Q+A doing some good public broadcasting this morning with the first of their post Covid specials considering the future of immigration.
Th panel were excellent.
In my mind, there are 3 issues with immigration in New Zealand.
1 – Exploitation of migrant workers: The appalling manner in which migrant workers and international students are exploited in New Zealand should be a national shame. The lack of worker rights and protections offered migrant workers ad international students allows for an underworld of mass abuse to occur minus any resourcing to police it. It is outrageous that we coax these people here only to abuse them!
2 – Upgrade domestic infrastructure: The housing crisis and overloading of infrastructure makes life far more difficult than it should be for domestic beneficiaries, renters and the working classes because high immigration hurts them most by forcing them to compete for housing, jobs and public services. The resentment towards immigrants would evaporate if the infrastructure issues are addressed.
3 – Civic Obligations: We have to acknowledge our Civic Obligations in our immigration policy. We have to accept climate change requires us to bring in more Pacific Islanders fleeing sinking islands, we have to accept more refugees with more wrap around services because we live in peace and freedom.
NZ is a liberal progressive democracy. Our acceptance and tolerance of a multi-cultural society is a strength not a weakness but exploitation, domestic resentment from underfunded infrastructure and a lack of championing civic obligations makes for an uneasy voting population looking for someone to blame when the economic conditions turn grim.
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