Umamiblog

written by john lewis

Plugging the “drain”

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Interesting reading yesterday, I thought, with the following title on Stuff: Pacific migrants ‘drain on economy’.To be perfectly honest, when I read that I thought what’s our beloved Foreign Minister up to now?

However the article is about a study conducted by one of Massey University’s Economists, Greg Clydesdale, on the “significant and enduring under-achievement” of NZ’s Polynesian immigrants and the problems that presents to NZ as a whole.

To quote the article:

Issued last week, the document says Polynesians are less productive and less likely to contribute to economic growth. They have the highest unemployment in every age group, are less likely to start businesses and have lower rates of self-employment.

Polynesians are over-represented in crime statistics and have higher rates of convictions and prosecutions. They are also more likely to be victims of violent crime. They are more likely to need Government assistance for housing and income.

It helps me confirm a thought I’ve had for a while that, as a country, we have quite a lot at stake in terms of the quality of life and education in our neighbouring Polynesian nations. We do contribute a lot of aid already, but China is generally surpassing us as it works to increase its influence in the Pacific, and I think we need to do more.

It’s in our best interests to invest in public education in Polynesian nations. We, as a country, would benefit as much, if not more, than the nations we were investing in. Better education and quality of life fights each of the negative points in the quote above – something that would benefit New Zealand and every single Polynesian nation. It would improve productivity, contribute more to economic growth, increase employability, reduce the over-repesentation in crime, and reduce reliance of Govt assistance.

Naturally, there would be a lot of issues that would come with any sort of focus or approach like I think I’m suggesting. We need to respect their sovereignty for one. We need to respect their culture and values as another. But I don’t think these are insurmountable especially given 6.9% of NZ’s population are Polynesian – that’s a large pool to draw upon. I imagine a lot of NZ primary and secondary teachers would love to do a ‘tour of duty’ in one of the Islands for instance…

Surely this is an idea worth pursuing?

Update: Had a bit more time to think about this and I think it’s a pretty stupid idea now. How could you, in good faith, subject anyone else to our education system and bureaucracy??

Posted in: Life, Rants

Comments

There are 5 responses to Plugging the “drain”

Simon Young
Thursday, 22nd May 2008 11:08 pm

Woah! That’s a pretty fast flip-flop!

I think you’re onto something with helping out Pacific nations with the idea of public education, if not the exact systems we have here (we did enough of that when most of the Islands were basically NZ colonies 1914-about 1960s).

I think NZ, particularly with its recent Treaty of Waitangi experience, is more likely to respect the sovereignty and culture of Pacific Nations. Particularly when compared with, say, China. (Sovereignty? What?)

Frank
Friday, 23rd May 2008 11:35 am

My problem with the report is that with all things that identify a group as more likely to have negative traits, is that it is easy to apportion blame for the traits on the group.
Not, for example, to the lack of support these migrants had compared to what (the report now indicates) they needed.
At the end of the day, identifying a problem is easy, coming up with a solution…

DeepRed
Tuesday, 27th May 2008 2:00 pm

I don’t reject the report out of hand, but it’s long on statistics and short on solutions. Judging from the author’s other publications, he seems to be taking a leaf out of Samuel Huntington’s book.

Steven
Monday, 2nd June 2008 10:44 am

Nice piece from Tapu Misa in the Herald this weekend on why the reality is so different. It’s actually useless white people who are a bigger drag on the population. Honestly that shouldn’t be a surprise most of our MPs are white, and they are all useless.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10513811

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