The Union’s want non-New Zealanders fired before New Zealanders. We’ve seen this type of nationalistic sentiment before, about outsourcing and through Buy Kiwi made. This is all pure xenophobia – and I hope that our grandchildren will look back on this and be embarrased.
I have three issues with the idea that we should arbitrarily favour “New Zealand” workers:
- It presumes there is a limited pool of work – in actuality, having more workers also “creates more jobs.
- It presumes that the goal is “jobs” – the actual goal should be to create happiness. A closer proxy to happiness would be efficient production – not “job creation” (which is just a wild catchphrase). I realise that creating an environment of gainful employment is important – but the trade-offs have to be kept in mind.
- It presumes that we value New Zealanders more than non-New Zealanders. Surely we are not that racist.
If a business chooses to keep on a non-New Zealander instead of a “New Zealander” it is because they are a better worker, or they offer greater flexibility to the firm. Why should we impede the liberty of the firm and worker to trade freely just because we want to get an inefficient, inflexible, New Zealander in the job?
And trust me, the argument that Australia is doing it so we should is rubbish – do we really want to say that we have the same attitude to other races that Australia does!