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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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    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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