Yes, "Cornell" has been prominent on Queen St for years, and just illustrates the difference between a lovely budget spreadsheet in the Beehive and the sordid reality on the ground. To say this is a sound industry is like producing knock-off Louis Vuitton bags and claiming to be a centre of fashion and design.
I worked in the field for years, and I know many good people in it - and they're all sick of being tainted by association with the cheap n' nasties, and sick of a government that (until just recently) saw no difference ... only cash. Steven Joyce has a lot to answer for.
I remember my favourite Indian restaurant for ages had stunning quality at insanely cheap prices. Then they got busted for exploiting their staff badly
Living in Auckland's CBD I'm very happy to eat cheap takeaway food and drink cut-price alcohol, served by workers below the minimum wage. Occasionally the media ruin this feeling of contentment by reporting on the exploitation that makes this possible, but then my guilt is eased by the latest "statistics" which tell me that this isn't really happening much. Unless you read more closely, such as the accompanying footnote to a Stats NZ table on the declared occupations of new arrivals:
* About half of all arrivals either did not state an occupation or their response was outside the scope. Occupations are not necessarily indication of employment in New Zealand.
If you're an engineer, you say "Engineer". Nobody ticks the box marked "Kitchen Slave". So everything's fine on paper, it's only reality that sucks.
One of the problems with our immigration debate is the lazy comparison with developed nations in the Northern hemisphere, for no better reason than the easy copy'n'paste availability of international media coverage. A simple example: this opinion piece - perfectly valid in itself - is illustrated by Stuff with two imported images, unrelated to NZ. It feels as though every discussion of immigration here has to include a reference to Trump/Brexit.
But ... nobody is arriving in NZ by sea, or being plucked from it. Nobody is freezing to death in a truck moving across borders. Nobody is swimming a river or climbing a border fence. Nobody is rioting in a squalid camp. The great moral dilemma of the first world - how to help the poor, persecuted and desperate, while preserving both our humanity and security - has barely touched New Zealand.
The gov't had to be dragged kicking and screaming to increase the refugee quota from a pitiful level to slightly less pitiful. We do not say "Give me your huddled masses", but "Give me your educated and trained, so we don't have to educate and train ourselves". When a boat heads for our shores, even thousands of miles away, our (previous) PM wasted no time in insisting the door was closed. So much for the welcome mat.
Immigration policy in NZ is a cash cow. It's not "anti-racist" - it's a policy that ignores the poor and welcomes the prosperous. And the government and its business cheerleaders should not be given a free pass to when they cynically invoke a "diversity" that is highly selective. When they give a damn about the people at the bottom (often brown, BTW), then they can get their anti-racism badge.
Of course they had a choice. The reaction would have been predictable: wild vilification, by the same people who vilify them already. Then the noise would fade with the next issue ("events, dear boy, events"). Saying they had no choice is absurd, a real abdication of leadership.
They made a strategic decision, which can be defended (but I wouldn't). However, saying the opposition has no choice but to vote with the government is the same mentality as "support our troops" - it's a cop-out, and it's wrong. Doing difficult things comes with the job.
Corbyn-Labour not only voted for Brexit, but also for an early election. Repeat: this is only happening because Labour voted for it to happen.
Worth bearing in mind when the fingers get pointed in June.
These house-buying stories are similar to another tiresome media staple: in order to "prove" that welfare recipients are to blame for their own circumstances, a healthy, prosperous person will choose to live on the benefit for a week or month, and not starve, so there. All other advantages existing prior to the "experiment" (education, professional network, family etc) will be ignored, at least in the headlines.
English's comments today have out-satired Steven Price. Breathtaking cynicism, as if taken from a script rejected by The Thick of It or Yes, Minister for being too unsubtle for laughs.
The depressing aspect of all this is that (short-term, at least) his calculation is probably right. He can play "won't ask, won't be told" because a large proportion of the NZ population don't want to know, and much of the NZ media will follow.
I'm feeling a lot less proud of our country right now.
On the one hand, I am encouraged and impressed that Wayne Mapp has spoken out, and demonstrated basic human decency, and courage.
On t'other hand, I'm depressed that I am impressed ... since the NZDF hierarchy and their political masters have set the bar so low, that basic human decency is the exception to their rule.
They should never have started digging their amoral hole, but could they now, finally, please stop?
OK, "no dead 3 year olds, then?". Come on, it's not hard to see the elephant, even with Keating's dust-throwing.
(the follow-up questions were poor, just listen to them again)
Expect next revelation: dead girl was actually 4 years old. Woo hoo, we're off the hook!
The follow-up questions at Keating's press conference were the first sign the tactic was working (short-term, at least): the assembled journalists kind of forgot to say "So General, no dead people then?".