Dumbing down New Zealand
I consider the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination resulted in a mass
exodus, including many of the ‘best and brightest’, with an estimated one million New
Zealanders, out of a population of 4.6 million, now living outside the country.
Consequently, in my view, the State effectively gave away much of the countries
intellectual property to ensure they were not held to account while the loss of such
intellectual property also signaled a decline in the development of human knowledge
with exploitation replacing creativity as a means of growth.
While, from my observation, the population seemed more concerned with short term
interests rather than considering the future consequences of the loss of such intellectual
As at 30 June 2013, an estimated 640, 770 New Zealand citizens were present in
Australia. Other major destinations for New Zealanders are the UK, USA and Canada
(Statistics NZ. (2012)).
Kea New Zealand is a global network, which is largely government funded, with a
membership of half a million expat New Zealanders.
Kea Global Chief Executive, Craig Donaldson, said it was estimated that there are one
million Kiwis living overseas. He added that “New Zealand has the highest proportion
of highly skilled workers based off shore of any country in the OECD…’ (Kloeten N.
That the ‘best and brightest’ seemed to be the major target in New Zealand can be seen
from the survey findings of Kea New Zealand ‘Every Kiwi Counts 2011’ and other
Kea New Zealand’s on-line survey of over 15,000 New Zealanders living offshore
• Compared to on-shore New Zealanders in the 2006 Census, the overseas Kiwis
surveyed are about seven times as likely (34% v 5%) to have a post-graduate
qualification and almost three times as likely (31% v 11%) to have a Bachelor’s degree;
• Only 1% of overseas Kiwis say they have no formal qualifications, compared with
nearly one quarter (24%) of New Zealand residents who say the same (Kea New
An OECD report in 2005, ‘Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries:
A New Perspective’, stated that both New Zealand and Ireland had the highest
percentage, 24.2 per cent, of its highly skilled (i.e. a tertiary education) leaving their
countries (Dumont J. and Lemaitre G. (2005)).
A World Bank study in February 2010, ‘The Economic Consequences of the Brain
Drain of the Best and Brightest’ in February 2010 described New Zealand, one of five
countries chosen for the study, as ‘the OECD country with the highest tertiary brain
drain rate’ (World Bank. (2010)).
New Zealand Ministry of Education research, entitled ‘Beyond Tertiary Study’, states:
New Zealand had lost 35 percent of its PhD students overseas. It stated: “The results
showed that for those domestic students who last studied in 2003 and achieved their
doctorate, around 65 percent were employed in New Zealand four years after they last
studied. This was lower than for students who last studied at masters (72 percent) and
bachelors (75 percent) level” (Smart W. (2011)).
The ‘big picture’ of the purging of home-grown intellectual talent can be seen on the
map ‘Migration and the Brain Drain Phenomenon’ shows that New Zealand falls into
the category ‘more than 20%’ share of a country’s nationals with a university education
who live in (another) OECD country’, (OECD. (2015)).
The above ‘big picture’ indicates that the ‘brain drain’ does not just apply to small
countries like New Zealand, which is sometimes is claimed, but also large countries in
Africa, Iran, the Philippines, Madagascar, as well as Great Britain, including Ireland.
In addition, it is frequently said that New Zealanders (i.e. ‘brains and brawn’) leave for
higher salaries overseas but this may well not apply to the ‘best and brightest’. A World
Bank’s study which includes New Zealand, ‘The Microeconomic Determinants of
Emigration and return Migration of the ‘Best and Brightest’ – Evidence from the
‘…..we find that narrow measures of income gains or economic incentives for
migrating play a very minor role in determining which of the highly skill migrate and
return……the current migrants in our survey offer suggestions more closely linked to
improving the career opportunities rather than to simply raising salaries…” (Gibson J.
and McKenzie D. (2009)).
To counteract concerns about the ‘brain drain’ Treasury researchers argued that rather
than a ‘brain drain’ it was a ‘brain exchange’ i.e. there are incoming highly skilled
immigrants (Hayden G, and Wai C. (2001)).
However, compared with the exiting New Zealanders the immigrants would be
invariably politically safe being reluctant to ‘speak out’ in their new country and would
also be less likely to join trade unions. Also, immigrants would often lack the local
knowledge necessary for much entrepreneurial activity.
While, in my view, immigrants were often preferred to New Zealanders it seems that
Asians also were affected by the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination.
Despite being high achievers the discrimination was such that they were afforded
affirmative action. New Zealand had reached the absurdity of affirmative action for
Asians are generally acknowledged to have a strong work ethic and are by far the
highest achievers at school despite often being handicapped by having to learn English.
For instance, in the Ministry of Education’s table of Highest Attainment of School
Leavers (2009) it shows that those ethnic groups who reach university entrance level
(or level 3 qualification or higher) are as follows: Asian, 65 percent; European/Pakeha,
49 percent; Pasifica, 25 percent; Maori, 20 percent (Education Counts. (2010)).
Reported by Race Relations in 2011, annual UMR Research surveys on perceived
discrimination undertaken since 2001, ‘have consistently shown Asian people to be
perceived as the most discriminated against’.
It states: “An average of around 75 per cent of survey respondents identified Asian
people as suffering “a great deal” or “some” discrimination” (NZHRC. (2012)).
One of the two priorities of the NZ Human Rights Commission with respect to
discrimination is to ‘actively focus on inclusion in all aspects of New Zealand life as a
means to break down discrimination against Asian New Zealanders and other minority
ethnic groups” (NZHRC. (2012)).
The Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres, considers more Asians should be
given affirmative action.
He told the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils in Wellington: “There
are very few Asians on the boards of District Health Boards, not enough Asian teachers
in our schools, not enough Asian local councilors community board members and
Asian migrants continue to face discrimination in applying for jobs.’
Joris de Bres said that one of the organizations that has strongly focused on Asian
recruitment over recent years is the New Zealand Police…All public agencies should
be doing the same. Some private sector organizations, such as the major banks, have
also reached out to Asian communities because it makes good business sense.’ (ONE
[In a more recent UMR Research Survey beneficiaries have overtaken Asians as the
group New Zealanders consider to be the most discriminated against. The survey found
74 per cent of people think beneficiaries are facing discrimination. Asians, who have
ranked at the top of the list since at least 2003, were second at 72 per cent (Dickison M.
I consider the purging and crushing of potential described above which is part of the
cultural cleansing of individual self-determination seriously undermines the capacity of
the country to survive by crippling ‘bottom-up’ development in the independent sector.
For example, the country’s over reliance on the farming sector could be dangerous as
can be seen with the seventh consecutive decline in dairy prices by June 2015 (Radio
HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham, who first coined the phrase “rock star” in
January last year to describe New Zealand’s economic growth, says the economy is still
a rock star despite lower dairy prices and slower growth in major trading partners.
Bloxham said a range of indicators showed the New Zealand economy continued to be
supported by a construction boom [e.g. the Christchurch rebuild] and that overall GDP
growth was also running well above trend at 3.5 per cent year on year (NZ Herald.
An international report from the OECD states that rising inequality has wiped a third
off New Zealand’s growth in recent decades. The report found the impact of inequality
on growth stems from the gap between the bottom 40 per cent with the rest of society
not just the poorest 10 per cent (Kloeten N. (2014)).
Consequently, it certainly appears that the beneficiaries of the ‘rock star’ economy are
in the top 60 per cent while growth in GDP may have had more to do with an act of
nature i.e. the rebuilding following the Christchurch earthquakes, rather than the
It seems the image that New Zealand projects of itself as a ‘rock star’, middle class
economy is to attract tourists as tourism is one of New Zealand’s largest export
Tourism New Zealand states: “Tourism is one of New Zealand’s largest export
industries, second only to the dairy industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings. It
directly employs 6.3 per cent of the New Zealand workforce and it has the potential to
improve the economies of communities around the country (Tourism NZ. (2016)).
Compliance with the UN
On 28 December 1978 reflecting the onset of political globalization the UN human
rights agenda and IMF economic globalization New Zealand ratified the international
covenants on civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights both of
which come under international human rights law.
The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the New Zealand Human Rights Act
1993 are both based on the above international law. The latter allowed the UN’s
‘hidden’ collectivist agenda.
The bill of rights “aims to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental
freedoms in New Zealand—and to affirm New Zealand’s commitment to the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Act does not,
however, contain all the rights set out in the ICCPR. (It does not secure a general right
to privacy, for instance.)’ (bill of rights. (2014)).
Section 3 of the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993 describes the latter as an ‘Act to
bind the Crown’ and states it is, ‘An Act…to provide better protection of human rights
in New Zealand in general accordance with United Nations Covenants or Conventions
on Human Rights.
In addition, New Zealand also ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of
racial discrimination on 22 November 1972 and the convention on the elimination of
discrimination against women on Jan 1985 with Maori and women accorded
Affirmative action is included in section 19(2) of the bill of rights which states:
“Measures taken in good faith for the purpose of assisting or advancing persons or
groups of persons disadvantaged because of discrimination that is unlawful by virtue of
Part 2 of the Human Rights Act 1993 do not constitute discrimination”.
However, in my view, because of social class discrimination middleclass, professional
women and Maori collectives were strongly favored over those for whom I consider
the affirmative action was really meant for – those women and Maori who suffered the
worst effects of historical discrimination, many of whom would be found at the bottom
of the social scale.
The failure to include non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin (which
permits social class discrimination) was raised by the UN Human Rights Committee
during New Zealand’s review in March 2010. As this was the first time it was
mentioned in the summary records it certainly appears that this was in response to our
council’s submission which described the effects of such discrimination (Ravlich A.
Committee member Zonke Majodina (who on 14 March 2011 was elected as the new
Chair of the Committee) raised the non-inclusion of discrimination on the grounds of
social origin: “On the specific question of whether New Zealand law currently
prohibited discrimination on the full range of Covenant grounds, the written replies
seem to concede that discrimination on the basis of social origin and property was still
not expressly prohibited (Summary Record. (2010)).
The exclusion of non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin i.e. social status at
birth, allowed for both social class and socio-economic discrimination while the
exclusion of non-discrimination on the grounds of birth, which includes descent i.e.
family lineage permitted the Maori equivalent form of descent-discrimination,
Consequently, I consider it cannot be affirmative action ‘in good faith’ when such
descent-based discrimination is used to strongly favor middleclass, professional
collectives of women and Maori.
While non-discrimination with respect to women and race now exists social
class/socio-economic discrimination can exclude large numbers of women and Maori.
The exclusion of discrimination on the grounds of birth also appears necessary because
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy (Ravlich A. (2013)).
While the role of the Governor-General, appointed by the Queen, is described as very
largely ceremonial it appears the omission of the above ground of non-discrimination
with respect to birth can allow, in an unusual situation, the Governor-General to decide
Sir Kenneth Keith describes such a situation where ‘the position within the House or
the governing party is unclear’:
“Situations like this were rare in New Zealand under the first past the post electoral
system, but have been less rare since the introduction of the proportional representation
electoral system. The essential principle in such situations continues to be that the
Queen, as a constitutional monarch, or the Governor-General, as her representative,
acts in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or Ministers who have the
necessary support of the House of Representatives. Where that support is unclear, the
Governor-General relies on the elected representatives in the House, and especially the
party leaders, to clarify whether a party or grouping of parties has the support of the
House to govern, or whether fresh elections will be required” (Keith K. (2008)).
My research reveals that very little has been written about discrimination on the
grounds of social class/socio-economic status however an exception was a report for
the Irish Department of Justice which describes socio-economic status/social origin as
creating significant obstacles to equality of opportunity, equality of outcomes and
equality of participation.
The report confirms the above observation whereby social class discrimination can
preference different classes within, for example, race and gender. It states that while
there may exist non-discrimination with respect to certain grounds such as race and
gender social class discrimination means many of the latter can be overlooked. The
“ In most countries overt discrimination on the basis of social origin or
socio-economic status is rare. However,…discrimination on the basis of
socio-economic status/social origin is linked with, and underpins, discrimination on the
more widely covered grounds such as disability and race … [many of these groups]
also experience a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion, (Kilcommins S. et al.
The Irish report describes widespread recognition of such discrimination: “A concern
to prohibit discrimination on the basis of social origin/socio-economic status is evident
in many international legal instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
(ECHR) and the ILO Convention No.111, Discrimination (Employment and
Occupation) Convention, 1958.
The Constitute Project describes 187 constitutions which have a general guarantee of
equality of which 89 countries include non-discrimination with respect to social status
and 41 countries have a similar non-discrimination regardless of parentage. Also, 55
countries make mention of social class.
However, no legally binding conventions with respect to descent have been devised by
the UN which seem necessary to ensure domestic implementation as has been the case
with respect to gender and racial discrimination (see above).
The lack of progress in devising a UN convention on another form of social
discrimination, caste discrimination, despite being prohibited by national constitutions,
is described in the section on Dalits in the chapter on Bangladesh.
Also, the Irish report describes little effective legal remedy as having developed despite
that ‘discrimination on the basis of social origin/socio-economic status is pervasive and
operates as a constraint on an individual’s social mobility’.
The report states: “…despite the widespread recognition that individuals face
discrimination on the basis of their social and economic backgrounds, little has
developed in the way of an effective legal remedy” (Kilcommins S. et al. (2004)).
It has been said that if New Zealand was to erect a huge statue like the Statue of Liberty,
it would be the Statue of Equality (Te Ara. (2005-2014)).
New Zealanders are, in my view, nurtured class-blind with social mores placing much
emphasis on equality. Class is not ‘officially’ recognized in New Zealand despite the
creation of a visible underclass on the streets of New Zealand in 1991 following the
severe benefit cuts and the creation of a middleclass, ‘rock star’ economy.
Also, economic, social and cultural rights, which is meant to protect against class
exploitation, has been very largely dealt with at the level of the United Nations keeping
New Zealanders, and most likely populations in many other countries, ignorant of such
Whereas in South East Asia religion condones caste discrimination and it is openly
talked about, from my observation, in New Zealand social class discrimination is very
rarely talked about.
In terms of social mores, equality is portrayed as very important to New Zealanders yet
equal rights were not included in the bill of rights and neither was non-discrimination
with respect to social class, socio-economic status or birth and economic, social and
cultural rights were excluded.
The New Zealand Human Rights Commission states that apart from Article 3 of the
Treaty of Waitangi, “there is no specific reference in New Zealand law to the right to
equality, a fact that the United Nations Committee on Human Rights has consistently
criticized in assessing New Zealand’s compliance with international standards on
equality and freedom from discrimination” (Human Rights Commission. (2004)).
In my experience, the secular collectivists are a social class and are very concerned to
conceal their hegemony and their social class discrimination is far more covert than
While New Zealanders seemed generally aware it was a different Labor Party which
took power in 1984 they invariably failed to see the class nature of the new Labor Party
who I describe as liberal collectivists.
The new Labor Party also included many professionals whereas the old Labor Party
contained many liberal individualists and was comprised of many non-professionals
and did not seem class-based.
Jack Nagel in the British Journal of Political Science (1998) provided statistics on the
occupations of NZ Labor MPs – in 1935 only 17.9% were from a professional,
semi-professional background but by 1984 this had risen to 73.2% (Ravlich A. (2004)).
The government projects New Zealand as a country with social equality without a
strong class system.
The New Zealand Immigration Service website on 17 Dec 2006 states: “Social values:
New Zealanders have a very similar way of life and share values common to most
Western countries, but there are some special features. We are passionate about sport,
and have a firm belief in social equality. The social welfare system prevents extreme
poverty, and the nation has neither a strong class system nor major social tensions.
Differences between high and low-income people are not pronounced”.
While the Auckland University website describes the country’s social norms for
international students. It states: “New Zealanders have a way of life that’s similar to
most Western countries, but there are some special characteristics. Kiwis are passionate
about sport and have a firm belief in social equality. The social welfare system prevents
extreme poverty, and the nation has neither a strong class system nor major social
tensions. Some minor ethnic tensions exist, but are low by international standards.
Goodwill between races is usually evident”.
It is also added: ‘New Zealand people dislike formality and tend to see each other as
equals’; ‘In the work place, relations between the sexes are egalitarian’ (New Zealand
Social Values. (2016)).
While describing Political Values Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, states
that a Statue of Equality rather than a Statue of Liberty would be more appropriate for
“It has been said that if New Zealand was to erect a huge statue like the Statue of
Liberty, it would be the Statue of Equality. Like other countries, it has developed its
own national character, and equality, fairness and honesty are values which most New
Zealanders see as important … New Zealand’s political culture has changed slowly
over time – it is a country of slow evolution rather than rapid revolution (Te Ara.
Dumbing down New Zealand