Merepeka Raukawa Tait (Opinion, January 7) and Gavin Muir (Letters, February 4) believe immigrants are brave. This was true of immigrants who arrived here in the 1200s and 1800s, but I see the bulk of people who have arrived here since Roger Douglas opened our doors in 1987 as opportunists.
Most of the post-1987 migrants have come from Third World kleptocracies. They get free education, health care, First World democratic government and infrastructure. New Zealanders get ethnic eateries. Not much of a trade.
There are no economic benefits to native New Zealanders from the massive influx over the past three decades. It is just more and more people being supported by the same number of cows. And the farmland that our economy depends upon is being covered over by suburbia.
The trouble is nothing is going to change because the right like low wages and the appearance of economic growth, and the left are diehard multiculturalists who worship "diversity".
My immigration policy is very straightforward: Does New Zealand need you? - then welcome in. Do you need New Zealand? - then stay at home.
Redwoods should be felled
The redwoods by the Utihina Stream should have been felled 40 years ago. I watch them from our home on windy days bending over looking as though they will go over and flatten someone's home, which they will one day.
Tuehu Harris is correct in stating that learning to speak a language is by everyday experience. (Letters, January 12)
This is how everyone learns his or her native language. From childhood a person is surrounded by speakers of the language and years of listening and copying are necessary to attain reasonable fluency.
Foreign migrants learn English by mixing daily with New Zealanders who are often willing to help them.
These vital conditions are not available to most current learners of Maori. Unless a learner has a highly retentive memory for words, becoming a confident speaker in Maori is an impossible task.
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