On using Breakfast TV to announce immigration policy   18 May 2012

Gordon Campbell

Evidently, Breakfast TV is now to be considered an official arm of government. It happened like this: on 10 May, the government formally announced its plans to change the rules about citizens or residents being able to bring their parents to New Zealand. Submissions on the process would close five days later, and the new system would begin in July. Immigration lawyer Frank Deliu has now filed High Court proceedings on behalf of the Supreme Sikh Council to stop the process, RNZ reports:

Mr Deliu says only three working days notice of the changes was given, there was no consultation and hundreds of people have been caught out by the change

The problem isn’t whether government has the right to change its immigration policy. As Deliu explained to RNZ this morning, that right isn’t in question. The issue is whether it is changing the policy in a fair and reasonable way. The people likely to be affected, Deliu said, could have to access documents from abroad, which would take a lot longer than three working days – a response that seemed to conflate the ability to comment on the scheme in general terms (which seems to be what the government had in mind with its ridiculous three working days time frame) with the ability to establish the eligibility of particular people, which would clearly take far longer. This possible confusion will no doubt be sorted out in June at the court hearing. The amusing part of the saga was the response by Immigration Minister Nathan Guy – who said that the changes had been made public in March.

Really? That would have been on Breakfast TV on March 6, when Guy reportedly said:

“The plan is to ensure that those that are coming in can hold down a job and ensure that they perform in our economy. Hard working tax payers of New Zealand need to know that their money is being invested, not spent on benefits."

But even TVNZ reported on March 31 that the issue was still proving controversial, and that the “changes surrounding family immigration policy are expected later this year.” Since the new policy being proposed would also involve changes to legal entitlements and the ability to re-constitute one’s family and begin a new life in this country with proper family support, one would have thought that a formal announcement of what was intended would be necessary bare minimum. Three working days seems an absurd time frame even for a comment in general terms on what is being proposed.

Not to this government, which seems – in this respect and in the way it uses the urgency provisions to push its legislative agenda through Parliament – to be interested only in token adherence to democratic process. According to Guy, the immigration lawyers working for the people affected were meant to take his Breakfast TV statement of intent as all the notification they needed. It will be interesting to see if the High Court agrees that all Prime Minister John Key and his Cabinet colleagues need to do is chat about their hopes and dreams and plans over the teacups on morning television, for that to be taken as formal advice to the public of a change to the law.

Obama, the metrosexual black Abe Lincoln?

Depressing story in the NYT about the attack ad campaign that a bunch of wealthy Tea Party thugs are planning to launch during the upcoming Democratic Convention. The ads will, apparently, seek to resurrect the spectre of Obama’s radical former pastor Rev Jeremiah Wright, a figure whom everyone else has long forgotten. And more:

The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”

Being the black metrosexual Abe Lincoln is the good part – he’s really much, much worse. Barack Hossein Obama, no less. And before one puts this down to the ongoing take-over of the Republican Party by its nutjob wing, keep in mind the ‘Swift Boat’ ad campaign of 2004. That ad blitz managed to slime the Democratic Party candidate John Kerry about his Vietnam War record. It managed to make a genuine decorated-for-bravery under fire John Kerry look like the dodgy candidate, in contrast to the rich kid from Texas who used his connections to avoid serving in the combat zone altogether.

Which raises an interesting question – at what level of money input does a lie cease to be a lie? And furthermore….if you avoid Morning Report like the plague, and use Breakfast TV as your soft arm of PR outreach, does that mean you can treat it as an official branch of government? If the High Court buys Nathan Guy’s argument, we’re really in trouble.

ENDS

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Inspiring women recognised in 2017 Honours

31 Dec 2016 News
31 December 2016Some of New Zealand’s most inspiring women have been recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list... more

New Zealand educators congratulated on NY Honours

31 Dec 2016 Education
31.12.16Education Minister Hekia Parata and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith have congratulated the... more

Business

Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy

26 Dec 2016 Business News
The New Zealand economy continued to grow solidly in the September quarter, posting a higher than expected 1.1 per cent growth rate... more

WTO decision important for NZ beef and horticulture into Indonesia

23 Dec 2016 Business News
23 December 2016 Trade Minister Todd McClay today welcomed the World Trade Organization's (WTO) decision upholding New Zealand's... more

Living

3rd Position, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series

21 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
Emirates Team New Zealand EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND CLOSES IN 3rd POSITION THE LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES more

Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016

14 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
The Arts Foundation Next generation of internationally acclaimed talent among the Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016Under ... more

Property

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector

11 Nov 2016 Property By Paul McBeth
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 10 November 2016 04:04 PM RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector By Paul ... more

Migration

Good progress on investment attraction strategy

8 Dec 2016 Migration
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed news that New Zealand is attracting a higher level of quality international... more

Changes to Financial Markets Conduct Act impact UK pension transfers

1 Nov 2016 Migration
New Zealand Government Hon Paul GoldsmithMinister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs 1 November 2016 Changes to Financial Markets... more

Travel

Work on $700m Puhoi road underway

8 Dec 2016 Travel & Tourism
Hon. Simon Bridges 8 December, 2016 Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have turned the sod on th... more

Air NZ teams up Ronan Keating, Julian Dennison for Christmas song

2 Dec 2016 Travel & Tourism
Air New Zealand has paired up with singer Ronan Keating and rising Kiwi actor Julian Dennison to rejig a Christmas classic. 'Summer... more

Sport

Broom to the rescue

31 Dec 2016 Cricket
29 Dec, 2016 In ShortA composed maiden ODI century from the recalled Neil Broom and an unrelenting bowling performance on a tough... more

Rugby World Cup 2019 marks 1,000 days to go ahead of big year of milestones

26 Dec 2016 Rugby
World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee have been looking ahead to an important year of preparation as Rugby World... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

High Commissioner to India announced

8 Dec 2016 Appointments
Hon. Murray McCully 7 December, 2016 High Commissioner to India announced Foreign Minister Murray McCully today... more

Acting District Court Judge appointed

11 Nov 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher FinlaysonAttorney-General 11 November 2016 Acting District Court Judge appointed Wellington... more

Recruitment

NZ Government accepts recommendations on pay equity

8 Dec 2016 Recruitment
Hon. Paula Bennett,  Hon. Michael Woodhouse, Hon. Louise Upston 24 November, 2016 The Government will update the Equa... more

Fisher Funds hunts for new head to replace founder

2 Nov 2016 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Tuesday 01 November 2016 04:42 PM Fisher Funds hunts for new head to replace founder Carmel Fisher By Paul ... more

s