A hidden cost of diversity

Pro Bono Australia

Two recent news items got me thinking.

On TV1 on 20 February, lawyer Mai Chen was interviewed about a new website she has launched in Mandarin for the Mandarin-speaking community to be able to understand the NZ legal system. She explained that her Asian clients often asked her about giving “gifts” to officials to progress certain issues. Mai said that she had to explain to her clients that in NZ that was a bribe and was illegal. Her hope is that the clients will be able to read this for themselves in the future.

Will it make a difference, or will the “gift” bearers just find another lawyer with a more flexible attitude than Mai?

The second article was about the 350 people whose licences had been cancelled after it was revealed they had simply purchased them or used fraudulent overseas documentation.

One includes an allegation that for between $500 and $600, the testing officer parks up for the duration of the test and then passes the driver. Another complaint alleges that for $3000 drivers can buy a heavy vehicle licence.

The documents from NZTA authorities also say fake documents were being used to get licences. They include fake overseas truck licenses and course certificates being used to get New Zealand heavy vehicle licenses.

An April 2016 briefing note to the then Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges, shows authorities had particular concern about Indian licenses and noted they had increased 11-fold in two years – from 70 in 2013 to 772 in 2015.

Now, although cricket is the most popular sport in India (See MOTD Feb 15) it is abundantly clear that when adopting cricket, the Indians did not also adopt the philosophy behind, “It’s simply not cricket, old chap!”; the British sense of “fair play” in all things, including dealing with officials.

The latest Corruption Perceptions Index was released on 22 February and while NZ has moved up from first equal with Denmark to first place overall our score has dropped one point from 90 to 89.

Large map

China and India score 39 and 40 and are ranked at 77 and 81 in the world in this index.

Somalia comes dead last (once again) and yet we encourage Somali immigration into NZ. Why?

As our culture is impacted by the flow of “diversity” immigrants the percentage of the population that subscribes to the idea of fair play is being diluted by those from totally different cultures: cultures that are totally OK with ripping off all and sundry, even their own countrymen, when it comes to slave labour sweatshops here in Godzone or banks and lenders. The anecdotes around the kiwifruit-picking industry in the Bay are disturbing.

All of these issues lead to a higher transaction cost of doing business, and we all end up paying for this in insurance premiums, or bank fees, or taxes to fund the labour inspectorate, or… and so on.

Are we really better off by hankering after the holy grail of diversity?


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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

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