The Dim-Post

July 15, 2015

The racist style in New Zealand politics

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:27 am

I don’t have much else to say about Labour’s Chinese-Housing-Market story but thinking about it this morning reminded me of something an Asian-New Zealand student in my lab said a few years ago about racism and politics (I can’t remember if it was related to one of New Zealand First’s outrages, or possibly Paul Henry’s comments about the Governor General).

Her point was that she experienced racism on a pretty frequent basis, mostly from guys yelling insults at her as they drove past in cars, and whenever politicians indulged in politics about Asian immigration it always felt like they were siding with the guys in the cars over her simply because there were more of them and politics is a numbers game.

I thought about that after reading these columns by Tim Watkin and Chris Trotter in which they confidently decree that Labour aren’t being racist. Because race comes up a lot in our domestic politics. There was National’s Orewa speech, obviously, and ACT plays the race card every single election (last year it was then-leader Jamie Whyte announcing that Maori were comparable to pre-revolutionary french aristocrats). New Zealand First reliably whips up anti-Asian sentiment. Phil Goff gave a speech on ‘Nationhood’ that attempted to replicate Brash’s Orewa speech. One of National’s ‘spin-the-wheel’ distractions whenever there’s a scandal is to warn us that the boat-people are coming. And we’re never far from a debate about eugenics with various right-wing commentators routinely suggesting that we sterilise beneficiaries.

And every time race comes up as an issue all of our pundits – who are mostly white guys, like me, who have never experienced life as an ethnic minority – pontificate about whether the issue is racist or not. The ruling is routinely partisan. Right-wing commentators insist that the debate about eugenics or ‘Maori privilege’ is not racist, but are aghast at Labour’s race-baiting on Chinese property investment. Left-wing commentators who wanted Paul Henry hung-drawn-and-quartered for his comments about the Governor General insist that Labour’s ‘Chinese-sounding-surname’ stunt is just a genuine attempt to talk about the broader issue of foreign investment.

If that’s all it is then why are so many Chinese New-Zealanders so offended by it? Could it be that white people who have never experienced racism aren’t the best arbiters of it, while ethnicities who experience racism on a routine basis know it when they see it, and are pretty damn sure they’re seeing it now?

Labour’s latest stunt might work, or it might not – ACT’s never do. But our politicians keep making race a political issue and so long as they continue to do so it’d be nice if commentators based their judgments on whether something is racist or not on how the community affected feels about it, and not our own vague abstractions or tribal sympathies.

94 Comments »

  1. I really believe there is a hypocrisy question here. If you are quick to find hidden racism in the statements of others, and to wave that perceived racism like a bloody shirt, then you yourself should be careful not to make statements that can be interpreted as involving racial code-words. I can not see how that is any different to holding “family values” conservatives to a higher standard of personal family conduct on the basis of their politics.

    More than a few lefties have been stung by the accusation that Labour attacked an ethnic minority. Being hurt by such an accusation is an understandable reaction. But do you think that will give many of them the empathy and insight to hold back next time they are tempted to impute racism to others?

    Comment by LiamH — July 15, 2015 @ 8:47 am

  2. ” But do you think that will give many of them the empathy and insight to…”

    … to not do it again.

    At least that’s how I would have finished that sentence.

    Comment by Stephen Judd — July 15, 2015 @ 8:52 am

  3. Either or both, for sure.

    Comment by LiamH — July 15, 2015 @ 8:55 am

  4. New Zealand is a realitively young country who’s population is mainly built by immigrants. Many Chinese followed the gold as found in Otago, many became market gardeners and more. Those people have earned their right and are an important part of the NZ fabric. Tokyo Hong Kong Sydney and Auckland, tripling in size, sub-ways, high rise sky scrapers, neon lights with 5 million residents, why not ? Don’t hold it back – let it go.

    Comment by Woz — July 15, 2015 @ 8:56 am

  5. At the moment the racism call is simply a convenience to cover the whole affair as people mull it over.

    To me the bigger story is the possible criminal act of accessing confidential personal information which may include a lot more than just a name but an address, details of the people concerned, prices paid and other stuff that unscrupulous people could use.

    From a minority person’s pov this information strips away his last protection against racism, burglary, child kidnapping (there’s been a bit of that in the past) and physical assault.
    A common complaint of people burglarised is they feel violated in their home and may never feel safe again. Just the thought that their private information is in the hands of politicians could be extraordinarily frightening to a minority race.

    JC

    Comment by JC — July 15, 2015 @ 8:57 am

  6. “More than a few”, no doubt. But given there are a large population, that’s to be expected. The most strident attacks on Labour have come from the people most likely to hit out at racism wherever they see it however. So I’m not really sure this hypocrisy as a big an issue as to be worth spending much time on.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 15, 2015 @ 9:01 am

  7. ” how the community affected feels about it” – hey, hey, HEY – that getting awfully ‘PC gone mad” dont you think🙂

    Comment by framu — July 15, 2015 @ 9:17 am

  8. What’s being left out of almost every criticism – particularly Tova O’Brien’s full-blown misinformation hate campaign on 3 News last night, which in my mind cemented Mediaworks as basically Fox News levels of wilful silliness – is the entire point of Labour’s issue: that the buyers we might need to worry about live overseas and take their profits with them.

    They interviewed some poor Chinese guy in his kitchen who said “I’ve lived here for 25 years!” Has NOBODY tried to explain to him, either before or after the interview, “That’s fine! You’re cool! Labour isn’t going around taking houses off of Chinese people! In fact, it’s probably to you advantage to your children as New Zealanders that they’re not priced out of the housing market in their own country because of some bizarre Chinese consortium!”

    And to even speculate as to why Labour didn’t pick names like “O’Brien” and scream THE IRISH ARE BUYING UP OUR PROPERTY is absurd and the people running that line know it.

    And do people HONESTLY think Andrew Little and Phil Twyford – cardigan-wearing Labour softies to their core – are racist? Come on.

    Basically, I think a lot of the LABOUR ARE RACIST crowd are unwittingly buying into the attack lines Key will use when he gets back from whatever destructive creepy rightwing thing he’s currently doing overseas. Let’s stick together! Let’s not forget who the real enemy is!

    And Phil Quin strikes me as someone who’s been waiting for the “perfect” opportunity to quit Labour in a huff so he can make some bizarre point about it, when in fact he should have done it decades ago or maybe never joined in the first place. And, again, TV3 happily ran all his bizarre lines.

    Comment by ORAVIDA — July 15, 2015 @ 9:32 am

  9. Because race comes up a lot in our domestic politics. There was National’s Orewa speech, obviously, and ACT plays the race card every single election (last year it was then-leader Jamie Whyte announcing that Maori were comparable to pre-revolutionary french aristocrats). New Zealand First reliably whips up anti-Asian sentiment. Phil Goff gave a speech on ‘Nationhood’ that attempted to replicate Brash’s Orewa speech. One of National’s ‘spin-the-wheel’ distractions whenever there’s a scandal is to warn us that the boat-people are coming. And we’re never far from a debate about eugenics with various right-wing commentators routinely suggesting that we sterilise beneficiaries.

    The Foreshore and Seabed Act where Labour/Progressives stripped land rights from on the basis of race and NZ was condemned by the UN Committee for Racial Equality.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 15, 2015 @ 9:33 am

  10. @Pascal’s bookie

    That’s true. Do you agree that Rob Salmond, Labour caucus members, Standard bloggers and anybody else who defends or justifies the analysis has lost the ability to wave the bloody red shirt of “dog whistle politics” in the future?

    Comment by LiamH — July 15, 2015 @ 9:35 am

  11. “Could it be that white people who have never experienced racism aren’t the best arbiters of it”

    Maybe somebody with like three years of “Foreigners shouldn’t be allowed to buy land in NZ” blog posts isn’t the best person to teach us this lesson?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 15, 2015 @ 9:39 am

  12. If that’s all it is then why are so many Chinese New-Zealanders so offended by it?

    It could be because some people are easily offended. I would note that if you criticise Israel for crimes against Palestinians, you risk being accused of anti-semitism. In other words, the truth can hurt.

    Comment by Ross — July 15, 2015 @ 10:10 am

  13. while ethnicities who experience racism on a routine basis know it when they see it, and are pretty damn sure they’re seeing it now?

    So all those Chinese NZers who don’t feel they’re currently experiencing racism, their feelings don’t matter?

    Comment by Ross — July 15, 2015 @ 10:16 am

  14. Coming from a homogenised white bread background, I have been struggling to rationally understand how it is racist, despite knowing of the considerable history of racism in NZ against Asian peoples. The analysis doesn’t _feel_ racist to me, although as pointed out by those of Chinese heritage, it is racist. I am a data nerd, information junkie, and the anomaly between % spend and % ethnicity is undeniable – how can data be racist?

    But just now, I have figured out what the crux of the issue is: A perception of privilege in the Auckland housing market [1]. And I feel, given the anecdotal evidence, along with the limited data (e.g. the real estate data, David Hood’s analysis on house prices vs. mortgage vs. captial inflows), that the perception is grounded in reality.

    The privilege comes from wealth – a wealthier purchaser will always come out on top, all else being equal. This is why Pakeha also have an anomaly between home ownership and ethnicity – in NZ, Pakeha are wealthier (they have privilege when in comes to buying stuff) compare to Maori and Pasifika.

    But now, there is a global market for property in Auckland (hey, its a nice place to live) as both residences (e.g. NZ residents, both generational and recent immigrants) or as low-tax speculative investment. The global money entering the Auckland housing market is precipitating from Asia rather than “traditional” western economies – e.g. English money would go to low tax foreign enclaves, like the City of London. In NZ, a few years ago it was “Japanese Housewives” buying up relatively high interest bonds (racist?) instead of houses. But now it is cashed up millionaires from China looking for somewhere to stash the cash (apparently a world wide phenomenon).

    So, is it racist to point out that global (foreign) wealth has privilege in the Auckland housing market if the wealth is predominately Chinese? Being part of an ethnic minority may make it more obvious (because racism, or causes of racism), but when ethnicity and privilege are intertwined, is it racist to point out privilege[2]? A millionaire from China is almost always going to be Chinese and have a Chinese name. A millionaire from NZ may be, but most likely isn’t.

    [1] The causes of privilege being pretty much down to NZ liberal investment environment and vested interest (hey we can make more money by selling to people willing and able to pay more than locals, and nothing can stop us!).
    [2] Yes, when it is fake privilege, see the Merchant of Venice.

    FM

    Comment by Foo Man — July 15, 2015 @ 10:17 am

  15. @ Liam. Sure, to some extent they have def lost some credibility. Though context always matters of course. I think we can agree that it would be poor form for the right to try and use ‘hypocrisy’ as a bloody red rag of their own to justify their own racist shit eh?

    And the end of the day, I tend to find hypcrisy about sin to be a minor sin, compared to the actual sin. If you catch my drift.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 15, 2015 @ 10:27 am

  16. I guess, for clarities sake Liam, I believe that ‘That’s hypocrisy, so you can’t speak’ arguments are nearly always ad hom. And the end of the day even if an accuser is being hypocritical, the charge they make is independent, no?

    So I try to make my mind up about the charge irrespective of the person who is making it.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 15, 2015 @ 10:30 am

  17. No ones attacking Chinese NZders are they, focus is on Big Time spenders from the Mainland China looking for wise business investments. Fact is those investors bring money and prosperity to our economy. I have both sold and purchased property off Asian, I have also worked for them on building projects. If you want to sell and make a killing make sure you’ve got somewhere else to go to first.

    Comment by Woz — July 15, 2015 @ 10:34 am

  18. @ Woz, except loads of people are talking about how many ‘chinese’ people they see when they go to auctions, so yeah, those Chinese people can fair enough claim to be under attack.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 15, 2015 @ 10:37 am

  19. The problem with this debate is that is completely localised on NZ politics, rather than looking at a wider global economic situation where foreign investors from the peoples republic of china inflating the cost of housing from Syndey, Melbourne, Vancouver, London, and New York City.

    Comment by mark — July 15, 2015 @ 10:41 am

  20. @PAscal’s bookie – to a large extent I agree with you about the limited value of “tu quoque” arguments. Just because Jefferson had slaves doesn’t mean he was wrong to write that all men are created equal. What frustrates me is the uneven application of the hypocrisy standard – as we’ve seen in this affair.

    Comment by LiamH — July 15, 2015 @ 10:46 am

  21. ‘No ones attacking Chinese NZders are they, focus is on Big Time spenders from the Mainland China looking for wise business investments”

    Comrade this is just naive. Chinese NZ’s are a conjunct for the so called big time spenders. This is never about “foreign ownership” unless you want to turn NZ into a police state. The State cant regulate against capital flows. Espically these type.

    The Chinese state undertook a massive money printing following GFC some of this money print has found its way to NZ. This is an economic and intergenerational issue. Not racial. But Labo are too incompetent to frame it in these terms.

    Ironically when the Chinese money print is turned off there will be a massive liquidity crisis, including NZ, and its quite likely that NZ’s Troika of Labo, Gweens & Winston First will sweep into power on the back of a crashing NZ economy.

    Comment by Simon — July 15, 2015 @ 10:57 am

  22. Well said, Danyl.

    Putting aside bad-faith opportunists (this time they’re Nat-hacks, another time another team), when people like Watkin and Trotter say “it’s not about race”, what they mean is “I don’t want it to be about race”. I’m sure they don’t. But they’re not sitting on Mt Olympus, deciding for the rest of us.

    Those who call themselves commentators should possess some ability to distinguish between genuine hurt/anger and somebody posing. In the current case, either the Omnipotent Outrage Borg caused a wide range of people (who disagree about so much else) to look like they were spontaneously and independently reacting, after receiving their instructions – or it’s very real.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — July 15, 2015 @ 11:26 am

  23. ” “Foreigners shouldn’t be allowed to buy land in NZ” blog posts isn’t the best person to teach us this lesson”

    does nationality = race?

    Comment by framu — July 15, 2015 @ 11:35 am

  24. Re: Pascals bookie & Simon ,don’t consider myself to be Naive but could be, fully accept the ratio of Asian to non-Asian at auction is dis-proportionate, in saying that the Fllood Gates are Open and there’s no point in fighting it, take a look at comment #4. Do you want NZ to be a vibrant modern country or a Southern Alabama back water hick town ?

    Comment by Woz — July 15, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

  25. Do you want NZ to be a vibrant modern country…

    From the way that unfortunate word’s been flogged to death over the course of the Chch “rebuild”, “vibrant” would appear to be code for grab your ankles while we distract you with this pie in the sky.

    Comment by Joe W — July 15, 2015 @ 12:29 pm

  26. To be honest I think this whole debate has proved how insular the NZ political commentariat is, basically we can’t contextualise the outflow of foreign investment by PRC nationals to not only NZ but first world economies, other than indulging in identity politics or check your privilege drivel. In the mean time house prices will go up, more people will pour money into mortgages rather than the wider economy, and really its the banks that will win.

    Comment by mark — July 15, 2015 @ 12:31 pm

  27. Is Rob Salmond a racist? Is Phil Twyford a racist? Is Andrew Little a racist? No.

    I’m almost certain that they don’t think less or differently of New Zealanders who are of Chinese origin or descent, recent or otherwise.

    But they’re idiots. Because Asian NZrs constitute 11% of the electorate, and their perceptions matter. You have to think you’re far smarter than you are to think that you could release a story like this and control it. An analysis based on “names”. If it wasn’t clear pre-release, by the end of the first day it was obvious. By now it’s a flashing neon sign on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

    Perceptions of Labour are going sharply south. It isn’t just Chinese – Indian and Philippines NZrs (most of whom are recent) are not getting anything positive out of this.

    Helen Clark permanently lost around 5% of a semi-captive vote over her handling of the Seabed and Foreshore issue, at a time when her government had a narrow majority. This will lose Labour a segment of a much less Labour-attached population.

    Comment by Fraud — July 15, 2015 @ 12:41 pm

  28. And for those claiming that Don Brash has long moved on from Orewa Rotary, what about David Round, Michael Cox, and Max Shierlaw who remain politically vocal? Not saying ‘you did it too’ but rather no one’s particularly a beacon of virtue at the moment. And Steve Gibson was a walking embarrassment.

    Fraud: Given Phil Twyford is standing his ground on the issue, my inner Machiavellian thinks it’s a deliberate strategy to drive the liberal left to the Greens, while going all-out Waitakere Man for the ‘silent majority’ and those who might have switched to John Key and Winston Peters.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 15, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

  29. I saw the point made that Labour should have just stuck to the pledge to ban foreign investment in property. That tactic would not have even warranted a Dim Post. Now Labour are in the ring wrestling with a pig and getting a bit dirty and everyone is watching to see how it comes out. Even John Armstrong was cheering them on recently because they are getting down and dirty. In case nobody has noticed “politics have no relation to morals.” If there is something that is pissing off a large portion of the population you exploit it for political gain. The super PC brigade have been a colossal failure against a pretty average bunch of wannabe, Machiavellian twerps (see David Cunliffe “I’m sorry for being a man”) gaining almost nothing but negative publicity.

    Yes there are racist people in New Zealand (ever been to Hawkes Bay or Northland?) and almost everyone has some degree of racism in them whether they are willing to acknowledge it or not. Yes this furor resonates with that knee jerk prejudicial predisposition. However, making the assertion that high levels of foreign investment are most probably contributing to high housing prices and the majority of this investment is coming from China is just telling it like it is (until someone proves otherwise). Whether high housing prices are good or bad depends entirely on how much property you own and how much money you make but one thing is certain: $580,000 is not “affordable” for a huge portion of the population.

    Comment by Eltalstro — July 15, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

  30. Or: “To express concerns about the potential impact of these flows is not racism; it is sensible macro prudential management.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11481287

    Comment by Eltalstro — July 15, 2015 @ 1:28 pm

  31. This is never about “foreign ownership” unless you want to turn NZ into a police state. The State cant regulate against capital flows. Espically these type.

    @Simon, are you serious ? China has no problems preventing foreigners purchase land there. And it seems Hong Kong and Singapore are happy to shut out mainland Chinese as well. Is it still racism if Chinese are doing it to Chinese ?

    And my 2c on Labour is that they thought everyone would simply believe them when they say that they aren’t intending to be racist (regardless of the fact that they singled out Chinese), and we’d all engage with the real issue – the impact of foreign ownership of Aotearoa.

    The reality is that we don’t have proper data around this and we desperately need it. Until then, we’re left with analysing spreadsheets to find names that indicate possible foreigners.

    Comment by Mikaere Curtis — July 15, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

  32. Because Asian NZrs constitute 11% of the electorate, and their perceptions matter. You have to think you’re far smarter than you are to think that you could release a story like this and control it.

    You do have to wonder whether someone involved asked the farily obvious question “What reaction can we expect from ethnic Chinese NZers when a White politician appears on the TV saying he’s been looking through the names of people buying houses and seeing far too many Chinese ones?”

    Maybe they did ask, and the answer was “They’ll be fine, because what we’re doing isn’t what it sounds like in your question that was deliberately phrased to make us look bad.” Well, OK, but shouldn’t that prompt the follow-up question “Are there groups out there politically opposed to us who might deliberately phrase questions about this to make us look bad?” And if there was anyone present who answered “No” to that one, Labour’s in worse shape than I thought.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 15, 2015 @ 1:42 pm

  33. Labour will both gain and lose in the polls, and they’ve presumably calculated that gains will outnumber losses. I think they’re right.

    Unfortunately, the losses will be permanent. The gains will last until the next “PC gone mad” story, casting Labour as villains again. So, about a week.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — July 15, 2015 @ 2:11 pm

  34. That’s it, all of sudden, everyones an expert on racism in this country. While we’re all happy to watch over, what some have described (not me, as that would appear defeatist) institutionalised racism of Maori and still regard maori as privileged it seems disingenuous for some to import the word with experience.

    Ask Maori what its like to be ‘tenants in there own country’. When its considered awesome to learn Mandarin over Maori in some schools….Use the word mana to describe all blacks…. on and on…

    Until I realised we are all learned racists regardless of colour/class/cast I could not see what real racism was.
    In the same way some maori changed names to fit in Ihimaera v Smiler others do as well.
    Crude as it was to go off surnames I’m glad we’re talking about it.. about time.

    Comment by Ahu Te Ua — July 15, 2015 @ 2:37 pm

  35. Unfortunately, the losses will be permanent.

    I don’t agree. When Labour introduces measures to curb demand in the Auckland property market by, say, restricting overseas (not just Chinese) investment in that market, those who are currently a little miffed will realise Labour actually mean what they say and that such restrictions won’t apply to just Chinese investors. I strongly suspect those pulling out the racism card will feel a little embarrassed at their earlier behaviour.

    Comment by Ross — July 15, 2015 @ 4:21 pm


  36. those who are currently a little miffed will realise Labour actually mean what they say and that such restrictions won’t apply to just Chinese investors. I strongly suspect those pulling out the racism card will feel a little embarrassed at their earlier behaviour.

    Nah. Hurt feelings (perceived racism) will linger. This is an “attack on everyone with a Chinese-sounding surname”.

    Comment by Fraud — July 15, 2015 @ 4:31 pm

  37. Did Labour make any fuss about Jaapies buying up big in Auckland a few years ago?

    Comment by Leopold — July 15, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

  38. When Labour introduces measures to curb demand in the Auckland property market …

    Which they can’t do until they’re in government. So “permanent”, while obviously not literally true, in terms of the next election – yes.

    For days this whole discussion has been bizarre, across all media. Talk of Labour doing this and that with data and registers. As if they could do anything at all. The only thing they can do is try and get more votes, which they are doing.

    Ascribing some other, more wholesome motivation to an opposition party is deluded. So what they really want is for National to do a better job? Er …

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — July 15, 2015 @ 4:57 pm

  39. @ Ross,

    You think curbs on the other big groups – Australians, Europeans and Pacific Islanders – are going to become Labour policy, that will be interesting.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 15, 2015 @ 5:09 pm

  40. “mostly from guys yelling insults at her as they drove past in cars” yeah she probably just said this to make sure she didn’t hurt your (liberal white male) feelings. People who aren’t Pakeha male heterosexual etc etc experience this shit every minute of every day, not just on the odd occasion when a carload of hicks drive past. Some get used to it and accept it as their lot, get on with trying to get by in a game that is stacked against them. These are the ones paraphrased by @Ross in #13. White guy sidles up and demands point-blank “so are you offended?” to which the instinctive reply is “no, it’s fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine”. Only a very few reject this and point out the obvious hypocrisy and embedded, systemic racism of our society. These people are then sidelined and discounted as “reactionary”, “emotional”, “single-issue” etc.

    “Could it be that white people who have never experienced racism aren’t the best arbiters of it”- nail on the head. One of the few public political commentators, indeed one of the few white guys, to get it.

    PS “Left-wing commentators who… insist that Labour’s ‘Chinese-sounding-surname’ stunt is just a genuine attempt to talk about the broader issue of foreign investment.” Surely (surely?) there aren’t many besides Trotter, Salmond and Watkin?

    Further reading http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-metta/i-racist_b_7770652.html

    Comment by mutyala — July 15, 2015 @ 10:20 pm

  41. it’d be nice if commentators based their judgments on whether something is racist or not on how the community affected feels about it

    Problem is, you then give in to absurdities like this… http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9667761/MPs-clothes-jibe-leads-to-racism-call

    Comment by J Mex — July 15, 2015 @ 10:52 pm

  42. J Mex, that was no absurdity, that was pure fucking racism from Anne Tolley. John Key lives in a mansion and wears designer clothes; where was Tolley’s criticism of him ? Tolley had been rightly criticised for being out of touch, and she bloody is. Damn fucking straight they treat Metiria Turei differently because she is Maori, they seek to shame her for wearing nice clothes and living in an accommodation above her perceived station (as Tolley would see it).

    If there was no racism involved, how come Tolley et al don’t say the same things about designer-wearing Labour politicians ?

    Comment by Mikaere Curtis — July 15, 2015 @ 11:10 pm

  43. The debate is not about racism but about foreign ownership of NZ assets eg houses..
    A topic that appears to escaped Danyl notice.

    The fact that a particular ethnic group appear to have been (correctly or not) identified to have figured is irrelevant.

    Racism is not the issue. Foreign ownership of NZ assets is the issue.

    Danyl, as speech writer for the Greens leadership knows that. He is indulging in the NACT J Key tactic of “look over there”.

    Given his leaders admiration for Thatcher this is hardly surprising.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — July 15, 2015 @ 11:25 pm

  44. I’d say Anne Tolley’s remarks about Metiria’s dress sense were more to do with the hoary old ‘champagne socialist’ epithet.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — July 16, 2015 @ 12:52 am

  45. Did Labour make any fuss about Jaapies buying up big in Auckland a few years ago?

    There were non-resident South Africans buying lots of property in Auckland? I’ve heard of resident South African immigrants buying property in Auckland, but not non-residents. What’s your basis for believing non-resident South Africans were “buying up big?”

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 16, 2015 @ 6:42 am

  46. I’d say Anne Tolley’s remarks about Metiria’s dress sense were more to do with the hoary old ‘champagne socialist’ epithet.

    Yup. If Russel Norman wore Crane Brothers suits and lived in a castle and attacked Tolley for being out of touch with the poor, I expect he would have got the same. But he is Australian, so she would then just be double racist I guess.

    Comment by J Mex — July 16, 2015 @ 7:40 am

  47. Remember the old joke why have Dutchmen have big ears and a bald head, when the Dutchies arrived here on mass their attitude and work ethic blew the NZders away and created a lot of resentment, it’s quite easy to upset the balance and start pointing the finger.

    Comment by Woz — July 16, 2015 @ 8:50 am

  48. People still think it’s about having the wrong surnames*, are feeling aggrieved, and Labour is still going at it.

    On the fifth day of Christmas, my Twyford gave to Key…

    Comment by Fraud — July 16, 2015 @ 9:25 am

  49. “”…Racism is not the issue. Foreign ownership of NZ assets is the issue.

    Danyl, as speech writer for the Greens leadership knows that. He is indulging in the NACT J Key tactic of “look over there”.

    Given his leaders admiration for Thatcher this is hardly surprising…”

    Indeed. The sharp rightward tilt of this blog in the recent weeks since Danyl’s buddy got the job as Green leader makes me wonder if we are starting to see a Blue-Green vision in action.

    The Greens seem to be positioning themselves as the party of choice for middle aged, arrogant urban liberals who can’t bring themselves to vote National – that would make the voting booth far to much like Dorian Grey’s mirror – but who would welcome a nice, safe Blue-Green option where they can safely lecture the lesser sorts from a position of higher social awareness.

    Good luck with that – that is same group of people who have ruined and now abandoned Labour, I fully expect the damage to be done to the Greens before they all finally make it home to National’s liberal wing.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 16, 2015 @ 10:41 am

  50. I don’t think it’s racist to be concerned or feel threatened about the behaviour or actions of a particular group of people, dismissing and labelling every such concern as racist just breeds more conflict.

    Comment by MartinL — July 16, 2015 @ 10:52 am

  51. Dorian Grey’s mirror

    Hang on Boss, what mirror? As one of your effete self-loathing urban liberals, the debauched Dorian Gray tried to annihilate his conscience by sticking a knife into an offending full-length portrait in oil, only to morph into its semblance and promptly kark it. If he’d attempted it on a mirror he’d probably still be on deck as the Member for Epsom or something.

    Comment by Joe W — July 16, 2015 @ 11:05 am

  52. The sharp rightward tilt of this blog in the recent weeks since Danyl’s buddy got the job as Green leader ….

    If I was Danyl I’d retaliate by changing the tag of this commentator to either Sanctuary Tsipras or She sells Sanctuary:

    And the world turns around
    The world and the world, yeah
    The world drags me down

    Comment by tom hunter — July 16, 2015 @ 12:01 pm

  53. Money fixes everything, what a sterling fellow Dong Hua Liu is. He reads the picture and prepares to dump 100 mil into the Auckland economy, what better example could you ask for with regard to overseas investment and the benefits we all receive. Forget Banks vote Liu !

    Comment by Woz — July 16, 2015 @ 12:01 pm

  54. “…Forget Banks vote Liu !..”

    In that case at least you’d be voting for the real mayor.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 16, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

  55. …what a sterling fellow Dong Hua Liu is.

    No wonder Shane Jones switched to the blue team. They definitely do a rather more upmarket Liu than his former buddy Bill.

    Comment by Joe W — July 16, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

  56. “…If he’d attempted it on a mirror he’d probably still be on deck as the Member for Epsom or something…”

    touché

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 16, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

  57. >he’d probably still be on deck as the Member for Epsom or something

    No way. The deal was for wealth, fame, power and chicks. Not poverty, infamy, powerlessness and dicks. He’d be snorting Mick Jagger’s coke off Hugh Hefner’s wives’ fake tits, while the painting came every day to more and more resemble Bob Jones.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — July 16, 2015 @ 1:21 pm

  58. “Could it be that white people who have never experienced racism aren’t the best arbiters of it?”
    I’ll go along with that. But:
    “While ethnicities who experience racism on a routine basis know it when they see it, and are pretty damn sure they’re seeing it now?”
    Every time I raise my hand to scratch the side of my nose or push my glasses back up, my neighbour’s dogs whimpers and cowls under a bush. Does that make me a dog beater?

    “I tend to find hypocrisy about sin to be a minor sin, compared to the actual sin.”
    “’hypocrisy, so you can’t speak’ arguments are nearly always ad hom”
    PB@15/16
    So when Naomi Oreskes say we need to reduce (nay, invoke regulation to curtail) consumption, in order to save the planet from global warming, then reveals that she regularly travels 2,000 miles from Harvard to Utah, to go skiing, I’m being ad hom in pointing out the mixed message (i.e. hypocrisy) in her words v actions?
    I freely admit hypocrisy in railing against middle class welfare, but then taking advantage of things like public transport, Kiwisaver, and subsidised early childhood education, state schools and home insulation. After all, we pay shedloads of taxes.

    “Blue-Green option”
    Good on you, Sanc. Some people are beginning to see the link between privilege and the forcing upon us of the green agenda. Wind farm subsidies for the landed gentry (UK), long distance travel for the elites (Prince Charles, Al Gore, Naomi Oreskes) while they fret about … long distance travel, corporate welfare for anything deemed green . The lobbying is unbelievable, that’s how the world ended up with farmers switching from food production to bio-fuel feedstock. Bans on DDT and golden rice. The violence inherent in some of anti-meat activists. The Brown shirt-like behaviour of activists whenever someone they disapprove of tries to exercise their right to free speech.
    An urban liberal friend of mine was excitedly telling me about a new Porsche hybrid. He wasn’t joking. I asked him how he thought a $200k hybrid, when you take into account the production CO2 & costs, plus the damage wrought on the environment in mining so-called rare earth metals, was more sustainable than a Japanese family hatchback.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 16, 2015 @ 1:30 pm

  59. I was going to say that life is too short to waste time on the prong of this debate that doesn’t involve actually understanding what the data means. But life is way, way to short to spend it rewriting comments for DimPost because WordPress fucked out one more time.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — July 16, 2015 @ 3:29 pm

  60. @58. Always Ctrl-C before posting on WordPress or BlogSpot. Free does not always mean good.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 16, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

  61. “So when Naomi Oreskes say we need to reduce (nay, invoke regulation to curtail) consumption, in order to save the planet from global warming, then reveals that she regularly travels 2,000 miles from Harvard to Utah, to go skiing, I’m being ad hom in pointing out the mixed message (i.e. hypocrisy) in her words v actions?”

    Umm, yeah. Absolutely being text book ad hom.

    Sure there’s a discrepancy between hat she says and what she does. But a discrepancy isn’t an argument. What conclusion can we draw from that discrepancy about whether or not we need to reduce consumption? Turn it into an argument for me, that isn’t ad hom.

    Comment by shakingstick — July 16, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

  62. With a more diligent use of Crtl-C this audience would have had the opportunity to be impressed by some of my better works. Not that the ones that make it through are all that shabby.

    At work, hospitals and health workers, this Chinese foreigners thing had mostly been met with derision. That includes people who are doing well out of Auckland property and those that aren’t. Many are Chinese or foreign or have foreign looking named as Labour likes to observe.

    It’s possible many voters will see this just as Labour poaching on Lord Winston’s estate rather than the heroic whistling blowing Twyford’s trying hard to portray it as.

    Comment by NeilM — July 16, 2015 @ 6:08 pm

  63. I don’t think this has his gone far enough. Mr Twyford, I applaud you sir! But while you are at it,

    I’d also like to know how many Maori play guitar, (or are in jail) how many Asians own shops, and how many South Africans own renters.

    I also need to know how many Poms have a second car, if Irish people spend too much on alcohol, whether the Dutch put in more overtime (because it’s a given that they are all in work).

    Do Samoans give too much to their churches, and are Scandinavians too fond of pine furniture? Are the Scots overly careful with cash, and will being African- American indicate a tendency towards ‘natural riddim’?

    At least ‘ordinary hard working kiwis’ can rest in their beds safe in the knowledge that all white, middle class male politicians are beyond reproach and are totally altruistic.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 16, 2015 @ 8:29 pm

  64. I’m not sure about this. Are you spouting shit for propaganda purposes, or did you just completely fail to understand what was happening?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 17, 2015 @ 6:17 am

  65. “Turn it into an argument for me, that isn’t ad hom.”
    The people lobbying to curtail our freedoms, to increase taxes that impact disproportionately on the poor, are guilty of doing far more of the stuff that they want me to stop doing, than I, or poor people, ever do. That tells me that perhaps they don’t really believe the stuff they say, so the real reasons for their lobbying remain a secret. Or it could be, shock horror, that they believe they are more worthy of long distance travel, skiing or multiple houses, than “ordinary” people. It is interesting that “right wingers” were mentioned by DM in relation to eugenics: I thought history shows us a link between authoritarian regimes, privilege or socialist thinking/organisations, and the promotion of eugenics. So not simply “right wing”, your dog whistle to urban liberals. You’ll notice that those who campaigned to prevent US financiang, support or aid for coal or gas power stations in the third world aren’t right-wing. What a first-class way to keep the third world dying from indoor pollution that preventing access to cheap electricity. And the bans could be just a little bit racist…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 17, 2015 @ 3:24 pm

  66. Wow. I guess Tim is having a little Oskar Groening moment.

    Comment by rsmsingers — July 17, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

  67. Good news: Labour up in polls!

    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6349-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-july-2015-201507170250

    Bad news: This poll was taken before Surname-gate* hit the news. So, they’ll have to go up even more next time. Otherwise it was all for naught.

    (*oh come on, everything has to be a -gate …)

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — July 17, 2015 @ 4:31 pm

  68. I asked for one that *wasn’t* ad hom though. But that one was pretty wacky even if it was ad hom.

    What makes an argument ad hom is that you ignore the argument a person makes and focus instead, for example, on their motivations for making it.

    Comment by shakingstick — July 17, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

  69. Herald headline: “Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour”

    Never mind data, our biggest newspaper can’t even read dates.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — July 17, 2015 @ 5:20 pm

  70. I’ve got a good mind to embargo Chinese takeaways. Who is with me?

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 17, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

  71. I’ve got a good mind to embargo Chinese takeaways. Who is with me?

    You sound a bit like the guy trying to start a conversation at the Golden Boat the other week while I feigned an interest in an ancient copy of North & South.

    Comment by Joe W — July 17, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

  72. Well like the man said, “It’s difficult not to write satire.” Sometimes, an issue comes along in which being satirical gets to be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 17, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

  73. @ DanylMc: “….she experienced racism on a pretty frequent basis, mostly from guys yelling insults at her as they drove past in cars….”

    I grew up at a time and in an environment in which harassment of this sort was part of everyday life for many of us. Nobody called it racism: we’d never heard the term; it was characterised as bigotry and prejudice. And for some of us in any event, the marker of difference was religion rather than skin colour, while for others, it was indeed ethnicity, though not skin colour. We dealt with it by giving as good as we got. A commenter above points out that women are still subjected to harassment of this sort all the time. Some things don’t change…

    “…Labour’s ‘Chinese-sounding-surname’ stunt is just a genuine attempt to talk about the broader issue of foreign investment.”

    That’s how I and many others saw it. It’s unfortunate that overseas buyers at auction in Auckland are disproportionately Chinese, because, over the past several decades, various well-meaning civic groups have conflated prejudice and bigotry with racism, such that any critique which involves people identifiably not white can be glossed as racism. So now we can’t express concerns about the Auckland situation without being called racists. And because we don’t much like that sort of name-calling, it tends to have the effect of shutting people up. The reference to “Chinese-sounding surnames” is misleading: the names on Twyford’s list are indeed Chinese; not just Chinese-sounding. The debate about the name “Lee” was just pointless and silly.

    “If that’s all it is then why are so many Chinese New-Zealanders so offended by it? ”

    I’m not Chinese, but I’d guess that for Kiwi Chinese, the history of government-sanctioned racist treatment of their ancestors has reverberated through their lives. I’m sympathetic, but I don’t see their having taken offence as a reason not to have the discussion. My ancestors were also variably discriminated against when they arrived here: shut out of jobs and accommodation and so on. They had to deal with some crap, as did my generation; we certainly didn’t go complaining to the press about it. Much good that would have done us at the time!

    “…it’d be nice if commentators based their judgments on whether something is racist or not on how the community affected feels about it, and not our own vague abstractions or tribal sympathies.”

    Er, no. And here we get to the nub of it. Over the last several decades, prejudice, xenophobia, bigotry have been corralled into the definition of racism. But they aren’t racist. Racism is this: legal systems, governmental arrangements and institutions of society established on the basis of the belief that a particular ethnic group is superior to others. Racism is about power: governments can exercise that power, ordinary citizens cannot. What you’re suggesting here would create a form of reductio ad absurdum that would almost certainly put a serious crimp in our freedom of speech. And retaining that freedom has never been more important, especially with what’s happening in Auckland right now.

    Listen to this, from RNZ this past week. Apposite, given the issues aired here; well worth it for anyone who didn’t hear it at the time it went to air:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201762447/straight-conversations-about-racial-and-religious-differences

    Comment by D'Esterre — July 17, 2015 @ 11:54 pm

  74. Racism is about power: governments can exercise that power, ordinary citizens cannot.

    That’s Alice territory – a word meaning only what you choose it to mean.

    Of course you are right about the institutional/state racism. Of course there has been (and still is, in some countries) racism that is codified as part of the state.

    But to say that individuals cannot be racist is to strip the word of its meaning. Whether it’s a political party on the far right (look at Europe today, numerous examples) or an individual (what was the massacre in South Carolina, if not racist?), racism is not confined to formal power structures.

    It’s reasonable to debate whether Twyford/Labour meet the criteria here, but it’s entirely unreasonable (nonsensical, indeed) to define racism so narrowly that it almost ceases to exist.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — July 18, 2015 @ 12:36 am

  75. … or that Twyford/Labour get a sick note….

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 18, 2015 @ 10:56 am

  76. @ Sammy 3.0: “That’s Alice territory – a word meaning only what you choose it to mean. [……] But to say that individuals cannot be racist is to strip the word of its meaning. […..] but it’s entirely unreasonable (nonsensical, indeed) to define racism so narrowly that it almost ceases to exist.”

    You have this exactly backward: to define racism as you evidently want to is to cast the net so wide as to render the term meaningless. Given that we’re all members of some ethnic group or other, regardless of skin colour or eye shape, the upshot would be that anything anyone says which is at all critical of somebody else could be classified as “racism”. Truly a reductio, and right up there in Alice territory.

    “Whether it’s a political party on the far right (look at Europe today, numerous examples) or an individual (what was the massacre in South Carolina, if not racist?), racism is not confined to formal power structures.”

    Here’s a quote from Wikipedia: “One view holds that racism is best understood as ‘prejudice plus power’ because without the support of political or economic power, prejudice would not be able to manifest as a pervasive cultural, institutional or social phenomenon.”

    The example you give of the South Carolina shooting is an example of extreme racial prejudice on the part of an individual who lives in a society which was, until relatively recently, racist according to the Wiki definition. Likewise far right political parties in Europe: racist regimes held power there within living memory. These groups are prejudiced toward other ethnic groups, usually migrants, and usually because they believe that the migrants are taking their jobs, or getting benefits unfairly, rather than because they see such people as inferior or subhuman. There’s a great deal of prejudice against Turks in Germany, at least among older Germans; anyone who has family connections there, or has lived there, will doubtless be aware of it. But none of these people can be anything more than prejudiced or bigoted; when the far right of Europe does manage to win seats in Parliament, it finds a political system which has turned its back on racism, and which it has not thus far managed to change. And a bloody good thing too, in my opinion.

    I’m not really sure why you and others are so hellbent on seeing racism under every stone you turn over. What does it profit you? to quote the Bible. I do hope that you’ve listened to that RNZ interview. It’s a very timely piece.

    Comment by D'Esterre — July 18, 2015 @ 11:55 pm

  77. “Here’s a quote from Wikipedia:”

    LOL

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 19, 2015 @ 4:30 am

  78. I will add to what D’Esterre has said by comparing China to NZ. We are a small isolated country of 4.6 million people. China is a geographically much larger country of 1.37 billion people. Where racism is concerned, it is typically imposed by the majority against a minority. It is clear who the minority are in this trading relationship.

    Comment by Ross — July 19, 2015 @ 8:31 am

  79. Come on D’Esterre, I can see how you might wish to dance on the head of a pin, But you really?

    You appear to defend what many perceive as one type racism by a) saying it isn’t, then b) accusing those who call it of being hellbent on seeing racism everywhere. So, of all the racism they see ‘under every stone’ they have appeared so far content to overlook the other examples, and have mistakenly alighted upon one errant case. A genuine mistake, a perception issue? Gosh how could that have happened?

    Who asked for this? Who requested that Twyford and Little take anecdotal evidence and present it as ‘data’ to ‘prove’ that ‘foreign money’ is the root cause of the housing market problems in Auckland, and then indicate that the bogey man was ‘The Chinese’? Were angry constituents beating at the doors of LPNZ, demanding to know who was ‘to blame’?

    On what level have all those silly race-obsessed people not been encouraged to consider this as isolated, but regrettable racism? One ‘timely’ radio interview on a station (RNZ) which incidentally, most of the ‘ordinary hardworking kiwis’ that the ‘data’ was aimed at, will probably never hear?

    Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 19, 2015 @ 8:44 am

  80. “We are a small isolated country of 4.6 million people. China is a geographically much larger country of 1.37 billion people. ”

    So by this logic, during the British Raj, there was no way that tiny group of Anglo-Indian administrators could have been racist against those hundreds of millions of Indians? Good to know!

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 19, 2015 @ 8:48 am

  81. Kalvarnsen

    I didn’t realise NZ had invaded China and subjugated its subjects. Tell me more…

    Comment by Ross — July 19, 2015 @ 9:07 am

  82. ‘foreign money’ is the root cause of the housing market problems in Auckland

    I am not aware that Labour has said this. Can you please provide a link.

    Comment by Ross — July 19, 2015 @ 9:13 am

  83. I don’t recall any criticism of this story when it came out. I guess that’s because the information is publicly available…

    “Property records show McCullum and his wife bought the 664-square-metre property for $3.5m in 2011, when it had a rateable value of $2.86m. The rateable value is now $3.53m.

    Property records also listed Garth Gallaway, McCullum’s lawyer, as an owner of the house.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/10546170/Brendon-McCullums-house-sells-for-more-than-3m

    Comment by Ross — July 19, 2015 @ 9:23 am

  84. @Ross: So your “small groups can’t be racist towards large groups” rule only applies when both groups live in sovereign independent countries? I thought it was just about raw numbers?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 19, 2015 @ 9:45 am

  85. @ Ross: As cited from The Herald “Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour”:

    “In revealing the statistics, Labour’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford tweeted: “People of Chinese descent bought 39.5% of houses sold by major (Auckland) real estate firm. This is foreign money.””

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2015/07/a_labour_member_complains.html

    No, Phil this is shocking.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 19, 2015 @ 11:08 am

  86. It’s been interesting to watch Labour’s response – People were saying we need to move to the centre, we moved to the centre and now they complain.

    Response: racism isn’t the centre.

    Labour: Blairite!

    Comment by NeilM — July 20, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

  87. @ Kalvarnsen: sneer at Wikipedia all you like; it’s a pretty fair elaboration of what racism is. And isn’t.

    @ Lee Clark: “You appear to defend what many perceive as one type racism by a) saying it isn’t…”

    Nope. I ain’t defending prejudice: I and members of my family were victims of it in the past, and terrifying it was, too, though we learned to fight fire with fire. I’m just pointing out that it isn’t racism. Neither is xenophobia: of which we’ve also had some experience. Racism is predicated on a belief in the inferiority of other ethnic groups; that wasn’t at play in the harassment of my childhood. The information for which Twyford’s being caned isn’t racist; neither is it bigoted or xenophobic.

    “…accusing those who call it of being hellbent on seeing racism everywhere.”

    Well, that’s exactly how it looks to me; it seems to me that many people who call out prejudice or bigotry as racism really don’t know the difference. Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on the MSM to know the difference, either. Or to realise that reportage of facts doesn’t constitute racism. Or prejudice etc. Although Heather du Plessis-Allan, writing in the Herald article linked below, appears to be an honourable exception.

    “Who asked for this? Who requested that Twyford and Little take anecdotal evidence and present it as ‘data’ to ‘prove’ that ‘foreign money’ is the root cause of the housing market problems in Auckland, and then indicate that the bogey man was ‘The Chinese’? Were angry constituents beating at the doors of LPNZ, demanding to know who was ‘to blame’?”

    Perhaps you weren’t aware that Phil Twyford’s been pursuing this issue for a considerable period of time. Perhaps you haven’t been privy to what Aucklanders see again and again when they go to auctions, and upon which they’ve commented a great deal in various forums. This is the anecdotal stuff; what Twyford was given, while not data, is nevertheless a step toward evidence. And isn’t it interesting that it chimes with what people report having encountered over and over at auctions! See this, from that bastion of damp-handed white liberalism, The Herald:

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11483250

    ” One ‘timely’ radio interview on a station (RNZ) which incidentally, most of the ‘ordinary hardworking kiwis’ that the ‘data’ was aimed at, will probably never hear?”

    Setting aside the sneering at RNZ, I assume that you haven’t listened to that interview. Pity… you’d find it informative. Although it will challenge your views, I suspect.

    Comment by D'Esterre — July 20, 2015 @ 10:57 pm

  88. If the National leadership went on about how their true enemy was a small clique of Thatcherites we’d think they were pretty weird.

    Comment by NeilM — July 20, 2015 @ 11:09 pm

  89. I like you D’Esterre, (for what it’s worth) but apart from your observation (correct) I haven’t heard the RNZ interview – the rest of your ‘defense’ is just rambling, peppered with the odd appeal to the emotive. I don’t think I can persuade you – fine. Have a good day.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 21, 2015 @ 8:14 am

  90. http://www.landlords.co.nz/article/5453/chinese-buyers-not-big-part-of-market-data

    5% of all those looking at Auckland property have an East Asian language as their first language. This is a slight increase from 4% over the same time period last year. However, geo-location analysis showed that about half of that traffic came from people already living in New Zealand. Further, Auckland property traffic from the 10 largest East Asian countries amounted to just 2.8% of the total in the period January to April 2015.

    This compares to the 2.98% recorded over the same period last year. Realestate.co.nz CEO Brendon Skipper said the data indicated that East Asian interest in New Zealand property was a consistent, but relatively small, proportion of the website’s total traffic. “It is clear that a large number of these Asian language speakers are actually located in New Zealand.”

    Comment by Phil — August 4, 2015 @ 10:14 am

  91. Doesn’t this suggest that Labour’s basic thesis was right – http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/72855966/chinese-buyers-desert-auckland-market-brokers-say

    Comment by Joe-90 — October 9, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

  92. @Joe-90

    No, it does not.

    This, however, does: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/china/

    Everyone has buggered off out of Beijing and Shanghai to spend time with family. Trying to get anything done with a Chinese firm right now is pretty much impossible. Give it a couple of weeks, and they’ll be back.

    Comment by Phil — October 9, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

  93. … basic thesis that Chinese mainland buyers were very significant buyers in the Auckland property market (to my knowledge, Labour does not have a new updated thesis saying they are not key players). So how does your response contradict mine or Labour’s point? – you are saying they are on holiday and will be back soon. We’re talking about the same folk.

    Comment by Joe-90 — October 10, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

  94. Ah, sorry. I was not clear. The article suggests Chinese offshore buyers have deserted the Auckland property market because of “new rules” and changes to tax. That’s what I was saying ‘no’ to.

    Additionally, there are probably a lot of NZ-resident Chinese returning to China for the same holiday celebrations. That’s going to muddy the waters of Labour’s thesis as well.

    Comment by Phil — October 13, 2015 @ 1:16 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: