web analytics

NRT: Fixing Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, June 28th, 2014 - 5 comments
Categories: christchurch earthquake, Economy, housing, im/migration, labour - Tags: , , ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn.

Labour has announced another part of its package to fix Christchurch: an immediate crash home-building plan:

A Labour government would build 100 “high-quality modular” houses for Christchurch in its first four months and have a further 300 of its Kiwibuild homes ready within six months.

The commitment is part of a plan to build 10,000 affordable homes in Canterbury, addressing what Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford calls the broken free-market “tweaking” of planning laws in National’s rebuild.

[…]

Fewer than 1000 of the 12,000 to 15,000 houses needed in Canterbury had been built after three and half years, he said.

Only 25 per cent of the state house repairs has been done, and of the 700 state house rebuild that had been promised a year ago, only 29 had been completed.

The market has failed, so the government has to step in. Its that simple. As for why the market has failed, there’s the ongoing insurance problems of course, but perhaps this also has something to do with it: wages for builders, plumbers, and the other workers required to rebuild Christchurch haven’t kept pace with the living costs there. Or, to put it another way, the construction industry is simply pocketing increased rebuild costs.

In this context, Labour saying they’ll bring workers in from overseas if necessary looks like a betrayal. There are workers here. They’re just not paid enough to work in Christchurch. Importing people with lower living standards expectations isn’t a solution to that problem – it just creates more exploited, desperate people. And that doesn’t sound like a very labour-oriented policy to me.

 


 

lprent: On the latter point, later Labour announced today on immigration matters

Under a Labour government, Kiwi business must exhaust the options for hiring local workers before bringing in overseas migrants.

The party also wants to target the exploitation of migrant workers. Businesses will have to pay at least the living wage, after accommodation deductions. Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) will be paid at least the minimum wage plus $1.25 an hour, with accommodation provided in addition to wages.

“We are also concerned that a significant number of workers are being brought into New Zealand for relatively low-skilled jobs on low rates of pay. This not only leads to exploitation of these workers but undercuts the local labour market, pushing wages down for Kiwis,” he said.

“To address that Labour will require employers bringing in overseas workers to pay a living wage (after accommodation deductions) where the job offer forms part of the reason the application is accepted. This does not apply for the Pacific quota migrants.”

I guess that they thought about that. The problem is of course that most of these policies are integrated and fit together. However they have to be released as separate bits to fit the news media.

5 comments on “NRT: Fixing Christchurch”

  1. blue leopard 1

    The two posts combined here (NRT’s and lprent’s) sound promising. It sounds like Labour are really engaging in the issues that are arising in Christchurch that are causing increasing problems and slowness and accordingly are coming up with approaches that will fix the problems and slow responses.

    Good work Labour.

  2. Get It Right 2

    Canterbury local authorities have been averaging 510 new dwelling building consents a month since April 2013, that’s over 6000 new dwellings a year – and around 300 new dwelling consents a month before that (over 3500 a year). Fewer than 1000 completed in 3 and a half years? Have Statistics New Zealand got their numbers completely wrong?

    [lprent: I suspect that if you had thought about it for even a second (clearly thinking is not your strength), that consents are not new buildings. You need a building consent for adding a deck, adding a garage, and even for many building repairs. Buildings don’t get built when a consent is made

    It is hard to know why you are wrong because you haven’t linked to something showing where your assertion has arisen from. In all probability you have simply read it incorrectly either by accident or deliberately. If it was that latter, as I suspect, then the reason for not linking is obvious.

    But Statistics NZ will be correct since they measure completed new dwelling places that are designed for the purpose and do so directly from builders.

    BTW: Adding you to autospam as this appears to be a rather bad astroturf and you appear to be too stupid to comment here effectively. Consider this to be for your own good. I had cleaning up the volumes of derision this kind of comment will trigger.

    But I suspect that I have it correct in describing you as a moran. Like this guy… ]

  3. Mike 3

    [lprent: Sadly this fool didn’t read the post or Labour’s policy.

    And here I was thinking that the main feature of the policy was to ensure that overseas workers were required to be paid the new minimum wage rates after living accommodation is deducted.

    As the post points out, the reason that kiwi workers aren’t taking the jobs is because the wages are less than the cost of living.

    Now watch this spinner avoid that issue. ]

    Sadly the Labour party are pressing dog-whistle politics still with their immigration policy.

    “Under a Labour government, Kiwi business must exhaust the options for hiring local workers before bringing in overseas migrants.”

    There are two things about this which are annoying:

    1) It has been a mandatory requirement since 2009 that Kiwi businesses must prove they have exhausted options for hiring (or training) local workers before employing overseas migrants.

    Not including this evidence is one of the main reasons that applications for work visas are declined. Additionally for most jobs (except the most skilled) government staff must conduct a labour market test (i.e. a check for NZ workers) and if they believe there are any available the employer’s evidence is ignored. In Christchurch a whole separate Hub (www.opportunitycanterbury.org.nz) was set up in January 2013 to do these mandatory checks.

    So firstly this is annoying because it misleads the public about the current system where proof is already required.

    2) Most migrants are not “brought in from overseas”. Over three quarters of applications for work visas are from people already here. Often they are in a job and have to renew their visa.

    This test is important because every time they renew their visa there has to be another labour market test to check to see if there are any New Zealand workers available. If there are the migrant worker loses the job, plain and simple.

    So secondly this is annoying as it incorrectly gives the impression hordes of people are being brought from overseas which is again misleading the public to be anti-migrant.

    I am disappointed by Labour’s policy which offers nothing useful or new and is confused. For example trying to apply a points system (which relates to residence applications) to work visas. Mind you, it is better than the United Future policy which is going to bring in even more things which are already happening.

    [lprent: If you want to astroturf, then do it elsewhere. I am intolerant of fuckwits who don’t address what is actually in the post. Or even what was in the policy. Labour didn’t say that they were putting in a new policy about documentation showing that a search for local workers had failed. What they said was that they were going to stop the exploitation on migrant workers and that they would be putting in policies to ensure that they got paid an adequate wage. ]

  4. DH 4

    I’ve always stayed out of the ChCh discussions, not really any of my business, but maybe an outside view is worth considering….

    To my mind ChCh is an illustration of what’s gone wrong with politics over the last 20-30yrs, neither National nor Labour have really got the message here. In a civic disaster the duty of Govt is to provide, and from what I’ve heard they haven’t.

    The provision of labour & housing are two glaring failures. Its not true that ChCh needs only skilled tradesmen. The construction industry is highly adaptable, when skilled labour is in short supply for large projects they change their methods. Dubai has been built by (mostly) unskilled and semi-skilled third world labour, you won’t find many genuine tradespeople doing the donkey work there.

    In a situation like ChCh you turn tradespeople into supervisors and hire semi-skilled labour. The likes of Fletcher might want only skilled tradespeople but they don’t need them. Tradies don’t like bossing around semi-skilled trogs but they’ll do it in exchange for more pay. The quality of work doesn’t suffer if it’s done right.

    NZ has all the labour ChCh needs, it’s just not been prepared. You can’t make a tradesperson in 12 months but you certainly can train an unemployed person enough to hold their own on a construction site. The Govt had all the time in the world to provide the labour ChCh needs and they’ve utterly failed to do so.

    Housing…. well little needs to be said on that. Transient workers are competing with the locals for accommodation, pushing the cost up for everyone. The last sites to be built on should be full of temporary worker accommodation, and I very much doubt they are. There’s no shortage of options, the UK are doing temp housing like this for some $NZ40k and it would cost less here;

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2450762/Shipping-containers-rented-London-homes.html

    Dead easy to set up sites with those stacked up and you could run plumbing & power to them very cheaply. Transient workers want cheap accommodation, they’re there to earn some cash and they do not want to pay a fortune for room & board.

    IMO what was required was planning and mobilisation by the state. The Govt needed to set up special industry training courses nationwide and then provide inexpensive housing for the labour as it arrived in. Instead they look to have just handed out cash by the bucketload, continually passing the buck onto the private sector.

    It’s still not too late, this is a not to be repeated opportunity to get large numbers of our unemployed into productive work where they can build a stake and also learn a trade that will endure well past the rebuild.

    I’m half surprised Labour haven’t seen the opportunity here. Mobilising the resources of the state to get the unemployed into work is something I thought would resonate very strongly with the middle class voters they’re trying to win.

    • felix 4.1

      Agree 100%

      Chch is THE most urgent issue in NZ and has been for four. fucking. years. while the govt has done fuck all about it.

      It is also a massive opportunity to soak up unemployment – and not with meaningless make-work schemes but with doing the most important and necessary work in the country.

      The election is right there.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Andrew Little visits Zaatari refugee camp
    Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, Zaatari in Jordan, a day after seeing New Zealand troops at Camp Taji in Iraq. Mr Little spent several hours in the camp, meeting… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    12 hours ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    1 day ago
  • OIO must explain Argentine pollution prosecutions
    The Overseas Investment Office (OIO)has questions to answer about how it safeguarded our sensitive land by allowing foreign investors with criminal prosecutions to purchase Onetai Station in Taranaki, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe.   “Rafael and Federico Grozovsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Murray McCully needs to come clean over Tokelau ferry debacle
    Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to come clean on why a New Zealand aid-funded vessel intended to service the Tokelau Islands is delayed, over budget and failed its sea trials, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The new ship… ...
    1 day ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits NZ troops in Iraq and refugees in Jordan
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has visited New Zealand troops at Camp Taji, Iraq. Mr Little also met with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled Al-Obedih and senior military officials from the Coalition forces in Iraq. He now heads to Jordan to see… ...
    2 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    2 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister must come clean on implications of landmark settlement
    Gerry Brownlee has urgent and serious questions to answer in the wake of today’s landmark EQC settlement, which potentially has major implications for thousands of Cantabrians, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. ...
    2 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    2 days ago
  • Dam not out of doldrums yet
    Ruataniwha Dam promoters Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) still has hurdles to clear and a lot of work to do before ratepayers and taxpayers will have confidence in the scheme, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.“We need sustainable… ...
    2 days ago
  • New study shows Smith’s insulation fails Kiwi kids
    A new Otago University study shows Nick Smith’s inadequate insulation standards will see hundreds of children unnecessarily hospitalised for housing-related illnesses every year, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    3 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    3 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    3 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key’s land tax could push up rents
    A land tax proposed by John Key as the answer to the housing crisis could push up rents and risks having no effect on skyrocketing prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Government needs to explain why the thousands… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government should ban foreign speculators
    The Prime Minister’s musings about a land tax on non-resident buyers is just more tinkering, and the Government should just ban foreign speculators as the Australian Government has done, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is classic John Key.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must protect Pharmac as promised
    John Key must tell New Zealanders that he will not bow to pressure from wealthy drug companies or their US negotiators and put Kiwi lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.   “News reports today have the drug… ...
    4 days ago
  • Action not words, needed on housing speculation
    John Key should be taking action to crack down on speculation in our overheated housing market, instead of random musings on land tax, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said.  "John Key suggested today on TVNZ's Q and A programme that… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tertiary education cost rising 7x faster than inflation
    New figures show the cost of tertiary education is rising seven times faster than inflation, putting post-school education out of the reach of many, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.  “Figures release this week show how much more students or their… ...
    6 days ago
  • Buying Lotto is not an arts funding strategy
    The Government must rethink the way the arts are funded after falling Lotto sales has left the sector with declining resources and increasingly vulnerable, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.  “Our arts sector is in a sorry… ...
    6 days ago
  • Parents hit in pocket by Government under-funding
    Parents and families are left forking out more and more for their kids’ education as a direct result of Government under-funding, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “The latest data shows that the cost to families of primary and secondary… ...
    6 days ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago
  • Water for grass
    Last Saturday, my colleague Eugenie Sage took me for a drive across the Canterbury Plains. I had seen from the air the landuse changes across the plains in recent times; a patchwork of crops and stock raising has been transformed… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Water for grass
    Last Saturday, my colleague Eugenie Sage took me for a drive across the Canterbury Plains. I had seen from the air the landuse changes across the plains in recent times; a patchwork of crops and stock raising has been transformed… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Thousands of invalid votes likely after National refuses to change rules
    National’s refusal to make it easier to enrol and vote could result in tens of thousands of votes continuing to be ruled invalid at general elections, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The Justice and Electoral select committee today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Social Development stats don’t add up
    Today’s figures released by the Ministry of Social Development show that despite a drop in the number of beneficiaries, fewer people are going into paid employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fonterra sticks with high pollution goal of increasing milk supply
    This week’s reported comments by Fonterra chair John Wilson that dairy “volumes were only going to keep increasing”  are troubling. Mr Wilson was supporting a potential renegotiation of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Under the FTA dairy products such… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Coleman’s ‘efficiencies’ strangling health
    New Zealand’s district health boards have made ‘efficiencies’ of more than $672 million over the past five years at the expense of everything from new drugs to elective surgery, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is a body blow for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman’s ‘efficiencies’ strangling health
    New Zealand’s district health boards have made ‘efficiencies’ of more than $672 million over the past five years at the expense of everything from new drugs to elective surgery, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is a body blow for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Record debt to income ratio shows economy out of balance
    National’s complacent attitude to debt to income ratios rising above pre-financial crisis levels will be a concern to many New Zealanders and the Government must take action to rebalance the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.   “The borrowing… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere