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[NZ] - Russia Ukraine war: 'Refugees' find NZ Government immigration visa process difficult, support limited | NZ Herald

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[NZ] - Russia Ukraine war: 'Refugees' find NZ Government immigration visa process difficult, support limited

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[NZ] - Immigration NZ accused of 'extreme vetting' to limit numbers

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[NZ] - Immigration NZ accused of 'extreme vetting' to limit numbers | NZ Herald

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[Op-Ed] - Letters: Ihumātao, new immigrants, airline weight limits and bank fees | NZ Herald

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[World] - US considers limit on green cards for immigrants on benefits | NZ Herald

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[World] - Trump administration says it will sidestep court agreement that limited detention for immigrant children | NZ Herald

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[World] - Trump revives push for limits on immigrants bringing family | NZ Herald

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[World] - Trump administration sues California to block laws limiting cooperation with immigration authorities | NZ Herald

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[World] - Governor signs law limiting Illinois police on immigration | NZ Herald

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Optimizing your Job Hunt: Few Tips

Job Hunting
Salaries and Interviews
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I am a 44-year-old woman, earn $126,000 a year (joint income of $326,000), live in Wellington, New Zealand, and this week, I walked 94, 429k steps.

Money Diary
I am 44 years old, live in Wellington with my partner (42) and 3 children aged 8, 7 and 7. I work as an Engagement Manager for a government agency.
I am a first-generation West African immigrant to the UK and New Zealand. I am also the eldest child (of 5) and grandchild (of 47) on both sides of my family so have the financial responsibility that goes with that. Even more crucial, I am in a mixed race, mixed culture relationship where our attitudes to family, money and life are very different.
I send money home on a regular basis and to extended family members and families of friends as well as community members.
To fund my masters when I first left home, almost every adult in my extended family contributed money towards my tuition and living costs. I will always hold that very close to my heart. I was given the biggest kick start ever so I will keep paying that back in my own way.
Section One: Assets and Debt
Joint net worth - $1,184,000
Retirement Balance: $18k in Kiwisaver (government savings scheme).
I started paying into a pension for the first time in 2019. I pay 3% from my wage. My employer matches the 3% and the government tops it up by $512 annually.
My partner (42) has a UK pension, and we have no idea how much is in it. He paid into a public sector pension scheme for 11 years before moving to NZ.
He has $28k in his Kiwisaver.
We have £24k (as at 2011) worth shares with Janus Henderson UK.
Equity: We have 3 properties owned in joint names. 1 in the UK and 2 in New Zealand.
Our UK property is in a small town 20 minutes' drive of Bath, England. We purchased it for £227k in 2012 and lived in it till we left the UK in 2017. It is worth £360k according to our re-mortgage documents from November 2021. The mortgage on it is currently £117k. It has been rented out since Dec 2018 to a lovely family who pay £1300 a month. The mortgage payment is £612 a month including overpayments and it is a capital repayment mortgage. Equity is currently around £240k.
We pulled quite a chunk out of the then equity in 2017 to buy a rental before the job opportunity for NZ came up. So, we parked the money in some stocks till 2020 when we sold all and used the money and what we had saved as deposits for 2 houses in NZ.
We have a rental in Wellington, New Zealand, purchased in 2020 for $768k. It is currently in negative equity – valued at $660k with a mortgage of $690k. We have set aside full mortgage payments for it till Dec 2023. We spent all of 2021 and 2022 drawing up designs, applying for council consents etc to re-develop the site. All of that has been approved. We will be building 5 new houses on the site in mid-2023. We will hold all 5 and rent them out once built. It was tenanted till Sept 2022. The tenants moved on as they were having a baby and wanted some stability, so we agreed to break the lease. Mortgage payments are $1550 every fortnight. We have not re-tenanted it.
Our main home is an hour away from Wellington city. We bought it for $1.3m in 2020. The mortgage is $810k with a repayment of $5100 monthly. It’s a home and income. One half can be rented out separately should we need to do that. We bought the house for the land and because it has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom on the ground floor with zero steps. We plan to grow old and decrepit there. It’s future proof in all respects. Equity in it is around $400k.
Savings account balance: I’d say $0 as all the money in the joint offset account will be utilised for the build project in 2023. The offset is for $250k and there is $220k in the account.
Checking account balance in NZ: $0. My wages are paid into the offset account. All mortgages and bills related to properties come out of the offset account. Partner’s is paid into another joint account, and he tells me there is about $6k there. All other expenses come out of that account and any surplus is funnelled back to the offset account.
Credit card debt: We have a joint CC with an $8k limit but it is paid off in full every month.
Student loan debt: None for both of us. Partner had his university fees paid by his parents. His masters' fees by his employers. I was an international student so paid all my fees upfront before even setting foot in the UK.
Section Two: Income
Income Progression:
I started teaching in 2001. I was an unqualified teacher and paid very little. I completed a master's in Education and a teacher training qualification in the UK in 2005 (2 years of study) and started my first proper job as a qualified secondary school teacher earning £18,200. I moved into tertiary education after my QTS year and remained in tertiary education till end of 2019. My full-time wage was £26k as of 2017 when we left the UK.
My first teaching job in New Zealand, still in tertiary education paid me $66k. By 2019, I was on $75k. I made the move to a government agency monitoring the quality of tertiary education provision in 2020 and earned $87k. I changed jobs in October 2022 to yet another government agency, still in education and I’m now on $120k.
Main Job Monthly Take Home:
$7,506 net per month less all deductions ($120k gross) – me
$11,157 net per month less all deductions (220k gross) – partner
Side Gig Monthly Take Home
£380 per month net less all expenses including tax from UK rental. The rent goes into my UK account and it’s the sinking fund for any repairs related to the house. Currently has £4k in it. Anything over £5k is split into the children’s accounts. All birthday monies and financial gifts to the kids go into their UK accounts too.
I mark English GCSEs twice every year and have done since 2014. I get paid £5.20 per script and an admin fee of £50 per 100 scripts marked. That income averages about £2500 every year which gets split into the children’s UK accounts too.
Section Three: Expenses
Mortgages: £612 a month for the UK, $8200 a month for both NZ mortgages.
Home insurance: £450 (Landlord insurance with legal and loss of rent cover) a year for UK home. NZ home insurance – $5,600 for both. Our main NZ home insurance allows short term lets.
Accountant: $2000. Manages UK tax and NZ taxes for UK income
Retirement contribution: 3% of annual income. Our main retirement fund/ plan will be our 6 rental houses. We have an agreement with a social housing provider to lease all to them for 10 years once built. It is a repairing lease with a clause that we have to offer it to them to buy first if we ever chose to sell them off. The provider had a lot of input into the design, layout and construction materials. We will pay down the mortgages aggressively once built and rented out. We both aim to semi retire at 50 and not work full time whilst our children are teenagers.
Savings contribution: All spare money goes into the offset account.
Donations: I am a community-oriented person. I support people directly who need it in anything and everything. I currently have a semi random 16-year-old pregnant girl in my spare bedroom whilst Social Services tries to help her out. We have spent about $16k this year supporting my family, our immediate community and some friends that have needed some financial help.
Health/Income/Life Insurance: $1340 a year. Partner’s work pays about $2000
Electricity: $431 for October.
Water: $151 every quarter
Rates: $9,400 for both NZ houses
Wi-Fi: $105 for home Wi-Fi and my partner’s mobile phone
Mobile: $0. Work pays.
Subscriptions: $0. We have Netflix as part of our broadband and share with another family who pay for Disney Plus and share with us. We have Amazon Prime and TV through my brother.
Car Insurance: $1200 a year for comprehensive cover and AA roadside assistance.
Car service and WOF: $450 a year
Cleaner: $150 a month
Groceries: $2500 a month.
Transport: Petrol $135 a month, Train tickets $140 a month. We share our train ticket as we work in the city on opposite days.
Family events: About $5000 a year. It includes trips to the theatre, gigs, sporting events etc. We attend at least one event every month.
Children’s costs
We have three children aged 8, 7 and 7
Piano lessons x 3 children: $1500 per year
Gymnastics lessons x 2 children: $2,240 a year including comps and uniforms
Martial Arts classes x 1 child - $960 a year
School donations: $750 a year
Clothes/shoes/school bags/book/presents: $5000 so far this year. We tend to shop for the kids from the UK. We buy summer clothes at the beginning of the UK winter and winter clothes at the beginning of the UK summer. Usually all on sales as it’s end of season too.
Money Diary questions
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
There was 100% an expectation to at least have a degree level qualification. It is a struggle to get a job without a degree in my home country. We also have a huge unemployment issue. If you line up any random 100 people aged 25 and over, chances are that more than 90 of them will have a degree. I have a BA in English Language, an MSc in Education Management, an MSc in Educational Psychology and a PGD in Teaching and Learning (teaching qualification).
We have no social welfare – so no free education, healthcare or financial safety net. You have no money or family to fund anything at all, you don’t get access to it full stop. My degree was funded by my father and my family funded my first masters and I did the rest myself. Interestingly, only my first degree and teaching qualification has been useful to my career so far. The other two are nice to have but work experience is what has got me this far at work.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
It is impossible to grow up in my home country and not be au fait about finances. We have abject poverty alongside extreme wealth. However, there is greater poverty than wealth. Unfortunately, most of our financial knowledge is geared towards making money to survive and quench financial fires rather than knowledge of how to grow any income earned.
I was raised as one of 17 children (only 4 actual siblings). This number would sometimes increase especially during holidays where our own friends would join us, siblings of friends, church members, people from our community etc. We lived in a 5 bedroomed home. The girls shared 2 rooms, the boys 1 room and my parents had a room each.
Both my parents worked to provide for us. Everyone pulled together to get things done – it was an expected unspoken rule although the women and girls did the majority of all chores. We did a bulk food shop every week. We reared chickens and goats for special occasion meat and buy beef weekly from the abattoir on a Saturday morning. We had some land where we grew beans, corn, groundnuts and sweet potatoes.
Nine of us kids were academically bright and went to boarding secondary schools (run and managed by the Ministry of Education and with reduced tuition fees). We get pocket money and the money had to last the whole term – 12 weeks. If you run out, you run out. Visit days were once a month and we got a re-supply of provisions on visit days (biscuits, dry cereal, powdered milk, dry nuts, sugar etc). We learnt to ration and manage these provisions for the month. I was 10 when I went to boarding school. I loved every minute of it. For one, it was the only time I had a whole bed albeit a single bed bunkbed to myself.
We grew with the knowledge of the value and impact of money. We also knew we had to be financially and socially responsible for each other.
What was your first job, and why did you get it?
An English teacher aged 22. It was the mandatory National Youth Service that every graduate must undergo for a year. You get paid a stipend by the government. If you studied a generic course, you were sent to teach. Unless of course, your family had wealth to bribe officials then you got posted somewhere more desirable.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Yes, because I managed my own money at school and the fear of running out of pocket money is the beginning of wisdom. Yes, because most families, mine included are often unable to afford any major financial expenses by themselves. Most families are a tiny step away from death and poverty. This of course means that religion is a big factor in people’s lives because religion provides hope which is absolutely needed. I lost my ‘way’ religion wise a long time ago – before I even left home. Much to the ongoing consternation of my family
No, because there was always family and friends to take you in should anything drastic happen. You will not live lavishly or even be educated but you certainly won’t starve.
Do you worry about money now?
Yes, mainly from the perspective of supporting my extended family. Life back home is stressful. For example, a very close friend lost her twins at 31 weeks gestation some years ago because we couldn’t quickly raise the money needed for a deposit on incubators at the private hospital she was transferred to when she went into spontaneous labour. It took about 48 hours for us to run around and whip up the needed $10k (2.4m in our currency) for 2 incubators and an emergency section. The emergency section was not performed till the money was paid so both babies died. Similar stories abound sometimes for even basic health issues.
I worry about the women and girls in my family. I wish I could educate and financially provide for them all so they can collectively make better choices to make our collective future better. I wish I could win the lottery (I need to of course play first!) so I can lift whole swathes of my community out of poverty.
I worry that I’m not doing enough for my family. I worry that their expectations of me are sometimes too high and I must be sometimes harsh and say no. I worry that I’ve roped (his choice obviously) my partner into the cycle of financially providing for others that we may never get out of. I worry about many things. Most of which involves money!
I don’t worry for my children or myself. We have set up wills and insurances that means they will adequately looked after plus their father comes from a very wealthy family and their paternal grandfather will not see them or us without.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself, and do you have a financial safety net?
At 22. It was unheard of when I was growing up for women to move out of home and live on their own. You lived at home till you got married. I had no financial safety net but I knew I could move in with family and friends at any time. So, I had a social safety net which is invaluable.
Right now, we have lots of safety nets. We have citizenships of 2 countries with social welfare. We have life insurance. We have income protection insurance, and we have health insurance. We can always sell one house and pay off all debts on the other 2.
Our best financial decision so far is moving countries and changing jobs. My partner was on £36k in the UK and his starting income in NZ was $120k. The differential in income since moving countries has been great for our savings and our financial plans.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
We got £24k from father-in-law when my partner turned 30. The account was opened by his parents when he was born and handed over to him when he turned 30. We transferred it into joint names and have largely ignored it. We have not invested into it either. We’re both not sure how much it is currently worth (I just asked him).
6.30am - I am annoyed because I hoped to sleep till at least 8am. I get up, brush my teeth and laze in bed till 7am. I ask Alexa to announce to my 8-year-old (he wakes at 5am ish without fail) to put the oven on and set it to 180°.
I catch on WhatsApp messages mainly from my family. There are a few messages seeking financial support – I mentally file majority away and respond to one from a cousin.
7.30am – I drag myself out of bed. My 8-year-old has put pastry in the oven for breakfast. I have a cup of tea and take my meds. A WhatsApp message pops up. It’s from someone who knows my sister (she’s back in my home country) and has just arrived NZ. He's in Wellington and wants to come say hello. We chat a bit and I give him directions.
8.00am – The kids head upstairs and run their daddy out of bed. They have breakfast of croissants and pain au raisin. We give them their pocket money for the week. They get $5 each week and have become savvy with how they spend it. Every week, they make a show of counting how much they have. Once a month, we swap out the lower denomination money for high denomination ones. I swap out their $5s for $20s and $50s. G (7) wants to buy a body board. We look at some online. She counts her money and decides she only wants to spend $100 so she has some more money left over for candy. C (7) says she should buy a cheaper one so she can have even more money for candy. G asks why there are varying prices online. I leave my partner to discuss quality vs cost vs longevity of products. As usual, he goes into too much detail and the children lose interest and wander off.
9am – I log onto my laptop and book flights for our April 2023 holidays to Australia. Outgoing tickets costs $1,710 to Brisbane. Returning tickets costs $1,995 from Adelaide 4 weeks later.
I jump on a Zoom video call with MIL. Her screen is totally dark but she’s on video. She says she’s conserving power. Partner and I look at each other and hide a smile. We cajole the children off their computers to come say hello. We chit chat for a while and mention we’re returning to the UK in 2024 for the children’s secondary education. MIL shocks me by offering us one of her houses. I’ve been LC with her since my partner and I got together more than 12 years ago. She very strongly disliked me and never hid it. Almost 6 years ago we left the UK for NZ and since then, she’s thawed quite a bit. It might also be because both her daughters have decided they’re not having children ever. I tell her I have sorted a house swap for 6 months, so we’re sorted for accommodation. She says the offer is there should we need it.
10.30am- I beg off the Zoom call and allocate vacuuming chores to the kids. E vacuums our bedroom and dressing room. G, their bedroom and hallway. C, E's bedroom and the bathroom. They whinge and faff about a bit but get to it soon enough and do a reasonably good job.
11am - Partner heads to the shops for the weekly shop with G. I ask him to liaise with the guest – the trains have been replaced by buses, so it’ll take him about 1 hour 20 minutes to get to us – and pick him from the station
I hang out the washing and start putting up the gazillion boxes of fairy lights I have accumulated from Ali Express. I get side tracked by Facebook. Partner calls, he’s picked up guest and is on his way back.
12.15 - Partner gets back with shopping, guest and lunch. I welcome guest, introduce myself, hand him a beer and some nails and we start putting up the lights. He insists on taking over so I let him whilst I ask him many questions about himself. He's on an Edmund Hillary Fellowship visa. His speciality is agricultural micro business start-ups. Partner and kids put the shopping away.
The kids decide to have lunch (pizza) on the trampoline. I chase them back in to put sunscreen on. Then realise I have been outside most of the morning with no sunscreen on.
2pm - Lights are all up. I call the kids back to come tidy their left-over lunch, plates and cups off the trampoline. I feed guest and kids head back to their computers. We sit in the lounge and chat. Partner falls asleep so I suggest he goes to bed. He claims he’s resting his eyes. He’s only 42, What’s with all the dad speak?!
3pm - I call the kids, then shout, and shout some more. It’s amazing how they can all have selective hearing when they want to. Eldest child finally answers. I remind them to head to the park for one hour or play out in the garden. We have a rule that they can be on their devices for as long as they want on Saturdays and Sundays; but they must complete all and any chores allocated and have at least a one-hour break as well. They head outside and decide to make forts.
4.30pm - I wake partner up. I drive guest to the train station to catch his bus back into the city.
6pm - Partner makes dinner, I skip dinner as I'm not a fan of tomato sauce and meatballs. Kids absolutely love it with pasta so that's dinner.
7pm - all children shower, and we watch Hocus Pocus 2. They seem to like it.
8.30pm – Partner puts the children to bed. They hate me telling bedtime stories because apparently, I just read. What else am I supposed to do but read?
9pm – I shut down the house, check all outside doors, close windows, put food away etc. Head upstairs to shower and partner is in bed. I wonder if he’s coming down with something? He doesn’t sleep before midnight.
My phone rings and it’s my sister. She’s had a massive argument with her husband about eye surgery for their 13-year-old. She wants the surgery done. She rants and vents and I listen and make the right noises. I supress the urge to tell her I’ve heard all this before. I did say that she should take him to go see an eye specialist within the week.
9.36pm – I finally have that shower, check that all the children are still breathing and head to bed.
Spend: $4,131
2.09 am - Wake to pee. Check the time. I grumpily get back into bed. I’m perimenopausal so, I tend to be hot and toss around a lot. I’m not sure how my partner manages to get a good night sleep with me there. He says no to separate bedrooms so he has to accept the hand he’s been dealt.
5.02 am – Wake to pee again. Check Facebook and WhatsApp. Find a funny story on FB and forward it to my sister. Shower and pack my bags including lunch.
5.37am – Walk to the station. Call my sister to check on her. I speak to my niece and nephew as well. My nephew is having ongoing blinding headaches which has previously been linked to his eyesight. I also call my aunt and do a run through interview with her – she has an interview for a Nursing programme at 2pm their time.
6.31 – Arrive at the station just in time for the train. Spend the 1-hour commute catching up on my emails and prepping for the workday. My commute time is classed as work time which is absolutely brilliant.
7.31am – Get into the office and spend the first 20 minutes saying hello to colleagues and chatting about our weekend. Check my personal emails and aunt’s emails – I have to as she would often miss important stuff. I settle in for the workday.
12.20pm – I get a message from a lady I met on the train the previous week suggesting we meet up for lunch. I jump at it. I’ve been in induction meetings all day. I offer to pay for our lunch. She says it’s her treat. She’s from my home country and from my region as well as moved to NZ via the UK. We have similar aged children and by the time lunch is over, we’re chatting away like best friends. Friends of ours (our community is quite small in NZ) have a birthday party for their son in 2 weeks, so I invite them over for the weekend and to the party.
1.40pm – Back-to-back meetings till 3.30pm.
3.45pm – Shut down my laptop, say my goodbyes and head to the station. I catch the train back to my local station and walk home. The walk back takes me 52 minutes. I call our friend whose son is turning 5 and tell him I met someone from our region and have invited them to the party. We agree to have dinner at ours the night before. His wife is excited as she and the new lady are from the same state!
6.30pm – Partner makes dinner of ribs, rice and chips. Children tell me about their day as we eat outside. Partner and I chat about ours. I ask the girls if they loved gymnastics. The answer is always a resounding yes. Son tells me about nature school today. It was spent at the beach. Their school has nature school once a week where regardless of the weather, all learning is done outside. He gripes about not being allowed to play in the sea for as long as he wanted. We had a conversation about a time for everything and how sometimes, we can’t get what we want even though we think we deserve it.
8pm – Children shower, I shower. Partner goes off to work out. They head to bed, and I call my sister. Nephew needs corrective glasses and eye surgery. He has a double eyelid (was born with it) on one eye and that eye always looks half closed. Long story short, he needs surgery to correct it. We chat for about an hour.
10pm – I head to bed and leave partner playing games on his computer. I check on the children and find some mosquitoes in my son’s bedroom. I try to kill all I can find. He sleeps through my racket of clambering everywhere trying to get at the damn mosquitoes!
10.41pm – I’m finally in my own bed.
Spend $0
4am – Wake up from a dream about a very distant ex – he visited me with my dad. My dad was trying to get me to talk to him (long story) and this ex gave me a cheque of $6m because he was dying and thinks I deserve the money more than anyone else. Weird! I can understand dreaming about my dad – we have a fraught relationship and I spoke to my sister about him before bed. The ex though, I haven’t seen him or spoken to him since I was 19!
I debate going back to sleep.
5.20am – I wake up and it’s 5.20! I shower, brush my teeth, pack my meds and head out the door at 5.49am. I call my aunt to find out how her interview went. Then call my cousin in the UK. I have not spoken to her for about 3 weeks. We catch up on life and family.
6.39am – I get to the station just as the train is pulling out. The next train is in 20 minutes. I call my other cousin back and catch up with him too.
7.58am – Finally in the office. I prepare for my 9am and 10am meetings. Although I’m still in my induction period, I feel as if I should have loads to do already. This is the first job where I don’t have to hit the ground running in my first week. I feel as if I’m slacking!
12pm – I grab a quick lunch (yesterday’s lunch) and head out to Farmers with a friend. She loves shopping and jumps at any opportunity to shop! I want a Blunt umbrella. I also have a $50 Farmers voucher which a friend gave me as a birthday gift. I don’t like any of the ones in stock at Farmers. They’re all plain and I want something patterned and bright. A quick check online leads me to The Vault. I find this beautiful patterned one called Pride. There’s no medium size so I opt for a black and white one called Blacklist. It cost me $159.
1pm – Back in the office and straight into meetings till 3pm
4pm – I shut down and head to the gym. It’s my first time back in the gym since covid hit. The gym and a PT comes with work so is free to staff and is just 2 buildings away. I meet the PT and do a 20-minute work out after registering.
  1. 55pm – I catch the train back home.
6.46pm – As I walk onto our street, I meet my girls on their bikes. They ask if we can go to the beach. I’m completely exhausted but say yes. I call my partner and say I’m off to the beach with the girls. They cycle and chatter, I walk and listen absent-mindedly. G asks if I had a nice day at work. My heart melts. She noticed I’m limping a bit and mentions it. I realise my right hip is hurting again. One of the not so nice side effects of pregnancy. I get a very achy hip which affects my gait every now and again.
6.55pm – Partner and son turn up to the beach on their way to martial arts classes.
7.40pm – After cycling up and down the beach and getting thoroughly soaked, the girls and I head home. Partner is already home with eldest child.
8pm – All the kids shower and head to bed. I’m too tired to heat up any food so I have some left over apple pie and ice cream for dinner then head to the shower.
8.15pm – I walk into the lounge and I’m instantly annoyed. Although my partner has done the washing, the clean laundry is strewn all over the big, comfy sofa. I push them all to one corner and ensconce myself with throw pillows. I can’t be bothered to fold and put away any clothes.
Partner and I sit and catch up about the day as I scroll mindlessly on Reddit and watch TV out the corner of my eye. I’m still simmering about the clothes but say nothing.
10pm – I drag myself off to bed after checking on the children.
Spend - $159
2.40am – Wake with a crampy tummy. I fall back asleep.
4.20am – Wake for the loo. Head back to bed
4.48am – Wake up again and decide to get out of bed. Shower, brush, pack my lunch of left-over ribs from Monday and my meds.
5.20am – Leave for the station. Call my little cousin back home to wish her happy birthday. She’s 12 and goes into details about her cake. She changes it to a video call and I’m sucked into greeting and being greeted by her friends, their families and some of our family. I beg off because I find it disconcerting walking and talking on video. I call another cousin as I have a potential collaboration prospect introduction to do.
6.34am – Catch the train to the city and log on to start work. Get to work at 7.39am. I have meetings all morning. I sort myself with tea, meds and settle in for the endless meetings.
12pm – A break yay!!! I have lunch at my desk, internet surfing and buy 5 scrub daddy for $28. I peek on 1 Day and spend the whole of my lunch break buying household stuff. I spend $377 and now have lots of loo roll, dishwasher tablets, rinse aid, washing up liquid, body wash, Aveeno cream, cleaning wipes, laundry detergent, cleaning sprays, bug sprays, toilet cleaner, conditioner, schoolbooks and stationery for the kids too.
2pm – Back to meetings
4pm – Shut down for the day and head to the station with a colleague. The queues for tickets are long and she needs to buy one. I offer to pay as I always have cash on me.
4.15pm – I catch the train home. It’s weird having someone to chatter to on the train. I’m used to putting earphones in and scrolling through Reddit. I get to my local station and walk home.
6pm – We try and have a BBQ once a week. Kids and partner are already setting up the BBQ. We cook some pork belly and rice and eat outside on the deck.
8.30pm – Kids and I shower and we all head to bed. I’m wiped out and my legs hurt from the box squats yesterday
Spend: $410.20
12.04am – I wake to wee and fall back asleep.
5.14am – Wake again but I’m working from home today so debate going for a walk. I get up, brush my teeth and head downstairs. My eldest child wakes up. I suggest a cycle ride and he’s enthusiastic. There are lots of cycle tracks around our home. The tracks are completely set apart from the road which is awesome for nervous cyclists like me.
6.34am – Get back from cycling. Not only did we cycle into the wind both ways, we were also buffeted sideways by the blasted wind. My legs are screaming, and I swear I almost cried a few times pedalling on the very slight inclines. However, it was peaceful and quiet and just us both. Sent son off to shower and I log onto my laptop and head off to shower too.
7am – The girls wake. Kids sort their breakfast and lunch boxes. I make myself a matcha latte, take my meds and have my first catch up meeting my manager then shoo the kids out at 8.15am. Partner makes it down from upstairs just as the kids are heading out.
9am – I break for a cup of tea with partner. My diary is very light today, so I spend the next hour trying to find house swaps for Australia in April. After sending out what seems like a million swap requests, I was successful for Adelaide yay! And got many rejections for Cairns boo! It’s a waiting game for Brisbane and Perth. We know we will have to book an Airbnb or something for Alice Springs. I also buy Christmas presents for the kids.
12pm – Christmas shopping done for $379 (Oodies for the kids and my god daughter whose birthday is 2 days before Christmas), I go searching for lunch. There are 3 sad looking bananas that I know no one will eat. They’re fine but have developed brown spots which to the children is code for they’ve gone bad. I eat 2 and use the 3rd to make ice lollies for the children. I find some hummus in the fridge. I can’t remember when we made it. It looks and tastes fine. I slather a good dollop onto some corn chips and that is lunch done.
1pm – Back in meetings.
3.15pm – Finish work for the day. The children should be home from school at 3.15pm because it’s a Thursday and the girls have gymnastics. It takes a 10 – 15-minute walk to and from school. However, the kids take anything from 15 min to 1 hour. They have strict instructions to head straight back on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most times, they get back on time.
I drive out to go find them and meet them two houses away. We drive to their gymnastics class and I go for a walk whilst they practise. It’s becoming unbearably hot. It feels like I’m being baked. The sun here in NZ is very harsh on the skin. It definitely feels hotter than anywhere I’ve lived before, and I’ve lived in a desert region before. We get back at 4.45pm and have dinner of salt and pepper squid, salad and chips. I get the children to wash their lunch boxes and put away their bags.
I also get an unsolicited call from an estate agent who wants to drop by and have a chat because apparently, she has a buyer for our Wellington property. I tell her we’re not selling but she’s adamant it’s a deal of a lifetime. I say ok, come on later. My people have a proverb, do not refuse to have conversations. You can always say no to what comes out of the conversation. The market is seriously in freefall, and I doubt any developer is buying.
6pm – I take my 8-year-old to his martial arts class via the beach with partner and the girls. The children chatter a lot about Christmas presents. My son wants ear pods, a drone and magnetic balls. He also says he knows he might not get any of them. Too right! He turns 9 in February so he might get proper headphones and a phone, but he most certainly is not getting pods or a drone. Twin 1 wants a drone and an iPhone. Very funny. Partner responds that they’re not getting phones till they’re 9. Oops! Son whoops with joy. I am getting a phone he shouts. So cute! Twin 2 says she wants a watch.
They’re all getting Oodies!!!
7.30pm – We get home and the children bath/ shower. Agent turns up at 7.45pm. Partner takes it as his cue to go work out – traitor! It’s as I expected. She wants us to list with her so she can market it. She says she has a list of developers wanting to buy. I re-iterate that we’re not selling or interested in selling but if she brings me a signed sales and purchase agreement with an enticing price on it, we’ll sign there and then. She waffles on some more and I steer her out around 8pm.
8.15pm – I see a missed call from my other sister. I haven’t spoken to her in almost a week. I call back and catch her as she’s heading for work. I leave voice notes for both brothers. There’s no point calling them. Plus, I spoke to the gf of my youngest brother last Saturday, so I know he’s fine.
9pm – Partner texts asking if agent is gone. I call him and say she’s still here. He laughs and walks in through the back door. We both go shower and head to bed after we lock up the house. We chat for a while. I must have fallen asleep whilst chatting!
Spend: $379
5.04am – I had the most fidgety night. My legs also itch. I have bites all over them. Blasted summer! I get up, shower and slather myself in camomile and calendula spray then mosituriser. I take my meds and tablets to relieve the ictchiness. I leave a note for partner to check that the children use both a sunscreen and insect repellant spray as well. I pack lunch, bags and an umbrella because it’s due to rain from 2pm and I would be walking home in the rain.
5.20am – I head to the station and call my other sister. She’s just finsihed her studies in Europe and preparing to head back home for good in January so is packing up her life of the last 7 years. We chat my whole walk.
6.34am - Train arrives and I log on my laptop to start work. Train driver announces that the train will stop at the next station and there’ll be buses to Wellington. Great. Bloody great!
7.45am – Get into work. Make myself tea and take my meds. I natter with the rest of the team till our 9.30am team meeting.
12pm – I am very very sleepy. I eat my lunch cold – reheated squid does not taste nice so cold squid and salad it is.
2pm – My 2pm meeting gets cancelled. Yay! Whch sadist organises a meeting for 2pm on a Friday? I get a text from my friend asking how my day is going. I respond that I’m tired and want to sleep for 5 days. I also get a WhatsApp message from my youngest brother’s gf asking how I am...she must be on night shift as she’s a nurse. We chat a bit and she tells me she’s resigned and is getting out of nursing. I’m so happy for her. She’s been miserable in the job for a while.
3pm – Shut down laptop and say goodbye to everyone and head to the station. It is chucking it down with rain!
3.15pm – Catch the train to my local station and walk home. I don’t often listen to podacsts when I walk but the rain is thundering down so much I think I need something other than the rain noise. I listen to The Expat Property Story and it takes me 2 episodes to get home.
5.30pm – As I walk into the house, my friend arrives. She’s cooked and brought dinner and pudding. She’s made paella and brought me some port. She corals the children and we have a nice, lovely dinner. Once we finish dinner, she washes up and heads home.
7pm – Children are sent off to shower. My 8 year old says he wants to talk to us. We say ok. He’s made a list of the cost of chrome books because he wants a chrome book for Christmas. I almost snap at hm and say come off this rubbish. However, I say ok. We will think about it but no Chrstmas present talk for 24 hours. He hands over his extensive lis tof where to buy chrome books and the cost. It runs to almost 2 handwritten pages! Partner suggests that we say he can use his pocket money. I think that’s a good idea. I do need the 24 hour reprieve though. I need sleep!
8pm – Children in bed. I shower. Have a glass of port and take a sleeping tablet.
Spend - $0
7am – I wake to pee. It is chucking down with rain outside
11am – Partner wakes me with some matcha latte. I get up, brush, shower and take my meds
12pm – Pizza for lunch and we bake brownies with the kids.
3pm – We watch Iron Mask (Arnold and Jackie Chan) with the children. They love it
5pm – It finally stops raining. Phew. Children complete chores - to fold and put away the mountain of washing that has accumulated throughout the week. I vacuum the house. Partner head heads off to get Fish and Chips for dinner - $58
7pm – Children shower and watch TV. Partner and I share a bottle of wine and go over our budget for the last month. We decide on Christmas presents for his family. I need a new phone so we browse what we can find. My current phone is an S9 I bought in 2018 and I do need a new phone.
10pm – I head off to bed. I have a Zoom video call with my siblings at 9am on Sunday.
Spend: $58
Oct and Nov are our most expensive months. So, this is an accurate average week for Nov.
submitted by MovingSiren to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]

Rating the Neoliberalism of Final Fantasy Worlds (effortpost)

Hello neolibs, today I will be analyzing and rating the neoliberal qualities of several Final Fantasy worlds. For those unifiliar with the series, Final Fantasy is a video game series of RPGs with 15 main installments, a 16th on the way, and many spinoffs. Each numbered game is set in it's own world, with new characters and a new story, made as if it was the "final" game in the series. The first FF game was released in 1987, with Final Fantasy 16 releasing next year. The games use roman numerals in their titles, but I will use Arabic for simplicity's sake.
Of the fifteen mainline games, I have played six of them (6,7,8,9,10,12) and I will be analyzing those today. While I have not played games 1-5 to completion, my understanding is that they are all mostly classic fantasy worlds that would probably get a similar rating anyway, but let me know in the comments. Final Fantasy 11 was an old MMO, so I skipped that one. I have not yet gotten to 13 and onwards, so if anyone here has I would love to hear your take on those below. I highly recommend checking out these games yourself, and I will try keep spoilers to a minimum.
Now that that's over with, I will get on to the purpose of this effortpost.
I will be rating each world by the following qualities:
I will be rating each quality out of 10, then taking the average to get the ultimate neoliberal rating.
I am aware that these qualities are somewhat vague and can even just be considered fundamentals of liberalism. The thing is I can't talk about zoning reform, carbon pricing, and taco trucks without touching too many hypotheticals, as these are video games after all. I will still be using broader social and economic terms, like how protectionist some places are and how YIMBY/NIMBY they are. I was going to include a conflict ranking, but pretty much every game has a war in it because that's usually how the story goes. Also, feedback is welcome since I don't remember everything, but don't take it too seriously.


Final Fantasy 6 released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the last of the series to be on the SNES and the last to be exclusively on a Nintendo console. The world of FF6 is a bit of a mix between classic fantasy and steampunk, with a small touch of modern (in 94) elements. It's easily the hardest for me to rate this one, since the limited hardware and abundance of playable characters leaves the world a bit lacking in depth compared to the later installments. I will probably have the least to say about this one.
The World of Balance features several key locals, each playing into the war that takes place in the world. The Empire is the dominant military force that wishes to use advanced technology and ancient magical creatures known as espers to rule the world. There are several other towns and kingdoms in the world, such as Doma, which opposes the empire, Figaro, which is "allied" with the empire, and Narshe, a mining city which is neutral. There isn't a whole lot to say other than it should get poor ratings for democracy and equality, but potentially decent ratings for immigration, as there are talks of people from other kingdoms moving in several parts of the game. However, there appears to be no racial diversity with the exception of the espers, who are treated like shit by the empire and are just used for their magic ability. As for sustainability, the technology of the world seems to be based wholly on steam power, so it's not completely sustainable.


So this is where things get interesting. Final Fantasy 7 released in 1997 as the first of three titles on the Sony PlayStation. FF7 is easily the most popular entry in the franchise, considered by many to be the greatest game ever made. This game has spawned several spinoffs and it's own movie, as well as the currently ongoing Final Fantasy VII Remake series. This is where I believe the series truly starts to become what it is today; a truly multi-genre experience with fleshed out worlds and themes.
Easily the most recognizable and important locale in the world of FF7 is the city of Midgar, a city that is much larger than most cities in America and is run by a single company. The Shinra Electric Power Company acts as a de-facto government, which is fully responsible for the citizens of Midgar and has the largest military in the world. Imagine for a second if Amazon just bought a massive chunk of land in Wyoming, built a trillion dollar city, and was able to fund it's own small country with a defense force. The citizens of Midgar own their own businesses and live life like we do in the modern age, just that their government is a corrupt corporation that sells reactors to other places around the world. The entire city is powered by eight Mako Reactors. 'Mako' is known as the "lifeblood of the planet", which runs underneath the ground and where every living thing comes from and returns to after they die. Basically mako is like oil but actually crucial to the planet's survival and it is not renewable, causing the once-lush land around Midgar to become a barren desert. Shinra using mako for their own gain (and for the benefit of the people) is a major conflict in the game.
Now let's talk about the urban qualities of Midgar. This is how the game opens. What do you notice? Well first, Midgar seems like a car-centric city, with Aerith (the girl in the video) pausing to prevent herself from getting run over. If you were to look closely, you will see that there are public meeting spaces without roads. Overall it is quite a YIMBY friendly city with no parking lots, with buildings taking up nearly every available space (FF7 Remake Midgar expands on this greatly). Next in the video, we see our protagonist, Cloud Strife, jump of a train. The very first thing the hero does in this game is use public transport, very cool! While cars are driven inside the eight plates that make up the "pizza" shape of Midgar, trains are the primary form of travel in between plates and to the surface. When I mean "surface" I mean that Midgar rests at least 100 meters above the ground (picture from the remake), with the people living below the city being too poor to live up top. These are the slums of Midgar, which existed before the city was built above them. Through the course of the story, you learn of the atrocities committed by the Shinra company, including sacrificing citizens for their own gain and doing unethical experiments to create super soldiers. While I would give Midgar points for excellent mixed-use architecture and public transport, Shinra's unsustainable energy source and terrible human rights violations will cause me to dock some. However, I will say that Midgar is a very diverse city with open borders.
As for the rest of the Final Fantasy 7 world, Shinra owns mako reactors around the world, providing (non renewable) energy to much smaller towns. The nation of Wutai is an Asian-inspired nation that was at war with Shinra because of their abundant mako reserves. Shinra would undoubtedly be an imperialist nation if they were one. As far as I now Shinra encourages free trade, but they probably pull a lot of strings themselves.


The second game in the PlayStation saga, Final Fantasy 8 released in 1999, following up the unmatched popularity of FF7. Much like FF7, this game takes place in a modern/futuristic world, but much less grungy than 7. The world of FF8 has five nations; Balamb, Galbadia, Centra, and Trabia. The main form of transport between these nations are trains, with a complete rail system going in between each which you can ride in game. The story is centered around our protagonist, Squall, and his friends who just graduated from Balamb Garden, one of three colleges that trains their students to become international peacekeeping soldiers. The story starts with the party invading an enemy occupied town, and later attempting to liberate another town from fascist rule. Overall this whole system is great for the liberal world order, ignoring the fact that these agents are teenagers. The enemy force is the nation of Galbadia, which is ruled by a corrupt president who is controlled behind the scenes by an evil sorceress. Galbanian towns can be considered police states, but otherwise have very good living conditions, as does pretty much every town in this world. As for immigration, it's probably not good. With an ongoing war and a nation that I will soon touch on, I can't imagine people are moving between nations by choice.
Outside of Balamb and Galbadia in the middle of the ocean is the town of Fisherman's Horizon, an independent, isolationist town with completely sustainable energy. They don't take kindly to outsiders, and they have a relatively small population. Finally, there is the nation of Esthar, a highly advanced society that hides from the world. The people of Esthar is also isolationists, with most people not knowing they exist or knowing very few details. That being said, they have a high quality of life and are presumably in a democratic society, as they have a president. Trade between these nations is probably not great, given that they give into protectionist tendencies. As for diversity, there is a race other than humans who also isolate themselves, but human diversity is very good.


The Final game in the Playstation trio is Final Fantasy 9 (my favorite). FF9 released in 2000 right at the end of the PlayStation's life cycle, and it sold pretty poorly. Hoping to return to the series' roots, FF9 takes place in a classic high fantasy world with a more cartoony style than the rest of the series. The world of FF9 is made up of four continents, but I'm going to focus on the Mist Continent (bottom right) because that's where most of society is.
There are four kingdoms on the mist continent; Alexandria, Lindblum, and Burmecia, and Cleyra. Each kingdom is under autocratic (?) rule, but there seem to be little conflict inside the kingdoms themselves. Alexandria is a flourishing kingdom with people of a wide variety of backgrounds and races, including this guy. It is extremely walkable with not a car in sight (I don't think cars exist here). Lindblum is probably the most neoliberal city in the game. The entire city is built inside a very large fortress, with incredibly dense, vertical infrastructure that encourages travel by foot. Of course, there is a public transport system: airships. Linblum offers a air taxi service, so no need for roads that take up precious public space. The airships are powered by the mist, which is a magical substance that covers the mist continent (it's literal mist), and it's also renewable for a reason that I will not get into because it's a spoiler. Much like Alexandria, Lindblum is extremely diverse, but Bermecia is another story. Burmecia is home to the burmecians (rat people) and as far as I know only burmecians live there. You don't spend much time there in the story, so I can't say a whole lot, only that Burmecia and Cleyra are less diverse and generally don't except refugees unless they are of their own kind.
One more thing I should mention is that there is a public transport system in between kingdoms as well. Gargan Roo is a transport system involving a massive beetle called a gargan carrying the party through ancient tunnels (that's right, ff9 did it first). It isn't used much nowadays, but it is still operational and the party does in fact ride the gargan a few times.


Arriving on the PlayStation 2 in 2001, Final Fantasy 10 was incredibly well received, with over 5 million units sold by June 2002. It was a new era for the series, with many fans welcoming the changes it would bring, even if some were disappointed at the new direction. Blitzball star Tidus is swept in the world of Spira, a land under a constant cycle of peace and death as summoners kill a destructive beast known as Sin, which reemerges every few years after the last defeat. There are several diverse locations across Spira, but most of it falls under the same government.
That Government is the theocratic rule of Yevon, the religion that governs how citizens should act and how summoners should defeat Sin. Yevon is made up of a grand maester and several lower maesters who follow them. Under this theocracy, Spira is kept under the cycle that allows Sin to keep coming back, and it advised against people using other methods to defeat it. While this method is sustainable in practice, it assures that the world will never change, and Sin will return each time. Spira, while under theocratic rule, is fairly diverse with general respect between several races, with the exception of the Al Bhed people, who are shunned and punished by the church of Yevon.
There are two major cities in Spira: Luca and Bevelle. Both Luca and Bevelle are under the rule of Yevon and it's maesters, but both are quite densely packed and designed to be walkable. You don't spend much time in Luca and almost none inside Bevelle, but one thing I would like to mention is that Luca's blitzball stadium is outside of the city and out into the water. Urban planning with stadiums is always a touchy subject on this sub, but simply building it where you can't put the city is genius.
Alright, I'm sure some of you Final Fantasy 10 fans wanted me to touch on this. This is Zanarkand, the home of Tidus and a titular location for the plot as a whole. The Polynesian inspired architecture blends very well with the futuristic atmosphere of the seemingly endless city. However, while the city is dense on it's own, large highways and overpasses seem to cross in between the buildings. I don't believe any cars are seen, but it is implied that they do exist. In fact, the first battles in the intro are on highway roads. This is quite a departure from Cloud encouraging the use of public transport back in FF7. If Tidus was a true neolib, he wouldn't want to go home so badly.


Skipping the MMO Final Fantasy 11, Final Fantasy 12 released in 2006 several months before the PlayStation 2, causing it to end up with the same fate as 9 and selling poorly for a FF entry. I recently played the Zodiac Age version (highly recommend), so this one is the most fresh in my mind. This game is another departure from the FF formula, with real time battles that you can completely automate yourself with a feature called the gambit system, which is mostly just a series of equip able if-then statements that tell characters to do things. The world of Final Fantasy 12 is Ivalice, the very same world as FF Tactics and Vagrant Story, which is a first for the series. This title is interesting because it mixes medieval fantasy with sci-fi, with Star Wars-esque starships being airships used for multiple purposes. Many people say that the entire game is just fantasy Star Wars, and while I think parts of the world were definitely inspired by the prequels, the story and characters are completely different. Frankly it's the masterclass voice acting performed by real theater actors that sell this one for me.
Locked in a stalemate between two nations, the kingdom of Dalmasca must be freed by our heroes after the Arcadian empire takes over. You don't see much of Rozarria in game, as most of your time is spent in Dalmasca and Archadia. The Capital of Dalmasca, Rabanastre, is the first location you are introduced to after the intro, and I must say it is quite well designed. There is not a single car in sight, with the entire city reserved for pedestrians. Of course, you can fast travel via teleportation at moogle stations, which I'm really not sure is public transport or not. The Empire now rules over Dalmasca, and the people who once lived in the city are now forced to live in beneath the city in Lowtown, which is admittedly better treatment compared to the other games. The Empire itself is centered in the city of Archades, the capital of Archadia. The city itself is probably the most NIMBY friendly city there is. It is incredibly dense, with very walkable architecture, and everything that isn't walkable is accessible by the air cabs, similar to Lindblum in FF9. Like I said this game was definitely influenced by the Star Wars prequels, in case you were getting Coruscant vibes. The Empire also has a senate, which is probably responsible for doing senate things idk you don't see it. While the emperor's son ends up taking over, the senate is never dissolved and by the end it's all worked out. Also, the neutral kingdom of Bhujerba, is on a massive floating landmass above the ocean. Once again there are no cars and it's 100% walkable, and it's canon that they are excellent trade partners with all kingdoms. However, the minerals that cause the landmass to float are the same minerals that they mine and export, which raises a few concerns for sure.
As for Diversity, Ivalice is home to several unique races of people, each valued as members of society. The Viera live in the Feywood, and are generally isolationists and do not take well to outsiders. Otherwise, I can imagine trade is very lucrative between the kingdoms with the mass adoption of airships. You can even travel across Ivalice in passenger airships.


If you played the game (highly recommended), I shouldn't have to explain.


7th-Final Fantasy Tactics
6th- Final Fantasy 6 (4)
5th- Final Fantasy 10 (4.5)
4th- Final Fantasy 7 (5.5)
3rd-Final Fantasy 8 (6.75)
2nd- Final Fantasy 9 (8.50)
1st-Final Fantasy 12 (8.75)
I hope you all enjoyed my effortpost. This was fun to write and if it encourages anyone to play these games, great! Anyway, I definitely left some things out because there's a LOT of stuff in these games to analyze. If there's anything you would like to mention in the comments, go ahead.
submitted by Kindly_Blackberry967 to neoliberal [link] [comments]

Much Ado About Nothing: Human trafficking in New Zealand

The Government of New Zealand does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore New Zealand remained on Tier 2. These efforts included investigating three potential cases of trafficking, finalizing new training modules, and creating a new visa category and reporting mechanisms for exploited migrant workers. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government did not initiate any prosecutions, convict any traffickers, or identify any victims. Officials did not have written procedures for victim identification, and the government has never reported identifying an adult victim of sex trafficking.
Previous reports on the lack of action around HT:
New Zealand (Tier 2)
The Government of New Zealand does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore New Zealand remained on Tier 2. These efforts included investigating three potential cases of trafficking, finalizing new training modules, and creating a new visa category and reporting mechanisms for exploited migrant workers. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government did not initiate any prosecutions, convict any traffickers, or identify any victims. Officials did not have written procedures for victim identification, and the government has never reported identifying an adult victim of sex trafficking.
Increase efforts to identify victims through proactive screening of vulnerable populations, including by drafting and finalizing appropriate victim identification guidelines for government officials.
Increase efforts to proactively investigate and prosecute sex and labor trafficking cases and sentence convicted traffickers to adequate penalties, which should involve significant prison terms.
Establish a national referral mechanism to ensure victims—including New Zealand citizens—are appropriately identified as trafficking victims and referred to services and track the number of victims identified by authorities.
Amend the trafficking statute to explicitly define the sex trafficking of children as not requiring the use of deception or coercion.
Take steps to improve potential victims’ access to services and ensure government-funded services are suitable for trafficking victims.
Distribute materials to raise public awareness of all forms of human trafficking.
Increase resources for anti-trafficking law enforcement.
Improve the content and distribution of materials explaining migrant workers’ rights and mechanisms for reporting exploitation.
Increase coordination with NGOs, social service providers, and other civil society stakeholders on anti-trafficking efforts, including victim identification and assistance.
Provide anti-trafficking training to diplomatic personnel.
The government maintained inadequate anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The Crimes Act of 1961, as amended in 2015, criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Section 98D (trafficking in persons) criminalized all forms of labor trafficking and some forms of sex trafficking and prescribed penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine not exceeding 500,000 New Zealand dollars ($342,470), or both; these penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to the forms of sex trafficking covered under the provision, commensurate with the penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Inconsistent with international law, Section 98D required a demonstration of deception or coercion to constitute a child sex trafficking offense and therefore did not criminalize all forms of child sex trafficking. However, Section 98AA criminalized all forms of child sex trafficking under its “dealing in persons” provision and prescribed penalties of up 14 years’ imprisonment, which were sufficiently stringent and commensurate with the penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government sometimes utilized the Prostitution Reform Act (PRA) to prosecute child sex trafficking crimes, including Sections 20 and 21 which criminalized the facilitating, assisting, causing, or encouraging a child to provide commercial sex acts, in addition to receiving earnings from commercial sex acts provided by a child. These sections of the PRA prescribed penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment, which were significantly lower than those available for trafficking offenses under Section 98D and 98AA of the Crimes Act.
The government initiated investigations of three potential cases of trafficking but did not initiate any prosecutions or convict any traffickers; this was compared with eight investigations, two sex trafficking prosecutions, and conviction of seven sex traffickers in the previous reporting period. Following the enactment of the trafficking law in 2015, the government has exclusively used Section 98D to prosecute labor trafficking crimes and has never prosecuted a sex trafficking crime or a case of internal trafficking under Section 98D. The government required the Attorney General to approve any charges under Section 98D before authorities could initiate court proceedings.
An anti-trafficking operations group, composed of immigration authorities, police, the children’s ministry, and other agencies, continued to meet to increase law enforcement coordination. The Labour Inspectorate (LI) investigated forced labor complaints but worked mainly within the civil legal system, which may have contributed to the lack of criminal prosecution of forced labor crimes when authorities did not refer cases for criminal investigations. Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) serious offences unit investigated trafficking cases that involved immigration violations; however, according to some observers, there was a reluctance within INZ to pursue trafficking charges and the agency did not consistently coordinate with prosecutors before deciding to pursue charges. In addition, LI and INZ reportedly did not consistently respond to or investigate complaints made by exploited migrant workers, and despite finalizing a strategy in early 2021 to formalize their collaboration, the agencies reportedly did not effectively coordinate to investigate potential trafficking cases. INZ and New Zealand Police (NZP) completed a protocol in October 2021 aimed to improve coordination between the agencies during joint investigations, including on trafficking cases. Police reportedly did not proactively pursue trafficking cases due to capacity constraints, indicating that police did not understand the gravity of the crime and failed to hold traffickers accountable. In addition, the government did not adequately train police officers to identify indicators of trafficking among victims of domestic or family violence, including in cases where traffickers forced adult victims into commercial sex, and therefore the crime often went unnoticed by authorities. Some experts previously noted that the lack of efforts by law enforcement to treat sex trafficking cases appropriately minimized the prevalence of the crime and resulted in weak efforts to hold traffickers accountable and protect victims.
The Ministry of Business, Immigration, and Employment (MBIE) finalized new training modules for immigration officers, labor inspectors, and other frontline officials on identifying and investigating trafficking, interviewing victims, and processing visas for victims; the government delivered the training to INZ staff during the reporting period. NZP continued to require anti-trafficking training for all detectives and included a trafficking and smuggling chapter in its police manual. The government also provided anti-trafficking training to police child protection specialist teams and criminal investigations branch managers; Employment New Zealand conducted “train the trainer” sessions for six officials. The government did not report training prosecutors or judiciary officials, and one observer reported the government did not adequately train labor inspectors to investigate potential trafficking crimes. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in trafficking offenses.
The government maintained insufficient victim identification and protection efforts. For the second consecutive year, the government did not formally identify any victims of trafficking. Although the government delivered training to some officials that included guidance on victim identification, government agencies did not have formal written procedures for victim identification. The government used a process to formally certify a foreign person as a trafficking victim, enabling their access to a specific visa category for victims of trafficking and basic services such as health care; however, the government did not certify any victims using this process. The government lacked a system to formally recognize all trafficking victims, including victims from New Zealand. One NGO reported the government’s criteria for the certification of victims was not publicly available and it was unknown if or how victims could appeal a decision. While the government did not require victims to be certified or formally designated as trafficking victims to access support services, a lack of recognition by the government that traffickers had exploited them may have inhibited victims’ ability to obtain specialized services. The absence of a system to formally recognize all victims of trafficking and track the number identified by authorities may have impeded the government’s ability to identify trafficking trends and develop effective responses. The government has never certified a foreign victim of sex trafficking. Despite evidence that traffickers have forced adults, particularly female victims of family violence, into commercial sex in New Zealand, the government has never identified an adult New Zealander as a victim of sex trafficking. NZP had legal limitations on its ability to proactively screen for sex trafficking victims, including among New Zealand citizens, within the legal commercial sex industry, which was primarily regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH). For example, due to regulations prohibiting police from inspecting legal brothels without a complaint, police relied on MOH officials and an organization that works closely with individuals in commercial sex to report potential criminal violations; however, the government did not report providing training to the organization’s or MOH’s staff on definitions or indicators of sex trafficking or procedures for the referral of trafficking victims to services. The government delivered training to INZ airline liaison officers posted overseas to improve their ability to identify suspected trafficking victims among persons traveling to New Zealand.
The government allowed for a reflection period, the length of which depended on the individual needs of each victim, for victims to recover before deciding whether to cooperate with law enforcement. The government did not allocate funding specifically to assist trafficking victims or provide services designed for trafficking victims. However, trafficking victims were eligible to receive government-funded services available for all victims of serious crimes provided through arrangements with local community groups, and the government provided temporary housing, medical services, employment assistance, and other social services, as well as emergency grants in cases involving debt-based coercion.
Observers reported a lack of adequate services available for child sex trafficking victims, services were not easily accessible for victims of both labor and sex trafficking, and officials did not provide clear guidance to some NGO service providers seeking government assistance. The government could fund travel and accommodation expenses for victims who had returned to their home countries to travel to New Zealand and participate in court proceedings, but it did not report funding such expenses for trafficking victims during the year. The law authorized the extension of temporary residence visas to certified foreign trafficking victims for up to 12 months, which also made them eligible for legal employment, and foreign victims facing hardship or retribution in their home countries could apply for a residency visa. During the reporting period, INZ granted residency visas to 13 trafficking victims and their family members, as well as up to five work visas. INZ updated its trafficking website to include information on visas for trafficking victims and brochures in nine languages; however, the updated page included an incorrect definition of trafficking that required the movement of a person. The law allowed victims to receive restitution from criminal proceedings, and victims could seek compensation from assets forfeited in criminal cases through civil claims; however, the government did not report if any victims received restitution or compensation during the reporting period.
The government increased efforts to prevent trafficking. INZ chaired the government’s interagency working group on trafficking and operated a team responsible for coordinating government anti-trafficking efforts. In January 2022, the government published the first report documenting its efforts to implement the March 2021 “Plan of Action against Forced Labor, People Trafficking and Slavery.” INZ held an observatory role within an anti-trafficking advisory group co-chaired by two civil society organizations. The government established an advisory group composed of government officials, NGOs, businesses, academics, and trade unions to consider legislation addressing human trafficking in supply chains. The government did not report sufficient efforts to raise awareness of sex trafficking, although it continued to maintain webpages and distribute pamphlets to raise awareness of trafficking indicators and the availability of support services. There remained a lack of sufficient efforts to increase public awareness of trafficking, with low levels of understanding of the crime across New Zealand, including among social service providers and the general public.
The government initiated a review of intercountry adoption legislation seeking to, in part, mitigate risks related to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. New Zealand’s Parliament also solicited civil society input on the prevalence of migrant exploitation and gaps in legislation to address migrant exploitation. INZ held virtual meetings with leaders of migrant communities to raise awareness of migrant workers’ rights in New Zealand. The government distributed guides for employers recruiting migrant workers, published information on the rights of migrant workers on government websites in 13 languages, and sent welcome emails with workers’ rights information to all approved residence, work, and student visa holders. MBIE continued to distribute pamphlets, in five languages, listing who was able to legally engage in commercial sex and it provided information on how to report exploitation; however, these materials did not specifically address trafficking. In addition, many of the materials on migrant workers’ rights and employment laws were not clear or distributed effectively, and some workers were unaware of their rights or how to report exploitation. The government did not operate a trafficking specific hotline; however, workers could make complaints through MBIE’s employment rights hotline, which referred cases involving worker exploitation to the labor inspectorate. In addition, the government created a new migrant exploitation hotline and online reporting application in July 2021. However, there were reports that this system was ineffective, authorities did not investigate urgent complaints in a timely manner, authorities did not refer some cases to investigators, and individuals were left uncertain if authorities took their claims seriously or would provide support. Immigration authorities’ delays in processing migrant workers’ applications to change conditions of their visas, including changing employers, increased trafficking risks and prevented some workers from leaving exploitative conditions for extended periods of time.
In July 2021, the government introduced a new six-month migrant exploitation protection visa (MEPV) to enable exploited workers—whose visa was tied to their employer—to obtain alternative employment and remain in New Zealand while authorities investigated their cases; the government issued 87 MEPVs between July 2021 and March 2022. Nonetheless, advocates said the MEPV did not fully address exploitation facilitated by employer-linked visas and some workers may have been deterred from seeking a MEPV if they held a visa longer than six months. Government regulations banned employers who breached employment standards from recruiting migrant workers for periods of six to 24 months, and the government published a list of all offending employers on its website. Immigration officials and labor inspectors inspected legal brothels to ensure conditions complied with the law and conducted investigations and routine audits in workplaces that employed migrant workers. The law prohibited individuals or companies from charging employment premiums, such as recruitment fees; labor inspectors could initiate proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority to recover premiums and seek a penalty against violators, although authorities did not report if this occurred during the reporting period. Some sources believed the labor inspectorate was understaffed and under-resourced, which they felt limited its ability to carry out effective inspections and adequately investigate exploitative employment, including potential cases of trafficking. Observers reported penalties proscribed to unscrupulous employers in employment courts were often not significant enough to deter exploitative practices and the employers could continue operating under a new company. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training to its diplomatic personnel.
As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in New Zealand. Foreign men and women from South and East Asia, the Pacific, and some countries in Latin America are vulnerable to forced labor in New Zealand’s agriculture, dairy, construction, viticulture, food service, liquor retail, technology, hospitality, transport, and domestic service sectors. Unregulated and unlicensed immigration brokers operating in New Zealand and source countries, particularly in India and the Philippines, facilitate trafficking by assisting in the process to issue visas to victims. Some foreign workers are charged excessive recruitment fees and experience unjustified salary deductions, non- or under-payment of wages, excessively long working hours, restrictions on their movement, passport retention, and contract alteration. Some employers force migrants, whose visas are often tied to their employer, to work in job conditions different from those promised during recruitment and use intimidation tactics and false information about immigration laws to prevent victims from seeking assistance. The pandemic increased the reluctance or ability of many foreign nationals to leave New Zealand, and those who became undocumented as a result were increasingly vulnerable to exploitation. Furthermore, temporary migrant workers in sectors most negatively affected by the pandemic, such as tourism and hospitality, were increasingly vulnerable to exploitation.
While experts assessed the Prostitution Reform Act, which decriminalized commercial sex for New Zealand residents, overall increased protections for those who willingly engaged in commercial sex, traffickers continue to target vulnerable populations, such as children, migrants, and adult victims of domestic and family violence for exploitation in sex trafficking. Foreign women from Asia and South America in commercial sex are at risk of sex trafficking, especially those who do not speak English and who work in private homes and informal or suburban environments, where they are more isolated from service providers. Some international students and temporary visa holders are at risk of sex and labor trafficking. Immigration brokers and unscrupulous brothel owners subject some migrants to conditions indicative of sex trafficking, including non-payment of wages, withheld passports, physical or sexual abuse, threats of deportation, monitored movements, limited access to medical care or other social services, and excessive working hours. Some migrants are required to pay fines, bonds, and recruitment and other fees to brothel operators or brokers, which make them vulnerable to debt-based coercion. Traffickers utilized Section 19 of the PRA, which prohibited non-residents from legally working in the decriminalized commercial sex industry, to use threats of deportation or other adverse action from law enforcement to deter migrants in commercial sex from reporting verbal or physical abuse, unwanted or unsafe sexual practices, or non-payment of wages. Some gang members, boyfriends, family members, or others exploit young children and teenagers in sex trafficking by facilitating, purchasing, or forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts. Some adult women, often those who face domestic or family violence, are forced by partners to engage in commercial sex acts. Some victims are coerced into commercial sex through drug dependencies or threats by family members. One service provider reported a notable proportion of its clients reported being forced into commercial sex by their partners in order for their partners to purchase or obtain drugs and other substances. However, experts suggest the prevalence of forced commercial sex among New Zealand women is significantly under-reported and under-detected.
submitted by StatueNuts to ConservativeKiwi [link] [comments]

My instincts tell me that my partner is a bit misogynistic but I am not sure

Background: I am 33f Asian and my partner is 30m Australian (Caucasian). We both work in tech and we have been in a relationship for over 4 years now. I immigrated to his countries before I met him.
We both share quite similar political views. He is considered liberal, supported LGBT rights and communities, having trans friends, supporters of Democratic Party, supporters of abortion and legalization of marijuana etc. He would vote for Bernie Sanders and AOC if he is a US citizen.
We always have good conversations about most of political issues except for one topic: gender issues. And every time we discuss this topic, either we both get frustrated and leave it or I end up crying and then leave it. It’s been really hard for me as I am not sure holding these views are considered misogynistic or not. And I cannot avoid discussing gender issues as I learned and became a feminist after my immigration and I consider it is part of my core beliefs, especially I grew up in a abusive and violent household.
Due to the nature of post, I try list some of his views as concise as possible, but please take it with grain of salt( I might be biased or cannot fully articulate what he meant in English as I am not a native speaker )
  1. Most of the gender issues are actually issues of different social status, e.g the inequality between rich and poor. If we could solve this problem, many gender issues can be solved
  2. Domestic violence victims gender ratio is actually quite close to 1:1. And he attached this study with 24 experts to back him up reference link. If I point out that this study is not apply to Asia, Africa nor Middle East countries where the majority of the population lives, he would say he can only speak for where he lives and the culture that he familiar with.
  3. The justice system is heavily biased towards men. Men is 6 times more likely to get harsh sentences compare to women.
  4. The education system is unfair towards boys. The majority of the teachers are females, we don’t have enough male teachers.Boys are likely to get lower grades compare to girls because of the biases ( female teachers dominated ) and now female has higher admission and graduation rates. He thinks we should have a gender quota for male students. If we have boys in the future, he doesn’t want the boys get unfair treatment.
  5. feminists should support men’s movement and acknowledge some of the hard that feminists have done. Without doing it, feminists are not for gender equality rather gender supremacy.
Sorry for my wall of text. Knowing a person from a single post is quite superficial and unfair to that person. I was trying my best to make statements as subjective as possible. As my title shows, my instincts tell me that my partner holds misogynistic views but I am not sure. I feel I torn apart inside of me just staying in this relationship. My language skills and knowledge limit won’t help in the arguments with my partner either. I felt I am muted sometimes as I cannot articulate what I mean in English.
Thanks for your time.
submitted by shinyrain0277 to TwoXChromosomes [link] [comments]

[Sat, Dec 03 2022] TL;DR — This is the top investing content you missed in the last 24 hours on Reddit


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submitted by _call-me-al_ to StockMarketTLDR [link] [comments]

Last Week in Collapse: August 13-19, 2022

Last Week in Collapse: August 13-19, 2022
Guerrilla warfare, heat waves, recession, nuclear warnings, Civil Wars, and the approaching end of our food systems.
This is Last Week in Collapse, a long self-post I make at the end of every week, bringing together some of the most important, sad, shocking, ironic, demoralizing, helpful, timely, or otherwise must-see events in Collapse. Serving up your Saturday with a side order of Doom.
This is the 34th edition. You can find the August 6-12 edition here if you missed it. You can also get these newsletters on SubStack, sent to your email inbox.
China’s 4th most populous province, Sichuan (pop: 84M), is shutting down all its factories—for six days, while a 40 °C heat wave (104 °F) rolls through dozens of cities. State-run media called it China’s strongest heat wave in 60+ years.
China’s economy is slowing down badly. “Youth unemployment” is supposedly just below 20% and domestic consumer demand has plummeted during lockdowns and rising uncertainty. Recession is coming to China. Five U.S. Congresspeople visited Taipei unannounced on Sunday, ratcheting up US-China tensions just 12 days after the U.S. Speaker of the House paid a visit to Taiwan (pop: 24M). What’s going on?
A report indicates that 100 million Americans will experience “intensely hot summers” with a heat index (that’s how the temperature feels) frequently over 100 °F (38 °C).....by 2053. Have I been here too long, or does that feel slower than expected? Much of the Middle East is expected to be unlivable in 100 years.
Another report says that over 8 million Americans will likely experience temperatures of 125 °F (52 °C) in summer 2023. That report also says “a quarter of the country will soon fall inside the Extreme Heat Belt with temperatures exceeding 125 °F and the results will be dire.” Las Vegas, New Mexico (not the famous Las Vegas) has its water source contaminated by wildfires. These small desert towns like Las Vegas (pop: 13,000) are early indicators of how your town or county might manage in the long water emergency.
The worst the drought, the greater the floods (if the rain ever comes). Climatologists warn that a catastrophic Megaflood could wreak terrible damage in California sometime in the next 80 years. The last time this happened, in the Great Flood of 1862, 1% of California’s population died during a 2-month near non-stop winter deluge. If it happened again, researchers speculate the damage could be “larger than any {disaster} in world history”.
Plastic tides swept over Durban, South Africa, and nobody is coming to clean it up. Gandhi once said, “Humanity is an ocean. If a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” What happens when a trillion drops of the ocean are dirty?
America is not well. After the FBI raided ex-President Trump’s estate last week, collecting classified (and probably nuclear) documents, a disturbed man drove into a barrier near the Capitol, shooting in the air before shooting himself dead. The FBI has received record threats in the aftermath of the Mar-a-Lago search, and some think an indictment of Trump would trigger right-wing psychosis and greater violence.
If you believe it, Radio Free Europe reports that many Russian reservists and contractors aren’t being paid for their work in the Ukraine War. The Guardian reported on Monday that a military strike took out a Wagner Group base in Melitopol, casualties still unknown.
Just west of Melitopol, a railway was also damaged, which would limit Russia’s ability to send in soldiers & equipment in southern Ukraine. Ukraine conducted 3 attacks in Crimea last week.
Fears remain that Russia may make moves on Transnistria, the breakaway eastern slice of Moldova backed by Putin. For now, Odessa and the struggles of War prevent a strong Russian advance westward. Russia is busy making nuclear threats about the Zaporizhzhia Power Plant and trying to recruit Central Asian soldiers to die in its War.
18 grain ships have left Ukraine since an export agreement was signed a few weeks ago. The ships are destined mostly for Africa, where a proxy-War for influence/narrative is being waged by NATO and Russia (pop: 145M). It is a time of change, and multipolarity is growing.
Starvation, inflation, drought, and violence are rising in Afghanistan, and bringing slavery and human trafficking with them. Some children sell for as low as $250 USD (equivalent) to fates unknown. Desperation is breaking millions of displaced Afghans. This is Collapse.
Pakistan is continuing its strange collapse, a mix of military corruption, culture war, political illegitimacy, and economic uncertainty. But featuring nukes in the background.
A Syrian bishop said that Syria is facing a “bombardment of poverty” after 11+ years of Civil War. 80% of people are in poverty and the average pay is about $50 a month. The country collapsed a decade ago, and it has never begun to pull itself back up.
Sierra Leone descended into protest a couple weeks ago, over inflation, corruption, food/fuel shortages, hopelessness, etc. Their President called these protests “terrorism.” An unofficial spokesman for Sierra Leone’s main opposition party was killed by police allegedly during a raid on a guerrilla hideout last week. The Sierra Leonean comments on the above article include: “bogus kangaroo police,” “lies, wickedness, hate, bigotry, rampant innocent killings, thefts, plunder of the central bank,” “extremists ideas and hate mongering,” etc. All across the world, we are seeing civil unrest as a result of food insecurity.
If you doomscroll as much as I do, the mental processing can exhaust you. Remember: CollapseSupport is available. Put your own needs first.
The gang Wars in northern Mexico are heating up. Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Ensenada, and more have seen “widespread arson and shootings” and increased police presence. Mexico’s Presidente Obrador is trying to assert authority over Mexico’s National Guard, in defiance of Congress, to mobilize them under his command. Can traditional soldiers overcome complex urban guerrilla gangsters in their home turf? Water will become the commodity to win people’s loyalty in this dark, dry future. The government is already at Civil War(s), even if they don’t recognize it as such. When will the United States stick its nose in?
An estimated 7.5% of Americans now have Long COVID. New Zealand’s new health minister says COVID will be with them “possibly forever”. Life expectancy in the U.S. was dropping before COVID, part of a broader “early death crisis”.
People are catching on to the fact that monkeypox will now become endemic in the United States, and elsewhere. The explosive growth of monkeypox is outpacing the ability to create the only approved vaccines, and of course the manufacturer is guarding the technology. As a result, there are moves to split the limited doses, a controversial process of giving ⅕-normal size doses into the skin tissue and not the fat…
As food prices soar, Brits can rest assured insects are back on the menu, providing another source of protein for hungry and adventurous consumers. 2 billion people across the planet already eat insects as part of their diet.
Bees and butterflies are dying—and taking our food systems down with them. CNN says that up to ⅓ of our food depends on fragile animal species pollinating our plants. CBS says our animal population has dropped 70% in the last 50 years.
The science journal Nature warns that Nuclear War could unleash worldwide famine unto the unlucky earth. 5 billion people would die—just from starvation—in a large-scale nuclear US-Russia War. The same number would die of hunger in a US-China Nuclear War. An India-Pakistan Nuclear War would starve about 2 billion people to death. Nuclear Winter is still a theoretical phenomenon, and damage estimates may be too high—or too low.
“Business activity” in New York State inexplicably collapsed precipitously in the last few weeks, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. The August Empire Manufacturing Index plummeted and I don't know why.
Kenya’s election is over, and William Ruto won, with 50.5%. He is a biologist, long-time MP, and Christian, who was acquitted years back of corruption and (at the ICC) of stoking ethnic violence. Odinga, the losing candidate, proclaimed, “there is neither a legally and validly declared winner nor a president-elect” and called the election “null and void”. There were riots and accusations of vote-rigging, but not much violence…yet. The results will be challenged in Kenya’s Supreme Court—which annulled the election in 2017 and may do likewise again.
The world homo sapiens population is closing in on 8 billion, and some people think we won’t make it much higher. The UN predicts we’ll be at 8 billion before the end of November, other sources say it’ll be “any day now”. Some experts say human population will top off at about 10.5B around 2085. Something something faster than expected.
Things to watch next week include:
↠ Serbia and Kosovo failed to work out a deal in Brussels, amid a bizarre license plate proxy conflict for ethnic tensions. The controversial policy is set to go into effect on September 1. NATO forces are deployed in Kosovo; Russia and Serbia don’t recognize Kosovo as a state. Where is this going?
Select comments/threads from the subreddit last week suggest:
-“Collapse is not voluntary” says a popular thread, although the history-makers have sort of chosen to drive off the cliff.
-The common people have woken up to Collapse, if this observation from San Diego, California.
-Collapse used to be more Peak Oil-focused, according to this insightful thread asking what the subreddit was like 5-10 years ago. Very interesting responses. The subreddit has also increased its subscribers about 9-fold from August 2017. 52k subscribers in 2017, and 449k in 2022.
-Lucky for us, there was a catch-up Thread on Peak Oil last week if you need a debrief on the state of oil & energy. I’m thinking about Peak Fresh Water, Peak Wood, Peak Cotton, Peak Wheat & Peak Meat, Peak Healthcare & Peak Warfare, Peak Population, and Peak Freedom of Information—and wondering which of them we might already be past.
-We will be the last civilization to collapse, or so says Chris Hedges. This thread contains a link to his own much more successful SubStack, as well as some 300+ comments.
Got feedback, questions, comments, articles, advice, news, off-grid farming tips, hate mail, etc.? SubStack: Consider joining the Substack edition of Last Week in Collapse if you want this roundup sent to your email inbox every Saturday. I always leave out something. What did I miss this week?
submitted by LastWeekInCollapse to collapse [link] [comments]

The Democracy Movement is disintegrating

The Democracy Movement is a faction of Chinese dissidents.
The dissidents are fighting each other
For many years from the mid-1990s, the movement was affected by chronic infighting and factionalism. It was caused mainly by self-interests and allegations of corruption.[1]
In 1998, Ren Wanding and Xu Wenli, two dissidents who were friends, split because Ren Wanding accused Xu Wenli of "raping" the China Democratic Party.[2]
Wang Jun stated, in 2004, that Xie Wanjun tried to stop the "Democracy Party Marathon" hosted by the CDP World Union and the CDP Headquarters (在场的谢万军先生和他的同伙毫无理由地、气焰十分嚣张地上前撕扯中国民主党总部和中国民主党世界同盟的横幅标语,极力阻止中国民主党民主马拉松活动的正常进行). Xie Wanjun also allegedly said: "If you follow me, I will help you get a green card". (我宣布,只要跟我走,我就帮你免费上法庭拿绿卡,只要我跟美国国务院写封信,你的绿卡就拿到了)[3]
In 2005, Chen Yonglin claimed that there were 1000 Chinese spies in Australia. Chin Jin, the chairman of the Federation for a Democratic China division, criticized Chen Yonglin for potentially spreading fears about the Chinese community.[4]
According to the "China Democracy and Justice Party", in 2006, a lady was allegedly committing immigration fraud under the name of "China Democracy Party", tarnishing the image of Wang Jun's party, and Xie Wanjun's party was doing such activities. Refunds were demanded for Xie Wanjun's alleged immigration scam. Xie Wanjun called Wang Jun a "CCP agent". On the other hand, Wang Jun also suspected that Xie Wanjun was serving the Chinese communists.[5]
In 2010, Zhu Rui accused Sheng Xue of lying, personally profiting off refugee applicants and events, and being a fake witness to the Tiananmen massacre.[6]
In 2010, a group of 14 dissidents, including Zhang Guoting, Bian Hexiang, and Lu Decheng, criticized Liu Xiaobo and opposed his Nobel Prize award.[7]
In 2017, the Federation for a Democratic China split.[8]
In 2019, Liu Shaofu accused RFA of falsely reporting that the Dalai Lama will nominate Wang Binzhang for the Nobel Peace Prize, and accused Sheng Xue of spreading fake news.[9]
According to Yi Gai, Tang Baiqiao frequently attacks other dissidents.[10]
According to The Sun newspaper, Zeng Dajun was identified as a Chinese spy and participated in the arrest of several members of the China Social Democracy Party.[11]
The Democracy Movement does not represent the Chinese people
In 2008, when most Chinese protested in opposition to the “Free Tibet” protests, the Democracy Movement and other dissidents supported the “Free Tibet” protests.
Liu Xiaobo insulted Chinese people,[12] which surely reduced their support for him.
According to Han Chen, the Chinese dissidents have less support from the Chinese overseas community nowadays.[13]
Tiffany Liu shows that Overseas Chinese have a negative opinion of Falun Gong. The Falun Gong practitioners confirmed it.[14] According to Yan Sun, a political science professor at Queens College, Falun Gong is a fringe group that has limited acceptance among Chinese people.[15] In 2018, the PRCANZ protested against Falun Gong in New Zealand.[16] In 2017, Chinese in New Zealand protested against Falun Gong and its Shen Yun show.[17] Chinese in New York also protested against Shen Yun[18] and Falun Gong.[19] In 2016, the Spanish World Chinese Anti-Cult Association denounced Falun Gong.[20] In 2008, thousands of Chinese protested against Falun Gong in Flushing, Queens.[21] In 2006, Falun Gong practitioners' request to participate in a Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco was rejected. The parade organizer states that they previously violated rules. A spokeswoman of Falun Gong stated that they were rejected due to the organizer's ties to the Chinese government. The organizer denied it.[22] It is visible that most overseas Chinese are against Falun Gong. However, the Democracy Movement and Falun Gong frequently cooperate and take advantage of each other.[23]
According to a poll by the Lowy Institute in 2022, most Chinese in Australia have confidence in Xi Jinping.[24] In contrast, most Chinese dissidents and the Democracy Movement oppose him.
The dissidents are corrupt
Liu Yinquan, on the China Social Democratic Party’s online forum, wrongly manipulated words from a book about Zhao Ziyang to give legitimacy to his organization.[25]
Gu Yi, a Chinese dissident, said that many activists think that Tang Baiqiao’s morals are dubious. Some activists think that Tang Baiqiao has personally profited from donations for the Conference of Democratic Revolution in China that he hosted. Tang also requested donations to commission a bronze statue. However, the sculptor, Chen Weiming, stated that he did not receive the payment.[26]
Fei Liangyong alleges that Sheng Xue is corrupt and that she took large amounts of money from conferences. He also alleges that Liu Guokai, the founding chairman of the Social Democratic Party of China, sent him an email with violent threats.[27]
Zhang Hongbao was charged with crimes such as kidnapping. He claimed that these accusations were part of a Chinese communist conspiracy. Nan Fan He, Zhang Hongbao's housekeeper, accused Zhang of slapping and hitting her, pounding her against a wooden chair during a dispute, holding against her will in a bedroom, making sexual advances towards her 20 year-old daughter.[28]
Xie Wanjun posted a video on Twitter, claiming that it was an anti-lockdown protest at the Fudan University in Shanghai in 2022. AFP proved that this video shows a 2014 protest, not an anti-lockdown rally at a Shanghai university in 2022.[29] Xie Wanjun claimed that corrupt officials in Henan had armed resistance against the central government's arrest. AFP proved that it was a photo from Reuters of a US consulate Mexico.[30] Xie Wanjun claimed that people were handcuffed while undergoing mass COVID-19 tests in China. In fact, the video shows a police raid on a pornography ring in Lanzhou, northwestern China.[31]
According to La Dépêche, New Highland Vision falsely claimed that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao removed Xi Jinping from military power.[32]
Lude Media falsely described Li Meng-Yan as the world's top coronavirus expert.[33]
Chin Jin cited Guo Wengui’s claims about the “BGY” plan.[34] However, Guo Wengui harassed other dissidents,[35] reducing his credibility.
In 2017, Guo Wengui was accused of sex assault.[36]
In 2015, Chai Ling accused Yuan Zhiming of rape.[37]
In 2014, Feng Congde and Tang Baiqiao accused Wang Dan of pretending to be ill to receive donations.[38]
Xu Shuiliang said that 80% of the overseas Democracy Movement is composed of bad people. Wang Xizhe said that 95% of them are bad people.[39]
The Democracy Movement faces a decline
At its peak, the Federation for a Democratic China had 3000 members at its height. In 2017, its member count was reduced to about 100.[40]
According to WPR, the party membership in exile is “fragmented and riddled with infighting”.[41]
Rose Tang, a dissident, called the democracy movement a “marginalized group”.[42]
The “China Interim Government” listed more than 400 “political parties” on its website.[43] However, none of the parties are seen elsewhere.
According to the Global Times, statistics show that there are tens of overseas Democracy Movement groups, which are isolated, and the total number of people is around 200.[44]
According to France24, China's “Jasmine Revolution” in 2001 only lasted 2 hours with a few hundred people.[45]
[1] Jie Chen. The Chinese Political Dissidents in Exile: Struggle for a Sustainable and Relevant Movement.
[2] Sun Journal (Nov 27 1998 page 16)
[3] http://cdjp.org/archives/gb/2556.html
[4] https://www.smh.com.au/national/chen-gave-identity-permission-dimia-20050725-gdlqys.html
[5] http://cdjp.org/gb/article.php/4489.html
[6] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/world/canada/china-dissident-harassment-sheng-xue.html
[7] https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/world/asia/07china.html
[8] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/world/canada/china-dissident-harassment-sheng-xue.html
[9] https://fdc64.de/%E6%96%B0%E9%97%BB/%E8%87%AA%E7%94%B1%E4%BA%9A%E6%B4%B2%E7%94%B5%E5%8F%B0%E6%AC%A0%E5%85%AC%E4%BC%97%E4%B8%80%E4%B8%AA%E9%81%93%E6%AD%89
[10] https://news.boxun.com/news/gb/pubvp/2017/08/201708031159.shtml
[11] http://the-sun.on.cc/cnt/china_world/20160107/00429_027.html
[12] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/dec/15/nobel-winner-liu-xiaobo-chinese-dissident
[13] Han Chen. Political Exiles Reckon with Rising China and a Lost Cause. Online at https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1217&context=gj_etds
[14] Ying-Ying Tiffany Liu. Falun Gong, the Diaspora and Chinese Identity: Fieldwork among the Practitioners in Ottawa. pp. 118-119 and 122.
[15] http://www.queenstribune.com/news/1216920411.html
[16] https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/104827509/no-place-to-hide-political-dissidents-fear-chinas-influence
[17] http://ausnznet.com/m/article_detail.asp?p=community&articleID=2939
[18] https://www.sohu.com/a/124557241_267325
[19] https://www.sohu.com/a/159572820_267325
[20] http://www.laicw.com/article-20790-1.html
[21] http://www.mingpaony.com/htm/News/20080521/nb0101.htm
[22] https://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/11/us/a-festive-parade-is-politicized-over-exclusion-of-falun-gong.html
[23] 法轮功与民运关系问题 https://www.kaiwind.com/n436/n997/n1524/c576313/content.html
[24] Jennifer Hsu and Natasha Kassam. 2021 Being Chinese in Australia: Public opinion in Chinese communities.
[25] http://csdparty.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=838
[26] Han Chen. Political Exiles Reckon with Rising China and a Lost Cause. Online at https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1217&context=gj_etds
[27] https://fdc64.de/%e4%b8%aa%e4%ba%ba%e6%96%87%e9%9b%86/%e6%b0%91%e8%bf%90%e7%9a%84%e9%bb%91%e6%81%b6%e5%8c%96%e5%80%be%e5%90%91
[28] http://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2003-may-19-me-zhang19-story.html
[29] https://factcheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.32947GT
[30] https://factcheck.afp.com/http%253A%252F%252Fdoc.afp.com%252F9VN2EP-2
[31] https://factcheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.32F39YL
[32] https://www.ladepeche.f2022/09/26/vrai-ou-faux-le-coup-detat-en-chine-etait-une-rumeur-radiographie-dune-fake-news-mondialement-relayee-10678177.php
[33] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/business/media/steve-bannon-china.html
[34] Chin Jin’s Submission to the Inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security into the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017
[35] https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/28/guo-wengui-sending-mobs-after-chinese-dissidents-bannon-ccp/
[36] https://nypost.com/2017/09/11/chinese-dissident-billionaire-treated-me-as-sex-slave-suit/
[37] https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1732100/june-4-student-leader-chai-ling-says-her-faith-driving-her-seek
[38] https://bnn.co/news/gb/intl/2014/08/201408280832.shtml
[39] 刘路:浅谈三本攻击民运的书 https://news.boxun.com/news/gb/pubvp/2009/06/200906140617.shtml
[40] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/world/canada/china-dissident-harassment-sheng-xue.html
[41] https://irb.gc.ca/en/country-information/riPages/index.aspx?doc=457896
[42] Han Chen. Political Exiles Reckon with Rising China and a Lost Cause. Online at https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1217&context=gj_etds
[43] https://web.archive.org/web/20140726003334/http://www.gdzf.org/dj/stdj.php
[44] http://opinion.dwnews.com/news/2013-08-14/59309687.html
[45] https://observers.france24.com/en/20110223-chinese-activists-fail-launch-jasmine-revolution
submitted by aaaaa143222 to China [link] [comments]

How do I apply for a Significant Benefit Work Permit in Canada?

The Significant Benefit Work Permit is a non-LMIA-required path to a work permit.


The Significant Benefit Work Permit (SBWP) is a special work permit available to workers whose hiring would provide significant economic, cultural, and/or social benefit to Canada.
Candidates for the SBWP will not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as part of the International Mobility Program (IMP). The LMIA is Canada's internal assessment of the impact of hiring a foreign worker (via the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)) on the Canadian labour market.
The SBWP stream is intended for cases where an LMIA would normally be required, but practical considerations (extended LMIA processing times) or a lack of an appropriate application stream prevent this from being possible; if Canada is to benefit from the foreign worker's presence. Significant in this case includes (but is not limited to): advancing a Canadian industry, general economic support for Canada, improved health and well-being for Canadians, and so on.

Eligibility Requirements

If you want to apply for an SBWP, you must demonstrate that your arrival would benefit Canada economically, socially, or culturally. If you are successful, regular deciding factors in issuing a work permit (such as effects on the Canadian labour market, consumer needs in Canada, and so on) will be weighted in your favour.
To prove your legitimacy as an applicant with the potential to provide significant benefit to Canada, you must also provide evidence (where relevant) that you are (among other things):

Consideration Elements

In addition to demonstrating your expertise in your field, applicants to the SBWP must demonstrate how their arrival and work in Canada would benefit the country, whether economically, socially, or culturally.
Among the economic considerations factors are:
Considerations for social benefits include the applicant's capacity to:
Considerations for cultural benefits include whether the applicant is or has been:

Documentation Requirements

The application process for an SWP is the same as it is for a regular work permit.
You must give the following documentation to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order to submit an application for a SBWP:

Popular use cases for the SBWP

Among the most common recipients of an SBWP are:
For more details, Call Or WhatsApp
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submitted by Amster_group to u/Amster_group [link] [comments]

How much did you leave yourself after paying your deposit? Especially FHBs

I’m 28, earn 92k, looking to buy my first home solo up to 600k in suburban Melbourne and according to my broker I’m ready! As much as I’ve researched for 3 years getting prepared, I’m still feeling nervous for such a big commitment.
Broker suggests to use First Home Guarantee (I’m a NZ citizen so limited in schemes). I have $37.5k in savings which he says is enough as I’d just need 30k deposit + 5k for other costs.
I feel I want to have $45-50k saved before I take the plunge + my emergency fund (3 months of expenses). My job (education) is quite secure and there is much room to grow.
I was just curious to know, after you paid your deposit, how much did you have leftover? This could be in actual dollar amount or percentage of your income/expenses etc. And your reasons for the amount you left yourself? Renos, immediate saving for the next property, just enjoyment after saving for so long? How did it feel to have the deposit leave your account?
I suppose I’m very cautious - growing up my immigrant parents struggled on a single income, couldn’t buy until their 50s, and I never thought I’d get this far.
submitted by nvdrzmm to AusProperty [link] [comments]

What are the possibilities for South Africans immigrating overseas

Basically like the title says.

I like to plan for the worst - after the KZN riots (had to get therapy for PTSD due to events), Eskom, and watching the trajectory of the country, I don't feel safe living in ZA. I know other places also have their problems but, for now, I don't think I can feel safe here. Which sucks because it's a beautiful country that's being mismanaged horribly.

I've stayed in the UK for a few years and, while it's a possibility, I'd prefer somewhere... else. They aren't having a great time lately either lol

Ideally, I'd like to move somewhere like Canada/NZ/Portugal but I don't know what my eligibility would be like for that.

My grandfather is a born UK citizen. My mom, sister, and aunt live in the UK with British passports (mom and aunt born in SA, acquired UK Visa through grandfather) In a relationship for past 5 years - not married but would do so in order to be able to move together LGBT - i.e. limits my options for safety with moving. e.g. - would not touch the US Highest edu = high school. Busy studying BSc Biomed. Worked in IT for past 6 years

Would I have the ability to immigrate to these other countries?
submitted by ashandblood to southafrica [link] [comments]

Visa Advice: Wife and I keen to move to Hong Kong - both have remote jobs

As the title says. I'm from NZ with a UK passport and she is from Germany. Currently we live in New Zealand. We both have remote jobs (mine is US based but global and hers is Singapore based). We are very keen to live in Hong Kong and pay tax there.
I grew up there and used to have a HK permanent ID card but it would have expired ages ago.
Can anyone advise on the best course of action to be grant Visa access? We don't need jobs but would be good to explore opportunities once there.
I understand there is a Quality Migrant Visa and we are 120+ points of which you have to have a minimum of 80 points.
Is it best to go through an agency. They aren't cheap with $3000HKD for 50 minutes consultation (maybe that is money well spent).
Both our salaries are good. She's in supply chain and I'm in Blockchain with digital finance consultation background. We both fall under as consultant freelancers to get around global company laws so imagine we'd have to set up limited companies in hong kong and charge through that.

UPDATE: Thanks all so much for your responses. I think where we are at is:
1) Given I used to have a permanent ID card, the fact that it wasn't renewed, my status could fall to Right to Land (which gives me right to live, work, pay tax etc)
2) I would need to renew my ID card (unsure at this point if that could be done from overseas or whether that would be something to do when in country
3) Some of you have said that dependants (wife) could work, live, pay tax as part of the Right to Land right that I have.
I'll be ringing, emailing HK Immigration to find out some of these details.
submitted by CosmosJungle to HongKong [link] [comments]

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