NZ now far from a British colony at its core, thank you

EDITORIAL

Prime Minister John Key may well have had his tongue firmly in his cheek last week when he pleaded with British PM David Cameron for the easing of new visa restrictions on skilled migrants from New Zealand.

The UK has announced changes to the conditions for tier two visas. From later this year migrants must be able to earn $52,000 a year and from April next year that goes up to $63,000. The levy on employers will also increase.

In Washington for a nuclear security summit, Key took the opportunity to buttonhole Cameron and put his case.

He was in salesman mode, referring to the amazingly strong and warm relationship between this country and Britain — but was then wide of the mark when he said “we are at the core a British colony and I thought there was an argument that New Zealanders could be treated in a way that reflected that”.

One thing the vast majority of New Zealanders of all ethnicities do not want to be regarded as being is a British colony. Since 1947 the New Zealand Parliament alone has the authority to make laws governing this country.

More than that, the ethnic background of the country continues to change. Asians make up nearly 10 percent of the population now and Pasifika people about 7 percent. Nearly half the population of Auckland is non-European.

Key was probably wise not to remind Cameron that New Zealand just voted to keep the Union Jack in its flag, seeing as he was the greatest proponent for change.

The core issue is that Cameron has a big political problem with migration, because of the effects of the Schengen agreement and high number of migrants from the European Union. Also, the popular youth mobility scheme which allows 12,000 New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 to work in Britain for two years continues.

But the posters saying “There will always be an Empire” have long since disappeared from sight and nobody talks about the “old country” any more. That still does leave a special relationship, but definitely not a colony.

Prime Minister John Key may well have had his tongue firmly in his cheek last week when he pleaded with British PM David Cameron for the easing of new visa restrictions on skilled migrants from New Zealand.

The UK has announced changes to the conditions for tier two visas. From later this year migrants must be able to earn $52,000 a year and from April next year that goes up to $63,000. The levy on employers will also increase.

In Washington for a nuclear security summit, Key took the opportunity to buttonhole Cameron and put his case.

He was in salesman mode, referring to the amazingly strong and warm relationship between this country and Britain — but was then wide of the mark when he said “we are at the core a British colony and I thought there was an argument that New Zealanders could be treated in a way that reflected that”.

One thing the vast majority of New Zealanders of all ethnicities do not want to be regarded as being is a British colony. Since 1947 the New Zealand Parliament alone has the authority to make laws governing this country.

More than that, the ethnic background of the country continues to change. Asians make up nearly 10 percent of the population now and Pasifika people about 7 percent. Nearly half the population of Auckland is non-European.

Key was probably wise not to remind Cameron that New Zealand just voted to keep the Union Jack in its flag, seeing as he was the greatest proponent for change.

The core issue is that Cameron has a big political problem with migration, because of the effects of the Schengen agreement and high number of migrants from the European Union. Also, the popular youth mobility scheme which allows 12,000 New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 to work in Britain for two years continues.

But the posters saying “There will always be an Empire” have long since disappeared from sight and nobody talks about the “old country” any more. That still does leave a special relationship, but definitely not a colony.

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Chris B - 3 years ago
The majority of New Zealanders wanting to keep the Union Jack on our flag now seems even more ridiculous.

Majority Rules - 3 years ago
Muddled reasoning, what are you trying to say?
The UK is not a signatory to Schengen.
New Zealand is a member of the Commonwealth, did John Key really refer to NZ as a colony? If so shame on him.
Why does John Key want to make it easier for skilled Kiwis to go and live in the UK?
To Chris B, the minority who wanted to change the flag and lost would do well to accept defeat gracefully.

K Smith - 3 years ago
What this shows is that John Key has been more interested in rubbing flesh with royalty and the UK PM as a pal and totally disinterested in doing his job. He has failed to ensure NZ's importance to the UK is promoted and recognised.

Vman - 3 years ago
Yet the majority of Kiwis remain in their long-outdated attitudes - they cling to the union jack and want a foreigner as head of state.
The reality is that a dominion is just a colony with its own laws.

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