Friday, July 24, 2009

Another Migrant Family Left High And Dry

Lincoln Tan of the New Zealand Herald has written another story about a family left jobless and stranded by the effects of 'jobs for kiwis' type policies.

This time it's a mother and her two children. The mum is gainfully employed as a very much needed residential care worker. When she applied for a renewal of her work permit Immigration New Zealand (INZ) "decided not to renew it".

She's appealing against that decision and INZ been placed her on a visitor's permit until the outcome is known, this means she can no longer work and is left without an income. Her two children are also on the same permits, which means they can't go to school. It's a disaster for one of them because she's doing her NCEA level 1 this year and dreams of becoming a nurse (another much needed occupation in NZ)

The Herald reports that the school of one of the children said it has two other families in similar positions. An Auckland immigration advisor Tika Ram said he had three clients with children in the same situation. Read more of the story here: Teens barred from returning to school.

It's an absolutely appalling situation. Employers are losing hard working staff, tax paying migrants are put out of work and young lives are either put on hold or ruined. Meanwhile middle income New Zealanders with three properties and a second income can entertain the idea of claiming unemployment benefit rather than touch their sizable nest eggs? Let's hope they don't need residential care or nurses any time soon.
See Jobs for Kiwis for background

For today's posts see: latest posts

Thursday, July 23, 2009

American Put-Downs

Kiwis love poking fun at Americans.

This one is mixed with 'toilet humour' and starts at 1:30 "What happens is these big fat americans, of which there are plenty you gotta admit, they're up to here with MacDonalds..they're huge blubbery people..."

An interview with the delightful Jordan Sparks that very subtly opens and ends with put downs:
0:24 "You're fortunately then one of those Americans who are aware that Australia and New Zealand are two separate countries?"
10:13"'Well Rugby is our national game, it's a little bit different to (American) football, you have to be a real man to play it"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anthony Cressend Attacked At Northland Campsite

The New Zealand Herald is running a story about a group of tourists camping at a 'Northland' campsite, the name of which isn't stated (why is that?) but a report the following day stated the attack took place in Ahipara. One of the group, Frenchman Anthony Cressend, went for a walk after arriving at the campsite in darkness. No one advised them that walking alone wasn't a safe thing to do.

Unfortunately Anthony Cressend says he was then set upon by a gang of three men who broke his jaw in three places and kicked-in his teeth. It's strange that no date is given for the attack, how long ago did this happen and was it around the time of the French Rugby team's tour?

When the incident was reported to the police the paper stated that:
"Police told him they would not investigate without a Kiwi contact number.
"As soon as I said that [he did not have a New Zealand cellphone] the [officer] flipped over his book and said 'Well we can't call outside of New Zealand cell zone'," said travel companion Emily Holloway, 24."
There is no indication from the report if police later decided to investigate the matter further, which may be why the group took their story to the press. The report finishes with "They told their story as a warning to other tourists." (It does make one wonder how many other attacks have gone unnoticed because of similar failures to own a NZ sim card)
Read the full story here : Savage attack ruins experience of NZ

Albania feels safer than New Zealand: (from the Herald report)
"....the trio are trying to stay positive.
But they are shocked by the random attack in a country they had thought to be safe and friendly.
"Even in Albania, which is really dangerous, we have never had this problem, even in Bolivia ... They are just friendly with you and you don't feel it's dangerous," Mr Collomb said."
Damage limitation or reality check?
Whilst some quarters will try to do a damage limitation exercise on this story (we expect to see the "isolated incident" comments any moment) others will take the opportunity to again warn tourists of the dangers they face in New Zealand, there may be more of this type of article in the coming days "False image makes visitors vulnerable" published after the Mathieu Bastareaud furore.

Regular readers of this blog will know that attacks on tourists are not unusual in New Zealand, (Whangarei Council once pondered whether to counter the negative stories or improve the situation -see bottom of page)

Most of us already know about the high profile assaults and rapes of tourists, students and back packers of all nationalities. We know that tourists and visitors need to be as vigilant in NZ as they would be anywhere in the world with high reported crime rates and high numbers of crime victims:
Some tourist attacks in New Zealand
*American peace corp twins were robbed in Christchurch.
*Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere whilst on honeymoon.
*British tourist sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls.
*Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls whilst on honeymoon.
*Two British women robbed and sexually assaulted in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay.
*Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered in Taupo.
*German woman Birgit Brauer murdered near New Plymouth.
*Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade.
*Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.
*Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on.
*6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall for having "foreign accents."
*Irish man Robby O'Brien beaten up in Westport.
*American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls.
*Australian tourist sexually assaulted in broad daylight in Nelson.
*Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.
*British man Paul Speakman
and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.

Yesterday this blog reported on the sentencing of a thug for the serious assault on Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and a shoe print on his face after a street bashing in February.

The situation has been serious enough for even tourism managers to call for tourists to be more vigilant and for one victim's mother to threaten to hand out leaflets warning tourists of the dangers:

Attack sparks tourist warning
"A spokeswoman for Tourism New Zealand said New Zealand was still regarded as a safe country, but visitors needed to be made aware of the risks.
"New Zealand is seen as a warm and friendly place, and certainly what has happened is in stark contrast to that reputation," she said.
"We are always concerned about visitor safety, whether it be due to crime or safety -- when tramping, for example. It is our responsibility to get the safety message out there."
Safety messages were put out on tourism websites and leaflets given to visitors, but tourism operators could help.
"Tourism operators should think about talking to their guests about things in their area, whether that be weather or conditions on a certain track or not walking down a dark alley at night," she said.
"We do need to strike a balance with portraying New Zealand as safe, but I don't think operators should be worried about making people aware of the risks. I think most operators would be aware that there would be more damage done by an actual incident."
Tourism West Coast general manager Sonya Matthews said all tourists, from overseas or other parts of New Zealand, needed to be vigilant.
She said they should not be put off touring the country.
"I don't think we want to scare people, but they do need to take general precautions," she said."

See also a quote from General Manager's report to Whangarei District Council, April 2004:
"Tourism advisory group meeting"
"Further cases of tourists being attacked or robbed during their stay in Whangarei have made for headlines here, and an article in the New Zealand Herald. The question of whether it is possible to find ways to counter these negative stories, or improve the situation remains unanswered".
The time is long overdue to find an answer. New Zealand depends heavily on its tourism revenues and can ill afford to lose them during the recession. Improving the tourism experience for visitors will also improve the country for many residents - crime is a significant problem, NZ has the second highest total crimes per capita, the world's highest use of Cannabis and third highest use of Amphetamines.

For today's posts see: latest posts

Monday, July 20, 2009

Helen Clark "Sex Bomb"

Some news outlets are reporting on the release of an unauthorised biography of former NZ prime minister Helen Clark. One for the Christmas stocking perhaps.

The book, written by political journalist Denis Welch and without any input from Clark herself, comes out with some choice quotes and revelations, such as many young men were "salivating" over her choice of knee high black boots in the 1980s; that she had a black sense of humour that many kiwis didn't understand.

writes "She couldn't afford to air it publicly because New Zealanders don't understand can be perceived quite inappropriately"

A life less ordinary

According to the write-up in The Australian:

"He (Welch) also claimed the former prime minister was big on holding grudges, saying "she has the memory of an elephant, and never forgets a name, a face, or a grievance".

But she was also a "great gossip" who loved to "know stuff" about people because of the power it would bring.

Ms Clark, who had no children, also fought the construct that her unconventional lifestyle was not ordinary enough for New Zealanders.

In a 1995 interview she once baulked: "I saw a line in a Christchurch Press editorial that New Zealanders like their leaders to be ordinary like them."

"For God's sake, I am not prepared to make myself ordinary.

"If ordinary means I have suddenly got to produce a household of kids and iron (husband) Peter's shirts, I'm sorry, I'm not interested."
Ms Clark now lives in New York where she is head of the United Nations Development programme, the third highest UN position. She is also chair of the United Nations Development Group. wikipedia

For today's posts see: latest posts

Man Charged For Ramming And Shooting At Elderly Couple

After another shocking assault on elderly people a man has been charged following the ramming of an couple on state highway 33 on the way to Rotorua on Saturday at 4.30am. Press reports say that after trying to run the couple off the road the man fired at them with a shotgun at close range.

Later the same morning a female driver was tail-gated by a driver 15km north of Rotorua. When forced to stop she was confronted with an axe.

Police made one arrest - a man will appear in court today on "firearms, driving, cannabis and explosives charges." Full story here: Road assaults in Rotorua

Another related news report gives slightly more information. "Rotorua man arrested after a string of violent incidents". It gives details of an armed offenders call-out to conduct a search of a private home.

The police were wise to act with extreme caution. In May a police officer was shot dead when a a routine cannabis bust went horribly wrong in Napier. Jan Molenaar holed himself up for days in an armed siege which ended with his death and left 3 people critically injured. See: Napier siege

For today's posts see: latest posts

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stuart Martin Assault, Man Jailed.

The UK Sun newspaper is reporting that a 17 year old youth, Joshua McConville, has been jailed for three years and nine months at Napier District Court yesterday for the assault on British tourist and pilot Stuart Martin.

Mr Martin was viciously beaten in Taradale (between Napier and Hastings) in February, so badly that the imprint of a shoe was left on his face and he was placed into a coma. See Battered Scottish man flies home.

The Sun is reporting that Mr Martin may not be able to get his flying licence back due to the lasting effects of the beating.

For more about the incident and reaction to the attack see: British tourist in coma after Napier attack and Battered Scottish man flies home

For today's posts see: latest posts


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