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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.



Out of the large volume of writing on racial discrimination it is possible, on occasions, to find some criticism that is constructive. Such is this short but Worthwhile article reprinted from the New Zealand Maori Council Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 6.

It is easy to get upset and emotional over the injustices done to people just because their skin is a different colour from the pakeha's, but there are some real problems for New Zealand as well as for the immigrants who want to come here. Although no government has shown that it can be rational about it, this is the kind of approach that is needed.

Our problems are these. First, New Zealand requires skilled workers as immigrants. Second, our position demands that we provide an outlet for the South Pacific's population explosion.

Maoris, especially at the present time, cannot afford to have unskilled workers crowding into the country. They would compete for the jobs needed by our boys and girls who leave school too soon. Immigrants who come here should preferably be skilled workmen who can make a living for themselves and add something extra to our national productivity without displacing those already here.

Even while it may be difficult finding work for unskilled Maoris. New Zealand cannot go on much longer ignoring the population problems of the Pacific Islands. Most of them are bursting at the seams and, as the only part of Polynesia that still has elbow room, we must allow more of our cousins from the Islands to come here. This, of course, conflicts with the policy of admitting only skilled immigrants.

To get rid of the stupidities in our present immigration policy the Government should make one immediate change and provide for a second long-term development. The immediate change should be to admit any immigrant who has the skills we need without any questions being asked as to race. The second development should be to broaden and greatly expand the trade-training programme for Maoris (including a back-to-school movement for the 20 and 30-year-olds) so that places can eventually be found for Islanders from all parts of the Pacific as well. Once having completed their training, they should, of course, be allowed to stay in New Zealand.

If these suggestions were carried out the stigma of racial discrimination would be removed from our immigration policy and New Zealand would be able to play her proper role as the centre of attraction in the South Pacific.