Oliver Hartwich from the NZ Initiative couldn’t have said it any better, quietly suggesting (in my words) that NZers might be talking about Asian house buyers so much because it’s an easy way to exorcise fears that we might pick up diseases from these new immigrants – diseases we might dislike, like hard work, saving, and honesty.
In his own words he points out “a few things you may not know about your Asian neighbours”:
- Asians are typically more qualified than the New Zealand average.
- Of all Asian school leavers in 2014, 73 percent achieved NCEA level 3 or above. This made them stand out against European (54 percent), Pasifika (38 percent) and Mâori (27 percent)
- Though Asians account for 11.8 percent of the total population, their share of criminal offences is only 1.6 percent.
It is a populist temptation to deplore the effects that Asian property investors or Asian migrants have on our property market (when we only have ourselves to blame for the lack of housing supply). However, too many people underestimate the huge contribution made by New Zealand’s Asian community.
New Zealand’s Asians are living by the rules of the law. The cultural value they place on education is exemplary. We have every reason to believe that they are making a contribution to our economy.
That is something to celebrate – and in the long run the Asian contribution to New Zealand is more important than discussing the ethnicity of property buyers in the Auckland housing market.