Sunday, April 30, 2023

Lushington D. Brady: Maybe Robert Muldoon Was Right?

The door is wide open for Kiwi opportunists. But who’s winning?

Back in the day, Robert Muldoon used to joke that Kiwis moving to Australia raised the IQ of both nations. It was a great one-liner, but it was also a cheap play to the parochial peanut gallery. It especially helped Muldoon paper over an embarrassing fact: Australia was carrying the can for New Zealand’s failure to provide opportunity for locals.

After all, Australia bore the cost of Kiwi no-hopers queuing up outside the Manly dole office, at the same time as it benefited from NZ-bred talent finding their feet on a bigger stage. Somewhere in the middle was Russell Crowe. But I digress.

Fair’s fair: it was just the Australian Cultural Cringe of the 60s writ smaller. Back then, a generation of Australia’s best and brightest fled to England to make it really big and, perversely, finally be taken seriously back home, while thousands of Aussies bludged around Earl’s Court.

For a while, though, New Zealand found the same confidence and cultural mojo that Australia had in the 1980s. Then, along came Jacinda Ardern.

It is sometimes a personal experience that brings abstract policy discussions to life. And so let me share with you a chat I had last Friday with an Uber driver in Auckland.

He was a Pakistan-born New Zealander who has called Auckland home for 21 years. On our way from the CBD to the airport, he shared his story of how he and his family are planning a move to Australia. The cost-of-living crisis, high crime rates, and better opportunities across the Tasman Sea influenced his decision, he explained. All his friends were thinking about the same move.

Once again, New Zealand is becoming little more than the jumping-off point for ambitious strivers and grasping leeches. All thanks to the Socialist Queen of Harvard.

Since he first arrived in New Zealand more than two decades ago, my driver usually voted Labour. But now he blames the Labour government for the decline of the country – and he certainly would not vote Labour again in this year’s election.

And, just coincidentally, Australian Labor is suddenly making it a whole lot easier for folk in New Zealand to jump ship. It was all smiles between Anthony Albanese and Chris Hipkins, but, with time, Chippy may come to realise that it’s a move as “corrosive” as Australia shipping Kiwi crims back to whence they came.

But amid the talk of friendship and shared values between the two nations, one cannot help but wonder if this policy change is truly about camaraderie. When you scratch the surface, it appears that Australia’s national interest is the driving force behind these policy shifts. And frankly, it has never been different.

Well… no kidding. Back in the early 2000s, when John Howard raised the drawbridge just a little, it was all about paring back welfare dependency and getting thousands of Kiwi benny-bludgers off Australia’s books and stopping economic migrants from using soft-touch New Zealand to skirt Australia’s borders and joining the Redbands brigade at the Manly dole office.

Fast forward to today, and Australia’s national interest has shifted. The country, like many others, faces labour shortages. Attracting skilled New Zealanders to its shores now serves Australia’s interests well. The policy change is a strategic move to bolster Australia’s workforce, and the friendly rhetoric is merely a bonus […]

The potential consequences of this policy change for New Zealand are dramatic. Easing the path to Australian citizenship will exacerbate the existing brain drain, with New Zealand’s skilled workforce being lured across the Tasman Sea. The potential loss of professionals could harm the country’s social and economic fabric.

Does Australia really have such a pressing shortage of Uber and Doordash drivers, though? We’re not going to end up with Kim Dotcom, are we?

But, New Zealand, like Australia, has taken the lazy option of importing thousands of doctors and nurses from the developing world. They’ll go where the money is.

The labour market situation in New Zealand is already difficult enough, with severe labour shortages affecting practically every industry and business. It comes as New Zealand’s population growth has hit a 36-year low.

Last year, a survey showed that 1 in 5 New Zealanders were considering leaving the country […]

The New Zealand healthcare sector has been hard hit already, with thousands of New Zealand nurses registering to work in Australia in pursuit of better pay […]

The exodus of skilled workers is not limited to healthcare. Industries such as construction, agriculture, and hospitality are also struggling to find the workforce they need to maintain operations.

Translation: more cheap foreign workers to pick fruit and do up the beds.

All at a time when, in the face of an acute housing shortage, the Albanese government is ramping up immigration to record-high levels?

Is Australia really benefiting so much, here?

Maybe Piggy was onto something.

Lushington describes himself as Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. This article was first published HERE

1 comment:

Unknown said...

To Lushington D. Brady - you might be interested to know that the "new ideal NZ people come to Aussie, we have had a policy Change" - is not as straight forward as we have been led to believe.

David Seymour stated - "Hipster has been played like a digeridoo", to which he was, at the time, correct, so was the rest of NZ.

"Hipster" when in Queensland, observed a "Swearing of Allegiance", supposedly for Kiwi's who lived there (so our TV told us) - but what was not relayed, that among the 'crowd' were others (not Kiwi's) doing the same thing. This event was the culmination, for those who have resided in Queensland for the required period, (which included paperwork, Police checks $$$$ & perseverance) to get to this day - which is normal held on Australia Day, each January.

I am told, by someone who lives Aussie, that the "new deal needs proof reading prior to leaping at ..." - as it is not as straight forward as
"currently being touted".

I am sure you are aware, that over years past, that previous Labour Party 'Hacks' used to travel to Australia, prior to an NZ General Election (both Sydney & Queensland), "to beat the drum on Labour Policies going forward" as many who resided there had the "priviledge of voting in that forthcoming election" - as many still had their names on the Electoral Roles. Strange that!!

Oh Dear a loss of potential Voters, for Labour. Gee!