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Looking for a new left direction: more than just one housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, November 14th, 2012 - 216 comments
Categories: Annette King, david shearer, greens, housing, labour, Politics, vision - Tags:

A policy focusing on increasing state housing and affordable rents would be a good start. However, my criticism of the current Labour leadership focuses more on the policy direction of the leadership team, rather than solely being on the leader.  The neoliberal scam is falling apart, the global economy is struggling, and the global environmental and resource base is under threat, while those with least power, resources and income are being scapegoated.  A bold new left wing plan is needed to deal with the difficult challenges ahead.

So it looks like David Shearer is aiming to win over left wing critics by taking the opportunity at the Labour conference to announce a policy on affordable housing.  This is a welcome plan, but is it just a one-off bone thrown to the nay-sayers?  Some of us on the left, would like Labour to decisively move away from the soft-neoliberalism of the past.  That means not just one isolated policy, nor one that provides a bit  more government intervention, but one designed to tackle the vast challenges of the early 21st century.  This requires a new narrative and framework: one that works for all kiwis, not just the well-off middleclasses, bankers and property speculators.

The good thing about the pre-announced policy is that it just doesn’t focus on home-buying.  There is also mention of increasing state housing and improving private rentals.

Details of the policy, seen as appealing to core Labour voters, are closely guarded to ensure maximum impact by Mr Shearer in his keynote speech in Auckland on Sunday.

But sources suggest it will see a big push on affordable housing as well as more cash to upgrade state housing stock.

Annette King is reported to have said:

“It’s time for a long-term housing policy, which includes a real partnership with local government, starting by including housing as part of their core services.

“We need to have more houses in the $350,000 to $450,000 range built, have quality and efficiency standards in rentals, have more social housing and introduce a capital gains tax to deter property speculation.”

I will be looking at the small print to see if the policy lives up to such promises, and doesn’t still prioritise house buying and speculation.

I am hoping for some bold moves from the oldest left wing party in NZ, but it is not just their policies, framework and narrative that I will be watching closely.  I am also critical of the shift towards the centre recently from the Green Party.  I am looking for the Greens to move away from soft-neoliberalism, as, for instance expressed in the focus on endless growth.

Update:  and a new left direction, doesn’t involve these moves suggested by Josie Pagani:

“If we don’t win the debate about responsibility, the responsibility when you are on a benefit to make yourself work-ready as much as possible, then we’re not going to win the debate on increasing benefit levels – and there are people out there living on a benefit in absolute poverty.” ..

But he needs to be bolder, she says, such as condemning those in the party resisting moves by former Cabinet minister John Tamihere to rejoin Labour.

She still doesn’t understand that bennie-bashing dog whistles play to the neoliberal agenda.

On Tamihere: becoming a party member is about conforming to the Labour Party rules; but becoming a Labour candidate is a step too far.  It’s an insult to women, especially feminists and lesbians/gays.  Labour does need to reconnect with people struggling on low incomes, but not by embracing bigotry.

216 comments on “Looking for a new left direction: more than just one housing policy”

  1. Mary 1

    And it needs to include having the guts to restore the welfare benefit system by reversing the nasty right-wing changes Labour introduced between 1999 and 2008. An apology saying they got it wrong wouldn’t go amiss, either.

    • Bill 1.1

      Hear, hear. And why not the ability to sign into life long lease arrangements with landlords? Or giving house building standards a thorough going over and have two sets of legislation. Commercial building outfits adhering to stringent standards. Self build and such like allowed to innovate on design and materials on an ‘at your own risk’ basis….kind of like in France (as I understand it).

      I read recently of a guy who built a house in the SW of Scotland for 5000 pounds. Now, lets assume that he can sell it but wouldn’t get whatever reports would go with a ‘standard and to spec’ dwelling/house that offer a sense of guarantee and ‘come back’ should anything go awry? I can’t see anything too wrong with that – and somewhat ironically, would probably trust his standards of building more than I do NZ’s regulated standards that seem more concerned with cost cutting and protecting monopolies.

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    “I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.”

    Warren Buffet.

    “…introduce a capital gains tax to deter property speculation.”

    Annette King.

    The notion that taxation deters investment is simply yet another false frame. Is it too much to ask that the Labour Party stops spreading right-wing myths?

    Of course there should be a capital gains tax: income is being earned (or un-earned if you prefer).

    • Stephen 2.1

      You’re aware that Buffet, as a disciple of Benjamin Graham, uses “investor” in a narrow sense that is distinguished from “speculator?” Buffet is frequently quoted on this point because so many people DON’T behave like sensible investors.

      • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1

        Yeah, I read the whole article “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich” – and it’s clear that he thinks there are a whole group of people who don’t have the first clue about it. He calls them “a billionaire friendly Congress” and calls for “shared sacrifice”.

        Note that the take-home message has got nothing to do with quibbling over narrow definitions of “investor”.

        The “speculators” make money? Tax that too.

        • Stephen 2.1.1.1

          I think we’re arguing at cross purposes and actually agree because we have different definitions of investor and speculator. I may have misunderstood the thrust of your original comment.

          I think that investors will still invest for a reasonable return, even if there is a tax, but that marginal deals and speculative deals will be deterred. Yes?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            No it wont work that way. If people think that property prices will go up 20% in the next year, but they have to pay 1/7 of that gain in CGT, they still get to keep 6/7.

            So, money will still pile in to property speculation.

            • Bunji 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It won’t stop property speculation. The Productivity Commission I think said in 2009 a capital gains tax would have taken out half of the noughties property bubble. It’s probably noticeably less than that, but it would have some effect. It boils down to:

              Say I can get x profit out of housing speculation and x profit out of investing in the productive economy (factories, jobs etc). But the second will be taxed and the first won’t. If I’m only interested in money I go for the housing option.

              More often it won’t be the same number either way, so we’re not suddenly going to go from all housing speculation to all productive economy investment, but it will make a difference at the margin. And then the less housing speculation there is the less profit there is from rising house prices, so you establish a feedback loop…

              So it’s more about pushing in the right direction instead of the wrong one than a silver bullet.

              Of course a good housing policy that gets lots of houses built will ruin housing speculation if there’s no longer a shortage, so that’ll probably help get investment in the right place too…

              • Stephen

                Yeah, that’s my take on it too. CGT isn’t THE answer, it’s part of a set of responses.

                • Dem Young Sconies

                  A part of the “set of responses” to stop a further housing boom, and tax the wealthy should be a 4% per year tax on land. This would put a strong downwards pressure on the price of land, and would deter speculation. It would also stop farming for capital gain in it’s tracks.

              • Colonial Viper

                Unless you directly include the role of banks and banking debt in your rationale, you will have missed a big chunk of the equation.

                For instance:

                Say I can get x profit out of housing speculation and x profit out of investing in the productive economy (factories, jobs etc). But the second will be taxed and the first won’t. If I’m only interested in money I go for the housing option.

                If you have a good income, the banks are happy to extend a large amount of credit to you (say $500,000) in the form of a mortgage on an investment property; all you need is a $100,000 deposit, maybe not even that.

                You won’t get that $500K of finance to start a factory and create jobs on the same basis. Further, ma and pa investor can get into the property game pretty easy, but who is to say ma and pa investor have the skills necessary to start up and run a factory with plant and equipment?

                Which means for most people, regardless of any CGT, investing their money in a productive way is not a realistic option at all.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I think CV has it right: why would “speculators” be any more deterred than “investors”?

              The current tax-free status of capital gains distorts the economy and starves the public purse. The whole notion of taxation as deterrence is a false frame, a right-wing fantasy.

              Remember how if we lower taxes we’ll get trickle down? How’s that working out?

              PS: When the next Labour government increases the top tax rate and some lying Tory shill claims it will deter investment, Annette King has already conceded the point.

              • David C

                Any personal tax rate above trust or company rate is a utter waste of time, unless your an accountant of course.

                • Dem Young Sconies

                  Agreed. That’s why the corporate and trust tax rates should always be aligned with the top marginal tax rate.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Any personal tax rate above trust or company rate is a utter waste of time, unless your an accountant of course.

                  You simply increase the penalties for evasion until its not worth trying it on.

            • David C 2.1.1.1.1.3

              1/7? a 14% CGT rate?

  3. Pete 3

    One thing I do fear is us becoming Labour’s equivalent of the Republican Tea Party. An activist base so narrowly focused on ideological purity that any potential voters who might swing from National to Labour will be repulsed. By all means, cease the bennie-bashing and have a more human-centred approach to government, introduce a CGT too, but it’s a long road to Scandinavia.

    • karol 3.1

      Pete, I agree on the shifting towards a more humanity-valuing approach that doesn’t get into bennie-bashing.

      However,you are making a false equation between “Tea Party” misinformation, and Scandinavia social democracy.  Social democracy is hardly “ideological purity” but a compromise between socialism and capitalism.

      The dominant discourse has moved pretty far to the right over the last few decades.  And the “left” have colluded by making small steps and appealing to the centrist middle-classes.  Left wing parties need to re-engage with people who have stopped voting, not try to win over people who would as easily support National policies.

      • kiwicommie 3.1.1

        Well the National party is mostly the party of angry white men/women [correction: and homophobic religious nuts], and a lot of their economic policies match up with the Tea Party, especially the returning to surplus rhetoric through cuts to welfare and social services i.e. ‘making the government smaller and more efficent’. The problem is that center-left parties tried to woe center-right voters, which ends up making half-measures that try to make both sides happy. Partisianship isn’t always needed in politics, but when it comes to the current National government and the Republican party in the United States; there is no option but to be partisan and push what you believe in.

        • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1.1

          “…what you believe in…”

          aka “reality-based policy”.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          The problem is that center-left parties tried to woe center-right voters, which ends up making half-measures that try to make both sides happy.

          http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/centrist.jpg

          And, yeah, it just doesn’t work because it’s basically trying to compromise with the delusional that, as soon as the compromise is in, will become even more delusional and demand another compromise. It just keeps shifting the ‘centre’ further to the right which fucks up society.

          PS, someone be nice and embed the image.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      One thing I do fear is us becoming Labour’s equivalent of the Republican Tea Party.

      What would the Standard do with $50M worth of funding from a rich Lefty billionaire or two?

      More seriously: your analysis of the situation goes off track in one crucial way – Tea party candidates WON elections, not lost them. yes, they lost the Presidential election, but they won numerous State and Federal House of Representative races over the last couple of years, and re-energised the Republican Party.

      when you analyse it the power of the right wing Tea Party is that they brought onboard huge numbers of supporters passionate about their values, and got those people selected as public officials proudly espousing the causes they believed in, and they GOT RID OF elected Republicans who didn’t suit their tastes.

      Republican congressmen who weren’t Tea Party supporters had to start moving to the extreme Right in order to placate them.

      Imaging forcing the Right Wing of the Labour caucus to the Left, because if they don’t, their electorates will not select them again.

      • kiwicommie 3.2.1

        “Imaging forcing the Right Wing of the Labour caucus to the Left, because if they don’t, their electorates will not select them again.”
        Pretty much, though at the same time do we really want the Right Wing of the Labour caucus, a small re-alignment to the left in those electorates won’t hurt too much; especially as anyone that isn’t brainwashed by National propaganda can see a weak economy, shit jobs and people leaving overseas in droves.

  4. One Tāne Huna 4

    Pagani “…the debate about responsibility…”

    What “debate”? Is that the “debate” where the National Party produces another fantasy-based argument and Labour goes along with it instead of hammering the lie over and over and over again?

    Is this some attempt to win over the “personal responsibility” cretins? A momentary lapse of concentration? An inability to articulate a left wing position even though one just fell on you?

    Get with the program.

    • QoT 4.1

      Is that the “debate” where the National Party produces another fantasy-based argument and Labour goes along with it instead of hammering the lie over and over and over again?

      Yep, I’m pretty sure she means that debate. Besides, it can’t be beneficiary-bashing if Labour does it.

      • karol 4.1.1

        And anyway, no argument holds up if it’s posted using a pseudonym, because that is behaving like the KKK with hoods.

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          EXACTLY.

          • David C 4.1.1.1.1

            Should we use full birth names and email addys as handles on here?

            • QoT 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you may have missed that karol was sarcastically alluding to Fran O’Sullivan’s whinging about bloggers.

              • karol

                Actually, QOT, that was from Josie Pagani at the FB page you linked to. Pagani begins:

                There’s been a bit of comment about me on the Standard blog. I’m not going to reply there because the people who make the most defamatory comments do it anonymously, like the KKK putting on their white hoods. At least on Facebook, they have to identify themselves. 

                And I don’t like the way the Standard deals out lifetime bans to anyone who disagrees with them.  

                • QoT

                  My apologies – I was getting confused with this eerily similar comment from O’Sullivan. I guess conflating critics with extremist hate groups was in some kind of memo they both got.

                • lprent

                  I think Josie was referring to the way I treat people who abuse authors on this site. In this case probably John Pagani for lying about what an author had said so he could claim it was defamatory. Mostly we disagreed on who ran this site and who could tell authors off. He seemed to think that he did. I disagreed.

                  http://thestandard.org.nz/mythbustin-waitakere-man/comment-page-1/#comment-447337

                  But as QoT points out, it is surprising how closely a right wing business columnist and a left wing nonentity politician sound in their choice of language and phrasing.

                  Reminds me of the 80′s when I saw the same kinds of transitions in politicians like Richard Prebble and Rob Campbell from left firebrands to the favorites of the non-productive business community.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Now tell me a bit about this. Someone was saying to me the other day how a red flag wouldn’t have looked out of place being waved by Prebble or Douglas…until they transformed.

            • karol 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Heh.  And JP’s faith in people always using their real names on FB is quite quaint – not to mention her lack of issues with the way FB makes use of our identities and “privacy”.

  5. Uturn 5

    Labour cannot exercise “bold moves”, which is basically restricted to buying existing houses for state housing, and think they are going to get support from the type of people they currently address. The type of people they want to vote for them are currently building houses, quite happy with the neo-liberalism that is making them rich. What could they say? “Vote Labour, we’ll end your gravy train and raise your taxes.” There might be a few that think, yeah ok, that sounds fair, always wanted to work for the nation instead of for myself – but probably not many. If soft NeoLib is just as bad, apart from necessity induced by total economic collapse, how will Labour or anyone else entice these people to share skills for not much personal monetary gain? Big job ahead, really big job. Labour can’t do it. Wrong mindspace.

    Greens or Mana could do it, by starting at the beginning with attitudes in apprenticeships. Use whoever we already have that wants to help, but otherwise import the necessary tutors/tradesmen to grow a new bunch of apprentices who know what they’re getting into and why. The workers won’t be hard to convince, since many won’t be working right now. Core base of tradesmen, directing new apprentices formally unemployed, build new state housing. Hit several birds with one stone: attitudes, skills, social need, new political direction. The money has to come from somewhere, but that shouldn’t be difficult since government wastes so much already.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    I will be looking at the small print to see if the policy lives up to such promises, and doesn’t still prioritise house buying and speculation.

    From what you quoted of Annette King, you’re going to be disappointed.

  7. prism 7

    Some people have been researching housing practices, availability and affordability for more than a generation. I feel sure of this but I don’t know who they are. Whatever ideas they have come up with, they will have not been listened to in entirety. (The NZ way is to cherry pick ideas from any inclusive report, and half-do these then the pollies praise their small achievements when applying for the next election). And they know that good housing stocks and controls that will prevent speculation in this necessary human need are not what excite voters. So thumbs down for continuing innovative plans to meet the ordinary family’s and single people’s needs.

    Innovative plans would allow for groups of units and houses where extended family can live.
    This would be enjoyed by the Pacificas. Duplex housing on an individual property. Well-built three storey units not built to boundaries. etc.

    Other countries have methods of provision, and passing on housing and mortgages to new owners which would include families or pre-ownership agreements with elderly people. Housing trusts and committees to have training and more ability to create housing clusters. In London I lived in a part of Kilburn with close packed two-storey houses with small private back gardens and with a portion of their section amalgamated into a small grassy park for the residents. There is a sterility of thinking in NZ.

    • Uturn 7.1

      These are all excellent ideas. You are right that design of “state housing” does not need to be defined by the large square brick and tile of the past or the apartments centred around a carpark. An approach to state housing encompasses more than just building houses.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        If Savage could design a solution for the times in the 1930′s with next to no money, maybe all these vaunted PhD types around could do so now, for us.

  8. Olwyn 8

    The difficulty is that Labour under Shearer seems happy to be complicit in these conditions as opposed to seeking ways to contend with them. And given that their conception of middle class seems to be “avid reader of Jane Clifton’s column” and that these people having been given management plus a housing bubble to compensate for the lack of alternative investments, I will be startled if his housing policy comes anywhere near meeting housing need.

    What I would like to see it the bottom line for negotiating with our lords and masters raised to include genuinely widespread affordable housing, employment opportunities and living wages. It is possible, since no one else in the OECD seems to have lowered the bar to our extent.

  9. Chris 9

    Agree that Tamihere should be left in the past where he belongs.

  10. prism 10

    That being work ready as being the main goal of a beneficiary sounds as if Josie Pagani has absorbed the 1984 stuff. Time to open a window of the mind, perhaps someone could find a portal in to Josies a la film Being John Malkovich.

    With housing in general one of the main problems is the inflation in housing, which everyone acknowledges when talking about the housing bubble. One thing that could be done is to have housing trusts set up with different options for people so they could afford to buy a house or unit. It would be revalued each year by the trust in light of the term deposit rates applying that year and would have to be sold back to the trust for their accumulated valuation. The QV valuation would apply for only Council rates etc. Then the Trust would onsell the property once redecorated, for perhaps a 10% rise in valuation. There would need to be control on the Trust onselling price to ensure prices didn’t inflate unreasonably. Also the housing would only be for homeowners not for rental properties or investments.

  11. fatty 11

    In addition to housing in Auckland, the same problem exists in Christchurch…I hope there will be something done there too.
    I fear that there is a perception that Chch Central will shift towards Labour without much of a challenge, and that Wigram and the Port Hills will stay with Labour. But those 3 electorates have experienced major population shifts and I’m not sure how they will play out. Many Labour voters have left for Australia.

    “This requires a new narrative and framework: one that works for all kiwis, not just the well-off middleclasses, bankers and property speculators.”

    Yes…the number of students who vote National astounds me, those votes could be gained easily if Labour’s policies represented their principles…the problem is that Labour are hardly any different than National regarding student loans etc. At least they got rid of Goff, its a bit much to expect students to vote for very the same person that introduced the student loan scam.

  12. pete 12

    Pagani is correct. Handing even more more to people who have no intention of working is not going to hunt.

    For the simple reason that most voters will not vote for it. That should be obvious to all but the most out-of-touch party ideologues.

    • One Tāne Huna 12.1

      Pagani is wrong.

      That is not the focus of the public provision of welfare. Your second sentence is utter nonsense. Of course no-one will vote for it: that is why only a complete moron would characterise it thus.

      So you bought into a bunch of complete fabrications about beneficiaries? More fool you. Have a little cry then try a reality based argument next time.

      • pete 12.1.1

        Pagani is right.

        If the last two elections haven’t convinced you that you’re on the wrong side of the debate, I guess nothing will.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.1.1.1

          Reality check. Pagani is wrong.

          If the outcome of three out of the last five elections and the track records on employment during that period doesn’t register with you, perhaps you simply lack the cognitive ability to recognise the gaping hole in your “argument”.

          • pete 12.1.1.1.1

            Pagani is right.

            The electorate has moved on since Clark. People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession. They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries.

            You lack the ability to see what is patently obvious. You are out-of-touch and very likely surrounded by hardline Labour supporters.

            Will it take yet another election loss before you see it?

            • fatty 12.1.1.1.1.1

              If Labour get in as National lite…then what is the point? If Shearer continues with Pagani’s third way logic then NZ would be better off if National won.

              Will it take yet another 30 years of neoliberalism before you see it?

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.2

              People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession. They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries.

              So…tax an extra $1B from the bankers and distribute it to the people (from which it was taken from originally).

            • One Tāne Huna 12.1.1.1.1.3

              “The electorate has…”

              Says who?

              Your assertions don’t actually constitute a coherent argument – you do get that, don’t you? Have you ever heard of the analogy for politics that “the pendulum swings back and forth”?

              I’m so out-of-touch? That no doubt explains the opinion poll trend.

              Can you please stop eye-balling your haemorrhoids and try a reality based argument?

              • pete

                So, let’s say a left wing government is elected. It lasts three terms. It’s a return to the golden weather policies of the 50s.

                And everything is going great.

                But after three terms, you’re very bored with everything going great, so vote in ACT. Just for a change.

                What kind of half-wit believes Labour lost because people were “bored and wanted a change”?

                Labour lost because people were sick of their double-talking politicians and their policies.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  What kind of half-wit thinks your feeble, shifting, strawman argument is going to be met with anything other than derision? Why, you, I guess.

                  But not me.

                  • pete

                    Because you’re so one-eyed, you can’t react any other way. I’m the enemy. You’re surrounded by people who think exactly as you do, and they all know they own the truth.

                    Will National lose because they have failed to deliver? Yes. I’m sure you agree.
                    Not “National will lose because they’re doing alright, but people have just got bored with them”.

                    Yet you’d have us believe that when Labour lose, it’s only due to the “electoral cycle”.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Hello, Earth to Pete – one minor detail – the notion that “National/Labour will lose because they’re doing alright, but people have just got bored with them” is yours and yours alone.

                      Why are you arguing with yourself?

                      Because you’re not just one-eyed, you’re actually no-eyed? Because all you’ve got is moving goal posts and strawmen?

                      You: “The electorate has moved on since Clark”

                      Me – “Not according to the opinion polls which predict a left led government if an election were held now, let alone in 2014″

                      You – “bluster mumblefuck a load of irrelevant crap”.

                      Care to address the point I made or will you argue with your own drivel some more?

                      PS: “The electorate has moved on since Clark”? That explains the rise in union membership. Oops, reality comes crashing in again!

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1.4

              There’s not even any logic in there never mind an argument.

              People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession.

              And people know that this recession was caused by the policies that National are following.

              They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight.

              Yeah, and that would be why the CEOs and banksters getting massive pay rises while the majority of people are getting pay cuts is pissing people off. Also, the very low level of unemployment before the GFC shows that most people are willing to pull their weight and so the only reason those people are out of work is because of the people at the top not employing people – even though they got massive tax cuts.

              You lack the ability to see what is patently obvious.

              Psychological Projection.

              It’s the RWNJs, such as yourself, that deny reality.

              • pete

                You are very dishonest. Why did you edit my sentence:

                “They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries”

                Then respond as if I never said bankers?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I didn’t edit your sentence – I left off the one I wasn’t responding to. The point is, of course, that people on welfare are willing to pull their weight as the recent high levels of employment showed and that the massive tax cuts given to the rich didn’t create any jobs as promised by this government.

                  It’s the rich that aren’t pulling their weight but that’s been true for 5000 years.

  13. lefty 13

    Too many politicians have investment properties for them to ever do anything meaningful about housing.

    This applies to MPs across the parties.

    As long as there is a shortage of housing it will remain a great investment regardless of whether there is a capital gains tax, or any other form of taxation of it.

    Investors got used to getting lots of free money from their savings but this changed with the GFC.

    But it remains possible to manipulate housing to get superdividends from it as long as the politicians play the game.

    All you need is an artificial shortage of housing and big state subsidies for low income people who have to pay rent.

    Thats why so many red herrings are presented in the debate over housing.

    Its quite simple to solve the housing crisis really.

    Go out and build a shitload of suitable housing and get people living in it.

    There’s plenty of materials, plenty of land, the jobs are needed and the money could easily be found.

    We were able to do it way back in the 1930s when things were much tougher than they are now.

    Once the rent (or mortgage payments) starts coming in it pays for itself.

    But if you build enough to meet the need then rents start falling, the need for the state to pay rental subsidies to private landlords decreases, rents drop even further and so on.

    There’s plenty of houses around to buy and the price drops.

    Lots of people, including many – if not most – of our MPs, lose a lot of money.

    Over the years our politicians have created a situation where the middle class will punish them severely if they solved the housing crisis because their biggest asset would lose value.

    Thats why Mana is the only party that is honest about housing – because the middle class is not its constituency (yet).

    And its why we will continue to be given all sorts of complicated bullshit reasons why we cannot house all the people who live in this land of plenty.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      +1

      Well said.

      And its why we will continue to be given all sorts of complicated bullshit reasons why we cannot house, feed, clothe, employ, and generally provide a decent living standard to all the people who live in this land of plenty.

      FIFY

      The capitalist system is about restricting the nations resources in such a way so that only the few benefit from them.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.2

      lefty, you summarise well!
      (DTB, just saw Max Keiser touting the OWS Jubilee debt buying programme)

  14. Ron 14

    I think we are getting off track here. The task is to provide housing. We have a perfectly good vehicle for doing this in Housing NZ. We just have to give them proper direction and provide the finance to invest in housing.
    Apart from the CGT which is a given how about providing houses where the state owns the land. That would remove a big incentive to speculate on housing.
    Put people in to good quality housing whether rent or purchased. Let them rent to own if that helps
    Thing big. Imagine the cost savings if Housing NZ was to build several thousand houses in Auckland alone. OK so it may well depress the market but since when has that been a good reason for not providing a basic need. Pharmac no doubt drepresses the market for medicine thank goodness we have them otherwise only the rich would get affordable medicine.
    We keep going around in circles. We know what a Labour government needs to do for New Zealanders so how about doing it and stop worrying about a few wealthy individuals who might not make as much.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      OK so it may well depress the market but since when has that been a good reason for not providing a basic need.

      Depressing the “market” in housing is exactly what needs to be done. If the upper middle class and the speculators/rentiers will allow it…

      Markets, as you imply, aren’t interested in ensuring that basic needs are provided for.

  15. Ron 15

    I agree but why are we not planning in this direction. I will bet that Sundays speech will not even touch the real problem instead it will skirt around things by talking about cooperation between council and state which is a real waste of time. We want a party to state the problems and then present firm policies to deal with problem. Once upon a time we had that kind of grit but it is sadly lacking. So what if its two years out from election if its a good policy it will still be a good policy in two years,

  16. pete 16

    Even you do find the magic money, where will you build these slums? I guess Len wants you to build vertical slums.

    They’ll be nice! I’m not sure it will affect the housing market, except at the slum level.

    • Ron 16.1

      Pete
      We are not short of money either. Did i not read in paper yeaterday that NZ wants its own satellite system for the military. From memory it was costed at $82 million. WTF. What the ehck do we need a military satellite for. And I wonder how many houses we could build for $82 million. I would imagine 300-400 houses.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Plus money for a satellite would leave the country and go to foregin firms, whereas spent in NZ on housing it would generate a lot of NZ jobs.

        Our defence and intelligence establishment are dreaming.

        • Ron 16.1.1.1

          Defence have called tenders. IIthin it is aaway of sucking up to USA
          Reading the article again it sounds like 82 mil it’s only the start

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.1

            Defence have called tenders. IIthin it is aaway of sucking up to USA

            That would be some of it same as when National sought to buy the F16s which are absolutely useless for NZ (At least the satellites will be useful).

            • Ron 16.1.1.1.1.1

              No satellites are not useful. They are military use only. Why cannot the military send emails like everyone else

              • Draco T Bastard

                Really? So you don’t find the weather forecasts useful?

                And, as I said, we do need to defend ourselves. We may be the most peaceful people ever but there really are psychopaths out there and they really do get to be dictators of countries with weapons.

                So, yes, the satellites will be useful.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2

          The answer to which is to have our own space program and weapons development.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        What the ehck do we need a military satellite for.

        Because we need to defend ourselves.

        And I wonder how many houses we could build for $82 million.

        None, completely different set of resources used.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Because we need to defend ourselves.

          Wrong way to go about it.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1.1

            You got a better way to watch several million square kilometres of empty sea and air?

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1.1.1

              yeah, fucking buy commercial satellite time twice a week at a cost of $200K pa.

              In addition, you don’t have to monitor several million square kilometres of empty sea, what are you looking for, dolphins???

              Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs etc could also do all this work for much less.

              A fucking military satellite. More like for spying on our pacific neighbours.

              • Draco T Bastard

                yeah, fucking buy commercial satellite time twice a week at a cost of $200K pa.

                And what’s the ongoing costs of maintaining a satellite?

                Considering that we’re talking military here it’s unlikely that a commercial satellite will have the required capabilities anyway.

                In addition, you don’t have to monitor several million square kilometres of empty sea, what are you looking for, dolphins???

                Need to monitor all approaches out to two or three thousand kilometres (effective attack range of missiles).

                Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs etc could also do all this work for much less.

                Again that comes down to ongoing costs. At a guess, I suspect Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs haven’t got a snow balls chance in hell of being able to do the required surveillance for anything like the cost of satellites.

                A fucking military satellite. More like for spying on our pacific neighbours.

                I’m going to have to point out that some of our Pacific neighbours are the psychopaths that I mentioned.

        • prism 16.1.2.2

          The houses come a while after we get attacked, areas area flattened and we have had a chance to use our defence weapons. First things first.

    • fatty 16.2

      nah…most of the top rated cities in the world have dense housing and it allows for a nice lifestyle, rather than prevents a nice lifestyle. Most people I know do not want to live in the suburbs and have to maintain gardens, have high cost of transport, live in a boring neighborhood etc. This ain’t the 1950s, it time we put our outdated ideals behind us eh?
      The slums you are talking about are the result of greedy economic policies, not dense housing.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1

        +1

        Much prefer living in an apartment.

      • Ron 16.2.2

        I dead recently that we are already pretty far up the scale of housing density.Now you must want to make it worse. You can live in an apartment but what happens when children come along

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.2.1

          You can live in an apartment but what happens when children come along

          They get to live there to and play in the local parks – just like normal.

      • When you have kids you might feel differently.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.1

          Most adults don’t have kids.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.2

          Move out of the apartment

          • fatty 16.2.3.2.1

            yes, and then move back into an apartment when the kids have gone.
            We really don’t need that many stand alone houses. But to make smaller places livable, we need livable cities… and the problem is that more sprawl and suburbs makes boring cities, whereas we need decent cities to make high-rise living enjoyable.
            We don’t need big living spaces, just creates the ‘need’ to full it with stuff that we don’t want. Many people could live in places half their size if their cities were worth venturing into.

        • millsy 16.2.3.3

          Youre a pretty nasty person Monique. Piss off.

          • Monique Watson 16.2.3.3.1

            How exactly am I nasty Millsy. Is it because I call a spade a fucking spade? Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision? Is it because I have five children myself? Is it because I spend every spare moment volunteering for community organisations because my basic creed is to give back more than you receive?
            I suspect you think I’m nasty because I have no time for fuckwits.
            In which case I’m okay with your judgement.
            I probably won’t piss off either BTW.

            • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.3.1.1

              well, you could do the country a lot more good by staying out of politics. Or at least, to stop shilling for the wealthy asset owning class.

            • millsy 16.2.3.3.1.2

              You hate your tenants
              You want the poor thrown on the streets
              You want wages slashed
              You support American style heath care
              You want to destroy state housing
              You want to ban trade unions

            • fatty 16.2.3.3.1.3

              “I suspect you think I’m nasty because I have no time for fuckwits”

              To be honest I think you are nasty because of your posts. I also have no time for fuckwits.

              “Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision? Is it because I have five children myself?”

              When you put it like that, yes

            • millsy 16.2.3.3.1.4

              Plus you hate rail and you think youre better than everyone else.

              I deal with ladies like that every day.

              I just make it more or less clear to them that they are not.

            • QoT 16.2.3.3.1.5

              Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision?

              No, but it might be because you’re willing to use that sponsorship and those children as a way to bolster your apparent “niceness”.

              • Colonial Viper

                African children poverty is real poverty; NZ children poverty – well, it just doesn’t exist.

  17. Ron 17

    We are not short of Land. We need the will to build and to provide the infrastructure around that land. You are correct that Len would prefer to have so called vertical housing but that is becasue the love the idea of getting rates of all the occupants but not having to provide infrastructure to a newighbourhood. Instead we just run it upwards. There is a wealth of information out there about what happens to peoples health when you start storing the vertically but heck why shoudl we worry about that

  18. pete 18

    I think this is the wrong question.

    We’re not short of land. We’re not even short of cheap houses. We are short of regional taxes.
    Simply attract business to the regions by way of a differential tax. If you want to live and operate out of Auckland, it costs you a lot. Less so if you want to do so out of Dunedin, Nelson or Palmerston North.

    • One Tāne Huna 18.1

      I can imagine why no-one has thought of this before. Sorry, I can imagine why no-one has seriously proposed this before.

      Are you a tax accountant, by any chance?

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      If you want to live and operate out of Auckland, it costs you a lot. Less so if you want to do so out of Dunedin, Nelson or Palmerston North.

      That’s already true – businesses are still moving to Auckland.

      • pete 18.2.1

        Yeeeess….so make it worth their while to head in the other direction. You’ll save a lot of money not building new roads and silly trains, for starters.

        • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1

          Citations needed.

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.1.1.1

            Only commonsense needed, OTH. Studies won’t show jack shit.

            Or maybe you think having 30% of the population of the country in just 0.3% of the space is somehow going to be sustainable?

            On second thoughts, keep the Aucklanders where they are, we don’t want them moving to rest of the country.

            • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, I just think the conflation of “new roads” and “silly trains” may indicate underlying bias.

              Other than that I think the science of determining where people “ought” to live may well be insufficiently developed to inform policy

              • Colonial Viper

                Other than that I think the science of determining where people “ought” to live may well be insufficiently developed to inform policy

                I really don’t mean to be short with you good sir, but…FORGET THE FUCKING SCIENCE

                The first question to ask is: what kind of society and environment do we want to live in, in terms of housing options and lifestyle.

                THEN set science and policy to work to achieve it.

                Frankly the idea that people would “want” 100-120 minutes of commute per day is laughable. Live in Wanganui, Napier or New Plymouth and your commute each way is probably 8-12 minutes. So much more time with the family, practicing the piano, spending time with mates.

                And did I mention that the cost of housing is probably 30% to 40% less???

              • pete

                I thought the bias was quite balanced, actually. An unnecessary road and an unnecessary train are both silly when we can simply encourage people to live anywhere but Auckland.

                Plenty of underused infrastructure around the country.

                I agree with Mr Viper here….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I thought the bias was quite balanced, actually. An unnecessary road and an unnecessary train are both silly when we can simply encourage people to live anywhere but Auckland.

                  /facepalm

                  If people move out of Auckland then the new places will need roads and/or trains so that they can move about.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Why? Just walk or cycle 10 minutes to work. You can actually do that outside of the big centres!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      My point was that the small centres wouldn’t remain small if Auckland moved into them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m not saying add 10,000 population to Otaki.

                      But you could share 150,000 people out of AKL without blinking. To Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua, Dunedin, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Napier, Hastings, New Plymouth, Invercargill, Timaru, Nelson, Whangarei, Gisborne.

                      10K people each, no probs.

                    • pete

                      Perhaps Draco is a home owner in Auckland, Viper? Worried about his house price if pressure is taken off Auckland?

                      He might like capitalism a bit more than he lets on…..

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m not against the idea, in fact I like it, just don’t think it can be done for free as you suggest.

                    • pete

                      “I’m not against the idea, in fact I like it, just don’t think it can be done for free as you suggest.”

                      I think it can, Draco.

                      What was it someone said before – which I also kinda liked. You decide what you want first, then you let the science work out how to do it.

                      It’s not hard. We simply attract business out of Auckland and spread it around the country. There are various mechanisms to do this, and one is differential tax.

                  • pete

                    Dunedin, Palmerston North, Nelson, etc could absorb a few thousand extra each year with little strain on existing/planned infrastructure.

                    It’s under used.

                    • David C

                      Palmy cant take another 1000 let alone 10,000. Fucking useless council cant sort out residential land zoning for future building.

        • prism 18.2.1.2

          Having built infrastructure for trains is going to be much appreciated over the years as oil gets more expensive. They aren’t silly. We just have to do sufficient scoping to ensure trains are running where they will be used.

      • insider 18.2.2

        That’s because the golf and sailing are much better, and teh CEOs like golf and sailing.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.2.1

          Actually, it’s because the business is more likely to find suitable people to work for them in 1.3m+ people as well as have a larger market to sell to meaning that, even though it costs more, they’re going to be better off.

          • David C 18.2.2.1.1

            Nah, build it and they will come.
            unless you put a depot/wharehouse/factory in a utterly toxic town and you have good stable work people will move to you.
            good solid jobs are hard to find.
            annnndddd…. if you put it in a “low rent” place your employees are likely to be $100′s a week better off than living in Dorkland.

  19. pete 19

    Whilst you incentivise Auckland, you’re going to get high land prices, which leads to high housing costs. Aucklands plan is up, not out, so your state housing is going to be cheap high rise apartments, tenements and terraces.

    Nice.

    There are many ways to incentivise the regions, regional taxes being just one option. Unless you want Auckland extending to Hamilton, then it’s pretty obvious building tens of thousands of state houses is a bad idea.

    • Ron 19.1

      I disagree disagree can purchase land and if they remain the land and lease it for homes it will not cause high land prices

      • pete 19.1.1

        Sooo……you’ll rewrite the district plan in Auckland? Or should I say. Auckamilton? Where are all these tens of thousands of state houses going to go?

  20. Penalising investors with a more stringent CGT is not the way to go. The solution is to increase the supply and make it easier to consent houses that the buyers are asking for. And for those who have short memories, I’ve blogged on the background to the housing “bubble”.

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/11/or-we-could-build-our-own-houses-part-1.html

    • It is only “penalising” investors if they chose to continue property speculation; this is the whole point of a CGT type tax. To “encourage” investors to do something more productive and useful with their money.

      Some of those who are buying, building and doing up and selling houses, may continue to do so. Those who are in for a quick buck and fuck off and try elsewhere and stop causing basic needs to become un-affordable for increasing numbers of people.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Property speculators need to be severely penalised.

      Those wanting to make a steady month by month income by being professional landlords should be assisted.

      And of course, the Government should immediately build 50,000 new houses itself. Don’t leave it up to the private sector or the market.

      • pete 20.2.1

        A CGT won’t stop property speculation. All it will do is drive up rents.

        Why?

        Your problem is lack of supply. You can’t build tens of thousands of state houses in Auckland, there’s nowhere for them to go under the district plan. You’ll end up building slum tenements.

        That problem is solved by encouraging people not to place demand pressure all in the same two/three cities. Doesn’t cost as much, and boosts the regions.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.2.1.1

          You can’t build tens of thousands of state houses in Auckland, there’s nowhere for them to go under the district plan. You’ll end up building slum tenements.

          Yes we can, yes there is, no we won’t as we won’t be leaving them to the private sector to own and operate.

          • Ron 20.2.1.1.1

            exactly

          • pete 20.2.1.1.2

            So you’ll have to change the district plan, then. Len wants out, not up. Britain tried vertical state housing. Truly horrible.

            Doesn’t matter if it’s private sector or public, you’ve still got a sprawl problem.

            • karol 20.2.1.1.2.1

              Britain went into high rise state housing.  interestingly, high rise apartments work fine in many central cities, including London.  It’s just that they have so far worked better when they are expansive privately owned ones.  It’s all in HOW it’s done.

              Also, it doesn’t need to be high rise – just more low level: e.g. 2 storey apartment blocks.  And in the middle of community facilities, not the wastelands of Pepys Estate  - which I have visited more than once.  Was quite grim inside, lifts not working, smelling of pee.

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.1.2

          Pretty sure that District Plans get rewritten every few years.

          Also I’m not just talking about a CGT. I;m talking about a raft of measures to make property asset speculation something which no longer happens.

          • David C 20.2.1.2.1

            District plans must be looked at every 10 years, usually 15 years between finished versions.

            “the market” usually leads the district plan with private plan changes which are hugley costly to both developer and councils and in the end just get ticked onto the price of the house.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      Catering to the investors/speculators is what’s led to the problem. Time to start catering to the people rather than the rich.

      • pete 20.3.1

        Zero sum. If you nationalised every house in Auckland, you’ve still got exactly the same problem. A lot of people chasing few houses.

        So, you build a lot more. Where? The plan for Auckland doesn’t want any more sprawl, so you’ll have to go up.

        Doesn’t it make more sense to spread people around the county a bit more? Use the wealth of infrastructure we’ve already got, rather than overloading Auckland, or sprawling it ever further?

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.1.1

          Zero sum. If you nationalised every house in Auckland, you’ve still got exactly the same problem. A lot of people chasing few houses.

          You missed a really big factor.

          Profiteering. The state would not need to make big profits off these properties, in fact the statem doesn’t need to make any profit off these properties.

          So will there still be too few houses…yes. But rent will also be cheap.

          This is what happens when you tell the market and the privateers to go get fucked.

          • pete 20.3.1.1.1

            I didn’t “miss” it. It’s not relevant to my point.

            You could eliminate profiteering, and it still doesn’t solve the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is you have more demand than there is supply.

            So, the question remains: WHERE are you going to build the supply? If you stay within Len’s plan, then you must build up. If you ignore Len’s plan, then you must sprawl.

            My point is that there is no need to do this. Simply redistribute demand to other centers, which solves a number of problems, not least of which is affordability.

      • Weeel. If you actooally read my fucking blog post, you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”. It’s someone who invested rationally under the fifth Labour government.
        If you were to “get rid of them”, the state has to pay employees to manage the properties and pay for the repairs and maintenance. It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.2.1

          There’s no problem with the state creating jobs and a housing service to look after those properties.

          We want more jobs after all, and this kind of thing has been done by NZ governments for many years.

          you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”

          Not my fault if they negatively geared and have a massive negative net worth. Silly them.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2.2

          It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.

          Nope, it won’t or, to be more precise, it would cost each taxpayer significantly less than what it’s presently costing individual renters through private development which comes with the dead weight loss of profit. Either way, you need those property managers.

          • kiwicommie 20.3.2.2.1

            Yep, I wouldn’t say that the USSR was true ‘communism’, but certainly even back then (despite the police state apparatus and hardship) it was proven that state ownership of housing lowers housing costs and allows everyone to get a home. Plenty of people in East Germany fondly remember the free education, free health-care and the community spirit back then. I am not trying to suggest the USSR and it’s satellites were a wonderland, it was not. But public housing is achievable, and is a lot fairer on people than the ‘private developer’ crowd, that build high cost housing that barely anyone can afford to live in.

            • pete 20.3.2.2.1.1

              Tenament living. You can have that tomorrow.

              Strangely, Kiwis don’t want to live in them.

          • pete 20.3.2.2.2

            You really are living in a fantasy world.

            What profit? Most landlords are either negatively geared or breaking even, making money on the equity. All you’re doing is leaving that equity with the tenant-as-owner, so it’s zero sum. The house isn’t any cheaper.

            You still haven’t solved your supply problem. Where are you going to build all these new state houses?

            • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2.2.2.1

              What profit? Most landlords are either negatively geared or breaking even, making money on the equity.

              The landlords may not be making a profit (which I find hard to believe) but the banks certainly are.

              Where are you going to build all these new state houses?

              It’s been mentioned, you’re just ignoring it.

              • pete

                “It’s been mentioned, you’re just ignoring it.”

                Can you point it out?

                • Colonial Viper

                  The same places that the private sector would build them. Plus a few others, since the State has the power to appropriate land it sees as important. The private sector is weak and can’t do that.

                  • pete

                    The places the private sector and public sector can build them, in Auckland, must conform with the district plan. The plan for the future of Auckland is up, not out. Public or private, that means towers, townhouses and tenements.

                    As I say, it makes more sense to spread business around the regions. This solves a number of problems. It creates enormous social benefits. It’s just a lot nicer that cramming everyone into one place, no?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No doubt. I agree its insane to cram 30% of NZ into 0.3% of the space.

                      But essentially, the public sector will do a better job of building affordable housing because they don’t have to add an extra ticket clip for making profit, and they can get financing way cheaper than the private sector.

                    • pete

                      I’d argue that what you gain in margin you lose in added production cost. Financing, I agree.

                      We’re getting sidetracked with the public/private debate.

                      It shouldn’t matter who builds them, so long as the end result is what people want i.e. an affordable, warm place to live.

                      Yah?

                      If the state can do that better than private, great, but I don’t see it happening, for reasons outlined.

                      One role the state could play well is the establishment of factory built modular houses. Industrial scale. I dare say it could also be PPP.

                      The problem still remains as to where you’re going to put them. I say adopt a regional approach. Boost the regions, take the pressure off Auckland.

        • Ron 20.3.2.3

          Good God what in the world are we arguing about. I find it hard to imagine why anyone would want to make money out supplying people a basic need such as housing. Lets all speculate on medicine and food supplies and hospitals. Why draw a line at anything. Affordable good quality Housing is a basic human right. It is the purpose of a good government to make sure that its citizens are adequately housed. It should not be left to the whims of so called investors.
          Bring in CGT and also stop landlords from deducting costs of their mortgages from profits accrued elsewhere.
          Then we might see how many good citizens are keen on buying and renting property.

          • Colonial Viper 20.3.2.3.1

            Ron – the entrepreneurial capitalists of free market lore have actually become nothing more than risk averse rentier ticket clippers.

            So of course, they want to profit off the provision of necessary basics such as housing, power, phone and internet, water, schools, prisons, ….

            • Ron 20.3.2.3.1.1

              I have no problem with private enterprise as long as we have proper controls to ensure they play fair.
              When we have a properly developed Commerce Commission and have proper laws for protecting and safeguarding our people then private enterprise will be welcome to operate.
              And with that goes proper laws to protect workers who always seem to be the forgotten lot these days.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The problem, of course, is that under those conditions private enterprise can’t. That’s why the free-market delusion was brought back in.

            • pete 20.3.2.3.1.2

              Being a landlord is work.

              The tenant calls you up at 2.00 is the morning wanting a leak fixed. Is that not work? The house needs maintenance. Is that not work? Tenants sometimes destroy property. Is that not work? The tenant sometimes doesn’t pay the rent? Is that not work/risk? The area may decline in value? Is that not financial risk?

              It’s all work. The return is modest. It’s the short-medium term accommodation business.

              • QoT

                It’s all work

                Be honest, pete. It’s work if you choose to give a shit about your tenants. Plenty don’t.

                • David C

                  Its work either way. if you were a moron you could choose to utterly ignore your tennants wishes but you still need to look after your building. A happy tenant is a good tenant, vacancy is what kills good returns. A tenant that stays for 15 years is the perfect tenant.

                  • QoT

                    but you still need to look after your building.

                    I assure you this will come as shocking news to 3/4 of the landlords I have ever rented from.

                • pete

                  It’s work. It’s risk. You could love your tenants, or loathe them, and the work remains the same.

                  In return, you might may some money. Not guaranteed, as many have found out.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Safer to have the government do it through Housing NZ.

                    Private landlords who can’t make it worth their while need to exit the market.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yep, there’s work involved but not as much as people like to make out. Somebody working a 40 hour per week job does more and doesn’t get their house paid for out of other peoples work.

              • fatty

                “The tenant calls you up at 2.00 is the morning wanting a leak fixed”

                You could own 50 house for 50 years and I doubt that would happen more than once. If there was a leak then they would ring the next day, not in the middle of the night. Stop making up stories

                • pete

                  Just an example, Fatty. The tenant has a problem – they ring you up, you deal with it.
                  That’s your job. In return for them not having to deal with such problems, they pay you a fee – rent.

                  Anyone who thinks it’s lucrative clearly hasn’t done it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If it’s not lucrative then private landlords should get out of the market and let the Government take over.

                    • pete

                      Then the cost transfers to you – that taxpayer, or to the homeowner.

                      The landlord is swapping time for equity. The public servant must be paid directly. If you get the public servant up at 2.30 in the morning to deal with a flood from a burst pipe, that costs you. It doesn’t at the moment. It’s a cost borne by private landlords. Or directly by you, if you own the property.

                      Many people don’t like such headaches and maintenance, which is one reason they rent. Landlords do provide a service. Like in all occupations, there are good and bad operators, but it doesn’t change the fact being a landlord is work.

                      Should they not be paid for their work?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The public service will get it done without having to charge an additional profit margin.

                      If this kind of work is not financially rewarding for private landlords, they really should just get out of it.

                    • fatty

                      “The public service will get it done without having to charge an additional profit margin.”

                      that’s the way I see it too. We have the option of paying rent so the profit sits in a rich person’s bank account, or we could pay rent to the government which creates more jobs and the profit gets redistributed throughout society. I’d love to rent off the government if I could. I’d call that a no brainer

                • lprent

                  Ah no. The leaks that that they ring about are when a pipe cracks or a dishwasher valve jams and they come home to find water inches deep on the floor (or leaking into an apartment two floors down).

                  There are 60 apartments in my block. I wasn’t a landlord, but when I was the goto person here for years I called them quite a lot at all hours. Not a lot for any particular landlord, but a lot of landlords fo various reasons.

                  • fatty

                    well that’s news to me, I’ve flatted for a long time in some very average properties and never had a leak

                    • lprent

                      It is the luck of the draw. In 60 apartments over about 10 years we had probably 5-6 significant immediate attention leaks. I’m not counting the couple of days after a water main cracked outside the house and we had a flood of high pressure water sprouting (and I do mean sprouting) out of the walls of the two underground garage levels.

              • Colonial Viper

                I think there should be a reasonable return for professional landlords generating an income stream from rent.

                But an end to property speculators seeking to make a quick buck on asset appreciation.

                By the way its far more efficient to have Housing NZ be the landlord for tens of thousands of properties, they can have full time staff handling those problems 24/7.

          • PlanetOrphan 20.3.2.3.2

            No need bud, Just sell / rent state housing at a reasonable rate.

            Everyone thinks those home owners are speculating, they’re not, they just want a solid asset.

            If the inflated prices come down then CGT is superfluous.

            It’ll hurt on the current mortgage front (owing a lot more than the house is worth),
            But state houses wont have the same developments a longer standing house will have so there would be balance as well.
            The Government could even cover the difference in mortgage value from the Float, What’s the difference between South Canterbury Finance and the housing bubble afterall ?

          • David C 20.3.2.3.3

            Sure stop all deductions for landlords and the cash freturn of the rent needs to equal real cost plus a return.

            So a $400K house needs to rent at $800? $900? a week?

            100% of capital at bank rates plus rates and insurance plus depreciation plus wear and tear which is huge plus management plus an actaul profit margin! yippee!

        • blue leopard 20.3.2.4

          Monique Watson says: “Weeel. If you actooally read my fucking blog post, you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”. It’s someone who invested rationally under the fifth Labour government.
          If you were to “get rid of them”, the state has to pay employees to manage the properties and pay for the repairs and maintenance. It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.”

          Monique Watson, again, you miss the point.
          If the “unwealthy” people who speculate on property decided the was no longer sufficient profit in buying and selling houses due to a percentage being taken off them through a capital gains tax, the prices of houses would go down, which would create a larger number of people who could afford to buy them.

          Alternatively if the “unwealthy” people who speculate on property did their calculations and decided that despite the CGT, the activity was still profitable for them, then the Government would at least have a source of income to provide for the increasing number of people, both with jobs and without, who require accommodation supplements, due to the high property prices caused by the speculators.

          It is simple really.

      • David C 20.3.3

        When “the people” get off their collective arses and do a large scale property development it will really be something to see.

        in the mean time “the rich” putting their money on the line deserves a return for risk involved.

        Lots of chaps have been thru bankruptcy court recently on the downside of that risk.

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.3.1

          Safer and cheaper for all then if the Govt became the main player.

          • David C 20.3.3.1.1

            Your hi on crack if you think that bunch of twunts in the beehive can do a development close to as well as a chap who has done it for a living for a long time and lays awake at nights thinking about the drainlayer that might be sneaking in a extra half a hours charge beacuse of an unforseen hiccup.

            Good residential developers tend to be closely held companies with fingers on the pulse. Look at Carrus Corp for a good one.

            • Colonial Viper 20.3.3.1.1.1

              Government can do it better and cheaper. Government can borrow money cheaper and doesn’t need to lift a profit from the project so it will be cheaper for home buyers.

              And of course, Government has built a couple of hundred thousand houses over the decades.

              Easily done.

          • pete 20.3.3.1.2

            Yeah, Colonial Viper, a 9-5 state servant is going to make a great property developer, huh. It’s high risk. Give it a try, sometime.

            Most property developers end up broke. Why? The costs move on them quickly. The same happens to a state pen pusher – but he’s got even less incentive to keep it on budget. He just goes back to the taxpayer for mo’ cash. Result: your tax increases.

            • Draco T Bastard 20.3.3.1.2.1

              Yeah, Colonial Viper, a 9-5 state servant is going to make a great property developer, huh.

              Probably better than the private guy.

              Most property developers end up broke. Why? The costs move on them quickly.

              Nope, because they fuck-up by under quoting and then having to cut corners resulting in leaky homes…

              Oh, wait, we’re paying for those.

              The reason why the state servant is going to be doing it better is because that’s what he’s paid for and, often, they actually believe in doing a good job because it benefits the community.

              The private developer, on the other hand, is incentivised to do the job badly. Low wages to boost profit, cut corners to boost profit, and to do it as fast as possible (not the same as fast as practical) to boost profit. It’s all about profit and profit is a negative motivation.

              • Colonial Viper

                I agree, these fellas seem to have really quickly forgotten what a shit multi-billion dollar mess PRIVATE DEVELOPERS did up to the early 2000′s.

              • pete

                “Probably better than the private guy”

                Why? They have no skin in the game. Much easier to just sign the account, take the tradesman’s word for it. Makes life easy, less grief. A private developer with their own money on the line needs to be directly involved, else they’ll lose their shirt.

                “Nope, because they fuck-up by under quoting and then having to cut corners resulting in leaky homes…”

                Just once, perhaps you could listen, rather than just reacting.

                It’s difficult to keep on top of costs because there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of suppliers. If one schedule shifts, if one delivery gets delayed, if the council decides to be difficult – none of which might be your fault – you’ve got problems further down the chain. That drives up cost. Another delay, and there goes your profit.

                Sure, you could build in a lot of margin in to cover it, which will be exactly what a public servant will do.

                End price: not cheap.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s difficult to keep on top of costs because there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of suppliers. If one schedule shifts, if one delivery gets delayed, if the council decides to be difficult – none of which might be your fault – you’ve got problems further down the chain. That drives up cost. Another delay, and there goes your profit.

                  Houses are a social good; they don’t have to be built at a profit.

                  Plus it’s easier to co-ordinate the build of houses on the scale of 10,000 to 20,000 units pa. Only Government can do that.

                  A private developer with their own money on the line needs to be directly involved, else they’ll lose their shirt.

                  Most developers are highly leveraged. That means its OTHER PEOPLES MONEY which is on the line.

                  A public service ethos is all which is needed to do an excellent job without “skin in the game”.

                  • pete

                    “Houses are a social good; they don’t have to be built at a profit.”

                    Sure, but consider what “profit” means. You’re making out that if the developer doesn’t make any profit, the total cost must come down. I contend it can cost you more if you remove a profit incentive, as your production cost will likely rise.

                    Let’s say you have a 9-5 state employee managing a large development. They have no personal cash on the line. Their motivation is to bring the project in, of course, but they have an incentive to make life easy for themselves, rather than hard. That’s just human.

                    It is hard to confront tradesmen who often like to create problems where there aren’t any. Much easier just to sign their invoices. It’s hard to reorganise projects around schedule failures. Much easier just to let the cost blow out and add it at the end. Why not? It’s not your money. Cost blow outs are “inevitable”, eh. Easy to explain away. And next time, make sure your budgets include this “blow out insurance margin” when you’re costing the job. The benchmarks creep up.

                    See how the production cost can rise if you don’t have a personal stake in the outcome?

                    It happened in the USSR.

                    “Most developers are highly leveraged. That means its OTHER PEOPLES MONEY which is on the line.”

                    It’s still their debt. If you blow it, you’ll lose your line of credit for future projects.

                    “A public service ethos is all which is needed to do an excellent job without “skin in the game”.”

                    I think that is Utopian and unrealistic. Again, the USSR demonstrates that the public servant may not act in the interests of “the people” when it comes to production.

                    Which explains the Trabant….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Why? They have no skin in the game.

                  And how many of those developers that lumped us with all those leaky homes are actually losing money from doing so? I’ve heard of at least one getting off scot free and there will be others.

                  This is the problem with private developers – they don’t actually lose.

                  Sure, you could build in a lot of margin in to cover it, which will be exactly what a public servant will do.

                  End price: not cheap.

                  May come as a surprise but we don’t actually want cheap housing – we want good housing that is affordable to live in.

                  • pete

                    Why keep going off on tangents? The leaky homes question is a different issue.

                    “May come as a surprise but we don’t actually want cheap housing – we want good housing that is affordable to live in.”

                    It means the house costs you more than it should due to project mismanagement. There is no increase in quality in this scenario.

                    Bob Jones, who I’m sure you’ll admit knows *something* about property, is of the opinion all developers eventually go broke, which is why he’s not interested in being one. The reason is due to the cost control problem as you scale up.

                    I’m not sure why you think someone who is very skilled in development would take a public service job doing development, unless the pay matches what they’d make doing it privately. In which case, it’s a zero sum game.

                    And how does one benchmark costs? Do you do so against private developers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Private sector developers drove the leaky homes issue. Of course its related. The private sector is shit at doing things without cutting corners. This is to be expected as they want to keep that extra profit for themselves, and to walk away from problems which might only appear 3 or 4 years down the track, leaving Councils and Govt to pick up the bill.

                    • pete

                      It’s a tangent.

                      Leaky homes was a problem created by bureaucracy. The councils created jeopardy by assuming the risk. They thought they were getting into a lucrative ticket-clicking game.

                      They vastly underestimated the risk. They did not monitor builds correctly, and dictated stupid building standards, some of which were political i.e. the use of untreated timber. State knows best, eh. The environmental lobby remains very quiet on this topic up until this day…..

                      Look at the houses of the 1930′s. Very little regulation back then. Still solid as a rock.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      State Houses were designed by government engineers who knew what they were doing. The private sector did not.

                      Councils got suckered in by the private sector push for deregulation and self-regulation, and private developers walked away with windfall profits cutting corners and dropping quality.

                      Leaving Councils and Government with the billion dollar private sector bill.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Pete, it’s time for your reality check.

                      “…a problem created by bureaucracy..” – nice attempt to rewrite history. It was created by deregulation, as your comment tacitly acknowledges when you say that Councils “…did not monitor builds correctly…”

                    • pete

                      “nice attempt to rewrite history. It was created by deregulation”

                      It wasn’t. You’ve swallowed a party line. If it really was deregulated, you’d have no public liability as the risk would sit with the owner and developer.

                      The problem was the liability was SHIFTED to councils. It was shifted BY REGULATION. This increased jeopardy.

                      See:

                      http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/leaky-homes-part-1-myth-of-deregulated.html

                      “FOR A START, JUST think about this: there was a much more light-handed regulatory regime in the early 1910s and 1920s, when most of the villas and bungalows were built for which people now pay huge money – even for “original” examples. Things couldn’t be more light-handed then, but the disastrous systemic problems now being experienced weren’t in evidence then – not even for the many stucco (solid plaster) buildings like these two on the right still decorating some of our leafiest suburbs.

                      In fact, even in 1982 when I started building, a relatively light-handed regulatory regime was still in existence – even in those Muldoonist times.

                      The ‘Bible’ on site was a document called NZ Standard 3604, which back then was about forty pages long; permits took around two weeks at most to process; council inspectors were seen on site around three times maximum – and the thing called a Code Compliance Certificate didn’t even exist. “

                    • lprent []

                      If it really was deregulated, you’d have no public liability as the risk would sit with the owner and developer.

                      The problem was the liability was SHIFTED to councils. It was shifted BY REGULATION. This increased jeopardy.

                      Essentially you’re talking crap. The liability was always with the council and always has been. You can see cases all the way back into the 19th century. What changed was how tight the building regulations got with different materials and systems and the slow reassessment of the earthquake risks.

                      The less redundancy there is in a building system, the more regulation there is to ensure that it is allowed to be built in the first place.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ah pete I see you are a building industry shill

                      Since Councils and Govt end up paying for Private Sector blunders in housing, they should just do the whole job like they used to and tell the private sector developers to F-OFF

                    • pete

                      No, I’m not.

                      The councils and government should not pay for it. The matter is between three entities – the builder, the buyer, and their insurance company.

                      The state should **** off, except when it comes to earthquake standards, safety and utility connection issues.

                    • lprent []

                      What – no building regulations?

                      Who pays for the provision of the courts?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why keep going off on tangents? The leaky homes question is a different issue.

                      I was using it as an example to show that the risk isn’t what the privateers say it is. I could have used the banks and the bank bailouts just as well.

                      It means the house costs you more than it should due to project mismanagement. There is no increase in quality in this scenario.

                      That’s an unfounded assertion especially considering that evidence is showing the exact opposite.

                      The reason is due to the cost control problem as you scale up.

                      Actually, that would be a result of stupid management.

                      I’m not sure why you think someone who is very skilled in development would take a public service job doing development, unless the pay matches what they’d make doing it privately.

                      A) Because having a secure job is actually worth something
                      B) Because working to help and improve the community is worth something
                      C) Because they like the challenge

                      Money isn’t the prime motivator that economists think it is.

                      And how does one benchmark costs?

                      Use of real resources.

                      They did not monitor builds correctly, and dictated stupid building standards, some of which were political i.e. the use of untreated timber. State knows best, eh.

                      IIRC, BRANZ had more industry personnel on its board than state employees. Guess who were making the recommendations about the materials and codes.

                      the builder, the buyer, and their insurance company.

                      And the best insurance company and builder is the state.

                    • pete

                      “Actually, that would be a result of stupid management”.

                      It’s a very difficult process to manage well, which is why so many developers get into trouble.

                      “A) Because having a secure job is actually worth something
                      B) Because working to help and improve the community is worth something
                      C) Because they like the challenge

                      Money isn’t the prime motivator that economists think it is”.

                      Uh-huh. I can pretty much count long-time profitable developers in NZ on one hand. Yet you’ll find hundreds of them willing to work for a state salary for the seemingly altruistic benefit of “helping people”.

                      Good luck with that. What you’ll most likely get is low-level middle managers who fancy themselves, inflated pricing, and inevitable cost over-runs.

                      The state would be better off staying away from bespoke projects and focus on industrial-scale modular house building.

    • millsy 20.4

      Increasing the state housing stock, buy either building or buying houses can probably do most things that a CGT does, including pushing out the fly by night slumlords, and leaving only the private landlords who are a more businesslike and professional in their dealings (ie dont see their tenants as something that they would scrape off their boot).

  21. millsy 21

    The Standard should invite Josie Pagani on to guest post about what her vision of social democracy/socialism is, and what policies she would implement if she became PM? (And if she would oppose homosexuality like her mate JT).

    What changes would she make to the welfare system?
    Does she support the building of more state housing?
    Does she support privatisation and contracting out?
    What changes will she make to our health and education system?

    So far I have heard meaningless Blairite rhetoric from her but nothing about actually policies she supports (whining “I support free education and healthcare” doesnt cut it darling).

    Come on Pagani? What do you stand for?

    What would **YOU** do?

  22. PlanetOrphan 22

    The Government needs to float the economy properly, plain and simple Karol.

    That’s the new policy required, not a new idea, but desperately required for our country.

    A Trillion dollar float.

  23. prism 23

    When housing was being given the neo lib makeover it was pointed out that paying beneficiaries accommodation supplements would have a long term effect of boosting rental prices. If there was a sensible government in at any time we could have tried multiple ways to advance people’s housing.

    One would be – People saving for a minimum of two years to a level that a financial advisor say with Kiwibank, would consider affordable for them. That would establish their financial competence, on a fairly low wage. There were 3% and 5% 25 year loans available in the 1960s for first home buyers. The amount of loan money might be low, but there would be the opportunity of buying a modular house chosen by them that would suit their section and the direction of the sun, starting off with the basics and one and a half bedrooms that would provide adequate living space for a few years. There would be a planned suburb on a bus route that would go past a shopping centre with supermarket and other services.

    Then if they had children they would be paid a weekly child allowance which they could choose to take in a lump sum and interest free build onto their house, or along with this make an addition to their mortgage on top of the allowance.

    It worked well years ago. There is no reason why we have to hark back to 1840 when NZs were gulled by land speculators right at the beginning. But going back to the future with 1960 ideas would provide current policies that are relevant. But no way should anyone get an interest free holiday on mortgages or overvaluation. Everything would be done prudently and simply and effectively.

    Mr Micawber would approve. “Mr Macawber said – ‘Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20 shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings, expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness’.”

  24. Ron 24

    Why do we keep on talking of developers. I do not think they are the problem, What we need to investiaget is why people feel the need to own multiple houses. I read recently of a politician who had 5 houses that he rented out. Why does he need 5 houses. Is the mp salaray and pension scheme not sufficent for him to live on.
    If he did not purchase those 5 houses there would be 5 houses for people to buy and own and live in.
    I said before allowing people to buy and make money of ou a basic need such as housing is socially iorresponsible. We should discourage such actions and have a firm policy to enable housing all New Zealanders.
    We should also discourage people hidding their assets in trusts. I think that any party that claims to support New Zealander’s social concerns that has MP’s with trusts should seriously think if it wants such people as its politicians.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Its greed and rentier capitalism mate. To these people its not a matter of what they “NEED” to be reasonably comfortable, it’s a matter of acquiring and collecting AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A mix of ego building and empire building.

    • prism 24.2

      Ron
      To be fair – if a pollie has houses rented out, they are likely to be full because people are looking for a place to live even while they save for a house. And pollies need to have a basic income because of the possibility of not keeping his or her seat and so being without that handy salary. I am inclined to think that all should step down after nine years, three terms, anyway.

      • Ron 24.2.1

        For goodness sake Pollies get a housing allowance and if they are cabinet ministers they get free accomodation. If they did not try to make money by buying houses and renting them there would be more houses for people to buy.
        I dont really care what other political persussions do but I want a left political party to behave with proper care and not use their service in parliament to be seen as s good way to make money on the side

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  • We no longer have a Prime Minister
    Having just listened to an item featuring John Key on Checkpoint (National Radio) I now have to announce that New Zealand has no-one at present performing the proper role of Prime Minister. John Key could not have acted less Prime Ministerial if he had...
    Political Scientist | 01-09
  • We no longer have a Prime Minister
    Having just listened to an item featuring John Key on Checkpoint (National Radio) I now have to announce that New Zealand has no-one at present performing the proper role of Prime Minister. John Key could not have acted less Prime Ministerial if he had...
    The Political Scientist | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014.
    Crime Scene: The murder of two WINZ workers and the wounding of another in Ashburton adds another tragic chapter to New Zealand's grim history of lone men committing multiple murders.I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had...
    Bowalley Road | 01-09
  • Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 1 September 20...
    . - Politics on Nine To Noon - . - Monday 1 September 2014 - . - Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams - . Today on Politics on Nine To Noon, Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton on...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-09
  • Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 1 September 20...
    . - Politics on Nine To Noon - . - Monday 1 September 2014 - . - Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams - . Today on Politics on Nine To Noon, Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton on...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-09
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies, Today no. 19 – The SkyCity deal doesn’t m...
     SkyCity deal doesn't mean more pokies – Key SkyCity is understood to be seeking law changes allowing 300 to 500 additional pokie machines and wider use of technology which would increase gambling revenue in return for building the $350 million facility...
    Arch Rival | 01-09
  • Will an inquiry make it all better?
    So far, the Dirty Politics book has generated two inquiries. The first is into the release  of information from the SIS to a certain blogger whom we don't name. The second is into Judith Collins' alleged involvement with an alleged...
    Pundit | 01-09
  • We Play Dirty at the Climate Talks Too: New Zealand’s Dirty Politics of C...
    This guest post is by David Tong, an Auckland based community lawyer working on his Master’s in Law on the UN climate talks. He chairs the P3 Foundation and co-chairs the Aotearoa New Zealand Human Rights Lawyers Association, and last...
    Hot Topic | 01-09
  • The trouble with liars
    A group of habitual liars try to get their story straight....
    Imperator Fish | 01-09
  • Photo of the day: Mitre 10′s bike parking
    The other weekend I went to the Mitre 10 Mega in Wairau Road to pick up some building supplies. To my surprise, they’ve put in a bike rack near the store entrance. I’m not sure how much use it’s going...
    Transport Blog | 01-09
  • TEU VICTORIA UNIVERSITY BRANCH NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2014
      TEU Victoria University Branch Newsletter – September 2014 In this issue: AGM-a-calling: Welcome from the Branch President Ask them Anything: TEU Presidential Election Election Special: Union members could make the difference Election Special: 3 Reasons to Vote Bringing Back Dignity:...
    Tertiary Education Union | 01-09
  • Stumbling towards Power?
    Let's be honest about it.  Labour have absolutely nothing to celebrate just now.The last few days have been fantastic for the left and in particular for a certain Mr D Cunliffe.  But before we get too deliriously joyous, let's face...
    Left hand palm | 01-09
  • Will the police investigate?
    John Key is busy putting together an inquiry into Judith Collins' attempt to undermined SFO Chief Executive Adam Feeley. The effectiveness of any inquiry will ultimately depend on its terms of reference, and the signs are not good; Key looks...
    No Right Turn | 01-09
  • Dirty Politics symposium on Friday
    Otago University will be holding an online symposium this Friday on "Debating 'Dirty Politics': Media, Politics and Law". Andrew Geddis has more details on the agenda: 1:00-1:15: Opening interview with Mr Nicky Hager 1:15-2:05: Media panel with Dr Rosemary Overell;...
    No Right Turn | 01-09
  • Debating “Dirty Politics”: Media, Politics and Law
    Love it or loathe it, Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics and its aftermath has lit a fire under our perception of "politics as usual" in New Zealand. Exactly how all that plays out come September 20th is an as yet unknown...
    Pundit | 01-09
  • More British collusion in torture
    This time in Nepal, where they funded, equipped and supported a regime torture-squad:British authorities have been accused of funding a four-year intelligence operation in Nepal that led to Maoist rebels being arrested, tortured and killed during the country’s civil war....
    No Right Turn | 01-09
  • August ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
      Bloggers in the thick of election campaign? Image Credit: Against the Current PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is playing up again making it impossible to automatically get the stats using the normal process. I have done a manual work around but it was...
    Open Parachute | 01-09
  • What Collins’ resignation means for journalism & the campaign
    Isn't it curious how often major scandals end in farce and how often it really is cock-up rather than conspiracy? Judith Collins' fate was decided in the end by friendly fire, an accident of one of her own. And it...
    Pundit | 01-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • First home buyers $200 a week better off with Labour
    A couple earning around $75,000 a year would be $200 a week better off buying a two bedroom terraced Labour KiwiBuild home instead of an equivalent new build under National’s housing policy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.  “National’s policy to...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Another Day – Another big power profit
    The latest profit announcement from Genesis Energy shows that the power company was sold for a song to the detriment of the country’s power consumers, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “A net profit of $ 49.2 million follows hard...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • The Press Leaders Debate – proof a newspaper can kill the internet
    No more beersies for you Mr Key. Seriously – was the Prime Minister drunk during this debate? I am so sickened by what passed as a Leaders debate, I will make this review short and vicious. Everyone involved in putting...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Voting starts tomorrow!
    On the telly, in the papers, on the Net, billboards on almost every street corner – it’s hard to miss the fact that there’s an election coming up. Everyone’s trying to win your vote on Election Day, September 20, (this...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry a whitewash before it has even started
    The farce whitewash that Key is trying to push through here for the inquiry into Judith Collins role in a hit on the SFO should enrage any NZer, regardless of how they vote. Whaleoil won’t be forced to appear, it’s...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Press Leaders Debate – Round 2 – 7pm tonight
    This debate is live in a Town Hall, Key has done well at these in the past, but since the hate politics exposed in Dirty Politics, expect real fury directed at Key. My guess is that Key will attempt to use whatever he...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • MANA hit speed wobbles – why Annette Sykes will win Waiariki
    MANA are my favourites. But of late, their transition from crawling to sprinting has hit some speed wobbles. Hone’s and Pam’s aggressive attitude towards the media recently is very understandable in light of how connected many of the media were to...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidates ‘One Strike’ Crime Policy
    Best wishes to all of those who live in Epsom, Mount Eden, New Market, Remuera and of course the rest of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Large majorities of NZ First voters would prefer Labour deal
    67% of those who voted for New Zealand First at the 2011 general election would prefer Labour to lead a coalition government if one is needed after September 20’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Jointly owned urban development agency for Christchurch
    “Given the strategic importance of the Canterbury rebuild, it is logical that the transition from emergency governance arrangements is overseen by the Prime Minister’s office, but to maintain momentum in the city centre an expert development agency...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix needed
    Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Association welcomes new Chief Executive
    “The New Zealand Police Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Verry to Chief Executive. Heather picks up the mantle from Chris Pentecost, who recently retired from this position,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Young Voters Want Politicians to Grow Up
    Young voters want answers to the questions that directly affect them – but it seems as much as anything, they want politicians to grow up....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Climate Voter election debate to get big audience
    Auckland, 2 September 2014 - Tickets to tomorrow night’s first-ever Climate Voter election debate have sold out but an online audience will also get to see the event live....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Edge show disregard for consent
    The Edge has shown complete disregard for consent, for women’s bodies and in doing so has contributed to the wider issue of rape culture in New Zealand says specialist sexual violence prevention organisation, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. Yesterday,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Rock is Fuelling New Zealand’s Roastbuster Rape Culture
    The Rock are still displaying without-consent images of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities online. They are making fun of this without-consent action, saying that she was "asking for it", etc. They appear to be supporting this kind of...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • HRLA Condemns Murder of Filipino Human Rights lawyer
    Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers , was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • SFO lays charges for procurement fraud
    Two individuals have been charged in the Auckland District Court today with Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud against Mighty River Power Limited relating to procurement for the Company’s Southdown power station....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Commitment to lifting wages good for New Zealand
    The Service and Food Workers Union has applauded the Green Party workers’ policy announced today....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Sykes: There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Winston Peters Shown up by the Civilian Party
    Even the satirical 'Civilian Party' has now offered the Taxpayers’ Union more credible figures for the ' Bribe-O-Meter ' than Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. The Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter now includes, National, Labour, the Greens,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Further criminal investigation into CTV Building collapse
    Police has today confirmed it will be advancing the criminal investigation into the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
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