The R word
Large numbers of immigrants + Local population + Recession = Racism.
That's usually how it works. Everything's fine - on the surface - until an economic slump occurs whereby competition intensifies over scarce resources (esp. jobs, govt. assistance and housing) resulting in animosity between competing groups, viz: the local born (or well-integrated non-identifiably immigrant/foreign) population and the foreign-born (or more readily identifiably immigrant/foreign) population.
NZ since the recession of '91-'92, has had rapid immigration growth esp. of people not Maori or European. That time has been marked by modest economic growth. I have argued in the past that it was the immigration itself that has largely contributed to that growth. My question is what happens if that stops? Do the recent immigrants without deep roots here go to Australia (as they have been doing in increasing numbers already)? Or do they return to their country of origin (as some of the more wealthy may have done as they have good connexions and family)? Or do they stay on in NZ?
I would say any decrease - substantial decrease - in immigration rates will flow through to lower housing prices very quickly, then after that will come an economic slow-down as consumption drops. If we are hit by a world-wide recession as well we could be in more trouble than soaring diary prices can solve. My concern is that these financial aspects will have repercussions at the social level. We are in uncharted territory here. Having had contact with many different walks of life while imprisoned I was struck by the virrulent racism of many provincial people and that affect could come through into the cities if the situation became acute.