Saturday, January 15, 2011

Would You Vote For The New 'Migrant Party'?

Patsy Wong's resignation has resulted in a March by-election having to be held in the Botany constituency, where migrants make up more than half of the voters.

Rather than use a mainstream party to make the Chinese migrant voice heard in parliament action was taken to form a New Citizen Party.

The New Citizen Party aims to represent Chinese New Zealanders and has a focus on economic and law and order issues. The party has been organised by Auckland businessman Paul Young, former New Zealand Labour Party list candidate Stephen Ching, and Chinese businessman Jack Chen.

The party is registered by the Electoral Commission, making it eligible to contest the party vote.
The membership of the new party is not just Chinese New Zealanders but also people in the Korean, Maori and Pakeha communities.

Last August Paul Young told the Herald that he believed that as New Zealand became more engaged with the rest of the world, "we do need to listen to different voices". He also said it had "a focus on community safety, legal and education issues which required long-term policies, "and we do not see that happening".

Given the large number of migrants living in Botany this is an excellent idea. As long as migrants from other countries are properly catered for it has a good chance of success. Its time for immigrants to have their own voice in parliament, they could effect some real changes in the way that New Zealand Inc.  is run.

Could this be the beginning of the end for the 'Kiwi Way' ?

Will trade/professional bodies be made to get together with the immigration service and adopt identical requirements? It would be good if migrants didn't get all the way to NZ (an expensive process) only to find out they can't get a job because their qualifications aren't recognised. There are far too many lawyers and engineers driving taxis.

There could be more effective anti-discrimination laws, why put Kiwis first when there's supposed to be a skills shortage in the country and the population is in decline? There should be a level playing field for all.  Is it such a radical concept to fill a job on merit, rather than accident of birth or 'who you know'?

The New Zealand Herald's headline says the new party faces an uphill struggle - looks like the status quo may be feeling  a nipping at their heels. But here's the news for them - migrants are used to an uphill struggle in NZ.

If the new party gathers power, as  it will unless sabotaged, there are other communities in New Zealand that have high proportions of migrants that may want to follow the lead and put forward their own MPs.

It wouldn't take much - perhaps 5 or so MPs to make a difference to the balance of power in New Zealand, and in an election year that's going to cause some buzzing in the Beehive.

Would you give a New Citizens Party your vote?  if only to encourage the faint winds of change that are trying to blow away the cobwebs in New Zealand?

It will be interesting to see how seriously this 'threat' to the established order is taken. If a dirty tricks campaign is waged against the new party it could be seen as desperate move to prevent change in New Zealand.

Expect to see a lot of dirt digging in the coming weeks.

For the background to this story read this report in the Herald - New Migrant Party has an uphill struggle 

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welsh Honeymooners Robbed In NZ

There's an epidemic of crime against tourists going on in New Zealand.

Poor Steve and Sarah Haskey, married in a glorious August wedding,  are one of many, many touring couples to have been robbed in NZ this summer.

The honeymooing couple from Wrexham, North Wales were in New Zealand on the “holiday of a lifetime” when their video camera, memory cards and passports were stolen from their rental car as they stopped briefly on the way to the airport to catch a flight to Australia.

From the UK’s Daily Post: (emphasis ours)
The couple from Wrexham suffered tragedy when hundreds of honeymoon photos and their passports were stolen from a hire car in the city of Christchurch.
“We were on our way to the airport to spend a few days in Australia,” said Mr Haskey. “We left the car for five minutes and when we came back someone had snatched our camera and passports.”
His new wife Sarah added: “We are still trying to get over it now, we felt sick and absolutely gutted. I’m getting really upset thinking about it.
We were really careful, we’re seasoned travellers and we took precautions to keep our belongings with us all the time – it was just a five minute lapse.”
Three memory cards, a video camera and their passports were stolen.
Mrs Haskey now says her friends and family have been put off visiting New Zealand. “We thought New Zealand was safe. It is so beautiful there, but I hope the minority don’t spoil it,” she said.
The couple had stopped their car in Hagley Park, the largest urban open space in the city. They decided to have lunch before they went to the airport. Both went to the toilet and when they came back a window of their car was smashed and their possessions were gone.
Mr Haskey said the hardest thing to take was the loss of hundreds of memories. “We’d take a lot of photos and we’ve contacted papers in New Zealand to see if we can get them back.” …read more here
To add insult to injury it cost the Haskeys £700 to fly to Wellington to get emergency passports sorted out so they could leave the country. Expensive place New Zealand.

A couple of days ago another Welsh couple, Michael Wright and Amy Murphy, were left without a penny in New Plymouth when their campervan was ransacked at New Plymouth’s Back Beach. Read Welsh couple left without a penny

Before that we talked about two US soldiers Eli and Tonia Gerhard that were robbed in Kaikoura the previous week. The young couple were taking a well earned break from the conflict and crime of Afghanistan. They must have thought that New Zealand would have been the last place on earth where they would have been robbed blind.

A few weeks before that British couple Jake Graham and Jess Kelly were also robbed in New Plymouth when their campervan was broken into and they lost almost everything they owned. Read more here

But there have been so many of these types of robberies in New Zealand haven’t there,  you’d think that word would have got out by now?

Perhaps not.

Always  it’s the same type of belongings that are stolen (cameras, money, passports, ipods, computers) tourists are obviously rich pickings in New Zealand, a country of vast inequalities and with a grinding poverty in some sectors of the community that could go unnoticed by the casual observer,  or be passed over for being “quaint.”

Tourist authorities really should be asking themselves are they doing enough to warn visitors not to leave their belongings in unattended vehicles. The problem is that there is such a widespread misconception that New Zealand is a safe, tourist friendly, safe place to holiday that some people are unwittingly  leaving themselves open to theft, sometimes accompanied by assault and battery.  As in the case of the French tourists who pulled-over to sleep one evening.  Read more here.

Would it take a lot to fit hidden safes or security boxes in these vehicles? or for tourists to have access to short term safety deposit boxes, rather like mailboxes at post offices? A few more signs in car parks warning about thieves would probably be a good idea too.

Other stories you may be interested in:-

Suffolk couple put emigration plans on hold after experiencing NZ’s crime:
“Today’s Herald is reporting on British couple Dean and Tabitha Forbes who lost most of their possessions whilst on a pre-emigration trip to Auckland, New Zealand…”
British Migrants Robbed:
“”An English family who came to New Zealand to make a fresh start were left with only the clothes on their backs when their motel was burgled two days after they arrived.
Dawn and Conrad Tutin and their children Stephanie, 14, and Kiel, 12, arrived from Nottingham a week ago to begin a new life in Auckland, where Mr Tutin will work for Fisher & Paykel…””
More British tourists robbed, no gold for New Plymouth:
“Earlier today we wrote about honeymooning couple Simon and Sabine Greenslade whose campervan was robbed of outside of Auckland Zoo, losing most of their holiday and honeymooning photographs amongst other possessions.
We’ve also heard about another young British couple, Jake Graham and Jess Kelly,whose campervan was also broken into and who lost almost everything they owned in New Plymouth yesterday afternoon…”
Honeymoon couple lose precious photos, no ‘gold medal’ in Auckland

US rowing team member  robbed, world rowing championships 2010 in Queenstown

Czech Tourist, Jan Fakotor, Stabbed In Motueka
English tourist mugged in Gisborne
Chilean tourist punched, robbed in Nelson
A group of students that were beaten and robbed whilst on a treasure hunt at the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa, Northland
A series of random, unprovoked attacks in Queenstown
Previous robbery of British tourists at Kerosene Creek
Tourists robbed at Kerosene Creek
Three French tourists beaten and robbed in their campervan in Mangamuka, Northland - police have yet to resolve this crime

A family of Swiss tourists that were assaulted and racially abused in Kaitaia, Northland
Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch from Germany who were robbed in Whangarei, Northland
A family of five robbed at the roadside whilst camping in their van at Oturere Stream, 25km south of Turangi
Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland
Two American tourists were robbed at Shipwreck Bay in Northland whilst sandboarding
Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Northland

Three Chinese tourists attacked and robbed at Te paki, 90 Mile Beach, Northland, by two men they’d stopped to help
French tourist Anthony Cressend, beaten and robbed at campsite in Ahipara, Northland
Two Australian tourists robbed at knifepoint for their holiday money in Te Puke, SE of Tauranga.
Japanese tourist age 23 (female) kidnapped, robbed and assaulted in Rotorua by four men
French tourist (male) raped at gunpoint near Opotiki,

American peace corp twins Adam and Alex Rahmlow, 21 were robbed of all their possessions by a man they tried to help in Amberley, Christchurch.
Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere, NW of Invercargill, whilst on their honeymoon. (Dutch govt. issued a travel warning about NZ)
Two Koreans were attacked and robbed of their possession which included a laptop computer by a man claiming to be a gang member in Blenheim.
British tourist worker sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls, Northland when she was dragged off a walking track.
Canadian tourist Jeremie Kawerninski, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed in Lower Hutt, Wellington
Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls, Northland whilst on honeymoon.
Two British women robbed and raped in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne.
Japanese tourist subjected to a prolonged and brutal sex attack in a communal area of a backpacker’s hostel in Turangi, Taupo.
Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered by a youth in Taupo.
German woman Birgit Brauer murdered near New Plymouth.
Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade by white supremacist.
Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.
Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on throughout his NZ tour.
6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall, Christchurch for having “foreign accents.”
Irish man Robby O’Brien beaten up in Westport.
Russian couple Denis Khotchenko and Lera Nesterova beaten and robbed in Milford, Auckland
English woman knifed and sexually assaulted in a toilet block at an A1 motor camp in Kaikoura
American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls, Northland.
Australian tourist sexually assaulted on a street in broad daylight in Nelson.
Australian tourist subjected to a sex attack by Maia Crawford Rongonui whilst walking home to a backpackers in Christchurch.
Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.
Dutch tourist beaten and robbed at Lake Rotorua.
British man Paul Speakman and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.
Chinese woman attacked for speaking Chinese on a train approaching Petone.
Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and with a boot print on his face after a street bashing in Taradale, Christchurch.

Today's posts - click here


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