web analytics
The Standard

Nat housing policy panned

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, August 13th, 2013 - 31 comments
Categories: housing, labour, leadership, national - Tags: , ,

National’s “housing policy” – the centerpiece of their weekend conference – is a dog.

poll-nat-housing-planAll it does is reverse their previous cuts and tinker with the limits on loans in a way which only benefits a few — as Eddie described it yesterday “by giving cash to people previously considered too well-off for the subsidy”. And that at the “sting in the tail” cost of a much higher deposit requirement.

The (unscientific) Stuff poll to the right suggests that we the public are not impressed.

The Greens call the policy “polly filler”:

National’s housing policy just poly filler in face of crisis

National’s just released housing policy throws a bit of money at first home buyers but does nothing to address New Zealand’s wider housing affordability crisis, the Green Party said today. …

“National’s announcement today is a cynical attempt to look as if it cares about the housing affordability crisis before the next election rolls around,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. …

“John Key wants to give the impression he is facing up to the housing affordability crisis but is not brave enough to implement measures that would actually address the fundamental drivers of the housing bubble,” Dr Norman said.

National’s ally, Peter Dunne, isn’t buying it:

Dunne no fan of KiwiSaver deposit plan

The Government shouldn’t use KiwiSaver as a “slush fund” for popular policies, former Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says.

Mr Dunne, a Government ally and Revenue Minister until June this year, says he doesn’t support the plan to make it easier for first home buyers to use their KiwiSaver funds for a deposit.

“KiwiSaver was established to boost New Zealanders’ retirement savings, given our notoriously bade track record in that regard,” he said on Monday.

“Weakening it by extending it to home ownership detracts from its original aim and establishes a precedent for adding other items it can be used for.”

The best that any friendly analysis could come up with was this:

New housing policy a ‘marginal development’ – expert

…Auckland University’s Professor Larry Murphy told TV ONE’s Breakfast this morning that he can’t see that the changes will actually help many prospective buyers.

“I think it really is a marginal development, it is important for those who are just on the edge of entering the market, and it will assist them.

“[But if] it constitutes a big enough group to actually have a big enough impact in the market is questionable,” he said.

Here’s the bottom line:

Housing policy won’t halt bubble – experts

Changes to schemes aimed at helping Kiwis buy their first home won’t do anything to solve the affordability crisis, according to property experts.

The Government yesterday unveiled changes to the Welcome Home and Kiwisaver schemes it said would help more Kiwis get onto the property ladder.

Notably absent however were any policies aimed at halting the seemingly inexorable rise in property prices – in fact, by increasing demand at the lower end, there are fears the changes could actually push prices higher.

Labour and The Greens are clearly setting the agenda with a strong focus on housing affordability. National are struggling to catch up. But they are going to have to do a lot better than this.

31 comments on “Nat housing policy panned”

  1. Plan B 1

    My worry is that the plan will do exactly what it was designed to do. I wonder if the plan is a kind of ‘dog whistle’ plan. It tells people that National will do whatever it takes to maintain/grow the value of homes- So a plan that is supposed to be about helping first time home owners is actually about telling existing property owners that National is the party you should vote for if you want to get tax free capital gains.
    Meanwhile labour greens are actually saying they will do things taht might stop the tax free capital gains.
    It could be that vote wise National are on the right side of this one. Strange as it seems.

    • Skinny 1.1

      Right you are (no insult intended) of course it’s a dog whistle. Kiwi’s, especially (the young) in Auckland, need to be yelling from the roof tops of their landlords over inflated rental properties, ‘why’ isn’t this Government helping us?

      Instead.. Key later today is announcing a ‘bold’ plan to combat child abuse. Yes great & about time too, however, I’ll be cynical and call this a distraction to divert attention. Just like the fishing quota red herring. 

      How about a public rally in Auckland, a march up Queen Street, a march of disgust against the inaction of this National Government to address affordable housing with a BOLD new plan! 

  2. tricledrown 2

    Tax free capital gains.
    Tax free income.
    While bashing benes
    These tax free people are the bludgers like rio tinto scf .

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    a relevant summary Anthony.

  4. Sable 4

    All sounds like Germany in the 1930’s. Concessions to distract the masses in economically tough times whilst at the same time slowly and slyly eroding human rights.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    How is allowing some people to access their own money a subsidy? The MSM were falling over themselves to spin this up for their master, Johnny Sparkles. Not sure it works as well as it used to, though. One even tried to run the line that the National and Labour housing policies were mirror images, because both had the figure 10,000 in them. Labour building 10,000 affordable homes a year for 10 years, and National estimating 10,000 first home buyers would access their Kiwisaver funds.

  6. Greywarbler 6

    This morning on the radio – a social support group saying that families are living in cars. Probably they can’t find garages to live in! We need more garages. And Habitat has numbers of people to poor to fit their criteria, they are too far into debt.

    And the loan sharks are round, helping people out – like which way did you come in? Labour couldn’t bring themselves to establish a base line interest rate – economists advise against it as it establishes a moral hazard as people try to get round the interest price floor. So better to do nothing. We are too moral a country to allow such a situation to develop, goodness no.

    Something has been done along the way I think to try and protect the needy public from these arseit strippers but not enough. Just a lot of waffly people talking about ‘financial education’. There is no doubt that prosperity churches will replace the government as the entity that people are committed to because our governments have deserted the ordinary people, and gone back to identifying with the landed gentry and nouveau riche just like the Brit that our forefathers and foremothers came to NZ to escape, and Parnell sounded the trumpet for the ordinary person. Now all we hear is the Last Post.

  7. geoff 7

    According to Kathryn Ryan, Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams, you’ve got it all wrong. Housing apparently isn’t a big issue for most, just young people.

    Listen for yourself (or don’t, if you value your sanity) to Ryan and Williams all nodding along with the Hooton as he basically brushes aside all the major problems that NZ has as non-issues.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    It was crystal clear that none of the three of them had any personal experience with spiralling housing/rent costs and so it just wasn’t a ‘big deal’ for any of them.

    Hooton is actually advocating that the housing bubble be allowed to grow because negative equity for homeowners would be ‘disastrous’. Apparently only the disasters that effect him actually qualify as disasters.

    Anyway that’s Hooton so I expect that kind of crap from NZ’s pre-eminent ‘academic, right-wing, neo-conservative ultra (ultra?? wtf does tht mean??)’ but the continued agreement from the likes of Mike Williams with everything that Hooton says is sickening.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      In Hooten’s world, parents don’t care about their children’s futures. They also don’t care if their grandchildren grow up in Oz instead of NZ.

    • Skinny 7.2

      Cut it out Geoff! Mike Williams & Kathryn Wilson both got up tight with Hooton over his bulshit comments about very few people unhoused.

      • Skinny 7.2.1

        *Ryan

        • Greywarbler 7.2.1.1

          You are probably thinking of Mary Wilson on Checkpoint in the early evening. Kathryn Ryan in the morning.

          • Skinny 7.2.1.1.1

            Thanks GreyWarbler I heard part of the morning show, Hooton was rambling on longer than he should have been allowed. Yip I do get mixed up between the 2 broadcasters. Mary Wilson called me out of the blue once for comment. Amazing how they get your private number? Who needs the GCSB when your’ve got radio nz? It will be the first asset flicked by Joyce if Unitednact get another term.

      • geoff 7.2.2

        sarc?

  8. Lanthanide 8

    If you want to make a kiwisaver change to help address overheated housing market, allow people to withdraw their savings for the purpose of building a new owner-occupied house.

    At the moment the only way to withdraw your savings is if you:
    1. Have never owned a home before.
    2. Are financially in the position of someone in #1 above, which is defined as earning less than $100k as a couple and having less than some amount of assets in the bank.

    This means people such as myself, who are eyeing up building a new house (thus increasing supply in the market) to live in but already own one, cannot get money out of kiwisaver.

    Banks require 20% deposit on new builds, so if there’s all this hoo-hah about the reserve bank limiting high LVR loans, this same situation has always applied to new builds.

  9. Adrian 9

    Yeah but it’s Kiwisaver for retirement, not Kiwifirsthome, sure it’s tough but the whole scheme would get seriously eroded if say 60% of the young take the money out to buy a home. When do they start re-contributing?

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Owning your own home in retirement is one of the best investments you can make. Financial advisers also say you should pay off any debt, such as a mortgage, before you start investing in things like the share market.

      $40,000 isn’t a lot of live off if you have to pay rent or a mortgage. But if you’re mortgage free, $40,000 goes quite far to sustaining a retirement lifestyle.

  10. blue leopard 10

    It would be better that policies were set up to address the issues about wealth disparity, working conditions and unemployment. These problems are ignored and are being worsened by successive governments through refusing to adjust to technological changes that have occurred.

    Going into debt to own a house, when the financial system is on its knees?

    Is this really the way forward?

    I shall be looking for a party to vote for that is aiming at addressing the real problems in society.

    Wealth disparity, the lack of jobs and decent working conditions are more important problems and when addressed could also help solve this one.

  11. johnm 11

    “The Reserve Bank is worried that soaring house prices in Auckland are unsustainable and will leave many buyers over-exposed if prices crash.”
    Nats first home help is really a subsidy to keep the housing market bubble going at its extreme inflated levels.(A subsidy for banks and landlords in effect) If they really wanted to help first home buyers they’d impose an 80% CGT backdated for 15 years on all property other than the family home and a bach. That’d pop! the housing bubble smartly (The proceeds could be gifted to our young couples to buy their first homes at the much diminished new price level, say $40,000 a couple) but would leave many current genuine home buyers with mortgages well in excess of the actual market value of their property.
    Housing bubbles make a Nation poorer as a whole while enriching the few! Just think of all that inflated currency, principal plus interest pouring out of NZ from hard working people’s pockets ( And beneficiaries supported by the state in housing paying off the landlords’ mortgages to enable later self reinforcing capital gain) to enrich Australian banks which can’t be spent here in NZ due to the ludicrous cost of housing! Course Key would support banks first wouldn’t he? In other words Banks make a killing from an inflated bubble market all that interest and repossession if you default! Heads we win tails you lose! Our vital housing stock should not be abused like green toy houses on a monopoly board!
    That’s Neoliberism for you a socialist mixed economy as the UK had up to the Thatcher catastrophe would regulate the market to ensure everyone had a fair go.That’s a mixture of excellent social housing plus measures to stop bubbles happening, CGT, and the GREED machine kicking off again. Buying houses for Capital Gain would be stopped in its tracks. There’s enough for everyone’s need but not for their greed.

    • blue leopard 11.1

      +1 Johnm

    • Skinny 11.2

      Yes and the problem is houses are at least 30% over valued, even higher in the big city’s. A capital gains tax is needed. National refuse to address this issue, so Kiwi’s ( especially babyboomers) are shit scared of a L/G gaining office. Reflected in the polls. L/G should drop it in their housing policy, and do a National and dump it on them when in power, fuck it Nact have done this with the GCSB bill.

  12. Saarbo 12

    My prediction is if you have a mortgage and it is floating, then consider fixing it soon. I reckon that Auckland house prices are going to soar in the summer…National are clearly wanting their voters to feel wealthy come election 2014. The Reserve bank is going to push interest rates up pretty hard to put the brakes on…then the media will blame Labour/Green for the possible intro of CGT if elected…all very predictable.

    National don’t give a rats about affordable housing.

  13. bad12 13

    True this post has got it right, chucking more money in the boiling pot of housing affordability will accomplish nothing in the Auckland and Christchurch housing markets except add more would be buyers to the mix,

    That will simply lead to even more house price inflation, while that reads like a criticism you really have to have a deep think about the ‘real motive’ behind Slippery’s National Government undertaking such tinkering,

    What they do get out of this is (a) some will be fooled into thinking that ‘they’ are actually doing something, (b) house price inflation helps Bill from Dipton crow about ‘growth’, and (c) the banks get to pour even more of the monies magic-ed into existence as part of the process of the Financial Crisis into New Zealand while grabbing a slice of ‘actual earned monies’ at the same time,

    i have said this befor, ‘they’ could open up all the land between the current boundary of Auckland and the current boundary of Hamilton for development and the ‘housing crisis’ will remain much the same as there is one important ingredient missing in the equation,

    The missing ingredient of course being labour, a lack of builders qualified to build the amount of houses in the time-frame necessary to get on top of the supply side cause of the present ongoing housing inflation,

    That would pre-suppose that the present Government really cares about such inflation, they don’t…

    • Greywarbler 13.1

      Also the houses built have to be at a high enough price that will allow all the ticket clippers to make their rake off. Left empty they are an inflating asset that can be leveraged off for other investments on the cheap. It’s not just simple supply and demand, that’s what they teach you at school, so you can turn out a half-educated pliant citizen trying to live to a NZ recipe that is no more, no longer ‘Sure to rise’.

  14. Mary 14

    National won’t have to do too much more at all. It’s lies and untrue rhetoric are enough for the average person to tick the housing box and vote Keys straight back in. Easy.

  15. aerobubble 15

    National did nothing, done nothing on housing affordability, and no policy will have any effect anytime soon. So National job is all about making the public think its concerned and doing something, even the wrong things. The purpose of the opposition is to demand why we needed to change to Key when nothing has changed.

  16. Darcy Haas 16

    Labour’s policy of banning foreigners was equally panned by large sections of commentators and experts alike. I suppose balance in editorials is a little too much to ask for?

    [lprent: Is it too much to ask guests to this site to read the about and the policy BEFORE making silly comments about how it is run. Let me point out the obvious in summary.

    1. The authors on this site are from the left – see the about.
    2. We don’t have an editorial policy, authors write what they feel like – see the about.
    3. If you don’t like our views and policies then piss off and create your own blog where you can set your own style, rules and collect your own audience – see the about. In all likelihood you will turn out to be a complete failure at it because who wants to read and discuss the ravings of a fool who pontificates without bothering to look at the subject (like you just did telling us how we should run our site).
    4. Having fools like yourself not read the rules of a site is one of the more stupid actions that any brainless newbie can do – see the policy under the generic description of “darwin awards”.
    5. I could warn you about such foolish behaviour – see the policy. However with your attitude of faux concern it seems unlikely to penetrate the solid bone that fills your brain. Moreover in my experience, bone-headed pedants of the Mrs Grundy persuasion like yourself who use this tone will seldom read and deal with responses to their comments.
    6. So I’m just going to add you to auto-moderation until you confirm that you have read, understand, and accept the purpose and rules of this site – the foremost of which is to not waste the moderators time with things you can read in the about and policy.

    And BTW: the ravings of a few business analysts worried about their own businesses and a pile of fools on right wing blogs is hardly expert or convincing. Nor is not linking to the people you are talking about. Dumbarse. ]

  17. tracey 17

    These are not policies but soundbites. Seems to work for them.

  18. If there is a program to artificially control or lower home prices, will not this cost someone else. Even if we build new subsidized homes. That is if a home that costs $500,000 today is rejigged to enable lesser income earners, or lower capital asset people, we would need to accept that this is a new form of gifting.
    I don’t mind CGT but to artificially enter the housing market is full of peril.

    And Darcy Hass above, so loud, aggressive, so stupid

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Nothing of what you say makes logical sense. It’s a cheaper house built using lower costs, including lower cost of financing. “Gifting” has nothing to do with it, unless you want to rewrite the definition of the word.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    7 hours ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    7 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 hours ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    8 hours ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    8 hours ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    9 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    9 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    9 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    10 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    11 hours ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    11 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    12 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    12 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    13 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    13 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    15 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    15 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    17 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    18 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    18 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    8 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    8 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    11 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    11 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    13 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    4 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere