Visa deal under fire in Parliament
Thu, 15 Nov 2012 3:41p.m.
By Peter Wilson, NZN Political Writer
The Government is defending its visa deal for wealthy Chinese tourists against claims that international criminals will be able to slip into the country.
Immigration Minister Nathan Guy announced on Wednesday that from November 22 members of China Southern Airlines' frequent flyers club won't have to meet the usual background checks when they apply for visitor visas.
He says he wants to make it easier for them to visit New Zealand because they are big spenders.
NZ First leader Winston Peters asked him in parliament on Thursday: "What assurances can he give that international criminals will not be entering New Zealand through the China Southern Airlines frequent flyer scheme?"
Mr Guy said applicants would still have to provide proof of good character and the process would be robust.
Mr Peters said he had an internal memo from the immigration department's intelligence, risk and integrity decision warning that fast tracking the frequent flyers would set a dangerous precedent.
"It says `international criminals belong to such clubs'," he said.
Mr Guy said the memo had been discussed by immigration officials "and they have assured me they have a very robust system in place".
Mr Peters said Auckland's Sky City Casino had been involved in negotiations between the immigration department and China Southern Airlines.
"A casino and a communist government airline have now acquired privileges for their customers not available to any other group of people anywhere else in the world," he said.
Mr Guy said that to the best of his knowledge the casino wasn't involved in the negotiations.
Mr Peters later tabled a report from Travel Trade magazine which said Sky City worked closely with China Southern Airlines to bring VIP gamblers to Auckland.
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20/11/2012 11:20:11 a.m.
NZ1st = racist
20/11/2012 5:13:44 a.m.
why should the chinese rich fall short of their checks..?or are we now opening doors to the rich across the world..shady deal, that is.its like a tourist bus (chinese) agreement with a highway restaurant (skycity).. few benefit.. only the restaurant and its interested business..but for the rest, its the same mundane life..
16/11/2012 4:41:43 p.m.
@Stan: tell you what - NZ could achieve massive growth rates as well if people were paid slave wages and had no human rights. China has a terrible record of human rights and workplace safety, including hundreds who die every year in mining accidents. Do you want more Pike Rivers happening in NZ? China cannot be ignored, but it is a COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP = EVIL, just like fascism is evil. Unfortunately people like you, Key and the rest of the corrupt National Party are so obsessed with lining your pockets that you cannot tell between good and evil, and will do anything to get your fingers on more dollars. Stinks.
16/11/2012 4:06:00 p.m.
@stan and mike. Kim Dotcom. Just saying lol. And I dont have anything against him but know you two do. Corruption is rife amongst rich people as more than a few times it has been proven they have gotten their gains by less than honest means. Indeed more caution is what is needed not less and China appears full of corruption, as @eric states, so clearly. Throwing caution to the wind is asking for trouble. It should be one rule for all regardless of personel finances.
16/11/2012 2:34:55 p.m.
Eric, I can assure you I am not one of them and in NO way would be part of that sort of behaviour. True, corruption is alive in all countries including NZ if you want to find such practises. I am talking generally in every day ordinary life. Mike, great to see at least one person out there who is positive with the right mind set. What is wrong with good business negotiations in striking a business deals with whoever, like in this case with China Southern Air and other authorities or businesses? I draw your attention to percentage growth in China and NZ just for an example. If NZ gets over 3% growth in a given year, we consider the country is booming. China has had a growth of 10% year after year and last year 7.5%. They say that is bad however with their positive attitude and mindset, they work hard and keep going, unlike some NZer's sit around waiting and expect the Government to give them a hand out. You negative people, you need to wake up that NO Government can sustain such practices forever. In summary any business deal that is a win win for both parties is a great deal. If nothing positive is happening, that's not satisfying, people you should "Discover The POWER Of Something Positive Always Happening" you will be surprised at the results. Distance yourself from negative people, such as opposition list MP's like Peters (NZ First, the one man band), also like the Greens (The Do Nothing Party) they will not help you to succeed they are only doing this sort of empty talk for their on needs. Life is short, be positive enjoy it while you can.
16/11/2012 1:20:47 p.m.
@Stan: while individual Chinese may be as you say, China as a nation should never be under-estimated or taken lightly. I spent years working in the Middle East. The Arabs are also lovely people, but that does not mean that Arab world politics should be treated lightly. NZers have a habit of labelling everything as racism, but in some cases caution is required. Aussies, Brits etc do not fall into the same category as the Not-for-the-people Communist Dictatorship of China.
16/11/2012 11:12:10 a.m.
Mike B wrote:
@Stan. I would like to buy you a beer! If most Kiwi's read your comment and really try to be positive for once, this could be a great country and can proper. Do people like Katrina really think that someone who had criminal intentions could not get into this country? All that is happening is a fast track of a visa, with proof of good character still required. But no, you bunch of fools think that little old New Zealand can get by without the rest of the world and be the Nana nation where no one works and we all live off the benefit. Time to wake up people.
16/11/2012 10:12:42 a.m.
Hey Stan. I come form China. The truth is corruption and fraud are the major problems in China. I hope these diseases don't come to NZ. I understand that some people get paid to post comments to praise communist china. HOpe you are not one of them.
16/11/2012 9:16:44 a.m.
Our laws can be brought.
16/11/2012 3:21:44 a.m.
Obviously below negative comments such as from Katrina, yet again and the others, I bet have never been to China or had dealings with any China businesses. I spend several months in China each year as well as NZ. I would much sooner live in China where the Chinese people are polite, respectful, and honest and above all very hard workers. Not like alot of NZer's. People who knock other countries should have first hand knowledge and experience before just making crap comments which have no substance. I am ashamed to be a NZer at the way we treat tourists,and visitors not to mention Asian basher, Winston Peters who all his doing is getting political points, or thinks he is, via the media. He is a disgrace to NZ the way he conducts himself in and out of parliament. At the end of the day he is only a list MP and so is his party along with the Greens. They both should be called the "Do nothing Party" I would rather do business with Chinese people than most NZer's. Why knock people whoever they are from visiting NZ every dollar helps the NZ economy. or would the knockers like to make up the $$$ and job losses without such visitors. Katrina, yet again and the others, your comments are just crap without substance and as bad as Peters. The reason Chinese people do so well, they come up with a business plan, make a decision and do it, unlike NZ someone comes up with an idea, the negative knockers try and kill it, 10 years later still no progress and so nothing happens. The problem with you people you can't decide on a business deal, if it hit you in the face, so you should do yourselves a favour retire your negative attitude and try a positive attitude and mindset. You could be just surprised with the results. Forget listening to these List MP's like Peters and the Greens the ("Do nothing Party") I don't belong or support ant political party, just use good common business sense. At least this Government is trying to get NZ back up and running for all NZer's more than all the other parties put together. You knockers, WAKE UP.
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