Maori solidarity with Chinese Migrant workers struggle

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Ngati Whatua leader Parata Hawke makes the links between those struggling against a racist capitalist system.

51 COMMENTS

  1. FFS, you can hardly interpret one Maori voice to speak for all Maoridom. And this whole saga about those migrant workers stranded here, it has been one of past and present government’s failures and makings, as they allow too much BS going on.

    One of the Chinese migrant workers even told MSM that he paid about 40k (I suppose in dollars) to get work here, so if that is the case, we have corruption and other crimes being committed. Who is the victim here, the too easily allowed in low skilled migrant worker (they were portrayed as mere construction labourers), or the NZ worker who gets presented this kind of competition, driving down wages and conditions?

    I have lost all faith in UNITE Union due to this involvement, you guys need your heads read, supporting those BS artists, now calling on NZers to donate via Give a Little and telling them, we owe them jobs here, where they were not even invited by the people of NZ.

    • Well you can blame the many dumb dumb NZders Marc that voted for those national mongrels for 9 years despite seeing people homeless, jobless etc what did they expect

    • Just because youre a xenophobic dickhead who cant understand the identical problems that Chinese workers face. I guess you prefer the policies against Chinese workers during the gold rush days that made them second or third class citizens.

      At the moment the minimum wage is on a reasonably steep upward trend compared with recent years so I guess thats your theory about lowering wages out the window. The amount of wages paid is not a supply and demand thing. The government can quite easily mandate for higher wages and does. The cries of the employers are a little meaningless when inequality is still increasing.

      Pretty pathetic to blame a handful of migrants for low wages

      • Trouble is that there are such employers that bring in their own conditions and do not even abide by the law to pay the minimum wage. They rip off the workers by over charging them for accommodation and so forth, leaving little than a pittance for them to take home, or to send to their relatives overseas.

        Immigration NZ may offer the right kind of guidance, but it is in some cases not being followed, as we can see:
        https://www.immigration.govt.nz/employ-migrants/explore-your-options/finding-and-hiring-workers-overseas/getting-ready-to-hire

        We have had stories about staff in some ethnic restaurants and take aways being exploited, we have heard such stories about farm workers, horticulture workers, and so forth.

        The problem is that immigrant workers are often dangled the carrot of permanent residence in front of them, so they feel they need to make the extra effort and prove themselves, and in at least some cases make compromises they should never make.

        I only mentioned Chinese workers here, as those are the workers the post is about. I would have the same reservation to any other workers coming here, to ‘prove’ themselves, and to expose themselves to exploitation (often by their own fellow countrymen) and perhaps have the hope they may get permanent residency or extended visas, whether they may come from Ireland, the Philippines, India, South Africa, Chile or any other place.

        Surely, talking about a return to the discrimination of the gold digger era is absurd, but you have made your point.

        As for your argument for minimum wage increases, yes, it is an improvement, but we are still below the living wage, that unions and other lobby groups now tend to demand.

        • So your anger and rage should be directed at the employers and bureaucrats and politicians and all enablers of the current exploitative class and never at the workers who are brought here by being told god only knows what lies and promises and have the same desperate problems as any worker in NZ. Good on the union for making that connection with all workers all over the world. Uniting workers above the arbitrary identification of nationality is critically important and is the surest way to get positive change. If workers are continually backstabbing each other on the grounds of nationality then there really isnt any hope

          • You dream of the ideal human being, the ‘noble worker’, who will respect all other workers with respect and dignity. Even workers stab each other in the back, I have seen plenty of it, and it happens all the time, if it were different, we would not have the BS that goes on.

            Keep dreaming your kind of workers’ paradise Nirwana.

            More is needed than dreaming.

            • Far from being a dream its the only logical and rational way to have any hope of making change. If you allow those in whose interest it is to exploit workers to also split workers into self identifying groups whether they be along national or religious or ethnic or gender or whatever lines and then engage in backstabbing across those arbitrary lines those that are exploiting you will be howling with laughter cause that is the plan and its worked for a long time.

              Just looking at the race category of self identification because its often the most inflammatory and easiest for those wanting to keep the downtrodden as downtrodden to ignite.

              Michelle Alexander in her excellent book The New Jim Crow writes

              “The most ardent proponents of racial hierarchy have consistently succeeded in implementing new racial caste systems by triggering a collapse of resistance across the political spectrum. This feat has been achieved largely by appealing to the racism and vulnerability of lower-class whites, a group of people who are understandably eager to ensure that they never find themselves trapped at the bottom of the American hierarchy.” (pg 22)

              So you may feel justified in your self identified silo but you should also be aware that you are being played and that those that are playing you are very aware of the danger to themselves if all the silos were to unite.

              I thoroughly recommend the first couple chapters of this book as a study in how old the divide and conquer creation of silos is and also how effective. You can go on about idealistic fantasy if you like but if you refuse to take a look at where and who the real enemy is and just react to every stimulus that those in positions of power put before you then its just gonna be same old same Im afraid.

              If you want to look at the start of the above book a pdf of the first 70 or 80 pages can be found here

              https://www.vanderbilt.edu/ctp/The_New_Jim_Crow.pdf

              • Yes, I am sure, prehistoric humans were all warmly embracing international socialists, they never competed, never fought each other, they lived in endless harmony, same as those humans living in the antiquity and so forth?!

                Have you ever wondered why and how there can be a divide and rule approach being used by some? It is perhaps basic strategy in an inevitable fight for survival of whosoever deems him- or herself as the fittest and most deserving to rule.

                Even collectively organised humans will have to use that approach to protect the ones belonging to the group, as having all humans on the planet reach solidarity and equality must be the greatest pipe dream of all times.

                Charity starts at home, the saying goes, I wonder why.

      • The businesses paying the minimum wages soon to be $20 p/h are competing against businesses that have the labour PAYING them $30k per annum to work through these scams. The race to the bottom continues. Soon you will struggle to see a dairy or a takeaway that is NOT being staffed by migrant workers to name a few low wage industries that seem to have a clear preference on ethnicity for labour.

        If one or two ethnic groups are 30% of the population but somehow staffs 80% of most NZ low cost businesses and 50% of them working those low cost businesses or sole traders types are foreign workers working those businesses, shouldn’t the race relations be asking questions as well as other government departments?

        • And again, that is an easily fixed problem by the government if they have the will. Getting angry at the exploited workers because they believed the crap they were told is a bit pathetic. Why not get angry at the exploiters and the government. If its legal to accept these sorts of payments then it can easily be made illegal. If its too hard to monitor private employment contractors then make it only able to happen through a government department. Its not the workers fault and they fully deserve our compassion. Get angry at those that are at fault – the exploiters of human misery

  2. …and he supports the racist Chinese capitalists who brought them in:

    “Peter” Li

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018678016/chinese-workers-out-of-pocket-and-out-of-home

    Qin Zhang

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/379825/marlborough-wine-contractor-ordered-to-pay-127k-for-exploiting-migrant-workers

    Pincer the No Zealand working class and underclass between imported racist capitalist overlords and imported racist capitalist workers!

    Freedom is Slavery!

    Death to the Uighurs!

    Tu meke, e koro 😉

      • Except that he appears to be tarring Li and Zhang with the same brush as their (many) victims. And we only know of the few caught in this latest display of a dysfunctional Ministry’s might and ‘butchness’
        I’m actually quite surprised at the naivety of you and Marc at times despite agreeing with you on a number of aspects re immigration.
        The same with @ saveNZ at times.
        These victims come from countries where there is overt corruption (which is arguably better than the covert corruption that exists in NZ) and so many have an expectation that plying someone’s hand for the opportunity of employment is Norman Normal.

        Rather than blaming them for being hoodwinked, I’d rather we forced the arseholes that are exploiting them to compensate AND MORE by way of severe penalty), and if they only have PR rather than residency – rescind that immediately once they have paid their dues and deport deport.
        lil ‘ole NuZUll (that ranks 4th on some bullshit least corrupt or most democratic list or whatever compiled by the comfortably off) eh?

        I’d also rather NZ Immigration stopped its victim blaming stance (it has a history and hangover from the previous gNatz junta – be it Thompson and Clark spying, demographic profiling or the belatedly reported social media entrapment policy) of rounding up the victims of exploitation and getting them out of the country asap before they can start screaming – and especially when it’s been INZ/MoBIE and gNatzi policy that allowed all this to happen in the first place.

        And then there’s all that hypocrisy. The expectation and Divine Right of those Kiwi fellows, the middle class consumerist fellows, who do not give a “rat’s arse hole about this”, AND who have an expectation they can swan around the world – such as to Australia to earn the big bucks, or to Mother England and elsewhere in the knowledge that if their experience all goes tits up they can come back home to the safety and security of some sort of benefit (as FUCKED as all that has become now).
        But, apparently the third world is not allowed to hold the same aspirations as ‘we’/us’ take for granted. If its ‘us’ – it’s the big OE but if it’s ‘them’ its all these bloody ‘economic, criminal queue-jumping migrants”

        Can I respectfully ask @ Marc and @ Castro. I’m vaguely interested in your circa age group – just so I can understand your experiences in time and space versus what I perceive is youse fellas Nirvana?

        • “These victims come from countries where there is overt corruption (which is arguably better than the covert corruption that exists in NZ) and so many have an expectation that plying someone’s hand for the opportunity of employment is Norman Normal.”

          So if we should consider that then, should we also show ‘understanding’ for those from certain cultures where bullying or even beating your wife is ‘normal’, when they may come here, and think, they should have a ‘cultural right’ that may override the law of NZ Inc.?

          As for my age group, I will not feed your ageist tendency here, and will not do you any favour. Most commenting here are in any case belonging to the ‘more mature’ part of society, I note, going by certain comments coming from some very regular commentators.

          Of course the main culprits are that agency and the employers here, but shall we tolerate people coming to work here, only after paying their agents thousands of dollars for that ‘privilege’?

          Any person doing that may do so full well it is illegal here, but then scream victim, once detected and shortchanged like in the situation of these Chinese construction labourers.

          • “So if we should consider that then, should we also show ‘understanding’ for those from certain cultures where bullying or even beating your wife is ‘normal’, when they may come here, and think, they should have a ‘cultural right’ that may override the law of NZ Inc.?”

            I’m not quite sure how you make that leap in fucking logic. Besides which bullying and giving your wife the bash is not exactly unknown among “Kiwis” and is/has been across generations – something we’re now only beginning to talk about.

            My point is that it is no surprise we now face all these problems having designed/copied an immigration system that has enabled all this shit to happen, and dressed it up as ‘best practice’. It is the exploiters that need to be penalised rather than their victims and it doesn’t matter whether those exploiters were once victims themselves who’ve been granted PR and Citizenship and gone on to repeat the cycle.

            Precious much?
            Besides which I’m not ageist – some of my best friends are millenials. I’m also a true revolutionary and ‘old school’.
            I’ve even got posters of Che Guevara and ZigZag papers in every room. (/sarc – just in case)

          • By the way, you appear to be criticising a trade union for doing exactly what it is supposed to do and what’s worse, that appears to be on the basis of some being ‘more deserving’ of support than others – presumably including yourself

            • This is not simply about unionism, the purpose and deeds of unionists, this is also about immigration, and how to manage a country, its people and resources.

              NZ is keeping on the NZ Inc Immigration Ponzi scheme, as it seems unable to grow and build stuff without ever more and new immigrants from wherever, to do the less appealing and more difficult jobs the locals seem to be too precious for.

              What about turning local people back into workers, not just more speculators, bureaucrats, snoopers and controllers and traders of whatever types.

    • Trouble is that most of your Kiwi fellows, middle class consumerist fellows, do not give a rat’s arse hole about this, they want cheap products, so do overseas consumers buying BS NZ products, made with slave labour. As long as that is the case, we will have NO improvement at all, most are BS artists out there, they deserve to lose all and starve, so they may learn themselves what poverty looks and tastes like. Elections are BS as it is only a lolly scramble, not helping the poor. Labour are BS, Jacinda is a hypocritical disgrace, and we know the rest.

    • Isn’t capitalist worker a contradiction? If you own the means of production you are a capitalist and no amount of getting your hands dirty will make you a worker

  3. NO MORE CHINESE IMMIGRANTS BREAKING LAWS IN NEW ZEALAND, THANK YOU:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/child-labour-in-new-zealand-not-only-a-thing-of-the-past-although-not-widespread-alive-and-well-in-nz-in-2018-special-post/

    Whether they compete and drive down wages, whether they undermine our culture and standards and laws, it is all not acceptable. Unite Union got this very wrong, screw you lot, you have lost all sympathy from my point of view, I now oppose Unite Union for betrayal of NZ workers.

    • I love it when you get angry @ Marc – it’s SO butch. And so compassionate, caring and sharing.
      A rebel with a cause. Solidarite
      End of Story!!!! So there!!!

    • And Unite Union will say good riddance to you. Youve made a good case for more migrant workers if it means we can dilute the likes of you. Give me 1000 Chinese over you

      • “Give me 1000 Chinese over you”

        Your present government with its ‘flagship’ ‘KiwiBuild’ (perhaps rather ‘Chinese-Filipino-Irish Build’ is more appropriate) is working overtime to meet your desires.

  4. Truth is most Kiwis do not give a damned shit, as long as the middle class get their desired, cheap goods and ‘affordable’ homes. Phil Twyford is a criminal, to allow this to happen in New Zealand, he is a BS artist, a hypocrite and liar in my humble view.

  5. Pity the unions (and Government) had little to say when they closed the Auckland university libraries with a loss of 20 jobs… But we don’t need a nation of skilled musicians and artists and architects and planners just food preparation and fast food workers with a ‘masters’ from one of these new courses aimed at migrants, which are booming as people now work so many jobs (or are homeless) so now rely on takeaways for food.

    Surely if there are scams with people bringing in workers under false pretences they should be stopped, it made a crime, and made to pay the money back to the workers and the costs to the state?

  6. This senario was cynically predictable from the day one. The day labour undertook to rebuild what National had destroyed – housing -wise, but of course most had to see it to believe this would happen, as usual in NZ.

    • Yeah, well. With NZDF they it is, with the funding it has, puts the men and woman of NZDF in a corner when people talk tough and strong.

      • Sam , you’re an always interesting commentator, but I sometimes find it hard to understand what you’re saying
        Just the wording and grammar,I get the feeling you’re a sympatico kind of person and I appreciate your input

        • Sometimes i get a flare up of mild dyslexia but most of the time it’s me fighting with predictive texting and devices I use. Most of the time I’m happy to make corrections when prompted.

          But it’s the potential for a trade war turning hot that no one is factoring into there calculations.

          So the question is, is it reasonable to make the 20 odd Chinese migrant workers stay comfortable and permanent.

          Or stick to immigration laws and work place laws. Prosecute the labour hire company, compensate the workers and give them a free flight home.

          Economic disruption like these examples are no good for anyone. China is not in the best position because the US just chose a maniac for a president that constantly over calculates, China could start courting it’s us in NZ because the US is not reliable anymore and if the US goes full retard China could still trade in Asia but this would make it harder, Also I doubt New Zealand will benefit from this kind of backwards view of policy.

        • No you are not helping, DENNY. The people who have suffered from the past 30 years of neoliberal economic reforms, the majority of them ARE pakeha. So they are not wrong when they ask for answers, and all they get is “you don’t have a clue?” Unless these people can be given the answer to what’s really happening to them, why there wages are stagnating at the same time why they are working harder. Then we, us maari are in for big trouble. So pull your finger out, boy.

  7. Like the Green Party, one of the reasons union membership and importance is dying is that unions have become distracted with overseas trips and international exposure and seem more interested in showing solidarity with Chinese workers, Palestinians, workers of every nation. In fact they have so much work to do helping other nationals, they seem to fail to organise enough, to help Kiwi workers who have been screwed for 30 years.

    Not sure how supporting foreign workers into NZ helps Maori, a cynical person might think it is really doing the opposite????

    By all means help the Chinese workers get their money back aka $40k a piece (they don’t sound as poor as most Kiwi workers, just saying) and support the government to close the immigration loopholes of getting people here who can’t get work, (instead of somehow doing the opposite by loosening work visas so that they encourage more unemployed from other countries to come to NZ and tout for jobs) but from helping Chinese nationals to get work visas, or supporting Indian nationals with bogus degrees from NZ, when many Kiwis are on the breadline, high student debt and the working poor are queuing at the mission to get a food parcel, is not exactly helping Kiwi workers.

  8. So many of you dont understand what Solidarity means? They’re human beings, screwed by a capitalist opportunist who just been caught out by been a crook. Enabled by consecutive pakeha government policys. So its only natural maori meet with, and kanohi te kanohi with these people to express our solidarity with them at a level that they understand. You pakeha’s are fucked up.

    • Perhaps it is like Pakeha are only now starting to realise, they may face a similar predicament as their once oppressed in the same ‘conquered’ or ‘settled’ country.

      There are many screwed up people all over the world, and strangely it is often the minorities that end up with lots of social, health and other problems, perhaps being a minority carries some health hazards with it.

    • Piss off Denny. Swearing is for people who can’t handle the fact the the state level is way beyond them. Every ones well being has to be factored in at the state level. And the only guy with the wherewithal to stick with these guys in Mike Treen. He’s the only guy that stuck with them.

      • [Comment declined for publication. Unacceptable language. Any more like that from anyone, and it’s a stand-down period of 48 hours to cool down. – Scarletmod]

    • @Denny, I think that the idea is that the unions and government officials are so busy ‘showing solidarity’ they seem to be neglecting their own nationals in NZ in particular Maori, which is why 92% of Chorus workers are earning less than the minimum wages through contract structures (and a closer look will see they are probably predominantly migrants on work permits doing the work that could be used instead to up skill Maori for example, Jobseeker benefits are up, low cost housing demand high, kids are going blind on hospital waiting lists, or now there is so much demand for a free internship that employers can profit from charging for applications for unpaid work https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/12/auckland-real-estate-firm-asks-students-to-pay-25-in-unpaid-internship-application.html

      but in spite of all this the unions seem to have little to say or change the system here and have let work conditions slip for 30 years and the priority is to show solidarity with overseas workers to get them low paid jobs in NZ and maybe make NZ more like China???

      • So every ill in the country is because the unions arent doing their jobs is it? Its not because theres so much shit hitting the fan? And its your reckon that if they cant cure every evil thats been rained down by neoliberal governments since Langes then they shouldnt be showing compassion to some distraught and frightened Chinese workers. Its a flaming miracle that unions still exist and that people still voluntarily join up and pay their dues. Unions are about more than just an increase in your back pocket. They are also about support.

        Yeah. Really sounds great about the kids going blind but how in hell you manage to sheet that one home to unions and lump the whole lot onto the shoulders of migrant workers is got the mind boggling. All the missing things you cite above are choices weighed up by the government. They have decided a billion dollars for useless submarine search and destroy airplanes is more important than kids going blind or upskilling Maori or proper education and that its far more important to restrict borrowing to a paltry 20% even with interest rates so low. So their choices. They decided this. They are refusing to do anything about it. Its not the Chinese workers and its not the unions and you gotta be living in some weird reality to think it is

        • Adults paying $40k for a job in NZ seem to have a lot more options than a lot of other workers or citizens in NZ including kids going blind because the hospital waiting lists are so long now, due to for example 129,000 new migrant residents last year alone, 150,000 temp work permits being issued last year and 4 million tourists coming last year who may require medical treatment and under our free system will get it even if they can’t or won’t pay. Migration seems to have increased under Labour, NZ First and Greens as they fail to stop the loopholes and seem to be encouraging more such as open work visas.

          The hospitals treat everyone regardless of residency, and are not police or accountants to secure payment.

          The roads are full. Affordable houses full and pollution increasing.

          Immigration is great in NZ for the people brokers and lawyers getting their $40k per migrant, less great for the workers who can’t get a pay rise or secure work because there is the world knocking on our door to pay to reside here and get generous welfare from NZ (by world standards).

          Once becoming a permanent resident or citizenship you get free health care, subsidised accomodation and child credits, free superannuation, free social welfare and plenty of NZ grants that people like Melissa Lee make use of.

          So the NZ taxpayers are paying for all these people to use our country but it is at the expense and cost to others and it is not going to stop because so many people are making a lot of money from it and there is a huge pool in the world of willing participants to pay to come here.

          Apparently a significant amount of politicians and unions seem to think NZ having one of the worlds highest migration levels per capita is ok, they are blind to worsening conditions from it such as people at food banks, kids going blind or having diseases, as they plan their next stadium or convention centre and rail from the airport and organise another bail out to a group of migrants who are upset when they paid to buy there way into NZ, it has not worked out.

          Is it a good idea that foreign nationals with $40k to spend get more support than people born here to get jobs and accomodation from unions, and local tax payers have to wait years now to receive hospital care here, have more petrol taxes and so forth to support the world’s middle class nationals paying $40k to work and live here and encourage more to come?…

          I have some sympathy for the Chinese plight, but is it fraud or not, if fraud aka the people are deceived, prosecute the people involved and give them their money back . Propping up our faulty immigration system is making things worse.

          • “Apparently a significant amount of politicians and unions seem to think NZ having one of the worlds highest migration levels per capita is ok, they are blind to worsening conditions from it such as people at food banks, kids going blind or having diseases, as they plan their next stadium or convention centre and rail from the airport and organise another bail out to a group of migrants who are upset when they paid to buy there way into NZ, it has not worked out.”

            Wow, you dare raise the ‘immigration question’, soon you will be attacked for ‘racism’ and so forth.

            But the old saying is: Charity starts at home.

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