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The Standard

Greens offer pathway to home ownership, better renters’ rights

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, January 24th, 2013 - 274 comments
Categories: housing - Tags:

The Greens have launched a big new housing policy (interest.co.nz has the most comprehensive report so far, Herald piece here) called Home for Lifethat fixes KiwiBuild and gives renters more rights. The problem with Kiwibuild is a lot of the target families can’t afford the mortgage. The Greens have got around that with Progressive Ownership. A shared equity programme that basically means you’re paying the government’s low interest rate, rather than the higher rate from a bank.

The nice thing is the flexibility. You have that low basic payment to cover the sovereign borrowing rate, then you buy equity as you can afford it. Stop buying up if you lose your job, buy up more if your ship comes in.

Sounds like a goer. Like, a real option for so many young families who are staring at years, if not decades, more renting. It would certainly help me and mine get out of paying the landlord’s mortgage and into building up something for ourselves instead. And it’s not like the basic idea is new – it was the Nats who used to lend families money at 3% to families for new homes under State Advances. And there’s no cost to the government, because you’re paying the Crown’s borrowing cost.

They haven’t forgotten renters, either. Rentals will be required to meet basic standards to ensure they’re liveable in reaction to the abuses in Christchurch. Rental increases will be limited to once a year and will have to be in accordance with a formula in the tenancy agreement – no more surprise hikes. Also, you’ll have the right to renew your tenancy agreement when it expires – no fear of getting the boot if you complain about the state of the place.

Nice one, Metiria. Got my vote.

274 comments on “Greens offer pathway to home ownership, better renters’ rights”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    So the Greens are still keen on bailing out the hold as the Titanic sinks, and not mentioning to anyone that the Titanic has hit an iceberg.

    Political opportunism, the kind of nonsense that got us into the current mess.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.1

      And then the sky will fall on our heads. By the end of next year, just after the collapse of fiat currency and the banking system, right?

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        I think you’ll find that the illuminati and reverse vampires will have taken over long before that occurs.

      • Afewknowthetruth 1.1.2

        I suspect that NZ will be one of the last places to go under, simply because of its relatively low population and temperate climate etc. So NZ probably has until 2015 before ‘the sky falls’, as has already happened in Greece, Spain, Portugal etc., and is happening in the US, UK, France etc..

        However, a ‘black swan event could bring forward the moment of collapse. Who knows? The fact is, we are now in uncharted territory; humanity has never been in such a dire state, and the Earth has never been in such a dire state. Of course, those whop go around wearing rose tinted glasses don’t see a thing wrong because everything is rosy…….

        By the way, I see that Hilary Clinton wants to start a new set of wars in Africa to loot whatever can be looted from there to prop up current political and economic arrangements. Do you think the Americans will have more success in Africa than they had in Iraq and Afghanistan?

        The last resort of desperate leaders: perpetual war overseas and fascism at home.

    • Lightly 1.2

      woke up on the stoned side of the bed, eh?

      Step through the economics.

      The Greens have already said they’ll drive out the speculators with CGT and LVR. That helps lower our exposure via the foreign-owned banks.

      This will lower returns on the worst rentals and decrease demand for rentals by moving people into home ownership, funded not by bank borrowing but the Crown’s balancesheet. Again, discouraging property investment and reducing the amount of bank debt we owe.

      Like KiwiBuild, it alters the balance away from developers whose economic interest is in building McMansions to a government-led building programme that doesn’t sprawl and is built around energy efficient public transport.

      This is what you should want, to reduce our exposure to foreign debt and the energy intensity of our urban form.

      But it’s all over, eh? There’s cannibalism in central Auckland by now, according to some of your older comments, eh?

      • Chris 1.2.1

        How exactly does a CGT drive out property speculators?

        • toad

          It doesn’t necessarily “drive them out”, but it does mean that there is less incentive to invest in property as opposed to productive enterprise that employs people.

          • One Tāne Huna

            Between 1951 and 1954, when the capital gains rate was 25 percent and marginal rates on dividends reached 91 percent in extreme cases, I sold securities and did pretty well. In the years from 1956 to 1969, the top marginal rate fell modestly, but was still a lofty 70 percent — and the tax rate on capital gains inched up to 27.5 percent. I was managing funds for investors then. Never did anyone mention taxes as a reason to forgo an investment opportunity that I offered.

            Warren Buffet. My emphasis.

            • Chris

              Yeah that’s exactly my point – the whole point of a CGT is that it taxes on the gains – there are still gains to be had. The main property investors (who are the major problem) are already taxed so will be no difference to them.

              Other investors will see less returns but property will still be very attractive as it is lower risk and gives reasonably good returns.

              CGT will add more money to the governments coffers for sure but people need to stop pretending it will have any impact on property prices

              • Lightly

                if you tax capital gains, you decrease the net capital gains received. That decreases the rate of return on the investment, making it less attractive relative to other investment. Put it another way, it increases the (opportunity) cost of property investment – increasing the cost of something usually makes people do it less.

              • McFlock

                the gains will be less. Therefore less incentive. Less incentive = less demand. Isn’t that your orthodox market theory?

                edit: snap lightly :)

                • Chris

                  I’m aware of that but the point is more the fact that I don’t believe the 20% CGT (obviously making up a rate there) will not be enough to deter anyone from property investment. As I said above the only people who invest in property and will be affected by CGT have other reasons to do so such as the lower risk and effort involved.

                  Another scenario rather than people investing less is:

                  The main people impacted by CGT would be those who own rental properties who will wimply pass on some or all of the cost to the renters. This would likely increase home ownership as people are driven out of renting by the increase. The increased demand for housing will increase the price of houses making property investment more attractive.

                  Don’t get me wrong I agree with introducing a CGT as it broadens the tax base but I just cannot believe it has any significant impact on the attraction of property investment.

                  • McFlock

                    Depends if the speculator is spending their own money, or leveraging to the max off other properties (more likely). Any amount would knock down the mortgage they can reasonably get. Thus taking the steam off the market.

                    But if it’s a first home, it wouldn’t qualify for a CGT (at least according to the last plan I heard), so the purchaser doesn’t need to factor in a CGT.

            • QoT

              Yeah, well I wouldn’t be too quick to turn down Warren Buffet’s advice either.

          • Fortran

            A CGT will put up the sale price to allow the CGT to be factored.

            • One Tāne Huna

              Citation needed. Plenty of places have introduced CGTs so you should have no trouble finding examples

      • Fortran 1.2.2

        Don’t panic, the Greens will print enough money to cover the Banks’ financial departure as they leave onl a small branch in New Zealand.

        • tracey

          Thanks for that Chicken Little

          • Colonial Viper

            Both capital flight and a capital strike are serious, potentially crippling threats, to NZ democracy, and we have to view and mitigate the possibility very seriously.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      We can, as a matter of fact, support ourselves and our industrial civilisation here in NZ. Most of the rest of the world can’t but NZ can just so long as we keep population down and make a few other needed changes to protect our environment. Things will slow up a bit and a few people will have to take a major cut in their overly extravagant lifestyle but all of us would have a similar living standard to what most of us have now.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        Erm, no, not really. NZ imports so much oil that we can’t replace domestically that vis-a-vis means we cannot have the lifestyles we have now.

        Also to get that oil we rely on international expertise and machinery – if the rest of the world goes kapput, so go our deep-sea drilling rigs, pipes and refineries, not to mention the computers and software to run it all.

        You’d be looking more at an 1800’s style lifestyle than our current modern (fossil-fuelled) one.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Erm, no, not really. NZ imports so much oil that we can’t replace domestically that vis-a-vis means we cannot have the lifestyles we have now.

          We don’t need oil. Even the plastics used to surround monitors and TVs can be replaced quite easily by non-oil based plastics.

          Also to get that oil we rely on international expertise and machinery – if the rest of the world goes kapput,

          Expertise and machinery that didn’t exist before it was researched and developed which we can do in NZ and we have the basic starting stages already well known.

          not to mention the computers and software to run it all.

          We can produce computers here in NZ and we can do it without oil. Sure, need to do some R&D first but then we should be doing that anyway.

          About the only things we wouldn’t have would be cars and planes but we’d still have buses and trains. They’d just be electric rather than fossil fueled.

          • Lanthanide

            “We can produce computers here in NZ and we can do it without oil. Sure, need to do some R&D first but then we should be doing that anyway.”

            Ahh yes, your strange delusion that anyone can do anything, all it takes is a little hard work.

            It also takes billion dollar fabs (good luck building them in an earthquake prone country after peak oil!) and the raw materials, as well as the labour force to run the equipment which we simply do not have in this country.

            • Jackal

              We import fuel that we don’t make enough of and export fuel we make too much of for our domestic market. If the shit really did hit the fan overseas, we would simply have to convert some of our vehicles and use more electrification.

              There would be very little interruption to our current lifestyles in doing so.

              New Zealand produces some of the best developers, engineers and technicians around who are sought after globally. We can also produce the software and equipment required for most enterprises and replication or repair of the technology we already use is not out of the question.

              You’d be looking at a New Zealand that was perhaps better than it currently is because we would have approximately halved our fossil fueled vehicles CO2 emissions.

            • tracey

              you cant produce computers without silver… do we have silver mines here?

              • Lanthanide

                Don’t worry, we’ll just invent entirely new technology whilst simultaneously building these billion dollar fabs, ’cause we can do anything we want with just hard work.

                • Colonial Weka

                  I love it when the Green technoheads use the word ‘simply’.

                  “We just simply replace oil with bioplastics and electricity”

                  Citations are needed for all the claims above, and by that I mean citations of analyses done on the actual situation in NZ, not ‘simply’ links that show that in some other context someone made something from bioplastics instead of fossils. As far as I know, that work on NZ hasn’t been done yet.

                  • You_Fool

                    Whilst I have no link, in 2003 Auckland University Engineering Students did a 4th year design project on exactly that… getting fossil fuel from plastics in NZ/Auckland. Sure it was Tolulene not Octane, but saying that it hasn’t been done is a lie, just that there is no link. THere was a masters project done as well, not sure of the outcome of that, but I know my and my team’s design project worked, at least on paper, and was economically viable

                  • Colonial Weka

                    I’m not talking about making plastics. I’m talking about an analysis of the NZ situation that we could convert to bioplastics and maintain BAU. This means looking at the physics and chemistry, the land use issues (which are huge, and include all the politics and shit going on Canty re democracy and water rights, as well as sustainability of soil use), the EROEI, and the economics. When I say the work hasn’t been done yet, I mean that while we can make the product, we have no idea if making and using the product in NZ is feasible in the way being discussed.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m talking about an analysis of the NZ situation that we could convert to bioplastics and maintain BAU.

                      Don’t know about anyone else but I certainly aren’t suggesting that we maintain BAU. We have no need to and it’s unsustainable.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Lanth I agree that this is magical thinking. NZ will become an expert high efficiency semiconductor designer and manufacturer within 10 years. Somehow.

              • Jackal

                New Zealand has lots of silver and produced over 27 tonnes in 2006.

              • Draco T Bastard

                you cant produce computers without silver…

                [citation needed]

                Gold and silver production in New Zealand

                In New Zealand, silver is a by-product of mining for the more valuable precious metal, gold. The two metals occur together. Both are widespread but minor elements, usually found as deposits in igneous rocks (as in the Coromandel and Waihi) and metamorphic rocks (as in Otago).

                • Colonial Weka

                  How easy is it to access without using fossil fuels?

                  • David C

                    Easy. Pick and shovel.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Not that easy but doable in small amounts (relative to what we can get now). Pick and shovel.


                  • vto

                    Easy. take a gander at the old books on gold mining in NZ. Use a few horsies to turn a turnstile, build a few water channels to divert water to a waterwheel, use same to drive a battery.

                    It has been done before so it can be done again.

                    Plus it would sop up those with diddly squat to do with their days – and from the looks of the keyboard warriors around here there are plenty of us.

                    But what about earning enough to feed and house ourselves, I hear people cry.. well, they seemed to feed and house themselves in the good old days.

                    But what about the internet, I hear people cry… well, some things may not be so available. Whoop de shit. Does that affect your daily yearly happiness?

                    But what about.. (insert something)… I hear people cry ….. on it goes….

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Sure vto, but have you thought about this in terms of powerdown? People adjusting to low energy tech? You call it easy, others are using the term ‘simple’, but I’m not sure that it is. I think it’s doable, but easy is not a term I like to see so easily bandied around.

                      For instance, the reason that oil has made such a boost to human societies is because of the high level of embodied energy in fossil fuels. If you use horse or manpower instead, it takes more time to get less energy or product. That is completely doable, and IMO has the potential to increase teh quality of life of many people. But a transition is involved, and I’m not convinced that getting there from here is straightforward or easy or inevitable despite being theoretically plausible.

                      How many people living know how to source and process raw silver? Grow food that has the range of nutrients for their families/neighbours to thrive on? Build houses using technologies from 100 years ago? We have some people that can do those things, but they’re not skills that exist commonly. We should be preparing around this, not saying it will be easy.

                    • vto

                      Yes of course, I was being a little flippant. Such a transition would be hugely difficult if we went down that path before we “needed to”. However, if there was no alternative then different again.

                      Fossil fuels have certainly driven the human population skyward and their disappearance would have massive consequences.

                      I actually think other forms of energy will arise. Sun. Wind. etc. But not before it “needs to”. I have a belief in most of human nature and its tenacity.

                      The biggest problems of course will be in the biggest populations.. *shiver*

            • Polish Pride

              Actually as a primary exporter we can do everything Draco is saying and if still trade with China and or Japan for many products we want but don’t want to produce here in NZ if need be….

              • Colonial Weka

                Apart from the rest of the world also being in energy decline at the same time.

                Please provide an analysis of how NZ could replace oil-based plastics without using fossil fuels for transport, energy, construction etc.

              • Jenny

                If you use horse or manpower instead, it takes more time to get less energy or product. That is completely doable, and IMO has the potential to increase teh quality of life of many people. But a transition is involved, and I’m not convinced that getting there from here is straightforward or easy or inevitable despite being theoretically plausible.

                Colonial Weka

                Not only is it theoretically possible, it has been done once before. The type of power down described here by Weka is exactly the sort that occurred during world war II. Yes indeed horses were returned to the streets of Auckland. Milk deliveries for instance were done by horse and dray replacing the delivery van.

                The other point of such a power down as alluded to by Weka, is that it is much more labour intensive. ie. it will create tens of thousands of jobs.

                Rather than being a cut in lifestyle this will lift many thousands out of unemployment and poverty.

                An expressed concern about jobs is the most common excuse used by the apologists for the fossil fuel industry. In fact it is not jobs they are concerned about at all. It is profits. No other source of energy is less labour intensive than fossil fuel sourced energy, that is why it is so profitable.

                • rosy

                  Yes indeed horses were returned to the streets of Auckland. Milk deliveries for instance were done by horse and dray replacing the delivery van.

                  Please, no. If horses in an urban environment is the answer, then the question is wrong. the stink, the mess, the noise from horses is at least as polluting as any engine-based traffic, and not only from a historical perspective. In Vienna the one and only purely tourist attraction is horse and carriage rides and that’s the one thing that also makes the city unbearable in summer (It’s just yucky in winter) – heat, piss, poo, noise from the carriage wheels and horseshoes on asphalt and cobbles, manure-laden dust from the machines trying to clean it up. And that’s just in a couple of streets. I can’t imagine using horses city-wide as alternatives to engine-based transport.

                  There’s also quite some infrastructure tied up with horses – where do they stay? how is the manure disposed of? what about dead and injured animals? In an urban environment they’re not environmentally-friendly creatures at all.

                • Polish Pride

                  More people in jobs with the technology we have today is not necessarily a good thing and is only desirable because of the structure of the current system.
                  The system could be changed to focus on freeing people from having to work AND ensuring that needs and wants are met AND use far less resources in doing so. You just need to remove the profit motive.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Ahh yes, your strange delusion that anyone can do anything, all it takes is a little hard work.

              No, that would be you applying to me your misunderstanding of what I’ve said. I’ve said a society can do everything that it requires to maintain itself. You seem to be too stupid to understand the difference between a society and an individual.

          • Afewknowthetruth

            So when you talk about NZ producing non-oil-based plastics presumably you are advocating expansion of the coal economy.

            The Standard has increasingly become the home of lunatics.

            (By the way, I have an Honours Degree in Chemistry, a postgraduate diploma in Industrial Technology, and have taught educational units on plastics.)

            • Enough is Enough

              This should be funny. Afewknowthetruth debating Draco over who is the bigger Lunatic.

              • Polish Pride

                Hmmm yes Lunacy – Continuing to vote within the same left vs right system every 3 years and expectintg change whilst in reality policies shift only a couple of degrees to the left or the right each time whilst the biggest problems remain unfixed year upon year.
                But you wouldn’t be doing that now would you ….. :)

              • Draco T Bastard

                Afewknowthetruth does happen to be wrong on numerous counts. He doesn’t seem to be able to accept that we here in NZ can maintain an industrial society from our own resources and do it sustainably.

                • Afewknowthetruth

                  Please demonstrate how industrial society can be maintained in NZ, remembering that the entire planet is in the early stages of abrupt climate change as a consequence of out-of-control emissions and positive feedbacks, and will be largely uininhabitable by 2060. .

                  All we ever get is platitudes and unfounded assertions, I’m afraid.

                  • Lanthanide

                    “will be largely uininhabitable by 2060″

                    “All we ever get is platitudes and unfounded assertions, I’m afraid.”

                    Coming from you, yes.

                    The planet will be plenty habitable in 2060 for humans, barring nuclear war or other extreme event (like a nearby gamma ray burst from a black hole).

                    It is unlikely that the earth of 2060 will support industrialised civilization in it’s current form, however.

                    You really don’t seem to be able to grasp just how tenacious life, and humans, are.

                    Worst case scenario, there might only be 500m people alive in 2060, but that is far from “uninhabitable”.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      How many in NZ?

                    • Lanthanide

                      CW – my 500m figure is just a ballpark idea to show AFKTT just how ridiculously fatalistic he’s being.

                      Humans lived on earth, in societies, for thousands of years before we had fossil fuels. There’s no reason we’re all going to up and die simply because we ran out of oil. Or similarly that the earth is going to be “uninhabitable” from climate change by 2060. If the temperatures rise by 3C on average, that means NZ will go from being 15C to 18C, big woop, that’s hardly going to kill us all. Even if temperatures went from 15C to 30C on average, there are plenty of places in the world right now that have people living there which have 30C average temperatures.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Yes I understood that Lanth. But until someone does some actual work on how NZ could feed itself, I don’t think it’s real to say lots of us will survive. I think we might, but we don’t actually know. I was wondering what the ball park estimation would be for NZ. If we don’t get specific like that, it’s just too abstract and theoretical.

                      I doubt that we would survive a rapid rise to 30C average temperature. The difference between now and the past is that in the past we had technologies appropriate to the climate. Now we don’t. And in the past human societies had time to adapt. Now we might not be so lucky, and even in the best case scenario we will have to adapt very quickly in evolutionary terms.

                      When industrial food production falls over people will starve, and I don’t see how NZ will avoid that if it happens fast. It takes time to transition technologies, and we are doing much damage to our fertile land in the meantime.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “uninhabitable” means “no one inhabits” = 100% extinction of all humans.

                      Average temperatures of 30C in NZ by 2060 would still not see 100% extinction of humans in NZ, let alone the entire world.

                    • Afewknowthetruth

                      Do you even know the meaning of the word platitude?

                    • “Average temperatures of 30C in NZ by 2060″

                      Ho hum
                      That would see a total acidification of the oceans and no Amazon … (the rain forest not the book sellers) which means no oxygen.
                      Good luck with that.

                  • Lightly

                    if this is all inevitable (and your loudly proclaimed doomsday predictions haven’t worked out to date, which doesn’t do any good for those of us genuinely concerned about climate change and peak oil), isn’t it an argument for having a good time now and damn the consequences, because there are none, rather than being a grumpy fuck?

                    The only reason to be grumpy is if you think salvation is possible

            • Polish Pride

              There are other options – Henry ford intended to use hemp for automobile production as it was able to produce panels stronger than steel.
              I don’t believe Chinas superfast elctromagnetic trains consume much diesel ;)
              We have an abunance of rivers that can be used for additional hydro power generation.
              There’s plenty of crops that are far better for biodiesel than corn.
              Permaculture has the ability to produce 3 – 10 times the amount of produce that modern intensive farming methods would produce.
              Hydroponics on a significant scale could be investigated for verticle farming options close to or within metropolitan areas.
              The list goes on..
              It just requires the ability to think outside the bounds of the current system. Something many struggle to do but something that more and more are doing as the current system increasingly fails on more and more levels.

              • Saccharomyces

                Okay, care to back any of that up?

                ” Henry ford intended to use hemp for automobile production as it was able to produce panels stronger than steel.” – Then why didn’t he?

                “There’s plenty of crops that are far better for biodiesel than corn.” – Corn is used for ethanol, not biodiesel.

                “I don’t believe Chinas superfast elctromagnetic trains consume much diesel ” – where does the electricity come from to power them?

                “Permaculture has the ability to produce 3 – 10 times the amount of produce that modern intensive farming methods would produce.” – So why aren’t farmers doing it now? Pretty sure ever crop grower.market gardner would be keen for a return 3-10 time what they’re currently getting.

                • Polish Pride

                  Henry Ford
                  As to why he didn’t ….. Oil Barons had good forsight….? (oil is used in steel production also)

                  Corn Biodiesel
                  http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/7887/biodiesel-from-corn-oil-a-growing-force but yes I should have included ethanol also.

                  Not sure where Chinas getting the power from ….coal???? but they have them so they must be getting the power to run them.
                  If coal use is what your driving at – we don’t have to have that problem here if we don’t want it. I’m a big fan of Hydro personally and lakes are just so pretty.


                  On permaculture current farms are not (currently) set up for this and the money is (off and on) is in dairying. There’s more I can add to this but have a meeting to go to I’ll try to expand on this later and provide more info….

                  • Saccharomyces

                    Okay, so that’s outer, non-stressed panels sorted, how are you going to make the rest of the car? Wheel bearings, transmissions, brakes to name a few?

                    • KJT

                      Well. I suspect cars in their present form will disappear anyway, except for the very wealthy, or something you rent for your annual holiday.

                      Assuming that future low energy consumption vehicles will be the same as present ones shows a lack of lateral thinking..

                      It is always been ridiculous that most of us own cars capable of 150km/hr for 500 km when the majority of cars do an average of 25km per day at 50km/hr maximum.

                      For that we need something more akin to an electric golf cart. Or the polaris farm vehicles.

                      Easily buildable in NZ. The technology and running gear required for 50km/hr is much simpler than that required for 150km/hr.

                      If we are really clever we can make them combinable into, faster moving, trains for commuting and intercity use

                • Colonial Weka

                  ““Permaculture has the ability to produce 3 – 10 times the amount of produce that modern intensive farming methods would produce.” – So why aren’t farmers doing it now? Pretty sure ever crop grower.market gardner would be keen for a return 3-10 time what they’re currently getting.”

                  Permaculture yields are hard to compare to conventional because they have such different objectives. But it is clear that permaculture and related farming systems do have remarkably good outputs from within a sustainable system.

                  The reason why farmers aren’t doing it now is because they are tied into the capitalist system that has given them debt, and which requires them to adhere to certain industrial practices if they want to stay afloat and keep trading. So all the advice that farmers get is from people who know industrial farming, but have no knowledge or experience of the alternatives. Farmers are also caught in the market systems that insist on certain kinds of yields in certain kinds of ways, which doesn’t work for permaculture farmers (fortunately other marketing systems are coming on board). It takes commitment, help and determination to break out of that.

                  Have a look at Joel Salatin’s farm for an easy to access example of how it could be done differently (he’s not perfect, but on the right track).

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Then why didn’t he?

                  Watch video.

                  So why aren’t farmers doing it now?

                  From what I can make out it’s a case of:
                  1.) Ignorance
                  2.) It actually being harder
                  3.) The necessary laws that ensure proper costing of fossil fuel based products

              • Colonial Weka

                “There are other options – Henry ford intended to use hemp for automobile production as it was able to produce panels stronger than steel.”

                We should definitely be growing and using hemp for many things. But in order for your idea to be real (that we can use green tech to replace brown tech and carry on as normal), you would have to show how a factory producing hemp cars could do so without using fossil fuels.

                “I don’t believe Chinas superfast elctromagnetic trains consume much diesel ;)”

                What about the factory that built them? Maintains them and the infrastructure?

                “We have an abunance of rivers that can be used for additional hydro power generation.”

                No, we don’t. Unless we want to sacrifice out fisheries, and the integrity of those ecosystems. Go read up on the objections to the Nevis hydro scheme if you want to understand the issues better.

                “There’s plenty of crops that are far better for biodiesel than corn.”

                But we have a finite amount of land to grow them on. This means there is a limit to how much energy we can produce from the land. What makes you think we haven’t passed that limit already? Where are the food vs biofuel crop analyses for NZ land use?

                “Permaculture has the ability to produce 3 – 10 times the amount of produce that modern intensive farming methods would produce.”

                True-ish, but nevertheless permaculture also exists within a finite landbase. See my questions above. No-one has done an watershed by watershed analysis on how big a population NZ can support by growing its own food.

                “Hydroponics on a significant scale could be investigated for verticle farming options close to or within metropolitan areas.”

                Permaculture technologies are better than hydroponics, but see my points above.

                “The list goes on..
                It just requires the ability to think outside the bounds of the current system. Something many struggle to do but something that more and more are doing as the current system increasingly fails on more and more levels.”

                And yet many of the people that have been thinking outside the box for a long time are saying green tech replacements won’t work, we have to power down.

                • Colonial Weka

                  ps, re more hydro in NZ, please also read up on EROEI, how hydro schemes are built (fossil fuels), and funded (why are the big companies pulling out of hydro expansion?).

                  • Polish Pride

                    In all of these examples you are not going to be able to get rid of fossil fuels in a day so to speak. Even if you set up a new manufacturing plant here in NZ for say electric vehicles or if you start building a new hydro dam you will still have to use fossil fuels to some or large extent, This goes without saying. What we do need to do if you are serious about the problems we face is look at options that allow us to start transitioning away from their use in our society. Looking at ways that we can introduce them into our already existing systems for a start.
                    Accept that it will take time (I’d say at 20 years (maybe even 30 years) but in order to get their you have to start to think diffferently about things and you have to be prepared (as a society) to actually start.
                    If it was me in the drivers seat I would approach farmers and Infratil about investing in biofuel crops and a processsing plant (or set up the processing plant/refinery as Govt owned) or mandate that Marsden Point start building the capability if it doesn’t have it already. That would be one of many things that I would do building the infratructure for electric vehicles and more hydro dams to power them is another but the point is you have to start somewhere not just talk about it. The place to start is the infrastructure. If you can’t get that in place, then shifting on a societal scale becomes incedibly difficult.
                    This means political parties would need to develop policies for more than just the next 3 years.. I would argue they need to develop policy on a 20 year strategic plan, 10 year tactical plan and 5 year operational plan then communicate it to the public( and not some airy fairy pie in the sky stuff like national has tried to roll out before and rightfully received a beating for, actual nuts and bolts on how with perhaps a few options. Then maybe we will get somewhere. But in todays world of personality politics you’d need someone with the charisma of Bill Clinton to sell the vision and NZ politics doesn’t have a Bill Clinton.

                    Back on topic I personally think that the Greens policy is about as good as you can do within the current system and it recognises and addresses a key ‘need’ for everyone – to have a home.

                • Polish Pride

                  I apologize – this post is ridiculously long…..

                  “There are other options – Henry ford intended to use hemp for automobile production as it was able to produce panels stronger than steel.”

                  We should definitely be growing and using hemp for many things. But in order for your idea to be real (that we can use green tech to replace brown tech and carry on as normal), you would have to show how a factory producing hemp cars could do so without using fossil fuels.

                  “I don’t believe Chinas superfast elctromagnetic trains consume much diesel ”

                  What about the factory that built them? Maintains them and the infrastructure?

                  “We have an abunance of rivers that can be used for additional hydro power generation.”

                  No, we don’t. Unless we want to sacrifice out fisheries, and the integrity of those ecosystems. Go read up on the objections to the Nevis hydro scheme if you want to understand the issues better.

                  “There’s plenty of crops that are far better for biodiesel than corn.”

                  But we have a finite amount of land to grow them on. This means there is a limit to how much energy we can produce from the land. What makes you think we haven’t passed that limit already? Where are the food vs biofuel crop analyses for NZ land use?

                  “Permaculture has the ability to produce 3 – 10 times the amount of produce that modern intensive farming methods would produce.”

                  True-ish, but nevertheless permaculture also exists within a finite landbase. See my questions above. No-one has done an watershed by watershed analysis on how big a population NZ can support by growing its own food.

                  I agree such an analysis hasn’t been done but we have approxiamately 2.5 hecatres per person in land area in NZ. Obviously not all of this is usable. But my opinion is that enough of it would be to more than support our population by growing its own food. But this is just my opinion living on 5 acres and seeing how much spare land I have and trying my best to slowly convert a traditional orchard into a food forest. I now from previous posts that you have sound knowledge in this area and have probably been looking into or even involved with permaculture for longer than me, given this (and I won’t hold you to it) I would be interested in whether your opinion is also that we would easily be able to produce enough to feed our population or not….

                  “Hydroponics on a significant scale could be investigated for verticle farming options close to or within metropolitan areas.”

                  Permaculture technologies are better than hydroponics, but see my points above.

                  I agree that permaculture is better than hydroponics by a long shot but I do think that in the form of verticle farms, Hydroponics has a role to play and can add a valuable resource to society in a metropolitan setting where land is limited.

                  It comes down to having multiple solutions working together for the outcome that we want to achieve. (for the record the outcome I want is a society and system geared to meeting the needs and wants of the people within the society). As another example even though my personal and very unscientific opinion is that we could easily produce enough food to feed our population, I don’t think we necessarily have to. Even if we were to remove money from our society for a second, I don’t thing we should shut the borders and isolate ourselves I believe that as a primary product exporter we should still trade with countries that we want resources from and that want our primary products in return. China, Japan, Germany and any others where their is mutual benefit?

                  “The list goes on..
                  It just requires the ability to think outside the bounds of the current system. Something many struggle to do but something that more and more are doing as the current system increasingly fails on more and more levels.”

                  And yet many of the people that have been thinking outside the box for a long time are saying green tech replacements won’t work, we have to power down.

                  People have been thinking outside the box for a long time but most if not all have been looking at the wrong problems and still are. They look at the problems within the bounds of the current system and it is easy to think that this is the approach that we should take, after all the problems seem obvious,
                  We are reliant on fossil fuels
                  We have many people living in poverty, unable to meet their basic needs
                  We have war
                  We have climate change
                  The country is in debt and the levels are rising
                  The economy is shot
                  Housing is unaffordable
                  Resources are limited
                  and so on (add whatever others to the list you want to…

                  The problem is none of these. At least not initially anyway.
                  The problem or requirement we have is twofold
                  We have a human population that has two things that any system we have needs to meet ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
                  In my view there should be no one that disagrees with this. (you can extrapolate it out and say we need to have other things like caring for the environment and looking saving animals etc. etc. but even those can come out of the needs and wants categories.

                  The question as to whether a system should be considered a success or not, should hinge on how well it meets these things. Does our current system meet these for the human beings within it? – No and as such it should not be considered a good system . In fact we should start with these two requirements and from those derive the system that we should have. The system that does meet those two things.

                  Obviously we should start with needs as these are something that everyone has and can for the most part be commonly grouped.

                  They are
                  Clean Water
                  Healthy Food
                  Appropriate Clothing
                  A Home
                  the opportunity to have Love and Companionship
                  An Education
                  Freedom to live in safety and free from persecution

                  (There may be others but I would have to dig out my list, but you get the gist)
                  These are needs. Everyone should have these….. No Exceptions. None
                  Do we have the resources to provide these – Yes so why don’t we? The answer in the current system is money. You need Money. Note Money was not in the list of needs. You only need money IN THE CURRENT SYSTEM (sorry not trying to shout only to highlight) one that we have already established is a poor system because it fails to meet the needs and wants for many people throughout the world or even in this country. Sadly money (or lack of it) is the barrier stopping people from obtaining what they need.
                  Just to labour the point. for each of the ‘needs’ listed above do we have the resources in existence to be able to supply the tangible ones? Yes. So why is it that we don’t?

                  Wants are a different ball game, It isn’t really possible to list them because wants are so diverse. The thing is you don’t need to list them. You don’t even need to plan (RBE anyone?) You just need to provide a system or a mechanism whereby people can obtain or fulfill the needs that they have (in my view in adherence with common law principles for a start) This is one thing that capitalism actual does well Think about it. In this day and age if you want something (short of a time machine) you can have it…… Under Capitalism you just have to have the money to pay for it before you can have it.
                  But what about scarcity of resources!!!!
                  Now I am sure some resources are scarce but matters are made significantly worse by two concept under Capitalism…
                  Planned Obsolescence and the Profit Motive
                  Things that use up resources that are designed not to last to force you to buy a replacement product that has also been designed not to last!!! Seriously!!??!!
                  The Profit Motive – Think of all the Television sets in all the stores waiting to be sold in your town or city………..now extend that to the entire country…….now the entire world.
                  Now do the same thing with cars (both new and used)……
                  Now do the same thing with every single product that you can think of………
                  Because of the profit motive stores, companies, etc. have to continually produce and sell you new products, whether you need them or not because they have to in order to make a profit in order to make money in order pay shareholders and staff and suppliers and so on in order to survive in the current system as it stands all the while using up more and more resources.
                  Or we could design things to last – nope not in the current system, it doesn’t work as well with the profit motive.
                  We could recycle – Not in the current system, it costs too much money.

                  So now let your imagination run wild
                  Try to take money out of the equation, keep the systems in place (at least for this exercise).
                  No Money, No profit motive, No need for planned obsolescence, already starting to use far less resources, Recycling is free – can do more of that now, can start to design things to last.
                  You might even have enough resources to start meeting peoples wants as well as their needs with a few more system changes.
                  I own two lawnmowers I use one of them on average once a month for six months of the year for about an hour – I’d be better to pick one up as and when I need one from a hire centre. (Becomes more of a library system with no money).
                  But who will do the jobs if they aren’t getting paid?
                  Well you’ve removed the profit motive and money so many jobs will no longer be required, finance, banking,
                  People who are working won’t need to work to earn an hourly wage. The focus will be on getting the job done, not staying there until you have done a set amount of hours you are being paid for. Ever sat in a job watching the clock, twiddling your thumbs (surfing the web) because you have done the work you needed to do but are waiting till home time? anyone.
                  Then perhaps we can look at using some of those resources to automate roles and actually free people from having to work where we can.
                  Keep heading in this direction and People will have something that is becoming more and more scarce in the current system – Time
                  Time to spend with friends and family
                  Time to pursue the things that they are passionate about, things they have always wanted to do but have never had the time.
                  Before you say BS people will just become slobs and sit in front of the TV all day…. ask yourself, would you?
                  Utopian !!??!! – No there will still be plenty of jobs that need doing that won’t be able to be automated, But remember those more scarce resources perhaps those that are prepared to work should get first dibs on the use of them
                  But people will always screw up the system – 5% (?) of people in a society could be considered sociopaths and will try and screw up any system but we have that now. Thats not a reason not to change things, at least not in my book.
                  I can go into a lot more depth on this and the possibilities…….. but as its late perhaps just think about what you’d do yourself if you won lotto powerball and imagine how different your life would be, what would you do?

            • Draco T Bastard

              So when you talk about NZ producing non-oil-based plastics presumably you are advocating expansion of the coal economy.


              A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are moldable. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass, but they often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, but many are partially natural.

              Early plastics were bio-derived materials such as egg and blood proteins, which are organic polymers. Treated cattle horns were used as windows for lanterns in the Middle Ages.

              • Lanthanide

                Yes, because we can make “plastic” out of bio-derivatives, it means we can make “plastic” that we can use for the surrounds of TV and computer monitors.

                Earth to Draco: glad-wrap is also “plastic”, are you suggesting we make televisions out of that? How about those bio-degradable shopping bags, they are also “plastic”.

                Surely you understand that just because you can make “plastic” out of bio-derivatives, doesn’t mean it is possible to make just *any* type of “plastic” out of it with whatever types of structural properties you want?

                I mean, we don’t use bakelite much any more, despite it being one of the first “plastics” invented, because actually there are other “plastics” that have much more suitable properties for the things we want to make and use them for.

                • Polish Pride

                  And this is a big part of the problem – many people are in a mindset of why things can’t be done rather than thinking about how we can do things….
                  Instead of gladwrap use a bio-derative plastic container

                  “Surely you understand that just because you can make “plastic” out of bio-derivatives, doesn’t mean it is possible to make just *any* type of “plastic” out of it with whatever types of structural properties you want?”

                  perhaps 3D printing tech can help in this area…. perhaps we need to find a new solution….perhaps we need to accept that we may need to keep using the current solution we have until an alternative is available. There’s not going to be a magic bullet.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, because we can make “plastic” out of bio-derivatives, it means we can make “plastic” that we can use for the surrounds of TV and computer monitors.

                  Actually, for TV surrounds I’d suggest using ceramics.

                  I mean, we don’t use bakelite much any more, despite it being one of the first “plastics” invented, because actually there are other “plastics” that have much more suitable properties for the things we want to make and use them for.

                  Yep, and we replaced the early plastics with better plastics because we did some R&D. If we hadn’t done the R&D we’d still be using bakelite.

                  All you ever seem to say is that we can’t do anything whereas I keep saying that we could if we did the R&D.

                  • Lanthanide

                    “All you ever seem to say is that we can’t do anything whereas I keep saying that we could if we did the R&D.”

                    Yes, because clearly there’s no demand or market for bio-derived plastic suitable for making televisions and other products out of it, otherwise the market already would have come up with these products.

                    Or, the (likely) alternative, actually there is demand for these things, but they don’t exist because they aren’t possible.

            • Jenny

              (By the way, I have an Honours Degree in Chemistry, a postgraduate diploma in Industrial Technology, and have taught educational units on plastics.)


              So, how about your thoughts?

    • KJT 1.4

      To me you are just as bad as the AGW denialists.

      Anyone reading you is likely to say. “We are fucked anyway so may as well buy that Remuera tractor and 100ltr/hour outboard and make hay while we can”.

      What is your answer, stick our heads in the sand and kiss our ass goodbye.

      We have to start somewhere. Even small steps towards social and environmental sustainability are better than we have now.

      As just about every second Green statement mentions AGW and/or steps towards GG reductions, I do not know where you get your ideas from.

      Incidentally, within 10 years, in New Zealand, wind power could replace all our, non renewable, stationary energy use and over half our transport use. (We are lucky with our geographic position). Cutting our greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth, and showing the rest of the world how it is done.

      All it takes is the will. Greens, mostly, believe in democracy, so convincing others of the need to act is part of the process.

      Anything, like state provided housing, which cuts the need for high emission export industry, to pay bank interest, is a step in the right direction.

      PS. Goody. Can I play the who has more qualifications game too?

      • Jenny 1.4.1

        As just about every second Green statement mentions AGW and/or steps towards GG reductions. I do not know where you get your ideas from.


        Every second Green statement?

        That’s a laugh. The Greens are rapidly distancing themselves at great speed from any mention of climate change, at all, if they can possibly avoid it.

        Don’t believe me?

        Click on the Green Party web site here. http://www.greens.org.nz/ This link takes you to the Green Party home page.

        No mention of climate change here. ( And it has been this way for months, despite Superstorm Sandy, Superstorm Bopha, and the ongoing and unprecedented Australian heatwave)

        Let’s investigate further.

        Starting from the top: In the rolling headlines. ICT Green Party discussion paper, Best Beach, Keep our assets.

        Further down the Green Party home page, there are five news intros, one event, and two party notices. None of them related to climate change. (Does this read like “every second statement” to you?)

        To find any mention of climate change or AGW on the Green Party website you have to go a lot deeper.

        At the bottom of the Green Party home page there is a link labeled more news. Let’s click on that. http://www.greens.org.nz/news

        Revealed in this link are 6 Green Party media releases, and 6 Green Party videos

        Not every second statement not even every third statement, in fact none of them are about climate change.

        Below this are 5 blog posts, 5 newsletters, 5 podcasts, and 4 speeches.

        Again, not one of them on climate change.

        This is getting to hard. Maybe we are going about this all the wrong way.

        Let’s go back to the home page and click on the fourth little tab on the right marked issues.


        First up the Green Party three main headlined priorities for 2011-2014 (presumably meaning their election campaign priorities for those years.)

        They are (in order):
        100,000 kids out of poverty by 2014.

        Our plan to clean up New Zealand’s rivers and lakes.

        Green jobs for New Zealanders

        In 2014 as in 2011, it seems that climate change will not be a Green Party election campaign priority. This is not just “every second statement” not mentioning climate change, but every second election not mentioning it as well.

        This conclusion is confirmed by the following list titled “other priorities that we are focussing on include

        Keep Our Assets
        Rebuilding Christchurch
        Equal pay
        Other issues

        So of all the other priorities that the Green Party are focussing on. Climate change is again a no-show.

        So to try to find any mention of climate change, (or AGW if you will), let’s try the link to the “other issues”


        This reveals some 59 topics, (I counted them), under the sub headings; Economy, Environment and Resources, Fairness, Health and food.

        Finally under the column “Environment and resources” with no indication, or emphasis that this topic is of any more import than any of the other 59 listed topics there is a link to a page on climate change. (I have given this topic no special emphasis because they haven’t).

        So finally, let us click on the topic, “climate change” to see what the Greens have to say on the matter.

        Though buried in the basement and given equal status with 59 other issues, not a bad effort. I notice that this page has 5 likes.

        Not convinced?

        Go to the top of the page and type in Australian Heatwave, or Hurricane Bopha, in the google custom search, or even Superstorm Sandy and see the paucity of comment. (if any of these disasters are mentioned at all they usually hidden in the subtext in speeches about other issues)

        It is extremely clear that for electoral advantage, for cabinet positions, out of sheer lack of faith, and cynical opportunism the Green Party are preparing to sell out on this issue, big time.

        In my opinion this will be the single biggest political sell out since Rogernomics.

        Unfortunately for them, and for us, it will signal the beginning of the end for the Green Party.

        • locus

          For those who are so obsessed with climate change that they can’t see any value in all the other political goals of the greens, then off you go . It’s great to see the greens maturing as a political left wing force

        • handle

          Or they have done their homework and learned it does not resonate with voters, no matter how much you want it to. Jobs, Kids, Rivers were very effective campaigning themes.

  2. quartz 2

    This is a very good policy and it fills in the many gaps in Labour’s policy.

    • KJT 2.1

      Totally agree.

      Both Labour and the Green policy together would solve many problems, including the excessive pushing up of house prices by profit hungry banks.

      Labours housing policy was the first time since 1984 they have admitted that sometimes the State has to address things when the market doesn’t.

      Then, though, Labour had to stuff it up by mindlessly repeating the TINA, We cannot afford super RWNJ meme. Proving they are still stuck in Neo-liberal la-la land.
      In fact we can. Simply tax income over 150k, at the same rate as Australia, from now.
      I can just imagine the 65 year old manual worker with the stuffed knees unable to get a job, considered able to work by the ACC and work readiness Gestapo, having to sell off everything they have worked for in a lifetime to, maybe, after grovelling to some arrogant unemployable at WINZ, get the unemployment benefit.

      Of course a guaranteed minimum income replacing all welfare would be a much better answer.

    • Jenny 2.2

      This is a very good policy and it fills in the many gaps in Labour’s policy.


      More unintended comedy

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Nice work from the Greens. The policy has the great effect of bringing another income band into the home ownership equation and may also put downward pressure on other mortgage interest rates. As a companion to Labour’s building policy, this looks like the foundations of a progressive Government to me.

    I imagine it will also be a boost in the provinces, the relative affordability being something of an incentive to stay rather than join the drift to Ak.

    BTW, Zet, you have two votes. For this policy to come into effect, one of them will need to go to a Labour Party electorate candidate!

  4. quartz 4

    I think it’s incredibly telling that the same day the greens come out with a great policy to help low income kiwis we find out that John Key has been selling us as cheap labour.

    A stark contrast between two different visions for our future.

  5. karol 5

    I like the focus on renting, and this as in the interest.co.nz article:

    The scheme would be open to first home buyers with children and ‘Progressive Ownership’ homes would not be able to leased out to tenants. Any family in a NZ$300,000 state house would be able to own the home within 25 years by paying the NZ$200 a week in interest costs and ‘topping’ that up with NZ$100 a week in equity.

    The NZ Herald article says:

    Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said the scheme would initially focus only on families with dependent children who are first-home buyers.

    And state housing? Is Mana going to be the only party focusing on this?

    • tracey 5.1

      If they will focus on families with dependent children, won’t that include beneficiaries who currently receive an accommodation allowance? Perhaps that allowance will be applied tot he mortgage as in the old days? I imagine Turei would answer this question karol, if asked it?

    • tracey 5.2

      from the policy document

      “The Greens’ proposal, at the last election, to
      build 2,000 more state and community houses
      over three years will help to alleviate the
      severe housing shortages that exist among our
      poorest families. In addition we support better
      government partnerships with the third sector in
      providing affordable housing.”

    • alwyn 5.3

      As usual the Green’s can’t even get the simplest of their numbers right.
      They claim that $300/week would pay the interest at 3.5% and pay of the capital in 25 years.
      Their is a calculator on the interest.co.nz which indicates that a $300,000 mortgage at 3.5% would require a weekly payment of $346, which is a capital repayment 50% greater than Turei’s figure.
      Oh well I guess that they rely on the fact that the Msm never check their claims.
      I would also be curious to know who will cover the rates and insurance on the property. If the state owns it I guess the state, ie other tax-payers, will just have to pick up the bill.

      • KJT 5.3.1

        That is for a table mortgage.

        A table mortgage starts with high interest and low principle repayments.

        A good trick of the banks to make just a little bit more from borrowers, as most mortgages were (not sure of the present figures) paid off within 12 years.

        • alwyn

          Of course the numbers are for a table mortgage.
          That’s what they are offering after all. If you only pay off the $200/week and don’t pay any principal at all it is simply an interest only mortgage.
          You aren’t going to pay $200 per week every week if you are paying of any principal. The actual interest each week will drop if the principal owing drops. That is clearly implied by the claim they make that you only have to pay $100 off the principal each week to pay of the loan in 25 years.
          If that was the only money paying of the principal amount you would only pay $100 * 52 (weeks/year) * 25 (years). Well that only comes to $130,000 even though the principal is $300,000. Now that would really be a good deal. On the other hand if the Green party think it’s right they are even stupider than I thought.
          Clearly they are claiming that $300/week for 25 years will pay off everything you owe and IT WON’T.

    • bad12 5.4

      karol, I have just had a listen to Metiria Turei being interviewed for morning report by Simon Mercep, what the Green Party wants,is for Labour’s KiwiBuild to also include the new Green low income home ownership policy and more State Housing,

      Given that both Party’s have a policy of building 3000 extra State Houses yearly if such were to be built in addition to KiwiBuild then the numbers over a decade IF built would be a sizable increase in the low cost rental market,

      Depending upon the number of Equity Buy homes the Green Party could leverage out of Labour in the coalition negotiations, (i am sure Mets has a number in mind),more pressure is taken off the rental market as homes are allocated,

      In broad terms,(while numbers and policy tweaks are finalized), i am reasonably happy with the Progress made in what feels like a sudden whirlwind of time vis a vis the issue of affordable housing,

      PS, when you have a quiet moment give yourself a BIG ups for some good posts on the very issue we are discussing…

  6. irascible 6

    Shared Equity??? Greens dusting off Labour policies again. This was and is one of the policy planks Phil Goff implemented in the last Labour Govt surely?

    • Lightly 6.1

      yeah, and it worked, eh?

      Homeownership peaked in 1991, when government stopped supporting young families into homes.

      • Nick K 6.1.1

        It was also the year the Resource Management Act came into force. But we can ignore that. No link there.

        • Colonial Viper


          • Nick K

            Sorry, I’ll repeat it: It was also the year the Resource Management Act came into force. But we can ignore that. No link there.

            I guess a law that restricts land supply which corresponds with reducing home ownership rates cannot possibly be related.

            • Colonial Viper

              You are correct, they are not related. The private profit motive is the main cause of the problems in the housing market.

  7. geoff 7

    Great policy from the greens, they’ve got my vote in 2014.

  8. Peter 8

    Shit yeah, excellent policy. It will also suit seasonal workers, and anyone else who gets paid irregularly.

    What it actually shows is the depth of Green thinking, and their awareness of class issues. I honestly think that when Labour designed Kiwibuild, it had the happy (and white) middle class family from the WFF ad in its mind, steady, if underpaying jobs etc.

    It’s far from the reality, and the Greens policy will fix that.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    And there’s no cost to the government, because you’re paying the Crown’s borrowing cost.

    If the government printed the money then there wouldn’t be any borrowing costs. Of course, the Nats won’t like the government taking control of the money supply as it removes the possibility of charging interest.

    • Peter 9.1

      I’d be all for any government that tried that, but breaking the private monopoly on credit creation that the banks have is a seriously tall order. Generally, anyone who tries to do it through state action winds up in the poo. Not to say it shouldn’t be done – on a simple resource basis we cannot have an infinitely expanding money supply on a finite planet. Hubbert’s original idea of a single-use energy backed currency has merit here.

      Personally I prefer the less combative complementary currency approach, to ease people into a better understanding and use of money. We can’t take on the banks and their foreign owners in one swoop, not without a much more powerful state than what we have currently.

      • SpaceMonkey 9.1.1

        If anyone tried that, we’d have a US-sponsored coup in NZ shortly thereafter… probably citing a restoration of democracy as justification.

        • KJT

          That was Gaddafi’s big crime, apart from giving a lot of the oil profits to his own people instead of US corporates, he was also beginning to offer interest free money to other African States.

    • bad12 9.2

      Agree with that 100%, while Russell Norman is well up to speed on how printed money can and should be spent into the economy the new Green housing policy being the perfect fit so to speak, the Green Party also have enough ‘smarts’ to realize that as the smaller of the Party’s in a 2014 coalition they cannot ‘force’ Labour into an agreement on quantitative easing,

      So, instead of throwing their hands up in surrender the Greens have designed a housing policy around what is possible,(a policy that Labour can hardly refuse),

      Building houses, being at the heart of both economy and society is the perfect use of printed money, the cost/benefit is definable and such a build/spend can be slowed or advanced to take into account the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy target…

      • Naturesong 9.2.1

        Forgive me if I’m wrong …

        But wasn’t Russel Norman advocating QE as one of many tools that are available to the treasury to slow down or halt the rise of $NZD against the $USD specifically in order to slow the influx of cheap debt into NZ, and give some cover to NZ’s the manufacturing sector which has been priced out of viability.

        It is not a silver bullet.
        There is a downside to QE which is well documented so I’ll not include it here.

        The National Government’s response was pretty hysterical. Russel was offering the economy a glass of water, so National accuses the Greens of trying to drown it.

    • Nick K 9.3

      It also kills off savings as it is highly inflationary. But why the fuck should “rich pricks” have money in the bank. Fuck them. It must be eroded. Including the elderly.

      • Colonial Viper 9.3.1

        Wrong. Inflation does not know whether a dollar issued into the economy comes from the Government printing press down the road, or is borrowed from a printing press in China or the US.

  10. bad12 10

    I pointed out the other day that if anyone in Labour was having trouble understanding the Green’s social policy they only need dig out a Labour Party manifesto from prior to 1984 to come to grips with the basic philosophy,

    Thanks Metiria and Russell, that’s a modern SMART housing policy from a truly left leaning political party, really SMART,

    Voting Green in 2014 (ooh a rhyme how clever of me) is to vote for intelligent modern socialism and in effect Labour should be right now sending the Green Party a huge thank you as the Green’s have just provided the antidote to what many of us seen as a ‘flawed’ housing policy from ‘middle class’ Labour,

    Such a housing policy gives full acceptance to the fact that the head in the sand attitude that both National and Labour have vis a vis employment that our economy (no matter what guise it wears as the mask) cannot and will not employ everyone all the time,

    I will of course having an inquiring mind proceed over the next week to examine the policy for any perceived flaws,

    At this stage tho, as housing is at the heart of both economy and society it’s 2 ticks Green here in November 2014, and that cannot come soon enough….

    • KJT 10.1

      Why do you think we all left Labour for the Greens.

      Or. more accurately. Labour left us to become more rabidly RW than National.

  11. Cayte Shepherd 11

    This policy announcment from the Greens is on the back of Kiwi Build made by Labour.

    This is an effective alternative government working collaboratively.

    Larger party floats the big idea and then cooperative contribution is made to fleah it out.

    This beats anything that the NACT could possible put together, even with ‘new idea’ Nick Smith at the helm of housing.

    Go the opposition.

    • karol 11.1

      Wong. It’s the way Kiwibuild should have been in the first place. It shows up Labour’s lack of commitment to low income people.

  12. Enough is Enough 12

    Excellent Policy

    This is what Labour’s Kiwibuild should have looked like. It focusses on those in the most need. Not the middle class which Labour is chasing with National.

    We soo need a strong Green party in the next government so that Labour’s neo liberal skin is shredded and replaced with progressive policies like this.

    Well Done Greens. You have my vote.

    • Fortran 12.1

      A stronger vote for the Greens will give more strength in coalition talks, and expectation of getting policy accepted by Labour.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Quoting interest.co.nz

    Under this law, tenants would have the right to renew fixed term leases when they expired.

    Under current law the lease conditions continue as stated in the lease after the lease expires. The only change being that both parties can now terminate the agreement with minimal notice. If the landlord wishes to change the conditions then they can go for a new lease.

    Here’s the thing – being in a fixed term lease makes life far more difficult and cost more for the renter as it becomes far more difficult to move as they now have to find a residence that will become available at the time the lease expires.

    I’m fully in favour of the warrant of fitness for rental homes though.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      Yeah, I’m not sure how this works. If tenants have a “right” to renewal, how does that not make them squatters if actually the landlord wants them out, for whatever reason?

      Also you’re slightly wrong on the existing legislation: at the end of a fixed term tenancy, the tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy, UNLESS the landlord advises otherwise within some time period before the end of the tenancy (it’s a weird time period, like 90 to 25 days before the end) that they want it vacated or another fixed term signed up.

      Fixed term rentals are both good and bad for tenants: it gives them sureity of occupancy for the term of the lease (can only be broken with mutual agreement, or under financial hardship on the part of one party) at the expense of making it more difficult to move out. But in general a tenant is more favoured by a fixed term, because the landlord can’t kick them out unless they agree to it, which generally means the landlord buying them out.

      • Lightly 13.1.1

        It means that if you sign up for a year, at the end of the year you can choose to sign up for another year, and so on. It increases your relative power because you don’t face getting the boot at then end of your term (or a rent increase) if you complain about maintenance or the landlord decides they don’t like you without legal grounds for eviction.

        The grounds for eviction under the Residential Tenancies Act remain. If you don’t pay the rent or you smear the windows with faeces, the landlord can still kick you out.

        • Lanthanide

          And if the landlord wants to move in to their own house? Or sell it? Or rent it to someone else for whatever reason they want?

          So you can be an obnoxious tenant that all the neighbours hate, but because you’ve done just enough to prevent being kicked out under legal grounds, you have a right to continue renting the house and the landlord (and neighbours etc) can’t do anything about it?

          • alwyn

            This was the situation in Britain in the 1970’s, pre-Thatcher.
            If you rented out your property for a fixed term, and at the end of that time the tenant wouldn’t get out, there wasn’t a damn thing you could do. I knew a number of people who were English and working in New Zealand for a couple of years on the Maui project.
            They said the only thing to do with their house in England was to let it to US servicemen. You didn’t dare rent to an English person because you couldn’t get them out.
            The US military would ensure that their people would get out when the lease period was up. They didn’t want the bad publicity if their people took advantage of the rule so they would just inform the serviceman that he was going to be transferred to a base in, say, Thule in the north of Greenland.
            Worked wonderfully apparently.

            • Lanthanide

              Yes, this seems like an excellent policy to drive down the supply of rentals, and hence drive up the price.

  14. More growth based BS.
    Every new house = more damage to the already fucked environment. The Greeds should be encouraging people to fill there already empty houses, we probably have enough bedrooms to accommodate another 2-3 million people, they should be saying lets convert garages into bedrooms ………………. but no it is better to spout infinite growth, and keep the plebs ignorant ….. god knows what drives these people?

    • tracey 14.1

      I’m not sure I understand, are you saying that people should be compelled to fill any empty bedrooms with renters? Not attacking your idea, just seeking clarification.

      • Colonial Weka 14.1.1

        What he means is that the shit is about to hit the fan re CC and peak oil and the GFC and various other environmental crises. We should be conserving resources and lessening pollution, not using up resources and creating more pollution by expanding the empire by building new houses. He is right. It’s just not the job of the GP to make that happen.

        • geoff

          So, in your opinion, how do we approach housing? Bivouacs?

          • fatty

            Nah, no need for tents. Robert Atack highlighted the real problem with our housing: The Greeds should be encouraging people to fill there already empty houses, we probably have enough bedrooms to accommodate another 2-3 million people

            We need to redistribute housing so some people don’t own extra houses that are empty.

          • Colonial Weka

            We approach it in the context of everything else that needs to change. You can’t look at housing on its own if you want to take the approaching crises seriously (CC, PO, GFC etc). You have to look at everything in relationship.

            We should be doing analyses of what resources we have available, and how we are going to manage them over the next several generations. And as I said below, there isn’t a shortage of houses in NZ. There’s only a shortage if you think that we have unlimited resources and that perpetual growth is sustainable.

            Any housing policy that is grounded in sustainability would also look at forestry and growing renewable building materials. It would look at steady state economy and stabilising population (or even reducing). It would look at housing as part of relocalising economies and food and other resource production. The houses themselves would be designed for least impact on resources and energy (small, passive solar, very well insulated). Design would also focus on re-use and recycling industries (we still dump window glass and timber, including natives, in the landfill for god’s sake, how fucking stupid is that?), as well as cradle to grave project management (following all materials through their whole cycle).

            We should be doing all that before we end up in a situation where bivuoacs seem like a good choice.

            • Draco T Bastard


              Maintaining our present living standard isn’t about maintaining BAU.

              • Colonial Weka

                Depends on what you mean by standard of living. Many people now consider it normal to live in a large house where each primary school aged child has its own room (sometimes a large room). Do you think that we can keep building large houses, and having a flat screen tv in each room? Much of our standard of living has to change. If we want to keep ourselves well fed, warm, and have interesting lives, that might still be possible. A consumerist lifestyle for all isn’t.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Do you think that we can keep building large houses, and having a flat screen tv in each room?

                  Nope. I think we have to stop increasing the population but once we do that then, yes, we could have a largish house/apartment with a bedroom for each of the two kids with a flat screen TV.

                  Yes, our consumerist lifestyle has to change and the way it needs to change is to stop consuming.

                  • Polish Pride

                    You only need to stop increasing the population if you are going to continue to do things the same way we do now.
                    Permaculture could use more people Collecting produce where modern farming techniques can’t…
                    If everyone switched to vegetarianism, current levels of grain production could support more than double the current population levels with consumption levels in their current form being significantly reduced but yes totally agree, reduction of consumption in its current form is key.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You only need to stop increasing the population if you are going to continue to do things the same way we do now.

                      An increase in population requires and increase in resource use thus we need to stop that increase in population else we cannot become sustainable.

                  • SpaceMonkey

                    “Stop consuming” will crash the system. It should have in 2008 but the banks continue to have access to easy money (to the point where they’re now stimulus junkies) and every day since then is delaying the inevitable. It will crash… “when” is the only uncertainty.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      “Stop consuming” will crash the system.

                      That’s going to happen anyway so what it comes down to is if we plan and work towards a better system or if we just wait for the crash.

    • vto 14.2

      It is not about growth as far as I can see Robert Atack, it about people being secure in their home. Having a place they can call their own.

      This is pretty much the most important foundation block for any society. Get that wrong and all manner of ills arise – exactly as we see today in crime, family violence, disattachment from society, etc.

      You’re right that growth is a BS thing designed to pay for the usurious interest due on privately issued money, but this addresses something different and far more basic. What is there that is more basic? And, why does Nat policy not recognise this baseline of society?

      • tracey 14.2.1

        Because underpinning everything they do is an expectation that money is the goal in all things. There has to be money to made somewhere for something to be worth thinking about. SkyCity convention centre is a prime example…. They genuinely cant understand what is wrong, or could be wrong in their proposal there.

      • One Tāne Huna 14.2.2

        It isn’t about growth. It’s about Robert Atack.

    • bad12 14.3

      Yeah i tried to get an immigrant family from the Sub-Continent to rent out my shed but they said it was too small…

    • Colonial Weka 14.4

      “Every new house = more damage to the already fucked environment. The Greeds should be encouraging people to fill there already empty houses, we probably have enough bedrooms to accommodate another 2-3 million people, they should be saying lets convert garages into bedrooms ”

      You’re right and you’re wrong Robert. Someone should be encouraging that, but it’s not the job of the Greens. Their job is to get as much mainstream support as possible, so that they hold the tide on growth while other people do the important work. They won’t be able to do that if they don’t play the mainstream game to an extent.

      Garages shouldn’t be converted into bedrooms, they should be converted into workspaces alongside relocalising economies and allowing people to work from home or in their neighbourhood. Solves alot of the transport problems too.

      I’d love to see the figures on how many empty houses there are in NZ today. Many of the tourist towns in NZ have low full-time occupancy dwelling rates. We don’t actually have a shortage of houses in NZ.

      • marty mars 14.4.1

        Yes good point – those figures would be very interesting. I know at Tata Beach there are 16 or so permanent residents over winter out of about 100 houses and I’m sure there are many areas like this. Like many of the issues we face it is a greed problem not an actual resource problem. How many houses can someone live in? How many cars can someone drive? and so on…

      • geoff 14.4.2

        We also have significant overcrowding in some areas.

        • Colonial Weka

          So we don’t have a shortage of houses, we have a distribution problem, right?

          • geoff

            I don’t know and apparently neither do you.

            I’d love to see the figures on how many empty houses there are in NZ today.
            (Here you admit you don’t know if there is a surplus of houses…)

            Many of the tourist towns in NZ have low full-time occupancy dwelling rates. We don’t actually have a shortage of houses in NZ.
            (And then here you draw the conclusion there is no housing shortage based on…??)

            Quite a leap of deduction there…

            Even if, on a national level, you could establish that there wasn’t a housing shortage, how do you propose to get people to move to where the empty houses are?

  15. Saccharomyces 15

    Right, so what happens to people that have scrimped and saved to buy their own affordable home on low deposit and are barely chipping away at the loan principal?

    Seeing as they’re home owners it looks like there’s no way for them to take advantage of this scheme.

    For this to be fair should it not be offered to all? With the condition that it is only for owner/occupiers of course.

    • tracey 15.1

      Are you saying people who currently live in 1.2m homes with a $1m mortgage ought to be able to get in on the scheme?

      • Saccharomyces 15.1.1

        Not necessarily, perhaps it shouldn’t be open to ALL.

        My thinking was more about someone who has scraped together a minimum deposit for a $300,000 home and is struggling to make progress on it. All of a sudden they’re now disadvantaged compared to someone that didn’t go to that effort themselves, as they’re now locked out from a scheme that should be there to help them.

        Another example, a family member of mine used to own a home, many years ago, but (fooolishly in hindsight) decided that the cost and hassle of keeping it was too much so they got rid of it. This couple have long since used that money up, and have 4 children. They’re currently living in an old, 3 bedroom house in Owairaka, it’s damp and cold in winter. They’re the type of people who fit the bill perfectly. Except that they’re not first home buyers. Sorry, no cheap loan (sorry “shared equity”) for you.

        And anyway, why not have it open for all? Surely if it’s such a great idea, and won’t be a load on net government debt, why not open it to all owner/occupiers?

        • tracey

          It’s the same with kiwisaver, if you aren’t a first home buyer you cant crack into the money to buy your second time round home?

          Surely the idea is to start somewhere, with the perceived hardest off and those new to the housing market and parenthood to ensure their kids get the best possible start, then you can open the scheme more. The other spinoff, I assume, is that as people move into these new homes, the rental market will widen because the homes they would have rented they now live in, so people in your family’s situation may find they can save money on rent?

          Like anything, it will not be perfect, but I like that they have put pen to paper. Nats and maybe labour will now disseminate and spin. They can because the Greens have actually release something tangible.

          The Govt waits for the results of its internal polling each day before deciding on any kind of action.

          Warm, safe, well fed children are less likely to turn to crime, so perhaps that is the payoff for the wealthy who seem so concerned about crime in NZ

          I presume you were being deliberately obtuse with your last sentence?

          • Saccharomyces

            I’m just playing devils advocate, thinking that if it’s a good thing for a small sector of society then why not make it available to everyone. If it’s good for a family on the minimum wage then why can’t it be just as good for a family on $100k/year or $500k a year for that matter. They say it’s debt neutral, surely it’s better to get anyone on the scheme that wants in rather than have those interest profits heading overseas through the banks.

            Rich people don’t get turned away from the hospitals, why should they be turned away from other good policy?

            • Lanthanide

              “If it’s good for a family on the minimum wage then why can’t it be just as good for a family on $100k/year or $500k a year for that matter. They say it’s debt neutral, surely it’s better to get anyone on the scheme that wants in rather than have those interest profits heading overseas through the banks.”

              Because now the government would become a major lender in the economy, which would pretty much kill all the smaller banks and finance companies and really piss off the major banks.

              • Saccharomyces

                Is that a problem, I read an awful lot on here about how finance companies and banks are just unproductive parasites that make money off other people…..

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Is that a problem,

                  Only in that our present political parties govern more for the banks and capitalists than the people. Otherwise, no, it’s not a problem.

                • KJT

                  No. Solves a lot of problems.

                • geoff

                  Oh yes I’d say it would piss off the yanks something wicked and we’d miss out on all the benefits of a free trade deal. /facetious

            • tracey

              you mean like if a tax cut is good, why not cut it to 0 or cut it for everyone???? That kind of thing?

              Are you saying the very wealthy rely on public hospitals not private?

              • Saccharomyces

                I’m sure the super-wealthy don’t rely on public hospitals, but the average NZer does, including the vast majority of home owners. In fact, some services are ONLY available in public hospitals. And IF a multi-millionaire went to hospital they wouldn’t be turned away.

                • tracey

                  and you see that as the same with regard to housing people and their children who are earning 13.50 per hour?

                  • Saccharomyces

                    Why not? I’m sure it’d get the Green party a bunch of votes from people that wouldn’t be traditional Green voters….. and if it’s going to be net debt neutral then it shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • bad12 15.2

      Gimmie more, gimmie more, gimmie more, did you not also get working for Families from Labour and tax cuts from National…

      • Saccharomyces 15.2.1

        I thought we were discussing the Green party policy here, not National or Labour’s.

        • bad12

          Broken down to plain English what you are saying is just that ‘gimmie more gimmie more gimmie more,

          The Green policy is designed to apply to NEW home builds for low income workers, perhaps you should join the Party and advocate the scheme apply to those who earn 500 grand a year…

          • Saccharomyces

            Did I say “what happens to people like me”?

            For the record, I own a modestly valued (c 350-400k) and due to an inheritance received a couple of years ago have significant equity in it. I know that this will not be a policy that I personally can take advantge of, I’m thinking of people in the situation I would’ve been in at the moment had my parents not passed away.

        • tracey

          any policy discussion has to include the alternatives

          • Saccharomyces

            Yes, but WFF and income tax cuts are a bit off-topic.

            • bad12

              What the Green Party housing policy directly addresses is the plight of the low income worker with a family who as prices of both buying and renting a home have increased have gone from paying 25-30% of income in rent and have had the option of both buying a home or renting from the State (as was the norm for this decile 30 years ago), removed from them by the actions of both ‘the market’ and previous Governments,

              The Green Party housing policy is in my opinion an elegant, very smart solution to addressing the housing needs of the low paid worker who is in this economy the one that bears the brunt of all the economic messes made by or on behalf of the 1%ers of the world,

              Those low paid workers being the last to be hired and the first to be fired have been for too long trapped in the rental market paying 50-80% of their income to an already bloated middle class who while piling into ‘rental investments’ as a retirement hedge have acted to push the price of housing out of the reach of even their own children and become agents to the various banking institutions so as to enable the direct transfer of the small profits made by the low waged workers from their efforts of production via the rental and via the mortgage to those banking institutions…

            • bad12

              You seem to be discussing your ‘personal’ situation from a point of ‘gimmie more gimmie more gimmie more’ despite being able to afford your current mortgage,

              My point via a vis Working for Families and Tax Cuts is simply to point out that the tax base is already likely to be subsidizing your personal choice of living,

              Dare i add that the Government is at present borrowing 300 million bucks a week to subsidize you tax cut…

              • Chris

                Isn’t the whole point though that this won’t cost anything – does it matter at all who it is extended too. There is no reason to exclude anyone from something that costs the government nothing.

                • bad12

                  The point of the Green housing policy being targeted at first home buyers with children who are on low incomes is that these are the decile of people who have in fact missed out in terms of affordable housing going back 30 years,

                  HousingNZ which charges 25% of a tenants income as rent used to be the province of these low waged workers BUT with the advent of the Neo-Liberal dominance of economy and society having helped create the huge pool of beneficiaries who having even less of an income than the low waged workers qualified ahead of them as the tenants of the States housing stock based upon need,

                  So, based again on need it is the low income workers who should in a society based upon need as opposed to greed be aided into affordable housing befor others in higher income brackets (a need that Labour sees and addresses with its Kiwibuild policy),

                  ‘It matters’ perhaps not as you say who gets ‘helped’ in terms of cost to a Government BUT, given the stated intention of both Labour and the Greens to build the number of houses proposed in any given year it then becomes unlikely that ‘just anyone’ can be offered such help based upon the logistics of actually building those houses and it would be dishonest to make policy knowing that the results cannot be delivered,

                  The Green Party obviously prefers to leave the National Party the dubious pleasure of making promises that are in essence bullshit…

            • tracey

              not based on comments you have made. You have asked why not for everyone, and people are responding with similar programmes which are not for everyone.

              • Saccharomyces

                That’s a bit like asking “why’s the sky blue” and being answered “chocolate is brown”. Chocolate may well be brown, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the sky being blue.

                Personally I don’t agree with WFF either. And the tax cuts seem to have been a rather expensive gift to relatively few. I would’ve preferred not to have had the tax cut myself, for me the benefit was fairly small and the cost to the nation has been huge.

  16. The Greens are continuing to show they are a viable force for the left,the warm up homes
    policy is a winner,although the Key govt now claims it as their own.
    A great housing policy that includes low income people, the pomp and ceremony that came
    with the Shearer led Labour caucus housing policy, looks limp now, it also highlighted that
    the current Labour caucus only has eyes for those on the upper income limit and reflected the
    indifference by the Shearer led caucus, for those on low incomes.

  17. tracey 17

    If more people own the roof over their head outright when they retire, won’t that make Super more liveable as a wage than it is today for those who are renting?

    • alwyn 17.1

      There was an interesting article on this in the Dom/Post last Saturday.
      It said that the income a couple needed to live in retirement was only $15/week more if you were renting than if you owned a house outright. This they put down to the subsidies for the elderly renting and to the fairly high maintenance costs for people who owned their own home.
      If these results are accurate the answer to your question would be no.
      The research was done by people at Aukland University’s School of Population Health.
      The story is at
      It surprised me as I would have thought what you are implying.

  18. Daveo 18

    This exposes what a bunch of warmed-up Blairites Shearer’s mob really are. They’re stuck with this mindset of fiddling with the market when they should be using the power of government to improve people’s lives. This isn’t even new – it’s what we used to do in this country before the fourth labour government (of which Shearer is heir) drank the neoliberal kool aid. Bring on the February election.

  19. tracey 19

    “Rentals will be required to meet insulation,
    weather-tightness, and basic service standards.
    A rental will be required to offer “fully serviceable”
    accommodation, including heating, hot and
    cold tap water, toilet, a shower or a bath tub,
    electricity and a stove.

    Landlords will not be asked to bear these
    costs alone. In our ongoing negotiations with the
    current Government over the extension of the
    home insulation programme, we have suggested
    that the scheme be redesigned to better assist
    landlords with the cost of upgrading their rental
    properties’ insulation.”

    There are leaky homes being rented out because the owners cannot afford the full reclad cost expected by the Councils because they missed out (limitation period) on being able to sue the myriad of people responsible and/or because they did sue and were left well short of the required money to repair after doing so.

    Where a landlord can PROVE these two circumstances exist then I believe they should enjoy a minimal top-up to assist the repair. In no way am I suggesting anything close to full because unlike owner occupiers these owners of leaky homes, through rent are able to reach a repair mark sooner, also taking into account write-offs along the way not open to owner occupiers.

  20. Blue 20

    Great stuff. This is the housing policy Labour should have come out with. It addresses the problems with KiwiBuild nicely.

    This is the only policy I’ve seen that could make a dent in NZ’s housing crisis.

  21. Afewknowthetruth 21

    Just been thinking. (I know we are not supposed to think for ourselves and are supposed to just accept whatever bullshit is presented to us by our illustrious ‘leaders’.)

    Since the Green Party (or Greed party, as Robert Atack calls them) constantly promotes INCREASED dependence on fossil fuels and INCREASED emissions of CO2 and other pollutants, the Green Party leadership needs to seriously think about changing the name to the Black Party. Even better would be a name change to the All Black Party. That would bring in a lot more votes. After all, it is all about votes rather than substance, isn’t it? Integrity? That went out the window about twenty years ago.

    As Robert Atack said recently, people want to hear lies. The truth is just too unpalatable.

    The fact is, all cities are, by definition, unsustainable. And the bigger a city, the more unsustainable it is. So, in usual Green fashion, the current leadership is promoting unsustainability.

    Humans being what the are, they will just keep gobbling fossil fuels and destroying the environment until they can’t.

    Enough said. The culture of ignorance and denial that characterises Kiwi society (along with all other developed nation’s societies) cannot be overturned with words or logic; it will take starvation or something similar to do that.

    • One Tāne Huna 21.1

      “I know I do not think for myself and am supposed to just accept whatever bullshit I read on the internet” FIFY

    • Saccharomyces 21.2

      “Humans being what the are, they will just keep gobbling fossil fuels and destroying the environment until they can’t.”

      Yep, that’s the problem. I really don’t see that changing. We’re hard-wired to consume and reproduce, just like every other living thing.

      The minute we stopped being hunter/gatherers we signed off on our own fate.

      • vto 21.2.1

        You may be surprised at how many are returning to hunter/gatherer and signing off. It may not be too visible in the large centres but out in the wilds and small places it is a definite trend. These people see all of what you describe, do not trust current system and its people, and look after themselves almost entirely off grid. It aint hard and its rewarding and warming.

        • Saccharomyces

          I’d love to get a bit of land somewhere and live a subsistence lifestyle. It’s not the most reasonable option with a child on the way though. Perhaps when I retire!

          • Shane Gallagher

            We would also have to get rid of about 6.5 billion people as well, if we all wanted to do that… The carrying capacity of the planet of that kind of lifestyle is about 500-600 million.

            We need to massively reduce the amount of energy we use and shorten the distance food takes to get to our table, etc. It is totally do-able technically – but it would involve making the 1% very unhappy so it doesn’t happen.

          • tracey

            you cld do it on that, and be wary of thinking you can do it tomorrow…. time goes fast and regret lingers. Best time to do it is with a child on the way… start them in fresh air and fresh veggies. You will be very surprised how little money you need to live off…

            If you can get an eighth of an acre with a small home somewhere you can provide all the fruit veggies and eggs your family requires.

            • Saccharomyces

              Funny you should say that. I was pondering this morning about how time flies, and thinking about a few things that I have already done that I used to say “when I retire” about…..

        • Afewknowthetruth

          One of the major problems rarely mentioned is the growth in world population -around 200,000 per day. And most of them live in cities. So, although a tiny portion of society (maybe 1%) is on the right track, their efforts are entirely swamped by population growth and the general toxicity emitted by industrial activity at an ever greater level every year.

          As professor Albert Bartlett pointed out many years ago, not one problem humanity faces is in any way improved by having more people. So what do all government around the world want? More people. Of course that is just to stimulate economic growth and maintain the bankers Ponzi scheme..

          We are truly f**ked in every direction.

      • tracey 21.2.2

        yes, big cars and flash apartments are needed for the survival of the human race!!

        • Saccharomyces

          I’m a little confused with this statement, is that your interpretation of my statement?

          • tracey

            it’s my response to your response of “We’re hard-wired to consume and reproduce, just like every other living thing.”

            • Saccharomyces

              I don’t think these things are necessary for the survival of the human race at all, in fact I’d argue that they’ll be our downfall.

        • Lanthanide

          Some lines from a song by Lilly Allen that I particularly like (her whole album is actually pretty thought-provoking, for pop music):

          I am a weapon
          Of massive consumption
          It’s not my fault
          It’s how I’m programmed to function

          • geoff

            Just when you think your opinon of someone can’t get any lower…

            • Lanthanide

              Oh gee, I’m offended by someone who I’ve never seen here before having a low opinion of me?

              Like I said, her album is pretty thought provoking for pop music. That doesn’t mean I think it’s some fantastic masterpiece.

          • fenderviper

            Is Lilly Allen a robot? If not the apology may be a little hollow.

      • Polish Pride 21.2.3

        another way to put what you have said is that humans simply have needs and wants. A very successful society will be a society that finds a way to deliver these needs and wants for everyone in what society itself considers to be a fair and equitable way.

    • Colonial Weka 21.3

      “So, in usual Green fashion, the current leadership is promoting unsustainability.”

      No more than you afktt. Either the GP maintain their maximum integrity and disappear from the mainstream political scene within the next few cycles, or they do what they can.

      And likewise, either you maintain the highest integrity, and stop using your computer, the electricity that runs it, and the internet, which are all highly polluting and heavy on resources, and then you disappear from view, or you don’t and then you’re just as compromised as the GP that you slam.

      You can’t have it both ways. Just pointing out your hypocrisy.

    • bad12 21.4

      Can you cite a link to where the Green Party constantly promotes this increased use of fossil fuels???? or are you simply stirring in favor of the immediate political imposition of some form of Luddite society and economy???,

      My view is that the reliance upon fossil fuels will only end when the fossil fuel supply has been exhausted, so the sooner such occurs the better, bearing in mind of course that the present society as we know it will likely have ceased to exist according to the science as the release of such CO2 will prohibit anything but a greatly decreased population from surviving…

      • Colonial Weka 21.4.1

        Housing is not a sustainable industry by any stretch. The GP policy will inherently mean more carbon emissions, more pollution of other kinds, and more use of non-renewable resources.

        • bad12

          Nope no more so than what the ‘market’ would produce as far carbon emissions go, the houses would eventually be built by the market anyway, be of a larger size than what is proposed by the Green Party and divert even more income from the local economy via privately held mortgages at market rates,

          So, how does the Green Party policy produce more CO2 emissions to the atmosphere than what will occur from leaving ‘the market’ to build ever larger icons to over-consumption that is currently the case…

        • bad12

          PS, i still await your posting of a link that clearly shows the Green Party continuously promotes increasing the production to the atmosphere of higher amounts of CO2…

          • Colonial Weka

            Try http://www.greens.org.nz/ Much of what they do relies on increasing growth, and thus increasing carbon emissions.

            To say that their policies will cause somewhat less emissions than BAU doesn’t mean much if the CC projections are true. 3/4 of really fucked is better than 4/5ths of really fucked, to be sure, but not that much better.

            • bad12

              LOLZ a ‘permanently deleted’ comment that just wont f**k off, ho hum, so how do you propose to gain a one Party Green State that has no elections,

              Luddites like what you appear to be have a choice of making small gains as democracy allows or have a one party state imposing its will upon everybody without recourse to an election process,

              If we are as f**ked as what you say then why even bother commenting???…

              • Colonial Viper

                Indeed, it might actually be more worthwhile spending the time reconnecting with friends and family, and getting to know your local community a bit better. All those activities will stand you in good stead in the coming years.

              • Colonial Weka

                “If we are as f**ked as what you say then why even bother commenting???…”

                Because we don’t know the future and I think we still have options, including political ones, so I like my voice to be heard on this political blog. Plus it’s fun.

                You call me a Luddite as if it’s a bad thing. You do realise they were right?

                “The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who violently protested against the machinery introduced during the Industrial Revolution that made it possible to replace them with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work”


                btw, your guess at my political beliefs is way off. Not sure how you got there actually.

                • bad12

                  Oh my real guess at your political affiliations would be that you are a disgruntled Labour supporter upset that it is the Green Party to the left that at the moment has the political momentum within the opposition bloc and is gaining the electoral support (from all over the spectrum) for having consistently both opposed and promoted policy based upon evidenced based research,

                  True, Luddite is probably the wrong descriptive to use as a counter to your absurd calls for the Green Party to commit electoral suicide by attempting to ram a CO2 message down the throats of those who obviously choose not to listen and th picture here is one of you sitting in the comfort of your nice little home attempting to deny others such comfort because of the production of some CO2,(obviously yours is so special that no CO2 was produced by it’s building),

                  You now claim not to know the future, please make up your mind your previous comments claim that CO2 is going to f**k us all and really if your just here for shits and giggles a house would not suit you, your abode should be the one where the creature lives under the bridge and no not as one of the 3 billy goats gruff…

                  • Colonial Weka

                    Dude, take a breath.

                    If you look at my posts on this page (and indeed all my posts to Jenny in the past months), I argue that the GP are doing the right thing by being pragmatic about CC. I don’t think they should commit electoral suicide, quite the opposite and I’m on record multiple times about this.

                    I’m not sure if I’ve ever voted Labour. Maybe once in the 80s. Since then I’ve always voted Greens.

                    I don’t claim to know the future. I just said that we don’t know what the future holds. Are you even reading what I write????

                    I’m not sure what is going on, I would have thought you knew me well enough to know where I come from.

                    I don’t know why some people have this idea that the GP should be angels, with perfect ethics and policy. You, Jenny, Robert Atack….

                    • bad12

                      Dude???please stop with the faux Americanism, call me c**t, or bast**d if you must BUT dude is highly insulting in the neck of the particular woods i occupy,

                      Have you imbibed this evening??? my suggestion would be that you read your previous comments at 12.10pm and 2.51pm, those comments would tend to suggest something other then what your latest comment says,

                      My thought is that you mistake Green policy to mean ongoing use of scarce resources and higher emissions into the atmosphere into the future of an ongoing nature,

                      My understanding of Green Party policy is that there may be the need to initially use more scarce resources and emit at least the present amount of CO2 as we do now as a country so as to prepare the economy and its infrastructure to use far less into the future,

                      Where exactly have i in particular said any such thing that would in the slightest way lead you to the false assumption that the Green Party can be perfect angels with perfect policy, as i point out above the insinuation in the 2 comments of yours above which i drew your attention to would seem to be an attempt to do exactly as you falsely insinuate that i have attempted…

  22. xtasy 22

    The Greens are evolving positively, and this policy proposal is going to be more of a winner than what Shearer and Labour have come up with as “Kiwi Build”. I understand that the Green’s proposal is supposed to complement or perhaps improve “Kiwi Build”, but it surely is more along the line of what I had though of in regards to alternative, more socially effective and affordable housing policy.

    Congratulations at first sight!

    The details again hinge on land availability, and naturally, the government will need to be able to offer the initial finance. Discussion about that will be needed. Offering low interest for finance organised by the large, well rated government as initial financier is essential to make this work.

    I had always fancied a rent to buy kind of option.

    This plan is more flexible, more socially just and sensible than what so far has been presented by Labour!

  23. xtasy 23

    What the Greens propose for improving conditions for renters is what is more common in some developed countries in Europe. It certainly makes a lot of sense, to bring in enforceable controls for rent increases, to tied this up with the Residential Tenancy Act provisions, and to ensure landlords will not unreasonably pass on costs for improved insulation, heathing and hygiene by applying exaggerated, rip-off style rental increases.

    Now the Green Party is certainly becoming more than just environmentally and socially focused!

  24. Afewknowthetruth 24

    Some queries about the Greens continually promoting CO2 increased emissions are easily answered.

    Quite recently Russell Norman was lamenting the decline in manufacturing in NZ and wanted some kind of task force to promote manufacturing. Well, any form of manufacturing generates CO2 emissions.

    Now the Greens are promoting construction of houses, which cannot be achieved without chopping down trees (using chainsaws) transporting logs (using trucks) milling (using electricity partially derived from burning fossil fuels), transporting framing to sites (using fossil fuels), construction workers travelling to sites using fossil fuels …. etc.

    And it doesn’t stop there, of course, since all these extra houses will require roads for access and sewage systems to remove human waste. Now there’s a real can of worms, since sewage systems require the constant consumption of energy (my local authority uses around 12 petajoules a year to pump the water and crap, and dewater sludge)… yet more emissions. And massive quantities of concrete in construction, of course (another massive source of CO2 emissions). And presumably all these new houses will have electricity, so there are the emissions involved in the manufacture of the cables and components, and the on-going emissions involved in the additional consumption of electricity that will ensue from having more homes.

    This all follows on from Jeanette promoting tourism as ‘a sustainable industry’ a number of years ago (and she wasn’t talking about people rowing wooden boats to visit NZ).

    The Greens are apparently scientifically illiterate and are best described fuckwits (or liars), I’m afraid.

    • bad12 24.1

      Ah a ‘Luddite’ i see, yes lets all go and live in tents, made from cowhide of course, after we have skinned and eaten all the cows it’s back to being ‘good’ Kiwi’s and eating roots and leaves…

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        read the long descent and the eco-technic future. Many ancient civilisations lived quite well without oil energy. (Albeit there was usually a slave class present providing manual labour energy…)

  25. Bill 25

    Anyone else curious as to what Annette King might be on? I mean, it seems quite clear that this Green Party housing policy could (as Metirea says) ‘dovetail’ with Labour’s housing policy. But that’s not the same as ‘supporting’ Labour’s housing policy. But Annette King would beg to differ.

    In the Herald article King is reported as saying “her party would be happy to work with the Greens and was pleased they acknowledged the KiwiBuild policy.” Reality check. The Green Party’s Home For Life’ policy acknowledges the shortcomings of KiwiBuild.

    Undeterred and lacking any reference to reality, King has released a press statement ‘KiwiBuild Picks up More Support’ (accessable through the ‘feeds’ column on the right of this page) where her support of the Green Party’s ‘Home for Life’ is basically condescending as hell (like a pat on the head for a school kid who has just shown you up but who you really want to kick in the head instead); where she attempts to stamp the Labour brand all over the concerns the Greens policy addressed and that the Labour policy missed; where she attempts to spin ‘Home For Life’ as a kind of quaint ‘add-on’ to Labour’s superior policy that Labour might touch with a barge pole.

    Any idea how much I’d love those arrogant Labour fucks to pull up in third place after the election?

    • I must agree with you Bill, i am growing weary of the BS that is going on in Labour,
      i will never support a Shearer led labour on principal, the mere fact at what he done
      after the conference,how he ditched Cunliffe,his orders and requirements that caucus must vote for him and also must vote for him in Feb,just infuriates me,there areplenty of reasons to look elsewhere and as far as i can see disaffected left voters will look in the direction of the Greens.

  26. Jonah Cullen 26

    Kinda fell like the Labour/Greens lovefest over their housing policies is a bit crass considering they hardly address the real issues behind housing affordability.

    This doesn’t help anybody not living in a state house, and even then – $100 to $200 a week is a hell of a lot of money for anyone living in a state house – are you even allowed to stay in a state house if you have that much spare cash?

    What about people who aren’t in state homes, or don’t have kids etc.

    It’s time for people to leave the cities and move to the rural towns where there ARE affordable homes. It’s only that jobs aren’t there to provide incomes.

    We either desperately need entrepreneurs or we need land and wealth distribution on a major scale.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      This country has done property re-distribution on a massive scale before, and it can once again.

  27. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 27

    Given how generous it is (how nice of the Greens to give away free money) one expects that demand will exceed supply. I mean, why take out a mortgage from a bank when the Greens are giving you such a sweet deal.

    How will the green decide who gets these deals? Those most in need? If so, how is this determined? If not, is it a ballot?

    Fucking crazy.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      I mean, why take out a mortgage from a bank when the Greens are giving you such a sweet deal.

      Exactly, why would you.

      It clearly demonstrates the big banks are not doing anything special or unique, and certainly adding fuck all value, while ripping a couple of billion dollars out of our economy annually.

      • Monique Angel 27.1.1

        I can tell you why. Because at least then you can sell and move on when the local paedo moves in next door. It’s not the Greens finest hour, this.
        How many of them fucking own properties and have more than an intellectual grasp of property ownership. I don;t know why I waste my pearls of wisdom here all I’ll get is abuse but I’m a reasonably altruistic type, so here goes:

        And one last pont. Why the fuck shoud you judge me and my small business. What’s the difference between owning property and any other type of business. And why should I stomach the government, no matter how fine the motives, setting up business in direct competition with me?

        • Pascal's bookie

          Owning a house isn’t a business.

          • Colonial Viper

            Fast mate.

          • Monique Angel

            Yes it is. It’s the business of supplying accommodation to people who want to purchase it off you.

            • vto

              I think you need to think outside money and business. There is a gigantic world out there Monique. I know it is hard when current ‘leadership’ is all about the deal and the money and the ‘fake it until you make it’ though. If I might re-post an earlier thought…

              It is not about ….. as far as I can see ….., it is about people being secure in their home. Having a place they can call their own.

              This is pretty much the most important foundation block for any society. Get that wrong and all manner of ills arise – exactly as we see today in crime, family violence, disattachment from society, etc.

              You’re right that growth is a BS thing designed to pay for the usurious interest due on privately issued money, but this addresses something different and far more basic. What is there that is more basic? And, why does Nat policy not recognise this baseline of society?

        • Colonial Viper

          Homes are not a business, except for the ponzi property speculators who treat them as such.

          at least then you can sell and move on when the local paedo moves in next door. It’s not the Greens finest hour, this.

          Love how that brain of yours computes.

        • Colonial Weka

          “I don;t know why I waste my pearls of wisdom”

          I suspect it’s because you want the linkage. It’s certainly not because you want to be taken seriously. Otherwise you wouldn’t have written this –

          “Because at least then you can sell and move on when the local paedo moves in next door.”

          If you had bothered to do even a modicum of research before stating an opinion, you would know that the Progressive Ownership model means that the family can cash up any equity they have put into the house, at any time.

        • xtasy

          “I don;t know why I waste my pearls of wisdom here all I’ll get is abuse but I’m a reasonably altruistic type,”

          What “pearls of wisdom???”

          None to be seen, felt, heard or otherwise “sensed”.

        • Dv

          Good luck on selling the house with the paedo next door.

          And if owning my home is a business how come I cant claim rate, interest, maintenance of my tax?

    • Colonial Weka 27.2

      “How will the green decide who gets these deals? Those most in need? If so, how is this determined? If not, is it a ballot? ”

      Go read up the policy, or even one of the links in the original post. The deal is restricted to families with children, first home buyers, and they will be means and asset tested. See? The Greens know what they are doing.

  28. Tombstone 28

    For fucks sake! I want to buy a house for my family and I work hard enough to have earned the right to be able to purchase a small piece of land with a goddam box on it in which to call home for me and my family. I’m sick to death of greed fucking everything up for people and then people trying to make excuses for the greedy bastards who are causing all these bloody headaches for everyone else. Good on the Greens for trying to come up with solutions to the problem and you know what? Fuck it! I’m done with Labour. You hardly hear boo from them and when you do is like slapping Key with a wet bus ticket – pointless. My vote is going to the Greens because right now Labour are just one big fizzer and I want National gone.

    • kousei 28.2

      Agree with you. I feel like I exist to be milked mercilessly by anything or anybody that has the power to do so. The parasitic suckers feeding all over my body just keep getting fatter and fatter. It wouldn’t be any different if I own my own home or not, just different leeches. We need a type of society where people have hope and feel like there is social justice. I personally am not feeling this at all from National’s major opposition.

    • The Greens were set up by Helen Clark and co to suck up the tree huger and Morris dancing vote. Then once they got MPs they were to role over and play Tickle Elmo.
      And it worked.
      Got ya cows udder and some bells?

    • RedLogix 28.4

      That bus ticket Tombstone? It’s soaking right now….

  29. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 29

    Key has been patronising and sneering about the Greens sensible and do-able housing suggestions. What a wet. Confront this guy with a monster problem for NZs and he wants to run away to Hawaii.

    There seems to be a trend for the top pollies internationally to be a little less than enthused with their job and wanting to get out and be somewhere more conducive to luxury and ease. We’ve made it to international standards with Key.

  30. millsy 30

    It would be better just to build/buy more state houses and allow those tenants to buy them through a rent to buy scheme.

  31. DropDead 31

    I’ve been internalising some really complicated situations:
    – Put off having kids for few years to save a house deposit; pop em out now and qualify for a Progressive Home
    – Work hard for a promotion/pay rise to save more for a house deposit; Slack off and put name in Progressive Home ballot

    Path of least resistance bro path of least resistance

    • Draco T Bastard 31.1

      Yep, figured someone would come out with the if we don’t make it hard enough for the poor then they won’t work excuse for not doing anything.


    • ak 31.2

      I’ve been internalising some really complicated situations:

      Nah, you haven’t Drop. You’ve actually been externalising a single really simple fantasy: that a large number of people are venal, lazy, one dimensional morons, unlike your superior self.

      Thus revealing in all its rancid glory, your own charming personality.

  32. Saarbo 32

    Well done Green’s!

    If we cannot afford it under our current revenue base then we increase the top tax rate.

    Affordable housing, whether for people who want to rent or buy is critical!!! Unaffordable housing is creating poverty. Go Green’s!!!

  33. Afewknowthetruth 33

    Just to clarify the word Luddite:

    The Luddites we those who opposed enslavement of humans in factories and mines in the early nineteenth century and the destruction of traditional industries whereby people who had lived in close contact with the land and processed natural materials by natural methods were being driven into appalling working conditions in factories and mines. Much of what was happening corresponded with the last phases of enclosure in Britain, whereby common lands were stolen and fenced by greedy landowners, thereby preventing ordinary people from accessing ‘common’ food.

    The Luddites were treated harshly by the financial-industrial-military complex of the time: incarcerated or murdered. And the name Luddite was distorted by ‘the system’ to mean someone who irrationally opposes progress. Early trade unionists were hung or deported, of course.

    Needless to say, the Orcs have won. Most people in western societies are born in the money-lender-industrial slave camp and don’t even realise they are slaves to the system. As Aldous Huxley suggested in the early 1960s ‘a time will come when people will love their enslavement’. We have reached that time. The vast majority of people who comment on this blog love their enslavement and want the industrial-military-financial complex to continue, even though it is in the process of making the Earth uninhabitable via chemical toxicity, overheating, acidification of the oceans, destruction of soil, replacement of the ‘lungs of the Earth’ with monoculture crops, stripping the oceans of life via factory fishing etc.

    Even as the system collapses [due to peaking of the energy supply] and the general unemployment rate heads towards 25% and the, youth unemployment rate heads toward 60%, even as the Arctic meltdown is the greatest ever, even as the US enters its tenth month of severe drought and temperatures in Australia head for 55oC people insist the industrial-military-financial complex has a future and that they are entitled to keep destroying their own children’s and grandchildren’s futures via gobbling up of resources and runaway emissions.

    It’s all completely mad, of course. But anyone who says so is labelled a lunatic or a Luddite because they are the only sane ones.

    • RedLogix 33.1

      I could not agree more AFKTT.

      Previous civilisations collapsed because they didn’t understand much about the environment, or history, and how it was happening to them all over again.

      We don’t even have that excuse.

      • Colonial Weka 33.1.1

        +1 and +1

        Thanks afktt, your comment is worth bookmarking for linking to, every time someone uses the word luddite disparagingly.

  34. tracey 34

    ” Energy Resources and Housing Minister Phil Heatley said the policy was dangerous for New Zealand in terms of the world economic situation.

    “In the end they’re either going to have to print money, or borrow it – we’re talking about billions – and with the international economy the way it is it’s toxic to go into debt.”

    Isn’t national still borrowing a billion or so a year????

    • Afewknowthetruth 34.1

      I think you will find it is closer to a billion a month.

      But that’s small fry. The US borrows/prints around 2 billion a day. Probably 3 billion a day by now. Nobody bothers to count now that total unfunded liabilities exceed 4 trillion.

      • Colonial Viper 34.1.1

        the NZ figure is in NZD, and the US figure is in USD. (not that different now I know, as our dollar is absurdly high as everyone else has been actively depreciating their currencies).

  35. Just had a thought, National could to a deal with China to take our unemployed and under housed, they have over built something like 150 million bedrooms, they could give us an empty city, they have several. ;)

  36. WOW
    A Green party MP with a backbone ? … Australian though
    see from 5:30.

    • SEN. CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS LEADER: We’re in the midst of a climate emergency and Jonathan Moylan is standing up for what he believes in and for making the point that if you continue to bankroll new coal mines and coal exports then you’re actually driving global warming with the catastrophic consequences for human kind.

      CONOR DUFFY: She has little sympathy for the investors who lost money and has linked the recent fires to climate change.

      CHRISTINE MILNE: Look at the damage to humanity that is being caused by people who bankroll coal mines and those who are making money out of the misery of not only this generation but future generations. That’s the issue here. Who’s actually losing as a result of the bankrolling of coal mining?

      MARK VAILE: To have someone that has the respect of the electorate across Australia in high political office be prepared to go out and support fraudulent and arguably illegal activity like this beggars belief.

      CONOR DUFFY: The Greens have said they want to broaden their appeal, particularly in rural Australia. Christine Milne isn’t worried the support for Mr Moylan will see the party painted as extreme.

      CHRISTINE MILNE: Well the Greens are saying we believe in backing people who stand up for what they believe in and what we believe in is a fair go for all Australians for future generations and for our fellow species and that is what is at risk here with this climate emergency that we are now facing. People in rural and regional Australia get that more than most.

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    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • More police misconduct
    Another day, another IPCA report - this one into a police officer who unjustifiably set a police dog to savage a surrendering suspect:A police dog was set on a man who had his hands in the air in what is...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Media Link: The revolution will not be televised.
    I had the opportunity to do a long interview with Olivier Jutel, host of the Dunedin Radio One show “The revolution will not be televised.” It is a rare occasion when one gets to converse at length about a variety...
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Key spoke to Cameron Slater ‘not as Prime Minister’, but as a sponge
    Cameron Slater (left), and John Key (right), presumably in his capacity as a kitchen sponge. Facing fresh criticism about the details of his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Prime Minister John Key today claimed that, on the occasions...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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