Garner has no idea: Kiwis won’t accept the same working conditions

The people who come to work here are already displaced from their homes, whereas someone who lives in Auckland is hardly going to say yes to a job that has them sharing a house with 18 other workers at the back of a winery while working for minimum wage and being in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do during the weekend.

So no, Duncan, they aren’t displacing New Zealand workers.

And now Little’s point about foreign workers taking Kiwi jobs rings true.

With 38,800 foreigners coming in on work visas over the last year, surely some of them are displacing New Zealanders who could do the job. Are we really that desperate for foreign workers?

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders remain out of work – yet there are jobs in rest homes, on farms and in orchards that we simply refuse to do or aren’t being hired to do?

Is it because we won’t work 18 days straight? Is it because we won’t work for the minimum wage?

All of those things. Mind you I have worked more than 18 days straight…when was the last time you did that Duncan. 

So why don’t Kiwis get these jobs? Are we lazy and unreliable as Bill English suggested? I think in some areas we are.

Or are we not trying hard enough to get these Kiwis to do the jobs? There’s a bit of that too.

Or are employers simply fed up with Kiwis and it’s now easier to get cheap foreigners into the country. Of course it is.

Our open door policy means it’s easy to game the system according to former Immigration Minister and now immigration agent, Tuariki Delamere.

He says it happens and he explained to me yesterday how it works.

Get a NZ employer to offer 10 jobs, a Kiwi immigration consultant and an overaseas agent to do a deal – a bit of money changes hands – 10 foreigners arrive on work visas to do the jobs that Kiwis apparently can’t or won’t do – and everyone wins – except the Kiwis who miss out.

I am not anti-immigration.

Sounds like you are. Here’s the thing Duncan, have you seen that we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the OECD…this isn’t a real problem.

But, here’s the thing, why don’t those bludgers go and get one of those jobs…that way the farmer or horticulturist or viticulturist won’t have to employ foreigners?

They simply won’t get off their arses to go to work. That is why we need immigrants.



– Newshub


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • hookerphil

    Why should they get of the porch from drinking beer and smoking dope to go “working” when getting “paid” to do that.
    Anyway some places have dope testing and that would be a fail.
    Just look around your local neighbourhood and see those hoodie clad young men slouching around to know just why their is a limit to how low the employment rate will drop to. Certainly a few around here and lots of overseas workers who play a decent part in the community here as well.

    • JustTinkering

      Heard Garner prattling on yesterday – ho so loves the sound of his voice. Interviewing a homeless who lived in a van (for 6 days) and who had finally got a house. He was in Kapiti Coast and was expecting WINZ to pay him 5,000 to relocate to another area but when he was offered free accommodation nearer Palmerston it was too far. He then said he was starting a new job very soon. Garner never called him out and wants to interview this guy again in the future. Just perpetuating poor talk back by trying to make a “Story” out of nothing just as he does most evenings.

  • Woody

    Having been an employer of immigrant workers, I know that they are generally reliable and generally do a good job and earned more money than the lazy NZ sods who were foisted on me by the government agency. As an employer having a reliable workforce is imperative so it really is a no brainer to employ people who fit your requirements.

    When half the workforce is away on any given day because of a distant cousins tangi or any number of other reasons, they do not become the cream which floats to the top.

  • Martin

    I’ve been doing some work in forestry lately and there is dawning horror in the industry at the lack of people who will turn up to work, pass drugs tests and not make potentially lethal mistakes. “No ticker” is a common complaint. Apirana Ngata’s prediction of social welfare’s devastating effect on Maori coming true. They get islanders in to do the work and they can’t work with Maori which exacerbates the problem and stops it being addressed.
    If the government stopped allowing kids to leave school and go straight on the dole or into endless courses it would be a good start.

  • arnietm

    18 Days straight is the exception rather than the rule. Another drop in unemployment would mean the majority (not all) of the rest a basically lazy and unemployable.

  • The other Neil

    NZ actually has a high labor force participation rate, higher than the USA, UK and Australia. This coupled with a relatively low unemployment rate indicates that we are probably short of workers. Full employment is technically not possible as there are always a group who are not actually wanting to work, are unable to work or are unemployable. This is where people on work visa’s etc come in. To the extent that they are engaged in productive activities, which is almost certain as they have to be employed, they are contributing to economic output, tax etc, which is more than can be said for some segments of our permanent resident population.

    They may be creating a drag on the economy somewhere, such as housing, but I think all they are doing is highlighting that there is a root cause issue with councils and the RMA.

    For years we went on about the brain drain and NZers going to Australia etc. The net loss of NZers departing permanently since 2006 is 255,000 (net permanent arrivals less departures per year). The net gain of citizens of other countries over the same period is 475,000, of which half have arrived in the last five years. From 2006 to 2013 the net total gain was 61,000, but over 2014 to 2016 to date the net total gain has been 159,000. The big change has been net NZ loss falling to a few thousand, but also non-NZ net gain jumping to 60,000 to 70,000 from 30,000 to 40,000.

    I cant help but agree that the permanent arrivals of non-NZ should be cutback a little.

    • Jon Low

      The immigrant metric includes all who get a work-permit — including schoolkids and uni students who get a 20 hour a week permission to earn pocket money and mingle with Kiwis in the workplace. When they finish their studies, they leave and go home. They are not permanent arrivals.

      The immigration metric includes NZ born expats returning home. They are permanent, and reclaim their birthright.

      • The other Neil

        Yes, and that is why I separated them out. the fact remains that the net NZ citizen out flows have reduced significantly, while the other citizen inflow has increased significantly. Irrespective of whether they are here for 12 months (the minimum definition for permanent) or just working 20 hours per week, it is clearly a significant and quick rise relative to the slow moving NZ infrastructure including housing. Consequently there must be an increase in demand and it will be part of the cause of house/rental increases.

    • Wheninrome

      The brain drain of workers – they are not going to stay and work in low paid manual work, that is why they leave. This is also why we have to use foreign workers, the lazy uneducated NZer will not do the work cannot do the work and will not pass the drug test. There are jobs for these NZers in the dreams if the socialists, in the realities of the conservative dreams they are not employable.

  • lyall

    I live in rural BOP and immigrant workers and working holiday types have definitely become the norm for low wage labour here, as well as Indian contractors.
    I was talking to a guy who had paid a small fortune in India to procure a job and visa package at an Indian owned business – the position advertised was for an ‘events management specialist’ – he was mopping out the pub urinals and sitting in the bottle store for a few months and then he just disappeared!

    • Phooey

      Lyall, but it is not low wage if you do the hours, bonuses for productivity, its not the wage that’s the problem, its the working. Its the sort of work Kiwis do on their OE and are good at it too. Just “these” kiwis do not like work, especially when they can get paid for doing nothing.

  • Jon Low

    I’m not anti-immigration? That’s as rich as a KKK member saying “I’m not racist.” Garner is extremely xenophobic — and particularly against Chinese.

    • Eiselmann

      All he needed to add after that was …’some of my best friends are foreign workers’…

  • ex-JAFA

    When I was working in the kiwifruit mines, there was a wide cross-section of society alongside me:

    Plenty of Kiwis, almost all of whom were of the lower-education and -aspiration variety, but at least would front up and put in a day’s work. A couple of older people who only lasted a day or two because they weren’t quick enough and the work was too hard on their bodies. One young Maori man who was really too tall for the work (it suits smaller people) and had to give it away after a week – but he was pretty lazy anyway. Some recent immigrants from the Islands who just tore into the work and made the rest of us look comparatively hopeless. And quite a few people on seasonal work visas who did likewise, although with less care for the quality of their work than the boss would’ve liked. I was doing it because it was better money than sitting on my bum and was a way to learn new things and potentially get a leg up in horticulture or a related industry.

  • Nyla

    kiwis from WINZ arent keen on work, thats why theyre there, out of 35 sent to our orchard (they have to apply to keep being on the benefit), 2 arrived and 1 stayed on to become a good picker. the others told WINZ they were turned away, so get to stay on the benefit …. my grandson started a farming work course, around half way through it was cancelled because my grandson was the only one left going … yep thats kiwis … indian workers on work visa work their butts off and orchardist like that attitude

    • Wheninrome

      Does the prospective employer have to sign something to prove the “worker” showed up to stay on the benefit?

      • ReginaldWellingtonJnr

        They can get asked but then we got in trouble with that and WINZ wouldn’t give them a benefit because it was their fault for leaving. Instead they got an employment advocate to raise a Personal Grievance so they could get their benefit back straight away. Cost us a few thousand dollars to get off the table for a few weeks work. Clear motivation there and messed up system. I suspect that employers then prefer to lie to WINZ so they don’t get sued.

    • Old Chook

      When we had our orchard and paying by the hour, I would ask the contractor for the ‘slowest’ Indian gang. Always better value than the ‘fastest’ Kiwi gangs he would get from WINZ

  • Eiselmann

    Wait so theres thousands of jobs that give you a free place to stay , free food, money , an ability to save ….wow thats a big chuck of the homeless crisis solved there….

    Oh wait, they have to also work…..oh well back to the crisis we go.

  • Mark156

    I had a job interview on Tuesday for a factory position,out of 6 there were 3 Indians 2 kiwis 1 Pom and 1 guy didn’t show up.The interviewers out of 6 there was a South African,a yank 2 kiwis and 2 poms.Where is everybody???

  • rua kenana

    Another view on this is that if a job doesn’t pay enough to induce New Zealanders to do it, then that particular job would be better outsourced to India, the Philippines or other lower wage country, or perhaps not even done at all.
    Trying to turn NZ into a lower wage country is no way to make it a wealthier country. A wealthy country needs high income consumers as well as (economically) efficient production.

    • R&BAvenger

      Labour supply and demand is the issue, along with minimum wage requirements. Locals who genuinely want to work will get off of their backside to go and do these jobs, provided of course that they are physically fit enough to do. Fruit picking used to be a regular holiday job for high school and university students at the very least.

    • Picking fruit in NZ can hardly be outsourced to India.

      • rua kenana

        Yeah, so if picking fruit is a profitable activity for NZ then it should generate enough net return to pay NZers for doing it.
        Activities generating only enough net return for low wages don’t make NZ a wealthier country. Quite the opposite.

        • bevanjs

          erm – makes us wealthier by not paying as much taxpayer
          funded support to folks who might otherwise be unemployed.

          • rua kenana

            You refer of course to taxpayer support to the New Zealanders who stay unemployed because their potential jobs have been filled by low wage workers from elsewhere.

        • Phooey

          I know what you are saying but picking fruit is profitable for the picker if they do the hours, the kiwi workers don’t want to do the hours as per Macca’s comment above.

          • rua kenana

            All producers obviously want cheap labour. And they also all want to sell their products into a wealthy market. And a cheap labour economy isn’t usually a wealthy market.
            So why select out fruit growers for favourable treatment? Why not all producers? I think you know the answer to that as well as I do.

  • Whitey

    Doesn’t Garner think these employers would use Kiwi labour if they could? Bringing in workers from overseas involves much more effort and expense than hiring locals. It’s not that easy to deal with the immigration system, it’s a pain in the behind and employers wouldn’t do it if they could reasonably expect to find Kiwis who would do the job.

    However, there are lots of Kiwis who are prepared to work for 18 days straight. Garner should ask some farmers or small business owners when they last had a day off.

  • Aucky

    Immigrant workers don’t to drugs. Simple as.

  • Macca

    I remember a conversation some 25 years ago with a mate of a mate who was an apple orchard owner from down Gisborne way.

    That year the local WINZ made a big push to use their unemployed to pick his orchard. Day 1and approx 25 of the 40 turned up and he knocked them all off at 3 as they were obviously losing interest. Day 2 and only about 12 turned up and inside the first hour they were all having apple fights so he let the whole lot go.

    When are these sheltered journalists who have never been any where near the above type of situation going to wake up to the fact that yes, many Kiwis are lazy. Many of the unemployed have no intention of ever actually getting a job and there is also a large proportion who are literally unemployable.

    My 5 close mates are all self employed tradesmen like myself and only one of them has workers. Every time the one with workers regales us of stories of the idiotic behavior of his workers, it just reinforces to the rest of us why we wouldn’t change working on our own – why would we bother with the grief?!

  • Spiker

    A friend went on a tour of a kiwifruit packhouse recently. She noticed most of the staff appeared to be islanders and asked the manager giving the tour why so few locals? His reply was that they don’t want to work. WINZ send them but they only stay a day or two before being a no show. He has no time for staff that can’t pass a drug test & don’t want to be there.

  • Garners wrong in two areas
    1 – our 6% unemployed are either unemployable or simply dont want to work
    2 – travel to india or the philippines and see the conditions they live in at home, Compared to what they are used to this is like luxury

    I daresay the foreign short term workers are there for one reason – and thats to make money. The orchardist needs reliable staff who are going to turn up and work hard every day. If they were forced to take no hopers from WINZ they would quickly end up out of business with 99% of the fruit rotting on the vines

  • localnews

    the sad part is that if some of the no-hopers were pushed or forced into working for a few months it would change their lives.
    There will be plenty of examples who look back and know that if they hadnt been pushed they would have been destined for a life of crime and welfare.
    For a fit young guy those farming jobs would be fantastic, accomodation and food supplied, hunting and fishing in your time off, they dont know what they are missing out on.
    They would wake up ten years later with enough money saved to buy a house and skills for life

    • KatB

      Also once you have your foot in the door of employment, if you prove your worth, that job may lead to a better job that you may actually want. Easier to find a good job when you’re already in the workforce.

  • brian drury

    Um as one of the countless kiwis forced to accept a 30 hour working week to enable a dispicable employer to have more cover staff than he would need if he treated his employees in a decent manner. I strongly disagree with virtually everything in this article. How about letting this kiwi have one of those jobs. Even though I have an unreasonable expectation of a 40 hour week at the minimum wage.

    • “Let you have a job”? How about earning it pal.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    This whole work thing is controlled in the space between the ears. Too many bludgers have a vacuum there and will always shun work for “easy money”.
    One couple I know are apple pickers who make a bundle made during the season to idle along for the rest of the year taking odd jobs or just collect the dole as a fall-back. It is very simple as the more bins you fill the more money you make. Do the work and get the perks.
    On the only occasion that I registered with the then Department of Labour more for access to their listed vacancies they offered me a job as Temporary Employment Officer for the fruit season. Six months of glide time with Friday’s free to play golf.
    Back then they had to report every 2 weeks or get their benefit suspended but getting any to look at seasonal work was impossible. They simply rejected it outright.
    This is what saw the creation of a scheme to import seasonal workers so the growers were assured of gaining the most from their crop rather than hope there would be enough “walk in” tourists looking to pickup some work.
    Garner is just a Media party hack intent on pushing his word wisdom where the only accuracy is likely to be the spelling thanks to spell check.

  • 1dafool

    Surely a “cheap foreigner” on the minimum wage and a kiwi on the minimum wage costs the same to the employer i.e the minimum wage. The difference in return to the employer of a motivated worker vs a shanghai’d lay about would be where the real gains are and would be very, very significant on the whole operation.

  • Political Nit Wit

    “They simply won’t get off their arses to go to work. That is why we need immigrants.”
    I understand the logic applied to this statement, however it’s also a dangerous path to a lower waged economy.
    You can’t argue the “free market establishes a fair wage” theory whilst also arguing “I need to import workers for my low waged jobs”

  • Miss Phit

    If you were given the option to get paid to work in all weathers and suffer aches and pains to earn it, or sit at home with your mates, a playstation and beers/sky which would you choose?

    Unfortunately some will take option B everytime.

  • Miss Phit

    My employer has imported Philipino workers for the last couple of years.

    They assimilate (mostly – some stuff they do on their own but who doesnt) and are hard workers. They run rings around some of the young (and old) guys we have here. They are some very nice people. They get on with everyone.

  • D.Dave

    I have no issue with migrant workers. Firstly, most of them will pass the ‘pee in the bottle’ clause. Secondly, they actually want to work. Our local non-working populous fail miserably with both statements. We have a few ‘unemployed’ at work occasionally, they cannot follow basic instructions, manage their own time, or generally remember to show up the next day. The sooner the unemployment benefit is linked to a drug free existence, and some extended basic training of life skills, the better these people will be. Till then, I am happy to have migrant workers, they contribute more to our community than a ‘P’ cooking wastrel in a State house.