Waatea 5th Estate – Labour v NZ First

Waatea 5th Estate 7pm special – Labour vs NZ First – the fight for Maori votes
Joining us tonight to look at the fight for the Maori vote…
Andrew Little – Leader of the Labour Party
Winston Peters – Leader of NZ First

Andrew Little starts by being quite critical of the Maori Party shackled to National , and then he promotes the Labour Maori MPs as wonderful.

The live stream keeps dropping out.

Little is asked about demoting Nanaia Mahuta, and Pete Kane seems to be hogging all the bandwidth.

Now to Peters quoting Helen Clark saying the Maori Party was last cab off the rank.

I’ve switched to Waatea and it is doing the same thing but not as badly.

Peters rubbishes Tuku Morgan so it looks like there’s a working relationship there any more – ‘blatantly ignorant’.

Little says he thinks Labour are honouring the responsibility of representing Maori.

He again links the Maori Party to ‘their mate the National Party’.  Seems to be quite antagonistic towards them.

Peters joins the piling in on the Maori Party, so he and Little are on common ground there, apparently seeing them as a threat and they sound grumpy about it.

Peters claims that fees for managing Kiwisaver will take 22 billion dollars of new Zealanders over the next twenty or so years. He gives no comparison of how much funds who don’t charge fees would make for their investors.

Asked if Mahuta’s seat is under threat he talks his MP up and thinks she is very strong. Not a strong denial of threat though.

Winnie whines about Tuku Morgan again. He says that the Maori Party are down to 1 seat and in a state of desperation. he also piles into Hone Harawira.

Little must be hoping he doesn’t have to try and negotiate a coalition with the Greens, NZ First, plus the Maori and Mana parties.

And Little again runs the Maori party down and then does some electioneering for Labour.

Then Peters has a turn at rubbishing everyone.

Willie Jackson asks Peters if he would help National get over the line. Doesn’t sound promising.

Then Jackson asks if Peters will go with Labour and between cut outs I don’t think he is going there either.

Little is asked if he can work with Winston and he avoids a direct answer and starts sloganeering for Labour, also avoiding the question.

Asked if he with work with the Maori Party he also avoids a direct answer.

He says he and the Greens are for change and then blasts the Maori Party and says they are ‘not on the radar’.

Next Peters who waffles on again without saying anything new. We have to wait until the election and then see what he wants to do for himself. He’s not interested in telling voters what they might get with NZ First.

Jackson did his best but I found this a quite depressing insight into opposition politics.

Peters is cranky and non-committal, as ever.

Little demonstrates what Labourites think of anyone who sides against them. He seems to see the Maori Party as traitors that don’t deserve his attention.

It might be entertaining for a while but imagining Labour, Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party perhaps with Mana dabbling on the side trying to negotiate a governing arrangement does not give me any optimism about the quality of alternatives to a gradually flailing and failing National.

NZ First versus Labour (and the rest)

It looks increasingly likely NZ First may be in a deciding position after the next election based on current polls, by a margin.

Winston Peters simply won’t indicate which way he will go, with National or with Labour-Greens, if he sticks to past practice. He claims this is letting the voters decide first but it’s difficult for voters to decide if they don’t know what he might do.

Peters has attacked the Government and National a lot. But NZ First seem happy to also attack Labour – this isn’t entirely surprising as they will compete for votes with Labour.

Audrey Young writes NZ First’s salvoes hit home in war of words.

With every passing week, it becomes more likely that New Zealand First will decide the next Government.

New Zealand First attacks the National Government frequently.Until now, it has largely avoided open attacks on Labour in the 4 years the parties have shared the Opposition benches.

But for a party that will go into the election with no coalition preferences, it has to change that perception.

In that context it was significant when New Zealand First deputy leader Ron Mark publicly rubbished Labour twice this week, in the general debate on Wednesday, then again on Thursday in Question Time.

Winston Peters was away but he apparently has no qualms about it.

Mark’s salvoes represent a new phase for New Zealand First – a “no favourites” phase.

In General Debate on Wednesday:

RON MARK (Deputy Leader—NZ First): It is one of those days, is it not, when you come down to the House, you have got a whole bunch of speech notes and you are ready to deliver something that is prepared, and then someone stands up in the House and says something that rocks you in your shoes. That has just happened with Mr Iain Lees-Galloway’s speech on immigration.

Like one of the previous members said, the adjournment time gives us the chance to get out and take stock and listen to people. We have to say, in New Zealand First, we have to say we have travelled up and down the country. From Invercargill to Auckland, I have been everywhere, and the message we are getting consistently is that the public is actually tired of the type of speech that Mr Iain Lees-Galloway just gave. They are tired of one side of the House claiming that another party in this House, whose immigration policies have always been sane, sensible, and population-focused—is racist and xenophobic.

Now, suddenly, on the back of a poll that Mr Iain Lees-Galloway from Labour has seen, which tells him “Oh my gosh, 60 percent of the country agrees with the Rt Hon Winston Peters in New Zealand First that immigration policy is chaotic, is out of control.”, suddenly everyone should listen to Labour.

Let me tell you what people are saying out there: “Red or blue, there’s nothing new.” National and Labour are just the same. It is like Pepsi and Coke: tell me whether one can tell the difference. One comes in a blue package; the other comes in a red package, but everyone knows 90 percent of the people cannot tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke, and that is exactly what is happening right now.

We do not actually care about the argument that goes on between National and Labour on who put more police here, who has got a stronger focus on law and order, or who wants to get immigration under control—we see them both as exactly the same and so does most of New Zealand right now, who are all coming to that realisation.

We go down to Invercargill, down to Gore, and who is filling in my meeting? It is National Party farmers, who have had a gutsful.

Todd Barclay: Absolutely no one—no one is there.

RON MARK: Todd Barclay can stand up and rant but Todd Barclay should ask the listing committee of the National Party where his committee has gone. Where has his committee gone? People are looking at this Government as being no different from the last Government.

Then we have Mr Grant Robertson on Q+A telling the whole nation the trickle-down economy does not work. Hello! Mr Robertson, if you had not realised it, it was started by the Labour Party. It was called Rogernomics, and then National picked it up and called it “Ruthanasia”. The result was the same: devastation in the provinces and farmers out there being told they should get on and keep their chins up and handle the economic changes, whilst this Government, which trumpets free-trade agreements—which the Labour Party promoted as well—has done nothing to curb the excessive use of subsidies in these countries that they proudly proclaim they have established a free-trade agreement with.

Mr Speaker, you are a farmer from the Banks Peninsula and I know that you were raised like me in rural New Zealand, in the Wairarapa, and we know something that our grandparents told us a long time ago, and farmers down in Gore and down into Invercargill were telling us this as well: nothing is free—nothing. Do not come into this House and trumpet “Ruthanasia” policies or Rogernomics policies and tell us that the poor at the low end of the chain are going to benefit from that, because all the evidence shows, after 30 years of rampant neo-liberal experimentation—started by the Labour Party—that the gap between rich and poor is greater than it has ever been. It has actually reached the level where you may never be able to turn it back—well, looking at the housing situation.

By the way, we are getting to the stage in New Zealand First where we actually think we have got a security problem, because it seems that every second day Labour is picking up one of our policies and trumpeting it as its own. The thing that disappoints us more than anything is that the media print it. We would simply ask them: “If you want the original Rolex, come to New Zealand First—do not go buying a cheap, Singaporean model from the Labour Party.”

In Question time on Thursday:

Ron Mark: Is the Minister surprised that he has so many anti-immigration questions from Labour these days, given that previous Labour leaders have so viciously attacked New Zealand First and Winston Peters on the very same topic?

Chris Hipkins: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I will hear from Mr Chris Hipkins.

Chris Hipkins: The Minister is not responsible for questions that the Opposition asks.

Mr SPEAKER: No, I cannot see that there is any ministerial responsibility, anyway. We are moving on.

Ron Mark: Is the Minister confused by reports from political parties that have formed a coalition recently, when we have questions such as this and he is being asked to answer questions such as this, and then the leader of the Green Party, James Shaw, goes on radio and says—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no ministerial responsibility whatsoever. [Interruption] Order!


Mark: “Is the minister surprised that he has so many anti-immigration questions from Labour these days, given that previous Labour leaders have so viciously attacked New Zealand First and Winston Peters on the very same topic?”

The “vicious attacks” haven’t happened for years.

But Mark and Peters have long memories and can quote chapter and verse about who said what when as far back as 2002.

Despite their party supporting Labour in Government from 2005 to 2008, they hold a grudge.

So will the next coalition government be based on which party grovels about grudges the most to NZ First?

It sometimes seems Peters has a blanket grudge against the Greens so that could get interesting.

But for now Peters and Mark will be targeting votes. From ex-National voters who are tired of the current lot. From the big pool of voters who despair about Labour getting themselves sorted and looking capable of leading. And from the sizeable pool of potential voters who use NZ First and Winston as a protest vote.

That’s actually smart politics – votes are what count.

Then after the election Peters will smile at Key, and at Little and Turei and Shaw, and he probably won’t even have to use the word ‘grovel’.

Political tides flowing for Peters

Winston Peters has been touted as ‘kingmaker’ for a number of years, especially by story makers like Patrick Gower. NZ First came close to being in a pivotal position after both the last elections.

With it increasingly likely that National will slip some more and neither ACT nor United Future looking unlikely to be able to make up the numbers (although don’t dismiss ACT entirely), and it’s hard to see Labour or Greens growing their support enough to form a two party Government, it currently looks increasingly likely NZ First will be comfortably still in Parliament and holding the balance of power after next year’s election.

Vernon Small writes: The political tides are all flowing the way of ‘kingmaker’ Winston Peters

National was on 45 per cent, and Labour 33 and the Greens 11 – so 44 per cent together – while NZ First was sitting comfortably on 8 per cent. National’s minnow-party helpers were again gasping for air.

It had some on the Left celebrating the demise of John Key and the National Government. That begs the question how a poll that leaves both Left and Right reliant on Peters’ notoriously uncertain patronage can be parlayed into a loss for one side and a victory for the other. Because it can’t.

But if the possibility of Peters being the kingmaker is not new, the near certainty of it is.

At the moment it looks a near certainty but there’s over a year to go until the election.

Not much more than a year out from the election it is hard to construct a convincing scenario where he will not hold the balance of power – unless you believe there will be a sudden surge in minor party support or National will defy the odds and hold its support above 46 per cent. Either is possible, but the ebb and flow of political history argues otherwise.

So where to from here for Peters?

With so much of the political tide running his way, it’s hard to see how Peters will not at least hold, but more likely increase, his current support level.

Folks, he may be infuriating. He may not be your cup of tea – and with less than 10 per cent support that will be overwhelmingly true.

But like it or not, it’s time to stop asking which way Peters will lean if he wins the balance of power. It’s when.

Probably. If there is a backlash against Trump will that impact on support for Peters, who is seen as similar in some ways?

Will Labour finally find a way back to a respectable level of support?

Will National find a way of holding on to their support?

Will voters be willing or unwilling to hand the balance of power to Peters?

Sack them all?

It’s not uncommon so see calls to sack politicians. Andrew Little was at it again today:


Duncan Garner picked up on this: Little calls for fifth minister to be sacked

Andrew Little has called for Nick Smith to be sacked as Housing Minister.

Shock. Horror. You’re bloody joking me?

If Andrew Little had his way there may be no Cabinet Ministers left.

Maybe that’s the grand plan?

In the last year or so Little has called for the sackings of:

  • Murray McCully for the Saudi sheep deal.
  • Todd McClay for his position on China trade sanctions.
  • Simon Bridges for his Northland one-way bridges policy.
  • And Gerry Brownlee for his management of the Christchurch rebuild.

And now Nick Smith. Are there any more?

So; does Little have a point?

Has Nick Smith been so bad on housing that he deserves to be sacked by the Prime Minister?

Or does Andrew Little need to get a bit more original and find some better lines and more creative material.

There’s a real cry world type problem here. How would anyone know when it was really justified for a Minister to be sacked? Not by listening to Little. Or others.

I don’t think Little has called on John Key to resign yet but both Russel Norman and Winston Peters have in the past.

It’s hard enough getting capable people standing for Parliament as it is without sacking all and sundry at the whim of a political opponent.

Wouldn’t it be good if more leaders actually led by example instead of trying to trash everyone else?

Maori Party versus Helen Clark

The Maori Party MPs have stirred a few people up by refusing to back Helen Clark’s bid for the United Nations Secretary General.

NZ Herald reports:

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said today that Labour did not support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) and it introduced the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Fox said on Radio New Zealand that Clark should apologise to show she had learned from her “mistakes”.

“I would think at the very least somebody who is seeking the top role of the UN would also have the foresight and the ability to look back at those past mistakes, acknowledge them and move on and until she does, how can we be supportive of that role?”

Andrew Little and Winston Peters have slammed this.

Andrew Little…

…said Fox’s comments were disappointing.

“Helen Clark is widely known internationally, representative of New Zealand. This a great opportunity for a New Zealander to take one of the prime roles in international and diplomatic affairs.

“Every New Zealander should be behind that and I think it, frankly, stinks that the Maori Party say they are not going to support it.”

Labour have seemed to thinks that the Maori party stinks for competing with Labour for Maori votes since they split.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters…

…says the Maori Party is being “treacherous” in saying it does not support Helen Clark’s bid to become UN Secretary General.

“It is petty grand standing without any principle,” he said. “the reality is the Maori Party is desperately appearing to be relevant.”

“It is treacherous in the extreme,” he said.

Peters may be angling for a job as Minister of Irony. Petty grand standing without any principle is something Peters should be very familiar with, if he is self aware.

Helen Clark said in a statement…

…that New Zealand fully supported the negotiations on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“We asked for more time to improve the Declaration to make it fully capable of implementation in all countries.

“At that time we were concerned that some aspects of the UNDRIP cut across New Zealand’s constitutional framework and legal system.

“New Zealand was however at the forefront of implementing most of the rights in the UNDRIP.

“was pleased to see that the Government was able to support the Declaration in 2010.”

Te Ururoa defended the Maori Party stand on Breakfast this morning.

“There should be a part of Helen Clark that knows she needs to apologise to Maori.”

“It’s a contradiction for her to stand up there but to not supported the rights of indigenous people here in NZ”

And Marama Fox on the Paul Henry Show:

“We’ve not supported Helen Clark for a number of months…”

“We’re not supporting any candidate over another.I’d love to see a Kiwi…and a woman in the position…but we just can’t support

“The UN Sec General is responsible for crises across the world.. and a lot of those are indigenous matters”

“If we’re going to have someone as a UN Sec General we need to have someone that understands the rights of indigenous people”

The Maori Party are free to support or not support whoever they like. Backing Clark for UN Secretary General is not compulsory in New Zealand’s democracy.

Slight rise in foreign buyers

Land Information New Zealand has released new  figures showing the total number of homes bought by foreign tax residents between April and June remained unchanged at 3%, compared with the previous quarter.

There was a slight increase in Auckland from 4% (474) to 5% (900).

RNZ:  Rise in foreign buyers in Auckland

LINZ said the information was still unreliable because one survey question continued to be misinterpreted.

“The evidence tells us that particular question, 2.2, people are misunderstanding that and we do need to improve that guidance,” Land Information’s deputy chief executive Russell Turner said.

The foreign buyer question seemed to exclude international students and people on temporary tax rates.

“The tax residency information is reported very clearly and very well [but] the housing policy questions, there is still work that needs to be done and we will be doing that work over the next six months or so.”

However, Mr Turner said the survey was a slight improvement on the last one.

“We do have more confidence in the data, because we have that new option for people to self select whether they are corporate or individuals,” he said.

The government started collecting the data last October, to get a better picture of the residential housing market.

Labour had been pushing for data after claiming a much higher number of foreign buyers (in part relying on their infamous foreign sounding names claims).

But Labour are not happy with this data because it is ‘incomplete’.

RNZ: Foreign home buyers data release ‘politicised’

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said the department should have waited to release the data.

“You’ve got to wonder whether LINZ has come under some political pressure to actually release this data because it happens to suit the government to underplay and understate the role of non-resident offshore buyers in our property market.

“If LINZ says they can get it by the end of year, what it tells you is they can get it and they should have had it now before they made these releases.”

So Labour want LINZ to not release data until it fits Labour’s claims?

They weren’t the only ones politicising the data release.

Mr Peters said Land Information should stop doing the government’s work and start getting information that was accurate.

What they have presented is shot full of holes. It’s got more holes than Swiss cheese and yet they’re purporting to get conclusions from it.

“It’s simply not true.

“Instead of doing their job as independent reliable civil servants, they’ve (Land Information) been utterly politicised,” Mr Peters said.

Typical Peters politicising the release of data while claiming the data release was being politicised.

Land Information deputy chief executive Russell Turner responded saying…

… one survey question, where work or student visa holders are asked whether they planned to live in the house they bought, was causing confusion.

He said it would not have been appropriate to have delayed the release of the data.

“What we need to make sure we have is a fairly extensive set of data around question 2.2 and that will take probably at least 12 months in order to get. So it’s not really appropriate to delay the release of the data but to improve the quality of the question.”

Peters has made unsubstantiated accusations casting serious aspersions on LINZ.

Mad voters versus markets

Rod Emmerson on voters who are mad:

A mad mad world – the rise of the UP YOURS vote – my cover for today’s


Also at the Herald Liam Dann goes one mad more: It’s a mad, mad world

From Britain, to the US to Australia, voters are punishing politicians. Why the anger and what does it mean for markets?

Even after the shock result, financial markets could have shrugged off the Brexit vote, says Greg Peacock, chief investment officer for investment fund NZAM.

But despite what the stock exchange numbers might suggest, they haven’t. Instead, there is growing unease about what happens next as a new wave of political volatility spreads across the Western world.

The UK is in turmoil, Australia is in turmoil. Who is next? Donald Trump and the US elections are looming large. Then there is Italy, where Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has offered angry voters the chance to chuck him out with a referendum on political reform in October. And what about New Zealand – could we follow the trend?

“What we are seeing is a push back against, some would say, the whole post-World War II movement – globalisation and free trade,” Peacock says.

What does this mean in New Zealand? The deepening discontent doesn’t seem to have reached us yet to any extent, apart from a lift in poll support for NZ First.

Mark Lister, head of research at Craigs Investment Partners, says “the Brexit was a wake-up call for politicians and investors and I think we’ll see plenty more of it.

“It’s simply a reflection of the fact so many people feel like they are missing out on their share of the boom.”

We’re used to hearing this kind of thing from left-wing commentators and politicians. But neither Peacock nor Lister has a political axe to grind. Their analysis is matter-of-fact and born of concerns for investors.

So how will investors react? The property bubble is likely to at least plateau and possibly burst in the not to distant future.

Auckland University professor of macroeconomics Prasanna Gai has worked for the Bank of England, Bank of Canada and advised our Reserve Bank. Nearly 10 years on from the global financial crisis we are still suffering the fallout, he says. And there are echoes of the 1930s.

We have allowed central banks to “shoulder all the burden” and politicians’ failure to confront the big structural issues may be coming back to bite them.

“You’ve got a confluence of three factors,” he says. “Firstly, productivity growth everywhere is unusually low. That’s a consequence of a misallocation of resources in the boom which preceded the global financial crisis.”

Then there is debt.

“Global debt levels are at historically high levels … because debt has served as a substitute for income growth pretty much everywhere.” Then you have the central banks with very little room left to move and “a substantial rise in economic uncertainty as well as policy uncertainty.”

What we are seeing is “protectionist discontent”, he says.

So where to from here.

…people are looking for political leaders who promise to put their local interests first even if that might not be in their greater long-term interests.

…economic concerns lurk. We have already seen global trade declining for about 18 months, Peacock says.

There is a risk of political uncertainty extending and exacerbating that trend.
“So you look round the world and say which economies are vulnerable to global trade,” Peacock says, “China is top of the list.”

That is ominous for New Zealand, which is increasingly reliant on China. It’s a connection that has in many ways buffered us from the worst of the post-GFC economic mess.

So far in New Zealand, political revolt hasn’t been big a factor, Peacock says. “But if you saw NZ First rising in the polls it wouldn’t be a great surprise.”

NZ First has already risen in the polls and is abnormally high for this time of the electoral cycle – recently their support has surged leading in to an election.

Jennifer Curtin, University of Auckland associate professor in politics and international relations, points out that we have already seen one example of revolt with the Northland by-election – where voters handed the Government a resounding defeat.

“Peters is the perfect kind of centrist, protest party independent style candidate,” Curtin says. “He has the power of rhetoric and the charisma to draw people to him from both the Left and the Right.”

I doubt that there are many people who seriously think that Peters and NZ First can do anything significant about sorting out housing or the economy, Peters is simply adept at attracting protest votes – the ‘pox on all the parties’ vote.

But in the US, the UK and Australia people aren’t voting for who might be best able to manage things, as Emmerson shows it is the UP YOURS vote that is on the rise, even though people know it is promoting people who look like they are more likely to make things worse rather than better.

At the moment it is looking like Peters will be holding the balance of power after the next election.

But this is a relatively quickly evolving situation internationally, so how things look to voters now may be nothing like how they look to voters leading into the next election.

We will have seen perhaps a year of an Australian Government with teetering support.

And the US president will be the status quo establishment Clinton (that may want to rebel against) or the anything goes Donald Trump.

And the UK will have elected a new Government as well.

Lastly, will Peters last the distance? He is a shadow of his former self in Parliament. He may be waning, or he may be marking time saving himself for another big campaign next year.

At least we don’t have to worry about political upheaval here while the world goes mad around us.

Shadow of Peters in Parliament

Winston Peters is a shadow of his former self in Parliament these days. He seems to be marking time, perhaps saving himself for next years campaign.

But he is using up opportunities to get some of the other NZ First MPs up to speed in Parliament. He doesn’t want to put in the effort but he doesn’t seem to want anyone else to get a chance to overshadow him.

Today he wasted another slot in question time. John Key joined in the waste of time.

Prime Minister—Statements

7. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes. In particular, I stand by my statements that the National-led Government is doing a lot to assist senior citizens—in particular, when I said that there has been a 31 percent increase in the married rate of New Zealand Superannuation since 2008, that $41 million has now been allocated in Budget 2016 to support the SuperGold card scheme, providing more certainty for more than 670,000 card holders across New Zealand, that there have been 50,000 more—

Mr SPEAKER: Bring the answer to a conclusion.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: —elective surgical operations taken.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: When Prime Minister Turnbull was comfortably ahead in the Australian election campaign, why did he go public in supporting Mr Turnbull and cause his support to nosedive?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I think the furthest apart we ever saw it was 51:49, but I am thrilled that the member thinks that I can impact so many voters in Australia.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why, with his record of endorsements in the Northland by-election, the flag referendum, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Brexit, the Panama Papers, the housing crisis, and now the Australian election, will he not stop being a scatological Midas?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I will—I will. But I just need to inform him that the last thing I said before I came into the House was: “Winston Peters is going to do well in 2017.” Ha, ha!

Rt Hon Winston Peters: To put my sense of panic at rest now, is it not a fact that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have called him, pleading that he not back their campaigns?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, neither of them has rung, but if they do, I will be more than happy to have a chat with them about international events, and when I am away next week, you never know whom you might run into.

Aus effect on NZ immigration numbers

In contrast to confused claims by Winston Peters that the movement of Kiwis back to New Zealand is due to being treated as second class citizens in Australia but that New Zealand is “a last resort”, Liam Dann supports his opinion with reason – it’s mostly about the economies.

Liam Dann: Oz fortunes a big factor in arrivals wave

…it isn’t hard to draw a link between Australia’s economy and our current immigration boom.

New Zealand’s net migration gain of 68,400 in the year to May 2016 was a nominal record dating back to at least 1860.

We’ve never, even in colonial times, gained so many new residents in a year. There have been much bigger percentage gains of course.

Even on that basis, the past year has been huge.

While there is a lot of focus on Chinese home buyers, it is New Zealanders coming home (and not leaving) that has made the difference.

Compared to the May 2012 year, departures to Australia have a fallen from 48,000 to 20,000. Arrivals have spiked from 8800 to 16,800.

So the biggest shift is in far fewer Kiwis heading to Australia in the first place, but more are returning than before as well.

We even had a net gain of 1700 Australian citizens.

They can’t be, as Peters puts it, “second class citizens” in Australia. There will be a variety of reasons for them coming here but “last resort” is unlikely to be one.

The open borders have always made the lure of Australia our biggest immigration variable. And it is one that can swing sharply.

And it’s something that the Government cannot and should not control.

The end of the mining boom, an economic slowdown and the inclusion of Kiwi residents in tough immigration laws that allow for detainment and deportation based on “bad character” tests have dramatically reversed the flow of transtasman migration.

The biggest factor is availability of jobs, or lack of availability.

How long will this trend last? Is our relative economic success a driver? Or is migration driving our economic success?

If Australia’s economy or political policies change radically then our migration story will too.

We need to ensure we have social policy to protect people from losing out and turning their anger towards migrants.

Anger towards migrants that is deliberately stoked by Peters for political purposes. That’s very poor for an MP.

We need to remember the current surge is not driven just by the more highly visible arrivals of different culture and ethnicity.

It is being driven by New Zealand passport holders.

History tells us this wave will not last. And that when it passes it will have left this country richer and stronger.

As long as politicians like Peters don’t drag us down.

New Zealand “the last resort” in a hell-hole of a world

Winston Peters appears to be making things up to try and score political hits, again. This time he is making unsubstantiated claims about the motives of New Zealanders returning from Australia.

peters also describes New Zealand as the last resort in a hell hole of a world.

Mr Grumpy has a dark view of things here and everywhere. It’s sad to see him running our country down so much in order to apparently pander to the ‘pox on them all’ pessimists.

In Kiwis second-class in Australia – Peters at Newshub Peters attacks Australia for the way it treats New Zealanders living there.

“Over there, New Zealanders can’t access ACC, health, welfare and other benefits,” he said.

“They have less rights than immigrants to Australia from Iraq, the UK, Bangladesh, Europe or Indonesia and all other countries as a result of the 2001 arrangement when Australia put its foot down on immigrants using New Zealand as a back door to Australia.”

That’s valid criticism. But he cites this as the reason why “most Kiwis are coming home”:

The NZ First leader says most of the Kiwis coming home are returning because they’re being treated as second-class citizens in Australia.

That sounds like made up bull. I don’t expect that Peters can substantiate that – he probably won’t try. He has a long record of making up claims.

My guess is that most Kiwis who leave Australia do so because of the economic downturn in Australia and the lack of available jobs. In the main it was jobs that attracted them to Australia as a place to live in the first place.

Mr Peters thinks it’s more to do with the way they’re treated by Australian governments, and he doesn’t believe those who come here from other countries are expressing a vote of confidence in New Zealand, as Mr Key has said.

More bollocks. To many people New Zealand is a very attractive part of the world to live in. That’s one reason why we have strong immigration numbers, something Peters is critical of.

“Wrong. Much of the world is a hell hole from which many are trying to escape,” he said.

“We are the last choice for many after first being rejected by the UK, Canada and Australia, and the US – New Zealand is the last resort.”

It’s sad to see a prominent Member of the New Zealand Parliament describing New Zealand as the last resort in a hell-hole of a world.

See the real reasons for the movement of Kiwis to and from Australia: Aus effect on NZ immigration numbers


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