The Green Party are supporting moves to limit the ability of non-New Zealanders to buy property in New Zealand, following a poll which showed 2/3 of respondents agreed with the idea.
3News decided in its infinite wisdom to jazz up this story by staking out several auctions on Auckland’s North Shore and reporting on how many of the properties went to people who looked Asian.
Sadly, journalist-of-the-people Patrick Gower (and of course it was Patrick Gower) was unable to detain these filthy home-purchasers and demand to see their papers, meaning we may never know how many people-who-can-service-mortgages-and-also-have-different-shaped-us-to-us-white-folk are living among us.
One of them could be behind you right now. Maybe more. They are ninjas, after all. *rimshot*
So all Patrick Gower can tell us is that in 20 minutes, 3 houses were auctioned, all to Asians. He apparently doesn’t even have the services of an intern to check – and add boring old context to the story – that the Asian population of the former North Shore City was 18.5% in the 2006 census.
Personally, I haven’t thought enough about the issue to have a stated opinion either way, but the fact is that while many of the people who answered “yes” to the Reid Research poll are almost certainly racist, and almost certainly picture people of colour – probably their idea of “Asians” – when they think about Foreigners Taking Our Houses, the fact is that a blanket ban on all non-New Zealand residents buying property here isn’t inherently racist.
It’s pretty xenophobic, but that is, actually, a different thing.
It may become racist in practice if our immigration laws unfairly give advantage to white English-speaking people, which they probably do.
Story-time, though: I was in a lecture in my first year of uni, waiting for the lecturer to arrive, when one student – who, yes, was of Asian ethnicity – was approaching by another student of Asian ethnicity and asked to take part in a survey of international students. After sending the inquirer politely on her way, the first student burst into an epic rant on why the fuck did she always get asked to do those bloody surveys, she’s a fucking Kiwi for fuck’s sake, her family have been here forever but everyone always assumes she’s an international student who can’t speak English just because she looks Asian!
It was an eye-opener for the young Queen of Thorns, because of course I too had assumed she was a foreigner based on her physical appearance. Turned out her family had probably been in New Zealand as long as mine.
The earliest Chinese settler in recorded NZ history was Wong Ahpoo Hock Ting, who arrived here in 1842. By 1869 there were over 2,000 Chinese men living in New Zealand – women migrated very rarely. From 1881 to 1944 an unquestionably racist poll tax sought to keep the number of Chinese people entering New Zealand down, which makes this whole story kind of ironic.
The basic fact is: Patrick Gower and 3News ran a racist piece of shit masquerading as in-depth reporting. They deliberately conflated “foreigner” with “Asian”, which is especially terrible of them given this little nugget from the 2008/09 North Shore City Council annual report:
For people born overseas who are now living in North Shore City, the most common birthplace was England.
Maybe next week Paddy could stake out some auctions and breathlessly report on how many of the successful bids came from people with BBC accents. No? I rest my case.
I want to apologise. I was one of the flood of lefties who posted anti-Shearer statements in the week ahead of the conference. I advocated for David Cunliffe as a prospective leader – indeed, the only leader with the potential for success in 2014, by my own assessment.
And now it looks like my post, among others, has shafted David Cunliffe. We stirred the pot. We shook the tree. We rocked the boat, which knocked over the pot the tree was standing in. And this convinced otherwise well-meaning, open-minded members of the Labour caucus that a dangerous plot was underway to undermine the very foundations of the Party by mounting an attack under cover of pseudonyms and Birnam wood.
So I’m sorry, David C. Sorry that I played a part in what’s happening to you.
What the fuck am I saying?
The mainstream media constantly come down on this site, and bloggers in general, for being
pseudonymous anonymous cowards with axes to grind. You couldn’t move last week for Labour MPs declaring they don’t give a damn about blogs.
And yet suddenly the word of a handful of bloggers, and some awful shillery by Patrick Gower, is enough to bring Cunliffe to the brink of expulsion?
I mean, he hasn’t done anything. Besides deliver good speeches and be generally charismatic and kind of dashing with the whole beard thing happening, Waitakere Woman likes a bit of scruff, yes she does.
… Sorry, got distracted there. Cunliffe has done nothing, at least publicly. Not spoken against Shearer. Not made increasingly more leader-ish statements to the media (when he can talk to the media). The only “source” for Cunliffe “threatening” the leadership is blogs, and Patrick Gower’s “but WHY, daddy?” interrogation methods.
Is it just me or does that make no fucking sense?
This situation is all the proof we need that there is, indeed, an anti-Cunliffe faction in the Labour Party. People who perceive his very presence, the very thought that he might like the look of the leadership some day, as an active, viable threat to David Shearer. (Because ambition is such a terrible attribute in a politician.)
Especially now the membership get more say, some might note.
So, because our media in their wisdom would really much rather report on a beat-up leadership challenge than actual policy, the ABCs are pretending to believe there’s a real problem here, that Cunliffe is up in the rafters in a mask about to drop a chandelier on Shearer’s head, so they can justify punishing and humiliating one of the most talented MPs on the front bench.
Because their first and only instinct, apparently, is self-preservation.
Wow, David C. I am sorry.
Good luck for tomorrow, mate.
It’s like this, people.
Last night Patrick Gower emailed me about how the Labour Party Conference was going. See, I’d criticised TV3’s coverage on Twitter, where an embarrassing clip of Paddy badgering David Cunliffe to predict the future was spun into “DAVID CUNLIFFE MAKING A MOVE FOR LABOUR LEADERSHIP.”
Then I, in a fit of girlish flirtation, emailed back, “Sorry, Paddy. I can’t confirm I won’t run against Shearer in February either!”
And thus my secret is out. By refusing to predict the state of the party in three months’ time, by refusing to make assumptions about whether David Shearer can pull the cat out of the bag or will continue to muddle along with his guitar getting nowhere in the polls … well, I’ve clearly thrown my hat in the ring.
You should also be aware that I can’t rule out moving to Thailand at some point in the future, maybe after the February Labour leadership vote. That’s going to be Paddy’s headline tomorrow night: “NZ BLOGGER TO ABANDON COUNTRY IF SHEARER REMAINS LEADER”.
And I also couldn’t rule out having steak for dinner tonight. On Monday, Paddy’s got Campbell Live locked down for exclusive coverage of RADICAL FEMINIST BLOGGER PLANS SUNDAY FEAST TO CELEBRATE CUNLIFFE’S IMPENDING LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE.
Seriously, people. There can be news stories in what people are happy or unhappy to confirm or deny. There are interesting implications for the future leadership of Labour in the changes that have been voted at conference.
But whining “David, David, show your loyalty David, rule out running against Shearer David, come on David, why won’t you prove your loyalty David” and then reporting that as ground-breaking leadership challenge rumblings is just sad.
Mind you, we’re talking about the journo who added up the number of job ads on TradeMe and Seek and then declared that there wasn’t an unemployment crisis.
Meanwhile, John Armstrong is clearly so upset at the prospect of more democracy in the Labour Party he’s been moved to tweet 4 times today already. Normally such flurries of activity are reserved for the super-cool fun times he’s having on overseas junkets, which you’ll recall he’d like us to note are really hard work, guys. All I can think? Is some senior journos are really worried that more democracy in the Labour Party means less juicy gossip for their pet MPs to leak to them.
Speaking of pet MPs, can someone find Trevor Mallard and duct-tape his mouth shut?
Stunning news tonight, my fellow Kiwis: there are heaps of jobs being advertised! Truly, the recession is over. Thank God for the solid investigative journalism which has led to this miraculous revelation!
Oh, wait, no. Some poor fucking intern in the TV3 offices spent five minutes checking Seek and Trademe Jobs and gave the local WINZ office a call …
and then they just totalled all those numbers and decided it was news.
Many Kiwis will have been looking at job ads over the past year or so, and I’m pretty sure that all of them will have looked at that shiny, jobs-for-all math and thought Jesus fucking Christ are you fucking kidding me you fucking Paula-Bennett-ass-kissing piece of shit.
Protip, Gower, and every single person at TV3 who signed off on this story: you might have been better off just standing by that rubbish, because having a lead journalist say “Of course, some of those ads may be double-ups” just took your sheer incompetence straight through the other side to I don’t even know.
I mean, that’s your idea of “investigating” the numbers of jobs available? That’s the kind of pap you’re going to serve up to a Cabinet Minister for comment? That’s the level of analysis you’re going to present to the public?
Fuck me, Gower. I really hope that whatever financial or political reacharound you’re getting out of this is worth the souls of your entire bloodline unto the sixth generation.
For anyone needing clarification: “some of these may be double-ups” is a slightly massive understatement and as an intermittent job-seeker I’d happily state that 7,000 of those 27,000 “ads” are redundant – either due to replication or being “send us your CV so our books look better!” recruitment company rubbish. Which doesn’t even start on the issue of whether these are *good* jobs which unemployed people might want to risk a stand-down period for.
And while I’m ranting and pissed off, half an hour for 3News to get onto a fucking Parliamentary resignation and by-election? ARE YOU SHITTING ME?