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Labour’s housing policy a winner

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 pm, December 1st, 2012 - 113 comments
Categories: david shearer, housing - Tags:

John Armstrong’s take on Labour’s housing policy, announced by David Shearer at the Labour Party conference, is as follows:

For the first time in a very long time, Labour has come up with something radical on the policy front which may grab the public’s attention, if not imagination – and which National cannot really get away with copying.

Armstrong makes a  number of interesting comments:

Labour easily trumped National’s limp response to the Productivity Commission’s report on the provision of affordable housing….

National’s response to the affordability crisis was to be seen to be wringing its hands. In contrast, Labour is rolling up its sleeves…..

Labour is being bold. Like the push for a capital gains tax, the housing promise is a break from Labour’s immediate past of playing safe and finding excuses for not doing things….

It is what the housing policy says about Labour’s direction which is possibly as important as the policy itself. It shows Labour regaining its soul….

He notes the political advantages for Labour;

It also pushes many political buttons to Labour’s advantage.

It will appeal to middle-income voters congregated in the political centre, especially those worried that they or younger relatives will never get on the home-ownership ladder. Those voters worried about Labour being profligate with taxpayers dollars will be comforted by knowing the $1.5 billion will be designated as capital and thus will not slow the country’s return to budget surplus.

What the capital injection will provide is stimulus to a sluggish economy. The 10-year programme will provide some certainty to an industry which has notoriously been victim to boom-bust cycles. The increase of building activity dovetails with Labour’s long-held preference for an effective apprenticeship system while at the same time cutting back youth unemployment.

The policy is also an answer to the anti-poverty lobby which argues not enough is being done to lift the quality of the housing stock.

Armstrong comments that  “in terms of ideological renewal and momentum, Labour is starting to get it right.”

I agree; I’m already getting good feedback about it on the golf course – and I think it might well be a topic for the Christmas barbecues.

Watch this space.

113 comments on “Labour’s housing policy a winner”

  1. Bright Red 1

    What about the fact that the economics don’t work?

    I’m not talking about the houses – $300K is feasible. I’m talking the economics

    • Fortran 1.1

      Bright Red

      Could be a great idea – look forward to seeing 196 houses a week completed.
      But how does it affect the poor amongst us ?
      $300,000 minimum is more than most can dream of –

  2. xtasy 2

    Mike:
    Where are the sections affordable to make this plan work?

    I hear talk about “government” land, where is it apart from parks and reserves, then?

    You are a Labour demagogue, I am sorry, I do NOT get what you are on about, please specify, and do not take us for a ride, thanks!

  3. Lightly 3

    The day that John Armstrong’s seal of approval is regarded as a good thing by the Left is a bad day.

  4. McFlock 4

    3 comments so far.

    nice. One says the economics might work but the sections don’t exist, another says the sections exist but the economics won’t work, but the third decently enough points out that an endorsement from the MSM is not something to be proud of.

    • kiwi_prometheus 4.1

      I suggest the nay sayers pay attention to Ms King:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10851136

      “But Labour’s policy is being written by no less than the formidable Annette King, who holds the shadow housing portfolio.

      [ King ] says the high section prices in Auckland could result in Labour promoting mixed housing developments in which the more expensive homes would cross-subsidise the ones meeting the affordability criteria.

      King is still very much fleshing out the detail of the policy framework unveiled by David Shearer at Labour’s annual conference two weekends ago.

      There have been rumours this may be King’s last term in Parliament. But she says she is not going anywhere. That is bad news for National. She has out-foxed National generally and Housing Minister Phil Heatley in particular.”

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I suggest that if you genuinely support the policy KP, and that you want people here to support the policy, then you STFU. Or even argue against it. Because the great way to nuke this policy is for lefties to see you AND John Armstrong support it.

        • kiwi_prometheus 4.1.1.1

          “lefties”

          Only the Academic Left aka Felix, QofT, Karol et al

          I don’t think they even count as “lefties”, they are too radical. Except maybe Karol, at least she has a sense of history.

          Shows how lost the Left is, when these days you get a necklacing for not kowtowing to gender feminist.

          But like I said this housing policy might mean there is hope yet.

          • QoT 4.1.1.1.1

            Academic Left aka Felix, QofT, Karol et al

            [citation needed]

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Hmmm I think you might have fallen for a trap there, QoT.

              • QoT

                Bah, no real time/emotion is invested in telling k_p he needs to back his shit up.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  So you deny being part of the Academic Left, QoT?

                  That’s odd, you spit out the usual Marxist / Deconstructionist nonsense.

                  Citations? Take a look at QoTs site. If you don’t think that is evidence QoT, please explain what you think your philosophical foundation actually is.

                  IrishBill: Speculating on the identities of authors is a no-no here wee fella. Take a week off.

                  • QoT

                    Oh, poor little man, doesn’t even realise how citations work.

                    Protip: “looking at a site” =/= “academic left”.

                    Sadly for you, actual proof of your blatherings is still needed and your sad little “look! a deconstructionist!” jabs mean fuck all.

          • karol 4.1.1.1.2

            For someone who supports scientific rationality, you really are a hoot, K_P.

            You idea of a true leftie includes:

            * not being “too radical”

            * having the support of John Armstrong

            * supporting a housing policy that largely targets the middle-classes (one that ignores the low paid and renters)
             

            • David H 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Well then I’d hate to think what that makes me. A Kiwi version of Victor Meldrew?? No I am not so frustrated with the whole world yet.
              I don’t really know. Well more to the Left than the Right. I believe in the many shades of Grey, rather than Just Black and White.
              It makes me angry that people in a country such as NZ, just want to ‘dig it up’ or Mine it. Joyce’s dreams must be of a Texas skyline circa 1920’s.
              I don’t suffer fools gladly (explains my anger at Shearer being elected over Cunliffe) They put a ‘fool’ (for fool read inexperienced, babe in arms) in over the Intelligent, and better qualified person. For that, they lose my vote, until that has been corrected. And the other fools, Mallard, Jones, and Hipkins have been dealt with by way of a comfy cushion on the Back bench! It also explains my Anger at what the Nats are doing to our country and the grief that some of it will be irrepairable.
              It makes me angry that Labour still haven’t learned from the mistakes of the past, (Tamahere comes to mind) and it seems they are doomed to just (like the Nats) to the same ol’ same ol’ every day. Groundhog Day anyone?

              Maybe I’ll just start my own Gang. Roadrunners Nudie’s.
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8021908/Nude-jogging-same-as-a-gang-patch-judge
              Gotta love NZ in the end

              I believe in giving a fair break to anyone, until they spit in your eye. And I also believe in helping others, but in this day and age it doesn’t seem to happen as much as it should.

  5. kiwi_prometheus 5

    I thought it was an interesting opinion piece by Armstrong.

    Maybe there is hope for Labour after all. Affordable housing is probably THE issue for NZers – forget the “Gay Gandolf wants to get married in ‘Middle Earth'” circus the Academic Left has delivered.

  6. Blue 6

    The policy is great in theory. But the devil is in the details, and Labour haven’t given us enough yet to know if it’s going to fly.

    This seems to be because they don’t know the details and are making shit up as they go along. Which gives John ‘Show Me The Money’ Key a stick with which to beat them.

    Ideally, a policy of this magnitude should be bombproof before being announced and the details should fill more than one page on a press handout.

    Good idea, sloppy execution. It is an important turning point for Labour in terms of ideology, but someone still needs to do the heavy lifting to prove that it’s viable and that it won’t just be an early Christmas present for property investors.

    • kiwi_prometheus 6.1

      “early Christmas present for property investors.”

      1 Tax reform – capital gains tax.

      2 Reserve bank policy shift – stop favouring house mortgages.

      3 Get rid of construction red tape costs.

      4 Release more land for development.

    • BM 6.2

      This.
      A major party say they’re going to spend 2 BILLION dollars on a housing scheme yet provide no details on how it’s going to work or if it’s even feasible.
      Can you imagine going to a bank to ask for a 2 billion dollar loan with this “Business plan”, you’d be laughed out of there in less than 5 minutes.

      It’s the total disregard of tax payer money that fucks me off. Labour can go shove it’s half baked housing scheme up it’s arse.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Can you imagine going to a bank to ask for a 2 billion dollar loan with this “Business plan”, you’d be laughed out of there in less than 5 minutes.

        Sovereigns should not and must not be beholden to private banks. The Government can and must accomplish the things that the private sector is incapable of considering.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1

          +1

          No government should be taking out loans or selling bonds at all as they just don’t need due to having the entire resources of the country to command.

      • David H 6.2.2

        Well the NATS are borrowing a shitload more than that. On Nothing. But Tax Cuts.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.3

        A major party say they’re going to spend 2 BILLION dollars on a housing scheme yet provide no details on how it’s going to work or if it’s even feasible.

        That’s got to be the biggest lie yet from the RWNJs.

        1.) It’s $1.5b not $2b
        2.) The $1.5b is used as seed capital to build the first units which are then sold at slightly more than cost
        3.) The income from the sales goes back into the capital fund to build more houses

        The original $1.5b loan will have to be paid for out of taxes.

        • prism 6.2.3.1

          It would be good if these houses were administered by a housing association/trust which would buy them back at a rate that incorporated annual revaluations on term deposit basis, then onsell them at a slightly higher percentage. This pool of houses would diminish the number of renters and depress house prices a little for other low to medium price housing buyers, because demand would drop somewhat. It would be a great opportunity but might be too imaginative and far seeing for today’s Labour.

        • DJ 6.2.3.2

          “The original $1.5b loan will have to be paid for out of taxes.”

          No it won’t, coz they ain’t gonna win.

          This policy is just a pipe dream. Something for you nutters to hold onto and debate instead of ripping your own party to shreds with differences between your in house ideologies.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.3.2.1

            No it won’t, coz they ain’t gonna win.

            All indications are that there will be a Labour led coalition after the next general election so chances are that some form of this policy will go through.

            Something for you nutters to hold onto and debate instead of ripping your own party to shreds with differences between your in house ideologies.

            Firstly, Labour isn’t my party. Secondly, your authoritarian attitudes are showing. It’s really not up to the parliamentary caucus to tell the members what to do.

      • bad12 6.2.4

        BM, the present Slippery National Government have been borrowing 300 million dollars a week since elected in 2008,

        We await with bated breath a full breakdown of where that 300 million bucks a week has been spent,

        Only a fiscal dunce would borrow such monies at the same time as taxes were cut…

        • Jackal 6.2.4.1

          Good point bad12. I also await with some anticipation the opening up of the books when John Keys corrupt bunch of miscreants gets ousted… Because as far as I can tell there’s been no amount of spending on infrastructure and tax cuts for the rich that can account for such a huge amount of government borrowing. Where the hell has all the money gone John?

  7. Huginn 7

    It’s a great scheme. I’m particularly excited about the expected provision for vocational training.

    Its an opportunity to entrench better building standards and thereby draw a line under the years of disastrous, light-handed regulation of the construction industry which has destroyed so much value and blighted so many lives.

    • kiwi_prometheus 7.1

      The Herald has done a good series on trades and apprenticeships and where it all went wrong during the 90s.

      Over a thousand guys on a waiting list for building apprenticeships while businesses wail about the lack of skills – especially those with 5 to 10 years experience under their belt ready to shift into project management positions.

      How fucked up is that?

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        The private sector has never ever done sufficient apprenticeships.

        What’s disappeared over the years is the public sector ones – even hospitals employed their own carpenters and electricians and had apprentices. Add in bigger public sector employers such as NZR with the railway workshops in Wanganui or the loco repairing in Taumarunui or Ministry Of Works or with the council owned power companies and so on are where the shortage of apprentices has come from.

        If you ask any group of tradesman over 50 where they did their apprenticeship about 40% or more will tell you that did their apprenticeship in the public service.

        The public service always had commitments to taking on youth and training them for the good of the country.

        That’s been replaced with shitty wages, high unemployment, low benefit rates, poor employment contracts, young people emigrating and the private sector bleating.

    • BM 7.2

      You won’t have apprentices with this scheme, it’s factory work.

  8. National’s response to the affordability crisis was to be seen to be wringing its hands. In contrast, Labour is rolling up its sleeves…..

    Given the kind of things this govt gets up to when it is rolling its sleeves up and getting things done (eg ECAN, King Gerry 1 of Christchurch, pretty much everything they’ve done in education), I’d rather it did just wring its hands and not do stuff.

    This is a great policy from Labour, even if it isn’t a new one. And from a schadenfreude perspective, the best thing about it is that National’s attempts to claim that it’s just impossible for an NZ govt to run a major house building programme are comedy gold.

  9. JazzaBelle 9

    A good policy, Mike, and achievable with a bit of work.

    And we need to be in Government to implement it.
    The decisions on Cunliffe and Tamahere tells me that Shearer is useless as a leader.
    We will loose in 2014 if we do not get rid of Shearer and promote Cunliffe.
    This party will split if the members do not get a say in the leadership early next year.

    Mike, your time would be better spent now on working to replace Shearer.
    That is the only way that critical policies like this will ever be implemented.

  10. Olwyn 10

    The only thing I have seen these people do with commitment and conviction is to hastily try to head off the threat to their leadership by fabricating a reason to demote Cunliffe. Everything else is an “appeal” to the mythological middle class vote while attempting to “suggest” to the members that they “have not lost touch” with Labour’s roots. This housing policy, at the press release stage, is no different. There is not enough detail to know whether it is a genuine, practical response to the housing problem or a gift to property developers. But going by their record so far, I cannot see them putting up a fight to ensure that it is the former.

  11. just saying 11

    I wasn’t going to comment on your post Mike.

    However, this morning a picture has appeared next to it of what appears to be, the unveiling of Labour’s state housing programme. Frankly I find it offensive to put such a picture next to Labour’s latest bribe to comfy the middle classes (whatever secondary virtues it might possess), which offers absolutley zip to the large numbers of poor that Labour continues to pointedly ignore. The people who are doing it really bloody hard.

    I’m reminded of Goff’s offensive (to me) line about representing the “many not the few” when it was as clear as dog’s balls that the “few” that Labour had repudiated were the poorest 25 percent of citizens.

    If the Paganiists in Labour imagine that this policy in any way resembles Labour’s revolutionary state housing programme, it’s time for the membership to remind them of the world that exists outside of their cosy, “aspirational” -middle-class bubble.

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      “I wasn’t going to comment on your post Mike”
       
      If you’d just stopped there, you would have been fine, js. Your fantasy that ‘the few’ referred to the poor does you no credit, nor does your inability to do the basic financial math around this proposal add to your credibility. This excellent housing program will put thousands of lower paid families into their first home. That’s a similar outcome to the program in the thirties, hence the appropriate photo.

      • just saying 11.1.1

        …will put thousands of lower paid families into their first home. That’s a similar outcome to the program in the thirties, hence the appropriate photo….

        I disagree and we may have the opportunity to see who is right on this.

        I see some potential merit in the programme, for some at the upper-end of the poorest to benefit. However, as the guts of Labour’s housing policy, in and of itself, for the beginning of the second global depression, it is as inadequte as the same policy would have been during the first depression.

        And Goff’s metaphor clearly didn’t literally mean “few” however you interpret it. Otherwise could have been more specific …”for the many, but not those three”..

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          However, as the guts of Labour’s housing policy, in and of itself, for the beginning of the second global depression

          THIS

          Labour’s housing programme is a good bucket and useful for bailing water out of a dinghy.

          Problem is, I think that the next 5 years is going to put a gaping hole in the side of the NZ economy below the waterline, and virtually every compartment is going to start flooding. A bucket is not going to be enough.

          This is an awful time for Labour to start listing rightwards.

    • karol 11.2

      Actually, js, that 1930s photo does represent the backward-looking policies & image that Team Shearer are currently following.  The Savage-led government was pretty radical for its time.  But it was also a time when Labour was a very male-dominated party, and when a woman’s place was mainly considered to be in the home, and as largely second class citizens.

      It was a time when a working man had the achievable hope of earning a wage for affordable housing.  But, of course, there was a much stronger vision of state housing than Team Shearer is aiming for with this policy.

      Team Shearer does seem to be trying to lead a Men’s Party, with most women (with one or two exceptions) relegated to the margins. 

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        Actually, js, that 1930s photo does represent the backward-looking policies & image that Team Shearer are currently following.

        Nope. That seems to be the illusion that Shearer want to produce but the actual policy is pure neo-liberal banksterism. It really will only benefit the banks as another 100,000 mortgages worth of money is created ex nihilo with them then getting to charge interest on it.

  12. Ad 12

    what I would look forward to is a government who works to build intelligent, innovate, safe and sustainable cities.

    It’s about time central government recognised the social and economic and cultural dominance of cities in New Zealand.

    Dusting off the Public Works Act and acting to Give Effect To the Auckland Plan and the Christchurch plan (the real one) would be a start.

    Housing should be an important part of using road and public transport and motorway investment, and schools, and prisons, and Defence land, and all the rest, to really engage with Mayors.

    Home ownership is really important, but only as part of a bolder and coherent approach.

    Bring back 1946-type urban planning I say.

  13. Matthew Hooton 13

    John’s column is similar to the points I made on RNZ on Monday. David Shearer is onto a winner with this, because it sounds big and bold and National can’t copy it. And Shearer has had another win this weekend with the Tamihere decision – see http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/bold-gamble-labour-allows-tamihere-back-ck-133327

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      “Mr Hooton wrote earlier that the “rainbow” faction on Labour’s council remained suspicious of Mr Tamihere. But to shun him would have risked his defection to NZ First.
      “That would undoubtedly transfer 5% of the vote from Labour to NZ First, putting the former down to 25% and the latter well above 10%,” Mr Hooton said.”
       
      :roll:

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Nice catch there TRP.

        • Te Reo Putake 13.1.1.1

          Like fish in a barrel, Ad!

          • Jim Nald - Once Was National 13.1.1.1.1

            Ahm ….. “And Shearer has had another win FOR NATIONAL this weekend with the Tamihere decision”

            Shearer is National’s best friend and most valuable Christmas present – the gift that keeps giving Labour (headaches, distractions, alienations, ….)

            • Saarbo 13.1.1.1.1.1

              I have a different view Jim. Labour is broad church and Tamihere represents an important part of our constituency. It would be nice if he could do that without shooting his big mouth off completely detached from his brain but in the end of the day he can also be a real asset. 

              Tamihere will on balance enhance Labour’s image, he has a big public profile. He just needs to learn to engage his brain before he speaks. 

              We just need to get Cunliffe back and Labour will start looking like a winning party again.

              What happened at the Labour Council Meeting re New Lynn complaint? 

              • Colonial Viper

                Labour is broad church and Tamihere represents an important part of our constituency.

                Yes, misogynists and gay-bashers are part of the Labour community too, and they need increased representation inside the ‘broad church’ of caucus.

                After all, how can one be democratic and inclusive if you exclude ashholes and bigotted haters.

                Tamihere YES Cunliffe NO, makes sense to me.

                • Saarbo

                  Tamihere represents urban maori, a group who have traditionally been Labour, but have been lost. In the end of the day Labour need to do some serious work around getting some voters/support back.  

                  For all of his weaknesses, Tamihere has done good mahi for urban moari…he has my support for this. I agree however also with you CV, he is an arsehole for his comments about Gays and Women…he is a weird and unpredictable bugger but on balance will be good for Labour.

                  • cardassian

                    I’m urban Maori, my votes been lost to Labour and Tamihere certainly won’t get that vote back. He’ll push it further away.

                  • Jackal

                    I really think you’re a bit deluded there if you think John Tamihere represents urban Maori Saarbo. You are right though that he has a profile and that will translate as support. The problem here is that Tamihere is sometimes highly outspoken against Labour, and often echoes the attack lines of National. Labour have effectively invited another potential leaker into their midst at a time they should be working to close such damaging dynamics down.

                    Now if you were to say that a person like Joanna Paul represents urban and rural Maori and their interests then I would have to agree wholeheartedly. She was interviewed on Marae Investigates recently and argued passionately about the failures inherent in the treaty settlement process. Of course Joanna is probably too radical for Labour who seems to prefer Maori like John Tamihere and Shane Jones, both of which in my opinion are right wing elitists.

                    I don’t want to foment any division on the left, and think that Robert Winters’ article today about Russel Norman’s NZ Herald article is spot on. It could be the case that David Shearer has found time to reason with Jones especially and persuaded him to not undermine any potential coalition with the Greens. I hope this is the case, because a more unified and cohesive left wing is what is required to not only win the next election, but to repair the damage National has caused New Zealand.

                    The other problem here is that Maori are being played off against each other by the crown that’s using favoritism based on historic allegiances and a drawn out treaty settlement process to ensure it’s tribe against tribe competing for a very small pot of gold. Jones and Tamihere are happy to play along with that corruption of the process because they know it’s the only way of ensuring their people get a slice of the pie. This leaves many Maori living in abject poverty while a few are living it up. The vast majority of Maori have seen little or no benefit from treaty settlements so far and I don’t presently see how re-appointing Tamihere is going to make any difference to that unfortunate reality at all, although I do hope that he proves me wrong.

                • Like it or not, many of the people who do the actual work about the place are blokey proletarians, and they sound a lot like Tamihere. The last thing a party named “Labour” should do is start considering the labouring proletariat beneath its dignity. Hooton’s right for once, this is a success for Labour.

                  • dancerwaitakere

                    “many of the people who do the actual work about the place are blokey proletarians” 

                    Oh really? Blokey Proletarianas…. BLOKEY…. do the ‘actual’ work. As opposed to women. Women who just sit home making tea and having babies.

                    FFS.  

                    • Yes, really. Unless you believe the fact that a lot of men work for a living excludes the possibility that a lot of women work for a living. Hint: it doesn’t.

                    • McFlock

                      So why would Labour even consider alienating a lot of female or gay male workers by pandering to small-minded bigots? Like it or not, it’s as stupid as it is unethical.

                  • IrishBill

                     blokey proletarians, and they sound a lot like Tamihere

                     Tamihere is an aging overweight well to do man with a chip on his shoulder. I remember him when he was young and could get away with his bigoted shit because of his “boyish charm”. Now he’s just another has-been bore who believed his own publicity, didn’t live up to his potential, and blames it on teh gayz and the unions.

                    There’s a group in Labour (and the wider urban elite) that think that provincial and/or working class are synonyms for “bigot”. I can tell you from long experience that’s not the case. Getting Tamihere on board is like getting Goff talking about Maori privilege or Shearer trying some bene-bashing – all it will do is piss off the liberals in the party and make working class and provincial people feel even more patronised. It also confirms their suspicion that Labour doesn’t even know who they.

                    • just saying

                      Well said.

                      It is clear that the Labour power clique think that in lieu of actual policies that benefit the working class, it will be good enough to give us some soft targets to get the boot into, and our own bully-boy to direct a diversionary hatefest.

                      It’s clear any and all actual resources will be directed higher up the socioeconomic ladder to “worthy” people like them, their friends, and families.

                      How fucking insulting.

                      It hasn’t worked to date, it won’t work now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There’s a group in Labour (and the wider urban elite) that think that provincial and/or working class are synonyms for “bigot”.

                      Exactly. I’d prefer to hang out with a beer with the good natured provincial working class types rather than the snobby Wellington beltway bubble elite types any day.

                    • karol

                      Exactly, IrishBill.  Tamihere is an attempt to dress up Team Shearer as being for those on low incomes. 

                      But this article about JT being back, really shows up what he is these days. Sure the interview and pic for that article were done yesterday in West Auckland, but hardly at a hang-out for your average Outrageous Fortune westie, or even working class Maori.  It was all done here.  And the times I’ve been there, the people I was with would not be impressed by JT’s tired old bigotry.

                      BTW: proletariat, before adopted by Marx as meaning wage-slaves, originally meant Romans on the lowest income, who had nothing but their children to contribute to the state. And, owning no or little property, couldn’t vote.  It certainly didn’t mean the property-owning classes, whether middle or upper working (skilled tradesmen) class.

                • Populuxe1

                  Well if you actually want Labour to get enough votes to regain power, you might just have to suck it. You can’t just wish all the old school bigots into sensitive new age types by clicking your heels together three times, so deal with it.

                  • just saying

                    You’re talking out of your arse here imo PM.

                    Even those working class men who are bigoted in some areas, aren’t seeking confimatory bigotry from politicians, they are looking for a better lives for themselves and their whanau.

                    Would the opportunity to join a hatefest be enough to get you into a polling booth to support a party who don’t give a shit about you and your’s Psycho Milt? If not why do you think it would be good enough for anyone else?

                    Patronising tosh.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Oh for FFS,
                      even Helen Clarke recognised the fact. I think you need to get out the provinces a bit more. 

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Well if you actually want Labour to get enough votes to regain power, you might just have to suck it. You can’t just wish all the old school bigots into sensitive new age types by clicking your heels together three times, so deal with it.

                    Well no one has to ‘suck it’ actually. they have plenty of options. Easiest being to tell the LP to go fuck itself in a sack.

                    It’s swings and roundabouts Pop. You pick up the votes of bigots at the expense of the votes of liberals and the people the bigots are bigoted against.

                    Tamihere thinks he can get, in your words, bigots voting for the party. how is he going to that and keep the votes of the people that don;t fucking like bigots?

                    Riddle me that one while you explain what meant about Clark.

                    Liberals are pretty much who the party has got left on its books.

                    Throw them under the bus! Good fucking plan. Maybe the LP can pull off what the GOP couldn’t, and win based on appealing exclusively to the shrinking demographic.

                    • Populuxe1

                      What a short memory you have. 

                      “I find your society genuinely admirable in many ways. For example, I met Helen Clark while I was in Wellington. I was invited to her official residence, and waved in by a lone policeman who didn’t even check who I was, then I had a barbecue with her. I congratulated her on the public’s enlightened attitudes towards racial issues, but she disagreed. She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country, and she was determined to do everything she could as prime minister to change that. I thought that was a very bold, honest statement to make to a foreigner, and I really respected her for that.” – Ian Mckellen

                      The same is also true of casual sexism and homophobia
                       

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Pop, just to refresh your memory, you were supposed to be finding an example of Clark saying that we just have to accept the bigotry. I’m sure they exist, but that quote is the opposite of it, she says there they we have to recognise it exists, but that it’s important to fight it, not pander to it.

    • Skinny 13.2

      Hootan politics followers just don’t take you seriously with most of what you have to say! It’s usually running a spoilers line & you often stoop to dog whistling like your under tones of Grant Robertson being gay. You know damn right Shearer is on borrowed time, the vote change is designed to roll Shearer in February if he continues to flounder as he has done. If you don’t know David Parker is being lined up as the next Labour Leader your a bigger right wing mug than I already thought. Yes under the new rules the likes of me get a vote & it’s for Parker that a done deal.

  14. Skinny 14

    A while ago we visited a cafe in old Frankton, Hamilton, my colleague pointed to nearby buildings & mentioned that’s where most state/ railway house were build years ago, which started me thinking.        
    I can see a great opportunity for Tainui in playing a part in building affordable homes. Their new industrial park in Ruakura, Hamilton would be a great site to facilitate a purpose built kit set home manufacturing hub. Imagine what can be achieved; architecturally stylish New Zealand timber homes, utilising technological (smart) advancements in solar powering & gadgetry. Manufacturing on a large scale brings your cost down by purchasing in  volume of materials. Hamilton has the training institutes to support such a venture. They also have plans for a near by residential subdivision to test & fine tune before rolling out nationwide. 
    I am going to look into this and see what interest can be harnessed? A bit of support from Labour’s  NH would be appreciated. 
    I might head to Town as we often see her on Sundays at Master House chowing down on yum lol cha :) 

    • RJLC 14.1

      Their new industrial park in Ruakura, Hamilton would be a great site to facilitate a purpose built kit set home manufacturing hub.

      Hmmm, if I recall correctly the one of the first casualties of the restructuring of Ruakura Research post Treaty settlement was the demolition of a whole picturesque row of houses in a tree lined lane that were built decades ago to accomodate research staff. I guess if was an oversight.

      • Skinny 14.1.1

        Not sure where your going with that? Action is needed i.e. talk & do! It’s no good running around like chicken little. Our future generations need action now don’t you agree? 

  15. Saarbo 15

    This is a good policy.

    If we win in 2014 we will inherit a $70 billion govt debt. This policy is affordable given how it will be funded, it will stimulate the economy (as do many Labour policies) and it solves a major problem.

    But I worry like many on this site whether Labour have done enough of the hard costings and calculations to refute the opposition/media when they try to discredit it (its kind of already happened). At a high level this policy makes good sense but Labour/Shearer’s challenge will be whether they can successfully sell it to the public to make it the important vote winner it should be.

     

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      This policy is affordable given how it will be funded, it will stimulate the economy (as do many Labour policies) and it solves a major problem.

      Labour will have to massively increase either borrowing or taxes in order for the economic ‘stimulation’ to have any real effect.

      The country has a $200B economy. A minor 1% boost requires an extra $2B a year to be injected. That $2B has to come from taxes or from borrowing. (And some from printing, if the Govt is sufficiently progressive).

      That’s MORE than the entire programme has been costed out at over 10 years.

      • Saarbo 15.1.1

        I may have to do a bit more reading CV, I thought initially Labour were to issue bonds for $1.5b (therefore borrow), so initially there would be a $1.5b stimulus. This will be a good start to get things going. Remember that $1.5b times the multiplier affect will equate to a bigger number from a GDP point of view (sorry, its been a few years (28, shit where did those years go) since I did micro/macro economics at Uni). 

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          They’d get more stimulatory effect if they just printed the money than they will borrowing it at interest. In fact, the interest will eventually negate the stimulatory effect especially considering the vast amounts of interest that will be added by the people borrowing from the banks to buy the hoses.

    • KJT 15.2

      Funny how everyone expects hard costings from Labour, The Greens and Mana.

      Who do not even have access to the accounts.

      And how few asked for them from National when they claimed they would cut the Government deficit by 2014 by using tax cuts, austerity and the confidence fairy, none of which have worked anywhere. Not to mention how we would catch up to Australia by doing the opposite of everything they have done.

      Show me the money, John, Indeed!

  16. MrSmith 16

    I’m sorry but isn’t it a governments job to regulate, legislate and facilitate, not fuck around with one of the few industries that hasn’t been monopolized by some corporate yet.

    The building industry is made up of thousands of small businesses, and can be and has been the starting point for many families to break free and work for themselves. Labour will fuck this up if it ever come to fusion that’s my bet, why do they want to flounder around on the building site? when instead they could be getting to the root of the problems.

    If Labour want cheap housing maybe they could start talking about breaking up the monopolies and cartels that control building materials in NZ and while your at it how about helping out the low income workers by raising minimum wage rates and leaning on the banks, the very same banks that were recently groveling at our feet for a guarantee, but Oh no instead they will start pissing around with one of the most resilient industries in NZ, an industry that is crying out for good strong oversight and guidance.

    But that said this policy is Labour doing what John Key is famous for pulling numbers out of it’s ass then seeing which way the wind blows, so it might just be a winner for them.

    • RJLC 16.1

      The building industry is made up of thousands of small businesses, and can be and has been the starting point for many families to break free and work for themselves.

      yeah, Fletchers and James Hardie compete hard in a shark infested sea of competition.

      • kiwicommie 16.1.1

        Don’t forget the buildings that collapsed in the Christchurch Earthquake, they were meant to be able to survive a basic 6 Earthquake. They cut corners, just like with leaky houses. 😉

    • KJT 16.2

      Like National gave Fletchers the Christchurch contract. Who then cut builders rates so much all the good ones went to OZ ,or became loss adjusters.

  17. Populuxe1 17

    I think there are several aspects of the housing policy that are fucking stupid. Where is the land coming from? Don’t we have a builder shortage? Why encourage Auckland to become even more top heavy? What is to stop this triggering a property bubble a la the Clinton presidency? Aren’t the houses are still well out of the price range of the people most in need? Can we have some reassurance this isn’t a step toward projects or housing estates a la the US and the UK? The proposed time scale strikes me as unrealistic, smacking a little of the seven year plan and Potemkin villages – are we just going to see one or two show homes and the rest being cheap shit with cut corners if they get built at all?

    • kiwicommie 17.1

      The NZ property bubble will collapse eventually (within this decade) and 95%+ mortgages,etc are dangerous indicators of poor regulation.

    • KJT 17.2

      I have been in the building industry. The time scale and costs are entirely realistic.

      I hope this is not the only policy though. Housing needs to become more affordable by rises in wages and welfare in addition to breaking the monopolies on building supplies.

      And any borrowing should be from ourselves, called “printing money” by economic ignoramuses. Including the finance to buy the houses. Why should offshore banks make a killing from our housing.

      However any party who tries to lower the costs of houses will commit electoral suicide if they drop too fast. For most of us it is our biggest single asset and the perception, not reality as the price of the next house will also drop, of losing wealth will drop consumer confidence.

      • Jackal 17.2.1

        I don’t think Labours housing policy will necessarily make house prices fall… They will likely just level off and hopefully allow people’s incomes to catch up a bit. I think that once the initial bunch of houses are a proven success, the scheme will expand beyond 100,000 homes, for which there’s ample land area to build them on.

        The crown owns around 61% of the area north of the Bombay hills, which equates to 21,985 properties or 265,001 hectares in crown ownership. Some of these properties are registered as vacant residential, meaning they’re freely available to the crown to build houses on. That means the crown can build houses cheaper than any private company, and why there’s relatively low costs outlined in Labours policy.

        Populuxe1 and others bleating about “where is the land coming from” are really just showing their ignorance.

        • Adele 17.2.1.1

          Kiaora Jackal,

          I would think that Tainui, Ngāti Whatua and Ngāpuhi, would have a thing to say if there was 265,000ha of Government land currently lying dormant and invisible to the Treaty settlement process.

          As Māori feature significantly as the poorly housed and deprived perhaps Labour could negotiate and partner with those Iwi towards a scheme that fulfills a number of social and economic imperatives.

          • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.1.1

            The entire Auckland supercity area is roughly 60,000 ha. I have no idea where the hell Jackal is getting an area 4 times bigger than that as Crown Land.

            Populuxe1 and others bleating about “where is the land coming from” are really just showing their ignorance.

            Please enlighten me – where is the land for building houses coming from? And why are you adding a shit load of conservation land in to the mix for building on?

            • Jackal 17.2.1.1.1.1

              I have no idea where the hell Jackal is getting an area 4 times bigger than that as Crown Land.

              It’s north of the Bombay hills meaning it’s not just Auckland. Please read my comment properly before going off all half cocked.

              And why are you adding a shit load of conservation land in to the mix for building on?

              Because I haven’t worked out the exact amount of land that’s available ie unused and zoned appropriately yet Colonial Viper.

              The question was where is the land coming from… It’s likely that some of the land for Labours housing projects will be land they already own.

              That 265,001 hectares doesn’t include District or Regional Council owned land either.

          • Jackal 17.2.1.1.2

            Not all that land is unused and I doubt it’s invisible to the Treaty settlement process. In comparison to Maori owned land of around 131,487 hectares north of the Bombay hills it is far more productive and profitable though… Basically because settlers took the best land for themselves. So more Maori owned land will be unused and therefore potentially available for a targeted housing policy.

        • MrSmith 17.2.1.2

          Kiaora Jackal

          Labours housing policy won’t see house prices fall unless they subsidize the fall, by not selling the houses for their true value.

          All this nonsense about the crown freeing up land to build on is laughable, crown land has a value and if you propose to take that land and then revalue it at a lower value you are technically stealing from the crown or every Kiwi.

          I have no problem with helping out those that can’t afford a home, but would prefer the government made the banks provide for this and yes you could argue we will still have to pay for that, but it’s far better than setting up a government bureaucracy when they could easily sit back and let the private sector do that, with oversight from the government .

          I have know idea where people got the idea that government land should be suddenly given away, but shit most of it was stolen to begin with so why not.

          People seem to have this illusion that houses are over valued, and yes some are, but only because of their location the rest are a combination of the value to rebuild/build the house, and the land value, and if that land has things likes roads, sewer, phone, storm-water, water, power supply, etc then it is more valuable.

          This is why a section of land cost so much more than a paddock of grass, but it never ceases to amaze me how people get from paddock to a section with all the services on it for next to nothing.

          • Jackal 17.2.1.2.1

            The crown freeing up land to build on is not laughable at all. There’s around 763 acres that are zoned Vacant Residential property north of the Bombay hills that the government already owns and can build on right now if it wanted to. It has a capital value of approximately $55 million at 2001 prices. There’s also Defence owned land of 1,146.431 ha, Rail 1,366.372 ha and other 384.501 ha etc etc, some of which could possibly be appropriated. The crown using something it already owns to provide a service to the public is not stealing MrSmith.

            • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.2.1.1

              The crown using something it already owns to provide a service to the public is not stealing MrSmith.

              FFS. These houses are designed to be bought up into PRIVATE OWNERSHIP. Using GOVERNMENT LAND for this purpose and then PRIVATISING it is THEFT from the COMMONS.

              Get a grip.

              • McFlock

                Get a grip 
                   
                You’re the one doing the YELLING :)  

              • Jackal

                Get a grip yourself CV. You’re going off half cocked once again because you obviously don’t understand how government accounting works…

                The initial land that the government already owns will be paid for by the government to itself. It will effectively pay itself for something it already owns. Some of the profit that comes from the people who purchase a government house on land the government already owned will then be used to purchase other land that the government doesn’t own.

                When there are enough houses the government will have the initial startup capital plus some from selling land that was not previously being utilized. It can then pay off debt, reduce taxes or whatever.

                They could even buy some more land to keep vacant just to try and appease people like yourself Colonial Viper, but I doubt they will.

                Besides, Vacant residential property is often expensive to maintain and a drain on resources.

                It might be a different story if Labour was proposing to implement such a policy on the back of kicking hundreds if not thousands of HNZ residents out of their homes, but these properties are currently being unused Colonial Viper, therefore there is no benefit to the commons in keeping them vacant and there is no loss from helping families that would normally not be able to purchase a house into them. In fact there are only social benefits and therefore an increase in common wealth.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The initial land that the government already owns will be paid for by the government to itself. It will effectively pay itself for something it already owns. Some of the profit that comes from the people who purchase a government house on land the government already owned will then be used to purchase other land that the government doesn’t own.

                  OK so you admit that there will be at least one round of privatising public land.

                  will then be used to purchase other land that the government doesn’t own.

                  So the land in the second round is going to be much more expensive than that in the first round. How are second round houses going to stay in the $300K price cap if they rely on private sections?

                  You’re going off half cocked once again because you obviously don’t understand how government accounting works…

                  Sure, but somehow I still manage to point out the points you conveniently glossed over.

                  • Jackal

                    How are second round houses going to stay in the $300K price cap if they rely on private sections?

                    It would seem pretty obvious to me that the $300 K price is an averaged one across the country. Some houses will be cheaper to build while some will be more expensive because of where they are located.

                    Savings are likely to be made by building to a set house design with the main financial variable in land prices, just like the previous state housing that Labour undertook.

                    You know Colonial Viper, I can’t be all that specific as I’ve not yet seen the final policy, which probably won’t be released until closer to the 2014 election. I don’t even know if Labour is planning to use all the vacant residential sections the crown already owns in the first round of building, and have only really provided figures of crown owned land as an argument to show that there’s a lot of land in New Zealand that’s available and appropriate for houses to be built on.

                    But somehow I still manage to point out the points you conveniently glossed over.

                    Your point that using unproductive sections the crown already owns for state housing projects is theft from the commons is entirely false… That’s why I “glossed over” it Colonial Viper. Would you prefer that the state just rented these houses perpetually until a National government came along and once again sold them all off to their rich developer mates for nix? Now that’s what I would call stealing from the commons.

                    • lprent

                      What is it? Something like 65% of the population is in the greater Auckland area and Christchurch combined and something like 90% of the housing problem.

                      Unless there is a great policy to move jobs into the regions that I have not seen, then the effect country wide will be limited.

                    • Jackal

                      Have to agree with you there 1prent… Focussing mainly on Auckland isn’t the best solution.

          • Draco T Bastard 17.2.1.2.2

            I have no problem with helping out those that can’t afford a home, but would prefer the government made the banks provide for this and yes you could argue we will still have to pay for that, but it’s far better than setting up a government bureaucracy when they could easily sit back and let the private sector do that, with oversight from the government .

            No, really it’s not. What you’re in fact suggesting is that two bureaucracies be set up – a private one for making a profit and a government one to watch over the private one. It really shouldn’t take a genius to figure out that doing something that way will be far more expensive (both in money and outcomes) than just having the government set up the necessary bureaucracy in the first place.

            • MrSmith 17.2.1.2.2.1

              What I was trying to say Draco is leave the building industry alone when I said “let the private sector do that”.

              I would rather see the government step back and take control with good strong regulations and over-site, yes a bureaucracy, but one that already exists.

              Then instead of going into the property development and building bussiness set up some sort of interest free deposit scheme for people on low incomes, plus maybe an income guarantee scheme.

              The government doesn’t need to go into business when it ultimately controls things in the first place.

          • Adele 17.2.1.2.3

            Kiaora Mr Smith

            I have know idea where people got the idea that government land should be suddenly given away, but shit most of it was stolen to begin with so why not.

            My point entirely. As Crown land is essentially mis-appropriated lands, there is no way Māori interests would overlook, undervalue, or relent on making a claim to land that rightfully belongs to them. In Northland and Auckland, Iwi were left virtually landless. 250,000ha would go some way towards redressing their historical wrongs.

            It is highly unlikely that Māori would knowingly accept the alienation of Crown land from the Treaty settlement process.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Anyway, I only came into this thread to post this. It’s the sort of housing we should be looking at building for this plan. It’s seven units – four singles and three family size.

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    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
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  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
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    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
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    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
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  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
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    2 weeks ago

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