Island Life by David Slack

97

Browned to perfection

I can't blame Tariana Turia for getting antsy about the government's immigration policy. The browning of New Zealand is so tantalising a prospect, one can forgive her for fretting at any threat to the vision, real or imagined.

And imagined it probably is, because, as is so often the case, the facts rudely intrude, as you'll see if you click over here to Blogging It Real where we see the makeup of new permanent residents for 2005/6

UK 14,674
China 6,773
South Africa 4,033
India 3,334
Fiji 2,366
South Korea 2,260
Samoa 2,188
USA 1,838
Philippines 1,252
Tonga 968


Facts, schmacts. You know what's missing in all of this? What's missing is a sense of vision and possibility. People just get all negative as soon as Tariana starts talking. Let's sketch it out a little and see if we can't allay some of the fears.

Because I move in the right circles and work to a biased agenda, I am privy to (and, yes, captured by) the relevant papers. The browning of New Zealand, in Tariana's view, will deliver us a perfectly-formed rainbow nation.

Its dimensions have been carefully conceived. New Zealand, according to her plan, would be composed of the right Brown types, and her people have even gone to the trouble of calculating percentages:

53% Russell
28% Wayne
15% Clint
4% Peter

Social engineering, let alone eugenics, is a perilous business, but Tariana is nothing if not fearless. I for one applaud her boldness.

Consider a New Zealand composed along those lines. 53% insightful, prodigious, down-with-the- kids, IT literate and well informed on geopolitical matters, 28% business-savvy, at ease with the tangata whenua and not at all constrained by any ideological tether, 15% good-natured and sports mad, but a bit stroppy with a few drinks on board, and 4% nostalgic old curmudgeon.

Sounds like us.

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