web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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?

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • 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
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • 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
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere