It’s not too often Alf is overpowered by an urge to remonstrate with The Boss.
But something he said about Aussies in the past week – something glowingly favourable about the buggers – is beyond the pale.
Fair to say, a check will be made to ensure The Boss has been accurately quoted (here) on the subject of Australians and the wonderful contribution they can make to Godzone.
All going well, we will find the reporter misheard what was said.
More likely it will be established that the scribe in question is an Aussie who fabricated the quote.
Alf’s suspicions about its veracity were raised in the first few paragraphs.
New Zealand is losing more people to Australia than ever, but Prime Minister John Key is playing down the “brain drain” issue that helped National win the 2008 election, spinning it now in to a “brain exchange”.
Speaking at an office opening last week, Key said New Zealanders spend a lot of time worrying about people moving to Australia.
“Yup, we started that debate, but the truth is our population has been rising. At the very minimum you could say it’s a ‘brain exchange’ because there’s quite a lot of bright people arriving into New Zealand,” he told staff at Auckland-based Orion Health.
Key said that made New Zealand a better and more exciting place to live.
A simple measure of the magnitude of the bollocks is to suppose we swapped prime ministers. The Aussies get John Key; we get the redhead.
This would make us a better and more exciting place to live – how exactly?
Likewise, imagine we swap the long-serving, hard-working MP for Eketahuna North with whatever tosser happens to be the MP for Ettamogah nowadays.
You can spot the risibility in the alleged quote immediately.
Alf reckons his old boss, Robert Muldoon, was smack-on back in the 1980s (see here) when he was asked about the increasing exodus of New Zealanders leaving the country to work in Australia.
His comment was that by doing so, they were raising the average IQ of both countries.
Trouble is, it looks like the IQ of Australia is being increased at an astonishing pace, because Stuff’s story about what The Boss allegedly said last week is adorned with some perturbing statistics.
New Zealand recorded its highest net permanent long-term migration loss to Australia in 2011-12. A record 40,000 net loss resulted from 53,900 people departing, offset by 13,900 arriving.
Total permanent long-term departures in the year were up 5 per cent on 2011, to 87,300, resulting in a net loss of migrants of 4100.
And sure enough, the buggers at Stuff have dug out what The Boss said back in in 2008, while seeking election.
He said he did not think the New Zealand economy could sustain a brain drain of 750 people a week leaving for Australia and about the same leaving for other destinations.
“The brain drain worries the hell out of me,” he told a university audience at the time. “I have no doubt we can kiss goodbye to at least half of you in the next five to 10 years.”
So – it was 750 a week then and now it’s more than 1000 people a week who are leaving our shores for Australia.
Of course, it’s reasonable to point our there would be a net benefit to New Zealand if all of those who are leaving our shores are lefties and greenies, none of whom would be missed much.
Not missed at all, come to think of it, except by fellow lefties and greenies.
We could start by shipping out Labour immigration spokeswoman Darien Fenton, who has been interviewed by Stuff for what increasingly looks like a beat-up.
She said the real question about the “brain exchange” was whether we are actually using skilled migrants.
Migrants come to New Zealand with a promise of jobs, but when they get here find it much tougher than they expected. “They may have a qualification, but can’t work in those jobs,” she said.
Meanwhile, she is seeing more and more firms applying to allow immigrants to take low paying jobs in areas such as age care and hospitality, she said. “We are losing the best and the brightest and bringing in people to work in low paid jobs.”
Fenton cited Heinz Watties, which shifted 300 well-paid processing jobs from Australia to New Zealand this year.
However, New Zealand workers were contracted at low wages through a labour hire company to do the work.
This looks like bloody good business sense to Alf.
The Heinz Wattie mob brought the processing jobs here so they would be done more cheaply by much smarter workers.
Anything wrong with that?
But it is true that the net migration figures rather suggest Kiwis have been voting with their feet.
Not only has Alf been needled on this matter by constituents in the Eketahuna Club, but the local rag has become a bit lippy too.
A recent editorial (here) said –
John Key must be ruing the day he promised he would reverse the trend of more and more Kiwis buying one-way tickets across the Tasman.
The latest migration figures are downright alarming.
They are alarming only if those who are leaving are Nats.
But Nats are much too bright to want to go and work in a country where they voted for a Labor government.