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Renters will pay for Nats’ tax cuts for the rich

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 pm, May 16th, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: class war, housing, tax - Tags:

The tax changes that are about to be announced are characterised even by the Government as a ‘tax swap’. They are fiscally neutral. The tax burden will not fall. All that will change is who it will fall on.

So, it’s pretty disappointing to see the media running silly pieces titled ‘Tax cuts: What’ll you get’ and the like with no corresponding look at who will pay more.

Into the breach once more.

As I’ve shown before, there’s actually no tax cut for the 1.1 million taxpayers with incomes under $14,000. The cut in the bottom rate is eaten by the higher GST bill. The first 50% of taxpayers get an average of $1.25 a week between them. Net tax goes down by the princely sum of $8 a week for someone on $65,000. Of course, it’s after $70,000 that the big money starts flowing. A person on John Key’s $350,000 salary gets $12,000 a year. Paul Reynolds, Telecom’s $7 million man, gets $290,000.

But that’s only part of the story – the country’s total net tax cut is zero. The money for those tax cuts for the rich comes from increasing tax on housing investment. Until now, I haven’t tried to work out who bears the cost of that.

A tax isn’t necessarily borne by the person who pays it to the government. If they can, they will pass it on to someone else. Although there appears to by no(!) official work done on who will bear the cost of higher tax on housing investment, the landlord’s lobby group has been clear that the costs will be largely passed on to renters. And that seems to make a lot of sense, most landlords are operating on on thin margins at present, so they can’t afford to take the cost themselves. Renters are quite a captive market while home ownership remains so expensive so landlords are free to pass the cost on to them.

Who are the renters? The census tells us:

  • 29% of households pay rent.
  • They are mostly low income – 50% of renting households have incomes of under $50,000 a year. The median household income is $68,000.
  • We’re not talking just students or young people. 260,000 of the 400,000 renting households are families.
  • Renting households tend to be larger, so a lot more people rent than the % of houses that are rented would suggest. 1.4 million of 3 million adults do not have tenure over their residence.
  • 60% of non-Pakeha don’t own the house they live in.
  • One million of the people who don’t own their residence have incomes below $35,000.
  • Approximately 100,000 households spend more than a third of their incomes one rent.

These are the people who will be paying for the tax cuts for the rich. They are poor, they are non-Pakeha, they are already paying large portions of their income on rent.

Being low income working families they are most likely to have lost jobs during the recession and to have got no pay rise. They may get small income tax cuts, but they will already be eaten up by the higher GST bill. On top of that, they will be picking up the tab for tax cuts to people like Key, Reynolds, and other wealthy members of the capitalist class.

Remember, if you get a net tax cut in this Budget, that money isn’t manna from heaven. It has come out of someone else’s pocket. Most likely, it has come from a low or middle income working family that rents. Do you need it more than them?

One last point. I actually don’t object to better taxation of housing investment or to higher GST. Discouraging over-investment in housing, letting the price of houses fall, is good. Taxing consumption is good. What matters though is what is done with the revenue raised. It should be distributed fairly – a zero-tax bracket from $0-$8000 would be my preference. Seeing as the National Government isn’t doing that and only sees tax reform as an opportunity to make the poor pay more taxes and the rich less, I can’t support it.

70 comments on “Renters will pay for Nats’ tax cuts for the rich”

  1. RedLogix 1

    And that seems to make a lot of sense, renters are quite a captive market while home ownership remains so expensive so landlords are free to pass the cost on to them.

    Just to be clear here, with the median house price in the order of $370k, and the median rent at $15k; is a very marginal return of about 4%. This means the cash flow of many landlords is right on the knife-edge. Of course we will attempt to recover any increased costs in this budget.

    I’ve done my numbers. The median rent I’m charging at present is $300pw. If they go for killing depreciation AND ring-fencing other losses like mortgage interest, then I’ll be putting rents up about $80pw.

    Discouraging over-investment in housing, letting the price of houses fall, is good.

    I take it you do not already own a home, nor have a mortgage Marty. The way table mortgages are structured at any given moment in time about 20% of households own homes with less than 20% equity; while in any given year only about 2% of the market transitions from renting to owning (ie new home buyers).

    If landlords who currently own 29% of all homes in the market are all simultaneously hit with increased costs then either they will attempt to recover them with increased rents or massively dump thousands of properties onto an already fragile market. This would crash prices at least 20-40%. Let pretend our median house price drops from $350k to $250k .This will mean several things:

    1. Those 2% of new home buyers will be hurt because the banks will demand lower LVR’s, ie higher deposits because they are nervous about the value of their security in a falling market. For instance, an 85% LVR on a $350k property is a $52.5k deposit. A 75% LVR on the same property that has fallen to $250k is $62.5k…the price may have dropped, but the barrier to entry is higher! So they stay renting.

    2. Those 20% of folk who purchased their $350k home in the last five years or so, will have their equity wiped out. They are ‘underwater’. The bank will tolerate this for a while, especially if they keep servicing the mortgage. But sooner or later some event like loss of job, or relationship breakup forces their hand. Then these people are forced into a mortgagee sale and lose everything.. Worse still due to the punitive nature of commercial law in this country, they are likely to have a debt to the bank that will remain. These unfortunate folk have no choice but to rent as well…plus pay back their debt. Their chances of buying again are slim.

    3. The big winners will be cashed up overseas buyers (Chinese most likely) who’ll happily snap up the bargins financed by cheap money local New Zealanders cannot access.

    Still seem like such a good idea Marty?

    • Anita 1.1

      RedLogix,

      I suspect that the distribution of rental property values is not the same as the distribution of all property values, and I suspect that difference is significant. If you want to make the point in your first para you might want to dig up some better differentiated statistics.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Anita,

        That’s a very good question and one that I gave some thought to before writing. It’s certainly true that at one time the huge bulk of rentals were older houses in the last 30% of their lifecycle…that nobody really wanted as their own home anymore. But my observation, and a quick look at the Trademe ads confirms this, is that this is no longer true, there are rentals in virtually all classes of property nowadays….except perhaps at the very top end.

        Besides I was using median values…and I think that answers your objection. And many landlords are telling us that their position is rather marginal; it’s the banks who corner the vast majority of cashflow from the rental business.

        Rents are only as low as they are because for the last few decades the State has been subsidising them. The removal of this subsidy is what this Budget is all about. In this sense I totally agree with Marty, it’s the hidden ‘new tax’ that English is going to hit the poorest and least privileged in society with…in order to give those who already have the most, some more.

        • Anita 1.1.1.1

          Yeah, I can’t work out a simple way of checking the assumptions either. The disagreggated CPI data would help perhaps but I’m not sure how much. This was interesting but no damned use :)

          Anyhow, if we were talking about the rental of privately owned properties to people who might otherwise own I think your logic would be safer. My hunch is, tho, that state and council rental properties, and high volumes of student rentals probably distort the rental market too far from the distribution of all housing.

          I utterly agree that property rental must be marginal, or worse, in many cases. I bought the house I rented, so I am keenly aware of how much higher my mortgage payments are than the rental value of the property.

          Incidentally, doesn’t the accommodation supplement available through WINZ potentially act as a further subsidy at the bottom end of the non-student market?

    • Add to that the stigma attached to renting and you’re creating a poor subclass who will never be able to cross the divide.

      Captcha: falling

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        True enough …yet it mirrors the other stigma attached to being a landlord, which makes it all too easy for the govt to deflect tenant’s anger at rent rises onto the landlord…the person at the door anxiously informing them of the inevitable result of the govt’s change of policy.

        Yet the truth is that the majority of landlords are fairly ordinary middle and working class people in their 50’s and 60’s who put a lot of cash and work into their business.

        • uke 1.2.1.1

          Ahhh… reminds me of that wonderful song: “Oh pity the downtrodden landlord”:

          Please open your hearts and your purses
          To a man who is misunderstood
          He gets all the kicks and the curses
          Though He wishes you nothing but good
          He wistfully begs you to show him
          You think he’s a friend, not a louse;
          So remember the debt that you owe him
          The landlord who lends you his house

          Chorus: So pity the downtrodden landlord
          And his back that is burdened and bent
          Respect his gray hairs, don’t ask for repairs
          And don’t be behind with the rent.

          You are able to work for a living
          And rejoice in your strength and your skill;
          So try to be kind and forgiving
          To a man who a day’s work would kill.
          You are able to talk with your neighbor
          You can look the whole world in its face,
          But a landlord hat ventured to labor
          Would never survive the disgrace.

          When a landlord resorts to eviction
          Don’t think that he does it for spite;
          He’s acting from deepest conviction,
          And what’s right, after all, is what’s right.
          But I see that your hearts are all hardened
          And I fear I’m appealing in vain;
          Yet I hope my last plea will be pardoned
          If I beg on my knees once again:

        • Lew 1.2.1.2

          RL, isn’t “owning more than one house” a definitive marker of the (upper?) middle, rather than the working class — cloth-cap pretensions and upbringing notwithstanding? To my mind it’s a clear indicator of mobility.

          L

        • pollywog 1.2.1.3

          Is there an ethnic breakdown of stats on landlords ?…if 60 percent of non pakeha dont own homes just wondering how many pakeha own more than one ?

          and why is that ?

      • RedLogix 1.2.2

        My repsonse to uke’s charming wee ditty, and Marty’s equally Victorian pic that he headlined this post with… is simple.

        About 12 years ago I had nothing except a job, a company car and so few possesions I could fit them all into the back of it. Otherwise zip. (Plus of course all that white privilege baggage, but I couldn’t find a Maori at the time who’d take it.:-).

        My partner and I have worked very hard to get to our current position, which is still not that flash. We are what you call asset rich and very cash poor. Most of our tenants have nicer furniture and cars than we have.

        The average landlord in this country is someone in their middle age who owns 1.5 units. The vast majority of us are ordinary people who’ve used the equity they built up in their own home in a long-term retirement investment. Typically they start in their 40’s or 50’s and for the first 10-15yrs the cash flow is very marginal, of they are putting money INTO the business. In this respect the rental is just like many other SME’s…without depreciation and the ability to deduct expenses from income the business would never get off the ground.

        It’s only after the mortgage is paid down after 15-20 odd years that it becomes profitable and begins to pay tax in the normal way. The vast majority of us are doing this business because the govt has told us not to rely on National Super …and from bitter experience we do not trust and of the alternative investments on offer in this country.

        And pollywog, for Christ sakes not everything is a race issue. There really is no law stopping non-Europeans getting into the business. Indeed many do.

        • Lew 1.2.2.1

          RL, is that intended as an answer to mine as well? It’s an honest question, not a wind-up.

          L

        • uke 1.2.2.2

          “My partner and I have worked very hard to get to our current position.”

          Just because it’s a bunch of “ordinary” Kiwis involved, doesn’t make it “right”.

          As you pretty much admit, you were only thinking of yourselves. Not about the effect that the massive middle-class shift to property investment was going to have on the market. Making what was once affordable to all social classes now unaffordable to those on the bottom. (I wonder what their retirement plan will be?)

          One could argue that the shift to rental investment among those on the middle-class Left in the last 20 years showed an implicit loss of faith in the Kiwi social contract. It was a bit of an insurance policy to ensure their own status at the expense of those “below”.

          As you’ve stated, you’ll be only too ready to “pass on” the cost again.

          • RedLogix 1.2.2.2.1

            Not about the effect that the massive middle-class shift to property investment was going to have on the market.

            The reality is that there is always a portion of people who will never own their own home regardless of how cheap they are. They are either too young, too old, too transient, not interested, have a criminal record, or are simply paid so badly that no bank will ever lend to them. We used to have a decent State Housing system for them…and part of me wishes it were still so, but the days of massive state institutions being so deeply entrenched in our lives is over. We simply are not ever going to go back to the days when the left could dream of the State providing 30% of the total housing needs in this country.

            Instead over recent decades we have transitioned to what is essentially a State-subsidised, privately managed housing system. It’s not perfect, but it is what we have. And we fiddle with it at our peril.

            I wonder what their retirement plan will be?

            Kiwisaver. If rents are kept low they should be able to afford it. It’s more than I can.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.2.2.2.1.1

              I’m a bit confused about how much and which parts of your position is rhetoric.

              You seem to be saying that ‘rents are low’ based on historic ratios to property prices. But to me that’s crazy given what you also state about banks lending policies driving a property price bubble.

              Seems to me that if you want to find out if rents are ‘low’ or not, then the thing to compare them with is household income. The ratio to property price only tells you if there is a bubble in the property market.

              If there is such a bubble, and everyone seems to agree there is, then renters, I would think, should be last on the list of who should be getting a haircut, after the banks etc.

            • uke 1.2.2.2.1.2

              “Kiwisaver. If rents are kept low they should be able to afford it. It’s more than I can.”

              That’s a big “if” at this stage of the game.

              And why should the low income-earner trust in Kiwisaver any more than you didn’t trust National Super? (Already the Nacts have fiddled with it). The brutal facts are they don’t really have any choice: unlike the middle-class.

              So it really all comes down to brutal facts, survival of the fittest, the richest, and all that, eh?

        • Bored 1.2.2.3

          Interesting Red, theres a subtle message here that stands out: people doing what you have done are by and large not avaricious rentiers, they are more concerned that their retirements might not be funded by the state in the future.

          Is the other subtle message is that these people have no faith in collective solutions to this and have taken responsibility for their own outcomes? Has our commitment to public solutions to large issues reached such a low point where we see no alternative to landlordism to secure our own individual wellbeing?

          • RedLogix 1.2.2.3.1

            Bored.

            Got it in one.

            • Bored 1.2.2.3.1.1

              Hope so Red, I suppose my real question is should we be debating the validity of this or alternatives? Or do we just accept it?

        • pollywog 1.2.2.4

          For probably not the last time, though i wish it were RL, let me reiterate, I don’t do race issues… I do culture issues !

          But anyway, for some reason i’m reminded of motivational speakers telling how you too can realise your dreams, but if everyone were a motivational speaker there’d be no one to motivate…same with landlording ? If everyone owned 1.5 units there’d be no one to rent to and they’d be worth sweet FA.

          So in whose best interest is it to keep house prices high, wages low and ensure a surplus of renters who dont have any choice but to wear any and all price hikes…if you cant beat em join em eh ?

          yeah nah, good on ya mate :thumbup:

    • Samuel 1.3

      Redlogix- your comments about the cashed up Chinese buyers underscore why we urgently need a law change that reserves housing for New Zealand buyers only. Otherwise I disagree that rent increases will be a long term problem . People can only pay what they can- once rents are too high people will find other alternatives and demand for rental accommodation will fall. House prices need to fall enough so that landlords can buy a house and make a return that covers costs.

      And a note to Labour- don’t even think about raising the accommodation subsidy to bail out landlords. Hitting PAYE earners to pay for the excesses of landlords who gambled on capital gains and lost is not on.

      • uke 1.3.1

        “…we urgently need a law change that reserves housing for New Zealand buyers only”

        In combination with a rent freeze too? Otherwise, until everything stabilises, you’re going to see many more families opting for the “trailer park lifestyle”.

        The underlying problem is that land, by nature, is not a commodity – any more than money is – and should not be traded on that basis. Land is not something you can manufacture more of.

        Freezing rents would be one way of bringing house prices down and de-incentivizing its use for investment purposes.

    • Jenny 1.4

      Nasty little racist stab at Chinese people there at the end, Rightlogix.

      Like many apologists of the capitalist economic model, when the figures don’t stack up you look around for scapegoats to blame.

      A tactic most infamously used by Hitler to explain the Great Depression and the banking collapse of the 1930s.

      Have you ever considered that investors in rental property like yourself are one of the causes of the housing bubble that has put home ownership out of the reach of normal working people.

      You took the risk, Boo hoo if your equity is wiped out. But no, you want your tenants to bail you out.

      Maybe you would like to explain how you are any different to the Wall Street banksters who were able to raid the public account when their speculation in housing collapsed.

      The advertised purpose for this tax was to “cool the housing market” ie. to stop housing investors like yourself inflating house prices.

      Personally I think the government would be fully justified in bringing in rent controls along with this tax, to stop people like you passing it on to your tenants.

      Rightlogix you justify your behaviour by saying you are a hard worker. Well who isn’t?

      Are your tenants not hard workers?

      Do they really deserved to be squeezed by you to protect your lifestyle?

  2. interesting points Red. You’ve certainly confirmed that most of the cost will be passed through to renters.

    • A good analysis by Redlogic and a good case to do nothing.

      The problem is that if we do nothing then things will continue to spiral. Kiwis will keep borrowing more and more money from Australian Banks to buy the same houses of each other for higher and higher prices.

      Investment in industries that are capable of the techonological breakthroughs that we need will instead be put into land. And taxpayers who should be paying considerable tax will be paying less.

      At some stage the economy has to be corrected.

      • Lew 2.1.1

        So it seems a gradual correction is required — a managed step-down, rather than one which will cause a stampede. Is such a thing even possible? Property investors are even more like reef-fish than the stockmarkets.

        L

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        and a good case to do nothing.

        A good case not to fiddle with the symptoms rather than addressing the root cause…which is excessive credit creation by banks.

        The long-term ratio of property values to imputed rental value is about 15:1. In other words if the current median rent is $15k, then the median property value should be $225k.

        The only reason why the median property price is so much higher than this is because banks have pumped so much credit into the asset market. They did this in order to make money. Be very clear what the root cause is here.

        The optimum LVR ratio is about 80%. In order to establish equilibrium in the whole market (remember rentals are only 30% of it) the banks must be regulated by the Reserve Bank to limit credit creation. At present the value to rental ratio is about 25:1. A bank should not lend more than 80% of this, therefore they should be limited to lending no more than 20 times the imputed rental value of the property. (The imputed rental value is fairly easy to establish.)

        Here’s the neat part. In order to prevent crashing the market you need to reduce this ratio gradually over a period of about 5-10 years. So each year the RB reduces the ratio by 1 point, so next year the limit is 19 times the imputed rental value. After about 7-8 years the ratio is down to 12 times which is 80% of its historic mean value. Job done.

        It’s a simple technical move that is well within the powers of the RB, and addresses the very real problem of asset price inflation at it’s root …benefitting all New Zealanders in the long run.

        • mickysavage 2.1.2.1

          The only reason why the median property price is so much higher than this is because banks have pumped so much credit into the asset market

          That and landlords seeking a tax free capital gain.

          In response to Lew’s point I am not sure if it can be graduated. in any event the Government is relying on the extra income to give significant tax cuts to the uber wealthy who do actually pay tax.

          It is an interesting conundrum for the Government. I have no sympathy for the predicament they are in. They will on Thursday annoy a significant portion of their supporter base.

          If it could be graduated then I would suggest that before a tax deduction can be allowed there should be evidence of actual reduction in the value of the rental unit. The deductions are allowed on the false premise that the rental unit has devalued, whereas often it has not.

          But we would need to beef up IRD’s resources considerably.

          • RedLogix 2.1.2.1.1

            That and landlords seeking a tax free capital gain.

            Those folk are called property speculators. The IRD already has plenty of tools to deal with them. The big scandal was the fact that the 90’s National govt more or less directed IRD to so completely turn a blind eye to the rules that most people forgot that if you are buying and selling for a business that tax was owed.

            Landlords by contrast intend to keep their properties long-term…so capital gain is largely irrelevant.

            The deductions are allowed on the false premise that the rental unit has devalued, whereas often it has not.

            It’s the land value that increases the most…. and that is not depreciable. The building and chattels increase pretty much at replacement value. And they do wear out as do all business assets do and need replacing… at replacement value.

            The rort that some speculators get into is when they do sell they illegitimately manipulate the ratio of imputed land and chattel values to their maximum benefit…but again IRD is pretty much onto that these days. It’s a mug valuer who connives with them in that game.

            • mickysavage 2.1.2.1.1.1

              If you give a landlord a big enough capital gain they tend to become speculators …

              I accept the land/improvements distinction exists but I am not sure why. We are giving a tax break and allowing a tax free capital gain at the same time for the same object.

              IRD did improve during the past decade. They were given the necessary resources and there was the necessary political will to do something.

              With the cutting of the public service this sort of work will become of lesser priority.

              I recall reading an analysis that suggests that for every $1 spent on more IRD staff there would be a return of $60.

  3. Herodotus 3

    “…higher tax on housing investment, the landlord’s lobby group has been clear that the costs will be largely passed on to renters…”
    For me those who continual this statement (incl Lab MP’s) are just doing the work and re inforcing the justification for a rent rise, just keep on saying this and it WIL happen becasue we have accepted it. Who are they and the left really working for?
    So Lab has been happy for me and all the other PAYE workers to subsidies the rich with our taxes. The logic for allowing depreciation on an asset that appreciates is nonsense. So with this logic Lab and “the left” will DO NOTHING regarding the property con with favourable tax and ability to claim poverty and claim social welfare in allowing to increase their asset base.
    No wonder people are confused Nat is more left than lab in looking after the welfare of the poor, and Lab is safe guarding the filthy rich !!!

    • Marty G 3.1

      That’s a bit rich. Does continually stating that rising GST will rise prices make it happen? Does stating that summer will bring longer days make it happen? No. These are just observations about the consequences of events.

      Labour has supported closing down tax advantages for housing investment. It looked at doing so in 2006 and was shouted down by the media.

      What Labour has opposed is more tax on housing being used to give big arse tax cuts to the rich – ie it is against National forcing “workers to subsidies the rich with our taxes”.

      • prism 3.1.1

        “Labour has supported closing down tax advantages for housing investment. It looked at doing so in 2006 and was shouted down by the media”

        That is why Labour got voted out. They didn’t have enough political will to push forward the policies that their voters would have expected. In the end they were more concerned about skimming along so they could get another term. It would have been hard for them either way, but they chose not to stand up and explain what they were doing and why, and how it would benefit the country and then go forward. At the end of the day their fall was inevitable.

    • Samuel 3.2

      Herodotus- “No wonder people are confused Nat is more left than lab in looking after the welfare of the poor, and Lab is safe guarding the filthy rich !!!”

      Yeah- my thoughts too. The best thing you can do for low income people is make a home of their own affordable. If this means letting house prices fall to a natural level than so be it. Labour seems to be looking after the interests of the landed classes rather than the people they say they represent.

      .

      • Bright Red 3.2.1

        samuel. Labour. Doesn’t. Oppose. Tax. On. Property. Investment.

        what it does oppose is that moeny, which comes from higher rents, being used to pay off the rich when it should go to working New Zealanders.

  4. Herodotus 4

    Marty when did this subsidy really hit in?
    Abourt 2004 when housing went thru the roof, and there was no action by the govt to abate this growing bubble.
    I also do not remember any electon comment as voting for me and we will keep rents down by giving a backhanded subsidy to landlords.
    There are also rules as to how often and by what % increases of rent can occur, perhaps “The Left” should be placing greater effort on informing tennants that they have rights and where to turn if they feel hard done by.
    Perhaps landlords are struggling because they made marginal decisions on what the property as a commercial enterprise was worth. So the banks made bad decisions we bailed them out, now landlords. I hope that the govt would bail me out if I made a bad decission at a casino and bailed me out !!! I only Hope :)
    “…was shouted down by the media.” So Labs policies were based on WHAT the media think, no wonder we have had crap government they do as the media says NOT what is best. I think that Helen was a bit stronger than to change direction on this rather poor group within the media Has not this site commented on the bias of the media, yet Lab was listening to them?

    • Marty G 4.1

      “” was shouted down by the media.’ So Labs policies were based on WHAT the media think, no wonder we have had crap government they do as the media says NOT what is best. ”

      stop yelling.

      You know full well that there are limits to what a government can do. National thinks it is best to mine schedule 4 land but the political environment means it can’t. When Labour proposed changes to housing tax the headlines made it clear this would be branded as another tax grab by overtaxing Labour.

      No-one’s talking about ‘bailing out’ landlords. Get a grip.

      • Samuel 4.1.1

        Marty G- Phil Goff came out against changes to property taxes only last week. The climate has changed greatly in the past few years and many influential people in the media are calling for drastic chnages to the rules around property. I can’t see any excuses for Labours current position on housing and I think they are letting down the people they say they represent.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          Phil Goff came out against changes to property taxes only last week

          Are you sure? Source and quote please.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.2

          Samuel. Where’s the quote on that?

          Labour has said they support tax on housing investment but it has to be redistributed fairly.

      • Herodotus 4.1.2

        “No-one’s talking about ‘bailing out’ landlords. Get a grip.”
        Marty this comment was based on the premise that the landlord paid too much for their property and as they are having a gross return of about 4%, are now having the ability to deduct depreciation on the house thus have part of the negative equity bank rolled by the state, and then in most cases take the capital gain and run. When under close scrunity that is all the exercise was based on Capital Gain, with the state funding the “time” element along with the tennant.
        I am still taken back by some who continue to protect the landlord.
        The lack of building for me will not be sorted out until someone losses a packet of money. To build costs $1700/m2 fora single level and over $2000/m2 for double story. Land takes 9 years + to get zoned, the purchase price of the land is minor when compared to holding costs and prep work for plan changes and hearings. The days of Ferarris being driven by Land Developers has gone. The one saving grace is that earth works and civil work contracts are fort for with historicall low prices. But this can hold out so long before contractors go under.

  5. big bruv 5

    Ah…the return of market rents, the good old days are back again.

    Now all we need is for renters to start paying for the local body services they currently receive for free, it is time for a council tax based on use not property ownership.

    • lprent 5.1

      They don’t receive them for free. As a landlord, I certainly account for them in my pricing for rents, along with body corporate fees etc.

      Most of the more expensive elements like roads, accessible public transport, etc are factors that make people prefer my offering over another. In fact they are why I brought in a particular area. It made it more attractive to me when I lived there, and more attractive to my tenants now.

      I think that you’re just being your usual unthinking self again. The majority of the services paid for by rates probably benefit the owner more than the renter.

  6. Bored 6

    Very interesting debate from Marty and Red about the effect this could have on house prices…..it sort of reflects that great NZ middle class concern about what they percieve to be a safe investment. A collapse in housing prices might just be the “disaster” that sinks the Nacts. And that says something about us as a nation: it may reflect our unhealthy obsession with making others pay for what we want to own, either through rent, or through tax based upward distribution.

    capcha enginering

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1

      Shouldn’t we be more concerned on a left blog with the looming housing shortage which the government is doing nothing about? Thats what is going to pressure rental costs.
      The cost of construction will keep prices going up. You’d be lucky to build anything in Auckland for under $250K construction cost, thats not even counting land. When employment stabilises I can’t see prices falling (have a look at Melb and Sydney prices) Don’t know about the rest of the country but in Auck, Well and ChCh any rent increase due to the depreciation changes (and GST increases- remember rates are also going up 2.5%) are going to be dwarfed by the rent increases caused by the housing shortage and interest rate increases that are coming..

      • Bored 6.1.1

        Z, you are at the hub of the issue, supply and demand. As you point out there is more than just people and house numbers, theres land, finance, labour etc etc. As a ‘left wing” blog I am surprised by how quickly we descend to the mechanics of and the realities of todays issue and the current paradigm.

        This indicates a tacit acceptance of the current status quo as opposed to valid social questions about ownership, housing standards and availability, and most importantly who benefits and in what proportion?

        • uke 6.1.1.1

          How about a rent-control calculation made by the government – related to household income and market value – so that a fair rent could be set for the tenant and the landlord wouldn’t get unduly squeezed?

          Rather than this fluid market-based financescape of shifting property values, incomes, and taxes that seems to please nobody.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            Well my other really radical suggestion…which few people seem to get is this:

            Socialise all urban land.

            In other words convert all urban freehold title into leasehold, in the name of the local TLA. Instead of charging rates, they charge rent.

            Before anyone gets all upset over this, think… there is already plenty of leasehold urban land in NZ, plenty of people live perfectly happily in such properties all their lives. What they are renting is the right to occupy the land…they have no actual need to OWN it.

            The big impact this would have is to remove the land value from the asset that the bank has a mortgage over. It eliminates the main cause of price speculations and bubbles in property …because the land can no longer be bought and sold privately.

            Just in case anyone thinks I’m all rhetoric and no solutions.

            • Lew 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Ok. Supposing this could work, where would the local authorities get the cash to pry the existing parcels of freehold land from the fingers of its current owners? Or would this land-grab not be subject to compensation? And what would happen to land on the urban fringe — presently outside the boundaries, but prone to become a part of it as the cities expand?

              L

              • RedLogix

                Agreed Lew, I can’t see a simple path through, certainly not one that is politically achievable. As I said it’s a radical suggestion, more helpful to frame the discussion by defining what the core issue really is …than anything we are likely to see implemented anytime soon.

                Although on second thoughts, there is no need to implement it all at once. It could be achieved over time if TLA’s were allowed back into the urban development business.

                What if we did a 12% compulsory super system like Australia, and invested that into nationalising the $190b of private debt we owe to overseas banks?

              • Lew

                Right, so the councils purchase property as it becomes available on the open market, and use the revenue from building sales and land rental to fund further purchases.

                I’m not a fan of using super funds as debt-absorbers. Either the fund is there to maximise returns for provision of future services or whatever, or it’s earmarked for some other purpose. Trying to do both tends to result in doing neither very well. This means that any such additional levy would need to be in addition to those presently invested in Kiwisaver etc. This would be a hard sell to folks who already own property in the equity safe zone.

                Also, just wondering why you’ve not responded to my prior questions, RL? Beneath debate?

                L

              • Bored

                Really please to see some thinking and debate around some more far sighted approaches, rather than picking away at the details of the current issue. Well done gents, my day is getting happier. I like the socilaise urban land idea, the subsequent redevelopment of older housing stock might be quite an economic stimulant and opportunity to build better environments and communities.

                Moving on to rural land…..rent based upon soil conservation levels…hmmmmmm.

            • uke 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Agree with you on this Red, though I can see the implementation problems, as with Lew. But why not all land, while we’re at it?

              As I stated above, a basic problem is treating land as a commodity, when in fact, it is not a true commodity (being “unproduceable”). It is no coincidence that the birth of British market capitalism is strongly linked to the enclosure of common land by the genrty.

              *Sorry, Red, if I came over a bit irreverant and pointed before: these issues wind me up*

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1.1.1.1.3

              Councils don’t need to do it all. They have plenty of control over the development market already so why not let them do what they (and HNZ) did in Hobsonville- provide the land, the development plan and the infrastructure- then private developers build what they believe the market wants. That way developers can have certainty and policy objectives can be met (proximity to jobs appropriate social housing etc). Just takes a bit imagination- something this current government seems a little light on at the moment.

              • Anita

                How does that provide homes for the hard-to-house?

                Private developers/landlords are not particularly willing to rent to people dealing with alcohol or substance abuse, people who are transitioning from residential mental health care, recent refugees, and the long-term homeless (to name just a few groups).

  7. Fisiani 7

    Supply and demand economics 101.
    After the budget it will be less profitable to be a heavily geared landlord. This will cause many houses to come on the open market and thus drop prices. Houses will then be purchased by other cashed up landlords and rented out with LOWER rents. First time buyers can get houses cheaper.

    • Bright Red 7.1

      yes and it’s not the tax on housing investment that people have a problem with, it’s what happens to the money raised.

      You really have trouble with the reading comprehension, huh?

    • RedLogix 7.2

      Fisani

      Read the thread above… your argument is superficial and has been unpicked.

      The property market is not pure supply and demand 101 in the normal way most people think of it. It’s not like when the price of cornflakes go up and people switch to weetbix because they are cheaper.

      If you want to buy a house there is no alternative…but a house. When prices are rising, paradoxically demand increases because people want to lock in their purchase price now and avoid a higher price later. Conversely when prices are falling, demand drops because everyone thinks they might be able to buy cheaper if they wait.

      And so does the bank. The last thing the bank wants is to lend into a falling market. Look at the rural farm market, the banks are so bearish about it at the moment, some of them have limited LVR ratios to 50%! Moreover all those people who already have mortgages lose their hard-earned equity selling into a falling market…if they sell they don’t have enough for a deposit on their next home no matter how low prices go.

      The failure to understand supply and demand in the property market, and the failure to take into account the non price-neutral behaviour of mortgage debt are the two main mistakes most people make when thinking about the property market.

  8. aj 8

    I agree with mick and lew @ around 11am
    One only has to look at historical trends {and the current US situation} to see a correction is most likely to happen. There will be tears, as with all bubbles. The Blue Chips and finance companies bubbles popped brutally and quickly – housing will be a slow death for those in marginal situations with static, reducing, or zero wages.

  9. Pat 9

    There is a bunch of options for first home buyers to get into the market. The truth is, most don’t know what is available and how to get it. Higher income earners can still borrow 95% through some Banks, and most other first home buyers are in reach of Welcome Home Loans, and/or KiwiSaver with the First Home Buyers subsidy.

    Govt has provided the options, but govt is piss poor at delivering the advice and planning needed by first home buyers. No-one from WINZ is going to go around to your house at 8pm at night and show you how to buy your first home, or set up KiwiSaver to save for your deposit. (Maybe Whanau Ora will be better at filling this gap).

    Simple solution: Pay mortgage brokers commission on Welcome Home Loans.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      “Pay mortgage brokers commission on Welcome Home Loans.”

      then bundle up the mortgages into a big shitpile, split the pile into tranches, rate the tranches using magic beans, sell them to kiwisaver managers, and around we go, gabba gabba hey. :)

  10. Pat 10

    “What if we did a 12% compulsory super system like Australia, and invested that into nationalising the $190b of private debt we owe to overseas banks?”

    All complusory super needs is a start-line. For example, you could start now with all 18 year olds and over starting their first job once they finish school and/or tertiary eductaion. Compulsory 10% deductions into KiwiSaver until they are 65, plus minimum 2% plus employer, and no National Super. Only withdrawal available is for first home deposit. That gives them 40 plus years of savings at the desired level to meet retirement needs, and unburden the future taxpayer.

  11. icehawk 11

    Piffle!

    “the landlord’s lobby group has been clear that the costs will be largely passed on to renters. And that seems to make a lot of sense, most landlords are operating on on thin margins at present, so they can’t afford to take the cost themselves. Renters are quite a captive market while home ownership remains so expensive so landlords are free to pass the cost on to them.”

    Of course the LANDLORDS lobby group says this!

    But rentals are not set by landlords saying:

    “Gosh Humphrey, I think I deserve an extra $500 a year”

    “Why yes Reginald, that’s only fair. I deserve to make an extra $1000 a year in rent, so I’ve raised the rent on my peons too!”.

    No. Rentals are not set landlords making up what they want. They are set by supply of rental property vs demand for rental property. Charge too much and you find your property empty – and for landlords with a mortgage that’s very, very expensive. Supply and demand of rental property will be pretty much the same next month as they are now, no matter what happens in the budget. Renters are not a “captive market'” in the sense Marty suggests- if landlords could get twice as much rent as they do now they would.

    The landlords lobby warns that landlords will “get out of the market”. What, take their rental houses and put them under their bed?

    Long term (very long term) tax on property will lower property prices, which will reduce building of new property, and the interaction of those two might raise or lower rents as they will each push in opposite directions. But it’s very hard to tell.

    Short term, the landlords lobby is talking self-serving nonsense. Much like Red Logix.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Renters are not a “captive market” in the sense Marty suggests- if landlords could get twice as much rent as they do now they would.

      But no-one can or will supply anything at less than cost. A significant portion of landlords are close to that point. They will have to raise rents or go out of business. Some landlords will not have to do this, but their fortunate tenants will likely stay put rather than face the chance of higher rents elsewhere. Any one unit can be only rented once, until the tenant moves it is effectively off the market. Again, it’s not like we are selling cornflakes here.

      The current price in the rental market is set by a range of exogenous factors that at any one point in time are more or less in equilibrium. Change one of those factors and the price will change.

      Put this another way. If tenants were free to pay whatever they like why don’t they pay half what they do now?

      Supply and demand of rental property will be pretty much the same next month as they are now, no matter what happens in the budget.

      Well as I described above at 7.2 ‘supply and demand’ in the property market is nothing like the simplistic Econ101 model you have in mind.

      Another factor that many people are unaware of is that a surprisingly large number of new houses are built by landlords each year. I don’t have the exact percentage, but I’m guessing its in the order of 5-15%. Personally I’ve built six, fully hands-on with three of them. Of course if we stop doing that (and I’m sitting on land, a consent and funding for an unbuilt home that currently I’m unlikely to proceed with) then that will take a decent chunk out of the supply side of the equation.

      You might also like to read this.

      What, take their rental houses and put them under their bed?

      As explained at 1.0 you really don’t want us dumping thousands of them on the market either…not if you already own a home, and especially not if you have a mortgage.

  12. icehawk 12

    Red,

    You misunderstand Econ 101.

    Renters are not a “captive market”. If you raise the rent they can easily move to the vacant flat down the road. Even if every landlord in town wants to raise rent, landlords are competing with each other for tenants. So rents are set not by what landlords want to charge to recoup their costs, but by how much supply and demand there is for rental properties.

    That is why when mortgage rates dropped hugely in the last two years, thus hugely dropping your costs, you did not halve the rent you charge your tenants.

    “Put this another way. If tenants were free to pay whatever they like why don’t they pay half what they do now?”

    Red, you’re not that thick. So stop pretending. I was arguing that prices were set by supply and demand, not at whatever level the landlords want and not at whatever level the tenants want.

    Supply of rental properties is inelastic in the short term. Pixies don’t suddenly create houses overnight if rents are high. Nor do they steal them away when rents are low. Landlords quitting being landlords don’t take their units out the market. Demand is more elastic because household sizes change – if rental prices are too high people can stay home with mum and dad for another year or squeeze a flatmate into the lounge. If prices are low then a couple may rent a larger place to give themselves more space.
    (BTW, this is the big point the link you suggest is missing – the important effects of changes of household size on property prices and vice versa, since in most Western countries social pressure towards smaller households is as big a driver in the property market as increase in population is)

    We’re not going to have a property crash, despite your bizarre claims. We may have a noticeable dip in property prices in some rental markets. Basically you’re saying that we should retain tax loopholes because otherwise highly-geared capitalists will lose money. I lack sympathy.

    I’m disappointed that people are trying to pretend that their desire to keep tax loopholes for highly-geared capitalists is somehow about protecting those poor renters. This is self-serving nonsense. Stop it.

    • Herodotus 12.1

      Icwehawk I think that it is because the enemy has done something that Lab should have done, but “we” cannot give them credit for this, so how can we help Lab to save face?
      By putting forward hallow arguements why protecting landlords is a good idea and how society benefits from this protection. Why cannot those say Nats have started this giving some begrudging support, then how can we the left/Lab continue this process to where “the left” believes property should be contributing to the taxes paid, also I did not know that the Property Council whas giving advice to Labs campaign strategy.
      It is the same with the token Fruit & Veges GST exemption suggestion. We the voting public deserve better.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Demand is more elastic because household sizes change if rental prices are too high people can stay home with mum and dad for another year or squeeze a flatmate into the lounge.

      Yes this is true. So can I take it you are happy with overcrowding as a solution to an undersupply of rental accomodation?

      I was arguing that prices were set by supply and demand, not at whatever level the landlords want and not at whatever level the tenants want.

      I was waiting for you to fall into that common trap.

      What you are doing is confusing and conflating the supply and demand for homes, with the supply and demand for rentals. They are not the same thing. While on the supply side there is a total number of dwellings that can be considered more or less equivalent in the market, on the demand side people who rent and people who own are not equivalent to each other.

      A person renting does not easily nor quickly transition to someone who owns, nor do people who own normally choose to go renting just because it might be cheaper to do so.

      We may have a noticeable dip in property prices in some rental markets.

      When a landlord puts a unit on the market, it competes with ALL other properties on the market. There is no such thing as an isolated ‘rental market’. If these tax changes cannot be recovered in increased rents as you claim, then something in the order of 30% of landlords would have to sell at least some properties. Given that this would massively increase the supply of properties on the market, how on earth could ‘mr supply and demand’ argue that this would not drop prices for ALL properties.

      In fact what I’ve argued above is that the dynamics of the property market are a lot more subtle than that. When prices are falling, paradoxically demand also tends to fall. The effect is that the volume of sales plummets.

      All these reasons mean that your simplistic ‘supply and demand’ mechanism doesn’t work the way you think it will.

      capchta = resident. Lyn….this thing IS sentient.

    • Bright Red 12.3

      ‘If you raise the rent they can easily move to the vacant flat down the road.”

      Kind of assumes there are lots of empty flats sitting around.

  13. Mark 13

    @ icehawk: You keep on saying rents are not set by “by how much supply and demand there is for rental properties” – and that is undoubtedly true. But then you proceed to contradict that – by arguing that it’s only the demand side of this equation (i.e. the tenants) that matters, and the supply side doesn’t.

    The landlords want the highest rents they can get, and the tenants want the lowest rents they can get. What determines the ‘equilibirum’ price then is a range of factors, *including* the landlord’s costs. If you increase landlords costs across the board, surely you can see this must least to higher rents?

    Reginald and Humphrey can’t raise their rents in your little example because there are other suppliers in the market, that will happily supply their property at cheaper prices. But if every supplier is hit with new costs (taxes), they won’t be able to, and rents must and will rise!

    How will suppliers take their properites off the market? By selling them. Most rental properties do not achieve a good return, and it often doesn’t even cover the interest component of their loan. The only thing that keeps it viable are the tax benefits. Take that away, and something’s got to give – either sell your property, or raise the rent.

    Another thing I’d be curious to know is whether you think the same “supply and demand” principles apply to the labour market and wages?

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  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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