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Comment: On immigration we are off Australia's radar

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Last week I attended the Metropolis conference on immigration in Sydney along with representatives from government departments, non-government organisations, researchers, policy analysts, politicians and communities from all around the world.

It was a great conference and very timely. Immigration is one of those current touchpoints – and flashpoints – in many countries.

A couple of aspects were intriguing. The first was how some of those presenting characterised Australia.

Australia's Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman, in a case of Trumpian hyperbole described Australia as "the greatest nation on earth".

There were some puzzled looks but to make sure the audience understood, he repeated the claim.

This was accompanied by further claims during the conference that Australia offered the best example of multiculturalism, often made by conservative politicians, although this was strongly contested by other Australian commentators.

Another aspect was much more troubling. New Zealand was invisible. There were literally no references made to New Zealand anywhere, except by those of us actually from New........

© New Zealand Herald