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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 | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • 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
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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