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KiwiBuild vs. what?

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, November 21st, 2012 - 50 comments
Categories: housing, john key, labour - Tags: , , ,

Key amuses me sometimes. This is one of those occasions. Key on KiwiBuild:

Mr Key says the plan lacks substance.

“The truth is that it’s a very complex issue … I don’t think some fanciful concept is really going to fix the problem.”

(1) “Lacks substance”. Really? National’s most recent housing announcement consisted of:
• 2,500 to 3000 new houses
• built at Hobsonville in Auckland
• 80% costing more than $485,000, the remaining 20% (500 – 600 houses) described as “affordable”.

This underwhelming prospect was variously described as a “wet bus ticket” and “Package? What package?”. In contrast Labour’s KiwiBuild is proposing:
• 100,00 new houses
• built all over the country
• costing around $300,000

If John Key wants to compare the substance of the two plans, it isn’t KiwiBuild that is lacking.

(2) It’s a “fanciful concept”. Really? It’s 100,000 new homes, bricks and mortar, there’s nothing very fanciful about that. It’s a government partnership with the private sector, creating a massive economic boost and thousands of jobs, there’s nothing very fanciful about that. This is exactly the sort of project that any government with any “ambition” for New Zealand should be promoting. But the best that the useless Nats can manage is to describe it as fanciful?

KiwiBuild is an excellent policy that would make a real difference to housing, jobs, and the economy in NZ. Compare and contrast with John Key’s personal flagship economic policy – how’s that cycleway doing again?

50 comments on “KiwiBuild vs. what?”

  1. vto 1

    I think it is a great idea and it isn’t as if it hasn’t been done before.

    The government is the largest home owner in the country and has been for decades so it already has a foot in the door for this.

    Keep pushing it, loud and clear. People will love it. There will be queues out the door. Remember, housing is crucial to people’s daily lives.

    As for Key, perhaps the line in response to his criticism is along the lines of “what on earth would a money trader know about housing?” or “Key should stick to being a wide boy”

    onwards ….

  2. tracey 2

    Things to be wary of;

    Quality of homes and those building. Builders and designers will have personal liability but will mobie or ministry of housing have immunity?

    In auckland, on average apparently, homes double in value every ten years. Most people will probably stay put for a few years once in IF they have young children. Schools prompt home sales aa children get older.

    Perhaps if you choose to not live in the home, the home has a contracted capped rent, managed by the ministry and rented to those in need?

    Cgt is a good idea if not primary residence OR cgt if home owned by a trust.

  3. tracey 3

    Given his address what cld key possibly know about affordable housing… Its a few decades since he was near one. Except for the family in owairaka of course…

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    Where is the land coming from for these 100,000 new homes.

    Will the government be buying private land on mass and if so where. I am thinking of Auckland as that is the only place where there really is an issue.

    I think it is a daft policy because the right can and are driving trucks through the holes in the policy.

    How do you stop the rich taking advantage of this?

    How do you stop the firt time home owners profiteering fom this? Making 100k over 2-3years in capital gains?

    How can they be sold at cost. Won’t the builders and land owners want to see some kind of profit?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “How do you stop the rich taking advantage of this?”
      Limiting it to first-time buyers. I’d suggest if they’re serious about it they’ll need to put some sort of limitation on the title that the property can never be used as a rental and must be owner-occupied.

      “How do you stop the firt time home owners profiteering fom this? Making 100k over 2-3years in capital gains?”
      Capital gains tax?

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        Capital gains tax will not apply to the family home?

        Or is that policy being revised as well?

        Even if a CGT does apply, why would it deter homeowners selling at market rates? A house that cost you $300k in Auckland would have an instant market value of $400 at least. I flick it off pay my CGT and pocket a handsome profit.

        Now many will see that as fine but I am not sure how it is addressing the issue of affordable housing in Auckland

      • Chris 4.1.2

        A capital gains tax will just mean they get a profit of say $70k instead of $100k. It doesn’t stop people making a profit. By definition it is a tax on gains, it can never stop someone making a gain simply lower it. The only way to stop this would be to bond people to the house for say a period of ten years, although this is just delaying the capital gain (presumably would make a gain).

        Also just because people are rich does not mean they have owned a house – sure that would knock out a lot of the older rich people but their children would still be classified as first home buyers. Simplest solution would be to make open to any home buyer who has never had a house or an interest in a trust which has held a house for the last ten years or something. It won’t stop everyone but will stop a lot.

        In response to enough is enough’s third point – presumably it means cost to the government – i.e. builders and land owners will still make a profit, the government however wouldn’t make a profit.

        Edit – also if someone purchased the house with the intention to sell in a couple of years they would have to pay tax on the sale under current laws anyway so a CGT would make no difference at all.

    • Fortran 4.2

      Enough

      Agreed – where is the land coming from at what price.
      Sure most of the major building companies can build at $200,000 – $275,000 but what price land – say $175,000 – so
      Do we have enough physical builders who are prepared to build outside Christchurch at present.
      Are there many spare people available for this cheaper quality building ?

      • mike e 4.2.1

        This could carry on from the CHCH rebuild using up the flood of labour their! smart move by labour land would have to be bought larger sections turned into higher density housing! smaller sections turned into low rise apartments such as Rod Oram talked about like Melbourne!

  5. Richard Christie 5

    “I don’t think some fanciful concept is really going to fix the problem.””

    Isn’t that exactly what Key once said about asset sales?

  6. tracey 6

    Enough, i gather auckland council has been consulted and has land. The land which national wants its developers to make a profit and run fromi assume.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    “KiwiBuild is an excellent policy that would make a real difference to housing, jobs, and the economy in NZ.”

    Really, I thought it was a policy that would see the government giving $100 grand to randomly selected New Zealanders paid for by everyone else.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “Really, I thought it was a policy that would see the government giving $100 grand to randomly selected New Zealanders paid for by everyone else.”

      Not sure how you get the “paid for by everyone else” part, since the people who buy these houses have to pay for them.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1

        They pay $100 grand less than the houses are worth. That’s $100 grand for free in anyone’s language.

        Here we have a party who claims its primary concern is equity, picking people at random to make rich.

        I just hope they pick me.

  8. Poission 8

    The first problem that needs to be addressed is the unconstrained sale of residential property to non resident overseas investors,here a mitigating tax is necessary to alleviate the AK bubble,

    The Greens seem to be on the case.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/62124/govt-needs-restrict-foreign-buyers-nz-property-green-party-says-following-real-estate

    The nz property tax system is a complete basket case under Dunne.

    • insider 8.1

      If you know it’s a problem, no doubt you have some data showing the numbers of sales and their value and how they are driving the market….

      Most of the ‘proof’ seems to be anecdotes that an asian has been seen buying a property at an auction.

  9. Brendon Harre 9

    This is an election bribe, mainly directed at Auckland.

    For better or worse houses are privately sold. Even 100,000 houses provided over 10 years will not change that fact. Houses are expensive in New Zealand for a variety of reasons. Strong demand coming from population growth, migration and foreign buyers. Banks offering easy credit as the more they lend the higher their profits. Supply is restricted by strict planning laws, expensive building consent fees. Building supplies are expensive because of duopoly pricing and property developers have monopoly pricing power for their sections because the length of time it takes to get consent for new sections means their is no effective competition.

    Shearer’s plan ignores these problems because they are difficult. To really change the housing market means upsetting some of the above vested interests. Is Shearer prepared to do that? Or will reward a few lucky ones with cheap houses while letting the rigged system remain for the majority?

  10. gomango 10

    Don’t even call this a policy – it is a politicians desperate attempt to get some attention.

    It fails on any test of economic reality or fairness. Even a year 1 NCEA economics student knows what the effect of a subsidy is on demand and price. Any subsidy just gets capitalised in to the price (failing the understanding economics test) and the gain is captured by whoever is lucky enough or connected enough to get the subsidy (failure of the fairness test).

    And do the math: 1.5 billion divided by 100,000 homes = $15,000 per home. How does that equate with building new homes in the place we need them – Auckland?

    False advertising to call this a policy. A desperate attempt by a desperate politician to capture the votes of stupid people. Who will love a stupid policy like this is property developers and building companies. They will be the real winners.

    Lack of housing affordability is primarily due to restrictions on land use leading to low density rather than high, expensive RMA process and the fact almost no-one in NZ wants to live in said high density housing. But allow the build of decent high density housing stock (as opposed to the corruption based shitboxes built around Auckland city in the 2000’s) close to where people want to live and that would go a long way to resovling the shortage and hence the high prices.

    • insider 10.1

      it’s the new interest free student loans – remember when they were only going to cost $300m a year….

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        For as much bleating as there is about interest free student loans, without it there would be a hell of a lot more graduates leaving for Australia. My partner would likely be among them (Phd, Mechanical Engineering).

        • insider 10.1.1.1

          I’d rather education were free in the first place… but the point was that the cost was vastly underestimated and this will probably go the same way (although loans was actually done while this may never happen)

          • KJT 10.1.1.1.1

            Complaining about student loan cost and then saying education should be free. Which is it?

            • insider 10.1.1.1.1.1

              read carefully. The comment was about the underestimation of the true cost. This is not likely to be a 1.5b policy any more than interest free loans was likely to be only 300m a year.

              Note that interest free loans have also been criticised as a middle class rort/buy off, similar to the criticisms of this housing policy.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      “And do the math: 1.5 billion divided by 100,000 homes = $15,000 per home. How does that equate with building new homes in the place we need them – Auckland?”

      Funnily enough, they don’t intend to build 100,000 homes with $1.5b. Instead, the plan is to build houses, sell them, and use the money recouped from the sale to build more.

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        I guess NCEA Level 1 got a “not achieved”.

      • mike e 10.2.2

        Lanthanide they are going to issue govt bonds to finance these houses the $15,000 is probably the equivalent to the existing home start loan.

  11. Seti 11

    Don’t developers usually have to fund roading, drainage etc for new subdivisions? Has this cost been factored it?

    What effect will 10 years of inflation and land price increases have?

    100,000 homes over 10 years is 27 every day. You would need an army of builders, which would delay and increase the cost in the non-Kiwibuild construction sector. Tradesmen would then be drawn away from Kiwibuild as costs rise in the private sector.

    The numbers involved are not realistic.

    • mike e 11.1

      Seti so the equivalent numbers are required for the CHCH rebuild those builders will go overseas after the main build has finished its better they stay here and add value to our economy than some one else’s!
      Besides most modern economies are having jobless recoveries its time the govt stepped in and did something as all the Manufacturing jobs are going and Nactuf are doing Zilch!
      We have an old housing stock also a shortage of 13,000 new home in Auckland, Queenstown’s growth is being hampered by the shortage of reasonable priced accommodation for workers,Northland has a huge problem!
      Its time we did something about it !
      The greens were wanting 6,000new houses each year this works well for labour!
      Its going to provide more than the 400 jobs the cycle way provided!
      Most of the materials will be NZ made .
      The money will probably come from Kiwisaver via Govt bonds cutting overseas debt as well!
      Where is Don Brashes productivity commission when you need them!

  12. KJT 12

    This is excellent policy for many reasons.

    1. It is finally a move by Labour away from the Neo-Liberal meme. “The market will provide”.
    2. It will help to gradually lower house pricing.
    We need prices to lower gradually over time. The effect of too fast a lowering, unless we get banks to take a haircut at the same time, would be too recessionary.
    3. Overall lower house pricing helps new home owners and poorer people the most. It is rubbish this will just help the middle class.

    More policies such as restrictions on foreign land ownership and banker/speculation pushing up prices, more State rentals, sweat equity, CGT and maybe changes to the RBA are required, but this is a good start.

    • Herodotus 12.1

      So when will the 1st house roll out ??? Not in the 1st term of a Labour govt.
      What happens if there are overruns in costs, does the tax payer pick these up or the unfortunate 1st home owner?
      Westpac economist believes that Auck property will increase over the next 2 years by 6% and 8% in the following year. 15% in 2 years !!! so if I am right that it will take 3 yrs to implement this policy we start on 15% and should the bubble not burst go higher. $300k today = $350+k in 2017. I bet that real wages will not improve over this period.
      And where are these 10k new home owners p.a. coming from ? or 100k in 10 years ?
      Better to spend the $$ on HNZ stock.

      • millsy 12.1.1

        Increasing state/social housing (as wells as ditching the renewable tenancies) (perhaps also subsidizing people into buying their state house), would probably achieve what KiwiBuild and a CGT would set out to acheive for cheaper rate.

        Providing warm, clean and secure accomodation to those at the bottom without gouging them in rent would push the slum lords and speculators who target them out of the market, and will improve the standard of rental accomodation, as well as bring house prices down. It is no co-incidence that when state housing was sold off back in the 90’s house prices rose.

        KiwiBuild is an interesting idea though. I think these also offer a chance to experiment with grassroots democracy/localism. Imagine every KiwiBuild development being represented by a neighbourhood council elected by residence in that development. This council would also be responsible for things like parks, schools, libaries etc…

  13. CJA 13

    Okay just running the numbers : 100,000 new houses in a ten period meaning 10,000 a year meaning 192 a week or 27 houses a day being built. Come on guys seriously. Okay I understand housing is an issue in New Zealand as well as house prices but coming up with an unrealistic policy is not the way to fix it. Come up with something realistic then pitch it to the voting public.

    • McFlock 13.1

      Seti got there first with that line. 
             
      And that’s 27 houses+units+apartments per day on average.  
      2,000 apprenticeships. Let’s assume 10% operational at any time: that’s 200 apprentices, plus additional labourers and qualified trades staff.
             
      Doesn’t look quite so outlandish now. Oh, there is plenty of room to quibble, but the “unrealistic” call is a bit strained. 

      • Seti 13.1.1

        Doesn’t look quite so outlandish now. Oh, there is plenty of room to quibble, but the “unrealistic” call is a bit strained.

        Unrealistic is a huge understatement. 27 houses a day, on top of Christchurch reconstruction and all other housing and building projects? Considering this from Stonewoods homes website –

        How long will it take to build my house?

        90 working days (approx 20 weeks) Build time for a single storey 105 working days for a two storey

        That’s without admin, code of compliance, accessible roads, external drainage etc. So 5 months just for construction from a professional building co. Sure, some synergies will be gained with a mass rollout but 10,000 additional houses a year? NF way.

        • PlanetOrphan 13.1.1.1

          Check out the Pre Fabricated walls etc numbers before you call it impossible Seti.

        • mike e 13.1.1.2

          SETI VINI RAMPUKA Its been done before and its 2 years from the election in which time Canterbury will be well and truly under way what are we going to do with the labour force when Canterbury will be starting to wind down !

        • McFlock 13.1.1.3

          dude, you don’t build them one at a time.

      • CJA 13.1.2

        Sorry don’t quite get what your point is and yes Seti did get there first but I guess it’s more a case of reiiterating the point that the policy is unrealistic.

  14. Of course Key calls it fanciful , How can you asset strip KiwiBuild M8?

    Key would have to wait for the “Free Market” to claim them before being able too do anything M8!

    DunnoKeyo obviously doesn’t know how to “Print Money” …. Bleedin Moron M8s

    • mike e 14.1

      PO the free market you would think would put enough pressure on in the Auckland market to meet demand but its not happening !
      Market failure is whats happening and shonkey and his b(W) anking m8s are having a field day those banks that are lending in Auckland’s bubble are creaming it for no extra risk or work.These speculators are also seriously damaging New Zealands productive sector as well . Whats Shonkey the mrerchant B(w)anker doing nothing zero zilch stuffing farmers manufacturers the Tourism sector etc!

  15. AAMC 15

    My fear, please correct me if I’m wrong…

    Won’t this be a speculative boom for early purchasers? Is there some sort of means testing to establish who is “allowed” to purchase?

    Won’t this be another win for the banks who will be the ones giving mortgages to those buying? It’s in their interests for the houses to inflate in value so they can create some more money and to increase their interest yeild.

    When the Ozzies subsidized people into houses to ward off the worst effects of GFC1, all it did was further inflate their bubble, will this do the same?

    Assuming more supply will solve the problem just illustrates we are still stuck in a neo-classical supply & demand model, not having learnt that, around the world, even with supply and Gapital Gains Taxs, bubbles grew as banks pumped debt into the system.

    Is anybody ever going to talk about the root problems?

    • The root problem is base price escalation/overvaluation.

      KiwiBuild will fix that by introducing fixed price housing and rentals.

      KiwiSaver already has good checks etc, would be hard to extend.

      A good basic idea that, can only truly be defined completely when implemented and would have to be “maintained” periodically (At the mo at least once a year)

  16. AAMC 16

    The root problem is an un-managed endogenous monetary system which has inflated assets out of sycnc with income for 30 years.

    All of these other things are factors, sure, but until there are some measures to reign in the banks, it’ll be a very short lived band aid. We have to start having that conversation if we really want to tackle property prices, there are more than 100,000 of us, and it’s a societal systemic issue, which prevents even those on high incomes from participating in the broader economy as all their income is tied up in mortgage debt.

    If they’re being released onto the market that is, rather than being State houses. I don’t know the details of the policy, that’s why I’m asking

    Are there measures to stop an investor from buying as rentals, or to flick once they inevitably inflate to meet the rest of the market?

    Here’s Keen yesterday on Capital account > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXGqnu5RA-E

  17. Binders full of women 17

    Since a lot of this will be aimed out west ..here’s some Waitakere-man thoughts.
    Pros- Govt can be involved in housing & building as it has size and regulatory clout and we are at the mercy of a duopoly of suppliers for building materials now.
    Cons- Annette King looked weak when challenged on where the 50k sections would be found in Auckland..her reply “some will be more expensive” so others will have to be less expensive to balance out..hmm less than 50k sections?? There is NOTHING in this that stops a wealthy parent bankrolling 2 or 3 kids into the ladder, or renting them out to ‘flatmates’.. oh I see we are gonna need a Ministry of Inspections to go along with other pointless ministries. Final con- there is no crisis, just people who are too picky to go to the working class suburbs or move to the provinces. No one has a right to live in the now over-priced suburb in which they grew up in.

    • karol 17.1

      Picky?  I am in a “working class” suburb, out in Waitakere.  I and a few other middleclass, not-so-young people I know have had difficulty finding rental accommodation, at an affordable price, and near work.

      • Binders full of women 17.1.1

        Fair call- overstatement. I just also really worry hugely about the loss of greenbelt (out west esp) and the motorway grind. Do we now have to realise that if you want to/have to live in Auckland then the 1/8 acre paradise is no longer an option? The provinces could do with another 100,000 houses and 400,000 people.

        • karol 17.1.1.1

          Actually Bfow, I didn’t think it was so much an “overstatement”, as insulting.  It’s my guess you have not had to look for rental accommodation in Auckland recently, and/or have no idea how difficult it has become for people on low incomes to find somewhere affordable, safe and secure to live. 

          There IS a noticeable shortage of affordable accommodation. 

  18. pete 18

    100,000 in ten years. 27 per day.

    You’d have to be barking to believe these numbers. They’ll be lucky if they manage one per day.

    Where are they all going, anyway?

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    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    22 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    23 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    11 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    12 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    12 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    15 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    15 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    17 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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