By JR on Sunday, September 11, 2011
Even though NZ Maori are largely parasitical on Pakeha (white) society! It's very unfashionable to say so but the 15% of the NZ population that is Maori is a significant part of the reason why New Zealand is on average poorer than Australia. The willing workers among the Maori have mostly migrated to Australia -- where for many years they had a semi-monopoly on the garbage-collection trade
Some immigrants say they feel less and less welcome in New Zealand, as anger grows at Maori academic Margaret Mutu's controversial call to cut white immigration.
Mutu, head of Auckland University's Maori studies department, is standing by her claim in last weekend's Sunday Star-Times that immigrants from countries such as South Africa brought white supremacist attitudes with them.
The Race Relations office has received 30 complaints about Mutu's comments and there have been calls for her sacking, but the university is backing her right to free speech. Mutu sparked further outrage last week by saying her comments could not be racist as Maori are not in a position of power.
A South African immigrant, Dominique Fourie, said Mutu's "racist" and infuriating remarks added to a growing feeling that immigrants were not welcome here. "It angers me she has painted us all with the same brush," Fourie said.
Her parents came to New Zealand when she was 14. She said family members who came here more recently had felt less and less welcome. "The family that migrated two years ago had a really hard time integrating with the New Zealand community and culture, whereas we felt welcomed with open arms back in the 1990s. "With the huge numbers of people migrating now, possibly Kiwis are feeling more insecure."
Fourie urged Mutu to sit down with a South African immmigrant and speak to them about the racist attitude and stereotypes they had encountered after coming here.
Mutu said she had been inundated with emails since her comments. "Initially the email traffic was 90 per cent negative but most of them provided excellent examples of the white supremacist attitudes," she said. She had also received a number of supportive emails, particularly from Maori, but also from immigrants from South Africa, England, India and China.
"Most are professionals. The English ones are appalled at the racism against Maori they see on a daily basis – particularly in the media. The South Africans are fairly forthright about the need to ensure that the virus that blighted their country be prevented from running rampant in this country."
Those opposed to her view wanted discussion on racism shut down immediately, she said.
Another prominent Maori academic, Ranginui Walker, said New Zealanders needed to have a "rational" discussion about whether the immigration policy was fatally flawed. "The trouble with New Zealanders is they are extremely sensitive to the politics of culture and the politics of race. It is time New Zealand matured and was able to debate these matters rationally."
Walker said many Maori felt the Government allowed too many immigrants to enter the country, at the expense of the indigenous population.
"The problem of Maori under-performance in New Zealand – in terms of education and dependency on welfare – has not been resolved. If we can't solve our own internal problems, why add to those problems by bringing more people? It just doesn't make sense."
Walker said New Zealand must rethink the economic approach to immigration where people who were meant to fuel the economy by creating new jobs were given priority. "This policy has gone on for 30 years now and we are no better off economically."
The immigration debate arose after a Department of Labour report found Maori are more likely to express anti-immigration sentiment than any other ethnic group.
Mike Bell, founder of migration advice website Move2NZ, said Mutu's comments were a sideshow. "The real issue here is the Government report and the issues that have been highlighted by the report. That is quite a serious issue and needs to be looked at."
Mutu agreed with the Government report's findings. "Maori are desperate to get their own issues sorted out and feel very threatened as more groups come in and swamp them," she said.
Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said there were no immediate plans to change the country's immigration approach. "New Zealand's immigration policy is firmly focused on attracting migrants who can contribute to New Zealand."