Lie back and think of England…
A couple of years back, Investigate obtained a confidential intelligence briefing given to Australian authorities on the threat posed by Chinese organised crime infiltrating Australia, New Zealand and Canada through loose migration and investment rules.
Former Canadian SIS analyst Brian McAdam told Investigate at the time that China has a process of corrupting – buying off – Western politicians and political systems.
Given that, as we make the point this issue, virtually every major New Zealand political scandal since 2008 has involved a Chinese element somewhere, you’d have to wonder just how this country’s politics have been compromised.
The company that wanted to buy the Crafar farms originally, for example, turned out to have a sniff of fraud surrounding it despite support from the government at the time. The company had ensured it had its directors photographed with senior Labour and National politicians.
The Bill Liu scandal, broken by Investigate TGIF in 2008, involving the granting of citizenship to a major Labour party donor wanted for fraud in China, was another, while National’s Maurice Williamson has ended up falling on his sword for another Chinese migrant making big donations to the National Party who ended up in trouble with police and getting citizenship against the advice of officials.
No matter which way you turn, it seems much of the loot filling political coffers in New Zealand these days is coming from people who in most other countries would not even be permitted to vote. Elsewhere, that right is usually reserved for citizens, but in New Zealand anyone resident for more than 12 months can influence the election result.
If we are dropping our political trousers to people who in some cases are not even New Zealanders, is it any wonder that the country appears to be up for sale to the highest bidder no matter which major political party you vote for?
This is not an issue directed at Chinese New Zealanders per se. Although as the biggest migrant group they stand out, the issue is a general one directed more at foreign investors whether Asian or European or American – should New Zealand become the world’s free market destination to buy land, simply because we have a mantra about foreign investment that we are all encouraged to hum?
China and India are two of the most heavily populated countries on the planet. A New Zealander cannot go into either and simply buy a house on the free market. It is not permitted. Why then are foreigners permitted to come here and invest in residential real estate?
These are significant questions to ponder as you read this issue.