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KiwiBuild

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, November 18th, 2012 - 212 comments
Categories: david shearer, housing, labour, leadership - Tags: , , , ,

Affordable housing is one of the huge issues facing this country. Owning your own home has always been central to the “Kiwi dream”, but nowadays it is out of reach. National released their own “affordable” housing policy recently, to near universal yawns. Today David Shearer and Labour showed them how it’s done.

Welcome to KiwiBuild.

If there is one thing your newspaper tells you every day about life in New Zealand it’s this: We have a housing problem. And it’s a deep seated problem. If you’re a young person today, you look at the cost of houses and you despair. For the first time, home ownership in Auckland has dropped below 60%.

It’s one of the reasons so many of our young people are giving up and going to Australia. The National government’s answer fell woefully short of what is needed. They don’t understand that the market has failed first-home buyers. The simple fact is we need more affordable houses.

It’s time for Government to step up. And we will.

Today I’m announcing that we will put 100,000 Kiwi families into their first home.

That’s the sort of big change we need to make a big difference to people’s lives.

We’ll oversee and invest in a large scale 10 year building programme of entry-level houses that Kiwis are crying out for.
Yes, it’s a big commitment and it’ll take a couple of years to ramp up, but we can do it. I won’t stand by while the dream of home ownership slips away from future generations.

At the peak of last decade, about 30,000 new homes were built a year. Now it’s less than half that. These are the missing rungs on the housing ladder. And it shows what an active and responsible government can do to help. The start-up cost of the building programme will be financed through issuing government stock called Home Ownership Bonds. The money we make from selling the houses will go back into the pot for building more.

The houses will be compact in size. Some will be stand-alone dwellings and others apartments. All of them will be good quality and energy efficient.

The homes will be sold to first home buyers who’ve saved their own deposit, like with KiwiSaver. We estimate that the maximum needed to be raised for a kick-start will be $1.5 billion.

It will quickly become self-funding though. And because it’s a capital investment, it won’t affect our commitment to balance the books and return to surplus.

I can already hear our opponents complaining that this is too bold. That the problem’s too big and there’s nothing we can do. I won’t accept that. I won’t give up on the Kiwi dream of an affordable home.

I have spoken to Auckland Mayor Len Brown to take up his offer of a partnership with Auckland council to make land available. In addition, we will introduce a National Policy Statement under the RMA to ensure that planning rules and consenting decisions support affordable housing.

We want to make a difference.

Building 100,000 new houses will create training opportunities for apprenticeships, more jobs and give a $2 billion dollar a year boost to the economy.

100,000 new entry level homes – from the policy Factsheet the price will be around $300,000 per unit. The biggest public building programme in over fifty years. Hope for young families and households. A massive boost to jobs and the economy. This is a historic policy.

212 comments on “KiwiBuild”

  1. quartz 1

    So the policy is for government to become a developer? The banks will love it.

    • r0b 1.1

      The government will oversea the process, working with the private sector. That brings huge efficiencies and economies of scale for this 10 year project. And the houses will be sold effectively at cost to build. It creates new efficient homes, jobs, and economic activity. What’s not to like?

      • twisted hive 1.1.1

        What about a state housing programme for those who actually can’t afford a depost?

        And if anyone thinks 10,000 houses a year will fix the underlying problems of the property market in this country, they’re in for a shock.

        First home buyers from wealthy families will probably buy the things and hock them off for a better price. It’s called the market.

        • IrishBill 1.1.1.1

          To be fair, there’s a risk of that. It happened when the state houses were sold in the 90’s. I guess the plan is to build enough to drive the market down. It could well work but I’d be interested to know if it’s been modeled.

          • r0b 1.1.1.1.1

            First home buyers from wealthy families will probably buy the things and hock them off for a better price. It’s called the market.

            From the factsheet:

            Buyers will need to live in the house for a period of time to be determined based on advice from officials. There will be a penalty applied if the house is sold within in this time frame.

        • r0b 1.1.1.2

          What about a state housing programme for those who actually can’t afford a depost?

          I agree that we need more state housing too. Let’s start with getting a government that will maintain the existing stock, and then work to “encourage” them to expand it.

          And if anyone thinks 10,000 houses a year will fix the underlying problems

          Might no “fix”. Certainly going to help.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.2.1

            I believe the Welcome Home Loan zero deposit limit is $200k. Up that to “around” $300k and the problem of “no deposit” disappears.

        • SPC 1.1.1.3

          I guess that is why it is 100,000 not 10,000.

      • Fisiani 1.1.2

        Are you saying that Labour will adopt a public/private partnership after years of bagging it?

        • North 1.1.2.1

          Whadya call Fletchers and Winstones going back 80 years dickhead ? Dunnokeyo’s pathetic PPP acronym/misnomer has you more bewildered than usual.

    • SPC 1.2

      Actually financing the house building independently of the banks simply means that there will be more housing supply and thus lower upward pressure on property values. So the end result should be less foreign debt supplied through local banks to home buyers.

  2. Having the private sector build houses for people with a deposit is hardly ground breaking.

    What about those with no deposit? What about the underlying problems in the property market, and the inequality in society’s wealth?

    It’s a PPP with a few bells. Nothing more.

    • r0b 2.1

      So you don’t think that 100,000 new homes, built with economies of scale and sold effectively at cost, will make any difference to the country?

      • twisted hive 2.1.1

        It’s third way crap. And no, it won’t do anything to solve our long-term housing problem. It’ll increase supply in the short term, and nothing more.

        Worst of all. It does nothing for the poorest in our society. Nothing.

        I guess those beneficiaries on the roof don’t deserve our help.

        • r0b 2.1.1.1

          It’s a housing policy twisted, not a welfare policy. And if 100,000 entry level homes won’t “solve” the problem, it’s certainly going to help.

          • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1

            No, I think Twisted is onto something. We need a genuine change in economic settings, more power to workers, higher minimum wage, etc. This is tinkering around the edges.

            Maybe Labour has those answers too. Cunliffe has made some pretty encouraging noises recently, but home ownership won’t hide the fact that the homeowners are working 50 hour weeks to scrape by while others have no work at all.

            • Jackal 2.1.1.1.1.1

              100,000 affordable homes is hardly tinkering around the edges One Tāne Huna. That’s a major policy that will give lots of New Zealanders the chance they wouldn’t normally have had to own their own homes. The social implications to that alone are huge!

              I think twisted hive is wrong, and such policy will also help the poorest in society. Throwing cold water on Labour’s enlightened policy direction just because they aren’t proposing free housing for everybody is rather silly! You’re effectively asking Labour to commit political suicide and announce something that’s not currently achievable anyway.

              You might have noted from the David Shearer speech that he does in fact talk about poverty and work as well. If Labour manages to properly address these issues, which it’s likely they will, their progressive housing policy will be even more effective… But I guess there’s only one way we’ll know for sure.

  3. higherstandard 3

    WTF ?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    What about Christchurch?

    • r0b 4.1

      From the factsheet:

      Around two-thirds of the houses built over the first five years are likely to be in Auckland. Other developments will be built around New Zealand in places of high housing costs, such as Christchurch, Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty, Nelson, Wellington and Queenstown Lakes District.

  5. QoT 5

    Oh goody, “entry-level homes”, “housing ladder” – what we really needed was a Labour leader buying into the Robert Kiyosaki BS about property investment.

    This was a chance to say “people just want a home to call their own, at a price they can afford now, not inflated by the short-term gains of speculators” and frankly it looks blown, to me.

    • r0b 5.1

      So you’re opposed to 100,000 new modern entry level homes, built with economies of scale and sold at near cost?

      • QoT 5.1.1

        I’m against Labour Party leaders (and leftwing bloggers) buying into the rhetoric of the right-wing. It weakens everything they try to do.

        • QoT 5.1.1.1

          Put it this way: when we talk about “entry-level homes”, who are they for? For actual working-class people on the median wage, or property owners like Kate Sutton who get sob stories in the paper?

          • r0b 5.1.1.1.1

            From the factsheet:

            Who will be able to buy the houses?

            Eligibility to buy a KiwiBuild home will be kept as simple as possible to cut down on administration costs. As with the current KiwiSaver homeownership features, the houses will be restricted to first home buyers. Buyers will need to live in the house for a period of time to be determined based on advice from officials. There will be a penalty applied if the house is sold within in this time frame. If the property was sold prospective buyers will also have to show they saved their deposit themselves (including through KiwiSaver).

            Where there is more demand in a locality than there are homes available, eligible candidates will go into a draw and the buyer will be selected by ballot.

            No household type will receive preference over any other household type. Nor will there be any income restrictions. On the whole, people will ‘self-select’, with those who can afford to move up the property ladder excluding themselves.

            • QoT 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Nor will there be any income restrictions. On the whole, people will ‘self-select’, with those who can afford to move up the property ladder excluding themselves.

              Oh, goody. Because the upper classes have historically been so willing to go without social support they don’t actually need.

              • r0b

                They’ve also been historically willing to live in cheaper housing when they can afford mansions. Oh – wait…

                So tell me QoT – is there anything about the policy that you actually like?

                • QoT

                  And they only ever use private hospitals because they “self-select” out of free healthcare. And they “self-select” out of paying less tax by not using trusts to hide their assets. Oh – wait …

                  Nah, you’re right. John Key won’t be fixing his finances to take advantage of this scheme. He’ll just pay Stephie and Max’s rent for a few years so they can “prove” they saved their deposits themselves and get into houses when they’re 24. While poor families who cannot afford to live, much less save, can just suck it up and sit on Housing NZ waitlists.

                  Yeah, this is totally the policy that’ll revitalise the left.

                  • r0b

                    Do you know any young people trying to get their first home QoT? I do. They’re going to like this policy.

                    • QoT

                      Fuck you, r0b, I was one a year ago. I also know a lot of very wealthy young people who are no doubt delighted that with a minimal amount of cheating, they can get into a first home with Mummy and Daddy’s help. And a lot of people who are barely making rent who will not be helped at all by this policy.

                    • r0b

                      I hear the abuse, I hear the criticism. I’d rather hear better ideas…

                    • QoT

                      People are already providing better ideas. Improve Housing NZ stock. Impose a basic limitation on the income of people who can use the scheme.

                      But here’s the thing, r0b. This is basically Labour’s flagship policy for 2014, and it has holes I could drive a truck through with 5 minutes’ thought. My apologies if I’m not going to jump up and down with joy over providing rich white kids – like myself – with a “start on the housing ladder” while people who are actually struggling are shut out and the party which is meant to be on their side keeps up the rightwing BS about “entry-level” homes.

                    • r0b

                      I’ll repeat my comment 17.1.

                      The next government is going to be well buggered on spending. This was a way to make a big increase in entry level housing available, at the best price possible, in a manner which is self-funding. It’s not ideal, it’s the best that could be done in the circumstances, I think it’s a bloody good scheme.

                    • QoT

                      Ooh, and here’s some better ideas:

                      Increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years. Provide funding to third sector housing organisations for a minimum of 1000 units a year for the next 3 years, prioritising those with commitment to environmental and social sustainability. Create a legally binding duty on the public sector to ensure housing needs are met. Introduce a Universal Child Benefit that can be capitalised towards the child’s first home. Increase provision of low interest financing for low-income households seeking home ownership.

                      Source

                    • r0b

                      Increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years.

                      Love to, hope they have the funding to do that too. But as above – whomever is the next government is going to be massively constrained on new spending. Similarly for the other items on your list – they are all good ideas – but none of them is self-funding.

                      This policy does the best it can in a cost-neutral form. It’s very clever, and it will do a lot of good. Do we need to piss all over it because its not a perfect policy in a perfect world?

                      Having said that – I think Labour should re-prioritise spending (kill some roads) to check some of the items on your list.

                    • QoT

                      Do we need to piss all over it because its not a perfect policy in a perfect world?

                      r0b, if you’re not interested in actually reading what I’m writing, I’m happy to go elsewhere. It’s not because “it’s not a perfect policy”. It’s because it’s seriously flawed in ways which means it will not succeed at its stated goals.

                    • r0b

                      None of your suggestions have been cost neutral QoT, and that’s the constraint that this policy was designed within. We could all do better policy with more spending. But within that constraint I think’s it’s bloody good stuff.

                      But I suspect that we’re never going to agree, so cheers & farewell.

                    • Jackal

                      Interesting that you think the policy that outlines an as yet unestablished system, that’s only been announced today, will be openly abused by those who don’t actually need help QoT. This looks like a complete fabrication in your own mind to me.

                      I think you’ve gone off the deep end by claiming Labour’s housing policy is only for rich white kids QoT.

                      Expecting the next left wing government to automatically fix the problems New Zealand faces that have taken decades to get this bad is particularly delusional.

                      r0b is entirely correct that the next government will have to operate on an oily rag because of Nationals mismanagement under the feckless John Key. Ignoring this reality isn’t particularly helpful.

                  • QoT

                    claiming Labour’s housing policy is only for rich white kids

                    You’re welcome to point out where I ever said that, Jackal. Because pointing out that deliberately ruling out an income limit means this scheme will be used by rich white kids isn’t quite the same thing, you know.

                    • Jackal

                      Granted, you were generalizing, but you’re statement can be read either way QoT… It’s therefore my prerogative to take what you wrote literally… Especially when you’re so clearly wrong!

                      Tell me, what’s this penalty Labour talk about that will apply if people try to sell these homes before a preset date, and what is it designed to do exactly?

                      Could you also let me know how first time home buyers are going to work the system by getting money from mummy and daddy if they have to prove they saved their deposits themselves?

                      Could you also let me know how to rig a ballot (since you obviously know this), in order to ensure people can get houses where demand is high?

                      When Labour talk about household type, they mean the make up of the household ie homosexual couples will not be discriminated against. They are not talking about incomes and the policy is clearly targeted at those who presently cannot afford to get into their first homes.

                      Labour also acknowledge the fact that most people requesting assistance will actually need it, showing that they have faith in New Zealanders to do the right thing. That’s not an admission the system will have a lack of procedures to ensure honesty QoT, as much as your cynicism wants it to.

              • rosy

                Exactly. If they’re going to intervene in the economy to do this build (which I think is a good thing) then intervene properly and ensure the target market is young first home buyers on low incomes. And shove in some social housing while they’re at it, then it sounds like a Labour policy should, imo.

  6. Best news I’ve heard all year,
    The goal being a single person on the dole can afford a mortgage of course ….
    That is job loss security after all.

  7. rosy 7

    The homes will be sold to first home buyers who’ve saved their own deposit, like with KiwiSaver. We estimate that the maximum needed to be raised for a kick-start will be $1.5 billion.

    This is all good, but the missing element in this is a commitment to social/State housing. Or have I missed that bit?

  8. Georgy 8

    Its interesting to read the cpmments of those opposed – no specifics, vague rhetoric, inappropriate criticism, and no alternative.

    It is just what it is – a housing programme that will also providework and training opportunities for many years.

    Win win win.

    • QoT 8.1

      The “alternatives” are actually making sure the houses involved go to people who need them. See r0b’s excerpt above for very un-vague specific evidence of why that won’t necessarily happen.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      From what I’m reading, it’s a win to the banksters but a loss to the country.

    • pete 8.3

      It’s a win-win for property developers.

      Need some land? Of course you do – land is (artificially) scarce. Convince a block of these 1st time buyers to sell after the minimum period, knock their houses down, and build a luxury gated community. On cheap land. Nice fat margins.

      Opps!

      • r0b 8.3.1

        Easy to design a system that makes this difficult or impossible. You’re grasping at straws pete.

      • David C 8.3.2

        Total bollocks. You cant buy houses on tiny sections and demolish them for the same value as greenfields.

  9. Herodotus 9

    How can yo have housing being sold at cost – whilst there is a “PPP” element to this. At cost implies no profit. I bet there is already plenty of “buy” instructions for Fletchers. How is it that this company always seems to win e.g. Chch EQ
    “And because it’s a capital investment, it won’t affect our commitment to balance the books” – How is the interest funded? From operating funds. So it will have an affect on balancing the books, unless the govt goes for capitalising interest costs !!!
    “I have spoken to Auckland Mayor Len Brown to take up his offer of a partnership with Auckland council to make land available” So it is the council who are at fault for not allowing land to be developed. FUNNY that.
    Ant I cannot find ant body to this announcement, you know the devil in the details, from my search only this site has anything on substance to this, not even on the this site http://www.labour.org.nz/news.
    Like we are rebuilding Chch where is the labour to be sourced from. Expats returning from Aussie??

  10. Chalupa Batman 10

    !0 000 a year is roughly 27 a day for seven days a week. This could be a very good idea but will probably go down like a lead ballon

    • mike e 10.1

      lupi batshit from a person who supports the do nothing right wing approach doing anything to solve the problem of under supply in Auckland particularly would go down like our economy is going.Which is holding back economic development as Don Brashes Productivity commission pointed out that housing is the number 1 thing holding New Zealand back!
      Its pleasing to hear that Queenstown is also included ,the shortage of skilled and unskilled labour is holding back its economy!
      Loopy your as thick as batshit!

  11. Seti 12

    Doesn’t this just increase the outbound flow of capital in the form of interest to Australian banks?

    • lprent 12.1

      It won’t increase it. People pay mostly interest in rentals already.

    • r0b 12.2

      If you have a way to solve that particular problem we need to hear it now! Otherwise – it’s called KiwiBank.

      • Seti 12.2.1

        Kiwibank has only around 6% of the home loan market so the vast majority of lending under this scheme will still be done by foreign banks. 100,000 homes means 100,000 mortgages.

        • r0b 12.2.1.1

          Unless you want to legislate to make KiwiBank compulsory, then consumers get free choice. You’re opposed to that?

          But for those who want to keep capital in NZ – they can make that choice – Kiwibank…

          • Seti 12.2.1.1.1

            Not opposed to choice but let’s say Kiwibank increased their market share to 20% of this new lending, over 25 years and using 5% deposit and current rates, that will result in $18bn of outflow. Now a lot of those buyers would end up borrowing anyway but this policy will actively facilitate a substantial loss of national wealth.

            • Lanthanide 12.2.1.1.1.1

              “Now a lot of those buyers would end up borrowing anyway but this policy will actively facilitate a substantial loss of national wealth.”

              If we assume people need houses to live in, if there is insufficient supply it will push prices up. Higher prices mean higher mortgages and more money going offshore.

              So if anything, this policy will reduce the amount of money going offshore through increasing supply and reducing prices.

        • Bill 12.2.2.1

          From your linked post.

          Affordable rental properties. Indeed DtB. But then, in a universe bifurcated along lines of those ‘deserving’ and those ‘undeserving’ where ‘deserving’ is marked by an ability to earn decent income and tracks upward in line with income – there ain’t no need for affordable rents. The ‘deserving’ deserve ownership. And the ‘undeserving’ are undeserving… and so not a problem.

    • The Government underwrites them all, the bank gets admin fees etc.
      The NZ coffers would benefit from this approach profoundly.

    • mike e 12.4

      seti govt bonds the big four will not like this policy one bit!

  12. Pete 13

    Great. How many can I buy? Can my kids and wife buy one each?

    If you’re going to qualify it, then the first owners will certainly be tempted to buy n flick. To people like me. I’ll then rent it back to them.

    Have Labour really thought this through?

    • r0b 13.1

      Read the factsheet Pete, all quoted and linked to above.

      • pete 13.1.1

        So, looks like my kids and wife can buy one each?

        Also, this “time period” before resale. How long? I’m guessing that period is going to have to be reasonably short, else this offer will look deeply unattractive to buyers who will fear they will get trapped. Then there are those people who fall behind in their payments forcing a mortgagee sale. There will likely be quite a few of those, as there is often a good reason people don’t qualify for mortgage finance now i.e. a poor risk.

        BTW: 10K houses a year isn’t even enough to keep up with demand in Auckland.

        • r0b 13.1.1.1

          10K houses a year isn’t even enough to keep up with demand in Auckland.

          Hmmm – so you’re arguing to extend the scheme?

          • pete 13.1.1.1.1

            Just pointing out a fact.

            Given demand will still exceed supply, you’re creating a strong incentive for the first owners to buy n flick:

            (a) they are buying at cost, therefore below market value
            (b) demand still exceeds supply, therefore there will be upwards pressure on price

            That’s going to be rather tempting for Mr & Ms Young Couple to buy n flick, given they were thinking about going to Australia next year anyway.

            • r0b 13.1.1.1.1.1

              You haven’t read the factsheet yet, have you.

              • pete

                Yes. For example:

                “Eligibility to buy a KiwiBuild home will be kept as simple as possible to cut down on
                administration costs. As with the current KiwiSaver homeownership features, the houses will be restricted to first home buyers. Buyers will need to live in the house for a period of time to be determined based on advice from officials. There will be a penalty applied if the house is sold ”

                Please tell me how these conditions discount my scenarios.

                • r0b

                  They make it hard – possibly very hard we don’t know the details – to buy these things and flick them on quickly. I think you’ll find that there will be a lot of attention to keeping those rules tight and effective.

                  • pete

                    Sure, but as I say, if you make it too hard, you’ll put people off buying them. For example, if you make it many years before they can sell without penalty, what happens if people lose their job? Or are offered one in another city?

                    If you make the penalty amount low, then this is unlikely to put off the next buyer. If you make it high, you’re got the same problem of putting people off buying them in the first place.

                    The period will likely be in the region of a couple of years. Suits me fine.

                    If you’re selling things below market, then you create very strong incentives for the owner to sell it and move themselves up the property ladder i.e. they buy below market, sell at market, and pocket the margin.

                    Then you’re right back where you started.

                    • Lanthanide

                      What if there is a special limitation put on the title saying that it must not and cannot be used as a rental property, ever?

                    • jbc

                      “What if there is a special limitation put on the title saying that it must not and cannot be used as a rental property, ever?”

                      Exactly. It’s done elsewhere. Caveats such as:
                      – Must be sole residence.
                      – Cannot own property elsewhere (or must sell within 6 months)

                      Absolutely harmless to owner-occupiers, but poison for landlords.

                      Doesn’t stop you taking on flatmates, but you’ve gotta live in it and own no other property.

        • jbc 13.1.1.2

          If it’s not already stated, it should be a requirement that any home purchased becomes the purchasers primary place of residence.

          10K a year is a start.

          I’d just hope they put this together with some intensification and public transport initiatives to make the whole deal more compelling.

          If it turns into thousands of crappy Skyline garage/homes on the city fringe then it would be a waste.

        • lprent 13.1.1.3

          BTW: 10K houses a year isn’t even enough to keep up with demand in Auckland.

          pete: Don’t be a dork. At least use your brain for a few seconds.

          The number of houses is designed to help at least partially fill in the current shortfall on housing coming on the market and in a particular segment of the market, first home buyers – the part that the ‘free market’ doesn’t build for because of tight margins. I’m sure that the tacky and mostly useless McMansions at the edge of Auckland will continue to be built as they are cheap for developers and are ok for people trading up, as will the luxury house market.

          Except in your imagination this is not a policy designed to do more than to start to fix a major flaw in the housing market. If more seed capital was available later then it’s scope could be increased. But this is enough to get it started.

          Why do you want to expend more on the programme? I think it is about the right size to start the programme with. :twisted:

          • Pete 13.1.1.3.1

            No need to be insulting.

            There is no flaw in the market. The land price has been driven up by artificial constraint, namely smart growth planning. This expense means builing cheap houses is uneconomic.

            Where is the state going to build these houses? Will new road capacity be required?

            • Jackal 13.1.1.3.1.1

              There is no flaw in the market but building affordable housing is uneconomic… Arrgh!

              Better allocation and management of land appropriate to build on would effectively mean no increase in roading projects is required in Auckland. There’s lots of places to build those other 33,000 houses in New Zealand. Why don’t you get out and about a bit more Pete?

              • David C

                Are you saying you can point to land in Auckland for 65,000 houses that would not need additional roading?
                65 square kilometers of land?

                • lprent

                  Actually there is. But not houses. Townhouses and medium density apartments fit well into existing low density housing plots and light industrial areas. The plot of land my apartment is on used to be for second hand housing parts like windows and doors. Now it has 60 apartments and 30 or 4O townhouses.

                  • David C

                    Your telling me its Labour Party policy to compulsorily acquire existing housing stock to then do a private plan change to build apartment buildings on brownfields land?
                    I only skimmed the announcement but I missed that bit!

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    The start-up cost of the building programme will be financed through issuing government stock called Home Ownership Bonds.

    It’s the government – they have no need to sell bonds. Doing so is just catering to the already wealthy.

    It will quickly become self-funding though.

    No it won’t as the rest of the money to buy the homes will come from bank loans that will increase the amount of debt and interest that needs to be repaid but can’t be resulting in another GFC/Great Depression just a little bit further down the road.

    This is a historic policy.

    No, it’s just more of the same. More government subsidy (the interest on the bonds that the government doesn’t need to sell) and propping up of capitalism (boosting demand) because the capitalist system itself can’t do it as it only ever results in a few people owning everything and the many existing in poverty.

    • r0b 14.1

      No it won’t as the rest of the money to buy the homes will come from bank loans

      Unless you have a way of making free houses DTB, that will always be the case. Should we give up on building houses?

      and propping up of capitalism (boosting demand)

      Well no it’s not a policy to bring down evil capitalism! As for boosting demand – that demand is already there. This is a policy to try and meet it. Folk want somewhere to live eh?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        The demand was there, yes, but capitalism had effectively destroyed it by ensuring that people couldn’t afford to buy houses. This just lets that demand be met while continuing the wealth transfer to the few.

        • pete 14.1.1.1

          As a professional landlord, I certainly hope Labour goes through with this policy. There will be plenty of cheap rental stock coming on the market, rather than having to pay a developers margin.

          Just wait for the mortgagee sales and/or the buy n flick youngsters, who might be convinced that selling for a slim margin is a “choice deal, bro!”.

          • r0b 14.1.1.1.1

            You’re not just spreading deliberate mis-information Pete.

            • pete 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Just extrapolating out some scenarios, r0b. If you think they won’t happen, tell me why.

              • jbc

                You buy it and rent it out instead of living in it: then you should be forced to sell it or forfeit it.

                It’s not exactly clear in the fact sheet: “Buyers will need to live in the house for a period of time to be determined based on advice from officials.” but this should be sorted out. Perhaps a caveat on the title.

                Only owner-occupiers, and the resale market should have the same restrictions.

                It can’t be done? Already done elsewhere (with a lot more restrictions) so I can’t see why not.

                • lprent

                  And used to be done as well. My grandparents got their house in exactly that kind of deal way way back.

                • pete

                  Ah, become a landlord! May as well do that straight away, at market rents. Nice arbitrage play.

                  Conditions on resale could be interesting. One hook there is these owners won’t keep up with the rest of the market, which won’t be subject to these limits on resale, so will increasingly be priced out of everywhere else. They might turn into ghettos.

                  • David C

                    The slum risk is the thing hardest to avoid in any area as the shine wears off the new houses and some become rentals. It will be a lot harder in any area built under this scheme as the houses will need to be built cheap and tiny and on tiny sections.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Unless you have a way of making free houses DTB, that will always be the case.

        It’s not about making free houses, it’s about the source of the money. Make them government loans with no interest with the money being created by the government rather than the private banks. Then they become self-funding.

    • pete 14.2

      Yes, it is just more of the same.

      They’re increasing supply in one area (Auckland) further destroying the regions as Auckland scales up. There are plenty of cheap existing houses – and plenty of land – in the regions, just no work to go to.

      • lprent 14.2.1

        I think I pointed out the other day that there is no ecosystem of companies to develop and maintain export based jobs in most regions outside of tourism, farming and forestry. If you don’t have that then there are only enough jobs as can be used to sustain a service sector for tourism, farming and forestry with the limits on the types of jobs they need.

        Tech jobs need a ecosystem and that tends to grow in larger cities. The houses are in the regions, but the jobs are unlikely to ever move there because they’d have too much overhead.

  14. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15

    This is a historic policy.

    That no-one is paying any attention to, because the Labour party is a complete circus.

    • r0b 15.1

      Yeah the leadership stuff is a distracting mess, and that’s a pity, but it’s all good fertilizer for the tree of democracy eh?

      Even so I think you’ll find that folk will pay plenty of attention to this…

  15. KhandallaMan 16

    Great to see Shearer fully endorsing Cunliffe’s strategies on the Reserve Bank and Capital Gains Gains Tax.

    I do not feel he gets-it that the Economic policies that Treasury et al have followed for the past 30 years have to be replaced.

  16. Zaphod Beeblebrox 17

    Whats wrong with just improving and increasing HNZ rental stock? Or is that just too left wing for them?

    • r0b 17.1

      The next government is going to be well buggered on spending. This was a way to make a big increase in entry level housing available, at the best price possible, in a manner which is self-funding. It’s not ideal, it’s the best that could be done in the circumstances, I think it’s a bloody good scheme.

      • Taxi 17.1.1

        They could raise taxes.

        Just saying.

        • r0b 17.1.1.1

          I’m sure that they will. And they’ll have a million things to spend it on too.

        • Enough is Enough 17.1.1.2

          What do you mean they are buggered on new spending.

          As pointed out tax is the answer. Why can’t the obscene rich pay their way.

          Will Labour introduce a fair tax system that pays for new state houses.

          This is a bull shit policy that will benefit corporate developers

          • r0b 17.1.1.2.1

            Tax all you like, I don’t mind, but you’ll never run out of ways to spend it on health, education, social policy.

            So why not have a self-funding housing policy and spend your tax on raising benefits?

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1.2

        Yeah but who benefits? Isn’t it just another middle class subsidy paid for through the tax system. Nothing wrong with encouraging house construction, but those on the minimum wage will be locked out (again).

    • SPC 17.2

      It’s about increasing the supply of housing without increasing public debt .

  17. Enough is Enough 19

    This is typical Shearer Labour. He is trying to appeal to the mysterious centre while forgetting what the Labour Party actually stands for.

    Who will build these houses and at what cost. Follow the money. Who is going to improve their bottom line if this daft policy ever sees the light of day

    • Tim 19.1

      It’s a start………not enough to convince me to ever vote Labour again (after a lifetime of it). It’s a begrudging shift to the left and ONLY after their realisation (probably through reading blogs) that Labour supporters overwhelmingly are entirely pissed.

      Still… the best Labour can hope for is to coalesce in order to form some sort of government – and I mean coalesce with more than the Greens – like one other.

      Let’s hear more. I’m not sure we will though – I’ll bet this little effort meant they needed a decent lay down and a glass of Chardonnay to recover.

  18. flyingkiwi 20

    $300,000 per unit. This is middle class welfare. Yes, Shearer has made a start. But look at the underlying facts: $300,000 per unit, to eventually be sold onto the market.

    Shearer is completely silent – completely – on the need for publicly owned State housing for the huge numbers of unemployed, and low income working kiwis where the $300,000 price tag is a distant dream.

    • r0b 20.1

      I’d like them to be cheaper too. But that’s the cost of building them, and that’s the madness of the Auckland property market. Hope these things are priced differently in different regions – but the goal is to be sold at near cost, so as to finance further building.

    • SPC 20.2

      Increased housing supply (ends the rise in property values) reduces rent for those unable to afford homes.

    • mike e 20.3

      flying kiwi it will reduce the undersupply the market is failing to solve!

  19. pete 21

    $300,000 per unit. This is middle class welfare. Yes, Shearer has made a start. But look at the underlying facts: $300,000 per unit, to eventually be sold onto the market.

    For a tasty, tidy profit. At taxpayers expense. Nice.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 21.1

      And those lucky enough to qualify in a popular location (ie Central Auckland) will ahve the opportunity to trade up when the qualifying period finishes for a nice profit.

      Hobsonville Pt all over again.

      • pete 21.1.1

        Young, middle class voters will love it! Well, for a little while, anyway.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 21.1.1.1

          Just enough time to get them to vote for you for couple of terms. Perfect.

          • pete 21.1.1.1.1

            A beautiful plan. They can only hope many of their existing – older – base can’t do basic maths.

            Actually, that’s probably a reasonable assumption.

            • r0b 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Gosh imagine if you both spent as much time pointing out the positives of this policy as you did the negatives! Sorry, sorry – daft idea – carry on…

              • pete

                There are positives for Cindy and Jasper, upwardly aspiring middle class couple.

                • r0b

                  And new jobs, economic boost, a baseline set under the property bubble, the benefits are many…

                  • pete

                    You’re expanding the property bubble, just not at the low end. Cindy and Jasper have their eye on Epsom, not the low-income slum you’re about to build. They just need to buy n flick and they’re on the road to Epsom.

                    You’re not creating new jobs, you’re displacing building elsewhere.

                    The market signal is telling you something. Listen to it. It is saying demand exceeds supply. This policy does not solve that problem.

                    The answer, I maintain, is to redistribute demand around the country by incentivising business to move out of Auckland.

    • r0b 21.2

      Costs taxpayers nothing pete – that’s the point.

      • pete 21.2.1

        Of course it does. There’s this think called interest…..

        • r0b 21.2.1.1

          That’s a cost to they buyer pete, not the tax payer.

          • pete 21.2.1.1.1

            You’re issuing bonds to finance this, yes? Bonds pay interest.

            Farrar has done a fairly effective demolition job on the the cost to the taxpayer.

            • r0b 21.2.1.1.1.1

              (1) It’s money being spent here, not on “roads of national significance” (which the Nats would be paying interest on).

              (2) Costs can be built in to the costs of homes over 100,000 units and 10 years…

              • pete

                a) How do people get to these houses? Where are they? Won’t this create extra demand on roads and infrastructure?

                b) Costs built into the homes will include interest costs. Not so nice for taxpayers who aren’t hedging using a house bond.

            • Poission 21.2.1.1.1.2

              Farrar has done a fairly effective demolition job on the the cost to the taxpayer.

              No it just shows that he is a non plausible commentator.And is plucking numbers from his imagination eg using the arithmetic mean of total house sales he incorrectly inflates his costing by around 30% (this is a common fault of his )

              A couple of issues here are
              1)sovereign bonds will be fairly low in interest returns.
              2) Affordable housing is just that,smaller footprints ( less bling such as tiles or polished benchtops)
              3) This will be close to a zero sum game little cost to the taxpayer.
              4)The use of gvt council partnerships for land use will eliminate building covenants,and hence the lower cost of building etc.9there may also be an opportunity for iwi etc.

              It may be also a good use of available land held by the landbank.

              The unanswerable problem is however that why create additional housing stock in AK greater then the creation of additional jobs

              • lprent

                Yeah I just read that myself.

                His ‘examples’ don’t seem to bear any semblance to reality. He is talking sale prices rather than build prices as far as I can see, and build prices for McMansions rather than something first home buyers would be interested in.

                Quite simply he appears to be pulling the numbers out of his arse, and sniffing them until he finds the ones that stinks the right way. What is he doing? Panicking.

                The unanswerable problem is however that why create additional housing stock in AK greater then the creation of additional jobs

                Right now there is a massive unanswered demand in Auckland for housing for it’s working population. The only other place in NZ with new housing issues is Christchurch.

                The other policy of bringing houses up to liveable standards is designed for the regions with their surplus of unlivable houses.

                • pete

                  While I agree his figures are on the high side, this will still cost the taxpayer billions in finance cost alone.

                  There is no such thing as free.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    no no no you got it wrong, keeping the money and financing in NZ instead of flowing out to Australian banking shareholders will more than make up for it.

              • Draco T Bastard

                1)sovereign bonds will be fairly low in interest returns.

                And just printing the money won’t have any interest at all. It also won’t be a government guaranteed income for a few people with millions of dollars sitting in the bank or, more likely, the banks printing money to buy the government bonds.

                • pete

                  Inflationary. You drive up everyone’s costs.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nope. If there is evidence of an over-inflationary effect you simply pull cash out of the economy from somewhere else.

                    • Pete

                      Magic money tree getting plenty of fertiser, huh.

                      You’re dreaming.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Taxes and higher savings rates + bank reserve ratios could be used to pull cash out of an economy if it overheats. Easy as, and quick acting.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Costs will stay the same or, to be more precise, it will have the same inflationary effect as the proposed spending that comes from borrowing it just won’t cost as much due to it not having any interest attached.

    • SPC 21.3

      If the government is selling at cost (including cost of finance) then there is no cost to the government, just no profit.

  20. Blue 22

    I’ve been wanting a scheme like this for ages. It looks great – with one very important exception. The eligibility criteria. If such a scheme is put in place, rather than ‘save on administration costs’, I would prefer to bureaucratise the fuck out of it.

    The criteria of being ‘a first home buyer’ – well, you can drive a truck through that one. Property in the name of parents/husband/company/trust etc and Bob’s your uncle – you’re a ‘first home buyer’ and can buy, hold and flick for a nice profit.

    Property investor’s dream…come buy your ‘first home’ for $300,000, hold for the required period and then sell at market rates.

    No effing way. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Make the person declare any and all properties held by their spouse/partner, in a trust they are a beneficiary of or a company they have an interest in. Make them declare their address history for the past ten years, who owned the property and what rent was paid. Put in a restriction that if the property is sold it must be sold back to the government at a fixed price to be put back into the pool of homes available through this scheme.

    If this scheme goes ahead as is, every property investor in the country will vote Labour.

    • pete 22.1

      If this scheme goes ahead as is, every property investor in the country will vote Labour.

      Indeed. They’ve got my vote!

      • Fisiani 22.1.1

        And mine! Bargain houses for all and all you have to do is vote Labour. I’ll get one and so will all my family. We could make 1 million dollars in 5 years. Plus the Greens will print us another few thousand each. Planet Labour could be yours.

        [lprent: Are you starting to troll again? You know what I do when I see people trolling.
        Reduce the level of empty sloganeering please. Because I'm damned if I can see a actual point in this comment past it. ]

      • mike e 22.1.2

        pete you have got to be joking this will help keep the bubble out of housing,speculators will vote do nothing national because the under supply will continue forcing prices up while homelessness will increase under national.

    • fatty 22.2

      I would prefer to bureaucratise the fuck out of it.

      Me too…I know they had a similar scheme in Ireland of assistance to buy your first home. My friend’s Dad got a house under her name, and two other siblings as well. All of the children in the house ‘owned’ a house. Look where Ireland’s at now, it did nothing but pump up their housing bubble.
      This must be done strictly and there must be big penalties for fraud, the threat of jail will keep the property leeches away.
      Was there anything in the speech about more government owned houses for rent? Also, I’d like to see the Government step up and help people who only own one property and have a longterm mortgage, and also tax the hell out of the leeches who own 4+ houses…anything about that?

    • lprent 22.3

      They definitely need to look at the detail, and to answer questions like yours (which will go exponential on the blogs), I’d expect they will.

      But to take your point about spouses/partners.

      That is kind of daft bearing in mind the way that people have relationships these days. Lyn and I have been living together for about 4 years, and at this point are likely to carry on doing so until one of us (probably me) dies. But there is simply no way to tell if our relationship will survive the vicissitudes of life and some high probabilities that it will not. So we maintain separate finances and property just in case. The things that we do jointly are done from a household account. Otherwise one of the other of us pays.

      Make the person declare any and all properties held by their spouse/partner, in a trust they are a beneficiary of or a company they have an interest in. Make them declare their address history for the past ten years, who owned the property and what rent was paid.

      So what do you want to know my property and finances for? They have no relevance for any transaction that Lyn is involved in except for the household account.

      If she moves somewhere to fulfil a first home buyer requirement to she can get a property just in case, then I will go along with her. And I will be paying rent to the household account and so will she. This is exactly as both of us do right now in my apartment that I have had for 15 years, and exactly as we did in the rental property that we just moved from back into my apartment (we moved to a bigger place for 3 years so Lyn could get a film made and distributed).

      I know damn near as many double income couples with no kids like ours as I do the more traditional double incomes with kids. You still have to have a place to live. So why put in an exclusion based on a myth.

      And as for 10 years of rental history. I don’t know anyone who can do that. The reason I brought was because of irritating landlords. After I had to move 3 times in a year because of landlords selling properties and having to move the phone lines it became crucial. But I couldn’t remember most places I had lived beyond the last few. Why would I? Lyn would be the same.

    • North 22.4

      Yeah Blue, and if you implemented all the bureaucracy you’re suggesting then you’d have only half the shit present day beneficiaries have to go through and you wouldn’t have the Plump One bad mouthing on the telly.

  21. Bill 23

    So why wasn’t the scheme predicated on building rental properties where income pegged rent payments return to the government and where said rental properties never hit the housing market and so never contribute to another ‘housing bubble’?

    • lprent 23.1

      Because the policy was designed to increase the amount of housing available in the country because it wasn’t being built. Adding to the building stock of the type that isn’t catered for from the market (ie first home buyers) means that the prices for those types of units will decrease and relieve pricing pressure on the whole market.

      This can be done by using a one time injection of capital to act as a seed fund. But it requires that after the building of a house or an apartment that the capital is recovered to use in the next build. The nett effect is that there is a reasonably rapid (over the years)m increase in the housing stock.

      Building rental accommodation would require continuous capital injections for each new property built. The government coffers would run out before demand is met and prices reduce.

      • Bill 23.1.1

        So how was the initial state building programme run out all those years ago? The property’s lifetime return on investment via rent payments will (assuming the houses are built to a good standard) far and away exceed any base line mortgage repayment, no? So government borrowing in the short/medum terms gets paid down by allocating a proportion of the rentals to debt. Or am I being too simplistic on that front (finances never has been one of my strong suits)

        And while I can see the logic behind saying cheaper housing will relieve some upward pressure on house prices, my question would be – for how long? I’d guess, not very?

        And what does it do with regards banks being steered away from investing in mortgages rather than in business? Anything at all? I can’t see how.

        And meanwhile the whole bastard notion of NZ being comprised of the deserving and undeserving trundles along…

        Other obvious point. If you are in one of these units and lose your job, then what? Apparently you can’t sell it if you only bought it a year ago or whatever. So you’re dog tucker, yes?

        • lprent 23.1.1.1

          So how was the initial state building programme run out all those years ago? The property’s lifetime return on investment via rent payments will (assuming the houses are built to a good standard) far and away exceed any base line mortgage repayment, no?

          Yes. So? If we’d been steadily building say 1000 new houses a year for the last 25 years then the government would have a great capital asset. And the housing shortage in the cities for first home buyers would be a whole lot less. But it hasn’t.

          So government borrowing in the short/medum terms gets paid down by allocating a proportion of the rentals to debt. Or am I being too simplistic on that front (finances never has been one of my strong suits)

          The problem is that the amount of money required to do the numbers of apartments and houses that this program is meant to put into the housing stock would require something like at least 1.5 billion every year for the next 10 years rather than once at the start. But there are other demands on the governments ability to raise debt as well. For instance I’d expect that they’re going to have to put money into rail, internet cables, sewer systems (they need to help many more local bodies than they are), roads bridges, the existing housing corp housing stock, etc etc. To fulfil investing in housing they’d have to cut others.

          The idea of this program is to build accommodation that isn’t getting built so people can buy the right type of property for their needs without sucking up too much government capital on the way through that may be needed for other purposes.

          • Bill 23.1.1.1.1

            Can’t escape the feeling that the fundamental idea of this programme is less about housing and more about winning that (apparently crucial and actually existant) middle vote. But anyway…

            • just saying 23.1.1.1.1.1

              As was the whole speech. Nothing for those doing it hardest. No change in tactics.
              Malicious neglect.

          • Jackal 23.1.1.1.2

            looks like the policy also addresses the dynamic of National having another turn in government and that purely rental state housing has been decimated because of policy that disenfranchised the poor from their homes.

            Thousands of state houses have been sold on the free market which would have contributed to the current unaffordable housing crisis.

            By promoting home ownership, Labour removes the ability of National to come along and legislate away people’s state houses from them. A more direct transaction and building at cost will also take some heat out of the housing market.

            Building lots of houses would also relieve pressure on the lower end of the market and therefore reduce socially damaging things like overcrowding.

            Appealing to the middle vote with well devised policy… How dare they.

    • karol 23.2

      Sound like a good idea, Bill. I don’t see anything much in Shearer’s policy for us lifetime renters. He did mention (as reported by Stuff, I think) that there will be pressure on landlords to make rental properties safer and healthier.

      I can see that more housing stock, albeit for home buyers, will probably help keep rents down. But i expect that when landlords improve their rental properties, rents will rise. These are my concerns.

  22. karol 24

    As I posted before, I was looking for a new direction with this affordable housing policy.  Shearer’s outline isn’t that new direction.  It still seems focused towards the middle-classes and private businesses.

    I didn’t have high hopes that the housing policy outlined today would be totally what I was looking for.  But I didn’t expect it to fall THIS far short.  What about increasing the state housing stock?  Why is the focus still strongly on home-buyers?

    I think the LP is now looking a little schizophrenic.  I think the remits Lynn described seem to be moving in a positive direction.  But Shearer’s outline looks pretty right wing.  Though, I should say, it’s still better than key/National’s latest plans.

    Hopefully with the LP members having more influence on policy in the future, they can shift the LP caucus’s ideas in a more left-wing direction….????

  23. Herodotus 25

    Other issue other than the false comment regarding that it will not cost the tax payer. Crap
    Is that I imagine there are over 10 years (excluding immigrants) that there is insufficient new home buyers to equate to 100k.

    • Herodotus 25.1

      This has to be extended to cover more than 1st home buyers and from my rough calculation to enable this volume to be achieved.
      I also doubt that there is sufficient green/brown field land available within Auckland to allow this. Also given NZTA historic opposition to any development within Auckland as to the effects to the motorway system. But at least this is advancing the topic and any real solution.
      Also the $1.5b figure does not add up, given that land is to be purchased ( raw land if zoned takes at least 2+ years to be developed to a state that allows construction to commence) and the construction of dwellings. but at least it is a start.

  24. Cactus Kate 26

    Surely Cunliffe can offer 200,000 of these and a set of steak knives?
    Poor effort from Shearer.

  25. jbc 27

    Most of the arguments against this don’t seem to stack up.

    On the right we have:

    1. Yay! I’m rich and I’d jump at the chance to buy at cost rather than at inflated market prices.

    Well, presuming you’re in the market for your first home then you will be reducing demand for housing on the private market if you are holding out for one of these.

    Objective: more affordable houses. Tick!

    2. This will do nothing to make housing more affordable.

    Talk to your wealthy friends about #1 above.

    3. It’s unaffordable. How can the govt possibly afford this. Where is the 40 billion coming from.

    Talk to your property developer friends. They seem to be able to do the same, and profit, with a bare minimum of funding from their own pockets.

    It’s not as if the govt has said it will build 100,000 homes overnight simultaneously and pay all the bills before the first home is sold. Surely you clever property types are not thick enough to suggest that.

    And on the left:

    1. It doesn’t help perpetual renters. It’s still unaffordable.

    That it does not solve every housing problem at once is not a good reason to not take the step.
    Just because it is not part of the scheme now: doesn’t mean a small percentage of houses built could be sold/transferred to Housing NZ if the efficiencies of scale permit.

    2. It’s helping the middle class only

    Yeah, well, people aspiring to own a home. Similar criticism was levelled at WFF. Does that mean it is also bad? Should it be repealed?

    • karol 27.1

      jbc – it’s not just this policy but still the main Labour focus is targeting the middle-classes.  And there are other parties to vote for that put forward policies to make things better for those on low incomes.  

      Did you notice Metiria Turei’s attempt to get WFF extended to all low income people, not just the working poor?

      • jbc 27.1.1

        Perhaps that is true. I wasn’t so much looking at it from a political perspective, although the arguments against it seem to be that way.

        From the standpoint of addressing a problem that will help a lot of people into homes (many that might not otherwise be able to) – it’s not bad. It is something constructive at least.

        And nor is it incompatible with having low cost rental accommodation.

        • karol 27.1.1.1

          But it begins with a focus from a middle-class perspective   First something needs to be done for those most in need.  

          But, I guess that’s not a priority for those who are doing OK, and just would like things to be a little bit easier.

          • jbc 27.1.1.1.1

            It’s not a policy that will benefit me either, and if it was as successful as I would hope – then it would reduce the value of a home I have some equity in.

            But I still like the general idea. It seems positive for a lot of NZ’ers. It could help balance a market that is otherwise distorted.

    • QoT 27.2

      2. It’s helping the middle class only

      Yeah, well, people aspiring to own a home.

      So … what, only middle-class people aspire to own homes? So the party which tries to brand itself as helping vulnerable New Zealanders shouldn’t, you know, put forward policy which helps vulnerable New Zealanders?

      The argument isn’t “waa waa I hate the middle class”. It’s “this policy will not help the people it claims it’s designed to help.”

      • karol 27.2.1

        Agreed, QOT.  And Sue Bradford has tweeted something similar in the last couple of hours:

        Shearer’s new housing plan – OK for some, but most urgent need is for 1000s of state houses, as quickly as possible 

        • KJT 27.2.1.1

          Whatever.
          As the first acknowledgement from Labour since 1984 that the cut taxes, shrink the State neo-liberal policies have failed and need changing, I think it is a good start.

          Anything which increases supply at the lower end of the market has got to help lower income earners into decent housing.

      • SPC 27.2.2

        Any attempt to build state houses means more public debt and debt finance pressure on the budget.

        The number of houses built would not be enough to take pressure off the market – thus continuing high rents and many unable to afford to buy their own home.

        This would mean the policy would appear to be without economic merit or of much practical use to most New Zealanders.

        Whereas jobs building much more homes – 100,000 to be on-sold means

        1. jobs are created
        2. house prices are lower
        3. rents are lower

        This means dole cost falls, tax revenues rise. Accomodation supplement cost falls and renters and home buyers have more disposable income. Their spending stimulates the domestic economy creating further new jobs and the government has the financial capacity to spend more as well – such as via the Housing Corporation.

  26. Huginn 28

    Good to see the focus on apprenticeships and training.

  27. My daughter who is in her late 20’s will be pleased with this policy,she has a good income,is a
    hard worker and single,but, i fear it is only in some centres and not all of nz,i had told her about kiwisaver for a deposit,but she didn’t want to go into her savings for retirement,so has given up her homeownership ideas.
    I have my own home, that began with capitalization of the family benefit,a great labour scheme.
    My concern with this policy is that it is a narrow focused one,it is aimed at those who have
    the financial means to have savings for a deposit or using kiwisaver as a deposit.
    A comprehensive one would have included the HNZ tenants being able to buy the homes they
    live in, that stock replaced by building a new home in another part of the country.
    The housing issue is dire for a great many people who are at present living in caravans or
    sheds,children are also subjected to this way of living.
    People loosing jobs and having to rely on benefits are the growing sector of this economy,
    so more focus on govt homes for rent should have been included also.
    I’m not damning the policy but i feel it hasn’t gone far enough for our NZ population.

  28. SPC 30

    It creates jobs when we have too few. And people are suffering lack of employment

    It creates more housing when we have too little. And people are struggling to pay rent because of shortages, let alone buy a home of their own.

    It is active government while National does little.

  29. Matthew Hooton 31

    I missed the 6pm news on both TVNZ andTV3. How did they go for Shearer?

    • r0b 31.1

      Didn’t see them (no TV) but understand the 3 News coverage was all leadership circus, no focus on housing. Disappointing first coverage, the housing policy is huge.

  30. Stephen Doyle 32

    With the right wing shills out, it tells me that the Labour Party is finally getting it right.

  31. xtasy 33

    Reading the speech it sound pretty good. I want to see the video though, and things may look less thrilling once the body language of Shearer shows.

    This housing policy can make a difference, depending on the details of the policy and how it may be implemented. It could take some pressure off the market and lower prices across the board.

    But naturally it only caters for some in need, those that are able to save up a deposit, that have jobs and that are first time buyers fitting the criterias set.

    It will create jobs also, but surely only so many apprenticeships will be created, as mostly qualified builders will need to do the work. That may be a challenge, to have the qualified workers there to build the homes, as so many have moved to Australia.

    There should be more of a spread across the country, I feel. Letting Auckland grow and grow is not what I would fancy. What about social housing for those that will never ever get a deposit together?

    There is mention of apartments being part of it, so how will they look like?

    It is a start, certainly sounding much better than the rehashed new plans for Hobsonville, which Heatley pulled out of the hat two days ago. So the devil will lie in the details.

    Planned Resource Management Act changes need to be clarified too.

    But more needs addressing than housing, so what about details all those other noble goals? Let me guess, we get more drip feeding, I suppose.

    • SPC 33.1

      Presumably the intent is to have those unable to buy to pay less in rent as housing supply increases. And the economic growth generated from the building will flow into the budget revenues enabling more funding for Housing Corporation.

      • xtasy 33.1.1

        Got a letter re housing and accom supplement from Annette King a few months back: It was a total disappointment, full of vagueness and distraction, really saying NOTHING!

        No, I do NOT trust Labour on this one.

        So if the accom supplements get cut or abolished, the beneficiaries and poor are supposed to wait for years for rents to come down? You have to be out of your bloody mind! Sorry!

        I just watched Shearer’s speech on video. It is not so bad, but it is highly “staged”, clearly visible that this is so, and it is an “artificial” Shearer I see, also talking at just above “mediocre” to a home crowd. So how is this going to run in an election campaign with media onto his tail and mouth 24/7?

        No this man does NOT cut the curd, let alone a block of cheese.

        I am convinced 100 percent: Shearer is NOT going to deliver the results Labour needs. Sorry, he has all good intentions, but he will not manage to keep it up, unless protected from media and the government rascals.

        He has to rethink his career. Maybe minister of something, NOT PM!

  32. Jimmie 34

    The question I’ve got relates to Christchurch:

    When this policy kicks in (I’m presuming from 2015 onwards) isn’t it going to coincide with the major Christchurch rebuilds?
    This will mean that skilled builders will be at a premium forcing up labour costs.

    This is turn will force up the cost price of these houses however if the government has set a fixed price on the sale of these houses won’t this difference just become a black hole that government has to pay.

    Also won’t they need to adjust the price of these properties annually otherwise those who buy in the first year will be relatively disadvantage to say those who buy in year 5? (Due to inflation the value of the earlier homes will cost relatively more than the latter built homes)

    Why not go another way and just reduce the RMA & Auckland Council restrictions on land development for new homes and/or encourage the building of greenfield urban hubs close to Auckland

    Why not look at the causes of Auckland’s expected population growth and try and effect change there. (Why not direct new immigrants to settle say in Hamilton or Palmerston North or Whangerei?)

    Lots of things could be worked on apart from the government making things more complicated than it needs to be

    • Pete 34.1

      Agreed.

      This is dumb, tired thinking from Labour. No joining of the dots, just idiotic vote buying.

      • mike e 34.1.1

        Pete you must be worried to much trolling drives you insane!
        labour is all about bringing more people into the middle class National has Squeezed so many out!

    • SPC 34.2

      Jimmy there is a shortage of housing in Auckland now.

      Not building more houses in Auckland means homelessness – people living in garages, overcrowding and health problems as well as rent costs rising and with them a greater Accomodation Supplement cost to government.

      The government building the houses will help to free up land – and the upward pressure on labour cost applies whether government or anyone else is building homes in Auckland while the Christchurch rebuild occurs.

      The cost of building the houses will increase over the 10 years – and so will the sale price.

  33. infused 35

    So all I get from this thread is r0b is someone who works very closely with whoever thought this bullshit up.

    [lprent: Nope. Wrong again. And please don't invite me to ban you unless you really mean it. Read the policy again. ]

  34. DH 36

    I’ve been waiting over a decade for a reason to vote Labour and finally they’ve come up with something that ticks all the boxes. It looks to need some fine tuning but it’s still totally awesome!

    Personally I think Labour need to look at separating the land from the house; lease the land & let people buy/build their own house at market rates for the build. It would be easy to control speculation then; just up the ground rent if the house sells for more than replacement cost. But they’ve got plenty of time to work through all the issues, the important bit is they’re committing to it.

    Farrar is full of it. We’re spending $1.3billion on accommodation supplements plus $billions more in welfare payments, most of which goes on rent to private landlords who pay naff-all tax in return. That spending provides next to no return to the taxpayer, it’s an expense that just further pushes up house prices and rents. Getting the housing costs down for those people would pay for most if not all of Labour’s plan, the extra economic activity would look after the rest.

    If anyone wants to know how good this is just wait for all the slagging & squealing from the right and those who invest in residential property. They are not going to like it at all, despite what the ‘professional landlords’ might say. Boohoo to them.

    I dion’t give a rats who the Labour leader is. Policy counts and this one looks a winner (if they don’t bollocks it up, which sadly is very possible)

  35. coge 37

    Has Mr Shearer forgotten about the Christchurch rebuild? The additional pressure just will push up both skilled labor & supply costs.

    • SPC 37.1

      And thus the private sector may balk at building homes in Auckland because there is no profit in it for them and thus a housing crisis deepens. All the more reason for the government to act.

    • lprent 37.2

      It is two years to the next election. Surely even the National party can’t continue screwing up getting the rebuild going for that long. So as the rebuilding in ChCh winds down where do the builders go? Aussie?

      Please engage brain and think on timing as well as resources

  36. AwakeWhileSleeping 38

    I like this policy.

  37. Adrian 39

    Builders are not going to Chch from even as clse as a few towns away because those that have have comeback with shit stories of shitty conditions and all sorts of aggravation.

  38. xtasy 40

    Sorry, good try, but it does not cut it, David Shearer.

    It is not convincing enough to me. All is too vague, open to abuse and more on a grander scale is needed. You are trying hard, but no, you won’t ever convince me again.

    Good luck, David Shearer.

  39. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 41

    These houses are going to be sold for $100k less than they are worth. How is the State going to decide which people it is going to give $100 grand to? Will they be the most deserving? If so, how are they to be selected? Or are they just going to be the lucky ones?

  40. pete 42

    Perhaps he should rename it “KiwiLotto”. There is no easier way to make 100K than the state “selling” you something 100K below market value. So you have to wait a couple of years to collect (whilst you’re at Uni anyway)? Big deal. Get some “flatmates” in.

    Every rich parent will be signing up young Cindy, Jasper and Zoe. You’ve got to be in to win.

  41. Steve Wrathall 43

    This just in: Labour pledges to replace superannuation with $100,000 payments to 10,000 geezers chosen by ballot.

    Makes as much sense as this policy.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 43.1

      Ha!

      Labour is used to giving away free money but $100 grand to people selected by ballot? That really is astounding.

  42. Mary 44

    And don’t just stop there…start backing that up by talking about the need to rebuild the caring society destroyed by Nact over the past 20 years…how we must make sure our most vulnerable can again participate in NZ society on the same basis as others…admit how Labour’s social welfare policies since 1999 were wrong…say how need to make sure we “look after those who can’t quite cut it”, and more. Get the picture, Mr Shearer? Your speech may have created what you describe as “euphoria” but fail to follow up with solid principles to back up your first hint at rebuilding a fair New Zealand and the euphoric experiences you’re currently having will be short-lived and you’ll be back on the receiving end of the same deathly cynicism that still threatens your future as leader. Don’t forget, Mr Shearer, that we’ve heard this sort of talk from Labour many many times over the past 20 years and each time it’s turned out to be hollow. Here’s your opportunity, Mr Shearer. Don’t stuff it up.

    • anthony bull 44.1

      The government is already spending ~25 billion on welfare aren’t they? How much more “caring” do you want?

  43. coge 45

    NZ will struggle coping with the Christchuch rebuild, which will go on for many years. NZ is a small nation. This rebuild is a massive, ongoing & challenging undertaking for us. Mr Shearers new housing proposal will only serve to hobble the industry during this critical phase. No rocket science here.

    • Colonial Viper 45.1

      NZ will struggle even more if the National Government smashes trade training and trade funding at polytechs instead of doubling it.

      Wait, which one has National decided to do?

      NZ has over 100,000 unemployed people who want work right now, the rebuilding work is in Christchurch waiting to be done, how many more years are the Nats going to sit on their free market thumbs for?

  44. millsy 46

    So what part is state housing going to play in all this?

    Im guessing this policy is going to get watered down in 2015 anyway.

  45. Jpc 47

    I thought Labours policy about building 100,000 houses was excellent until I watched Annette King on TV. It is obvious Labour had not done sufficient homework on the policy. Annette King said houses would cost 250,000 and the land 50,000. You will not find land for that price in Auckland so where are the houses to be built? In Huntly?
    If Gvt (central and local) land is to be used for his project then why not lease the land at a fixed price for a set number of years. I also question why it will cost 250,000 to build each house. If there were a fixed number of housing plans, prebuilt, the cost could be reduced even further. Finally, where local councils such as Auckland could help even further, would be to negotiate a bulk building permit price.
    I just hope that Labour keeps developing this idea over the next couple of years so they have a definite scheme to present around election time and can start development the day after the election in 2014.

  46. gomango 48

    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 captitalised 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.

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  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    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
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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