Diversity: It’s a good thing

Some people say they want everyone who migrates to New Zealand to accept and follow our ‘culture’. They don’t explain exactly what New Zealand culture is.

Maori culture is a significant part, but even that varies in different parts of the country, and it has blended significantly with other cultures. Which other cultures? From the 2013 census New Zealand residents identified with these ethnicities:

  • European 74%
  • Maori 14.9%
  • Asian 11.8%
  • Pacific 7.4%
  • Middle Eastern/Latin American/African 1.2%

I guess I’m included in ‘European’ but I don’t see myself as European, I see myself as a New Zealander with little empathy for Europe.

European and Asian cover a wide range of ethnicities. And many people identified with multiple ethnicities, for example 53.5% of Maori identified with two or more ethnic groups.

Many of us have ancestral links with Great Britain, but there’s a wide range of cultures there. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and still a part of Ireland, but within each of those there is a huge cultural mix.

The British Isles have been a melting pot of cultures for millenia. Some of the major inputs have been Celtic, Roman, Viking, Angle, Saxon, Jute, Norman, with a lot of intermixing with neighbouring countries such as France, Holland, Spain. There have been significant influxes of immigrants at various times from  around Europe, and more recently from the Caribbean and Asia.

And many of these cultures end up in New Zealand, melding European with Pacific.

So when people claim some sort of magic culture that everyone should embrace I have no idea what they mean.

Some people seem to be afraid of diversity. Others, like me, like it and embrace it.

Last night someone linked to this image:

10ysah

Have a look at the ethnic mix in many cities in New Zealand and you will see a wide diversity, different to this picture but just as varied.

I enjoy mixing with other cultures.

At various times I have had a go at learning a number of languages – French, Esperanto, Italian, German and Spanish. I know bits of them, and I know bits of Maori and other Pacific languages but am not fluent in any other than English. Or I should say the particular flavour of English many of us use in New Zealand.

I enjoy eating a wide variety of cuisine from around the world.

There are some people who shun diversity in food and prefer Macdonalds when travelling – but I didn’t experience hamburgers until some time through my childhood and Macs are hardly a symbol of Kiwi or European culture.

While some seem to yearn for a Kiwi monoculture the reality is that diversity rules here, and immigration will ensure that our cultural mix keeps changing and evolving.

And it’s worth remembering that cultural diversity leads to genetic diversity, which is essential for a healthy human race.

Diversity? Yes please. A monoculture of clones would be boring.

Leave a comment

34 Comments

  1. Brown

     /  18th March 2016

    You make this more complicated than it is. We like diversity within the context of western civilisation generally. Most of us know what that means without pondering whether things like slavery, cannibalism, a caste system, honour killings and Islamic fundamentalism fit within it. This doesn’t exclude other cultures and their food but we expect what we would see as their unacceptable practices to stop once they cross our border.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  18th March 2016

      I don’t know if many cannibals do want to come here, or have come here.

      Reply
  2. kiwi guy

     /  18th March 2016

    “I enjoy eating a wide variety of cuisine from around the world.”

    See, that’s the problem with you Progressive types, you want to treat your society like your own personal petting zoo.

    “Oh look at all the Cultural Vibrancy(TM) on the street and at the ethnic market!”

    Of course you scurry back to your white neighbourhood afterwards where you are warm and safe.

    [You have no idea what my neighbourhood is like ethnically. PG]

    You could have at least made an effort to be balanced.

    Never mind I will do it:

    [No you won’t. That looks like a repeat of material that has no relevance to New Zealand culture.PG}

    Reply
    • James

       /  18th March 2016

      [You have no idea what my neighbourhood is like ethnically. PG]

      A quick look at Stats.govt.nz shows your neighbourhood is an overwhelming 89.1 % white.

      http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-a-place.aspx?request_value=15075&tabname=Culturaldiversity

      Reply
      • That doesn’t represent my neighborhood. Of the six houses in my immediate vicinity five have non New Zealand born residents.

        Reply
        • James

           /  18th March 2016

          Clearly not, it’s census data. But it does represent your supermarket, post office, bank and cafes, i:e your immediate community. Dunedin comes in at 88.3% white, which is pretty white, and your suburb is whiter than that. Just sayin’.

          Reply
          • You’re ignoring substantial ‘white’ diversity. And missing substantial cultural diversity at the university that I am often close to.

            If I walk from where I am right now around the block I would pass by about a dozen ethnic restaurants.

            Reply
            • James

               /  18th March 2016

              And you’re ignoring the census data, and how much of a monoculture Dunedin is.

            • It’s not as diverse here as some other parts of the country but it’s far from a mono culture.

              Citizenship ceremonies involve a mix of kiwi, English, Maori and Scottish culture.

              There’s always been English and Scottish and Maori influences, plus significant Chinese and Lebanese for a long time.

            • By the way, can you give me an assurance you haven’t been commenting here under a different name?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  18th March 2016

              White could be anything, James. My husband was white, I am, at our wedding the groomsmen were white, there were three white clergy present, my mother and stepfather were white and most of the congregation were. In the wedding photos of the family, attendants and clergy there were 5 or 6 nationalities of whites, a Kiwi Chinese and a Maori.

              . At a guess, I’d say that about 10 nationalities were in that church, all white-as well as Maori and Chinese (Kiwi Chinese and Chinese born).

  3. kiwi guy

     /  18th March 2016

    Reply
  4. Missy

     /  18th March 2016

    Pete, I think you are being unfair here. With the exception of a very small minority, when people talk about immigrants adhering to our ‘culture’ what they are really talking about is our societal customs, laws and general way of life – not completely disregarding their own culture.

    There needs to be a level of integration and assimilation into the society they choose to move to, or they will be isolated, and alienated, and despite what many will say, it is not up to only the citizens of our country to compromise and make allowances. Immigrants have chosen NZ for a reason, and if they don’t want to assimilate or integrate into our society, why did they want to go to NZ in the first place?

    It is by the immigrants making an effort (and the locals too) to integrate and assimilate to a degree into NZ society and communities that will prevent many of the issues that is seen in many areas of the UK – one thing that comes to mind is the forced marriages of young girls, some as young as 12, because their communities haven’t assimilated and integrated into the wider community they close around each other and the authorities are unable to do anything, and the abuse of these girls continue – that isn’t what we want in NZ, but that is just one result of mass immigration and increased diversity without any form of assimilation and integration.

    The introduction of different types of food, and the opportunities to learn new languages are a valuable introduction to NZ, but we shouldn’t want enclaves of immigrants that refuse to learn English, run their own justice and court systems, and don’t wish to integrate into the wider community.

    Reply
    • ” but we shouldn’t want enclaves of immigrants that refuse to learn English”

      Do you have any evidence any immigrants refuse to learn English?

      “run their own justice and court systems”

      I’m not aware of anything like that being seriously suggested by immigrants. Are you?

      “and don’t wish to integrate into the wider community”

      What does that mean? I integrate into a very small part of the New Zealand community.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  18th March 2016

        Pete, your comments show a naivety I find surprising, but let me address them.

        “Do you have any evidence any immigrants refuse to learn English?”

        Pete, first up no-one has done academic studies on this if that is what you are after, probably because they will be called racist, but there are a number of areas in the UK, specifically in East London and Birmingham where many of the immigrants don’t learn English – or the women are prevented from learning English by the men. This is also known (anecdotally) to have occurred among a very small minority in Hamilton.

        ““run their own justice and court systems”
        I’m not aware of anything like that being seriously suggested by immigrants. Are you?”

        In the UK the mosques all run their own sharia courts and deal with petty crime, divorces and other family related issues. They are supposed to adhere to UK law, but in general will not, and when women especially wish to go to the UK courts rather than the sharia court they are ostracized and bullied. This was the subject of a BBC radio investigation a while ago.

        Now, I will imagine some will respond with the fact that what I have mentioned is the UK and not NZ, the sad thing is it still happens to a much smaller degree in NZ, and the more that come in and refuse to integrate into society and the community, and isolate themselves the more it will happen here, and the PC brigade will welcome them and their requests without taking on board the issues that will come with it.

        ““and don’t wish to integrate into the wider community”
        What does that mean? I integrate into a very small part of the New Zealand community.”

        To integrate is to learn the languages, get involved and associate more within the community as a whole, not stay at home or in the mosque, or the temple or whatever. There are some that will not have anything to do with the community outside their own ethnic enclave, it happens in the UK and Europe to a wide extent, and I have seen evidence of it in Hamilton to a much smaller degree.

        I think your bit saying you integrate into a very small part of the New Zealand community says a lot, you are in Dunedin, you obviously only integrate there, in the North Island, and the northern part especially, there are signs of small groups of immigrants not becoming part of NZ society, they don’t learn English, they continue to follow many of their less acceptable customs, they don’t adhere to the principles in NZ of equality. I have seen it and been on the receiving end of it – Pete, I don’t very often say this, but many of these groups will treat you differently because you are a man, being a woman in communities where some immigrants – especially African Muslims – live, the experience will be totally different to yours.

        It is possible for immigrants to retain their own culture and still integrate into society in NZ, I have a friend who is South American and she retains her latino culture whilst integrating into NZ, I also have grown up with an Aunt who is Chinese, she has integrated into society in NZ whilst retaining the culture of her childhood. It isn’t impossible, and it makes for a much more diverse society as people are more open to new cultures, and the experiences they bring.

        Reply
  5. kiwi guy

     /  18th March 2016

    OP – “A monoculture of clones would be boring.”

    Reply
    • Neither of those pictures look like anything I see in New Zealand. Are they both foreign?

      Reply
      • Klik Bate

         /  18th March 2016

        The top pic is 70’s Britain, Chelsea if I’m not mistaken.

        The bottom pic is Auckland 2016, outside Work & Income Mt Roskill.

        Reply
        • kiwi guy

           /  18th March 2016

          LOL, Pete doesn’t know anything about immigrants in NZ because he doesn’t get out and about in Auckland.

          He preaches Diversity(TM) from the safety of his white enclave Dunedin.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  18th March 2016

            How many times is KG going to trot out those two photos ?

            The bottom one could be anywhere, there is nothing to identify it.

            I hope that Pete won’t dignify the comment above this with a response.

            Reply
      • kiwi guy

         /  18th March 2016

        You accuse whites of a stale monoculture while waxing lyrical about the Cultural Vibrancy of societies that literally exterminate any one who doesn’t tow the line.

        Your attempt to equate Britain culture and society as just as foreign to NZ as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan just reveals how far from reality Cultural Marxism has driven you.

        Reply
  6. Brown

     /  18th March 2016

    I suspect you are not seeing the tip of the iceberg in Dunedin because even the immigrants fleeing some dangerous crapper in the Middle east won’t go there. That’s your advantage Pete, you live in Dunedin with our next best and brightest at Uni being the most disfunctional mob out there.

    Reply
  7. Oliver

     /  18th March 2016

    I agree, you have to actually live in a diverse neighbourhood to have an opinion as to whether you like diversity or not. I live in Mount Roskill so that would make me an expert. I lived in the south Island for many years and now that I live in Mount roskill I do notice a dramatic culture difference. Whether that’s bad thing I don’t know.

    Reply
    • Brown

       /  18th March 2016

      The question you posed was whether you like it. Surely, being a self proclaimed expert, you can answer the question you posed.

      A bit off topic but my preferred butcher sold out recently and within a few days of the new owner, Halal man, opening most of his customers have fled. My new preferred butcher has doubled his turnover because people don’t like the new guy or his meat. I love free trade as it can send powerful local signals about our culture, our fondness for humane treatment of animals and pork chops. I don’t wish the new Muslim butcher any harm but wont buy off him because he’s brought baggage I don’t like into his business. Racisssst you hiss? Nope, a customer who shops where he likes the service and product.

      Reply
    • James

       /  18th March 2016

      It’s no coincidence that the largest groups of skinheads and white supremacists are in the South Island, not many big island boys to knock the stuffing out of them.

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  18th March 2016

      I don’t eat dead animals, but if I did I wouldn’t be interested in the butcher’s nationality or religion, only in whether his products were what I wanted. I go to Indian greengrocers, not because they’re Indian, but because they sell good fruit and veg.I don’t give a stuff whether they’re Sikh or Hindu. I wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid a race or religion in a shop, unlike Brown-they’re providing me with a product, not proselytising. When I ate meat, I ate Halal meat at times-what’s the difference ? The animal is no more or less dead, poor thing..

      Reply
      • Dougal

         /  18th March 2016

        You ate Halal for what reason? Because the animal was killed in a certain way? What is the difference? If Halal was a method that changed the taste or quality of the meat then I could understand but I see no real benefit other than religious reasons for his method..? ( not trying to take the piss Kitty just asking).

        Reply
        • Brown

           /  19th March 2016

          I don’t eat dead animals …

          Do you realise how stupid this sounds?

          Reply
          • jamie

             /  19th March 2016

            What’s stupid about not eating dead animals?

            Reply
          • Oliver

             /  19th March 2016

            I don’t think Jamie gets it lol.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  20th March 2016

              They have Halal meat in the supermarket I go to-it was no more of a big deal than buying one type of cheese rather than another, and I have eaten it at the Mosque here, of course, on their open days.

              Meat IS the flesh of dead animals-calling it something different won’t make it not be that. Some people don’t like to eat dead animals, others do. I prefer not to. Why is it stupid to call something by its right name ?

              What a nasty child Oliver must have been.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s