Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we there yet?

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I do regard a broader range of faces and voices as a good thing, though, and I’m intrigued by how many people seem to feel the same way.

    It's easy to generalise about groups of people by cultural, religious, racial or any criteria if you don't have personal contact with them. When your really cool and nice workmate is purple it's hard to then mouth off at the pub about how purple people are all scumbag leaches on society and we need more purple-people eaters.

    And yeah to blather on about restaurants again, when the Indian family cooking your dinner turn out to be just lovely people its hard to think the city would be better without them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    its hard to think the city would be better without them

    and harder for some of us than others to believe that's our decision in any case

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    And yeah to blather on about restaurants again, when the Indian family cooking your dinner turn out to be just lovely people its hard to think the city would be better without them.

    Was it Rowan Atkinson ( in character ) that said "But we've got the recipe now , so can't they go back?" .

    I agree about having a purple mate making a difference , but on the other hand I'm sure lots of rascists have mates whose background they ignore , but still generalise about other races or cultures as a group. ( I'm still tempted to at times )

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to alobar,

    I agree about having a purple mate making a difference , but on the other hand I’m sure lots of rascists have mates whose background they ignore , but still generalise about other races or cultures as a group. ( I’m still tempted to at times )

    Covert racism can be just as bad as traditional racism of the skinhead/white hooded robe kind. Especially the type where it's dressed up in a suit and tie as 'tough on crime' and other wedge issues, as happened with the Southern Strategy in the US. Or otherwise when the racism is outsourced to 'model minorities' - people like Michelle Malkin take it to its logical conclusion.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to alobar,

    I’m sure lots of rascists have mates whose background they ignore , but still generalise about other races or cultures as a group.

    Racists are weird. There's what DeepRed says about covert racism. But overt racists? I never could figure out why I meet so many white supremacists in China. Do they somehow not notice that precious few people in China are white? Why would they deliberately put themselves in a country full of people they despise by virtue of them looking different? And then there's the racists with Chinese girlfriends, even wives, who happily sit down and loudly bitch about how shit China is and Chinese people are right in front of said Chinese significant other. I'm sure you could rinse and repeat for any other mostly not white country, or expats in any country whose majority is of a different skin colour.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    people like Michelle Malkin take it to its logical conclusion

    Yep , just read wiki on her .
    Scary.

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    "it is a good thing for a society to be made up of people from different races, religions, and cultures" does not explicitly make clear the mix of that society. I might answer yes to that question myself but I would still rather feel I belonged to a group with a common identity and a right to the geographical entity known as New Zealand.
    I remember thinking as the numbers of Asians increased "well it is good that they will be a sufficiently large population to stand up for themselves", now I watch with alarm as the numbers increase with no end in sight and the advantages (from my standpoint) are elusive.
    Since the last post by Spoonley "What Diversity Dividend?" the Savings Working Group Report came out and they said (among other things):

    “The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely** to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make** and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to jh,

    I remember thinking as the numbers of Asians increased “well it is good that they will be a sufficiently large population to stand up for themselves”, now I watch with alarm

    So..... the traditional pale skinned immigrants don't bother you?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    for me it is an issue of adding populations to an existing population and culture: the size, the pace, the rationale and the effects.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to jh,

    And yet since the 19th century NZ has had quite a diverse range of immigrants, most (but certainly not all) of them pale-skinned until fairly recently, but all bringing a variety of cultures. Somehow pale-skinned diversity seems to fly under the radar and nobody much worries about "the size, the pace, the rationale and the effects."

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Racism at one level is innate according to evolutionary psychologists.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21220339
    and the point is that all humans groups are the same.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    And yet since the 19th century NZ has had quite a diverse range of immigrants, most (but certainly not all) of them pale-skinned until fairly recently, but all bringing a variety of cultures. Somehow pale-skinned diversity seems to fly under the radar and nobody much worries about “the size, the pace, the rationale and the effects.”

    back then the size, the pace, the rationale and the effects.” were different. Diversity wasn't a goal of narcisstic left-wing politicians (for one thing) and we were still developing as we broke in the hill country. Neither did we aspire to the second highest rate of immigration in the OECD. Now we grow on growth.

    Somehow pale-skinned diversity seems to fly under the radar as I said above humans have a natural preference for people like themselves, having evolved in small groups where everyone was like themselves, but that doesn't just apply to whites (as other groups are human too).

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to jh,

    humans have a natural preference for people like themselves

    That would explain the frequent outbreaks of tribal warfare in Europe. Ukraine being the latest case in point - though, of course, it hasn't quite got to actual warfare yet.

    The phrase "evolutionary psychologists" never inspires much confidence, unfortunately, but I did notice that abstract talked about "in-group" vs. "out-group", so nothing to do with racism at all, and the principle is likely to apply to political parties or multi-ethnic religious groups as much as to ethnic groups.

    back then the size, the pace, the rationale and the effects.” were different.

    Well, of course. But "since the 19th century" covers an awfully large slice of "back then", and the tense I used suggests quite strongly "from then up until and including now". Still, the size, pace and effects of immigration in the 1840s, '50s and '60s had a lot of Maori worried about the effects to the point where they concluded the Brits had broken the Treaty and so they were justified in taking up arms. We know what happened after that.

    Growing on growth seems to be a rather silly economic policy, sure. But your comments seem to suggest that growing on Asian growth is somehow bad immigration policy. Why is that?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs, in reply to alobar,

    Was it Rowan Atkinson ( in character ) that said "But we've got the recipe now , so can't they go back?"

    One of his many glorious moments in the undiluted brilliance that was NTNON:

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    The phrase “evolutionary psychologists” never inspires much confidence, unfortunately

    I find it fascinating and it appears to explain why multiculturalism is a failure.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/world/americas/05iht-diversity.1.6986248.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    but I did notice that abstract talked about “in-group” vs. “out-group”, so nothing to do with racism at all, and the principle is likely to apply to political parties or multi-ethnic religious groups as much as to ethnic groups.

    it depends on your definition of racism ?

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    Christopher Hitchens:
    "When I was a Revolutionary Marxist, we were all in favour of as much immigration as possible.

    It wasn’t because we liked immigrants, but because we didn’t like Britain. We saw immigrants – from anywhere – as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.

    Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people – usually in the poorest parts of Britain – who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly ‘vibrant communities’.

    If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots.

    Revolutionary students didn’t come from such ‘vibrant’ areas (we came, as far as I could tell, mostly from Surrey and the nicer parts of London).

    We might live in ‘vibrant’ places for a few (usually squalid) years, amid unmown lawns and overflowing dustbins.

    But we did so as irresponsible, childless transients – not as homeowners, or as parents of school-age children, or as old people hoping for a bit of serenity at the ends of their lives.

    When we graduated and began to earn serious money, we generally headed for expensive London enclaves and became extremely choosy about where our children went to school, a choice we happily denied the urban poor, the ones we sneered at as ‘racists’.

    What did we know, or care, of the great silent revolution which even then was beginning to transform the lives of the British poor?

    To us, it meant patriotism and tradition could always be derided as ‘racist’.

    And it also meant cheap servants for the rich new middle-class, for the first time since 1939, as well as cheap restaurants and – later on – cheap builders and plumbers working off the books.

    It wasn’t our wages that were depressed, or our work that was priced out of the market. Immigrants didn’t do the sort of jobs we did.”
    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2013/04/how-i-am-partly-to-blame-for-mass-immigration.html

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    Way back in 1991 when I was returning to Auckland after five years in London, I fretted that I was leaving a teeming, polyglot city to return to a monoculture. Happily, it turned out not to be that way. The Maori cultural and political renaissance was manifest, and second and third generation immigrant kids had flowed into the central city. It was a better, more vital place.
    It didn’t bother Dicken’s that England was a (your word) mono culture.

    And what of the effects on the culture of New Zealand’s working classes of mass migration. How many people these days have hens or grow their own vegetables?

    Accordions, multiculturalism and the evolutionary psychology of Charles Crawford.
    http://www.gunghaggis.com/2007/10/21/accordions-multiculturalism-and-the-evolutionary-psychology-of-charles-crawford/
    He talks about cultural depth.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    Senior Treasury Economist Michael Reddell:

    “Among policy and analytical circles in New Zealand there is a pretty high degree of enthusiasm for high levels of immigration. Some of that stems from the insights of literature on increasing returns to scale. Whatever the general global story, the actual productivity track record here in the wake of very strong inward migration is poor. In an Australian context, the Productivity Commission – hardly a hot-bed of xenophobia or populism – concluded that any benefits from migration to Australia were captured by migrants and there were few or no discernible economic benefits to Australians. And that was in a country already rich and successful and with materially higher national saving and domestic investment rates than those in NZ.”

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It’s easy to generalise about groups of people by cultural, religious, racial or any criteria if you don’t have personal contact with them. When your really cool and nice workmate is purple it’s hard to then mouth off at the pub about how purple people are all scumbag leaches on society and we need more purple-people eaters.

    I'm sure that happens sometimes, but equally, I've actually tried when talking with racists to point out mutual acquaintances who break a racist stereotype and the response is usually "oh well he's different" or "X isn't a _real_ Maori" or any other nonsense that prevents them acknowledging they are wrong or their head exploding.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Well, of course. But “since the 19th century” covers an awfully large slice of “back then”, and the tense I used suggests quite strongly “from then up until and including now”. Still, the size, pace and effects of immigration in the 1840s, ’50s and ’60s had a lot of Maori worried about the effects to the point where they concluded the Brits had broken the Treaty and so they were justified in taking up arms. We know what happened after that.

    Most of our source countries were European (U.K, Dutch). Policy changed under Labour to take Asians.
    Maori were right to be upset over colonisation (in some ways but not in others). The Maori case is used (wrongly) to justify a further colonisation of Pakeha: "you did it to them so it is only fair that it is done to you" (except it is assumed to be beneficial - house prices, congestion, lifestyle aside).
    It is Maori who are most concerned about immigration from Asia (I recall Professor Spoonley saying "it leaked out" - don't tell the children)

    Growing on growth seems to be a rather silly economic policy, sure. But your comments seem to suggest that growing on Asian growth is somehow bad immigration policy. Why is that?

    First you could convince me why population increase is good policy and then why I should welcome people with a different culture and language, rather than people who will integrate faster and speak the same language.
    " "For migrants from China, issues of access to a vibrant Chinese community were very important.""
    http://www.voxy.co.nz/lifestyle/work-deciding-factor-migrating-auckland/5/98537

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I’m sure that happens sometimes, but equally, I’ve actually tried when talking with racists to point out mutual acquaintances who break a racist stereotype and the response is usually “oh well he’s different” or “X isn’t a _real_ Maori” or any other nonsense that prevents them acknowledging they are wrong or their head exploding

    that sounds like a straw man argument; you are using that to represent those opposed to policies promoting diversity -mass migration. In other words there are no reasonable objections.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jh,

    It didn’t bother Dicken’s that England was a (your word) mono culture.

    There were many things about his age that bothered Dickens, from the class system to the power of the church. But London in particular has long reflected the world. It has had succession of prevailing cultures, a Jewish population for nearly 1000 years, etc.

    When I lived in London, a large part of what I liked about it was the vitality of its immigrant cultures, and how they interacted with the new country.

    By the same token, in 2014, it’s hard to imagine an Auckland identity without Pasifika.

    And what of the effects on the culture of New Zealand’s working classes of mass migration. How many people these days have hens or grow their own vegetables?

    My elderly Chinese immigrant neighbours do both, and very well. Apart from that I really can’t see what you’re getting at.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jh,

    that sounds like a straw man argument; you are using that to represent those opposed to policies promoting diversity -mass migration. In other words there are no reasonable objections.

    You're on the verge of "protesting too much" there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    Maori were right to be upset over colonisation (in some ways but not in others)

    Ooh, do tell.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    it depends on your definition of racism ?

    hating butchers, bakers or candle-stick-makers is unlikely to feature

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

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