Monday, 23 August 2010

Everyone Wants The Kiwi Dream?

The Arms of Her Majesty in Right of New ZealandThe is a report on the New Zealand Herald Online this morning entitled "Everyone wants the Kiwi dream".

Apparently New Zealand is rated as the second most desired countries for potential migrants. Who I wondered was number one?

It came as no surprise to discover that first place, based on the Gallup Potential Net Migration Index, was occupied by Singapore.  This no doubt will delight the Singapore government but be of concern to its citizenry who are very sensitive about a further mass migration of new arrivals.

In New Zealand a researcher, Dr Elsie Ho, has diplomatically stated "New Zealanders may be more accepting of immigrants who come from similar backgrounds, such as Britain and America, but not so with migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East for example"

With this she has touched upon the insular underbelly of racism in New Zealand.  Those Asian migrants bewitched by the clean green image of the country often become quickly disillusioned by the insidious undercurrent of racism they discover here.

They suffer worse than other migrant groups and this is born our by a second study on the barriers Asians face to equality in New Zealand.

The Herald also reports a study being resented to he Human Rights Commission today in which one of  its authors reports " Asians were the most discriminated against and earned the least income, despite barely featuring in social welfare statistics. Migrants felt most discriminated against in public places, employment and while shopping, according to a Department of Labour immigration survey".

I have met Asian migrants driven to the verge of suicide by their inability to find employment or set up a business in this country.

As a PR in Singapore I experienced no such feelings.  In the main this Ang Mo felt very welcome at all times and as a result made close friendships with a number of Singaporeans of all races that will always be treasured.

Singapore is a cosmopolitan republic and the government goes to great pains top promote racial and social harmony, even dictating the racial ratios within housing estates to promote integration.

In New Zealand our approach to immigration is piecemeal at best and it is the non European migrants who suffer most from this apathy and antagonism.

The Kiwi abroad is often regard as a warm and friendly bird.  In their home roost however things are markedly different and it shames me to have to say so.
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