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Labour’s popular housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, January 10th, 2013 - 121 comments
Categories: david shearer, housing, labour - Tags:

I’m delighted to see that over 70% of respondents to a recent Herald poll, published today, think Labour’s 100,000 houses plan is “a winner for Labour”. The plan was announced by David Shearer at Labour’s November conference.

I’d also like to thank Olwyn for asking some questions about Labour’s policy on housing in response to Zetetic’s post – they deserve an answer.

Olwyn asks: “Does Labour share Zetetic’s concerns about the state house sell-off?” These concerns were also expressed in the Herald by Metiria Turei.

Of course we share the concerns; here’s what Labour’s 2011 housing policy said:

Labour is committed to increasing and upgrading Housing New Zealand’s state housing stock. Labour also remains committed to the policy of income related rents for state house tenants.

We need to invest in housing. The last Labour Government spent nine years repairing the damage caused by a National Government that oversaw a fire-sale of nearly 13,000 state houses, carried out no modernisation whatsoever, and introduced market rents plunging tens of thousands of families into poverty overnight.

I think that’s pretty clear.

Olwyn asks again : “Will it(Labour) do things differently? Build more state houses for example?” Labour’s policy again:

Labour will focus on new builds for any state house acquisitions, rather than purchasing existing properties, to increase the overall housing stock. Where possible new state houses will be built in accordance with the disability sector approved Lifemark standard for accessible, adaptable lifetime design.

Once again from Olwyn: “Is the same caucus able answer the question about affordable housing?

The current policy on housing affordability, approved by the Caucus and Party Council, runs to seven pages in the 2011 election manifesto, and starts thus:

The road back to housing affordability

Getting the New Zealand housing market back on the path to affordability will take time and structural change in our economy. Only a Labour government has the plan to do this.

You can read the full policy here; it runs for 12 pages, 287-299.

Olwyn goes on to say: “If Labour will not answer such questions, then surely this gives you a clue as to why these days Labour is being criticised by the left almost as much as National is.”

As I hope I have indicated above, I don’t think Labour has a particular problem answering the questions. I do accept that there are problems with Labour’s communications, as well as in left perceptions of Labour. So those of us who do support Labour have a responsibility to explain the policies as well as engage in the policy debates.

However I do also think that some on the left sometimes do not give Labour credit where credit is due. Housing policy is a good example, as it is one of the litmus policies where the distinction between Labour and National is most clear.

The best example of that distinction is also mentioned in the policy above. In 1999, Labour campaigned on a promise to change state house rentals from so-called market rents to income-related rents. Labour did this in government, and it made a huge difference to state home renters.

Labour promised to pay for this policy by increasing the top rate of income tax from 36% to 39%. They did this too. As far as I am aware this is one of the few times any social democratic government has campaigned and won an election on a promise to increase income tax. There’s nothing right-wing about any of that.

And I think the fact that Labour’s 100,000 houses policy is so popular gives the best answer to David Shearer’s more virulent critics. The poll was taken at the beginning of December, so the policy will have been widely discussed over the holidays.It is a big idea, it is very Labour, it is very different from National, it goes alongside Labour’s commitment to state housing.

It should get the new year off to a good start. I’m optimistic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

121 comments on “Labour’s popular housing policy”

  1. Steve H 1

    So instead of saving money, living to the bare minimum to get a deposit and pay off a mortgage, you should be able to not save, spend as much money as you like on nice food, alcohol, takeaways and V8’s, and not make a sacrifice whatsoever? And still get a decent house too?

    I’m in, workings over-rated.

    • McFlock 1.1

      …spend as much money as you like as long as the amount you like to spend on those things is infinitesimal to the point of purely imaginary.. .

      FIFY

    • burt 1.2

      Work is what other people do to fund your lifestyle – this is socialism : Other peoples money is yours for the taking … all you need to do is vote for the party that promises it to you !

      • xtasy 1.2.1

        burt: Welcome to another disciple of divide and rule by applying injustices across the board. And perhaps put the boot in next time to beneficiaries, whom you will despise, as they are from your view “not pulling their weight” (as if there is one class of permanent beneficiaries, while in fact there is very much movements out of and also into benefit dependence).

      • McFlock 1.2.2

        So in the marketplace we should act according to our own self interest, but when voting we should act according to the interests of other people?

        That right there is the con that lets non-millionaires vote national.

      • One Tāne Huna 1.2.3

        burt, it’s called a free market: we freely decided to take all your money and spend it on poor people, because you don’t deserve the benefits of the society you despise.

        This just in: no, wait, we didn’t, we just required you to pay your taxes, cry-baby.

      • mike e vipe e 1.2.4

        burt you should form the suckers party for those sucked in by simplistic short term thinkers such as yourself and SH .
        most major companies in NZ were started on the back of govt investment of one type or other!
        You could all advocate to go back and live in Dickensian times!

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      In the 1970’s and 1980’s it was quite possible to do what you suggested Steve H. Too bad successive Right Wing governments have ruined the chances for so many after them.

      You can’t save anything worthwhile on less than $45K pa. and even if you did, no bank would loan you a mortgage sufficient to buy a house anywhere other than Ashurst, Bulls or Ettrick.

    • xtasy 1.4

      Steve H: You apparently have not read much about Labour’s housing policy!

      The Kiwi Build policy will require people to save and pay down a deposit, and they also must fulfil other criteria, so they cannot get an “affordable” home and simply sell it on straight afterwards, making a nice tax free gain.

      And for state housing, have you ever enquired what your circumstances need to look like, before you ever even get onto a waiting list for a state home?

      With house prices at what they are here in Auckland now, where most choose to live due to better job-availability, you have to be a big earner to be able to save anything for a home. Labour want to ease the pressure on the market with their ideas.

      The major issue I have so far with Labour’s plans is the unanswered question of where the cheap land to build on will come from. Mike does not appear to address the major shortfall here.

      More is needed, and Labour will have to work through the Kiwi Build plan again, addressing some flaws in it.

      But they are certainly doing a heck of a lot more than this government!

    • mike e vipe e 1.5

      D#*k head a labour govt are going to sell guaranteed bonds into the market to start the ball rolling
      some of New Zealands most prosperous times were when in the past the govt stated housing programs they were times of very low unemployment as well!
      Young families have very little chance of getting started and having a stable place and community.
      Young families Can’t afford to live it up like you say I’m still bringing up 2 teenagers on a very respectable income and it ain’t cheap!
      No doubt there are a few irresponsible out their but they are few and far between and are unlikely to save a deposit or have kiwisaver in place!
      You are just being an ignorant bigot by victimising poor people!

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    I notice those polled think Labour’s 100,000 houses plan is “a winner for Labour”.

    I wonder what the answer would have been had they asked whether it was a winner for home buyers, or taxpayers. I would have answered “is it a winner for Labour?” in the affirmative, and I think it’s a fucking stupid idea. I just happen to think political parties promising free shit to people is always a winner with the people being offerred free shit. Paul’s always thrilled about Peter being robbed.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      That isn’t something you noticed, it’s something you inferred. The article says the respondents approved of the policy, and the journo said that makes it a winner for Labour.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        Well, I inferred it from this:

        I’m delighted to see that over 70% of respondents to a recent Herald poll, published today, think Labour’s 100,000 houses plan is “a winner for Labour”.

        And I think it is the only inference you can take from what the author wrote.

  3. burt 3

    OK folks, the gummit wants to send you a message – don’t worry – vote Labour : Everything will be fine and the coalition with the Greens will provide the freshly printed money to create wildfire inflation build houses.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      What’s the difference between printing the money into the NZ economy and borrowing it into the economy from China?

      • You_Fool 3.1.1

        One is a Green/Red policy and the other is Blue…. and Burt’s favourite colour is blue so therefore that one is obviously better

    • bad12 3.2

      May i be so impolitee as to inquire if your name is by any chance f**k-head, the US has printed trillions of dollars, is still printing the stuff and according to their Prez will continue to do so untill such time as unemployment has fallen to a suitable level,

      Before you start on the ‘run-away inflation’ idiocy i suggest you check the current rate of inflation in the US,

      Dumb f**ks like you make me angry beyond what’s good for me…

      • infused 3.2.1

        The US will be gone by then. Because retards like you have no clue.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          And you think that what you have just posted is intelligent debate??? fuck off back to the slimy fucking hole you just crawled out of you piece of shit…

    • mike e vipe e 3.3

      Burt where’s your evidence every major trading block has printed money(no infltion problems in any of their economies) that’s why our balance of payments is so bad you idiot we wouldn’t have to borrow $52 billion of other peoples money. (Where’s all the inflation there you numskull, read some thing about economics not your homespun Act BS” ACT <than 1%support")
      You Right whingers keep reeling out this economic diatribe without any evidence but are happy to support a govt who spends other peoples money by borrowing and paying more people to be on welfare funny that!

  4. Lightly 4

    but what’s the answer for the 40% of families who can’t afford KiwiBuild? Why is Labour only subsidising the top 60%?

    • Steve H 4.1

      Because its nice to get something that isn’t just “for the poor, poor people who don’t have to work”?

      Something for the middle class that isn’t just another tax increase?

      • Lightly 4.1.1

        a) I think that the bottom 40% includes quite a bit of the ‘middle class’, most of them are working – in fact there are only about 10% of families with kids who don’t have any work income
        b) there’s already lots of middle class spending eg Working for Families. There’s also 270,000 kids living in poverty and sharply falling homeownership in the lower income brackets.
        c) If you assume that the top third of families by income can’t get KiwiBuild, because surely we’re not subsidising the wealthy here and the bottom 40% can’t afford it and about half the rest already own a house…. are there even 100,000 eligible families out there?

      • Colonial Weka 4.1.2

        Do you really believe that the bottom 40% of families don’t work?

    • burt 4.2

      Why is Labour only subsidising the top 60%?

      Because that’s enough to get the levers of power…. It’s not about good long term outcomes, prudent fiscal policy, better outcomes for NZ people – it’s about being popular enough to get the levers of power !

      Hell the numbers don’t even stack up – how will Labour build houses for hundreds of thousands less than is currently possible… who cares… enough stupid people in love with other peoples money will vote for it !

      • Lightly 4.2.1

        $300,000 homes are possible. There’s lots of them. The problem is that there aren’t enough and they’re being snapped up by property investors.

        • The Al1en 4.2.1.1

          Who invest to on sell and pay no taxes on huge profits.
          If WFF is middle class welfare, housing portfolios are legalised tax rorts.

          Will DS promote a CGT with such vigour as ‘his’ new homes package?
          Will he legislate for a minimum standard of habitability, and pledge no more families living in garages?
          Will he signal that landlords are responsible for problem tenants, and made to pay fees for noise control/policing as a consequence?
          Will DS clearly (See what I did ;) ) express his solidarity for the party core constituents and make a huge impact on their lives, or will he appease middle class voters to win back their votes?

          The right always tell us no-one should get something for nothing, so why slumlords and party leaders?

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    Hope your number comes up and you get the discounted house. Immediately flick it onto the market and trouser $100K. Labour’s Lotto housing policy is a “winner” all right. But like Lotto it has many more losers.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I guessed your twisted money grubbing mind would come up with this idea

    • mike e vipe e 5.2

      One small problem Silly Wanker they have to hold the house for 10 years minimum and pay back homestart and kiwisaver !

      • Steve Wrathall 5.2.1

        Borrow against future windfall. Thank you sucker taxpayer. Learn some economics.

        • Chris 5.2.1.1

          Just so we all have a solid understanding of how you understand the economics of this:

          The government will be build a large number of houses in one area and sell them for $300,000. Once this first tranche of houses are built, they will build some more presumably in the same area and sell these ones for $300,000 also. Yet somehow you are going to find a buyer who is willing to pay $400,000 for a house readily available for $300,000.

          Or do you mean you will sell it in ten years for $400,000 giving you a princely return of 2.9% p.a.

  6. Matt 6

    I think the response would have been very different if the question had been, Are you happy to fund 100,000 houses for people that can not be bothered to save and buy their own home?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      How about: are you happy to tax property speculators and slum lords out of the market so that ordinary families can afford decent housing in Auckland?

    • Blue 6.2

      Pretty sure these houses are not being given away for free. There was something on that pesky press handout about having to have saved your own deposit to get one. And you have to either get a mortgage like everyone else or have $300k lying around to buy it outright.

      The quality of RWNJs is really decreasing.

      • Steve Wrathall 6.2.1

        Who said they were being given for free? Names please

        • Blue 6.2.1.1

          That’s generally what’s implied when Matt claims these houses are being ‘funded’ for people who “can not be bothered to save and buy their own home”

          If they don’t have to buy it, then it must be free.

    • xtasy 6.3

      Matt: You have no clue, it shows! To get one of those 100,000 proposed new “homes” (not necessarily all standalone “houses” on sections), a deposit will still be needed! So how does one get that? Santa Claus has been and gone, but I got no deposit from him. Lotto maybe a tough chance too. So what is left? Work and earn it. Stop distorting the true facts of the plan.

      • Matt 6.3.1

        How is that distortion Xtasy? What about the people who have already had to fork out and buy houses at the inflated prices what mechanism will be in place to protect their existing investment and ensure they don’t fall into negative equity territory?, I do not have a problem with a hand up however I don’t believe that people should be receiving a hand out.

        It would appear that some of the commenters here get fairly feral pretty quickly and are prone to slagging people off its not really becoming for the party is it?

        • xtasy 6.3.1.1

          “What about the people who have already had to fork out and buy houses at the inflated prices what mechanism will be in place to protect their existing investment and ensure they don’t fall into negative equity territory?”

          By that logic you are in favour of ever increasing house prices!

          This is acceptance of the divide and rule mentality we are getting from the National led government, in virtually all areas of government and policies.

          How do you know whether, and by how much prices would fall for other homes, if the 100,000 new homes get built within say ten years? You are making mere speculations. With population growth projections and expected additional migration, the homes will be needed anyway. And even with a stable population, there is not much need to expect that prices for homes in Auckland and Christchurch will drop due to more housing being built for affordable prices.

          Forget also not the leaky home fiasco, which has left thousands of homes with damages, many of them unsellable. Others face huge repair costs, even after legal court action settlements – or accepting the government’s offer.

          Some will have to be demolished over coming years, leading to more shortage of homes.

          What will happen if the homes that Labour proposes do not get built? Hey, bingo, that may be what you and a few others want, as it will ensure prospective gains for homes that exist already, and that do not meet the increased demand.

          Also do not forget, that there are many thousands on waiting lists for Housing NZ homes, which the government never offered. Do you want them to spend the rest of their lives in caravans, in garages, living in over-crowded homes with others, or staying in boarding houses or even sleeping rough?

          • Steve Wrathall 6.3.1.1.1

            Actually the massive increase in house prices occurred under Auntie Helen

            • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes it did; Cullen refused to reign in bank lending during that period. Bad mistake. Bank lending should be reigned in now. And a big fat stamp duty placed on anyone buying a speculative property.

        • Blue 6.3.1.2

          What about the people who have already had to fork out and buy houses at the inflated prices what mechanism will be in place to protect their existing investment and ensure they don’t fall into negative equity territory?

          An ‘investment’ can go up and down in price. An informed investor takes that into account when buying and realises there are never any guarantees that they won’t end up losing money.

          If you buy it, you take the risk.

          Welcome to the market.

  7. Populuxe1 7

    Where is the land coming from? Can Labour guarantee this won’t cause a Bill Clinton-esque real estate bubble. Isn’t this just putting a bandaid on Auckland’s top heavy overpopulation when a more farsighted and lasting strategy would be to encourage relocation to other centres. etc etc

    • Saccharomyces 7.1

      +1 to that P1. I don’t see how this can be achieved without having unintended consequences.

      I also agree on relocation, the problem is how do you encourage that relocation? Do you have any ideas on that? The only one I can think of is bettter infrastructure between centres…

    • ad 7.2

      It’s never easy, but the first place you look is current Crown land holdings and go through the offer-back procedure. There’s a fair old bunch of them, often wtihin brownfield sites.

      The step after that, if you followed the preferences of the Public Works Act, would be for central and local government to act in concert together, for the public work of housing.

      Or go it alone. Where it can get to the Land Valuation Tribunal. It’s harsh business, and the results are never perfect in retrospect, but that are better than what was there. Good examples of it in the last two decades can be found in Te Atau Peninsula, Hobsonville, Point England, and New Lynn.

      The PWA is a tough Act to be on the other end of, but that’s what a market intervention looks like. That’s how you get the land.

  8. ad 8

    Well, good to see Mike back. It’s the best positive policy Labour has had in years; so much of what Labour has proposed has been defensive and reactive. Nor do I mind that it supports real estate capitalism; it’s a major part of what New Zealand is and would take at least two full Labour/etc terms to keep to a steady simmer rather than binge-purge cycle.

    I haven’t heard much about how Labour would enable the big City councils to partner with them. Auckland’s great public housing selloff a generation ago was a major driver of the nasty price/ownership sorting mechanisms Auckland now has going. Barring some exceptions, Auckland Council is largely relying on its Unitary Plan to simply set a framework for the market rather than actively making the market (which is the way to change it).

    We now have pretty much no mezzanine finance for housing, few developers other than the real majors and a few boutique practices, and a still highly conservative banking system post GFC. So public-public partnerships are necessary, and they would also blow on the dying coals of the whole civic realm. Labour needs to think beyond Central Gvoernment’s instruments.

    It also needs to reaggregate and de-corpratise the Housing Corporation, and make it simply a sub-Department of Work and Income. The structural splintering over two decades has encouraged real abdications of responsibility from the public sector and huge devolution in to NGO-Corporate hybrids. Labour needs to take back the idea of the public in public housing, for the public sector and the public good.

    Mike I would just encourage you to get the actual housing spokesperson on this site to promote policy. That’s what they are employed for.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Gosh the chunder bucket has been urgently and well employed on this one.

    Fulfilling social needs?-the right don’t like it up’em that’s for sure. Clue for Labourites-become left social democrats again, house, feed, care for and educate citizens (rather than individuals) and you may get somewhere.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    I don’t understand why Labour is not proposing building these houses via a Ministry of Public Works, instead of funneling huge contract and profits to corporates.

    • burt 10.1

      Because they want the glory – not the risk !

    • ad 10.2

      It’s not going to come back unless you aggregate the civil build back together again for the central public realm, which just to start with would mean:

      – split off Kiwirail operations from track and station assets,
      – aggregate Kiwirail track and station assets with NZTA’s motorway assets, and run their Asset Management Plans jointly
      – get rid of NZTA to split off those motorway assets, so NZTA is just a revenue generator and distributor
      – decorporatise Housing Corporation and have a monopolitistic single-supplier construction contract
      – and unwind Transpower into a Department again, along with any unsold power generators

      … much of which would require legislative change to the State Sector acts…

      and then
      – have a really good talk with whomever governs monopolies these days

      …and having done all of that, all you’ve done is form another corporate – this time a public one.

  11. Pete 11

    Home ownership also brings with it a number of positive social benefits. People are more rooted in their communities and have a greater stake in them. Children are more likely to perform better at school if they’re not moving around every few years, and there’s greater political engagement on the local and national level.

    • karol 11.1

      Actually, I think home ownership can lead to political disengagement, as people get focused on ensuring they retain their property, upgrading it, DIY etc, etc, more concern they maintain their foothold, rather than focusing on what’s happening in society at large, and especially disconnecting from what’s happening with the less well-off.

      • felixviper 11.1.1

        Very true karol. Who was it who said “people with mortgages don’t go on strike”?

        I also agree with Pete about the wider benefits of being secure in a stable community, but that doesn’t – or shouldn’t – have to be related to home ownership.

        • Mary 11.1.1.1

          It’s about the consequences of the breakdown of what was a far more caring and inclusive society. State assistance for first time home buyers was originally available to everyone because of “the wider benefits of being secure in a stable community”. Labour’s current policy reminds me of the food in schools debacle where almost everyone said let’s “feed the kids in deciles one to three”: yet another band aid response to a far deeper problem, and creating further divisions. Nothing wrong with food in schools, but only if it’s across the board with objectives based on social cohesion, “the wider benefits of being secure in a stable community” etc, rather than a knee-jerk response to inherent inequality.

      • Come on ! Karol I expect better from you than daft statement like the above.
        Mt wife and I bought our house through the SA.loan scheme and we are the proud owners of our “Little palace” I can assure that because it was possible to own our own house,an impossible
        dream in our first years of marriage , has made me more socialistic than ever . To me making it possible for a low paid working family to own their own home is the true meaning of Democratic
        Socialism . Plus one of the reasons the Labour Party was started.

        • karol 11.1.2.1

          It’s not daft. And the original Labour Party didn’t start to enable home ownership by workers. it focused on Labour policy and state housing.

          Yes, many people have benefited, especially the upper working classes. But those on the lowest incomes suffer, and it has got increasingly difficult for those on upper working class incomes to buy their own homes.

          I am glad to see you have remained very socialist/social democrat. But, I don’t think it’s true of all people, working class or otherwise, who became home owners. And not all working class people have been able to become home owners. How do you explain the increase of working class support for National or who stopped voting over the decades? More importantly, what about the impact on more sustained political activism (eg union activity), beyond voting every few years.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.1

            TPP deliberately referred to democratic socialism…much cooler than “social democracy” if I may say so ;)

    • burt 11.2

      Pete

      As noted succinctly by felix, people have a vested interest in keeping a cash flow when they have a mortgage. With or without a mortgage they have a vested interest in looking after their property and improving it’s value. That’s not always true of renters.

      Greater political engagement … do you have a link for this study you reference ?

      • Mary 11.2.1

        You’re misrepresenting what felix said, which was that security in a stable society can come from home ownership but that that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. An example, I’d say, would be how state rental housing used to help bring such stability. There are also other factors unrelated to housing, of course, but I think the point felix is making is that security and stability is crucial to participation, rather than home ownership.

        • felixviper 11.2.1.1

          Exactly Mary, much better than I had put it :D

        • rosy 11.2.1.2

          “security and stability is crucial to participation, rather than home ownership.”

          This hits on one of the tenets of the neo-liberal turn. A flexible labour market is not simply a contracted rather than employed labour market. It is a mobile one.

          Neo-libs don’t like state involvement in housing just because it’s crowding out market signals but because it does build help build a stable and secure society (if it the state support is widespread, not just for the economically deprived portion of the population) through long-term fixed rentals.

          Home-owenerhsip is a bit more of a conundrum. Felix’s ‘homeowners don’t go on strike’ is a powerful driver for capitalists to support home ownership over long-term rental.
          From David Harvey

          In the 1890s this trend starts as the business-class was wondering how to get lower-income populations stabilized and less restive. There was a wonderful phrase the business-class used to use, “Incumbent homeowners don’t go on strike!” Remember, people had to borrow to become owners. There’s your control mechanism.

          On the otherhand for neo-libs – the problem is that home ownership makes labour less mobile.

          The flexibility of a labour market, and its ability to handle bad times without costly spikes in unemployment, is based in no small part on the ease with which the economy can reallocate workers to growing industries in growing places. When home-owners become stuck, they make the economy as a whole more brittle.

          I see a conflict between making the economy more brittle and society more brittle. It seems to me that long-term rentals (5-10 years, maybe) need to be in the mix for building a strong, stable and secure society. I’m not seeing anything from any political party that’s linking in issues of future employment, social balance and housing tenure yet this combination is crucial, especially to those on the left.

    • Steve Wrathall 11.3

      Yes, taxpayers will be rooted by this policy

  12. Olwyn 12

    Thanks very much for your answer Mike. I hope that the 2011 plan regarding State Housing is retained, and perhaps even increased a little, as we approach 2014. I have just come back from the dentists so I have yet to read the 12 page document you have posted. I am assuming that the plan will end up with safeguards against both sub-prime bubbles and property developers. More vitriol from the right than the left on this occasion has to be a good sign.

    • Anne 12.1

      I have just come back from the dentist.

      Root Canal perhaps? If so, lucky you. Mine comes up next week. Having trouble concentrating on anything until the damm thing is over. :(

      Thanks for asking excellent questions.

      And thanks to Mike Smith for answering promptly. It augers well. Finally we might be starting to get somewhere – at least in this area of policy.

  13. karol 13

    I’m very pleased to see state housing being included in the Kiwibuild policy. Is Shearer going to make some public statement to that effect? Why hasn’t he made this explicitly clear before?

    Am I the only person who assumed that nothing in the 2011 LP election campaign policies was automatically going to be picked up by Shearer?

    I assumed he would continue with some stuff, but not with others (eg GST on/off fruit and veges).

    It goes to trust, and the continuing issue that I really don’t know what Shearer stands for – his under-lying political position. Trust needs to be strong as, once in government, a party can back of some policies they had prior to the elections (e.g. closing the gap).

    And I am still not seeing anything in Kiwibuild for us lifetime private renters. It still looks like a policy to ensure the children of the reasonably well-off can buy into the housing market, with some state housing tacked onto it. The housing crisis in Auckland is acute right now, especially for those on low incomes – and it needs addressing urgently.

    • Puddleglum 13.1

      This is a crucial point, karol.

      The 2011 election manifesto was under a different leadership and was part of an obvious play for the left-wing vote that manifested in the 2011 election campaign (apart from raising the age of super).

      If Labour can confirm that its Kiwibuild policy is in addition to the housing policies carried into the election and will not compromise, reduce, delay, dilute or make other substantive or substantial changes to the housing policies cited in this post then it would be a good sign and be a housing policy that sat naturally with a centre-left party.

      I’m a bit surprised, though, that the 2011 housing policy appears to have been endorsed, in part or whole, for the 2014 manifesto. I presume it has been endorsed given that it is being strongly implied in this post that Labour’s stance has not changed in this area and will not change in any significant way in the lead up to the election (hence it is – and will be – a distinguishing feature between the two main parties).

      I’m aware that other 2011 election manifesto policies appear to have been reversed (e.g., GST back on fruit and veges) so perhaps these ones have been confirmed?

      • Saarbo 13.1.1

        I was told at the Conference (by a member of Labour Council) that you can safely assume that Labour Policy is the last policy document produced unless a particular policy has been repealed.

        I think Labour need to make this more explicit on its website.

        • Puddleglum 13.1.1.1

          I suppose I knew that, but that’s a technical issue that does not seem to ‘do the work’ that it is being used for in this post.

          Specifically, the concern is that there may be a (further) shift rightwards under Shearer. Surely, it is what the policy ‘will be’, and how policies are promoted or prioritised, not what the last policy document on the website is, that would put to rest concerns about where the party is heading. Or am I missing something?

          As Jenny Kirk mentions below, such ‘current policy’ does not always seem to be determining the emphasis of public pronouncements from the Labour leadership as often as would be expected if, indeed, such policy ‘still stands’ and is what MPs should be asserting (unless and until some further policy document supplants it).

      • Jenny Kirk 13.1.2

        The current Labour Party constitution states clearly the Policy of the last general election remains Labour Party policy until it is changed and approved by the Party and the Policy Council. This has not yet happened. It is likely to happen at the 2013 annual conference in Christchurch.

        Therefore, the 2011 general election policy – available on the Labour Party website – continues to remain the Party’s policy at this time.

        Meanwhile , I find it difficult to understand why the Leader and other Labour MPs are NOT using the 2011 policy to make a stand on various issues as they arise. Perhaps this failure provides one of the reasons why Labour supporters are perturbed at the current direction of our Parliamentary caucus.

      • xtasy 13.1.3

        Puddleglum:

        “I’m aware that other 2011 election manifesto policies appear to have been reversed (e.g., GST back on fruit and veges) so perhaps these ones have been confirmed?”

        Your cautionary and sceptical notes are justified.

        Mike Smith is trying to warm up the left-overs of the last election manifesto that Labour released. Some of what they announced as part of that, prior to the last election, was last year reversed, or abandoned, as Shearer made very clear.

        As far as I remember the $ 5000 tax free first income, the GST off fruits and vegetables, the working for families tax credit (or what it was) to also be applied for beneficiaries, and some other things were “off-loaded” soon after Shearer took over.

        As for Labours 2011 housing policy, it rather resembles a potpourri of various proposed measures, with much remaining uncertainties, where Housing NZ was going to be maintained as state housing provider, but also “third parties” were going to be involved more in housing developments for poor, disabled and needy.

        Category C and D Housing NZ waiting list candidates were supposed to be getting continued assistance under Labour to find “alternative” housing – which means also Labour were planning to off-load them off the waiting lists, as this government is doing already.

        The Welcome Home scheme was to be kept and expanded, but also other measures were considered, in co-operation with local government. Crown land was to be made more easily available, and so forth.

        It was in large part sounding good, in other parts not much different from what the Nats are doing now, and otherwise it is full of intentions and much ambiguity and vagueness.

        So warming up old policies here does not convince me, I am sorry!

        More clarity and commitment is needed, will be expected and will be welcome. So, Mr Shearer, where is your clear statement re land for Kiwi Build, safeguards that first home buyers will stay in the homes, that building materials can be obtained more cheaply, and above all, where is a clear commitment to state housing projects, at least to a deficient level as in Manifesto 2011???

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.3.1

          Mike Smith is trying to warm up the left-overs of the last election manifesto

          I’m trying to decide if this was deliberate.

    • QoT 13.2

      Am I the only person who assumed that nothing in the 2011 LP election campaign policies was automatically going to be picked up by Shearer?

      You are not. I mean, maybe not nothing, but I certainly assumed that anything to be retained from previous policy statements would be explicitly spelled out. You know, the 2011 policy statement being the Old Testament to David Shearer’s Jesus Christ and everything … /snark

  14. ad 14

    One extra thing. It’s not enough.

    One good fresh non-reactive policy in six years.

    Even the image on the post of Michael Joseph Savage says: nostalgia is still the talisman.
    Give me policy and leadership that is a fresh vision, and yes, is better than historical heroes.
    Not aspiring to. Not as good as. Better than.

    Not good enough. Not by a long shot.

  15. bad12 15

    My questions for Labour’s housing spokesperson would be,

    (a) Put a number and time-frame to the ‘Labour are committed to building more state houses, 9 years of the last Labour Government did not return the Housing NZ portfolio, (75,000), to the size it was before National began to sell them to their mates,

    (b),The figure of 60,000 dollars in household income is being used as the benchmark by commenters with regards to qualifying for a mortgage so as to be able to partake in the KiwiBuild program proposed by Labour,

    If that figure is anywhere near correct then what of the decile of income earners below that, most of whom are now locked out of HousingNZ rental by dint of having an income above a benefit, are not the decile with earnings of 30,40,50,000 dollars more in NEED of Labour Government help,

    (c), Again with regards to the number of HousingNZ properties, with a population of 3.3 million we had a total of 75,000 state houses mostly tenanted by low waged workers, the population is now some 4.4 million with a current Housing NZ rental stock of some 69.000,(less the 500 odd the Tories have recently flogged off), the 69,000 are now in the majority housing beneficiaries with the low waged trapped in the private rental market which is the root cause of the demand and the un-affordability of housing for the decile above the low waged worker,

    On a population basis alone the numbers would suggest that we NEED at least 100,000 state houses…

  16. tracey 16

    For all those above who dont like this policy, do you accept there is an accomodation problem, particularly in auckland, and if they do, what do they see as a solution, please be specific not broadbrush. Thanks

    • karol 16.1

      The heat needs to be taken out of the (upper end) of the property market, asap. This means the primary focus should be on building more state housing first. Maybe also a CGT on housing.

      • karol 16.1.1

        PS: as the 1930s Labour government is referenced in the image on the front page for this post, as far as I can see, their solutions to the housing crisis at the time looks pretty much focused on building state houses – and they did more than just focus on one flagship policy, as listed on wikip.

        It’s breath-taking – a total change of direction.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Auckland needs to be depopulated and people moved to other centres. Having 30% of the country’s population in 0.3% of the land area is a recipe for distress.

          Agree though Karol – what Labour needs to deliver to NZ now is a seachange in approach to the social-economy of this nation. Not just one ‘flag ship policy’ but an entire programme of political economic change.

          • karol 16.1.1.1.1

            Yes, CV, I think there needs to be more focus on de-centralisation. Unfortunately the long term Auckland Plan is focused on centering key cultural establishments and activities in central Auckland – makes it easier for tourists, you see. But for those of us out in the burbs, there’s a lot of travelling.

            Many of us have our reasons for staying, and availability of jobs is a biggie. I have been considering moving out of Auckland due to the cost of rents here. When I’m fully retired I maybe will. However, I grew up here, and have a strong emotional attachment to it. Also one of my long term interests is the history of Auckland, and there are a lot of heritage collections and sites here that I am interested in.

          • Coronial Typer 16.1.1.1.2

            That will never happen. For the last century its been quite the reverse. As a quick factoid on how irreversible the tide is, in every territorial authority in New Zealand except Christchurch, Queenstown Lakes, Auckland, and Hamilton, population will generally shrink and in a few cases about roughly stagnate, and this will accelerate in the next decade. I think this census will shock us somewhat.

          • Tracey 16.1.1.1.3

            it’s similar the world over… London? Paris?

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 16.1.1.1.4

            cv 16 1 1 1
            +1

      • bad12 16.1.2

        A capital gains tax would be slow and ponderous as people will just sit on their ‘investments’ so as not to be caught by the tax,

        Such a tax if the above occurred would simple punish those who need to move cities,(houses), for legitimate reasons,

        Build enough,(100,000) State owned rentals in Auckland and target their rental at the low waged workers in that city and demand for rental housing will plummet like a stone

        I will not bother tho to repeat the rumour of how many rental properties the previous Prime Minister owns, nor speculate how many of the current Labour MP’s in the current Parliament own, so despite my passion for the subject in some ways i believe i am wasting my energy upon such advocacy,

        My view is that State house rentals should be available to everyone regardless of income so long as as a tenant they pay 25% of household income as rent and ditch the upper limit,

        If all the low waged workers who WANT State rentals were housed at 25% of income the direct subsidy to HousingNZ from the taxpayer would drop dramatically,

        If after that enough State housing was made available to house all-comers no matter what their income at 25% of income with no cap of ‘market rent’ there would be no need for the taxpayer to be subsidizing HousingNZ at all and payment of the accomodation subsidy would largely be made redundant…

    • bad12 16.2

      As Karol says, ”the heat needs to be taken out of the buyers market”, the larger part of the over-heating is the seriously pampered middle-class buying ‘investment property’ as rentals,

      As Housing NZ’s rental stock has reduced in actual numbers while at the same time the population has grown by a million the number of those dependent upon benefits have also grown,as a large part of eligibility for a HousingNZ property is based upon income the decile of HousingNZ occupancy has changed from low paid workers to beneficiaries,

      Build 100,000 new HousingNZ tenancies in Auckland and demand for rentals for the decile of low waged workers who cannot ever expect to be able to afford a mortgage at current house prices and demand for rental accomodation in that city will drop dramatically killing the demand from the middle class to buy rental property and lowering the cost for those on the verge of being able to afford a mortgage,

      Housing the decile of low waged workers below earnings of 50,000 a year at 25% of household income will free up their income for use in the wider economy as most in private rental are paying 50% and above in private rental, and stop part of that income simply becoming a direct flow of capital along with any accommodation supplement being paid for private rentals to the overseas banking industry who hold the mortgages of most of this middle class game of monopoly which is what the Auckland housing market has become…

  17. tracey 17

    Isnt cgt a pillor of labour party policy?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      CGT is useless at controlling Auckland real estate speculation. If you expect to make a 30% capital gain on an Auckland property over the next 5 years, giving 15% of that gain up in a CGT is very acceptable.

  18. bad12 18

    The Chinese have built whole cities,(admittedly all tower blocks) to house 250,000 people in places in both China and Africa,

    The whole build has taken them from bare site to complete city in 3 years, anything is ‘do-able’ it simply takes the ‘political will’ to do so…

  19. Herodotus 19

    However I do also think that some on the left sometimes do not give Labour credit where credit is due. Housing policy is a good example, as it is one of the litmus policies where the distinction between Labour and National is most clear.
    From my industry knowledge the policy has one major problem under the current market and that labour is to utilise private enterprise the policy is unworkable. Nothing much else !!!
    Land eartworked for high density sells for $400/m2 + gst add in council contributions $20k dwelling and you get for a 120 m2 house a section size required 270 m 2 so land cost is $124k and that is the lowest land available that I have come across in Auckland in the last few years. Add in the current market trends, inflation for building materials and to find enough available.
    Love to see any details and see how this is to be implemented and not become another empty broken government policy in trying to buy the votes from the middle and upper class

    • Rogue Trooper 19.1

      following on from your comments when this policy was first announced your costings are invaluable

    • mike e vipe e 19.2

      herodotus Multi story low rise buildings such as in Melbourne inner-city redevelopment

      • Herodotus 19.2.1

        So where is the land, to allow such developments to happen either town planning rules would be required to be rewritten, and if so the value of the land increases, or the govt buys the land under the current operating plan and either goes for a plan change or a variation to planning rules. Both take time and remember that there has been an estimate that the max the costs will be is $1.5b. These solutions take time and to cover 10k dwellings pa this solution should not suffice. Next valiant effort, at least mike you are trying to come up with solutions more than can be said for labour or its cheerleaders. And the sketch that came with the policy was a stand alone detached dwelling.

  20. Don’t believe anyone mentioned it, or can’t believe I missed it, but the picture of Savage in the thread title…

    What’s that all about? An attempt at well earned respect by association?
    No pics of Dave in front of his own appreciative crowd yet?

    At least we know if it’s all about spin, the promo group have one that didn’t turn and went down leg in their arsenal.
    Can’t wait for the flipper and the googlie.

    • karol 20.1

      Yep.

      I mentioned the 1903s Labour government & the image @6.15pm (16.1.1)

      Trust.

      • The Al1en 20.1.1

        You did too, and I feel no shame in being second :lol:

      • bad12 20.1.2

        A bit off topic, but i had a wee look at your link and was struck by just how many of the names in that Labour Governments Cabinet struck a chord of me knowing the name, Mabel Howard for one, and 4 or 5 other’s, but i can’t for the life of me remember why i remember their names so well,

        John A Lee who is prominent by not being included i have read a lot of and Savage of course we all remember…

  21. bad12 21

    I don’t think the Herald poll at the center of this particular post is something for Labour to have a massive party over either,

    A poll where 500 people are enthused enough to reply with 70% in favor from a circulation area as large as what the Herald has aint exactly mass enthusiasm…

  22. millsy 22

    Steve H has obviously never heard of 3% housing corp loans, family benefit capitalization and the like.

  23. David H 23

    @ Mike Smith 70% of 500 is something to crow about??? Well that just goes to show you that the state of the Party is dire indeed, if you are going to crow about those pathetic numbers. Now what did the bosses say when you went back and told em’ we’re not going to play? did you get a pat on the head or a kick up the bum and told to go and try again???

    So Some questions.

    1 When is Shearer going to apologise to the membership for the shit he pulled after the conference?
    2 When is Shearer going to apologise to all the beneficiaries for the roof painter bullshit?
    3 When is shearer going to stand down and have a DEMOCRATIC vote?
    4 When is Shearer going to fire the Dinosaurs that are the cause of most of the problems in Caucus?
    5 When is Shearer going to PUBLICALLY apologise to David Cunliffe?
    6 When is Shearer going to learn to speak?
    7 When is Shearer going to have the Balls to come in here and face us instead of sending the messenger boy?

    And Will Mike Smith even bother to come back and answer the next load of criticism, because NO ONE else from Labour is allowed to, by royal fucking decree of the megalomaniac Shearer.

    • xtasy 23.1

      “7 When is Shearer going to have the Balls to come in here and face us instead of sending the messenger boy?”

      Maybe he can’t find “the Ba**s”, because he may have none?

  24. Tracey 24

    “70% of 500 is something to crow about???” It’s about the same size as the nightly sample the PM views to work out what to do/say the next day!

  25. Bill 25

    So hang on…this whole post is based on a readership poll that is undoubtably heavily weighted by people who actually have some money or who have prospects of having some money.

    And then 2011 Labour Policy; policy that may no longer actually be Labour policy seeing as how everything (from memory) was up for review, is being used to promote the good side of a completely different 2012 policy announcement?

    Is that about right, or am I missing something here?

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      As Trotter just said, it appears that Labour’s housing policy is a nice big Private-Public Partnership. What we need next is a military policy which is a nice big Private-Public Partnership.

  26. DH 26

    I’m a fan of the policy but I think it’s important for people to rationalise why they like or dislike it. I like it only because it will significantly slow or even halt inflation in the housing market for a good few years. That should lead to more investment in productive sectors of the economy

    House prices go up for one reason only; demand exceeds supply. The choices for halting housing inflation are to intervene in the market to either reduce the demand or increase the supply (or both). An increase in the supply of this magnitude will seriously affect the housing market, which to me is a good thing.

    It’s not so good for those who rely on capital gain to protect their investment or those who might end up with negative equity in the overpriced home they recently bought. The collateral damage is a concern.

    Renters should be happy with it. This will take 100k plus people out of the rental market and the consequence of that is easy to work out – much less demand for rentals and subsequently lower rents. That will indirectly benefit lower income earners.

    Unfortunately though I don’t see it as any kind of solution to a long term problem. It’s more of an election bribe.

    That’s my 2c FWIW

    • bad12 26.1

      Doesn’t negative equity tho only really effect a home owner at the point of sale, admittedly those who’s house price dropped would still be paying the same amount of mortgage on the property BUT, must already have the income to be able to service that mortgage,

      As far as the private landlord’s being left holding the sticky end of the spoon goes i have no sympathy, these people have been pampered by successive Governments policies for far too long…

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        If you are underwater, the bank can usually demand the difference to be paid in full, immediately, or take the home from you.

        House prices go up for one reason only; demand exceeds supply.

        No no no

        You arent wholly incorrect, but you also haven’t factored in ponzi expectations of asset price appreciation.

        • DH 26.1.1.1

          “You arent wholly incorrect, but you also haven’t factored in ponzi expectations of asset price appreciation.”

          Of course I’m correct, it’s economics 101. Demand is all the people who want and who can buy a house. Why they want to buy is irrelevant in that context, whatever their reasons it’s still demand. The ponzi speculators just add to the demand which consequently exhausts the supply and perpetuates the inflation.

          This scheme will burn property investors bigtime. Many new-home buyers chasing existing housing stock, which is their only choice at present, will go instead for the cheaper houses which will lead to a reduction in the demand for second-hand houses. That slowdown in demand will lead to a further reduction in demand by speculators and investors as they see future capital gains dwindling.

          The large scale of this scheme guarantees that the inflation ratchet will be broken for the duration, should easily last an extra 2-3yrs past that before prices start ramping up again. Land makes up over 60% of the house value in many areas of Auckland, it’s not inconceivable that this scheme could lead to a very big crash in the price of houses.

          • Rogue Trooper 26.1.1.1.1

            we hope and pray. Transmission Gully’s an interesting PPP anchor pulling dirt uphill according to Sue Kedgley.

          • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1.2

            Of course I’m correct, it’s economics 101. Demand is all the people who want and who can buy a house. Why they want to buy is irrelevant in that context

            I can see your reasoning. I’ll say however that justifying anything as Economics 101 usually means it’s highly suspect from my perspective, as the “science” of orthodox economics as it is taught is basically completely wrong.

            Your purely “supply side” solution matches your philosophy of economics but I would also carefully analyse and deal with the demand side as well, particularly that associated with ponzi speculation and ponzi financing.

  27. GeoffC 27

    Kiwbuild. A govt economic stimuli package designed to create a controlled housing bubble and on flow growth. With a boost to GDP multiplier its will directly and indirectly create jobs.
    The commodity flow on effect will be a massive stimuli to the economy.
    Aimed a demographic who can provide the minimum deposit and mortgage repayments.

    My suggestions.
    QE bonds to kiwi bank to onsell as cheap mortgages for kiwi build home buyers.
    Use cullin fund as investment platform to provide a building company. See Z strategic energy provider.
    Provision for govt to become involved in the purchasing and sourcing of materials and or contracts to third party nZ companies to provide bulk consumables for kiwi build homes.
    Examples where the market dos that now…see Lockwood stone wood jennian home etc.
    Minimise profit taking at all levels of the initiative.
    Housing nZ contracts for refurbishments of state houses are very very stringent and tight on private sector margins.

    Entire object is govt initative to control and stimulate the economy via housing…brilliant.

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    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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