OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: My last name sounds Chinese

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  • Alfie,

    I fear the poor soul may have got lost on the way to WhalePoo.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Kalka River,

    By Chinese sounding names we mean names that belong to the dominant Han ethnicity, dominant by numbers you idiot.

    Why just Han? Sounds fairly exclusionary, which was my point, strangely.

    Just like if we said English sounding names, we would probably mean ‘Smith’ or ‘Watson’

    So no Blair or Cameron then...?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kalka River, in reply to chris,

    Why just Han? Sounds fairly exclusionary, which was my point, strangely.

    Because that's the way others see us and the way Twatford has used the data.

    China actually insists that it is a multi-national state, and in fact actively suppresses any racial or ethnic villification in its media.

    Within China, all are chinese, and han are simply the numerically dominant people ---because of this people often mean han culture han people when they refer to chinese.

    By way of analogy, if we said 'english surnames', most of us would think of anglo saxon names like smith and fletcher and wilson etc -----even though the UK has heaps of minorities now.....nothing really exclusionary about that, perhaps lazy, but not exclusionary

    Auckland • Since Jul 2015 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Kalka River,

    because of this people often mean han culture han people when they refer to chinese.

    But isn’t it high time that we break down that stereotype in the interests of reducing ignorance and learning something from this whole shitfest, increasing our awareness? Or is that too idiotic to attempt?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kalka River, in reply to linger,

    To rephrase: “you are worried that you (and more generally, others like you) are losing some control over your own lives”.
    (i) Is that an illogical stance?
    (ii) Is it necessarily “racist”?

    I’ve said I support a ban on foreign buyers, if nothing because I’m hardly part of the local landed gentry myself.

    You are unnecessarily bringing race into the equation —just implement the ban –easy to do —China is not going to send gunboats over to enforce favourable investment policies for itself —-unlike what the West did to China up until quite rcent history

    You see the problem is not the fact Chinese are buying houses —-that can be easily stopped like a snap of the fingers.

    The real resentment comes from the fact that the Chinese obviously have the money to buy local houses.

    Non-whites are not supposed to have money, and now in the case of the Chinese – increasing power. Asians are supposed to be coolies and and mail order brides, and fry up your chicken chow mein and egg foo young

    That is what is stirring the angst — not the fact they are buying, but the fact they can buy.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2015 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kalka River,

    That is what is stirring the angst — not the fact they are buying, but the fact they can buy.

    I'd say it's both. If they could, but weren't, there wouldn't be a call for bans. If they couldn't...they couldn't, and there would be no call for bans.

    They can and are buying - that's what's causing angst. The question is: Is it causing angst because the resident buyers don't like Chinese, or is it because the resident buyers don't like not being able to afford to buy, and see an influx of foreign buying power as the cause?

    Personally, again, I think it's both. The not liking Chinese, however, is probably a much smaller factor. Racism is definitely at work here. But is it all that's at work?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Kalka River, in reply to BenWilson,

    The not liking Chinese, however, is probably a much smaller factor. Racism is definitely at work here. But is it all that’s at work?

    Yes racism is a big factor. Or at least racialised resentment.

    Here’s why.

    A vast majority of kiwis would sell to a foreign buyer (including Chinese) if they got a better deal than they would get from a local buyer.

    There is hardly anyone who would eschew an offer of 600 grand say from a Chinese if locals could only stump up 500 grand.

    In your bones you know this to be true.

    So the problem is not the Chinese —they just provide an option. With or without a legislated ban, we could stop Chinese investment right now by selling to a local for a lower price.

    The problem is greedy local homeowners, many many of them white.

    So on the one hand they want the money. But they resent that source of the money.

    Greedy, but racially resentful. Hate who you need.

    And that is why many kiwis are kicking up a stink.

    And that is why Twatford will not win on this one long or even medium term.

    Because there are heaps and heaps of local white homeowners, rednecks included, who would not want to see 10 or 20 percent shaved off the value of their homes. But they won’t admit it —even though they will vote against it.

    So lets more accurately reframe the problem:

    “Greedy kiwi homeowners shutting out their fellow countrymen from home ownership by selling out to foreign interests”

    Auckland • Since Jul 2015 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    You see the problem is not the fact Chinese are buying houses —-that can be easily stopped like a snap of the fingers.

    Go on then, If it's that easy, make it stop.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Kalka River, in reply to steven crawford,

    By easy I mean NZ as a whole can stop it if they wanted to—-problem is there is little governmental will —because of exactly what I said in my previous post.

    Kiwis are kicking up a stink about the Chinese, but secretly they will happily sell to them —probably including yourself if you could get a good deal —be honest now.

    So that is the issue. Kiwis don’t resent a friggin good deal—they resent the fact that who they have to sell to are non-white. And the fact that those non-whites own more than just a few smallpoxed blankets and a couple of rusty old muskets

    Lets put it in a nutshell —-NZrs on this issue are ‘conflicted’ both at a national and personal level.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2015 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Kiwis don’t resent selling to Chinese —they resent the fact that who they have to sell to are non-white

    There is greed and resentment, sure, but I don’t think this is quite where it lies. Others on this thread have mentioned the frustration experienced at phone bids winning auctions. In that situation, the seller is blind to the race of the buyer: all that matters is the size of the bid, and the process demands that the sale go to the highest bidder. So “resentment” doesn’t come from sellers – it comes from the local buyers trying to compete. And there may be resentment without racism. Why not assume merely “they resent the fact that who those who successfully buy are non-resident ”? (Hence belonging to a different market, and not competing on the same basis as locals – which goes against the traditional Kiwi value of “fairness”, whence the resentment.)

    (And again – this is a problem with how our market is set up, not with any of the individuals using it.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kalka River,

    And the fact that those non-whites own more than just a few smallpoxed blankets and a couple of rusty old muskets

    Not necessarily. QE/ZIRP policy makes offshore finance cheap and loose. Most of these purchases are leveraged, aside from those that want to move money offshore for other reasons.

    Kiwis can’t compete with the country-of-origin of the borrowed money (where that country-of-origin is running a QE/ZIRP program).

    It’s got nothing to do with people – but everything to do with money creation. The playing field is not level.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to linger,

    So “resentment” doesn’t come from sellers – it comes from the local buyers trying to compete.

    Yup, I don't think any sellers are going to be resentful about getting extra cash, unless they are really, really racist. Greed trumps racism, easily, especially when it's such large sums.

    Buyers could feel outraged at the sellers, that's what Kalka River seems to be suggesting they should do, or feel conflicted about. But I doubt many would feel that either, because it's what they'd do in the same place.

    I don't doubt that there would be a lot of buyers resenting whoever overbid them, and in a racial way. But it started with being overbid on something they really wanted. The racism is most likely an afterthought, a little bit of bitterness icing for such people as enjoy that kind of thing. Mostly it's bitterness that the game is changing so fast that it's not working for them any more, and wondering what's driving that. The physical origin of the outbidding party is an obvious thing to resent. The racial origin is just "evidence".

    It's pretty hard to know whether the same level of bitterness would be felt if the buyers were foreign but not Chinese. My gut feeling is that it would be much the same. If Germans were buying 40% of the houses for sale in Auckland and prices were skyrocketing beyond even the reaches of well paid young NZers, I expect there would be plenty of anti-German racism here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s pretty hard to know whether the same level of bitterness would be felt if the buyers were foreign but not Chinese. My gut feeling is that it would be much the same. If Germans were buying 40% of the houses for sale in Auckland and prices were skyrocketing beyond even the reaches of well paid young NZers, I expect there would be plenty of anti-German racism here.

    It goes to show that nativism, irrespective of which ethnicity is being targeted, fills a void left by economic globalisation when it only benefits an elite few. If I haven't mentioned it already, Amy Chua wrote about the very phenomenon in her book "World on Fire".

    And the latest Mediawatch is up, and it's on the housing issue.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Weir,

    There’s a pretty good compliment to owning a house. It’s called renting and saving. I do it. It’s not the end of the world. My landlord who receives my hard earned cash is a non-resident. He lives in Japan. Probably owns property there, too. He certainly owns lots of properties here. Maybe that makes him bad in some folks’ opinions. If it helps you feel better about him, he’s a kiwi. Maybe that makes you feel worse about him…particularly given that he hasn’t lived here for ever. He was just lucky enough to be born here as well as marry a Japanese wife…he gets the best of both property markets.

    Of course, he gets the worst of both property markets to. Because what seems to be missing from many people’s understanding is that:
    * this is indeed a market,
    * it can go up and down
    * it’s not the only market in town
    * it’s not even the only market for housing or property in town
    * other markets also can go up and down too

    What makes housing so special? Why do we have this nation myth that “Everything will be okay if I can buy a house, and if house prices keep going up after I do?”. Heck, even I fall for it sometimes, and feel like a loser when I look at my pretty shabby rental that I’d be ashamed to live in if I owned it. Paint peeling from the outside. Wallpaper peeling on the inside. Insulated, but not as well insulated as I’d like. (Probably can’t be made much better because it’s an old house, with old windows and old gaps).

    I often say to myself in fits of low self-esteem “Man, if I owned this place, I would sooo spend upwards of a hundred k making it look nice, so I could feel like a winner". But I don’t own it. So unfortunately I simply can’t overcapitalize. It’s criminal, I know. Instead, in a marginally successful effort to mitigate my low self-esteem for being a lowly renter, I’m practically forced by the ghost of retirement future to put 8% of my salary money – plus the additional extra lump sum payment from time to time – into Kiwisaver. Bah, humbug.

    Sorry kids, looks like Daddy won’t be able to offer a house as partial security when it comes to your turn to attempt your own leap into the market (hoping you’ll catch a rapidly rising window-sill by your fingertips while at the same time praying the window sash doesn’t take that exact inopportune moment to slam down on said fingertips). Let’s just admit defeat, kids, and open a dowdy KiwiSaver account each instead, and pay the money into that, instead.

    Since Jul 2015 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    "The housing market" I might just go out there and trademark that dumb arse phrase, and make y'all stop using it. It's to fucking abstracted from reality.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Weir,

    Sorry, Steven, you've lost me. Can you elaborate? Is the housing market any more abstracted than any other market?

    Since Jul 2015 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Jeff Weir,

    It's not a matter of comparing it to other markets. Tell me, how would you feel about the seabed and foreshore being privately owned? No wait, is it realistic, to live without having to own rent or lease land?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Weir, in reply to steven crawford,

    How would you feel about the seabed and foreshore being privately owned?

    Not great. I don't follow your point, though.

    Is it realistic, to live without having to own rent or lease land?

    Not for me. I rent. But again, I don't follow your point.

    Since Jul 2015 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    OK, so you don’t get it. You are going to need to help me out here. Is your home more than a roof, walls, windows and doors that lock – letter box, Internet connection and power supply?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    my disdain for imperialist rules

    The English language evolved amongst the ordinary working people of Middle Ages England, at a time when their lords and masters spoke French and used Latin for governmental and religious purposes. It isn't imperialist, and using it correctly in discourse merely indicates that you've taken the trouble to consider your thoughts (as opposed to pouring out 900 words of semi-literate drivel that few will trouble to read).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    How patronising was that guy? Cultural imperialism at worst. The second and foreign language users now outnumber the natives quite significantly. Keep telling yourself what they need to know.

    Second Language Users and Emerging English
    Designs

    Conclusion:

    As problematic as the label “ESL student” already is for students themselves and for other stakeholders, it becomes even more so in light of the possibility that second language users may have much to teach.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Weir, in reply to steven crawford,

    Is your home more than a roof, walls, windows and doors that lock – letter box, Internet connection and power supply?

    .

    If you use the definition "the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household" then I guess not. But again, you've lost me.

    What has this got to do with your thought that the term 'Housing Market' is a

    dumb arse phrase

    that is overly abstracted?

    Since Jul 2015 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Jeff Weir,

    "The housing market" That’s the dumb are phrase I light heartedly suggest adding to the trademarked parts of “The English language market” :)

    You yourself said that there is more than one property market. I’d add that not all community’s of people who hold land titles, view housing as a market.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Weir, in reply to steven crawford,

    not all community’s of people who hold land titles, view housing as a market.

    Ah. The housing market doesn't exist because some people don't/can't participate in it or don't view it as a market. Might as well add the rental market, car market, and flea-market to the list of dumb phrases that should be outlawed, by that logic.

    Since Jul 2015 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Jeff Weir,

    I’ll let you in on some hard to see nuance. I’m not trying to fight a turf war. welcome to public address cafeteria:)

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

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