Saturday, July 18, 2009

400 Hundred Burglaries In 8 Weeks In Hawkes Bay

There have been 400 hundred burglaries reported in an 8 week period in Hawkes Bay according to an article in, many of them were from homes left insecure or unlocked.

Other towns have also experienced similar crime waves, such as the small town of Martinborough which suffered 45 burglaries over an 11 days and led to the setting up of a vigilante group to protect local residents. See more: Small town NZ life - a town under siege.

John Key burgled by 'P' addict
Property crime strikes at every level of society within New Zealand, much of it is related to drug abuse. John Key's Remuera home was burgled by in 2007 by a 'P' user with 140 prior convictions who was recently sentenced to 5 years prison on 27 charges. It came as no surprise to hear that the man was out on bail or under supervision at the time of the offences.

Crime and drugs in New Zealand
According to data published by Nationmaster NZ holds the dubious reputation for having the world's highest reported figures for victims of crimes against property, 14.8% of the total population have been victimised by property crime.

It also has the world's highest percentage of cannabis users and the third highest percentage of amphetamine users over the age of 15.

For today's posts see: latest posts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Indian Man's Racist Attack in Queenstown


Racist attack

"Three Caucasian males in their 20s hurled racial insults and set upon an Indian man in Camp St opposite ASB Bank at 4.30am last Sunday.

One offender is believed to have used a knuckleduster or knuckle rings. The victim suffered a cut, bleeding nose and chipped teeth.

Police are looking for a large, black 4WD that was dirty or rough, Drader says. The driver may be part-Maori."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tsunami Alert After South Island 7.8 Quake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit at a depth of 12 km, 300 km west of Dunedin at 9.22pm local time. A second quake followed at 9.41pm. That measured 6.1 and it was centred 370km west of Dunedin.

At the time of writing a tsunami warning is in force for the SE coast of Australia but there have been no reports of damaging waves as yet. For more see the regularly updated current bulletins here: National warnings summary.

A warning for NZ was cancelled earlier on this evening.

Damage from the quake, which was felt widely throughout the South Island, is thought to be minor although Queenstown was shaken and power lines were downed.

Earthquake at Ruapheu on Monday
At 6:30pm on Monday there was also a small magnitude 2 quake at Ruapheu volcano on the North Island. The quake caused 20 million litres of water to rise into the lake and overflow, there was no eruption.

1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake
In 1931 the Hawkes Bay 7.8 earthquake hit the towns of Napier and Hastings, killing over 256 people and injuring thousands more. There was extensive damage to property and Napier was described as "wiped off the map".

The quake lasted for two and a half mintues, there were 525 aftershocks in the following two weeks.

For today's posts see: latest posts

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visitors Permit If Migrants Lose Their Jobs But Only If Still On Probabtion

By Lincon Tan, New Zealand Herald

"Changes to immigration policy will make it tougher for migrant workers thinking of coming to New Zealand, but will ease requirements for some who have lost their jobs and are already here.

Migrant workers who lose their jobs during the probationary 90-day period will not only get a further three months' visitors permit, but their children will also be allowed to continue schooling as domestic students.

However, those coming to NZ on a seasonal employment scheme can no longer support applications by their partner or dependent children to come here too.

As well, visas issued under the essential skills work policy will be limited to one year for lower-skilled workers.

The amendments will be effective from July 27, says Immigration NZ."

This is really tinkering around the edges isn't it. Many will be very disappointed to see that this only applies to workers who lose their jobs whilst still on probation, it's still going to be extremely tough for people who've settled-in and worked in NZ for longer than 90 days.

Neither is there any talk of hardship assistance during the 3 month period when migrants are moved on to visitors visas and unable to work.

Nor does there seem to be any easing of the apparent requirement for employers to 'market test' a migrant's job for a suitable Kiwi replacement when their work visa expires.

For today's posts see: latest posts

Monday, July 13, 2009

Massive Rise in Unemployment Benefit Numbers Comes As A Shock.

Today's New Zealand Herald reports:

"Dole numbers worse than expected"
"The number of people claiming the unemployment benefit has topped 50,000 - almost three times the 17,710 at the same time last year."

But even those shocking figures hide the real truth about New Zealand's unemployed, only a fraction of whom are able to receive unemployment benefit. A quick look at Statistics NZ's figures for the March quarter (which were released in May) revealed that unemployment stood at 114,000, an annual change of 34.2% see below

In the first 5 months of 2009 rising unemployment in Australia caused 4000 New Zealanders to return home from Australia, with more than 800 coming back in May, which was the highest for that month since 1990.

Perhaps somewhat prematurely John Key seized upon the opportunity to try to attract Kiwis back to New Zealand, in May The Australian newspaper carried this article "John Key implores Kiwis to come home" perhaps Key should've been careful with what he wished for because the number claiming unemployment benefit has jumped 300%.

NZ is importing unemployment

But he can't say he wasn't warned, in February David Cunliffe, opposition finance spokesman said Kwis losing jobs in Australia due to the global slump would return home to draw unemployment benefit that they are not entitled to in Australia. (Australia legislated in 2001 to allow only permanent residents and citizens to draw the dole) Looks like he was correct.

It stands to reason that only the un-employable Kiwis are likely to return home. According to comments made in the Australian press New Zealand workers are the most likely to be re-trenched: "New Zealand-born workers are the most likely to be retrenched, with 11,000 full-time jobs and a further 9800 part-time jobs shed in the 12 months to May, for a net loss of 20,800."

Should these returning workers be entitled to return and claim benefits in NZ when they haven't made contributions or paid taxes in the country? That's going to be a tough one to answer when tax paying migrants are made to leave after being left high and dry in NZ

'Jobs for Kiwis'? Hmm go figure, but define 'Kiwi' first. Which group has done more for the country in recent years?

Presently it's a complete shambles, New Zealand is importing unemployment and it's not going to be resolved through forcing employers to shed valuable, secure workers trying to renew temporary work visas - if anything it will be made worse. New jobs are needed as is economic stimulus. Employers are being forced to go to the time and considerable expense of trying to recruit New Zealanders to fill non existent vacancies, without any financial assisance from the government. If there were Kiwis who are both willing and able to do those jobs migrants probably wouldn't have been employed in the first place.

The Dairy Industry fights back

Federated Farmers recently managed to lobby the government and INZ after they almost scored an "own goal" by trying to remove skilled dairy workers from the Immediate Skills Shortage List. This is a press release issued on 15 June 2009 - the same day that the revised Immediate Skill Shortage List was released:

"Economic ‘own goal’ avoided"

"Hundreds of vital migrant dairy workers will now be able to continue working in New Zealand thanks to lobbying by Federated Farmers.

Unbelievably, Immigration New Zealand was moving to remove skilled dairy workers from the Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL),” says Frank Brenmuhl, Federated Farmers Employment spokesperson.

“It might come as a surprise, given negative press about dairy, but we still have a major skill shortage. Right now, we need more than 4000 new workers annually to cover growth, retirements and people just leaving the sector.

The average age of a dairy farmer is increasing and farms have grown in size.

“Despite it paying extremely well, we don’t have young New Zealanders entering the dairy sector. If the Assistant Herd Manager and Assistant Farm Manager categories were cancelled, it would have compromised exports.

“The industry in New Zealand currently employs about 1,300 migrant workers from countries as diverse as the Philippines, Chile and South Africa.

“Some of these workers have resided in New Zealand for a number of years and have valuable dairying experience. Sending them home would have been a complete waste of time, effort and money.

“As we cannot recruit enough talent locally, we need skilled migrant workers.

“When it comes to the Assistant Herd Managers category, it’s also a case of one step forward, two steps back. The fact is overseas-based Immigration New Zealand staff don’t understand dairy farming.

“This has led to inconsistencies in interpreting its own criteria. We now have the farcical situation whereby Immigration New Zealand sets the ISSL but then contradicts it by failing to consistently interpret it.

“Federated Farmers is working with the Department of Labour and at a ministerial level to ensure the New Zealand dairy industry has the skills and depth to remain the country’s largest export earner,” Mr Brenmuhl concluded."

The farmers did it for themselves and now other employer groups are starting to do the same. The Motor Trades Association has already made its feelings known, see blog post Jobs for Kiwis: migrants not getting a fair deal on work permit extensions.

Good luck to them, we hope they succeed because those high unemployment figures are a wake up call for everybody - the government needs to be creating more jobs, not hamstringing employers.

For today's posts see: latest posts


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