnessing a murder and the possibility that someone better behaved had been booted out – plus – the PM could be dragged into it.

This was like throwing a bucket of bonito guts to frenzied sharks.

PM Ardern had told us all that this was a rare case – only about 40 per year pop up where a Minister has to make a decision based on the information the Minister is both given and directed to focus upon by immigration officials.

She also told us to read between the lines – a remark concerning the decision of Judge Wade who reckoned Sroubek’s life would be in danger if he returned home.

Our media speculated wildly about PM Ardern’s remark that extradition deals might be done between states etc…and there was more to things …like in a 007 thriller.

This media speculation in the barren factless deserts of their own imaginations – when proven to be wrong – was turned upon the PM by chortling opinion writers like Barry and Hosking and other slime balls like Tova.

My eyes rolled at the twerps thinking they were suddenly invested with superior intelligence.

The attacks were enjoyed by everyone who never saw the strawman right before them …and of course I said nothing as I listened to self proclaimed experts prove they were morons.

It was perfect fodder for NZME audiences – our right wing judges and juries fixed to their couches and car radios –
lapped it up during breakfast and drive for a good six weeks.

So Sroubek had imported MDMA and was in prison serving 5 years – had been assessed as a low risk of reoffending – and blah de blah – while thousands of cases of migration fraud and exploitation were not investigated due to National’s relentless underfunding?

Thats our opinion based media for you.

Their mountains are made from molehills.

The real mountains are not even mentioned.

Apparently there have only been 3 MDMA related deaths in New Zealand but far more – were hospitalised from the shitty chemicals added to pills claiming to be MDMA.

Yeah – according to the Spinoff – we test pills at festivals ( know your stuff ) and as a result avoid the much greater number of fatalities that Australia suffers – due to it’s harsh crack down approach etc etc

Overall MDMA is not the most dangerous of drugs – and when compared to alcohol related deaths – it is a virtual saint playing an ecstatic harp in an immortal choir.

We’ve all heard these comparisons.

Had National really achieved anything at all by having Michael Woodhouse and Mark Mitchell pontificate about Sroubek to the baying press for six weeks?

Not really.

Maybe the media waters were chopped up and they were able to move on from the Jami-Lee revelations?

But what good did National actually do for New Zealand?

Derek Cheng reported twice in the last week before Christmas – that OIA released information proved that a crucial email was missing from the file – that would have alerted Iain Lees-Galloway about Sroubek’s return home.

Oh Woodhouse said Lees-Galloway should have gone fishing for more information after this – and smack me down – Lees-Galloway said he did pursue this and was told by the underfunded immigration officials that no such information could be provided.

There you have it.

Tova O’Brien went off her nut – claiming that all this showed was a lack of transparency – when in fact it showed that Lees-Galloway was exonerated and a faulty process was to blame.

The Standard called her out loud and clear about this on Christmas Eve.

The PM had called it correctly – if you read between the lines – National had underfunded Immigration for years and there were much bigger problems still to improve…but this whole Sroubek molehill boiled down to a process error by immigration officials – not an error by the Minister.

The media awarded National points for this – ironically.

The usual suspects – Audrey, Barry, Duplicity, Hosking and of course the methylated lizard of knobs.

National could talk about nothing else – certainly not Maggie’s bullying – and they had moved on from Jami-Lee.

Who can forget Pullya frothing at the chops for Lees-Galloway to resign …in her dog whistling and hypocritical style…..and all the morons who still have not even caught up with the facts.

Yes – it’s all around us – the dumb fuckery.

Soon National and its trained media will be barking endless speculations about tax in the weeks leading up to the Tax Working Group making it’s recommendations in February.

Meanwhile the improvements being made to immigration visa screening and migrant exploitation will go unreported.

 

Gerard Otto is an activist and writer 

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24 Comments

  1. Louise Raymond says:

    Love your work Gerard 🙂

    • Shona says:

      plus 100 @Louise.
      Happy New Year to all you lovable nutters at TDB My life would be so dull and miserable without you all!

  2. DOC HORRORDAY says:

    meanwhile the 10x increased cap for people trafficking of reduced-rights seasonal slaves for the plantation lords goes unreported

    Thanks Jacinda!

  3. JustMe says:

    I think most people know that members(most of those mentioned in the above article)are firmly and deeply in the NZ National Party pocket that they write(or rather post)the articles their masters in National tell them.

    Now that it appears Hosking and Hawkesby are ‘only down the road’ from John Key’s Matakana property I wouldn’t be at all surprised that Key writes Hoskings articles and Hosking signs them off as his own. Key is the ghost writer of Hoskings’ rantings on say the Mouthpiece of the NZ National Party(aka the NZ Herald).

    Hosking appears to lack the mental ability to say much of any intelligence. We heard of his verbal attack on a woman who accidentally hit his car in Parnell and saw another one of his rantings on the telly whilst watching something on the telly and then later in his car about a month or so back. Hosking is too volatile and unstable. Besides it would be far too much for Hosking to be the ‘font of all knowledge’. That ‘accolade’ is something I think John Key holds as he(Key)always seemed to have an answer for ‘everything’ even when he contradicted himself or resorted to mumbo-jumbo.

    Hosking’s articles come across, not that I bother reading them anymore,just as mentally stimulating as a drunken National MP taking a bunch of journos to a traffic island to show them a possible housing estate. Congratulations to Nick Smith for that ‘blooper’.

    Lets hope more NZers begin to see the light in regards to the deliberate misleading articles written up by so-called ‘journos’ like Hosking, Sloper, DPA, Roughan, Young, O’Brien and all the biased towards National ‘journalists’.

    Perhaps Key successfully dumbed down the NZ media during his witch-hunt to week out more professional journalists like John Campbell that questioned him deeply.

  4. Castro says:

    Migrants expoilting migrants… those “poor” migrants… fuck the lowly Kiwi workes, eh Bomber? 🙂 The only thing that will hold the Nazis and the Slave Labourets to account is an armed revolution. .. the fallout from being a “county” wit% of its population born overseas will most likely facilitate it. Bunkrrs will not save them.

  5. The Weatherman says:

    Quite right, Gerard.

    But Woodhouse is sitting on a cyst and he knows it will pop with him on it.

    Oh, when Ministers participate in their own foreshadowing…

  6. Louis says:

    V Good read. Hope you publish more of Gerad’s work.

  7. Darien Fenton says:

    Best commentary I’ve seen on this saga. And of course the obvious leaking to Mark Mitchell from an estranged wife. This is how National plays the opposition game. But they forget there are a whole lot of people who will be affected by this, including those who will come to MPs offices seeking exemptions : the result is much more caution ; much less compassion.

  8. Mjolnir says:

    Damn, that read was a helluva ride!!

    Well done, Otto, that gave us all something to think about. As for Tova O’Brien, she’s a lazy, opinionated excuse for a “journo”, a pretty face in lieu of real brain-power.

    Where is the real investigative journalism? On fucking holiday, permanently, it seems.

    No wonder sensationalism is what passes for “news” these days.

  9. bert says:

    I am repeating myself buuuut, can you see the fucking hypocrasy in Fran O’Sullivan being honoured when she writes crap like this..

    “It’s more important than ever before that journalism does what it should and holds the powerful to account, in particular in business and government, where they do have the ability to strongly influence New Zealand and people’s livelihoods,”

    Where the fuck was Fran for 9 years under Key?!

    And as an aside, Key was knighted after 9 years of dirty politics and it took Tim Shadbolt the best part of most of his life to be Knighted for his good work. Shows the honours can be easily corrupted.

  10. simonm says:

    Woodhouse still hasn’t been held to account for this clusterfuck of ministerial and/or departmental incompetence when he was in charge:

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/331979/immigration-nz-will-not-review-sex-offender-decision

    Hypocrisy, thy name is National.

  11. OnceWasTim says:

    Not a bad summary @Otto. However it’s not JUST under-resourcing of various MBIE entities but also a bloody big attitudinal, cultural, structural problem and competency (whether because of the use of contractors, turnover or just other staff not up to the job)
    I’ll comment again later because this gigantic fuckup to do with immigration has seen exploitation on a grand scale with its victims in heavy debt, whilst the exploiters and others (including WASP Kiwis) being given a free reign …. but

    – attitudinal and cultural – because this from a Ministry that thought it OK to use Thompson and Clark, and to go for demographic profiling

    – structural – because immigration is seen solely as an aid to benefit business without any consideration of the social, i.e. either to the immigrant or NZ (inc.)

    – and competency – because we see so many entities in this bugger’s muddle of a Ministry regularly make decisions that later have to be questioned and challenged

    • saveNZ says:

      +1 agree with ONCEWASTIM

      Immigration is a BIG issue in NZ, and although a fairly good article from Otto, towards the end it goes off onto Sroubek which is just one example of immigration and has been politicalised by the left and right.

      Personally think most NZ’ers want people in jail for drug smuggling and violent crimes and fraud NOT getting residency, so who knew so many politicians and political and woke commentators thought so differently and want more criminals here??? We can’t even look after our homegrown criminals. Shouldn’t they get the priority in this country for care and rehabilitation before allowing the foreigners free reign on prison services against everything else or even worse profiting from drugs that destroy vulnerable people?

      While it might be a middle class thing to think a bit of MDMA is not a crime even though it is under our laws, there is the medical implications of the drugs, the money made from a crime, the lack of taxes and the laundering to consider as well as MDMA is also used as a date rape drug and just the culture of the people coming to NZ and thinking drug importing, breaking NZ laws and gang culture is a good thing to expand here.

      Immigration is way bigger and more complex issue than what has been presented and concentrating so much on Sroubek is just noise on a wide, far ranging issue that choices and leglislation today are ultimately going to impact NZ forever. So time to get it right and think a bit more deeply on immigration decisions.

      Apparently a million people don’t live in NZ but have citizenship or residency and that was before lazy immigration. So if all those people come back and we keep giving out residency and citizenship like lollies what is going to happen to this country in the short and long term or when there is a world economic down turn and people all come back to Godzone to sign on for social welfare and need medical care and education, what is going to happen to our services and economy?

      We can’t do much about NZ born here leaving (apart from work out why so many people leave NZ, big clue could be low wages here) but allowing more and more people to come, gain permanent residency within 11 days or a couple of years, is crazy because then the roads are full, the transport is full, pollution is rampant and there is no taxes from those people after they leave just like the Kiwis for better opportunities, and for every person who learns the minimum wages who stay, they need $7000 a year in support from government just for welfare top ups with 2 children and on the living wages they only give about $25 in taxes and that is before all the other consideration like medical care and new roading and housing needed. So our immigration response is not sustainable issue and expanding our current problems not addressing them.

      The migrants children I know all work overseas, have NZ citizenship and got a NZ education, they only come to NZ on holidays and buy up property and have non earning family members living there. Like the Kiwis they also go where there are better opportunities and making NZ a low wage nation full of criminals is not exactly encouraging well educated youth to stay here?

      Do well educated Kiwis really want that unpaid internship and pay $25 for an application like is now being advertised in NZ or being paid under minimum wages as a Chorus operator? Because that is where the government has been going for decades in this country and now they are living their dream of a low wage economy… however long term projections don’t seem so rosy and less educated and less qualified workers will want to work here… so instead of attracting the best and brightest NZ strategy seems to be to repel the best and brightest, and then get less qualified people and less educated people to replace them… in the western world that is generally considered going backwards but great for low wage businesses…

  12. Karen says:

    Always a good read from you. Happy New Year

  13. countryboy says:

    4.7 million Kiwi sheeple and those two arse licking little lap dogs to the United Sociopaths of America banksters keep us herded into a corner in our own country as they pick us off one by one.
    Makes us look a bit weak and pathetic really.

    • Helena says:

      COUNTRYBOY yr fav wankster made sure the pick off could be done in one sweep of the antennae https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds2tMXBWdFQ

      • countryboy says:

        Ha. Weirdly, I had an equally weird couple of people caution me of this some years ago. I fancied a girl who disappointingly dragged her boyfriend around to my place to meet me and divest in me his knowledge of such things.
        That’ll learn me, as they say. I felt silly and was bored all at once.
        However.
        50 years ago a cell phone would have been unthinkable outside science fiction.
        However. #2
        I believe that ‘ human consciousness’ exists out side the mind and body and would therefore be virtually impossible to tinker with. Unless, of course, those who’s minds it was, were convinced to tinker with their own. That’d be the only way ‘in’.
        That’s why, keep an eye on the fuckers mentioned in here… and don’t let them in.
        George Monbiot.
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/31/advertising-academia-controlling-thoughts-universities

  14. XRAY says:

    Excellent summary of the public service world under National and the damage done.

    This story is exactly the same everywhere, unrealistic work loads where vital public servants were hopelessly unable to fulfill their duties much less the publics expectations. I am personally aware of mental health, physical heath, Child services, teaching, IRD, justice, police and all the ancillary services close to these organisations unable to do much more than the most critical basics of their roles. It was and remains hopeless albeit things are improving.

    And ironically our shit useless commercial media now have the begging bowl out and want the tax payer to fund their so called servive, so unquestioning of the previous government were they. I don’t know what to think there!

  15. mary_a says:

    Concur 100% with your sentiments Gerard. Many thanks for highlighting the nine years of incompetence by the previous Natz government re immigration (and just about everything else).

    The filthy stain of corruption still sticks to the present Opposition!

    NZ msm needs to be shaken to its foul core, for failing to act as the proxy of the people, by not reporting and publishing objective news! Shame on our media!

    Look forward to more of your excellent work this year Gerard.

  16. Tom Gardner says:

    “Overall MDMA is not the most dangerous of drugs – and when compared to alcohol related deaths – it is a virtual saint playing an ecstatic harp in an immortal choir.”

    Not so. This drug affects neuronal functioning, and when taken during pregnancy, it can cross the placenta, and the fetal brain can be damaged. Some teachers have begun to recognise what they judge to be “P babies”, in some children with learning difficulty. The following piece is taken from a paper, reference below, which has a major NZ contribution (Dr T Wouldes from Auckland University).

    “The poorer fine motor scores at one year were also linked to heavy use [of methamphetamine]. Further, poorer inhibitory control observed in the heavy methamphetamine exposed children places them at high risk for impaired executive function. Collectively these findings demonstrate the importance of providing rapid, comprehensive drug counseling services to women actively using methamphetamine during pregnancy in order to optimize the long-term neurodevelopment of the exposed child.”

    A Swedish study quoted in this paper: “By age 4, exposed children had lower IQ scores than a normative group of Swedish children (Billing et al. 1988). At age 8, prenatal exposure predicted problems with peers and aggressive behavior (Billing et al. 1994), and by 14 years of age, prenatal exposure was associated with decreased school performance, particularly in math, language and physical fitness activities (Cernerud et al. 1996).”

    Causing irreparable brain damage in children is evil. It is for this reason that P/meth/MDMA/ice does absolutely not deserve “virtual canonisation”; and why purveyors of the drug need to be seen as child abusers, however unwittingly that may be the case. Karel Sroubek, fairly or not, is somewhat of a poster boy for this lot; tough toenails.

    Of course, alcohol is also potentially damaging to the developing fetus, and some countries now have warning labels on bottles about drinking in pregnancy (why not NZ?). No sainthood here, either. (One of the immutable unfairnesses of biology is that males don’t get pregnant, and, as with non-pregnant females, can damage only their own brains, whether with MDMA or alcohol.)

    Smith LM, Diaz S, LaGasse LL, Wouldes T, Derauf C, Newman E, Arria A, Huestis MA, Haning W, Strauss A, Della Grotta S, Dansereau LM, Neal C, Lester BM. Developmental and behavioral consequences of prenatal methamphetamine exposure: A review of the Infant Development, Environment, and Lifestyle (IDEAL) study. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2015 Sep-Oct;51:35-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2015.07.006.

    • Richard Christie says:

      Despite your attempt at conflation, “P”, “ice” (Methamphetamine, Methylaminorex) and MDMA (Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine) are not the same substances.

  17. On Watch says:

    I always thought that “immigration running amok” was a deliberate political strategy. That the media did not “interfere” when it should have supports this.