Sunday, 19 June 2005

Immigration -- agreeing with Jeanette

It's not too often that I agree with Jeanette Fitzsimons, but aside from the usual feel-good buzzwords there's not much to complain about here:

Winston [Peters] and I seem to look at the same reality but see quite different things. When Winston Peters walks down Queen Street and sees Asian faces, he wonders whether he is still in New Zealand. When I walk down Queen Street and see Asian faces, I see the essence of New Zealand: the coming together of many peoples, under a shared vision of a fair, compassionate, sustainable society.

When Winston Peters realises that we are taking in refugees from the world’s wartorn places, he cries blue murder, and shouts ‘bludger!’ A Cambodian taxi driver recently told me his story of how, alone among his family, he barely escaped mass murder in his native country – a story that had me in tears as I reached my Parliamentary office. I was overwhelmed at how fortunate this country is, and relieved and thankful and yes, a little proud, that he had found safety and a job in New Zealand.

It's a fair reminder of what being a refuge is about. As Emma Lazarus' great peom says:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

A pity the Greens have to ruin it with proposals for Ministries, migrant welfare, and issuing immigrants with copies of Te Tiriti. I'd prefer to see them getting private sponsorship, as I suggest here.


  1. Jonathan Barrett19 Jun 2005, 18:52:00

    I loved her comments too, until I got to the end of the second sentence. Does anyone know if Jeanette Fitzsimmons has *ever* completed a sentence without the use of the word 'sustainable'?!

    And does she *really* think when people choose to live in NZ it is because of its 'vision of a ... sustainable society'?

  2. She can't help it. Jeanette can sustain "sustainable" indefinitly. :-)


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