Kiwis are no longer hardworking
This will be an uncomfortable subject for most Kiwis – but it needs to be said.
We like to think of ourselves as hardworking right? Descendants of people who worked the land, that No 8 wire mentality and a willingness to roll up our sleeves and get the job done. Aren’t we?
Maybe not. Maybe we’ve become a bunch of lazy sods.
No longer are we prepared to work all hours of the day and night for not much more than the minimum wage.
People from other countries are flooding into the country, desperate for a fresh start – and they’re willing to do the jobs that people born here turn their noses up at. Welcome to New Zealand. Where Kiwis can’t be stuffed.
More than 150,000 Kiwis still remain unemployed. More than 70,000 young people aged 15-24 are not in any form of education, employment or training. That’s two Westpac Stadiums full of young people doing jack-all.
So either we can’t be bothered, or immigrants are taking our jobs. It’s a mixture of both. Last year we had a record net gain of more than 70,000 migrants. They are now a big part of the central economic plan. Some are New Zealanders returning home but many, many of these people are pouring into the country to fill these supposed skills-shortages.
Last year we granted permanent residency to 213 foreign bakers, 600 cafe/restaurant managers, 132 hotel service managers and 683 retail managers. The list goes on and on and it’s laughable what represents a ‘‘skilled’’ migrant these days. We even imported 121 painters from overseas. Surely we can find 121 young Kiwis to do those jobs.
We are bringing in low-skilled migrants to do minimum-wage jobs that we can’t be bothered getting out of bed for. All this is driving down wages for everyone across the board. Wage growth is low, at just 1.6 per cent in the latest survey. That’s because foreigners will work for low wages. Kiwis won’t.
Last year we issued 200,000 work visas to foreigners. At the same time around 300,000 Kiwis were recorded as either unemployed, or looking for more hours.
This week I spoke to the owner of a flooring company, Derek Alexander - himself an immigrant. His work visa says he must employ New Zealanders – and he’s trying, without much luck.
Ninety per cent of the staff he hires don’t even last a month. Flooring is hard work and the locals are too soft, he reckons.
These Kiwis can’t be arsed because they drink too much booze, smoke too many drugs and are just damn lazy, he says.
A 23-year-old staff member, earning $27.50 an hour, just walked out on the job after three years – because he couldn’t be bothered working on a Saturday.
Derek has been advertising for a flooring contractor for a week – he’ll provide the training – but so far he hasn’t had a single applicant.
What on earth has happened to us? No wonder business owners are turning to foreigners. Finance Minister Bill English dipped his toe into this issue a few months ago, claiming some young New Zealand workers were ‘‘pretty damned hopeless’’.
But I largely agree with him on this. We do have a bunch of soft young jokers who apparently prefer welfare to hard work. No young New Zealander should be leaving school without a plan or a place to develop their potential. If we don’t do something we accept the bigotry of soft and low expectations.
For a while there last week, the political landscape looked like a 1960s flashback what with cannabis reform and the Vietnam War back in the headlines, again. According to the polls, two thirds of New Zealanders now support either the decriminalisation of cannabis or its legalisation, while an even higher proportion (82per cent) favour easier access to cannabis for medical use.
The political response to this news however, unfolded along entirely predictable lines. New Zealand First called for a referendum – their usual solution to social controversies – on decriminalising cannabis, a proposal that would keep the drug illegal but leave its users liable only for civil fines.
The Greens advocated legalisation. Both major parties kicked for touch, using the same cautionary arguments heard since the 1960s – ie, think of the young people, what example would Parliament be setting, what about the need to treat users and sellers differently, before long you’d have cannabis shops on every street corner etc.
Few such concerns apply of course, to the marketing and sale of alcohol, where the sensitive minds of the nation’s youth are treated as more expendable. As for the users vs sellers distinction, successive governments have been reluctant to raise taxes significantly on alcohol merchants, to reduce consumption.
Even alcopops, the gateway drugs to alcohol misuse by the young, have long been shielded from punitive taxation. Parliament’s reluctance to embrace the medical use of