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Housing: the options, the new left narrative?

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, September 13th, 2013 - 75 comments
Categories: capital gains, class war, david cunliffe, democratic participation, election 2014, greens, labour, local government, mana, Metiria Turei, sustainability, vision, workers' rights - Tags:

Metiria Turei’s  appearance this week on the anti-current events, infotainment show The Vote, has raised the issue of how oppositions parties will talk about their housing policies, as we count down to next year’s election.  As some commented under my post yesterday, the left needs to develop a more savvy way to deal with right wing attacks on policies to improve housing affordability for renters and buyers on mid-low incomes.

geoff argued:

keep haranguing Turei for advocating the lowering of the value of their properties for many home owners.

this.
I think Key & Co will push this angle really hard. How should the left counter this? It’s tricky because, quite plausibly, it is true that the value of houses will come down.

Tim Watkin’s post on Pundit yesterday took a similar line, but more in praise of the shabby Vote episode than in criticism.

But just as powerful is the anti-narrative – the story your opponents try to stick on you – and on last night’s The Vote we saw two examples that give us an insight on how next year’s election battle could unfold.

[...]

Turei got caught out by a simple questions; “Do you want house prices to drop?” It’s one thing to fret about housing affordability, to say how prices are out of control even and fear a bubble. But to tell the more than one million mortgage holders in New Zealand — including many of the deeply indebted Auckland liberals who vote Green — that they should be willing to take a hit on their biggest asset, well, the hashtag #politicalsuicide was used on Twitter and wasn’t out of order.

So what are the policies, and how can they be explained clearly to the electorate in the face of everything the right will throw at them over the next year?

The Green’s housing policies include a focus on state housing: Julie Anne Genter’s press release yesterday focused on some extra tools to cool Auckland’s housing market.  She is critical of the Reserve Bank’s blunt tool of interest rate manipulation:

“We need a capital gains tax, restrictions on overseas investment in residential property, a government-led programme of affordable house building, and the Greens’ Progressive Ownership plan to give young families a pathway to homeownership.

The Mana Party has put a strong focus on maintaining and improving state house provisions.  This week, John Minto was critical of Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan failure to respond to the housing crisis in the city:

Minto for Mayor would build 20,000 affordable council rental homes to address the sharpest point in the crisis with other plans to promote home ownership opportunities for every New Zealand family.

Last night on Citizen A, Wayne Hope also floated the idea of Council Housing.  Is this a practical option?

The Labour Party’s Kiwibuild housing policy (under Housing tab), focuses strongly on a partnership with the private sector: new homes for first time buyers, restriction of house buying by non-residents, qaulity of the rental stock, apprenticeships and house building, CGT, and provisions to ensure council approval of social housing.

Whatever the policy, it should be embedded within a wider narrative, not just one focused on housing.  It should be part of a broader vision, rather than being presented as part of a piecemeal roll out of individual policies as happened under Labour’s leadership by Shearer.

people b4 profit

Some, like James Henderson, have argued that Cunliffe is offering a new vision for the left.

I reckon Cunliffe’s fair deal will say ‘yup, if you want higher wages, you need to let workers bargain together, you need a government that is a good employer, you need a good minimum wage’ and ‘if you want affordable housing, if you want good jobs, in a country like New Zealand it’s up to Government to lead the way by building those houses, by buying Kiwi-made, and by not leaving everything to an uncaring, inefficient market’.

Hamish Rutherford on Stuff reports that it is based solidly on labour bedrock of employment reform:

“That’s bedrock David Cunliffe social democratic Labour policy. That is going to happen.”

He promised party faithful a visible change in tack from the current government. “The Labour Party I lead will be a true red Labour Party, not a pale blue one.”

Cunliffe’s vision has been outlined in his speeches over the last couple of years, and hinted at on his own campaign-focused website.  It is seen in his speech at Dunedin on Monday, which includes a focus on renewables and green technology.

The Labour Government I lead will take on the vested interests of markets when necessary to guarantee the wellbeing of citizens, just as I did against the old Telecom monopoly.

Our challenge must be to build a smart and high-value economy.

However, it speaks to the politically knowledgeable labour/left base.  Such a vision has yet to be clearly and sharply honed into a narrative for the broader public and distortionary MSM, using language that speaks to the hearts of New Zealanders.

keep calm sweet as

Similarly, The Greens’ vision and the Mana Party’s vision speak to their core constituency rather than the wider electorate.

cooking breaks down small

How can the narratives of eco-social democracy and/or (green) democratic socialism be told successful to the wider electorate?

75 comments on “Housing: the options, the new left narrative?”

  1. Pasupial 1

    The Left stand for healthy communities.
    The Right step over homeless beggars.

    • Rich the other 1.1

      pasupial,

      If the greens get what they want, house values to drop by 15/20% you will have a new bred of homeless beggars, former house owners.

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        Let’s unpack that, shall we?
        If the value of a home drops by 20%, why would a home-owner lose their home? They might go underwater for a while if there was a sudden drop and they were highly-mortgaged, but they would still have the same mortgage and the same income.

      • aerobubble 1.1.2

        Home owners who brought high only have themselves to blame.

        Anyhow you don’t lock in the price until you sell, housing prices after any downturn, will rebound. So the possibility that they sell during the downturn is once again their own.

        Thirdly, as higher prices creep up who are the winners, well not those who sell and buy a similar property, they get hammered by a high cost to the real estate agent, less choice, and more fear over paying too much (and so sustain even high prices).

        So simple put unless you are moving overseas, die, or otherwise have no need of the home, actually housing price is never a windfall.

        Sure Greens are going to hurt those who have huge mortgages, but they also want high wages, and better redistribution. So the National party also want lower prices (its hurting the economy to put all that investment in non-productive homes), and have policies that are being rolled out to do just that, but without concerns about higher wages or redistribution of wealth back to the middle and lower classes.

        • geoff 1.1.2.1

          Home owners who brought high only have themselves to blame.

          No, not true. Not true at all.

          • aerobubble 1.1.2.1.1

            Okay. People who buy homes who could not realistically pay them off brought us the collapse, and yes that was more down to the banks and neo-liberal governments deregulating the mortgage market. So yes, you are correct Home owners only have themselves too blame if they also voted for stupid right wing parties, or left wing ones with right wing financial policies.

      • Saarbo 1.1.3

        The National House market has increased by 8.1% in the last year alone. A 20% decrease over say the next 10 to 15 years wont be too tough on people but it will direct investment cash to investments that produce real returns for new zealanders, a consequence of housing no longer being an attractive investment option.

        The realty is that a successful housing affordability strategy requires a reduction in house prices, whether it is Labour or National. If house prices stay where they are then they are not affordable, strategy fail.

      • geoff 1.1.4

        Rich the other, that would only be true over the long term, and that’s a good thing. Any sudden drop in prices will be due to a sudden increase in interest rates.

  2. just saying 2

    I think her framing could be improved, but I don’t think Turei should have lied. Let’s not hide behind wishy washy poli-speak. I know I want house prices to come down. How else does housing become more affordable? She should have mentioned that it is property speculators and rental- portfolio holders, rather than ordinary home owners that will be affected in most cases, and that as business operators they must accept that there is, and always was, risk. And the higher the potential returns, the greater that risk becomes.

    As far as I understand it, all the avenues for solving the housing crisis including my own preference for a massive state-housing programme will result in lowering house prices and rents across the board. For most people that is a good thing.

    • Enough is Enough 2.1

      “She should have mentioned that it is property speculators and rental- portfolio holders, rather than ordinary home owners that will be affected in most cases”

      Out of interest how can only some property owners be affected by property prices coming down?

      • just saying 2.1.1

        If you own a house to live in what’s the problem? If you have to move, other houses are cheaper too. Numbers on a page.

        National: “I’d love to see wages come down” (and boy, haven’t they delivered on this).
        vs the left – “we’d love to see house prices come down”.

        Say it proud I reckon.

        • Rich the other 2.1.1.1

          just saying,
          Lets say,
          I buy a house for 500k paying a 5% deposit = $25k, $475 mortgage.
          Under a green govt , Houses drop by 20% making the value of my home $400K

          My deposit of $25k is wiped out and am now paying a mortgage of $475k on a property worth $400k.

          But wait there’s more , If I sell I will be HOMELESS as I all of my equity is gone and have NO deposit to purchase again.

          Can you give me directions to the salvation army’s night shelter.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            What planet are you on? You do realise that the fortnightly repayments on that mortgage would be roughly equivalent to as much as half the country would make in a fortnight?

            But more to the point, even if they bought and immediately dropped 25% and had to sell again, they’d have to make the repayments on $75 debt ($200/fortnight), not $475k ($1274/fortnight). At that rate they could quickly save another $25k in about six months (or a year, assuming that they can’t pay for rent out of the ongoing house costs for their mansion, e.g. rates, maintenance, peasants, decorating, etc). Oh, and even if they don’t sell they’ll have their head above water in a year or two.

            I mean, it sounds like a plausible problem, until one actually looks at the maths and realises that you’re just lamenting the poor little rich folk who max their credit to keep up with the Joneses. A lot of people in NZ have real problems, mate.

            In the meantime, that’s what state houses are for.

            • Rich the other 2.1.1.1.1.1

              mcflock.
              People exit their homes and move on for many different reasons , sometimes it’s not a choice, eg divorce , etc.etc.

              So for what ever reason they exit their home still owing $75k they will then have to save another deposit and purchase again at the 20% lower price eg $400k.

              Save 5% deposit on $ 400k =$20k which means they borrow another $380k + they already owe $75k which means their latest home worth $400k has an actual debt of $455k

              You seem to think saving $25k in 6 months will be easy which is around $2000 a fortnight , I hope they don’t expect to eat in that time.

              All in all this seems a very dismal picture and people in this situation will become renters which will be a real boost for land lords.

              Don’t ya just love green logic.

              • bad12

                What a great plan, shall we do nothing about making housing more affordable because of the choices of a few who decide to get divorced…

              • McFlock

                I think that if they can service a $475k mortgage, then they can service a $75k mortgage AND save for a deposit on a replacement house. Although it might mean slumming it with the plebs for a year or so (the embarrassment!).

                And at the end of it, they’ll still have a lower mortgage for an equivalent, or even the same house as before!

                Look at your rather tortured scenario: A couple are mortgaged for $475k. They sell for $400k (for whatever reason), then save up the remainder of what they’d previously been paying in mortgage and rates and so on, while renting (although they pay back none of the $75k remainder, just the interest). A year or so later they buy almost the same house at its new $400k value, and are mortgaged at $455k. Plus the $20k deposit they saved up, that’s $475k. Far from being “homeless”, they are in exactly the same position that they were before the value dipped.

                • Rich the other

                  mcflock,
                  Romney I presume, plenty of wool around the eyes.

                  No bank will lend $455k on a property valued at $400k , in other words they are unable to borrow to buy and will become renters.
                  Once they start paying rent they are stuffed and it will take years to save a deposit.

                  GREEN LOGIC , don’t ya just love it.

                  • McFlock

                    Lol
                    Oh noes, worst-case scenario if they are forced to sell: they’ll have to RENT!

                    Better than being homeless, which is what you were calling them before.
                    So, them that overextends themselves without leaving a buffer for market contingencies might have to retrench and save up for a while in order to buy their dream mcmansion.

                    Meanwhile, tens of thousands will never be able to afford to buy their own home, over-extended or otherwise.

                    Tory problems: who really gives a shit?

                  • vto

                    Rich the other, why don’t you right wingers ever try doing things by your own philosophy… if what you say is the case and those new renters want to buy then the amazing free market will see that gap and fill it, supplying homes to those renters..

                    Just like the free market does now for all those people who want to buy but can’t.

                    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, god knows why you lot put such faith in the free market. Idiots.

                    RIGHT WING LOGIC, gotta love it

                    • Rich the other

                      Try this, the shortage is a political fairy tale.

                      Waikato,3227
                      Auckland ,1186
                      Northland, 1871
                      Wellington, 1151
                      Manawatu ,2227
                      These houses are listed on trade me , $400000 or less.
                      These don’t include listings with real estate agents.

                      The other point is why should we be worried about Auckland housing , as you can see there are plenty of choices around the country.

                      Wouldn’t it make more sense to start pushing the govt to invest in more regional development, shift the jobs, it’s that easy.

                    • karol

                      I think pushing regional development is also favoured by the Greens and Robertson and Cunliffe. But that is not enough on its own.

                    • xtasy

                      Rich the other – all those homes you list as being advertised for less than 400 k, where exactly are they located, and are they close to the areas where there are real jobs, enabling home buyers to earn a living AND pay off any loans and mortages?

                      At least you give a figure for the whole of Auckland, that seems to be close to the ones under 500 k, as John Campbell said on Campbell Live on Thursday evening. We had Lotu Iiga from the Nats on the Vote claiming there were 1,100 homes under 500 k on the market in his electorate alone, which was proved to be total BS. Campbell or his staff only found about 200 falling into that category.

                      As for Northland, Waikato and so forth, you will not find many jobs there, and I dread to see the quality of some of those homes.

                      Yes, regional development is needed, but it will take time, while the housing pressures in Auckland, Christchurch and a few other places are real and pressing right now.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    No bank will lend $455k on a property valued at $400k , in other words they are unable to borrow to buy and will become renters.

                    Those valuations are illusory. Price mean reversion is inevitable.

                    Might as well do it in an orderly, planned fashion.

              • Mike S

                You’re paying twice the value of the house to the bank anyway even though they didn’t have the money in the first place and created the money you ‘borrowed’ out of thin air. That’s what you should be up in arms about.

                If you buy a house to live in, then house prices going up or down doesn’t really affect you that much as you’ve still got to pay the agreement you signed up to. If you’re buying to flick on at a profit then tough shit, you should have invested in the productive economy. Many people and the number is growing, will never be able to own their own home. That is disgusting in supposedly one of the richest countries in the world.

        • QoT 2.1.1.2

          That’s one angle I think would be good to see politicians using: “Most people who buy a house are buying a home, a place to live for their family. They don’t need to worry about a short-term dip in the market, because they’re not in it for a quick buck.”

    • Pasupial 2.2

      just saying

      She did mention all that, but the TV3s news edit-with-a hatchet job made it seem like Turei wanted every one of NZ million home-owner’s destitute. If you watch the online video of “The Vote” (which I don’t advise if you value your sanity), Peters had a good line about how house-prices going to fall anyway when the property bubble bursts, so why not have a controlled and targeted reduction now (paraphrased from memory – I can’t be bothered going back and transcribing the exact words).

      • just saying 2.2.1

        Thanks for the extra info. I didn’t see the programme.
        Great line from Winston.

      • karol 2.2.2

        Thanks, Pasupial. More damning info about 3 News.

        It also means the left or left parties need a consistent one liner, that encapsulates their broader narrative, to keep repeating in TV appearances.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      “I know I want house prices to come down. How else does housing become more affordable?”

      By the price of houses staying the same and incomes rising.

      • karol 2.3.1

        By the price of houses staying the same and incomes rising.

        But doesn’t that mean house prices coming down in real terms?

  3. BM 3

    Eco-social democracy

    From wikipedia

    Eco-socialists advocate dismantling capitalism, focusing on common ownership of the means of production by freely associated producers, and restoring the commons

    Here lies your problem.

    • karol 3.1

      BM. New task for you. Check the difference between eco social democracy and eco-socialism.

      • BM 3.1.1

        Is there a difference.?

        • Pasupial 3.1.1.1

          BM

          “The concept of an Eco-social market economy aims at balancing free market economics, the strive for social fairness and the sustainable use and protection of the natural resources.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-social_market_economy

        • karol 3.1.1.2

          Just add environmental considerations to the differences between

          Explained on Wikipedia:

          Social democracy is a political ideology that officially has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism through reformist and gradualist methods.[1] Alternatively, social democracy is defined as a policy regime involving a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes within the framework of a capitalist economy.

          Our left political parties these days tend to go with the 2nd (revisionist?) definition.

          Wikipedia on Socialism:

          Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.[1] “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[2]

  4. Fran O'Sullivan 4

    Personally, I thought Metiria was spot on.

    Have seen a few property cycles now. Leveraged myself into my first “home and income” in Wellington in 1978 after the housing market dropped around 1976 and lower prices enabled me to get a foot in the door even with multiple mortgages. Interestingly, prices recovered in subsequent years and five years on I was offered (but declined) a price about one-third higher than I paid. If you can wait out a slump and don’t have to shift the cycles tend to even out. A property is only “under water” if you have negative equity and cannot service a loan.

    The real and horribly pressing issue is what happens to all those over-leveraged people who are already facing difficulties servicing mortgages when the RB ramps up interest rates in 2016 according to reports of Wheeler’s comments.

    • Saarbo 4.1

      “The real and horribly pressing issue is what happens to all those over-leveraged people who are already facing difficulties servicing mortgages when the RB ramps up interest rates in 2016 according to reports of Wheeler’s comments.”

      plus the downstream consequence of increased exchange rates driving our export businesses to the wall.

      How about making investment housing less attractive so that investors sell their homes to increase supply, eliminating the need to increase interest rates. The only loser are house investors, the winners are first home buyers and renters.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        i think Wheeler said April next year was when He would be most likely to start the pain for the highly leveraged…

    • geoff 4.2

      Describing the present situation as a property cycle is not accurate, Fran.

  5. Well, yeah, a fall in house values would be really bad for:
    1. Property investors.
    2. People who feel that tax-free capital gain from their house is a human right.
    3. Idiots, aka people with mortgages almost as high as the value of their house.

    Those three groups may be large, but they’re not ones I feel a great deal of sympathy for and aren’t exactly core Greens’ constituency either. Turei should have stuck to her guns and told ‘em fuck.

  6. bad12 6

    OK, on house prices dropping in the Auckland market because of either Kiwibuild or the Greens ‘rent to own’ policies, everybody is barking up the wrong tree,

    PRICES WILL NOT DROP, there can be no overt sudden drop of house prices in the Auckland market simply because the proposals from both Labour and the Greens mean that the Houses they cause to be built WILL NOT BE SOLD IN THE MARKET,

    As these homes are going to be targeted at first home buyers there will still be a large upwardly mobile demographic in the Auckland housing market seeking better/bigger/flasher homes so WHY would house prices suddenly fall, it’s actually an economic nonsense to suggest or believe such,

    If the left are going to buy into whatever lie Duncan Garner can think up on any given day then election 2014 is going to be a lot harder work than it should be…

  7. vto 7

    There is absolutely no doubt that lower house prices is good for everybody and it should be aimed for.

    High values benefit only the banks – nobody else,

  8. geoff 8

    So what are the policies, and how can they be explained clearly to the electorate in the face of everything the right will throw at them over the next year?

    Realistically, anything that a left government can do will take a long time to have an effect on any metric. This is a good thing because Greens/Labour can highlight that they are taking a long term perspective, doing ‘the right thing’. This is in stark contrast to National’s hands-off, ‘let’s let the market fix this’ (even though it was a hands off approach that caused this problem in the first place).

    In terms of selling policy, I think Gordon Campbell’s recent advice is really sound, tone back the personal attacks on Key and talk past him, because he is an irrelevancy that has ignored this, (and many other) problems.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2013/09/12/gordon-campbell-on-dialling-back-the-anti-key-rhetoric-and-the-putin-plan-for-syria/

  9. Ad 9

    If I ruled New Zealand I would create 100 public development companies under the Housing Corporation, and use the Public Works Act to take out huge swathes of land and houses both inside and on the periphery of NZ cities, and rebuild whole suburbs at a time.
    And invite the private sector developers to take large minority interests.
    Then put the designs and pricing and quantity surveying out to competitive tender.
    Iwi companies could join in if they wanted.

    10 Hobsonvilles

    10 Massey North’s

    10 Tamaki Transformation projects

    10 New Lynns

    All of the public profits would have to get recycled.

    Given the housing demand I would be able to sell them all off the plans, to new couples who have to live in them not rent them out.

    Once I had started making serious money I would then use some of the profits to buy up and start demolishing the worst of Flaxmere, Kawerau, Murapara, Kaikohe, and other dying towns full of poverty and crime. Depending on how patrician I was feeling at the time.

    • Herodotus 9.1

      So you are happy for those who purchase raw land and spend massive resources and time to be by passed by the govt, yet earth works , civil works, aggregate suppliers, concrete manufactures , building products manufacturers etc to continue to make their margins? In other words paint the land developers in a bad way yet allow companies mentioned above (read fletched to continue to make their profit margins).
      Ad everyone appears to be an expert in land developer and the property market, pity many have little to no understanding of the industry or how the market really functions.
      But at least you are being constructive with ideas, keep going

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Raw land developers are welcome to the risks they take. I just think it’s time they got the chance to share their risks with the public sector – who so clearly have public policy goals to achieve.

        Everyone should get their margins – that’s the point of business.

        • Herodotus 9.1.1.1

          Yet from my reading of your comment and labours Kiwibuild all attention has been centred on the land developer yet build materials manufacturers, earth movers, civil workers, trades and councils appear to be able to able to trade as normal. Or with both Nats 39k dwellings over 3 years or Kiwibuild no consideration has been made for prices to rise as those sectors within the industry are pushed beyond their capacity = result increased prices. Such increases are occurring already and there is little increase in land and building consenting level, especially compared to the levels of 2003-4.
          As many have commented, if $400k affordable housing is the solution ( i.r.t Auckland ) then who can benefit ? Not those in need that is for sure.
          Far better for govt resources IMO to be directed to state housing than performing the function of developing for the private market.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            You make some good points and they should be considered and incorporated into the final plan.

          • Ad 9.1.1.1.2

            I think you underestimate the power of the market to regulate its own labour, land price and materials supply and prices. Everyone can see the bubble, especially in Auckland. The only question now is how quickly it deflates and how bad the damage.

            The housing market as a whole is however too big to control. It can now only be blunted. That is done partly by choking eg the Reserve Bank risky lender controls, partly through land supply eg Housing Accord, partly through monopsonising the market ie SKIRT and the Chch rebuild, but most importantly by incentivising the private developers to work with the state and form common companies with common interest.

            I’d love it if we could go back to the patrician days of the state command-controlling everything. Those days are dead.

          • bad12 9.1.1.1.3

            i don’t disagree with you on the State House build, state houses as an economic function do not ‘just’ house the poor,

            When there was an adequate supply of State Houses in the city of Auckland there was not a problem of affordability for those wishing to buy their own home,

            State houses as an economic function takes away the one thing those who see housing as an investment need to make that investment succeed, Tenants,

            Without tenants, those in the middle class who have a love affair with rental property, a large number of them as 100,000 homes have in the past 20 years become rental properties, would not be so keen on putting their monies into rental investments which would mean that there is less demand in the housing market…

  10. Swan 10

    Politicians just need to sell the fact that lower house prices are a good thing for most people. For anyone who doesn’t own a house, lower prices are good. For everyone who owns only one house lower house prices are largely neutral to their direct circumstances, but good via the benefits to the wider economy.

    There seems to be a meme that goes: if you own a house, lower house prices are obviously bad. This is pretty much nonsense for most people.

    • Ad 10.1

      Best of luck with that.

      75% of our debt is private and it’s real estate.

      Every % increase in capital value is either leverage up the great real estate rat cycle of happiness, or a year closer to selling up and out to an earlier retirement.

      Superannuation used to be the political third rail. Home ownership is the new their rail in politics. And it requires perpetual price increases.

      • bad12 10.1.1

        i still fail to see how the Government building any amount of houses will lower the price of existing houses,

        None of the houses proposed to be built will be initially sold into the market so these houses will simply serve to take away part of the demand particularly in the Auckland housing market,

        There will still be sufficient demand from those who are upwardly mobile and those buying rental investments and removing from the equation first home buyers at the most is only likely to slow down the time it takes to sell a property…

        • swan 10.1.1.1

          bad12,

          “i still fail to see how the Government building any amount of houses will lower the price of existing houses”

          “these houses will simply serve to take away part of the demand particularly in the Auckland housing market,”

          You have answered your own question. And if you make an impact in one segment of the market, you will indirectly affect the whole market through substituability. Aaron Schiff expains that concept very elegantly here:

          http://aaronschiff.net/2013/08/something-that-cannot-carry-on-must-eventually-stop/

          • bad12 10.1.1.1.1

            Are you suggesting that current home owners who have gathered over a period of years a substantial amount of equity in their current property are not going to keep ‘climbing the property ladder’, leveraging themselves into what they see as bigger, better, flasher home in a ‘better’ suburb,

            You will also have to be suggesting that the middle class love affair for the second and third property as a rental investment is suddenly going to come to a halt,

            None of the above is anywhere near the reality and as the proposal is that the Government who build the affordable housing will be selling these homes directly to the new owners presumably by way of ballot such housing will not in the first instance not be any indicator to the market on pricing of existing stock,

            Why exactly then would the price of a recently built 200m Whenuapai dwelling suddenly fall when everything the Party’s proposing building the affordable homes has said would indicate that the ‘plan’ is to build 100m dwellings which if they are smart they will sell on condition of the Government having a buy back option based upon sold price + equity,

            The effect on the Auckland market of such a Government build i would suggest is that property will become a little slower to sell, and the odd ‘bargain’ will pop up in the market caused by sellers for whatever reason ‘having’ to sell…

      • swan 10.1.2

        Ad

        “Every % increase in capital value is either leverage up the great real estate rat cycle of happiness,”

        But that’s the thing. Rising house prices work directly against people trying to upsize. If you have a 400k house and you want a 700k house, you need 300k extra debt. If prices go up 10%, you suddenly have a 440k house, but the house you want is 770k, so you need an extra 30k. You are worse off.

        “or a year closer to selling up and out to an earlier retirement.”

        You are right about those downsizing, but I think this is often overstated. Someone downsizing has to basically move out of town to somewhere cheaper – either that or move to a cheaper suburb or into a very small unit. Basically you need to make a very significant jump downwards for it to be worth it (once you account for the costs of selling, moving etc). People often dont want to do that when they retire, so they dont get any benefit.

        • bad12 10.1.2.1

          You may correctly see the step up the property ladder as debt but the great swathe of the middle class currently playing this game of monopoly do not really consider this,

          i know someone with a 500 grand home and 2 rental apartments in the city, last time i talked with Him his ‘debt’ was close to being a million bucks,

          He tho doesn’t consider the debt at all, in His mind He is sitting on a million dollars of assets…

  11. xtasy 11

    This talk about the great danger of a house price collapse and equity wipe-out is vastly exaggerated. Tolerable adjustments have happened in a moderate way in the years following the tail end of the 2007/2008 boom of the real estate market already. Indeed the ones that would likely suffer most would be the very “investors” and “speculators”, as most NZers will continue to do all to just buy and pay off their own homes to live in.

    If some people over-leverage with too much debt on overpriced homes, of course some will be forced to sell and lose, but they would face lower other homes they can then buy, as the reduction in prices will likely go across the whole price range of homes. There is already a kind of bubble developing, and any economic slow down can already upset the market and lead to a downturn and price reductions.

    I would not feel too much pity for the investors who already have portfolios and enough cash and credit to expand these. Them going bust or losing out a bit will hurt themselves and their banks more than the average home buyer.

    As we saw overseas, the government could step in with some measures and bail out banks, but as the Australian owned banks here are much healthier than many overseas ones, few will face serious dangers.

    In any case, as long as migration and overseas buying continues, there will be continued demand, and existing house building is years behind meeting demand. To actually have a collapse of the whole market seems unlikely at present, and for the near future. The Reserve Bank has already announced higher interest rates to “cool” the markets, so there is already intention to slow price growth.

    This is all just more of the panic creation by the government and stakeholders involved, who rather want things to carry on as it is, and have their pockets filled with endless book value money, which can though be wiped out by many other “crisis” any time.

    The home building plans by Labour and Greens and Mana are targeting first home buyers, and will only catch up with demand that is pressing. There is also need for low end social housing, of better quality than what exists. The higher end market will be little affected, that is the 3 to 4 brm “plus” large homes, that presently are preferred by NZers returning from OEs, by some well cashed migrants and overseas investors.

    Do not fall for all this panic, same as was tried with the policy release of the one state agency electricity buyer, to supply various retailers.

    Sadly Metiria is not an economic whizkid. If Russell Norman had been there on The Vote, he would have handled it very differently.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Agreed.

      The thing about economics is that although the ideal is that any change does not worsen the outcome for any actor (e.g. in the market both buyer and seller “win” from the transaction. Theoretically. I know, I know…), in practise there is a conceivable “loser” for almost any policy change described. So the standard tory playbook when responding to left policy is to wank on about a theoretical loser and ignore the far greater number of peope who are helped by that policy.
      Funnily enough, they do the same thing for their own policies – wank on about the few people who might be helped, and ignore the far greater number of people they’re kicking in the nuts.

      • swan 11.1.1

        “So the standard tory playbook when responding to left policy is to wank on about a theoretical loser and ignore the far greater number of peope who are helped by that policy.”

        I dont think that playbook is restricted to the “tories”. The left seems to go on about losers from welfare enhancing policy all the time. (eg free trade, less prohibition of land development, eradicating price floors in the labour market etc.)

        Not sure why we are talking about UK politics though…

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          same hat, different country.

          The difference is that there are almost always more poor people than rich people. So the left is almost always pointing out the effects for the majority of people (be they winners or losers), not just being obsessed with the welfare of 0.5% of them.

  12. xtasy 12

    What makes me damned furious are those landlords, who may owe little or perhaps a fair bit on mortgages, for the homes they rent out in Auckland and Christchurch. They are “creaming” it at present, as interest rates are comparatively low for NZ conditions, so they have less to pay off, but can charge as much rent as the market can demand.

    That gives them a very easy way to pay off debt rather quickly, and at the same time have their property values increase substantially.

    Auckland and parts of Christchurch have largely become a landlord’s and speculators paradise. These are the ones very happy with values going up and up, and having heard Metiria Turei make an “apology” to basically “calm” such person’s nerves, that really shocked me.

    Metiria get some extra lessons in macroeconomics perhaps, as it is all more complex and less straight forward as many think. Booms are followed by busts, and any larger home building policy will at least slow price growth, if not lead to some moderate decrease in prices in at least the lower end of the market.

  13. Ad 13

    My general struggle with both the Green and Labour policies is that they look at simply building places for families.

    I think we need to rebuild our cities and towns. To me that means integrating great design, energy efficiency, public transport, integrating schools and police and water and health and fitness. All stuff that makes for a good life. A civic life.

    Labour used to presume that it could plan whole towns. Some elements of masterplanning with the full integration of local and central public services and amenities still remain, but very few.

    It’s a task worth doing, and we need the commercial, governance, and Public Works Act instruments to do that.

  14. Treetop 14

    Did anyone else hear Garner say on 3rd Degree that only 1% of land was occupied in NZ?

    If so

    Why is the cost of a section in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington so much?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      That’s the 1%. Not many people want to live in Dannevirke or Winton you see.

      • Treetop 14.1.1

        Because there is no work and it is too expensive to purchase and run a car when a client of Work and Income.

        Did you see earlier in the week that in Richmond parking was free and in Nelson it is $1 an hour and some people shop in Richmond 10 minutes away when in Nelson because of no parking fee?

        • Greywarbler 14.1.1.1

          The usual wisdom is that it costs to go some kms to escape parking fees, so a case could be made that it’s futile. But then there are outlets offering cheaper cuts of meat and vegs on the way, and because parking is free in Richmond then there are no nasty surprises of $40 over-parking tickets. Which spoil your day, when you have lost track of time and find one on the window. Bus to Richmond is over $2.50 from Nelson, not sure how much – so return would be at least $5 a day if you had to go there to look for or get work.

  15. Greywarbler 15

    Because the wealthiest 1% have monpolised ownership of it. A strange form of yin yan.

    • Treetop 15.1

      I have been trying to feng shui my home lately. Yin is stagnant energy, Yang is flowing energy. So 99% are languishing out there when it comes to affording to purchase a section in the three mentioned cities.

  16. Neoleftie 16

    A slave owner I once slaved for bought a block of farm land for a solid price, waited a few years, developed that said land in subdivision, landscaped, roads etc by another of his setup companies and then flogged off 400 sections over the space of ten years at $90k to $250 k a section. In the process inflated the land and section price by both controlling demand and supply by mimicking same pattern as California in the 60’s. point is simple labour uncoordinated and divided by the rise of consumerism and individualism will always be weak and poor.

  17. Sable 17

    The value of NZ homes is actually quite high when compared to many other countries so an adjustment in values should not really make as much of an impact as people might think. I think house values should hold up quite well even if Labour’s housing vision is implemented.

    It should also see more money injected into the economy as people feel more confident about spending with house prices becoming more reasonable. It may even lead to upward mobility which could boost house prices over the longer term too. Especially properties where people have added value.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      People who have owned their homes for at least 10 years have experienced massive growth in their home values, growth well beyond the long term trend, and it is time for them to give a small amount of those gains back.

      The problem will be people who bought much more recently, say in the last 3-4 years. They could easily end up underwater from where they are at now.

      However I think this situation which will be manageable, and doesn’t preclude making homes more affordable for all.

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    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
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “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
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    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
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • 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
  • 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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