Tuesday, August 13, 2013

“You are not welcome in New Zealand”

Note:  If you get tired of reading this sad tale of a tour gone bad, please skip to the last paragraph, which is arguably the most important bit at this very moment...

When I got paged over the intercom to the All Nippon Airways desk I was nervous, but figured it was something about a seat assignment on the flight from Narita to Auckland that I was about to board.  When the woman from ANA handed me a cell phone and said that someone from New Zealand Immigration in Auckland wanted to talk to me, I was suddenly feeling fatalistic.

“Mr. Rovics, why are you coming to New Zealand?”

The immigration agent sounded like a miserable person who liked her job way too much.  It was obvious why she wanted to know – because she already knew I was coming to play a few small gigs, and it wouldn't do for me to say I was just going to enjoy the winter weather, though in fact that was one of the main things I was looking forward to.

“I'm playing six small gigs.”

She already knew this, but she wanted to hear it from me.  I learned from my problems entering Canada that lying is the thing they dislike the most.

“Will you be paid anything for these engagements?”

“Yes, I hope to make a little money while in New Zealand, though it's all very marginal,” I replied.

Which sure is the truth.  In a country as remote from the rest of the world as New Zealand, people there tend to be very excited when anybody from the outside world shows up – and for good reason.  It's extremely expensive to get there from anywhere other than Australia, and the whole country has only two urban areas that might remotely qualify as “cities” where a performer like me might stand to draw a decent audience.

Nobody tours New Zealand to make money, as far as I know.  The people there who make the laws issuing work permits seem to know this – a work permit for New Zealand is free.  The only charge involved is the permission you need to get from the musician's union.  Which, last time I got one, was also free – they waived it since they heard I was singing at a labor rally in Dunedin.

“Do you have a work permit?”

She obviously also knew the answer to this question – she's an immigration agent, for Pete's sake.

“No,” I replied, “I was hoping I could get one when I arrived.  I was under the impression it was a formality that could easily be taken care of when I got there.”

Which is true.  Although I sure was wishing I had taken care of this formality a long time before.  Which is what I had done before my three previous tours of Aotearoa, aka New Zealand.  The problem is, unless you live near a city with a New Zealand consulate in it, which I don't, you have to mail your passport in to their embassy in Washington, DC, and be without a passport for several weeks, which is a logistical challenge for someone who tours as much as me.  One I vainly hoped I could avoid, and one I've managed to avoid in Australia, where I have successfully gotten work visas after arriving on Australian soil twice before.  (Which costs $895.  Which is a hell of a lot of money, when you're paying thousands just to get there, and thousands more to traverse the vast distances in that massive, barely-populated continent.  Another place where it's almost impossible to make any money touring, but I keep doing it anyway, for some reason.)

“Mr. Rovics, can you tell me what happened to you recently at the airport in Trondheim, Norway?”

I just wanted to tell her to get to the point, but I knew that I had to answer all of her questions if I wanted to have any chance of getting in to her lovely, stolen country of rolling hills, sheep, and imprisoned natives.

“I was strip-searched on suspicion of drug smuggling.  But I wasn't smuggling drugs, I made that part up.”

Which I did make up, of course.  Artistic license, as I said.  Who would be stupid enough to blog about smuggling drugs?  Who would be stupid enough to believe it if someone did that?  Well, her, apparently, but it seemed like a moot point.  Especially since I was already obviously stupid enough to be blogging about lots of things I shouldn't have been.

Why do I say I'm stupid?  Because although most of my blog posts are only read by a few hundred people, some of those few hundred people are apparently working for the government of New Zealand.

“What happened to you in Canada?”

I told her what she already knew.  I was banned from Canada for a year, because I tried to get in as a tourist when really I was planning to do a gig at the Railway Club in Vancouver, which I hadn't gotten a work permit for.  I lied to Immigration Canada about it.  I knew better than to do that this time, but it didn't help.

“How much money do you have to spend in New Zealand?”

“A thousand dollars in terms of what's available in the bank.”

“One thousand US dollars?  You have to have three thousand dollars in order to enter New Zealand.”

“I could have three thousand dollars if I took cash advances on credit cards,” I replied, hopefully.

“Well, that would only be if you were coming in on a tourist visa.”

So why did she ask the question about how much money I had then?  Who knows.

Then the shoe finally dropped.

“You can't board that flight tonight, and you can't come to New Zealand until you get a work permit.”

“Can I cancel all my gigs and come in on a tourist visa?  If I don't fly to Auckland then I can't fly from there to Perth, or from Brisbane to Hong Kong, etc.”

It's a bit of a cascading, chain reaction clusterfuck sort of situation.  Buying a new plane ticket to anywhere I need to go will cost thousands of dollars.

“You can't board that flight.  You're not welcome in New Zealand.”

“I know it's none of my business,” I said, “but is it normal for immigration agents to read the blogs of people traveling to New Zealand?”

“I've read your blog,” was her answer to that question.

“Did someone tell you about my blog?  Is there a reason you read my blog in particular?”

“I've read your blog,” she repeated.  “Thank you,” she said, indicating she was done talking to me, and I handed the phone back to the ANA agent.

After the ANA agent got off the phone, she and all the rest of them looked shocked.  Nothing like this had ever happened to them, it seemed.  This guy is stuck in the airport, he can't board this flight to Auckland.

A nice man from Hong Kong who worked for ANA took me back through Japan Immigration.  No problems getting back into Japan.  (Technically I suppose I had left Japan when I went through Immigration earlier in the day at the airport, and they stamped my passport and all that, but in any case, it wasn't an issue.)  The man said that in the three years he had been taking care of people on this flight from Narita to Auckland, this had never happened.  He wasn't entirely sure what the procedure was at this point.

He helped me collect my luggage.  He shared some of his own minor travel horror stories – he recently went hiking in Siberia, where the fact that he is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English was of absolutely no use in trying to navigate Siberian society, which led to some travel complications for him.

He took me to the hotel reservation desk.  They said all the hotels were full.  He said I should try calling one in particular, the Narita Airport Rest House.  He left and said he had to talk to his boss about my situation.  He said I should wait there for him, and he'd be back in 15 or 20 minutes.  An hour and a half later, he never came back.

The hotel had a free room, thankfully.  Getting to this room, I felt like I was living in a travel anxiety dream, the kind of dream I have at least once every few nights.  Except it was all very real.  Still feeling that way.  I called a friend who is a lawyer in Christchurch.  Maybe she knows another lawyer who can help.  Maybe.  Seems unlikely at this point.

I think I'll be able to get a work permit before I land in Australia, anyway, so the rest of the tour should be OK.  If I can figure out how to get to Australia without using the ticket that goes there via Auckland, which is the one I already bought.

Not sure what my next move is, but I know it's going to be costing me many thousands of dollars, whatever it is.  And if I max out all of my credit cards completely, I guess I've got the money.

If you've got any to spare for a stupid musician who didn't get a work visa to do 6 lousy gigs in a country that has 3 million people and 60 million sheep and is located in the middle of nowhere, your donations are very, very, very welcome.  Donations (just click on the "donate" link there) or subscriptions both put money directly in my bank account, and are both very, very welcome at this moment.  If you live in Tokyo and have a guest room, that could also be very helpful.  Now I'm going to get some sleep, and see if tomorrow is any better than today was.

Epilogue:  Thanks to all of you who sent me messages of encouragement, and despite my idiocy in not lining up a work visa in advance, sent me financial support as well.  It helped immensely, to offset my losses.  Many of you said I'd get a song out of this, so I thought I'd better write one.  Here it is:  "The Spies Are Reading My Blog"


Anonymous said...

Hi! My name's Allegra. We met in Tampa at the RNC protests, not sure if you'd remember me. I was part of the Autonomous Playhouse puppet show in the Ybor venue. Anyway, a friend of mine from NYC just came back from an extended stint in Japan, mostly Tokyo. She is telling me that she knows some nice people you can stay with, if you need to. I will also donate, if you need help. You can email me to respond if you would like, I'm Shammich@gmail.com

Jens said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your situation. But I believe you're permitted to fly to the airport in Auckland and just wait in the transit hall. If you never pass through immigration, you never enter the country as such. It may not be much fun, but at the very best you'll be enough of an annoyance to them after a day or two that they'll let you in, or speed you on your way; worst case scenario, you save the money. :/

Anonymous said...

That really sucks! From my years of experience advocating on behalf of people to help them through the welfare system in Australia, it may be worth ringing NZ Department of Immigration to see if you can get a human being on the line. It may be that someone else will make a different decision if the person you spoke to hasn't followed the correct process. Under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, natural justice means that you have a right to appeal any decision made by a government department. Explain your situation to whoever you get on the line and say you're considering appealing the decision. Most public servants have way more work than they can handle and the word 'appeal' may be enough to get them to reconsider. It may not work but I think it's worth a try. Good luck!
Joanne Knight

Di Mackey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fare-Free NZ Editor said...

NZ is acquiring an ugly reputation as being inhospitable to folk who may be deemed 'undesirable'.
It took 4 months of persistent battling with NZ Immigration to finally get a last-minute visitor's visa for Palestinian speaker Yousef Aljamal to address our NZ Conference on Palestine in June - after initially being declined.
It's time to take a stand fellow Kiwis, and support David's call.
Roger: www.kiaoragaza.net

Simon said...

"In a country as remote from the rest of the world as New Zealand, people there tend to be very excited when anybody from the outside world shows up" - Totally... I sometimes go wait at the airport, near international arrivals, and cheer when someone that looks a bit foreign walks out...

Chris said...

"imprisoned natives"

You live in America.

Duncan said...

Hi David, I've spoken with an Immigration lawyer I know and emailed you some advice.

Unknown said...

He didn't follow the rules and publicly posts his past immigration shinanegans, then when he is predictably rejected, acts stereotypically American. America is the centre of the world, small nation should be lucky to bear the weight of my feet on it, etc.

But it's the "stolen" and "imprisoned natives" jabs that make me think this guy is just trolling. America, where there are more black-skinned people in prisons than there have ever been slaves, stolen from the original Americans, who have insane visiting laws. This whole post is just inane.

Dave said...

Much like a foreigner entering your country Mr Rovics, there are rules. You should follow them because it will make your life easier. Complaining about your experience when you are the master of your own demise just makes you look foolish.

tatjna said...

Hope you enjoy the blog hits you get for this patronising rant, dude.

Potassium said...

So you lied to other immigration services in order to try and bypass fees and the like, then complain when yet more immigration services turn you away?

Then, you stereotype an entire country based on your experiences with a single person, trying to make out like they're a bunch of backwards hillbillies when in actual fact their country has far better relations with their natives than pretty much any country in the world and are constantly working to improve them. You also try to make out like they should be glad to have you, when in actual fact no one really cares.

Cool story bro.

Cupperella said...

Playing gigs and earning money from them = working. Therefore you need a work visa. If I decided to head to the US to play a few shows, I would be asked for a work visa. You are an idiot. You clearly don't know anything about New Zealand and we don't want you here to play your music after your belittling rant about our country.

Rory Waterman said...

If you think David Rovics is a stereotypical American who believes the world revolves around him and his country, you clearly don't know the first thing about him. Have a listen to his music: you might actually find that you like it.

Athonwy said...


Alright, here's the thing, if you actually agree that a person should have to have $3000 damn dollars in the bank just to be able to go visit a country then you are a classist piece of shite. This is clearly a case of profiling. NZ immigration doesn't want David there because he is a rabble rouser, and they would prefer their rabble remain unroused. If you believe in borders and ideological divisions then I feel sorry for your sad self, and you will be confined to the dustbin of history while the rest of us move forward to become one people.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the interwebs ate my first attempt at a comment, probably because it was just too long.

Those of you who think that David Rovics has not noticed his own country's colonial history, its current racism, or its prison population clearly have not listened to any of his music.

I live in another colonised country with too many Indigenous people in its prisons. I think I should be permitted to comment on these issues in the USA, Canada and NZ as well as acknowledging them in my own (Australia).

If the real issue was Rovics' lack of a work permit then agreeing to cancel his gigs should address that situation, especially given his stay is short.

Hoping to see and hear Rovics in Australia soon in spite of this frosty reception in our neighbourhood.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the rude NZers you have encountered, at the borde and in the comments.

This wasn't an issue of law; IO's have discretion and you weren't any threat. Unfortunately there's a deeply fascist, bureaucratic streak alive in the Western world right now.

(also a little taste of what bloggers can expect from bureaucrats under NZ's new GCSB law)

Robert said...

WTF New Zealand, taken over by neo-conservatives? David, good luck, I hope you get plenty of donations!

Jaed said...

I'm a muso myself but also a kiwi. Sorry about our immigration and sorry we didn't get to see and hear you play. If it's any help, I've been married to a Dane for the past 25 yrs and the danish immigration wouldn't let me have a work visa and I got kicked out after 3 months. To stay I had to borrow NZD$15,000 from one of their banks and have an apartment twice the size of an average danish family. I guess every country has their dumbass policies - and at least we aren't over populated and our 60 million sheep have room to play ;) Oh and a wee history lesson - the maoris stole the country from the mori ori - they haven't made a claim cos they all got eaten :)

James said...

Sorry to hear of your issues. I myself have had issues with the NZ Immigration Service.

I was living there for 5 years, I had applied for a residents permit and had been refused on a minor technicality (missing paperwork). They send documentation back to an old address, regular post, so I didn't know anything about it.

I lived and worked there for a year before I enquired with them. I hadn't been hiding my existance at all. Alarm bells rang in my head when I asked that the fact I'd been paying tax should have notified them and they said that they 'hadn't noticed'.

Don't get me wrong it all got sorted out but just goes to show what a joke their systems are.

David Rovics said...

Neat to read all these comments. First of all, I just want to agree with those saying I'm an idiot. I am indeed an idiot, and really should have gotten a work permit first. However, the NZ government is also engaging in really sketchy activities, reading blogs of travelers before they even arrive and such! Glad to say a lot of folks have been very sympathetic with my idiocy, and I'll be able to afford to buy a new plane ticket to New Zealand if I need to do that, without going broke. Also I'm working on getting a visa here in Tokyo, and hope to make the last few gigs at least. And yeah, as for my criticisms of NZ society and history, for you defensive patriots up there, yeah, you definitely need to get a clue. Maori didn't displace anybody, that history was made up for your benefit. And even if they did, it's irrelevant. The notion that I can't criticize one colonial society because I'm from one that is far, far worse is nationalistic idiocy, plain and simple.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention that the support I've received from Kiwis and people around the world in the past 24 hours, both moral and financial, has been heartwarming and humbling. Also thought I'd share this comment from someone in Adelaide:

"I teach in a law school in Adelaide and I spoke to a friend today who is a immigration lawyer - he mentioned that the fact you were denied entry to Canada would probably have put you on a list of people to 'closely screen'. He also mentioned that, in his experience, it is incredibly rare for immigration to screen blogs or to wait until you are about to board a plane before denying entry."

From my experience, I agree entirely! And I would like to add that all Commonwealth countries' governments suck, not just New Zealand! (And the US sucks way more, but that's obvious to anybody with a brain.)

Unknown said...

If you hate NZ so much and think it's just full of sheep, racists and empty countryside, then why bother trying to come? We don't want you.

flow said...

hi david. i don't know you and have only listened to one of your songs. very worthy stuff.
the only reason i'm reading your blog is because my friends were going to host one of your gigs and now they are not.
still, i'm not sure you have your head in the right place. to dismiss the story of the moriori as you have is pretty darned arrogant and i can see why you've put the backs up of so many kiwis.
big deep breath. people are not your enemy

David Rovics said...


which kiwis have i offended exactly? not sure about that. in any case, i read a widely-acclaimed book by a kiwi named michael king, if i recall, a history of new zealand, which was widely read and praised by kiwis all over, and it debunked the moriori theory and went into the history of the invention of the theory, and how it was invented and designed as a propaganda tool to try to legitimize the british takeover of aotearoa. he made a lot of sense and seemed to have done very good research. maybe read the book and tell me what you think...? or otherwise tell me what is your evidence that the moriori existed, other than the fact that it said so in your school textbooks...? sorry if i seem arrogant. i probably am, but you don't seem so humble yourself, my friend.

very sorry about your friend putting in work for no reason. i really feel bad about my royal f**k-up here. still hoping i might make it into the country, whether or not everybody on both islands wants me there... :-)

David Rovics said...

dear unknown,

"If you hate NZ so much and think it's just full of sheep, racists and empty countryside, then why bother trying to come?"

what the hell are you talking about? first of all, new zealand is indeed full of sheep. if you haven't noticed this, you have a problem. secondly, it's not full of racists and i never said it was. however, 60% of the people in nz's prisons are (drum roll please) maori. thirdly, the countryside is not empty, but it is certainly not densely populated by humans, by any stretch of the imagination. this is not a bad thing -- i like it very much!

Mia said...

That's awful. I don't have any money to donate - but sending Brightonian sympathy.. come gig at the Wellington again & leave the sheep for another day!

sean kerrigan said...

Hey Bro, I just listened to "I'm a better Anarchist than you" and it was great fun but surely you gotta know travelling the world on a shoestring is getting harder and harder all the time and I feel for you that you got caught out this time and had the bad luck to find one of our not so sympathetic red tapers. New Zealand isn't any better than anywhere else and we too are suffering from the column comparing that helps to define nationalism. I'm glad you got as close as you did and hope it all works out better next time!

Philip Duncan said...

You don't like the people or the lack of population, or the lack of money to be made, or our history, or the climate or our remoteness from the rest of the world. You speak out publicly about it. All because you got a hard time from some dickhead from immigration.
The question has to be asked, why even come here?

Mike Gorse said...

I remembering reading about the Moriori in Guns, Germs and Steel, but I haven't read Michael King's book or even heard of it until now. Of course history and archaeology are often inexact with competing theories and narratives to try to explain all sorts of things, so it wouldn't surprise me if the existence of the Moriori or lack thereof is debated.

Mike Gorse said...

And apparently I can't speak English and think that "remembering" is the first-person present-tense form of "remember..." Anyway, I think I have a better idea of what is going on now; it seems that King isn't arguing that the Moriori didn't exist per se; he is arguing against the narrative that they are a distinct race, inferior to the Maori, and were thus destined to be conquered and, in any case, they have completely died out (as was apparently taught in NZ at one point in time).

Unknown said...

New Zealand is filled with imprisoned natives. One in four Maori males has spent time in prison, and a huge amount of this has to do with the aforementioned theft of land, culture, and colonial segregation that set Maori back decades, and decades, and decades. Just because New Zealand's race relations aren't as bad as places like Australia doesn't mean that it's not bad. And I'm sure that David is not unaware of his own country's history as well. I didn't see flag waving about how great America is in this post - I saw criticism rightly levelled at NZ's colonial past, and a bunch of insecure, arrogant, small minded new zealanders jumping down someone's throat for daring to criticise godzone. Foreigners are allowed to criticise our history you know.

Anonymous said...

That's so unfair, David, I hope you still have a nice tour! It's funny though, when I was watching "Australian Border Security" on youtube, there was a musician from America arriving in Australia to play several gigs without a work permit, but immigration there found a way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyvIVKz9RkY
(If NSA agents are really reading your blog, I don't wanna miss the opportunity: NSA AGENTS HAVE TINY PENISES!!! and shame on you for contacting NZ immigration)
All the best! :)

Unknown said...

And yes the moriori theory was debunked decades ago, and is the last call of desperate racists who can't handle the fact that European colonists stole Maori land and tried to destroy a whole race of people by the gun, and later on by the pen. Why they take this is an insult is beyond me (it's history - history is full of bad shit by our ancestors). Please don't be put off by the extreme nature of people's insecurity in New Zealand David. A lot of people in NZ have 'small man syndrome' and are blinded by their own patriotism, and are obsessed with how NZ stands in the world. Any observation that critiques the idea that we are perfect is jumped upon, and the same tired arguments such as 'look at other countries' are jumped on so that the issues here don't have to be addressed. I hope it all works out for you because I was really looking forward to your shows.

julz said...

I am embarrassed by some of the narrow minded trolls on here. Shame on you.

Back to the point, Let David in! Let David in!

See you in Akld on the $24th(we'll all have our fingers, toes and eyes crossed).

Kia kaha :)

Anonymous said...

Some people wrote extremely mean and pathetic comments here. I wonder if you even listened to any of David's songs. :-/
This whole thing reminds me of George Galloway being denied entry in Canada, after the JDL denounced him as a terrorist supporter for bringing food to Gaza. But he triumphed and held loads of speeches there. :D I hope they'll change their mind in NZ too. After all, denying people entry in a country doesn't work to silence them, on the contrary. Good luck, David!

Anonymous said...

Some people wrote extremely mean and pathetic comments here. I wonder if you even listened to any of David's songs. :-/
This whole thing reminds me of George Galloway being denied entry in Canada, after the JDL denounced him as a terrorist supporter for bringing food to Gaza. But he triumphed and held loads of speeches there. :D I hope they'll change their mind in NZ too. After all, denying people entry in a country doesn't work to silence them, on the contrary. Good luck, David!

David Rovics said...

bevan sums it all up brilliantly... i have nothing to add, except that new zealand, like every other society i've been to, is a divided society, with lots of wonderful, progressive people from all kinds of backgrounds, and a not insignificant helping of small-mninded, racist twats. i've had lots of personal experiences with both groups -- mostly the former! and, i think it goes without saying for anybody who's been to the usa, that it's all far worse in the usa. but i don't criticize the new zealand government and certain elements of nz society as an american patriot -- far from it. i criticize as part of the international working class -- of which i am a proud member. and as a citizen of another country with a lot in common with new zealand, only far worse. but new zealand, like the usa, canada, australia, israel, and other countries, is a country with a very regrettable past as well as, in many aspects, a regrettable present, which bevan and others have eloquently alluded to. but if from statements such as mine you can possibly draw the conclusions that mr. duncan drew above, well, i don't know what to say, because he's just putting words in my mouth, changing the intent of everything i wrote about to suit his own feelings of inferiority or whatever drives him to misinterpret like that. there are other reasons to tour a country than to make lots of money -- if making lots of money were my only priority, i'd never leave europe. as for the climate, i love the climate! i wasn't joking when i said i was looking forward to winter in nz! that's why i go there in the winter, for pete's sake! and i love the lack of population, and the remoteness! it doesn't lend itself to making money, but who cares? not me, obviously! but i think nz immigration should change their attitude about these things, and for sure i'll happily speak publicly about them or any other institution, anywhere in the world, that i have criticism of. i think it's outrageous when u.s. politicians criticize other countries for their human rights records -- they have no ground to stand on, as representatives of the most evil empire the world has ever known. however, i am not a politician or a representative of the empire. big difference there, in my view, mr. duncan! :-) and you, sir, are not a representative of the government of new zealand, and are not responsible for your history or your government's policies, any more than i am for mine! you're not a country, you're a person who lives in one! :-)

hari pacche said...

I feel for your plight David but some how I also feel that as Bob Marley would say, times like this "fulfill the book". This also applies to the ignorant morons on this list spewing all their quasi patriotic crap. Isnt it amazing how the old world order hasnt changed for over 400 years, (I remember this memorialized in your song about Anders Brevik), how one colonial administrator can take revenge for an offense you may have caused another Colonoal admistrator even if it was in a blog. Good to know that you are still actually welcomed in NZ just not in the Immigration Officers house. Hope the rest of the tour goes well. .....Rohan from L I, NY

fjohns said...

I am disappointed as I was really looking forward to your gig tonight on the West Coast. Such opportunities are rare here. It is a depressing state of affairs that NZ immigration have taken this conservative, inflexible stance. What are they afraid of? We need to have the opportunity to hear people like you because you can articulate so well how many feel. As for NZer's getting their noses out of joint I agree with Bevan's comments. We NZer's don't need to get too smug about our precious country especially when there is so much ignorance about our own history and our present challenges.

Unknown said...

Jaed and Flow, as stipulated your knowledge of the Moriori people is incredibly lacking, a simple critical analysis of this topic would have enlightened your positions--unfortunately this would have required a stable mind, not the knee jerk reactions of a patriot, who becomes enraged at any foul notion against their country.

There is frustration in the tone of David's writing, as there is in any writing from those who counter the majority culture.
Given what has just happened to him, a level of empathy prior to your own self-interested feelings would have assisted in understanding his intention.

Now I too am frustrated.

Unknown said...

Hi David. I am really sorry you are not coming to New Zealand as I was hoping to hear you this time. I really enjoy your music which is often featured on the Wellington Access Radio show 'Educating for social change'. It looks like I will have to go to the David Rovics IS welcome in NZ benefit in Wellington instead https://www.facebook.com/events/1386807028201932/

QuinnaginO'finnigan said...
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QuinnaginO'finnigan said...
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QuinnaginO'finnigan said...

Frikn pompous self important piss-ant loser bureaucrats who get a thrill out of needlessly fucking others lives up... may they eat shit and die every last one of them... as for the international spy/ flag anyone who doesn't fit the mould mentality of the modern, perverted, orwellian world, may all who support this vision of life, and willingly work for such a system also eat shit and die, and rot in hell.... or at least have some kind of awakening experience where they are forced to feel and regret every bit of unfairness frustration and misery they have foisted on others... or if not may Anubis cast their stunted amoeba like souls unto oblivion...

Unknown said...

"i criticize as part of the international working class -- of which i am a proud member."

Are you? I guess what I got from your post is that you were intending to come to New Zealand with no money and without a productive job to go to. What that means is that it costs each of us, rich and poor, to host you. I appreciate that you don't regard money as important, but I think that's a pretty easy thing to do when someone else is paying for you. People who are your fans may be delighted to do that. Good for them. But if you were to demand that you be given the choice to enter the country without paying your way (or having your fans pay your way), what you're doing is taking the choice of how to prioritise their earnings away from other people, rich and poor. What category does that put you in?

David Rovics said...

i love all these comments, both positive and negative! quinn, very eloquent! and jermaine, victoria, thank you... gigs in nelson and wellington going ahead, tho -- with a performance via skype! cool...

i don't know why it's the negative comments that make me so want to respond, but barb g, where do your economics formulas come from...? if i come to your beautiful country and eat in restaurants 3 times a day, buy gas every day, fly on air new zealand, take the ferry from picton to wellington, isn't that good for the nz economy? if i cause a few hundred kiwis (altogether) to go to pubs and spend money on beer and maybe a cd or two, is that not good for nz ecoonomy? please explain your formula, i don't get it.

Rico77 said...
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Rico77 said...

You were caught cheating, trying to come into a country by withholding the truth, not quiet lying but close to it. You were going to earn money and not pay taxes which is stealing from the New Zealand public.
You were caught by professional and well trained people who take pride in doing their job and who did their job properly. then you write a negative article as if you are a victim! This is not political it's about you trying to steal and not pay your way, then bitching when you were caught.

Room92013 said...

Hi there. Initially I was annoyed you were denied entry to New Zealand. The story I read implied you were denied because of your musics political themes. But when I read your blog, I realised you were denied entry for a very simple- and stupid- reason. You were coming here to work. If you'd told them that from the get-go, you'd have got in fine.
You obviously wrote you blog entry on the angry. I can tell because you sound like a whining cunt. You say that New Zealanders get all excited to see a foreign face, and there are only two town with enough people. But you were booked to play at The Playhouse. This is located in a region where there are very few people. 9700-something square kilometres with a population of 45000. You MUST HAVE known that before you decided to play there.
Your denial of entry to New Zealand has nothing to do with nasty spying governments denying rights to a "rabble rouser". Your denial was that you're a dick.
I hope that more people can see through you, and don't donate. After the twaddle you wrote about New Zealand and New Zealanders, I hope you NEVER visit.

Room92013 said...

You're an idiot. After your insult-to-NewZealanders blog, I hope you NEVER visit. You were denied entry because you lied, pure and simple. You're obviously some sort of retard who enjoys a company and a good whine. You need to grow up, and grow a pair.

RedGrizzle said...

Gosh, you're an arrogant fool. If you want to improve things in the USA, stay there and try to help people. Trotting around the world bad-mouthing your own country makes you seem like a neurotic a-hole. Now you're bad-mouthing New Zealand for catching you in a string of lies and so it is confirmed.

indomite said...

What a dickhead.

Wheels said...

If you really want to come to NZ you've done a shite job of it. Caught out in a lie, built on previous lies and you still expect to come here! Then you have the audacity to state facts which are completely untrue.

NZ last had a population of 3 million people some decades ago. We've never had 60 million sheep and our natives (of which i can proudly claim to have ancestry) as you call them (here they're tanga te Whenua. Look it up) aren't nearly as marginalised as your home country, Canada or even Australia.

Get your facts right! If you want to come here, like everyone else, apply for the right permits! Hope you're banned completely after that blog post.

You've come across as a right dick. End of story.

flow said...

thanks for having a go at me too.

without checking to find out what i think, i was set up as a straw man, to wear criticism.

i know nothing about the moriori, beyond that which i have been told. i know that they have been used several times a political tools, both pro and anti colonial.

i know that NZ contains some really interesting ancient archaeology, which comes and goes from public eye as the political uses of it change.

i know that all his-stories are a tool, used to define and create beliefs and attitudes, and the truth is often very different, her-a-say, indeed.

but sure, line me up and shoot me down too. i guess it adds ammunition to your crusade, you can claim you slew some other small minded parochial bigot.

David Rovics said...

leaving aside whether or not i'm a dick, a cunt, or any of those other eloquent descriptive terms, or whether it's easier to be maori or to be an indigenous person in some other colonized, stolen land, to clarify one point: i didn't lie. to clarify one other point: to get a temporary work visa to perform in new zealand is free, and one doesn't pay taxes when one tours in new zealand, it doesn't work that way, so i wasn't trying to avoid taxes. lastly, the 60 million sheep statistic comes from the new zealand government's website. and it's nothing to be ashamed of! you guys are feeling a bit sensitive about having all those sheep? lots of sheep where i'm from, too. i used to live next door to a sheep farm in massachusetts. i liked it. i like your sheep, too. got a problem with that, too, oh hyper-sensitive patriotic kiwis?

Cameopoet said...

Poets and troubadours should be extended a welcome, a cuppa and extra ounces of hospitality and humanity.

Their gifts remind us of our humanity, and are given quite freely, with very little asked in return.

Rico77 said...

What are you lieing about now, if you ard granted a work visa, tempory work visa or working holiday visa you will be given an ird number for tax reasons. You join the PAYE scheme, you just wanted to pocket the money. Stop playing the victim.

Unknown said...

They prefer to put the red carpet out for Monsanto, multinationals, ugly corporations who steal the Taonga (treasures) of New Zealand!
For them working visa are probably no problem!
Shame on the systems!!!!

Unknown said...

They prefer to put the red carpet out for multinationals, nasty corporations who rob New Zealand from their Taonga (treasures), Monsanto, GCSB bills to spy on their people, than to welcome a simple artist...
Shame on the systems!!!

Eli said...

" i know nothing about the moriori, beyond that which i have been told. i know that they have been used several times a political tools, both pro and anti colonial."


Its a urban myth thats been disproven for several decades now, but keeps getting repeated regardless as a racist colonial rhetorical device

The Moriori were simply a cultural/linguistic offshoot from Maori who moved to the Chatham Islands from roughly the 16th century onwards, before being conquered by mainland Maori in the mid-to-late 19th century. They weren't 'the original natives' of Aotearoa.

All you're doing is exposing your own ignorance by repeating it and then admitting you know nothing about it when called out. Read a book, for chrissake.

Anonymous said...

Kia ora David, my fiance and I were gutted to hear about our ur-fascist government denying you access to play your gigs in Aotearoa. I've heard you play twice at folk clubs, and at a union rally, and I really enjoy your music. Please don't judge us by our shit government, and once we can establish democracy, you will always be welcome here. We have subscribed to your crowdfunding scheme, and look forward to receiving the booty, and listening to your new albums, but we don't care how long it takes to get them out to the middle of nowhere ;)

Kia kaha

hari pacche said...

David (R) refused entry to NZ, David Miranda (and Laura Poitras look up Ed Snowden) delayed at LHR for 9 hours on fake terrorism "suspicion" charges just yesterday, throw in The GCHQ (British version of FBI) destroying computers in the Guardian offices in London also yesterday, mmm! why are they scared of singers and reporters..
Its not communists or even muslims anymore, now its reporters and musicians...they come for. Make no mistake this is not a work permit issue in Davids case. Rohan

Unknown said...

Comparing the treatment of one indigenous group who have had their lives stolen from them, to another group who have had it worse, is like trying to compare French slavery to American slavery. They're both fucking slavery you muppets. And being insulted by someone getting the population wrong of our country - holy shit that's weak. New Zealand has to get over this insecurity of not being able to handle criticism, and trying to think of itself as bigger than it is in the world. Dammit David how do you not know the exact population of New Zealand? Don't you know that everyone here in NZ knows the population of all countries! Well if by every country you mean this one, and possibly Australia.

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sizemik said...

Ended up here quite by accident. Some days it's just embarrassing to be a New Zealander. The lack of knowledge of our own history, the foot-stomping parochialism, childish name calling, absence of comprenehsion skills and basic literacy make Hobbitown appear the home of the knucklehead. Thanks to Bevan Morgan and a few others from disturbing the mold of a rapidly solidifying stereotype. I hereby resign as a New Zealander, and if Immigration has an issue with that I have only one thing to say . . . read my fucking blog.

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