They may never have been to New Zealand in their lifetime, but a new wave of "immigrants" could be spending eternity here.
A group of Singapore businessmen was here last month, and appointed an agent to help them look for land in the Hibiscus Coast area to bury dead people from cities such as Singapore and Tokyo, which are running out of cemetery space.
We shouldn't allow land purchases to non-citizens let alone the permanent squatting of foreigners by way of a cemetery plot. We should take it seriously - foreigners who die in NZ should be cremated - not buried.
Importing the corpses of Asians would be the final, terminal act of this colony. Immigrants selling land - Maori land for the most part - to other incoming immigrants has been the basis for the economy since the 1830s and that is unsustainable on so many levels.
"Honouring their ancestors is an important aspect of most Asian cultures, and the group is also hoping that this cemetery project will give immigrants the opportunity to bring the remains of their ancestors to New Zealand," said the group's agent, a part-time tourist guide, who did not want to be named.
Under the immigration rules of this colony it seems any immigrant can get their parents in too - regardless of how old they are and regardless of whether they can speak one word of English - or Maori. They are already being imported so they can die. To the NZ Crown that represents a lift in GDP - the only real criteria. But what value are they adding - and to whom and at what cost?
The presence of elderly parents here reinforces the immigrant's home country's heritage, language and religion and to that extent is counter-productive to integration. They are used as free baby-sitting by their adult children, which means their kids - even though they may be born in NZ - may be brought up, effectively as foreigners, with their enrolment in the state school system the socialisation force pulling in the other direction. The real problems will occur if immigrant ethnic groups set up their own schools (state-funded one way or the other like most religious ones are now), then there is a risk the children of immigrants will be culturally vertically integrated in their own sphere - rather than participating (horizontally if you will) with other groups.
In the part of Auckland where I live, certainly, there are many elderly immigrants - the fathers and mothers of people who have scraped in on the points system and are living here, one way or the other. They are only following the rules of one of the loosest immigration policies in the first world and you cannot blame them for taking advantage of it. One of the attractions of NZ to immigrants - esp. younger Asian immigrants - is that they can get there parents in too, so they can retire here - something they could never do on their own because they would not meet the criteria esp. age, English language and skills.
Who would say no to free public transport, pension and medical costs met by the government and the vote after only two years residency?
The president of the New Zealand Chinese Association, Kai Luey, said he would support the project because it would keep Chinese traditions alive for new immigrants, and would give them a greater sense of belonging.
Belonging to where? Belonging to China.