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Clark targets housing affordability

Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, February 12th, 2008 - 23 comments
Categories: housing, labour - Tags: ,

In her speech today, the Prime Minister announced a slate of government plans on housing affordability. New land will be freed up for housing but it will not a National-style free-for-all where land would be gobbled up by wealthy individuals and private developers for over-priced, up-scale housing that will exclude most people. Rather, areas will be found that are suitable for large-scale developments and the government will work with local government and not-for-profit groups to build communities with affordable housing.

A shared equity scheme in which the government puts up part of the purchase cost and gets partial equity in a house will assist people who have never owned a home buying a newly built house, such as one built in the developments. Low cost housing and more state houses will also open these new developments to ordinary New Zealanders.

Sustainability should be a priority for these new developments. Ecologically and economically-minded houses should be built around carefully planned public transport with park space and community resources designed to foster a sense of community, and commercial areas to provide employment. For too long, poorly planned sprawl has been permitted that creates soulless suburbs, congested roads, and denies too many the chance to own a house. It looks like this policy will confront the problem.

(Our mates at blogblog say: “Clark builds homes, Key supplies the vacuum“)

23 comments on “Clark targets housing affordability”

  1. Patrick 1

    This is really ambitious policy going into an election year. It isn’t reactionary “chuck em on a reality TV show” type stuff, but actually looking to improve the long-term outlook for our entire society.

    I really hope that this gets well publicised and continued support, it has so much potential.

  2. mike 2

    Brilliant idea, we’ll put this with other 11 shared equity announcements Labour have issued since 2004. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00143.htm

  3. jay dawgg 3

    What happens if in order to build a sustainable house it actually places it beyond the ability of the average NZer on the average age.

    Shouldn’t we think this through properly before committing ourselves on the basis of slogans. Most ordinary people simply want a roof over their heads that they can call their own. They aren’t necessarily into sustainability.

  4. r0b 4

    It isn’t reactionary “chuck em on a reality TV show’ type stuff, but actually looking to improve the long-term outlook for our entire society.

    See also KiwiSaver, Cullen Fund, student loans, sustainability… Long term thinking about the big problems.

    There’s plenty of good stuff in the full transcript of the speech.

  5. Monty 5

    It certainly is good to free up land for housing development. Long overdue – but and it is a bit but…… the RMA needs an major overhaul to really progress this ambition along. And the plan does need to be ambitious – several thousand sections in all cities throughout NZ.

    Developers need to be encouraged to make land available for subdivisions – at present it is obstacle after obstacle. The RMA simply makes it too difficult to cover off the costs and the risks. On top of that the costs of construction need to be addressed as well and a good place to start will be the $15,000 it can cost for the consents to build a house.

    And Lastly – interference by the government beyond governance will simply mean that houses will continue to be unaffordable. The free market (I can hear the screams from the left as soon as free market is mentioned) is the best way of making houses affordable and increasing demand by shared equity or dollars added to deposits simply increases demand for that product.

    So Labour may do something about home affordability – but as usual with socialist policy is that it ends up having the opposite of the desired effect. Stupid economically illiterate socialists.

  6. BeShakey 6

    “Shouldn’t we think this through properly before committing ourselves on the basis of slogans. Most ordinary people simply want a roof over their heads that they can call their own. They aren’t necessarily into sustainability.”

    I don’t think that’s a sign it hasn’t been thought through properly, quite the opposite, the government is recognising the synergies between different policy areas. While you may be right about people simply wanting a roof over their heads, addressing sustainability is likely to reduce the whole of life costs of a house. In this respect the government can be seen to be leading a change in the way NZers think about their houses. I for one will be happy to see an end to the ‘build it as cheap as possible and leave the health/safety/long term financial issues for someone else’ culture. Also good to see the government leading, rather than simply following opinion polls.

  7. r0b 7

    The free market (I can hear the screams from the left as soon as free market is mentioned) is the best way of making houses affordable

    That’s an interesting claim Monty, and I wonder if you could elaborate. Because it seems to be that it was exactly the free market that has recently made houses unaffordable.

    Compared with say, the lefty big government “state house” programme that historically brought affordable housing to thousands.

  8. Phil 8

    “…areas will be found that are suitable for large-scale developments ”

    I can’t think of anywhere in Auckland or Wellington where that is even remotely practical.
    So Helen plans to solve a problem by ignoring the two geographical places where it’s most prevalent. Yep, great idea.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    Phil – Newlands will be touching on to Petone soon, the northern ‘burbs of Wellington would be about right if done properly. While you’re at it, Churton Park, meet Tawa! Can’t help with Auckland though :(

    WRT ‘sustainability’ being a mere slogan, let’s think that through, yeah?

    You install the most efficient heating methods for the house and water that are available. You insulate. You reduce water supply requirements. You give very good access to public transport. You have park areas and appropriate amenities.

    Then, five or ten years down the track, you have families that are better off because their house is warmer, cheaper to maintain, their area isn’t running dry (water wise ;) ), they have access to public transport in the face of huge fuel costs, and have a vibrant community.

    Sure, sustainability is just some hippie eco-terrorist buzz-word right?

    I like the idea of land developed by N.F.P groups and local govt – the private sector wouldn’t be able to build cheap, sustainable and decent housing in heaven, let alone on earth.

  10. insider 10

    Phil

    Jump in a plane and you will see large tracts of land around Wellington. There are also large amounts of land in Manukau earmarked for development south of Botany

  11. dave 11

    A couple of things, the PM didnt announce the policy in her speech. THe Herald announced it with a cojpy fo trhe speech.

    Sounds like this policy, like the “keep kids at school” policy, was borrowed in part from the UK.

    Doesnt Labour have any new ideas?

  12. Simeon 12

    No Labour does not have any new ideas.

    A lot of it is recycled. (At least they set a good example on recycling)

    [lprent: don't web-whore unless it is in context]

  13. AncientGeek 13

    mike:

    Brilliant idea, we’ll put this with other 11 shared equity announcements Labour have issued since 2004.

    I realize that the nats (who released that release you linked), have a habit of making policy without thinking.

    Labour does not. Of course they have looked at the idea, floated it around for comment, line up support across party lines, do pilot projects before committing large amounts of money, and generally act responsibly.

    Contrast this with the party that released that press release. In the absence of any clear policies, can we can expect this to be another dead rat that they will swallow in the months leading up to the election? They do not even have a housing policy on their website, and their Building and Construction policy area only features a photo of Nick Smith with a stupid grin… Just about sums up nationals policy making ability doesn’t it.

    cap: the GROSSGERG :)

  14. andy 14

    Otara, was supposed to be cheap housing. Did some stats today, cheapest house (3 bdrm) sold a few weeks ago 230K, ten per cent deposit is 23k. 25 years (2 year fixed) at 9.5% on $207,000 is 417.05 weekly. Otara is about as good as it gets for affordability in Auckland, and poorer families can’t carry that debt. This is the cheapest example i could find!

    I can’t see how this scheme is going to work, Aucland city council cancelled there cheap housing scheme. 9 million dollars to help under one hundred families. The numbers will never add up, the qualification means its a middle class subsidy, as they can only afford it.

    BeShakey I agree..

    Releasing land at the fringes is foolish as well, only the wealthy can afford the higher costs to commute, pay for infrastructure, transport for kids to schools…

    BTW: Ms Street was my high school english teacher..

  15. AncientGeek 15

    I’ve always been of the opinion that more efficient housing should not be that difficult or expensive to achieve. It is just that it is not a priority with housing developers.

    Think about it. Their standard operation is to build a house or apartment and sell it, preferably before they start or finish it. They seldom (if ever) retain an ownership stack. So there is no benefit to them in building it to a standard more than is required to pass the regulations. They don’t really consider the ongoing costs of maintenance or running costs beyond what is required to get a sucker to buy the place.

    But your average house or apartment is rated for 60 or more years. As every home owner knows, within 10-20 years the maintenance costs start getting substantial (painting, roofs, guttering, plumbing, etc). The running costs are there all of the time.

    I’d bet that you could make substantial improvements in both with a few minor and probably non-costly design modifications, if that was a priority. Suggestions? I have a few ideas – but you’d really want an architect, engineer, builder, or contractor to suggest them. I’ll bet they have more than a few easy suggestions.

    Labour is proposing taking an equity stake. That means that they’d get interested in the maintenance costs at least.

  16. slightlyrighty 16

    The simplest economic theory is the the concept of supply and demand setting the price.

    So what has affected demand in the housing market? Rampant growth in property values, coupled with easy access to credit have made investment properties stunningly attractive. The generous tax breaks available have made such investment easy, low risk and profitable. Labour could have addressed this but a middle class sitting on artificially high property values is a happy middle class.

    On the supply side, the RMA and government compliance costs have gone a long way to making low cost housing uneconomic to produce consigning the lower socio economic demographic to a position where home ownership is unavailable to them. As the middle and upper class avail themselves of the largesse to the Labour Government continual lack of action in allowing the taxpayer to subsidise property investment, the supply of housing is restricted, while the supply of the needed housing is dwindling.

    Of course this situation cannot continue. Headlines this morning point to the biggest housing slump in 20 years. We may see a self correction. How will supply and demand affect the market in the next few years? My predictions are for the Baby Boomers, as they hit retirement age, will wish to realise the cash. we will see aglut of housing supply causing a drop in pricing at the mid range in the market, which will drive all pricing down.

    Subsequently, banks will be unwilling to loan at the levels seen in the last 6 years as porperty values are falling, which may in turn restrict demand a bit further, tending prices down.

    and Labour will have nothing to do with the solution to housing affordability, but a band of homeowners will be left with a mortgage debt higher than the value of the security, and that will be labours fault.

  17. insider 17

    It’s a bit rich for HC to be all concerned about affordability when here building act takes a lot of the blame.

    Labour have increased costs significantly for new homes through such things as increased obligations on insulation and double glazing. Every new home in NZ will now cost 5-10k more as a result. Doesn;t matter whether you want it or need it, you will be forced to install it (also impacts major renovations I believe).

    I don’t mind regulation per se but was there any cut in other regs to compensate? I suspect not. It is too easy for a regulator to push unnecessary costs onto a whole population to cover either their butts or the small risks an issue hypothetically might cause down the line.

    The other thing I have heard hitting home costs is leaky buildings. COuncils are running scared and overcompensating on regs and I;ve heard similar for earthquake proofing, which is increasing the volume of steel required.

    Sure we have earthquakes, but we don’t have them that often and even when we have, most timber framed homes have survived.

    We seem to have moved to a highly prescriptive system rahter than an outcomes based one which is a shame.

  18. Tane 18

    such things as increased obligations on insulation and double glazing

    These are good things. They reduce energy bills, take pressure of energy generation and reduce New Zealand’s carbon footprint. And at a very low cost.

    Every new home in NZ will now cost 5-10k more as a result.

    That doesn’t account for the 80% increase in house prices in recent years. What’s $5-10k on a $500k house? 1%? 2%?

  19. insider 19

    Sorry Tane but that is on every house – ie the physical part not the total property value. So on a $250k property that is quite a significant impact given the building will perhaps be only 200k of that. Most $500k houses will have high land values (I live in one and the rating valuation was done in December and I think the land is valued at about $200k which is probably a bit low judging by section prices in the area).

    Also the numbers for the claimed savings just don’t stack up. The policy was justified on claimed savings that don’t exist in reality. Very similar to the govt criticism of the BRT report on emissions trading costs – fanciful scenarios that don’t match reality. It’s really just another carbon tax. The poorest get hit hardest.

    Heating is about 1/3 of your power bill. The measures claimed to save up to 1/3 of heating costs. An average bill according to the govt is 8000kwh/yr and it costs about 21c/kwh. So that equals $1680 a year. One third of one third is a bit less than $200 a year. So for an outlay of 5-10k you will ‘save’ up to $200 with a minimum payback of 25 years (I suspect many will have replaced their windows by then).

    The evidence from overseas is that they don’t reduce pressure on energy consumption. They either have no impact or people use more. This is a well recognised phenomenon in NZ and overseas.

  20. slightlyrighty 20

    Tane.

    Granted, insulation in homes is a good thing and do not increase the overall in and of itself to any great degree, but the ongoing increase in compliance costs had led to compliance becoming an industry in its own right adding a huge cost to building.

    Just to subdivide a section could cost you 50k before a sod of eath is even turned in some parts of NZ.

    And to your assertion of whats is 5-10 k on a 500 k house? The average NZer cannot afford a 500k house. We need more houses in the 250-350k range but these compliance costs are making these houses uneconomic to build. 5-10k for double glazing as a percentage of 350k is much higher.

    So lets add 5k to the 50k compliance cost. What is 55k as a percentage of 350k? Is 15.7% of a house cost taken up in compliance costs acceptable when property is sundivided? How bad is it getting?
    It is now getting to the point where a homeowner may need council consent to change the putty in the window.

  21. insider 21

    Slightly

    I heard the same putty story. I think it was a joke comment by a councillor in the Hutt rather than a realistic policy

  22. slightlyrighty 22

    Insider,

    I have contacts at BOINZ, The building officails institute on NZ, and I am of the understanding that that was a valid consequent of legislation considered.

  23. dave 23

    Do any of you guys own your own home? Nah ,thought not. Are you oin 70K? Then you may be in with a chance with Labours policy. You may yet own a house.

    A couple would need to earn more than the average $68,000 household income to meet the mortgage on an affordable home at the Government’s flagship Hobsonville housing development. ( $300k plus)

    Mortgage calculators show repayments on a 30-year 90 percent loan at a current two-year fixed interest rate of 9.35 percent would be $603 a week before rates and insurance. At a rate of 8 percent, repayments would be [$27.716 a year].

    What a joke. Affordable housing, yeah right.

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  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • First batch of household protection kits arrives in Liberia
    Kits containing protective gear will equip a network of community-based Ebola care centres nationwide...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dr Paul Hutchison praised for work to reduce child poverty
    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has thanked retiring National MP Dr Paul Hutchison for his work to reduce child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Bag snatch hero deserves a medal – McVicar
    The Justice Spokesman for the Conservative Party, Garth McVicar, is calling for the woman known as the bag-snatch hero to be awarded a medal for bravery....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Police Remembrance Day
    This week, Police staff and others have been wearing the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin as they reflect on those who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect. Police Remembrance Day falls on...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid
    Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry is disturbed by developments increasing the number of local body regions choosing racially based representation. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils already have Maori wards, while New Plymouth...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dairy Strategy Proving to be a Disaster
    The intensification of the dairy industry is proving to be a disaster, says SAFE. This comes after the forecast 2015 milk price payout was cut 12% by Fonterra this week. “Last year, the government effectively gave the green light for...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Where Next for the Left?
    26 September 2014 A discussion of the post-election prospects for radicals, facilitated by Fightback. 6pm | Monday 28th September | 19 Tory St [ Facebook event ]...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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