Downplaying the very real threats to New Zealand?

The very real threats to New Zealand?

It’s not as if they aren’t substantial. And this Key-led government is causing considerable concern, perhaps not to a prattling commentariat, but to the country at large. Away from the political and media areas with their self-absorbed interactions, New Zealanders want to know what’s going on…why our country is being sold out to the highest bidders. And what precautions are being taken to guard against the rise of the same militant Islam that is proving so very damaging to other Western democracies.

Arguing for a silver fern branding to replace a time-honoured flag which carries significant meaning to most New Zealanders is a shortfall in thinking. The John Key–instigated extravaganza is pushing for this. However, if yet another Chinese investor now gains a controlling share in New Zealand’s largest meat company, called Silver Fern Farms, this will rather muddy the waters. To whom will the silver fern emblem belong – to New Zealanders? Or to another in the list of super-wealthy buyers from Communist China hoovering up our land and our assets – while the government apparently couldn’t care less.

On the contrary, Bill English apparently wants to help them. This time Winston Peters is not the only politician speaking out on behalf of New Zealanders. Labour leader Andrew Little has charged the Overseas Investment Office with doing too little monitoring after investments have been okayed, and warning that there is always a risk with this government that they will water down the tighter controls and check and balances {needed} to preserve and protect our strategic interests and industries”.

Little is walking right past the fact that these checks and balances are already manifestly inadequate. At the same time, the Finance Minister, Bill English, so often the mouthpiece for his boss, John Key, when it comes to making unpopular statements, is admitting that “the government may beef up the Overseas Investment Office to make it quicker for foreigners to get permission to buy New Zealand assets.”

Of course. And this is the government which still hasn’t answered why, when the Crafar Farms were originally sold, any New Zealanders interested in acquiring them were told they could bid only for the job lot, as it were. This of course put the farms out of the reach of our own countrymen. However, they were advertised in Asia as being able to be bought individually.

This is known as loading the dice. What the National-led government has not been successfully charged with, thanks to an over-compliant media, is selling out New Zealanders in favour of foreign investors…

Yet the oligarchy now ruling this country can’t be ignorant of the fact that, as a 60 Minute programme recently highlighted, Communist China is intent on taking over and controlling all aspects of productive land here and elsewhere, worldwide, that it can – what it produces; how it is marketed and transported – not for the benefit of the countries it is commercially invading – but for its own purposes. In Australia, vast amounts of productive land are now falling into Communist hands with farmers forced off farms that have been for generations in the same family. The banks on which farmers relied are now apparently only too happy to take cash, and to stand by, while this is happening.

Oh, but, Bill English assures us…” The government won’t dilute strict laws that set out conditions for foreign buyers.” This is basically poppycock. Any clever lawyer well able to be afforded by the multimillionaires muscling their way into this country can run rings around these “strict laws”. Money counts… And what it is saying to New Zealanders is – Goodbye to your own country.

While English is mouthing about the legislation not being watered down, he’s averting his eyes from the fact that it is already far too accommodating to foreign buyers – at the expense of New Zealanders. He has the nerve to say that “people who are going through the process often complain about it, and that we have to point out to them that the intent of the process is that it is difficult and it’s pretty challenging.” Really? He rather gives the show away, doesn’t he, when he admits, “all I’m saying is that we get complaints and we are listening to those.”

Well, no news here. This Key-led government, now widely regarded as selling out the country, has very obviously long been listening to big money talking. We can recall how Prime Minister Key quite blatantly , in face of all the evidence, refused to admit that there was even a housing problem in Auckland! And among other foreign buyers of our already snapped-up assets, the red flag of Communist China is stretching across our farmland, our important companies, our housing stock, as we become more and more virtually colonised by this aggressive and increasingly predatory country.

Farmer shareholders and New Zealand First have raised much-needed opposition to Silver Ferns Farms, New Zealand’s largest meat company falling into Chinese hands. Not that today’s National government could care less. English suggests that farmers put their money where their mouth is…regardless of the fact that the vagaries of farming ensure that very often farmers are not in a position, even collectively, to raise the sort of money needed to protect their own industries. And given we are now relatively poor, a reality which can only be attributed to the incompetence of successive governments mismanaging the assets of a country rich in natural resources, we can now guarantee we will be outbid by mega-wealthy investors regarding us as a ripe plum ready for the picking. The rush is on. Moreover, our newly-lowered interest rates for borrowing are to make it even easier for the buyers.

This is not just a question of a reality check, of an investment being a positive thing for the primary sector, as Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy likes to present it. It’s also become a question of New Zealand selling out its most productive assets, and so being deprived of a tax intake – which in future will increase the taxation burden on ordinary New Zealanders. As John Key has already blithely acknowledged, the wealthy can structure their financial affairs to avoid paying any significant tax at all… and who doubts this?

What of the other looming threat to New Zealand posed by focusing on Muslim-only refugee rescue packages? Why are we aiming to take in only Syrians? What about the Christian communities being systematically butchered by ISIS in the Middle East and in Africa?

Worldwide now, those Christian values which underpinned and stabilised the West as cornerstones of our democracies, standing strongly for the rights, responsibilities and the importance of the individual, are coming under attack – not only in Communist China – where far more today declare themselves as Christian than as belonging to the CCP- but in Obama’s America, presided over what many now regard as a rogue President in a country so undermined by the ultra-liberalism of Hollywood’s attack on these values, that here, too, Christians are now being targeted, vilified, and taken to court – particularly as a result of the intolerance and aggressiveness of the new gay propagandist movement, and its bullying tactics.

Every country’s first duty is to its own citizens. And the fact that so many hundreds of thousands, even, estimatedly, millions are now fleeing from the oppression and the barbarity of their fellow citizens, and that we arguably have a moral obligation to do what we can manage, to help the most vulnerable of these, does not mean that we should not be very clear-headed about what we are doing.

But first with the head – then with the heart…Both need to be on board. Knee-jerk reactions targeting civilian refugees can neglect the fact that as brilliant Australian commentator Bill Muehlenberg poinst out, political Islam and creeping Sharia are a very real threat accompanying Muslim immigration. And countries such as the UK, France, Denmark and Holland are now paying dearly for the way they so uncritically embraced the flawed ideology of multiculturalism – rather than insisting upon the need for new immigrants to assimilate into an already existing democratic community, and to pledge allegiance to democratic values. The quite wrong claim that all ethnic cultures are equal in value, even those which are inherently antagonistic to the West, which subjugate and abuse their women, and which claim the right to import separatist practices which undermine our hard-won democratic rights and values, should be utterly rejected. But it may well be too late now for much of Europe to make a stand against being undermined from within.

What we cannot afford to ignore is the excellent analysis of the situation centring on the Syrian refugees in Bill’s excellent, clear-headed article on the Syrian refugees. See http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/07/on-the-syrian-refugees/

As he points out, our natural wish to help genuine refugees must not be divorced from thinking critically. Each nation has the right to defend its borders, and to determine what is a feasible number of genuine refugees or asylum seekers which can be accepted. Isis is already threatening to flood Europe with half a million immigrants in a psychological attack against the West. Isis also boasts that thousands of its operatives are already in place in Europe, disguised as refugees. “Five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees at all, arguing that doing so would open them to the risk of terrorism… And although the oil-rich countries have handed over aid money, Britain has donated more than Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar combined.”

In other words, while “Muslim nations are admitting that Muslim refugees pose a genuine terrorist threat, the West is supposed to throw its doors wide open, with no questions asked. That is a recipe for national suicide.” With good reason, Islamic groups believe that refugees from Syria and other countries will spread Sharia, which is the main goal of jihad.”

In the same article, English commentator Peter Hitchens offers some sober thinking, including the fact that many so-called refugees are, rather, economic immigrants, and that a Muslim dominated government is foreseen as coming to pass in France about seven years from now, ushered into power by the French Tory and Labour partieswith the aim of wanting France to disappear – to be integrated into European Federation.

Given the very real radical Muslim threat to the West, and that multiculturalism is very much a failed policy, we must take steps to ensure that those coming here conduct themselves as genuine refugees, pledging their allegiance to this country.

For example, every new immigrant should be required to take an oath of loyalty to New Zealand as a Constitutional Monarch, and every immigrant child should be required to study and be tested in the national curriculum in schools – even if attending a special church school, as Catholic children often do in this country.

We must reserve the right to expel any immigrants – to send them back to their own country – if they break the law. Women should not be allowed to conceal their faces, nor should they be allowed to be subjected to cultural and sexual bullying, according to the customs of some Muslim males. And other immigrants intent on following their own religious practices, such as turban-wearing Sikhs claiming the right to carry carrying ceremonial daggers on aircraft, should be obliged instead to prioritise our democratic customs, not only for reasons of security, but as a courtesy to the country that has accepted them.

Moreover, as Switzerland has done, we must object to minarets being erected so that the call of the muezzin can be broadcast over towns and cities – a form of noisy cultural bullying in a country that is not Muslim. The Swiss people stood up to their government, voting to prevent any more being erected.

There is an argument that the young men fleeing to the West should stay in their own country and fight back. However, although mothers, babies and children should undoubtedly take precedence as refugees, to stay would mean certain death for many others, particularly where they have no way of successfully fighting back.

Rather than permitting enclaves of particular nationalities to be set up, the suggestion of every town taking in a refugee family offers a far more successful chance of genuine integration.


We’ve done very badly in the West. Our governments conned us for a long time by maintaining, in response to radicalized pressure groups, that assimilation was not the answer, and that all cultures are equal in value. And quite deliberately fomented racism – to which we’ve been long been subjected, with special rights, privilege, funding given to those of part-Maori descent – (without even a definition of who or what is predominantly genetically Maori) – has had the effect of destabilizing society, and continually raiding the pockets of taxpayers. The result has been hugely divisive, with opportunistic iwi, too close to the ear of government, now perceived as being motivated largely by greed, and cultural centre-staging.

There is no argument that migration has in many ways been a powerful and positive contributor to the growth of this country – from the arrival of the first colonists onwards. They made New Zealand what it is today, a country whose forebears were English, Scottish, Irish, Polish, Dalmation, German, French, Italian, Jewish, Yugoslav, people of many different backgrounds who, over the generations with intermarriage with Maori (our previous immigrants) made integration the norm. The result was a remarkably stable mixture of the descendants of all these peoples.

Whether we are on track for a quite different and far more damaging period ahead will very much depend on claiming back our country, as New Zealanders, from a succession of governments which have made very bad decisions, costing us all – and which are apparently determined to carry on doing so. Already the winds of change have flown in birds of ill omen, with the threat to this country now coming both from outside, and from within our own borders.

© Amy Brooke, Convener, The 100 Days –  Claiming Back New Zealand

They’re dying,while the wily John Key has us arguing

We’ve all seen the pictures. The little three year old boy, drowned, lying on the sand…A mother in an agony of loss, her two much-loved little daughters dead. They are ordinary family people, just like us – fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands. They are dying, starving, destitute, losing hope – and scores of thousands are already dead.

They are dying, and desperate – while John Key has us arguing about his vanity flag project.

They are posing an enormous challenge to the countries to which they are fleeing from the butchery in the Middle East. Hey, but we’re busy, aren’t we, arguing about the colours on a possible (though highly unlikely) new flag for this country?

However, according to the Herald, although John Key has long resisted requests to increase New Zealand’s refugee quota, there are signs that he may be softening his stance. He has now announced that “we’re not ruling out doing more”.

Who are we? John Key, who now virtually rules this once far more democratic country? And apparently, changing the flag that commemorates our forefathers, to turn it into a mere branding image, is a number one priority for our lightweight Prime Minister, who likes to disparagingly use the word “colonial” to rubbish a great heritage left to us . This centres on the values and traditions of the centuries-old fight for democracy, and the Christian underpinning of the West. However, in our increasingly secularised and fragmenting society, as these values come more and more under attack, it may be time to face the fact that when we lose them, we will have lost what turned us into a civilisation – even if one that is now gradually disintegrating.

Our present flag and that of our Australian friends are not a purposeless assemblage of design gimmicks. They can remind us that the “three crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick acknowledge the principles and ideals flowing from the British heritage of European settlers; including parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.”

And meanwhile, the Australians are laughing at us. No wonder. It was a New Zealander who submitted one of the five almost identical designs that was adopted as the Australian flag, which carries a fifth star within the Southern Cross, and one larger star, that of Federation.

A silver fern, a piece of (green) plant which has been adopted, little by little (and by no means without a gradually implemented, radicalized agenda) as an emblem on sporting teams representing New Zealand) doesn’t carry the same weight. Nor do any of the four slick (three repetitively similar) designs now selected to challenge the flag of those who came before us.

And from the site of Facebook https://www.facebook.com/acmnorepublic: Here’s the short list for the best NZ beach towel. The comments on these are overwhelmingly negative. And “In the meantime Karl Puschmann reveals in the New Zealand Herald that the ” whole ‘Change the Flag’ debate was just a big Government distraction to take attention away from the real scandal going on right under our noses.”

Which scandal, though? That of our country being sold out piece by piece to the highest bidders? A country where our farmland is being priced out of the reach of the people of this country. A country where political decisions and a mismanaged economy have produced the unthinkable – a situation where many New Zealanders can no longer even hope to buy a house of their own.

John Key apparently has a very strong ego which justifies, in his thinking, the $26 million estimated as the cost of the two referenda which he has planned, in order to get rid of our flag. But this will be a mere drop in the bottomless bucket of the many more, million of dollars – if his personal push succeeds – to change all the flags, the atlases, the textbooks, the insignia on buildings, the passports. We can probably factor in hundreds of millions of dollars if one determined individual, bent on getting his own way, succeeds – now cuddling up to sporting heroes like Richie McCaw, to assist him – to the disappointment of many who will feel that McCaw should not have allowed himself to be part of the PM’s propaganda campaign on this issue.

So, while desperate individuals flee from the carnage of the Middle East, and the reversals to barbarism of Central Africa, New Zealanders have been inveigled into arguing about which beach towel design they could opt for.

Too bad that our cash-strapped hospitals are now even removing patients from their waiting lists; that there are New Zealanders with life-threatening diseases requiring expensive medication having this withheld, because the country apparently can’t afford it. Too bad that Starship Children’s Hospital has to send out begging letters to raise the money to buy the equipment needed to treat children to the best of their ability. Too bad that the police are being constantly badgered to reduce even further their already inadequate budget. If John Key wants to prioritise his wish for a new flag, apparently this takes precedence.

That our flag is similar to that of Australia is a very minor quibble. All around the world variations of tricolour flags are genuinely confusing, whereas it takes only a glance to tell the difference between our flag and that of our Commonwealth neighbour. Moreover, we are both Anzacs. Our people, New Zealanders and Australians, fought and died together – and apart from our very reasonable dislike for the unsporting antics of the Australian cricket team, we rub along pretty well.

We may have a money-man for PM this side of the ditch – but we need to show him that a county’s flag isn’t just about making money – isn’t just an export brand. And that prioritizing his wants, while people are dying, forced to flee their own homes, their country, their own people– let alone downplaying or dismissing the very real problems facing this country, shames him – and us all.

© Amy Brooke, Convener – The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand.

 

A brave and funny man – and Abbott says no to the TPP

A brave and funny man issues his own flag challenge – and Australia says NO to the TPP. But will John Key still be “comfortable”?  As usual?

Having the courage of one’s convictions has become a luxury for many these days. It’s virtually political suicide if you’re a member of a political party. These days you do as you’re told…especially if you’re in the National Party, now virtually ruled by an authoritarian leader – with a few close henchmen. This is what’s known not as a democracy, but as a political oligarchy.

However, nobody seems to have told the funny and clever National Party MP for Tamaki, Simon O’Connor that he’s supposed to do as he’s told – that even exercising a conscience vote can make you a marked man. The result was his heartening and very amusing YouTube declaration of independence in answer to the PM’s usual guff. Rather than fronting up to a debate in the house in relation to his squandering scores of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to get his own way – in relation to repudiating the New Zealand flag – John Key issued a YouTube recording expounding on all the wonderful advantages a new flag will have. Yawn.

Simon O’Connor’s own YouTube reply is classic, and unmissable. — http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/no-no-no-mp-tamaki-nails-colours-flag-debate-jw-177164

The trouble is so many New Zealanders don’t believe the PM. Not any more – although it should be remembered that when media talk about John Key’s landslide victory in the last election, they’re absolutely wrong. Accessing the web will give you the number of seats National got in Parliament – one fewer than previously. But the actual vote for the National Party was down in the mid-thirty percent. They are very definitely a minority government.

It was the dog’s breakfast combination of opposing political parties which split the Opposition vote – although the public is turning towards Winston Peters and his repudiation of policies which divide this country – (including special rights only for those of Maori descent) – which show which way the wind is blowing. New Zealanders in effect are tired of being taken to the cleaners to fund highly dubious, in some cases now downright fraudulent treaty claims.

The public is also angered by Key’s appropriating of public money for a new flag, to get his own way – when there are desperately needy areas in which it could have been productively used. Hospitals are losing much-needed specialists because of unreasonable workloads, and the prospect of far better pay overseas. The police are constantly being exhorted to cut costs – although they are already more then stretched to provide the services the country should be able to expect. And apparently, although a lot of unease has been expressed by politicians behind the scenes, including by National Party members, who among these has stood up to be counted?

All the more reason why we should be applauding Simon O’Connor’s brave and very funny scrutiny of the 40 pedestrian, predictably repetitive suggestions for a replacement flag for this country – which the Prime Minister thinks are great. Well, he would, wouldn’t he? But should the mere opinion of one, arguably egotistical individual be costing the country what it is?

We have lost a great deal, when the time has long gone that individuals of conviction routinely stood up for what they believed in and crossed the floor of the House. They were respected for doing so. Moreover, their courage often inspired others. The saying, “One man with courage makes a majority,” attributed to Andrew Jackson, has served as an inspiration for so many making a brave stand against the zeitgeist of their age.

However, what when making a stand against the increasing number of politically correct compliance issues from the bully boys and girls costs people their jobs, their promotions? What when people are becoming intimidated by more and more repressive legislation, policed by government investigators eager to pounce on any speaking out of turn? There is increasing disquiet at what many regard as the ill-thought pronouncements of our over-enthusiastic Race Relations Conciliator, apparently poised to pounce at the slightest supposed transgression.

Whatever has happened to freedom of speech? What when individuals of courage can be hauled before the courts for speaking to the truth of an issue as they see it – especially when they see the directions of the day are on target to produce Huxley’s “brave new world” – the one their children and grandchildren are going to be forced to endure, as the creeping State exercises more and more damaging control over their lives? Whatever is happening to freedom of speech – and fair debate?

Be prepared to be shocked. Canada, now only a little ahead of New Zealand in being regarded as one of the most politically correct, over-liberal countries in the world, has now embarked on unacceptable contradictions against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is almost incredible that this country has now taken to prosecuting its citizens for supposedly “hate crimes”. For example, for anyone in Canada to argue, with impeccable logic, that “marriage is between a man and a woman” is now treated as a hate crime.

This isn’t just a horrible possibility – as it is yet, in this country, with politicians increasingly under pressure from radicalised pressure groups pushing agenda which would have rightly horrified those who fought for our freedom, and for those values which traditionally underpinned and stabilised our Western society.

In Canada now, the situation has become Orwellian, as recounted in an Australian News Weekly article by Peter Kelleher, highlighting the message of Dawn Stefanowicz whose book – Out from Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, tells her own story of an entire childhood spent in the house with a homosexual father and his string of partners, most of whom have died of AIDS, including her father.

“From her Canadian home today, Dawn has been in communication with over 50 adult children who were raised by GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) parents and who now share her concerns about same-sex marriage and parenting. She says that many of these now adults struggle with their own sexuality and sense of gender because of the influence in their household environments growing up.”

Her warning to Australian not to go down the same path of same-sex marriage highlights the deterioration in Canadians’ freedoms over the past 10 years, and calls us with urgency to wake up to what the endgame of the GLBT rights movement involves: centralised State power and the end of the freedoms of religion, of expression, of association, and of assembly.”

In many respect, it is also too late for New Zealand. We are proceeding down the same path. In Canada, even to have a debate about same-sex marriage is a breach of discrimination laws! “If you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including anything questioning same-sex marriage) you could face discipline at work, or even termination of employment and perhaps prosecution under the law.

“Dawn asks why police prosecute speech under the guise of eliminating “hate speech” when there are already legal remedies and criminal protections against slander, defamation, threats and assault, that equally apply to all.

“It is because hate-crime-like policies using the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” create unequal protection under law… Protected groups receive more legal protection than other groups: this is the Orwellian flower in full bloom.”

Moreover, “Canadians were told over and over that permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive anyone of any rights”. This has been shown to be a lie. The definition of parenting, too, was immediately redefined with the phrase “natural parent” now changed to legal “parent”. Who a child’s parents are is now defined by the State, in legislation designed to erase biological parenthood.’

Dawn Stefanowicz’s book deserves a wider audience in this country, as, given the political climate of the day, and two overbearing Prime Ministers of both Labour and National, quite different in style, but both far from conservative – in the best sense of the word – and equally exercising a determined control over their own party – we have progressed a long way from the expectation that members of Parliament should represent their constituents, in what we called a representative democracy.

This is far from what we now have, where MPs are expected to pledge their loyal first and foremost to the Party – which is today, in effect, the PM and his hierarchy. Nowadays, our MPs may grumble, but in the National Party in particular they are reduced to being a pushover. When the Prime Minister says Jump – they jump. As Minister Nick Smith admitted in an unguarded moment – he himself asks, How high?

In so many areas of our national life, we have already down the same path as Canada – given Amy Adams’ Harmful Digital Communications Bill – another of the step-by-step restrictions on our right to free speech – under a feel-good guise of reasonable intent. But how very easy it is to claim “emotional distress” – and how inexorably such legislation has unexpected consequences as a first-only wedge in the door. Our abortion laws, for example, so swiftly became stretched in intent, with the elastication of the word “reasonable” to the stage where thousands of New Zealand’s pre-birth babies are now put to death each year – before they have a chance to be born.

How long will it be until we reach the situation in Canada where “just one claim laid before the Human Rights Commission’s tribunal can cause a person to be bought before the tribunal with the cost to the defendant in the tens of thousands of legal fees, plus a fine of $5000 for a first offence; plus a gag order? The taxpayer picks up the tab for the person making the complaint, yet the defendant, even when found innocent, cannot recover his legal costs.”

Moreover, “when same-sex marriage was created in Canada, gender neutral language became legally mandated…. to be inclusive, non-gender-specific language is being imposed in media, government, workplaces, and schools. A special curriculum is being used to teach students how to use gender neutral language to describe a husband and wife, father and mother. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and even pronouns – (he and she) are being steadily eradicated in Canadian schools.”

As Dawn points out: “Gay identity is a social construct, in that it demands public recognition from others. Yet the Supreme Court of the US , in its deliberations on whether to alter the age-old human institution of family by allowing same-sex marriage did not even consider what the effect might be on children who, after all, are seldom found outside families, and often make up the greater part of the members. These, the vulnerable and the voiceless were rendered invisible and silenced. “ As she relates, she was one of these children. Yet, as she details, children will often deny their grief and pretend they don’t miss a biological parent, even when they experience a painful void. Her experience is that for the children of homosexual parents, their partner (s) can never replace the missing biological parent.

“And then of course, anyone who owns a business, wedding planners rental halls, bed-and-breakfast owners, florists, photographers and bakers have already seen their freedoms eroded, their conscience ignored and religious freedoms trampled in Canada… “Small businesses are particularly in the sights of the gender neutral as they are easier to isolate and to take down one at a time… while big business has seen the writing on the wall, and has come down on the side of the same sex activists.”

There is much more of which this author warns us, where already one well-known media commentator has already been silenced for merely “offending “certain persons. And instances where anyone can make a frivolous or aggressive claim of being “offended” carry just as many warnings for New Zealanders.

Who can doubt that New Zealand is heading down this same path, with a far-ranging attack on all our institutions, our traditional values, our cultural cohesion – with its former aim of equal rights for all regardless of colour, race, and gender? No wonder the political enthusiasm for doing away with the New Zealand flag with its reminder of our priceless heritage, incorporated in the crosses of St George and St Andrew reminding us, under a southern sky, of our historical origins.

Ah, but apparently our Prime Minister has other priorities than to be reminded of than our historical origins – at least with respect to our forefathers from Great Britain and Europe who built this country up to what it is today. While part-Maori are urged by our apparatchiks to stay immersed in a highly sanitised version of their past, Key essentially disparages our colonial forebears – many of whom underwent severe privation and fought in major wars to keep this country safe for New Zealanders. Key, on the other hand, invokes the failed cliché of multiculturalism, which has already caused so much damage to formerly cohesive societies overseas, promoting social unrest, and even violence. The next step will be the rubbishing of our national anthem, which, sang at the tempo in which it was written, is a rousing and fine call for protection for this land – now more than ever needed.

The arrogance of this three times National Government is now showing, John Key’s populist hero halo becoming tarnished. The PM himself has joined the condescending, sharp-tongued Chris Finlayson, whose dismissal as “clowns “ or “nutters” of those asking reasonable questions is echoed in Tim Groser’s lofty remark about leaving TPP negotiations “to the grown-ups”. John Key’s annoyed reaction to a large protest march in Auckland was dismissive and unpleasant, calling a third of the demonstrators “rent- a-crowd”.

And yet, in spite of the too often puerile commenting on Australia’s Prime Minister from of our media columnists (such as with Jane Clifton’s cheap reference to “Tony Abbott, who (sic) I can’t look at without thinking of the head of an old hot water bottle, the ears like rubber handles at each side”… New Zealanders might well be better off with Tony Abbott as our Prime Minister.

How many know – our mainstream media certainly aren’t telling us – that, as News Weekly points out, the Australian Prime Minister has resisted immense pressure from the United government to sign an unsatisfactory TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement “which would have prevented higher exports of farm products to the US, while giving higher levels of protections to the US pharmaceutical industry, pushing up prices for prescription drugs in Australia.” While our PM is happy to obligingly roll over on this issue (loading even more costs onto the taxpayer) Australia has held out against US pressure to sign on the dotted line.

This – as The Australian newspaper has reported – even though “President Barack Obama called Tony Abbott to strong-arm him into agreeing with US proposals to increase the patient protection of pharmaceuticals from five years to 12. There were no US concessions on exports of Australian sugar and primary products.”

The Australian Prime Minister has done a lot better than ours – Tony Abbott flatly rejected the Osama proposal.

There are many New Zealanders now raising questions about what exactly is John Key’s agenda, and why he is allowing a virtually unrestricted buy-up of New Zealand land, farms and houses, when one of the three main responsibilities of government is “the defence of the realm”.

Already our country has greatly changed, and from a friend leaving to go back to England, and, like do many former immigrants, noting how much this country has deteriorated from the New Zealand they first encountered, has come this troubled email.

“I kind of feel we all have let the world down. Where’s our pride, our support to those who sacrificed their lives for the good of mankind?

“When you think about it, it’s sad. I feel my wonderful world is slipping away and we are entering a dark age, an age where decency and morality is just disappearing into   a spiralling vortex. What we have taken for granted for so long is now starting to fall apart and we will be forced in to a new age – and it will happen right under our noses.”

Who can seriously disagree?

There is no doubt that our political system is moving to control more and more of our lives. We no longer have a genuine democracy. But there *is* time to reclaim it, if enough individuals – for it always depends upon individuals’ and individual conscience – are willing to support our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand initiative, to fight for what the Swiss people long ago fought for – and which enabled them, not their political class, to take control of the directions of their country. See www.100days.co nz . The result? Switzerland has become the most successful and stable democracy in the world.

All it takes is each man or woman with the courage of their convictions, caring enough to insist on a new political configuration – the 100 Days.

If you do care, support us!                                                            *

© Amy Brooke, Convener. The 100 Days– author of The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand –what has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians – available through any good bookshop, or from Kindle.

OIO fob-off-Selling out NZ. Is John Key just thick?

The OIO fob off? Selling out NZ? Is John Key just thick?

There’s no doubt that this National government’s ignoring of the issues posed by an increasing flow of multimillionaires from what is now acknowledged to be a predatory and aggressive Communist country, is disadvantaging New Zealanders. Allowing them to outbid our people to own our land, houses and businesses can be argued to be possibly treasonous, given that in a democracy, the first duty of the State is to protect its citizens.

This is not a question of xenophobia. Over the decades, Chinese New Zealanders have long made this country their home, assimilated well, and contributed to its prosperity. Some are themselves now extremely concerned at what seems the almost incredible blindness of this National government to what is happening.

As Spectator columnist and classicist Peter Jones points out, the Roman statesman, Cicero, took the view that the country’s security and common interests are best served by laws whose first aim is to safeguard its citizens.

Who would dispute this? It isn’t happening here.

All across this country, concern has been expressed at New Zealanders becoming second-class citizens as a result of both government policy – e.g. via the obvious inadequacy of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) – and this National government’s fob-off of the crisis in Auckland’s housing market. Again and again we are told that this is simply a matter of not enough houses, and that more and more land needs to be freed up.

But this is not the whole answer, and dodges an equally important issue – apart from that of both central and local government’s incompetence in allowing this crisis to come about. What is being constantly ignored is the fact that the aim of building 30,000 new homes and apartments a year is grossly inadequate – if 70,000 new immigrants are now annually admitted. Moreover, if far wealthier immigrants from Communist China, now facing possibly its largest exodus in history, are able to outbid New Zealanders to confine them to the now also severely unaffordable renting market, then a great injustice is being done to the people of this country…who should be the government’s first priority.

This is an issue not only equally as important as the housing shortage, but even more so, given that we need to look at why this government is selling out New Zealanders.

John Key’s refusal to acknowledge that Auckland even has a housing crisis is extraordinary. First, because it suggests an apparent inability to face facts…He is denying what is demonstrably true. The question then: – would he peddle a blatant lie, if he knew this was the case? Surely not? Then is he being misled, deceived? Is no one telling him the truth? After all, the suspicion is growing (particularly in that the “Minister of Everything”, Steven Joyce, was more or less boasting recently of the hand he had in a pre-budget speech John Key delivered) – are these speeches simply supplied to the Prime Minister to deliver?

Is the real problem just that Key isn’t very bright? There has been no boasting about any academic record at school. He became a multi-millionaire by opting for a move into the money world. Currency trading requires a certain affinity with money-making, and arguably a gambling instinct. However, it does not necessarily equate to his being well-informed, well-read, well-grounded and well-educated – with the background knowledge of history, philosophy, and great literature which helps to produce a well-rounded, statesmanlike individual.

In fact, Key’s use of language is clumsy, ill-informed, even gauche. He can be cringemaking – as in his recent dodging the question of the name of the Islamic state leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews had the same problem, but adroitly dodged being cornered. Key, with his usual offhand deflection of questions he doesn’t like, is quoted as saying; “Ah look, I’ll get it wrong if I actually name his name. It’s al Jabiri something, but yeah, whatever.”

Yeah, whatever…”?

Why is National’s leader apparently unable to publicly acknowledge what’s happening in Auckland. Should we be necessarily discounting the possibility that he really is rather thick, ie. intellectually lightweight? For example, he thinks John Campbell’s nightly look at important current affairs should be “more entertaining”. Really- along the lines of Key’s named favourite TV programmes, which include Johnny English, and My Big Fat Gypsy wedding?

 The man who likes to dance on stage at “ gay” festivals, being smoodged by drag queens when he regularly attends the Big Day Out, which many conservative NZers, and even some homosexual and lesbians, deplore as crass and exhibitionistic. The man whose mouth appears to run away with him, or doesn’t seem to realise describing some women as “hot” is basically offensive to many women uses the sort of vocabulary one doesn’t expect from a Prime Minister.

We do know that Key has a disconcerting record of memory blackouts – or vagueness about what he knows and doesn’t know – or what he was told, or wasn’t told. Oh yes – and when…Some regard him as being less than rigorous with the truth of issues. However, as long as he feels “relaxed” and “comfortable” – as he regularly claims, then it appears we are meant to settle for what many regard as evasiveness.

So when Key claims there’s no housing shortage in Auckland, what are we meant to think?

Most desperate home-hunters aren’t going to be forgiving with regard to his nonsensical claims – not when the housing market is near crisis point – when the New Zealand Herald accurately reports that “first-home buyers are being hit by explosive price rises, bank lending restrictions and fierce competition amid a severe shortage of available properties…and that “the previous generation’s quarter-acre, three-bedroom dream is fast becoming unattainable for today’s house hunters”.

New Zealanders are not in the mood for being fobbed off any further. The question has to be faced fairly and squarely. Why are we being done over in our own country? Is it just a matter of more land being needed for housing; of reforming the RMA; of government culpability and its sheer incompetence with regard to making sure that affordable housing remained within the reach of New Zealanders at large?

Or has something totally new entered the equation during this last decade in particular which gravely disadvantages New Zealanders? The answer is yes, of course. And yes, too, to the fact that John Key’s government has apparently no intention of facing up to this other important issue. There is all-round silence from his National Party colleagues, who apparently couldn’t care less about the almost impossibly difficult, in many cases even sad or tragic outcomes for decent hard-working New Zealanders now losing their dream of ever owning a home.

And is this helped by the stampede of real estate agents going over to China to persuade Chinese buyers to buy our houses – even advertising in Mandarin and Cantonese? They themselves will of course hugely profit. But how much thought have they given to the fact that they are working against the interests of those most disadvantaged New Zealanders – those unable to afford a first home? Family people and others who have saved for years now know that they have no hope of achieving what was taken for granted a decade or so ago. Is this really the New Zealand we all want?

And is what the real estate agents doing actually fair to fellow New Zealanders (not just those selling expensive property at a considerable profit)? Does it even matter? Or is it now just dog eat dog – and every man for himself? If so, what has happened to this country?

It’s not just in Auckland, although the latest official figures show the average Auckland house price soared to $775,555 by January 31. Trade Me also reported very recently a 26.5% jump in prices for properties of one and two bedrooms over the past year.

Is it simply a matter of no concern to John Key and his silent colleagues that, attending a recent luxury property expo in Shanghai, realtor Bayleys Canterbury reportedly found buyers for $5.4m worth of homes in three days – and that they hope for even more sales at a similar event in Beijing in April? Bayleys’ general manager Pete Whalan described the buyers as “mega rich”. The five Shanghai deals included a block of six Pegasus townhouses sold for $2.7m to an investor, a West Melton lifestyle block bought for $1.2m by intending immigrants, and sales of houses in Christchurch’s north-western suburbs for more than $750,000.

There is a very valid point of view that any government which keeps ignoring one of the very important reasons for New Zealanders being priced out of their own homes, their own farms and land is in effect showing it doesn’t want to know. If so, this is basically a disgraceful state of affairs, and the blame for it can be laid to the feet of a government which, for all its pretence, is basically working against the interests of its own people.

With good reason, there has been a great deal of criticism in recent years about the fact that the Overseas Investment office (OIO) basically rubberstamps any application for ownership of our assets. The OIO representative whom I recently contacted for a clearer picture of what exactly is happening, and why, helpfully forwarded clarification with regard to the requirements for consent. What apparently seems to be regarded as efficiently stringent is mind-bogglingly inadequate – even farcically so.

What is apparently accepted as an important factor acting as a control on the oncoming flood of applications is that -“Applying for consent is a relatively costly process, meaning that applicants will want to be fairly sure of success proceeding with applications for consent.” Does anyone really believe that this is an adequate safeguard, given that those applying are described as not just wealthy, but mega-wealthy? These include the so-called princes of the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy, many now reading the writing on the wall for themselves and their families in China.

A similar guide to applications to acquire sensitive land stipulates that “there is likely a benefit to New Zealand. “ Likely”… only likely?!

The ways in which such a benefit can be dreamt up, drummed up, flossied up – but never eventuate – undoubtedly exist. The OIO apparently does no follow-up in subsequent years – and in fact seems to have no power to do anything about the results of undertakings which never eventuate. Moreover, throughout New Zealand there are instances of land which was once able to be accessed by the public but is closed off by foreign buyers, no longer accessible. So much for New Zealanders’ interests being safeguarded.

In reply to my specific question to the OIO whether there is a limit to the amount of New Zealand farmland that can be sold off e.g. 50%, 70% etc. the reply was basically no – there is no limit. The answer provided meaningless padding, such as -“It is a privilege for overseas persons to acquire sensitive New Zealand assets. Therefore, overseas persons who want to purchase ·New Zealand assets are required to a) meet the criteria for consent set out in the act, and b) may have conditions of consent imposed on them if consent is granted. “

And again; “However, if an overseas investor wants to acquire farmland that is more than 10 times the size of an average of average farm of that type”, the OIO “is directed that certain economic factors set out in the Act and Overseas Investment Regulations are of high relative importance”.

New Zealanders who are now accustomed to the flood of verbiage emitted by bureaucrats will know this for what it is – basically meaningless – and centring on the word “relative”. Money is already greasing the wheels when individuals with over $10 million to supposedly invest are more or less automatically allowed into this country (preferably, but apparently not necessarily, if they have no criminal record…recalling the controversy which has already accompanied some who were granted entry with just that).

China was the country’s biggest and fastest growing source of migrants last year. Shouldn’t we be concerned about this, given that New Zealand has no limits on foreign property ownership, except that sensitive land sales or deals worth more than $100m need official approval. Moreover, although China has relaxed its rules so the Chinese themselves can buy more global real estate, it bans the sale of its own land to foreigners…as do other countries from which immigrants are coming.

Then why is our government falling over itself to load the dice against our own people? Why do we have no real controls set in place so that New Zealanders do not become second-class citizens in our own country? Some argue it is already now well and truly happening.

The fact that the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (Steven Joyce’s portfolio) has very recent stated that “it could not identify any welfare issues or find evidence of breaches of minimum employment standard law – in reply to Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard writing to it last August, is extraordinary. The issue is a highly serious one. Mallard asked for an investigation into whether Chinese workers dealing with asbestos were being paid far less than the minimum wage – even as little as three dollars an hour, and whether they were living in cramped conditions and did not have enough to eat.

The investigation has cleared the employer at the Hutt Railway workshops – although requested wage records were not released – on the grounds that because the Chinese employers of these labourers did not have a New Zealand presence, “the Labour Inspectorate was not able to require them to provide time and wage records. The Ministry had no idea how much the workers were paid.

Is this what we expect to see happening in this country – overseas employers -beyond the reach of our own law because they do not have “a New Zealand presence” whatever that means? Then why are they being allowed to operate in this country? If this isn’t a thumbing of the nose at our legal system and our sovereignty- let alone, if it is true, a straight-out abuse of the poor and the vulnerable, what is it?

This is now an enormously important issue, given the increased resentment of the worldwide disparity between the super-wealthy, cushioned by an all-too comfortable understanding across national barriers – and the equally dubious, barrier-penetrating golden handshakes given to and by these internationalists. Their fraternity and allegiances are now regarded as giving them a commonality they do not share with those fellow countrymen, who provide useful goods and services. Regarding now as having obtained their wealth basically by the manipulation of money –they are, en masse, a new phenomenon looking for safe havens to retreat or escape to.

Although their exodus is world-wide, enough of them are targeting New Zealand, overwhelmingly so from Communist China (and this includes those regarded as having obtained their wealth from the hierarchy and connections with the corrupt Chinese Party). And our Key-led government is only too willing to have them here.

Do we have a very real problem here, in that our multi-millionaire Prime Minister may tend to identify more with these equally super wealthy internationalists – rather than with his own countrymen?

From long-time sympathetic China-watcher, David Shambaugh, writing on The Coming Chinese Crack-up comes the warning. “First, China’s economic élites have one foot out the door, and they are ready to flee en masse if the system really begins to crumble. In 2014, Shanghai’s Hurun Research Institute, which studies China’s wealthy, found that 64% of the “high net worth individuals” whom it polled—393 millionaires and billionaires—were either emigrating or planning to do so. Rich Chinese are sending their children to study abroad in record numbers (in itself, an indictment of the quality of the Chinese higher-education system).

The best regional magazine of Pacific Affairs, the Australian News Weekly reports that “Mainland China has now overtaken the United Kingdom to become the largest source of immigrants in Australia since 2011…Widely-held concern that foreign purchases of houses, particularly from people born in China, are pushing up the price of housing in Australia, has prompted a federal parliamentary inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. There is no doubt that popular concern is driven by perceptions that Chinese buyers dominate the top end of the local property market. These perceptions have been fuelled by instances of Chinese buying multiple properties at recently-held auctions.”

The basic unfairness of New Zealanders being displaced in our own country, hopelessly outbid when faced with immensely rich Chinese house-buyers snapping up houses as fast as they come onto the market, to rent them back to New Zealanders, the renting costs alone pushed higher and higher by desperate competition from those needing somebody to live, has become a national scandal.

We are told that New Zealand has a rockstar economy, a quite simply unbelievable claim, given the noose tightening around so many of the essential services we use. Cash-strapped hospitals with insufficient nursing staff to cope, and unrealistic targets to meet; the police budget constantly being cut, so that 30 more police stations have closed, and the police stations have reduced their opening hours as police struggle to cope with yet another budget freeze. With resources stretched, responses to 111 calls are reportedly lengthening, falling below targets, and communications centres are struggling.

Everywhere over the country come the reports of businesses folding up, and shops closing down – as in Nelson, for example, where some commercial premises, even in the central shopping area, have had For Let signs up for many months – even some years, in some cases, with, one by one, other shops now closing down. In a shock to the local community, the region’s largest private logging company, Waimea Contract Carriers, with 80 trucks and employing 120 people, is now in voluntary administration.

Little by little, our industries are closing down. NZ Post plans to further layoff more than 2000 employees.

And the forecast budget surplus which John Key used as a campaign promise?

Did anyone really believe him?

 © Amy Brooke, Convener – the 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand