Today, the Pacific and uproarious migration are synonymous. The uproar has reached New Zealand via a pair of sources – the chambers of parliament and the fourth estate. The back and forth between these sources only intensifies despite the absence of any actual asylum seeker mass arrivals. Newspapers in search of a scoop have headlined with any hint of a plan to get to New Zealand. In May 2014, reporter Tony Wall’s investigations into a people smuggler’s claims was headlined ‘Desperate bid to reach New Zealand’ – this without any strong evidence he could get people 4000 kilometres from Indonesia to New Zealand.
New Zealanders who moved to Australia to live before 26 February 2001, hold ‘protected’ special category visas with the same state entitlements as Australian citizens. But those who arrived after do not. They hold a non-protected special category visa (SCV), a temporary visa that is unique to New Zealanders and can be altered at any time. New Zealanders can live, work, get Medicare, and access some low-paid benefits such as carer payments, the pension and a few child payments. But not much more – no sickness or disability, unless they’re classed as ‘severely disabled’, no housing support or state housing, and certainly no unemployment benefit.
Few staff in the global university start to think about how their workplaces are actually run until they are in the middle of a change process. Day-to-day work does not provide a vocabulary with which to read fluently the language of change, and the act of coping with change processes as they occur makes it difficult to reflect on their meaning. Somewhere in the cycle of review, restructuring and redundancy emerges the uncomfortable truth: that the change process itself is not an anomaly but a product of how universities are run, in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere.
This digital collection complements the special Aotearoa issue of Overland and is a testament to the response that our call for submissions received. These four essays shouldn’t be regarded as the ‘next best’, but rather as other directions in which the print issue could have gone, and which our writers wanted to explore.