“Totally Inappropriate”, proclaimed Auckland Mayor Phil Goff about Shane Jones’s response to an Indian migrant’s complaint about the Immigration Department. But inappropriate to what? Phil didn’t tell us, instead preferring to jump on the current fashionable bandwagon, led by the Indian community, with the wearingly wrong cries of racism and hate speech.

It transpired the Department had declined the migrant’s application to bring in an arranged marriage potential bride he’d never met. The Department declined permission for the excellent reason that the rules required it to do so. Specifically, couples must have lived together for a year before their migration applications can be considered.

One reason for this is the new age phenomenon of on-line “romances” between people who’ve never actually met. Common sense says such relationships have poor prospects and further, that this is obviously open to abuse by otherwise ineligible people wanting entry.

The Indian community complained it’s part of their culture. I’m aware of that, indeed 40 years ago I wrote about this in my book “Travelling” and described how it worked well. But as the racist and hate-speech-proclaiming Indian community leaders know only too well, the “arranged” element is more parental conspiring to find suitable spouses, unbeknown to their target offspring, then organising that they meet, and hope nature takes its course. There’s a great deal to be said for this.

The Indian leaders are right out of line, protesting this is something we should accept as it’s their culture. They overlook they’ve abandoned their culture for ours and should as guest citizens, show some respect for the host nation’s rules.  Instead they behaved insultingly and Shane Jones was 100% right when he said, If they don’t like it, then go back to India.

The Department may well be doing the declined applicant a favour. He may hate on sight the proposed bride. Then again it may be instant love. The easy way to find out is for him to actually go to India and then, if it works out, in due course, after a year, he can return with his spouse.

Many Moslem countries allow the beating of wives. As a result, when we take in Moslem refugees, as currently most of our disgracefully small quota of refugees are, a ritual hilarious performance occurs at the Auckland Refugee centre, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing.

30 young Moslem men are assembled. In comes a policeman, welcomes the chaps to New Zealand and says he’s there to explain a specific New Zealand legal oddity, namely they cannot beat their wives.

After a puzzled hubbub this leads to the same question to the policeman every time, namely what about when they’re talking nonsense? “No,” the policeman tells them. “You still can’t beat them.”

“But how do we stop them talking nonsense?” is always the next question.

“It’s impossible” the policeman says shaking his head sorrowfully. “You just have to ignore them like we do.”

To all of this they do not then do as the Indian community leaders have and demand we change our rules to theirs, and then cry racism and hate speech when someone says what to do if they don’t like it.

All of this triggered the shallow New Zealand familiar Pavlovian response. First off the blocks predictably came Jacinda saying she’d look at changing this rule. It won’t be changed as the Department will be quick to point out the dangers to the Immigration Minister. Then the usual crowd began their unthinking racist baying of Jones.

New MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar climbed on the bandwagon, pointlessly advising her successful marriage was arranged. Yes, but I’ll wager the marriage was not forced on her, rather the initial meeting was arranged and in due course the marriage eventuated. Aside from that, her involvement in this matter is utterly irrelevant. Unlike the applicant at the root of this issue, she migrated here 11 years after her marriage to her Kiwi husband and did not try to do so before she’d actually met him.

Shane Jones brings a lot of criticism on himself through injudicious behaviour and has become a popular target, often unfairly. For example, pointing out that if the electorate liked what he was doing (the trees from memory) then they’d better send their votes his way if they want it to carry on, was perfectly legitimate. But this was immediately branded as vote-buying and bribery. If Jacinda had made a similar observation about a Government initiative then (rightly) there’d have been no such reaction.

One thing’s certain. On this Indian migrant issue, Jones is 100% right. Telling the Indians if they don’t like our laws then they should leave was a trifle undiplomatic for a politician. I’m not a politician though so I’ll add my bit and tell them to pull their heads in.

I’ve been a constant advocate for Asian migration, in my view the best thing ever to happen to our country. There are many reasons for that including my response to Winston when a few years back he complained that walking down Queen Street could be confused with being in Asia. That’s excellent, I responded. Their girls are immensely better looking than ours.

And now, having drafted this, I’m off to see my Chinese doctor.


Brilliant, Bob.

Brilliant, Bob.

I’m not sure Indians, Asians or any newcomers, irrespective of their nationality and culture are expected to “abandon their culture for ours”. Sure, they have to respect our laws and customs and like everyone else, earn respect so that their voice is listened to favourably by the wider populace, and not expect preferential treatment. That’s how the “melting pot” principle works – we remain who we are while also contributing and sharing. Hence you value Asian migrants.

But that doesn’t preclude the possibility of particular cultural customs being at least considered and factored into government policy, including migration. At the very least there is nothing wrong with the Indian community putting the case. And ok, Jones is right – if you are Indian, Chinese, British or Maldivian, if you find our laws and customs objectionable, even offensive or racist, then leaving is always an option.

However, Jones said something else – that the purpose of Indian community seeking to change our current migration setting was so that each one, under the guise of an arranged marriage, could bring out “an entire village”. Ordinarily that would be defamatory as arranged marriage or not, Indians are no more allowed to sponsor close relatives or friends to migrate here than any other race or nationality, much less each one transplant “an entire village”.

But your point is taken – no offence should be taken by the Indian community as it is widely recognised throughout NZ that Jones is a buffoon, whose frequent mis-statements concerning facts are likely caused by ignorance rather than malice. And he belongs to a cult of personality political party whose leader, the man who decided who should govern the land, is so useless he can’t even declare accurately on a simple yes/no form if he is single or not. And who (Winston Peters) complains and asks WINZ staff why those in partnership should receive a lower rate of National Super…when as far back as 1975 he was the National candidate in Northern Maori when Rob Muldoon’s Universal National Super was one of the major issues of that campaign.

On second thoughts, with idiots like that holding the balance of power, maybe one of those Indians Shane Jones has encouraged to leave the country can take me with them. And maybe set me up with their sister…as long as she is kinda good looking, has inexpensive tastes and maybe comes with a good dowry. 😀

I enjoyed your book “travelling” it isn’t in your list. Can it be republished?

Arranged marriages always raise an eyebrow in western countries and that is in addition to any concerns about forced marriages.

About half the marriages in the world are arranged and they are common in India and Africa and even South America.
The very first step in women’s liberation was women asserting the right to choose their own husbands and not live cloistered from the world until they are married

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