More Peters posturing on immigration

Winston Peters gave a speech yesterday to the Auckland Rotary Club, slamming immigration and other party’s policies on immigration.

He started oddly:

Fully aware as one’s experience tells you that this is not an audience susceptible to conversion when the facts are laid out.

That said, it is the intention of this address, to lay some facts before you which you are going to have to live with whether you like it or not.

The first fact is, “you can have great wealth in the hands of a few or you can have democracy and stability – but you can’t have both.”

That is not a fact. It’s nonsense.

Anyone who follows international events knows that we are in troubling, restless and uncertain times.

There is growing discontent in many democracies.

That does appear to be true.

People are increasingly dissatisfied with what the major establishment parties of both the Left and Right have delivered.

Any society that allows a pool of discontented and disaffected young people to grow is playing with fire.

Peters is firing off shots here but I don’t think this is anywhere near as relevant to new Zealand as to some other countries.

People who are buying their own home have a purpose, a direction, and a structure for their lives.

People who are buying a home put down roots in their community – because they have a stake in it.

And secure housing is vital in creating the conditions for raising families.

In general that’s true.

They are not then vulnerable to the blandishments of trouble makers.

That’s an odd statement.

For that reason every New Zealand government prior to this one has worked hard to create the conditions that favour widespread home ownership.

But thanks to both Labour, first, and then National that era has ended.

He seems to contradict himself. Labour ran the government prior to the current National government – and Peters was a part of that Government. There was a major surge in house prices during that time.

It is fashionable for media types to talk about the “gig economy” as something trendy and hip.

I mustn’t be trendy, I haven’t heard of the “gig economy”.

A home and a job – those are core aspects of every adult life.

Labour and then National’s shameful failure in both areas has blighted the lives of countless Kiwis.

The truth is that after 32 years of the neo-liberal experiment the character and the quality of our country has changed dramatically, and much of it for the worse.

Pushing the ‘neo-liberal’ button. Peters has been a part of the establishment Parliament for most of that 32 years (and three terms prior).

  • in 1990 Peters became a Minister in the National Government.
  • In 1996, leading NZ First, Peters helped National form a coalition government and took on the roles of Treasurer (senior to Minister of Finance) and Deputy Prime Minister.
  • In 2005 helped Labour form a coalition government, becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Racing.

He has been a willing participant in “the neo-liberal experiment”, although was sacked twice for being contrary.

For those who try to refute that statement let them give us the evidence of how we have risen in the graphs of real economic comparisons and not have countless alternative facts susceptible to various sociological interpretations and beloved only in the eye of the beholder.


Such as – show us one piece of economic analysis, just one piece, that says mass immigration is good for a modern economy.

He throws an alternative fact in – New Zealand does not have anything like “mass immigration”, our immigration is very controlled. Most of the fluctuations in numbers are due to the free movement of New Zealanders.

Allowing unprecedented levels of immigration – a staggering 72,000 net migrants a year – directly impacts housing and jobs.

You heard that correctly. There is no mistake.

But there is a mistake. The current rate of net immigration has risen to 71,900 (year to April 2017), but that is a 10% increase on the previous year, it is not per year.

Annual net migration (to July each year):

  • 2016:  +69,000
  • 2015: +59,600
  • 2014: +41,000
  • 2013: +10,600
  • 2012: -3,800
  • 2011: +2,900
  • 2010: +15,200
  • 2009: +14,500
  • 2008: +

It is as plain as day – immigrants need housing and jobs themselves. Notice they don’t bring housing and jobs with them!

But only one political party in New Zealand understood that for a long time.

Yeah, right.

Labour admitted that last week. On this matter their policy is identical to National’s.

That is not a fact.


“We need more migrants, to build the houses and the roads for migrants.”

What utter stupendous, imbecilic, idiotic, moronic nonsense.

Yet these parties are in total denial of the facts – they have either the arrogance or stupidity to pretend this isn’t so.

Peters mentions ‘facts’ frequently but rarely actually cites facts.

If we had a government that was actually serious about improving the housing and employment prospects of young people we would see action.

There has been action, it has just been inadequate.

It would pull the obvious lever it does have – and close the open immigration door.

The Government can adjust immigration levels – but it is difficult switching numbers off and on quickly, especially when a large proportion of movements is New Zealanders, which can’t be controlled.

In an interview on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report on 12 June the Prime Minister let the cat out of the bag and revealed what is actually behind the absurd level of immigration.

When asked why there was not a drastic cutback to immigration his reply was that if that happened it would stall the economy. Bingo!  So that’s how strong the economy really is.

In effect, Bill English is saying “IMMIGRATION IS THE ECONOMY”. So if the brakes are applied, collapse is on the cards.

At last the admission that the whole dishonest show on the economy is a con.

Who is trying to con who?

All our policies are framed with a concern for the future health and security of New Zealand as a whole.

The New Zealand national interest is our starting point.

And there is one overriding imperative right now that is in the national interest and it is to cut back immigration to a sensible level.

We mean closer to 10,000 highly skilled immigrants a year, not 72,000 mostly unskilled immigrants per year.

Many of the 72,000 are skilled migrants and returning New Zealanders.

Our policy will immediately brighten the housing and employment prospects for younger Kiwis.

That’s doubtful, especially on housing, as much as the Government and the Auckland City Council have tried there are no easy or quick fixes to the housing shortage.

If we don’t deal to this crisis created by the other political parties support or condonation of mass immigration we can’t effectively deal with any other concern.

And because of the magnitude of their shorts-sightedness it is going to take well over a decade to fix up.

So it won’t immediately brighten the future.

But beginning with this issue New Zealand First has the policies to rebuild this country and when our manifesto is out soon I trust you will read it.

In the next 96 days you are going to see or hear numerous speculative comment on what New Zealand First is going to do and you can be certain of one thing. None of those commentators will be reciting anything I said.

I have just recited what Peters has said from  Speech: Rt Hon Winston Peters – The farcical virtuous circle, immigration is the economy

But the great news, confirmed from overseas evidence, is that those in politics who speak straight to the people, do gain their support.

And quickly lose that support when their deeds don’t match their rhetoric, as Donald Trump. And Peters barely uses Twitter anyway.


  1. sorethumb

     /  June 20, 2017

    Fully aware as one’s experience tells you that this is not an audience susceptible to conversion when the facts are laid out.
    Corrin Dann
    you don’t want to get immigration down , to fall though, do you. I just got to say something. I saw you in a speech after the budget and you were in a big room of business people, now some of those were the biggest business minds of the country and you stood up and said: “don’t worry about treasuries figure the estimation that it will go back to 12000, you were confident the figure was going to be a lot higher than that.

    I just think it is likely to be higher than that

    Corrin Dann
    But it’s like telling them you wanted immigration to be up. You were telling them “ don’t worry the demand will be there, the economies going to stay there, that’s what’s keeping New Zealand afloat

  2. sorethumb

     /  June 20, 2017

    For that reason every New Zealand government prior to this one has worked hard to create the conditions that favour widespread home ownership.
    But thanks to both Labour, first, and then National that era has ended.
    He means prior to the Burke review of Immigration 1986. Up until then economists saw population increase as firstly providing a stimulus, then making us worse off:

    In a simple model of the New Zealand economy where the supply of land is fixed, and New Zealand’s isolation means it is not a ‘natural’ location for the production of a broad range of internationally traded goods and services, then an increase in the labour supply through large scale immigration will reduce the
    marginal product of labour. As a result:

    Real wages will fall

    Owners of land will benefit

    There will be an outflow of ‘native’ labour in search of higher wages in Australia

    The economy will be bigger, but average incomes will fall

    Resources will flow into low value service production.

  3. David

     /  June 20, 2017

    Its hard to fault anything Winnie actually said, never been a fan but what he says makes sense. Low skilled immigration is dumb and too many students are able to get residency here, if you concentrate too much wealth in the hands of the few as has happened in the US under Obama you then have what you have now over there. In Britain they have had their country transformed with no one even asking if its ok but both parties there run the same elitist platform.

    • PDB

       /  June 20, 2017

      Quite easy to fault really – Peters: “When asked why there was not a drastic cutback to immigration his reply was that if that happened it would stall the economy. Bingo!  So that’s how strong the economy really is.”

      The economy is strong because a record number of people want to be part of it. The strength of the economy fuels record immigration, not the other way around that Peters is suggesting.

      A growing economy needs people to continue to develop and grow – it is obvious that in terms of people wanting to work the New Zealanders remaining on the benefits are not up to it so the only option is to get workers from overseas.

      • Blazer

         /  June 20, 2017

        but the last 2 quarters GDP has contracted=technical…recession.Please explain.

        • PDB

           /  June 20, 2017

          ‘technically’ – congratulations, you just answered your own question.

        • Andrew

           /  June 20, 2017

          “but the last 2 quarters GDP has contracted=technical…recession.Please explain.”

          GDP “pre-capita” has slightly decreased, not GDP overall. Decreasing per-capita GDP is “not” the definition of a recession. Per-capita GDP has decreased as there are more people in the economy than the amount of growth.

          • Blazer

             /  June 20, 2017

            this is ..classic…’ although the “result is a clear disappointment, we don’t believe it is a true reflection of growth momentum across the economy at present”.

            • Andrew

               /  June 20, 2017

              And that is pretty much spot on. The decrease would be mainly due to the contraction in the construction industry, no doubt due to the shit-house autumn weather we had. I fully expect the next quarter to be much stronger.

      • sorethumb

         /  June 20, 2017

        The economy is strong because a record number of people want to be part of it. The strength of the economy fuels record immigration, not the other way around that Peters is suggesting.
        Migration fuels demand before supply. Migrants need goods and services, roads etc (a lot of public spending is due to the needs of migrants). What matters is GDP/capita and the effect on productivity plus the export share of GDP.

        • Blazer

           /  June 20, 2017

          sorethumb…’What matters is GDP/capita’…..Andrew-‘GDP “pre-capita” has slightly decreased, not GDP overall. Decreasing per-capita GDP is “not” the definition of a recession. ‘…..which ever way you slice it….the rockstar economy’…..has a broken drum kit.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  June 20, 2017

          A consumption driven economy fuelled by immigration and tourism is not a recipe for sustained economic growth. Short term gain for long term pain …infrastructure costs etc. Real prosperity is driven by export revenue and this has been static for three years.

          This miserable excuse for a government has successfully pulled the wool over the pubic’s eyes. I despair

          • Gezza

             /  June 20, 2017

            Out on their ear !
            Who should I vote for c? They all look bloody dodgy. 😕

            • Conspiratoor

               /  June 20, 2017

              Agreed G, you just have to pick the least of the many evils. Go with your head not your heart

            • Gezza

               /  June 20, 2017

              Righto. 👍
              I’ll get me pickaxe. ⛏ 🇳🇿
              Have you got a tumbril ? 😳

            • Gezza

               /  June 20, 2017

              Off to visit Dad at the RH, c. I’ll talk it over with him.
              He wasn’t much use last week, though. He said “Norman Kirk. We don’t want that Clark woman again!”

            • MaureenW

               /  June 20, 2017

              I think Norm Kirk is a good choice

            • Conspiratoor

               /  June 20, 2017

              If he was coherent G, the old bugger would probably give you a good steer. My dear old dad lost his marbles and went downhill fast over 3 months a few years ago. Sadly it was only in the latter years I respected his views on politics …and we never got the chance to connect. Don’t waste it. Cheers,c

          • Gezza

             /  June 20, 2017

            Dad’s asleep & largely impervious to conversational attempts.

            So. Ohariu electorate. Candidate vote’s already decided. Going for an ex-cop. Seems a sensible chap. Respect for lawn order. Been to the States. Checked out their changes to cannabis laws. Got an open mind on that, prepared to at least look at legalisation. Not suffering from arrested development there. Used to being in the public eye, been on the telly lots. Bit of a maverick sometimes maybe. Union man, but own man too I reckon.

            Party votes the tuff one. Bloody difficult. Open to recommendation from anyone at the mo. Anybody?

            • Gezza

               /  June 20, 2017

              Nothin’. 😕
              Probably says it all about the state of political parties in this country. 🙁

              Might have to be sympathy vote for the Conservatives in the end. 😬

  4. Blazer

     /  June 20, 2017

    National’s governance summed up…succinctly…’
    There has been action, it has just been inadequate.

  5. Gezza

     /  June 20, 2017

    I mustn’t be trendy, I haven’t heard of the “gig economy”.
    @PG. Me neither.

    Gig Economy
    What is a ‘Gig Economy’
    In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.

    BREAKING DOWN ‘Gig Economy’
    Due to the large numbers of people willing to work part-time or temporary positions, the result of a gig economy is cheaper, more efficient services (such as Uber or Airbnb) for those willing to use them. Those who don’t engage in using technological services such as the Internet tend to be left behind by the benefits of the gig economy. Cities tend to have the most highly developed services and are the most entrenched in the gig economy. While not all employers tend toward hiring contracted employees, the gig economy trend often makes it harder for full-time employees to fully develop in their careers, since temporary employees are often cheaper to hire and more flexible in their availability.

    There is a wide range of positions that fall into the category of a “gig.” For example, adjunct and part-time professors are considered to be contracted employees, as opposed to tenured or tenure-track professors. Colleges and universities are able to cut costs and match professors to their academic needs by hiring more adjunct and part-time professors.

    What Factors Contribute to a Gig Economy?
    America is well on its way to establishing a gig economy, and it is estimated that as much as a third of the working population is already working in some sort of gig capacity. This number is only expected to rise. In the modern digital world, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to work remotely or from home. This facilitates independent contracting work, as many of those jobs don’t require the freelancer to come in to the office to work. Employers also have a wider range of applicants to choose from, as they don’t necessarily have to choose to hire someone based on their proximity. Additionally, computers have developed to the point that they can take the place of the jobs people previously held.

    Economic reasons also factor in to the development of a gig economy. In many cases, employers cannot afford to hire full-time employees to do all the work they need done, so they hire part-time or temporary employees to take care of busier times or specific projects. On the side of the employee, people often find that they need to move around or take more than one position in order to afford the lifestyle they want. People also tend to change careers many times throughout their lives, so the gig economy is the reflection of this occurring on a large scale.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 20, 2017

      That is a very union-employee-centric perspective, G. The alternative perspective is one of the contractor-entrepreneur: Don’t have an employer, have clients or customers. Grow your own business. It all depends on your outlook.

      • Gezza

         /  June 20, 2017

        Oh, yeah, I know that Al. If I was starting out again these days I’d be looking for the freedom to choose my own contracts & hours. I’d happily work 60 – 70 hour weeks & the odd Sunday to finish a project if the pay was worth it, I could have a holiday in the sun for a few weeks either on the employer or at the end of the job and & I could chalk another recommendation up on the CV & References List on completion.

        I’d have to look after my own personal & skills development, but then I did that anyway. I always got something new out of Departmental forced-attendance-courses but man a lot of them were fkn useless & in a couple of cases we were actually training the consultant trainer, so they were a complete flamin waste of taxpayer dollars.

        • Gezza

           /  June 20, 2017

          Reminds me … gotta go give trav an uptick somewhere else for honesty & sticking to her principles.

          • Gezza

             /  June 20, 2017

            Pity not everybody in her fkn Party is the same !

        • Conspiratoor

           /  June 20, 2017

          G, if you were starting out again you would be an old head on young shoulders. You would have few lessons to learn or mistakes to make. In short you would be living the lifestyle most folks can only dream of…

          • Gezza

             /  June 20, 2017

            I know c. I’d want to reload the current OS into the new model hardware.

  6. Blazer

     /  June 20, 2017

    ‘JPMorgan Chase predicted that there was a 67% chance of the U.S. hitting a recession by the end of 2017, while the big banks generally agreed that 20% of the country was entering a recession, defined as two straight quarters of negative growth, this year.’