Australia-New Zealand one way love affair aflame as No-Hopers remittances extinct
Drenched in the victim-oppressor theme of their own country’s politics New Zealanders of all stripe have woken up to the knowledge that their country is internationally the most bountiful source of taxpayer-funded remittances to those of its “family” it would prefer lived in another country.
The reprise of the colonial era system of the established dynasties keeping their feckless and wastrel family members at arm length by funding them to live in the antipodes has been institutionally reprised.
What is known is that from the 20 years from 1999 Wellington paid $1,268,373,000 to Canberra in subsidising the federal government’s welfare payments to New Zealand citizens living in Australia. This does not include pension entitlements.
The government of New Zealand it has slowly been leaking out has been funding the Australian federal government to harbour tens of thousands of its citizens which both governments recognise as liabilities.
New Zealand taxpayer money used to fund these modern remittance men, and most of the recipients do appear to be male, has flabbergasted many.
Especially so in tolerant academia with its impression of Erewhon and other such romanticised literary renditions of upper class remittance-funded Antipodean settlement.
Contrary to a widely-held belief this remittance arrangement actually began under Helen Clark in concert with Australia’s John Howard (pictured.).
The arrangement was that New Zealanders could flock there,
But not receive the same benefits as the Australian born and bred.
The genesis of the remittance scheme under a New Zealand labour government has been conveniently forgotten.
Now the thaw, known as the re-set, is well under way.
It is claimed that the discarded remittance process eased demand on housing which is seen as New Zealand’s greatest domestic problem.
The counter argument is that the money earned by New Zealand taxpayers has been spent in Australia and not New Zealand.
The less charitably inclined have compared it to a modern Danegeld….paying to keep the troublemakers at a very safe distance from your own shores.
Until now the New Zealand–Australia relationship has been a one way love affair with all the passion and peek-a-boo looks coming from New Zealand.
This rather embarrassing unrequited passion takes the form of a faux familiarity demonstrated by broadcasting presenters always prefixing anything to do with Australia with the words “across the ditch” followed by a grating repetition of the word “Aussie.”
It is currently being demonstrated by the quaintly naïve New Zealand side of this affair which cannot find anything wrong with the other side’s face-value open-handedness.
It actually disguises a win-win “reset.’
The new citizenship path smoothing will accelerate Australia’s dependence on New Zealand’s technicians and applied professionals such as nurses and teachers.
In other words Australia seductively takes the most productive workers while leaving New Zealand with an increasing proportion of the unproductive such as policy analysts, social scientists, human capital managers, “comms” practitioners and international relations professors.
Behind the one sided love affair there resides a key ingredient in such imbalanced relationships which is guilt, unworthiness.
This centres on the well-publicised New Zealand-derived criminal element in Australia.
This in turn rests on the little-discussed plunge by New Zealand into identitarian-driven politics which was quite some time before Australia did the same thing.
This uneasiness started at the time that Australia was getting to grips with its tsunami of boat people.
The issue arose about New Zealand’s own contribution to the assimilation problem.
This and then the more recent subsequent forced repatriations focussed the debate almost exclusively on the crime component of the relationship.
In human relationship terms the question of which side in the relationship was doing the other side the favour was easily answered.
In the popular mind it was Australia.
Camouflaged in this was the value being derived by Australia in the presence of large numbers of New Zealand skilled workers, notably craftspeople, and others who actually create wealth.
And yet…and yet every relationship has its highs and lows.
Before the current euphoria we can cite 1983 as the high point.
This was the year of the signing of Closer Economic Relations between the two countries.
Forty years later comes the new dawn commemorated by the promise of Australian citizenship for the worthy.
The lop sidedness of all this is underlined by the 670,000 New Zealanders living in Australia which compares to the 70,000 Australians living in New Zealand.
A restoration of balance in this affair could start by running a check on the 70,000 “Aussies” living here to ensure that they are pulling their weight.
If they aren’t then remittances are due from Canberra. To be paid retrospectively.