New Zealand

UK continues to cut Kiwi ties

I guess it is a blessing in disguise as the UK slides ever closer to domination by foreigners, but they just reduced health care benefits for Kiwis in the UK.

Prime Minister John Key has hit out at new legislation meaning New Zealanders will have to pay over $320 for health and dental care in the United Kingdom.

A reciprocal deal had been in place between New Zealand and the UK since 1982, allowing citizens travelling between the countries access to free health and dental care. However, that 34-year arrangement has now been chopped as part of a clamp-down on so-called “health tourism” — going overseas to get medical treatment.

The British government’s Home Office announced the end the programme from April 6 and today Key reacted saying the news is “really disappointing” and “pretty cheap”.   Read more »

No surprises here as Labour’s crime family continues to offend

Kelvin Davis went into bat for criminals being deported from Australia. Labour died in a ditch supporting rapists, murderers and violent offenders.

In their desperate bid to find their missing million in the prisons and detention centres of Australia, it should be of no surprise to anyone that these ratbags are causing trouble here too.

Almost a third of Kiwi criminals deported from Australia have continued their life of crime here, with some committing violent and sexual offences.

A police briefing to Police Minister Judith Collins in December showed 30 per cent of deportees had come to police attention for reoffending since December 2014.

That was the point when Australia began sending back New Zealand criminals who had done their time, as it tightened its visa cancellation rules.   Read more »

Why don’t education reporters ask Charter schools these five questions?

Education reporters write articles like the one below, which complaining about large class sizes, but don’t ask Charter schools how they manage to keep their classes small. They complain about schools not having enough money for IT and teachers not being paid enough, but don’t ask Charter schools how they do it despite tight budgets and less money than a State school of the same size.

Growing class sizes, pay levels for teachers and an increase in technology are the top concerns for Kiwi parents, a survey has revealed.

As the school year begins, almost half of respondents to an unscientific Herald on Sunday survey of 160 parents of primary-aged children, were concerned about the high number of pupils in each class. Three-quarters said teachers were not paid enough and 80 per cent were concerned that their children spent too much time focused on screens.

Some parents the Herald spoke to said class sizes needed to be limited and they feared further growth would lead to stressed teachers and poor academic results.

-Herald on Sunday

I would like education reporters to ask the following questions of the three Auckland Charter schools that I visited last year.

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Fact-Checking Andrew Little on the TPPA

andrew little labour leader

Andrew Little is full of it. On Friday he put out his reasons for rejecting the TPPA.

Let’s break this down.

Claim 1: “Labour is a party of free trade.”

This is in words only. They have taken on as adviser Jane Kelsey who is against free trade. Remember her description of the TPPA? “It’s a 19th-come-20th century agreement. It’s all about protecting foreign investors, promoting economic development through zero tariffs, and consolidating supply chains in the way that they did in the old colonial era.”

Claim 2: “The 6000 pages of agreement were dumped in November last year and academics, NGOs and citizens have been left to work their way through the document and form their own conclusions.”

Actually every government released summaries, put out press releases and conducted briefings. Chapter-by-chapter break downs, explanations and summaries were almost immediately available via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website even before the full text was released to the public. Of course, nothing replaces a researcher’s need to consult the primary source.   Read more »

Worried? Pay your obligations and stop worrying

Far from being some poor hard-done-by young student, the first arrest for dodging student loan payments was, in fact, in his 40s and in full employment and with a mortgage.

IRD picked the perfect person to go after first. As a result people are contacting IRD about their arrears…job done.

Inland Revenue has received a surge of inquiries from student loan defaulters worried they could be arrested if they return to New Zealand.

One man who ignored his repayment obligations contacted the Weekend Herald from Australia and said he would now be scared to return for funerals or weddings.

The Government is unrepentant about the first use of the hardline measure – and a new trick up its sleeve will soon enable thousands of loan defaulters in Australia to be tracked down.   Read more »

Labour’s push for solutions to unemployment continues to fail as job demand is on the rise

It’s like they declared a crisis…

An increasing number of New Zealand employers are aiming to create new jobs, with most planning to either increase or maintain permanent staff in the first half of the year.

More than 90 percent are looking to add or keep workers, a six-year high, which according to recruitment agency Hudson has been largely bolstered by growth across previously subdued industries.

The net intention to hire new staff – calculated by taking the per cent of employers who expect to increase staff and subtracting those who anticipate lay-offs – reached 29 percent, the highest since 2010.

Hudson executive general manager Roman Rogers said sectors such as manufacturing, transport, tourism, financial services and IT are starting to regain momentum.

The IT industry is particularly robust, with upwards of 40 percent of employers looking to maintain or up their workforce in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

“Growth is a good problem to have, it reflects a positive economy,” Mr Rogers said.

“While it makes talent attraction harder, it also means more customers and revenue for your business.”

Construction, property and engineering workers are also in high demand, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch, reflecting infrastructure growth and the push to fill the housing shortage.

“Large scale projects in each of the three major cities will continue to drive that trajectory.”

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Child marriage in Bangladesh, through the eyes of a runaway bride-to-be

Tania Rashid is a freelance correspondent and producer for Al Jazeera’s 101 East, and she narrowly escaped becoming a child-bride while living in America. Tania is one of very few girls from Bangladesh who has been able to escape her arranged marriage. Child marriage is illegal in Bangladesh but it still has the highest rate of child marriage for girls under the age of 15 in the world.

When I was a little girl growing up in Bangladesh, my mother would tell me that going to school was okay, but if I didn’t do well, she would marry me off to a rich older man who could take care of me. It is many years later, but those words still affect me.

She wasn’t the only family member trying to marry me off young.

My grandfather had plans for me to marry my first cousin who was 20 years older than me, but he passed away before he could make it happen. All of this marriage talk is part of a deep-rooted tradition to keep women under control and maintain family honour.

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The folly of Phil Twyford’s attack on people with Chinky-sounding names

Phil Twyford and Labour attacked property owners who have chinky-sounding names. They never received the predicted boost in the polls and they are still scratching their heads to work out just how this could be.

Clearly, they are spending too much time down in Wellington and not enough time in Auckland.

Auckland is revealed as having the fourth largest foreign-born population in the world in an international study, ranking a lineup of the world’s most culturally diverse cities.

The city clocks in with 39 percent of the population born overseas. 

Only Dubai, Brussels, and Toronto are ranked as cities with larger foreign-born populations anywhere in the world – for Dubai and Brussels the foreign born residents out number local born citizens.   Read more »

New Zealand Migrant women want to grow their business

Immigration should be about giving a man a fishing rod not a fish. Cotton Seed is doing exactly that and by doing so is helping not only the Migrant women become contributing members of Kiwi society, they are also helping Kiwi Society, as employed people with a future make happier citizens who are more likely to assimilate successfully.

I wish their venture every success and look forward to buying something from them in the future.

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More whinging about ratbags being sent to Christmas Island

The weapons-grade whinging about Kiwi ratbags being sent to Christmas Island has ramped up again.

More Kiwis are being moved to Australia’s controversial Christmas Island detention centre, according to an advocacy group.

Hundreds of Kiwis are currently in Australian detention centres awaiting deportation to New Zealand, after a tightening of the country’s visa cancellation process put many in breach of the new rules.

The Christmas Island facility, just south of Indonesia and which has held a number of Kiwi detainees, has come under particular scrutiny for its poor conditions and remote location.

Iwi n Aus advocacy group founder Erina Anderson-Morunga said she knew of at least six Kiwis at mainland detention centres who had been moved to Christmas Island this week.

Detainees were not told why they were being moved to Christmas Island, and given no advance warning, she said.    Read more »