Does Labour need Helen back?

A Listener editorial explores Labour’s predicament after resorting to the race card:

It’s always disturbing when a racial minority is identified as the cause of a social or economic problem. The extreme example is Nazi Germany, where mass extermination was justified on the premise that Jews were subversive, disloyal and a threat to “true” Germans. The elderly Auschwitz survivor in Diana Wichtel’s powerful and moving interview this week talks of the “vicious, lurking stereotypes about Jews. ‘You know, the international connections, the richness, Shylock … We’re human beings.’” And although it’s a huge leap from Nuremberg in 1935 to Auckland in 2015, Labour MP Phil Twyford’s suggestion that Chinese speculators are to blame for Auckland’s overheated housing market struck a jarring note in a country with a generally proud record of racial tolerance.

Two factors made it especially disheartening. One is that the suggestion came from a senior MP in a party that has historically aligned itself with vulnerable elements in society, of whom ethnic minorities are one. Immigrants to New Zealand have tended to support Labour precisely because they sensed it was the party most likely to champion their interests. Under former leader Helen Clark, Labour made a point of embracing ethnic minorities. This is entirely in line with the liberal belief in multiculturalism, both as a way of providing new opportunities for people seeking a better future and as a means of enriching and diversifying our society.

Helen Clark even apologised to Chinese migrants for our legacy of oppressive laws and rules against Chinese in New Zealand, in particular the hated poll tax.

In recent years, National and Labour have welcomed immigrants from a wide range of countries, far wider than the narrow band from which they were once recruited. In a remarkably short time, New Zealand has become one of the most diverse societies in the English-speaking world. The 2013 Census found that 25% of New Zealanders were born overseas and 12% of the population identified as Asian – almost double the figure of 2001. Three hundred ethnic groups are represented here, from Afrikaners to Zimbabweans.    Read more »

Tova O’Brien kicks Labour in the balls over their race-baiting

Little Red Tova O’Brien will be off the invite list from Labour MPs after kicking them in the balls over their shameful race-baiting.

Labour is pissed off. It’s pissed off and it’s pissing people off.

That’s what happens when you play the race card.

The race card is designed to offend. You play it in the hope that there are more people that agree with you than disagree with you.

In this case Labour decided more people would be riled by the prospect of Chinese offshore buyers snatching Auckland houses from the clutches of New Zealanders, than there would be people angry about Labour’s perceived racism.

So it went ahead and singled out Chinese home buyers, not based on any real facts, but because their surnames sounded Chinese.

3 News did something Labour didn’t. We visited Liu’s and Zhou’s on that list. They were happy, proud new homeowners in Auckland and most we spoke to were New Zealanders or applying to be.

One woman thought it was unfair Labour had judged her based on her surname. Another was concerned – like many New Zealanders – about offshore investors.

Of course our door knocking wasn’t scientific but neither was Labour’s analysis and at least we got a better idea of the people behind the surnames.

Unfortunately what’s been lost in the white noise of the debate is that the leaked Barfoot & Thompson data, and analysis subsequently cooked up by Labour, raises a really important issue.

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Labour leader and Housing spokesman at odds

Andrew Little thinks race-baiting and dog-whistling is a moral issue.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little has lashed out at 3 News after he was questioned about his party’s data on Chinese homebuyers in Auckland.

The Labour leader took exception to being grilled, saying it was “desperate” and “inflammatory”, leading the Prime Minister to say Mr Little had “lost his rag”.

Mr Little was on the defensive, big time.

“Let’s get the language right, alright? I’m not going to stand here and have a desperate TV3 reporter use inflammatory language on this. Cooked up? What was cooked up?”

Chinese New Zealanders are accusing Labour of causing racial division with its data that took aim at Chinese homebuyers.

“This is how a debate gets out of control,” says Mr Little. Read more »

Things we won’t say about race but are true

This video and an interview with Trevor Phillips appeared on Radio NZ…it deserves wider attention as he used to be the Former chairman of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission and his video explains just how wrong his life’s work has been.

Former chairman of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips talks about his documentary Things we won’t say about race but are true, which created a bit of a backlash when it screened recently on Britain’s Channel Four.

He was the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality during the Blair Government and quickly concluded that while a commitment to multiculturalism was fine in theory, it had become a racket in many parts of the UK. He says many people are reluctant to speak their minds fearing they will be branded racist.   Read more »

“The Labour Party has declared political war on Chinese immigrants in New Zealand”

The Labour Party’s message to the Chinese people is clear. We are not racist. We just don’t want people with Chinese sounding names voting for Labour.

Andrew Little has been emphatic about his party’s cynical use of leaked private real estate data. It was not meant to single out Chinese people. Labour’s intent was to “open a debate”, nominally about foreign ownership of homes.

It just happened to point the finger at the yellow peril, the menace of Chinese names on Auckland property deeds. This would be the same yellow menace that the Labour Party’s most successful leader Helen Clark courted for years with a Free Trade Agreement.

Described as a “half baked” by Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy, the Labour Party’s xenophobia has indeed opened a debate. It is a debate instigated by the Labour Party on how to discriminate against people with Chinese sounding names, in defence of hard-working Caucasians whose jobs have been lost offshore to Chinese workers and are now denying Kiwis the ability to buy houses in Auckland.

The Labour Party has yet to provide examples of Kiwi property sellers rejecting an above market price for a house from people with Chinese sounding names in favour of a lower price made by a struggling Kiwi family.

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Comment of the Day

Yesterday Phil Goff responded rather limply to Judith Collins’ robust kicking of Labour’s racist housing policy.

Born in China and now a Kiwi, Joey loves New Zealand and has a professional job here.

He wants to buy a home of his own but with house prices up on average in Auckland by $116,000 last year, he can’t afford it.

He resents the fact that offshore investors helped push up property prices and can outbid him at auctions.

It’s not racist to worry about the impact of offshore property investment on house prices, it’s common sense.

Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai don’t allow non-resident purchase of residential property and Hong Kong and Singapore impose taxes to discourage it.

Stopping foreign investment by those who never intend to live here is one element in cooling Auckland’s over-heated property market.

It doesn’t affect residents in New Zealand and any restraints would apply to all foreign investors, not just Chinese.

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A Newspaper blames Labour when their own Dirty Media hit fails

A newspaper had this headline last night:

labour gamble

Surely they jest?

Labour’s gamble in using real estate data to highlight Chinese property buyers in Auckland has so far not paid off in the polls – the party has lifted by just one point in the first poll since it released the figures.

Support for Labour in the One News Colmar Brunton was at 32 per cent, up one point since May. National was on 47 per cent, down one point. The Green Party was up three to 13 per cent and NZ First was steady on seven per cent.

The polling started on July 11 – the same day Labour’s data was published in the Herald. Labour leader Andrew Little has defended using the figures after Labour was criticised for race-based politics. Support for Mr Little as preferred Prime Minister dropped by one point to eight per cent. Prime Minister John Key’s support also dropped down to 40 per cent from 44 in May.

Read more »

Oh yes they are Heather

Heather du Plessis-Allan-Soper reckons Labour aren’t racist…and here is her reasoning.

Labour isn’t racist. It isn’t xenophobic. Given its concern for minorities, it’s probably the last political party — aside from the Greens — you could accuse of racial hatred.

Basically she is saying they can’t be racist because they “help” minorities. Hello! They help minorities stay poor and voting for them. Ask many Pasifika peoples why they no longer support Labour and they will tell you it is because of their condescension.

But she goes on.

Simply saying a particular group of people is doing a particular thing is not racism. If I said most prison inmates are Maori or that Auckland’s Browns Bay is full of South Africans, I wouldn’t be accused of racism.

Those are facts.

Facts they may be, but I’m sure if I said precisely that then I’d be accused of racism. You only have to look at similar claims by Melissa Lee in the Mt Albert by-election to see that what I say is true and what Heather du Plessis-Allan-Soper says is complete rubbish.

So when Labour looked at a list of buyers and saw more Chinese names than you would see on your average Auckland school roll, can you blame it for putting two and two together and getting “foreign buyers from China”?

Well, maybe you can. Labour’s way of reaching its conclusions was pretty crude. It’s not courtroom-strength evidence, but it’s the only evidence we have seen.

Read more »

Comment of the Day

With all the lack of facts and figures surrounding Labour’s race-baiting policy it is refreshing to see some real statistics, not some race based profiling of stolen data like Labour uses.

More interesting still is that it comes from one of our own commenters.

Nick Smith may have a point that Auckland’s housing “challenge” may not be affected by foreign investors. Certainly not Chinese investors. NZTE’s figures on the “Stock of total foreign investment in New Zealand by country” in the year ended March 2014 shows that the total foreign investment in NZ was $322.3billion.

Of that the investment from mainland China makes up just 1%. Even when you factor in investment from Hong Kong (1.6%) you end up with the same level of investment from the Chinese in total (2.6%) as from Japan alone (2.6%). Add in Singapore and Malaysia and you still only end up with just over 7% investment from Asia.

So where does the other over 90 odd % come from? Oh yes – English speaking countries with people with predominantly white faces from the US, Au, UK, Canada and the Netherlands!

Presumably investors from those parts will in many cases be looking for homes to buy in our biggest cities too?   Read more »

Andrea Vance isn’t drinking the Koolaid


Andrea Vance is in the UK enjoying her Wolfson scholarship and it appears she has missed regular top ups of the Labour Koolaid and also missed the memo from Labour about their race-baiting.

She gives them and a newspaper a right good kicking in her column today.

Don’t worry Auckland. You are not alone.

House prices are soaring in desirable metropolises across the globe. And beating up on Johnny Foreigner is the zeitgeist.

In London, cash-rich Russians are the scapegoats. Brooklyn’s famous brownstone townhouses are reportedly being snapped up by European and Israeli investors.

Iranians and Russians are snapping up Toronto condos – the Chinese prefer Vancouver, wealthy Europeans head for the Canadian Maritimes.

Australia has its own so-called ‘Asian invasion’. And in Singapore, buyers from China, Malaysia, India and Indonesia are out-bidding the locals.

Welcome to globalisation.

Trade barriers coming down got you through the worst of times. New Zealand absorbed the shock of the global financial crash by flogging its wares to a voracious Chinese market. It emerged (for a time) with a “rock-star” economy.

Since the ground-breaking 2008 free trade deal, your fortunes are tied to theirs. So isn’t it a little churlish for Labour – the party which signed-up to the pact – to turn on the Chinese now?

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