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State housing: bursting the “market” bubble

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, January 20th, 2014 - 102 comments
Categories: class war, cost of living, housing, poverty, sustainability, thinktank - Tags:

The (un)affordability of housing in NZ, especially in the cities of Christchurch and Auckland, is beyond crisis point.  It’s become an inhumane blight on the record of our current government.  In Auckland it has gone from crisis to hyper-inflated devasation for the least well off.  And most often, those on lowest incomes are being relegated to living in transport poverty on the outer margins of the city.

Some MSM reporters have been talking up the up-swing in home building.  But doing that all within the system of private home ownership is just giving more fuel to the rentier classes, and those desperate to buy their own home.  The answer is simple – to end the crisis in (un)affordable housing, the state could just provide more housing at an affordable cost.

Meanwhile, the just released report of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, shows that Auckland housing is becoming increasingly over-priced – the bubble just keeps on inflating.  Anne Gibson reports in today’s NZ Herald:

Last year, the survey pegged Aucklanders as having a median household income of $75,200 and a median house price of $506,800, giving the city a total median multiple of 6.7 (house prices divided by incomes) when anything more than 3 is regarded as unaffordable.

But now Auckland’s median house prices are $561,700 and median household incomes $70,500, the city has been pegged as having a median multiple of 8. The survey concluded Auckland had slipped further in its ranking as one of the world’s most severely unaffordable places to live.

Last year, Auckland was the world’s 313th most unaffordable place out of 337 cities but now it is the world’s 347th most unaffordable out of 360 cities.

Christchurch-based survey co-author Hugh Pavletich said the trend was extremely worrying.

[...]

Demographia sourced its New Zealand housing data from the Real Estate Institute and the incomes from Statistics New Zealand.

Mr Pavletich said income figures were projected on Census 2006, until Census 2013 when the latest figure was used.

Some NZ economists question the findings.  But more worrying, is the underlying ethos of the Demographia Report written by Alain Bertaud, Urbanist, Senior Research Scholar, Stern School of Business, New York University  and Former Principal Planner – The World Bank.  Basically he is critical of the kind of approach in Aucklannd’s Urban Plan – an approach that aims to increse density in selected areas of Auckland, rather than continue to consume more land for housing and urban development.

Bertaud wants to follow the (alleged) approach of the Chinese government:

Even the Communist Party of China recently declared that resource allocation is best achieved through markets; why can’t urban planners in so-called market economies reach the same conclusions and let markets decide how much land and floor space households and firms will consume in different locations?

“Markets” don’t actually decide any such thing.   It’s people: people in positions of power and wealth, especially the investment bankers and property speculators who really decide how things go – and they want the land to be available for their profiteering.  It has been people with power, money and influence hiding behind the myth of “markets deciding”, that have created the life-destroying property bubble in places like Auckland.  Continuing with this mythical scam, Bertaud concludes:

It is hoped that the clear quantitative approach demonstrated by the Demographia survey would incite local think tanks in India, Brazil and China to develop the data base and the methodology to analyse the affordability problem and find a market solution to solve it.

There is another, more humane and economically beneficial way to solve the crisis in affordable housing: a crisis maintained by the profiteering of the few, and causing inhumane suffering for the least well off.

It’s been done quietly in Utah, while other US states have continued increasing human suffering on the back of the misery of homelessness.  Other states have been harrassing and demonising the homeless – seriously, where are they going to go if they are hounded off the streets?

On Open Mike today, Adam posted a link to this article; ‘Utah is ending homelessness‘:

In 2005, Utah figured out that the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail says for homeless people was about $16,670 per person, compared to $11,000 to provide each homeless person with an apartment and a social worker. So, the state began giving away apartments, with no strings attached. Each participant in Utah’s Housing First program also gets a caseworker to help them become self-sufficient, but the keep the apartment even if they fail. The program has been so successful that other states are hoping to achieve similar results with programs modeled on Utah’s.

It sounds like Utah borrowed a page from Homes Not Handcuffs, the 2009 report by The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and The National Coalition for the Homeless. Using a 2004 survey and anecdotal evidence from activists, the report concluded that permanent housing for the homeless is cheaper than criminalization. Housing is not only more human, it’s economical.’

The lesson is clear.  To solve NZ’s housing crisis, especially in Christchurch and Auckland: a significant increase in affordable state housing, and make the housing available to all who need it.

More state housing is Green Party Policy, and Mana Party Policy and activism – these parties are leading the way on the apporaches needed to make life more liveable for the least well off.

102 comments on “State housing: bursting the “market” bubble”

  1. vto 1

    The fundamental behind what Utah has done is simple and so very important. In a nutshell – give people a stake in their community and it flies.

    High house values help nobody except the banks. The sooner steps are taken to drive down the cost of home ownership (and everything else with a capital value) the better. It means less of our daily toil has to go into paying for the roof over our heads and more of our daily toil can go to other things such as food, education, etc.

    It is all such a complete no-brainer.

    The main problem of course is that no government wants capital values (of houses or anything) to drop because it means they get voted out.

    This current government knows this reality and will be rubbing its hands with glee over the current rise. They will do absolutely nothing to deal with this housing problem.

    So, how do you get a government to work to bring down house values when doing such will get them voted out? It is a conundrum…

    • Will@Welly 1.1

      Could you imagine National, for one minute, having a bar of this policy?
      Talk about “communism”, North Korea, dancing Cossacks and all the other bull………
      Affordable housing fits right next door to solving child poverty.

  2. tricledrown 2

    Karol I believe these houses were homes that had been reposed by banks and are not new homes like Labour Green Mana have as their policy.
    Its good seeing the greens 6,000 houses they promised to buold each year being upgrade by Labour to 10,000 per year.
    The Greens popularity is forcing labour back to its roots instead of being labour lite.

  3. tricledrown 3

    RNZ noon news New Zealands housing affordability worst in the world with house prices rising rapidly and wages falling.
    Come on greens and Labour get stuck in to dickhead smith.
    The holidays are over we johnny is still on planet key hawaiikey.
    Friggen hell fire some shots.

  4. bad12 4

    Well said Karol, it is the State House which in effect since the 1930′s has kept the lid on inflation both in house purchase and house rentals,

    The fact is the National Party when in Government have a deliberate policy of house price inflation being good for the economy,(such inflation being counted among the data as ‘growth),

    Thus the National Party when in Government have a deliberate policy of lowering the number of State Houses which in turn creates demand for rental property both from renters and would be landlords,

    The current sell off of State Housing by Minister Nick Smith is in fact the biggest unannounced State Owned Asset sell-off, with the value of the HousingNZ estate said to be in the realm of 50 billion dollars and Smith having been quoted as saying that ‘any house worth $700,000 that is empty will be sold’ coupled with the recently rushed through under urgency law change which promotes the removal of the tenants from these houses unveils the ‘real plan’ of this particular National Government for this unannounced asset sell off,

    Another reported quote from Smith gives us an estimate of just how large this asset sell off has been planned by the current National Government with Smith on a number of occasions happily blurting out the fact that the National Government plan is that HousingNZ will provide 20% less of the total ‘social housing’ and He expects the private NGO’s such as the Salvation Army etc to ‘magic’ the shortfall into existence on the basis that such NGO’s can now get the same subsidy that the Government gives to HousingNZ,

    Lastly as i have often put forward as a comment, at it’s peak HousingNZ had an estate comprising some 75,000 homes for a population of 3.3 million, that population is now at or very close to 4.4 million souls and on a population basis alone would strongly suggest that the ‘needed’ number of HousingNZ homes is now in the realm of 100,000,(most of that increase needed being within the City of Auckland)…

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    Excellent article Karol,

    It is great to hear that somewhere in the world there are people trying new solutions to problems and succeeding.

    I would really like to see NZ being courageous in similar ways. It is so boring seeing the same old problems year in and year out being addressed in the same old tired and failed ways.

    I fail to understand why ‘market theory’ continues to be viewed as an answer to everything. Don’t we all know already that there is a severe error in the basic assumptions of market theory?

    “Markets” don’t actually decide any such thing. It’s people: people in positions of power and wealth, especially the investment bankers and property speculators who really decide how things go – and they want the land to be available for their profiteering. It has been people with power, money and influence hiding behind the myth of “markets deciding”, that have created the life-destroying property bubble in places like Auckland.

    Brilliant

  6. Will@Welly 6

    Absolute fab karol. I have a vested interest in state housing for two reasons.
    They were the corner stones of the original Labour Party. They provided shelter, a home, a job, and training. Not many other “institutions” do that.
    One of my uncles returned from the war, and without a state house, probably “would never had made it”. The same with a lot of people I first worked with when I first entered the work force. Some brought their houses, others didn’t, but each house was a home.
    That’s the lie National fails to understand. Kicking people out of their houses isn’t simply kicking people out of their place, it’s destroying their way of life, destroying who they are, but then, unless there’s a big f**ken $$$, National aren’t interested.
    Our house has doubled in value in the past few years, I look at it and say what complete bull***t. Its still the same house I brought a few years ago, and probably paid a tad too much for then, but not like today.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    “Markets” don’t actually decide any such thing. It’s people: people in positions of power and wealth, especially the investment bankers and property speculators who really decide how things go – and they want the land to be available for their profiteering. It has been people with power, money and influence hiding behind the myth of “markets deciding”, that have created the life-destroying property bubble in places like Auckland.

    And that is why we got “markets” which have, inevitably, made people worse off.

  8. CC 8

    While accepting that affordable state housing has much to commend it, will the Government actually be able to provide houses at a reasonable cost under the current regime. Recently, it took possession of a number of public private partnership constructed units. The property developer appears to have been able, to screw the taxpayers for well in excess of $500 000 per unit. No – this was not in an area of expensive land or ‘exclusive’ properties! It must be time we looked to the past and re-instituted the housing policies that served the country well last century.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    While National seem determined to return us to slum housing stock of the 1930s and an emergency program of state house building is critical right now, no one is NZ really wants a state house, insofar as no one really wants to rent off the government all their life. People perceive that as for those with no choice, or for free-loaders.The idea of the government or council owning all the houses doesn’t fly in this country.

    What people would like to see from a party is a commitment to subsidised housing in a variety of forms (flats, units, apartments, townhouses, houses) that can be purchased, or rented to purchase, or leased, as well as rented. Even if this required some right off of capital cost by the state, the book value would still be immense and economies of scale (I wouldn’t be afraid to have entire apartment blocks pre-fabricated in China complete with white wear, plumbing and wiring if that is what it took) could see prices plunge.

    • karol 9.1

      no one is NZ really wants a state house, insofar as no one really wants to rent off the government all their life.

      You sure of that? Citations needed.

      31 December 2013 – 4,493 people on the waiting list for a state house.

      I am one of a large number of life time renters – and I’m not in any immediate or medium term danger of being homeless, or any way likely to be most in need of a state house. But to me, given a free choice between renting from the state, or from a private landlord – a private landlord profiteering and adding to house price inflation – I’d choose a state house.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        +1

      • Sanctuary 9.1.2

        You really need a citation for that? How about trying planet earth.

        • karol 9.1.2.1

          Yes, I do, Sanctuary – I have presented some evidence to the contrary eg HNZ waiting list. Where’s your evidence?

          Will below adds the fact that many people were proud to rent state houses in the past. It was a cause for celebration when the Labour Government first introduced state housing.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.2

          If you have a secure long term rental at a good rate, with freedom to make minor changes to the property including gardens etc, why not rent from the govt?

          • QoT 9.1.2.2.1

            I think Sanc has identified another area for us to work on in society: the notion that getting help or using basic services from the government is inherently a form of bludging.

            We shouldn’t keep buying into the rightwing notion that a big government providing the necessities of life is a shameful thing.

    • Will@Welly 9.2

      Problem is Sanctuary, our wages have gotten out of skilter. Once we had a carpenter earning good wages, below him a couple of others earning decent wages, and then there were a couple of apprentices. What’s missing? The last group. What’s been added? Big time property speculators/developers, and the banks. Look at how much money flows overseas in profits to the banks. We’re funding part of Australia’s lifestyle.
      A couple of other points regarding state houses. Many people had no problem renting state houses, then in the 60′s National convinced people the right thing to do was to buy their own house. Problem was a lot weren’t replaced. The same is happening today. The other problem people faced, once rents were straight forward, you could budget, now with each successive Government, you don’t know where you will stand.
      The other issue surrounding building is the role of Government and Local Government authorities. What we’ve seen is the salaries for those in the top tiers rise far above the norm, and the extraordinary amount of compliance costs and fees has exacerbated the costs of building to many home owners and builders. These need addressing. A cap needs to be put on the level of pay paid to those in the top levels of the public sector. If they believe they are really worth that amount, let them go find it in the private sector. Very few do.

    • Mike S 9.3

      I’d much rather rent off the government, especially if it’s long term. I’m in the position of having to find another place to live as the owner of the place we’re in is selling it. That’s 3 times in 3 years, all 3 houses owned by foreigners living overseas. Why should we allow someone who doesn’t even live here to buy residential housing here?

      I would ban all foreign ownership of residential housing, if you want to buy a house here then come and live here. I would make it illegal for anyone to own more than 2 residential properties. I would also make it illegal for a company to own a residential property.

      Residential housing should be for people to live in, not for making profits from at the expense of those with no capital and those on low incomes.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Residential housing should be for people to live in, not for making profits from at the expense of those with no capital and those on low incomes.

        QFT

        And if the profiteers don’t like it they can go back and read Adam Smith and several other classical economists about how bad rentiers are for the economy and society.

  10. Plan B 10

    The idea of putting a floor under a market has been mentioned here before. For instance Kiwibank it is said puts a floor under banking- it helps make the sector work a bit better by giving people an option regarding minimum standards if you like- it is sort of a market based regulation alternative.
    The same can be said for state housing I suppose – state housing provides a standard that means if the market does not deliver what people want at the price they want to pay then they have an option- willing buyer and willing seller – but with the state providing the minimum ( at whatever level the state thinks is appropriate )
    So state housing and many other state owned entities like insurance may be explained as a market based approach rather than a regulation based approach to standards in different markets. Ha the right will hate it.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Real competition something the big 4 Aussie banks do not like they write Nactionals finance policy .
    The biggest beneficary of the housing bubbly are the foreign owned banks easymoney for them no work involved doubling their profits.
    The electricity market is next.

  12. Molly 12

    Housing affordability is something that has interested me for a while, and while being involved with a community planning group (and attending many Auckland Council workshops/presentations) it is apparent that housing affordability means different things to different people. In particular those making the rules and regulations. Changing rules comes at a prohibitive cost for small innovators and new models of housing provision – and so we stick with the continuation of the market which has systemically failed over the last few decades.

    For me the definition is somewhere along the lines of:
    “Housing that is affordable to rent/buy, live in and maintain to a healthy standard as part of a healthy community.”

    What I have discovered over the last few years is a decided lack of innovation and different small scale housing models that truly address affordability. I believe that housing needs to be part of a healthy community, and so the design of the neighbourhood and how it interacts is as important as the size and design of whatever built form of housing type you choose whether it be apartment, terraced, or detached.

    Some innovations that are worth looking at in terms of developing true affordability are:
    1. Co-housing – taking the middleman property developer (whose average cut is 16%) by supporting the prospective owners/renters to be the developers,
    2. Allowing multi-generational family homes without too much regulation. We already have these in Auckland, but they are in garages and sleepouts as the cost/restrictions are too high to do legally. There has been some movement towards this in the Unitary plan, but not to the degree that it is needed.
    3. Giving leeway to self-build owners – who were never the problem in the leaky building situation anyway. Self-builders who intend to live in the property usually build over-spec rather than to minimum requirements.
    4. Allow Tiny Houses. Imagine if Christchurch had been savvy enough to create villages such as this to transition people from devastation to rebuild.
    5. Promote smaller houses such as those shown by the Tumbleweed and the Not So Big house movements.
    6. Even better combine this idea with the idea of using waste materials to build such as the business models in the US, Tiny Texas Houses or Phoenix Commotion.
    7. Promote self-build earth buildings – for smaller dwellings or sleepouts.
    8. Promote options 3-7 to replace those unhealthy living environments in uninsulated garages and sleepouts by reducing/streamlining or eliminating regulations in some areas. This can be done by requiring that the resident in the property is the owner, and that if the property changes within a set time frame, full fees and consents are charged accordingly.
    9. Have permanent affordable housing prices on state houses provided at discount. There are many ways to do this, choose a few.
    10. Protect any change of government from wholesale selling of state housing by making them only 49% shareholder in any state housing project – the community itself retaining the remaining balance.

    The issue has been discussed on the Transport Blog recently, and also on Joel Cayford’s Auckland planning blog. His recent entries Who Is The Liveable City for? and On Special Housing Areas are well worth the read.

    I also believe that the solution should be multi-modal, and innovation in design, business models and investment will help aid that. People are very good at coming up with solutions themselves if given the opportunity and support.

  13. Molly 13

    On the pricing side:
    1. Do not allow overseas investors to buy residential property. My preference is for no land sales but this is only about affordable housing.
    2. Enforce current CGT to its full intent – eliminate those leap-frog developers who live in their home while they sell it and do this consistently in order to avoid income tax. Follow up rental properties that get sold to ensure that CGT is paid.
    3. Use Kiwibank to offer a NZ resident discounted mortgage rate – lower than the Aussie banks. If this redirects mortgages to Kiwibank (or TSB) this should have an impact on the balance of payments, which must have a lot of money from residential mortgages leaving the country every day.
    4. Implement a perpetual housing affordability model – for housing provided by the state. Sell off some of the new development at a discounted rate to pay off the loan – or invest in the next one. Ensure that this discounted rate is transferred to the next owner in perpetuity.

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    Tenure is a most important feature of state housing. It was once truly “your place” as long as you desired. The nats have finally wiped this. Chucking everyone into the pool of uncertainty that is house hunting, or more correctly garage hunting and mates sofa hunting. Houses disappear from streets overnight and other modest ex “staties” such as in Pt Chev easily sell within hours of listing for a mill plus.

    Many home owners are full of it and in denial–“my place” is really the banks place and monopoly building suppliers and spec plan CAD twiddlers place that you get to occupy as long as you can pay the mortgage.

    Houses are the classic example of you can’t take it with you but can enjoy while you are around. A hugely increased state housing stock at newly set low rent levels (and a CG tax) would be good for most of us as well as the homeless and substandard living arrangements sector. Rents would drop in the private sector, house prices would drop and some stability would ensue for thousands.

  15. Bill 15

    Good on Utah – although they appear to be missing the point entirely.

    ‘Correct’ thinking would allow them to understand that cost isn’t a determining factor – profit is. The question then – the one they should be asking is ‘How profitable is it to house a homeless person against imprisoning them in a privatised prison system?’

    Obviously, imprisonment makes more sense. Jail the homeless, the drug takers, the drug dealers and (just generally) the poor. See, just because we don’t contribute much to the financial economy in terms of PAYE etc, there is no reason why others can’t extract a profit from our situation.

    Meanwhile, if the preference is to ignore or contradict how much of the world actually operates vis a vis generating profit from poverty, then in addition to measures mentioned – pass squatting legislation that gives homeless people some rights at the expense of property speculators….and watch rents tumble, streets empty and empty properties fill ;-)

  16. Richard Christie 16

    Last year, Auckland was the world’s 313th most unaffordable place out of 337 cities but now it is the world’s 347th most unaffordable out of 360 cities.

    What is it with people and double negatives?

    1st on list of “most unaffordable” will not be very affordable, in fact it will be the first amongst the unaffordable, i.e. the most unaffordable, it’ll probably be a place in which it is a struggle just to get by.

    Last on such a list is the last of the unaffordable, i.e. the least unaffordable, ergo the most affordable.

    Sliding in this scale seems to make Auckland more affordable.

    • karol 16.1

      Yes – poorly worded in that article.

      The latest, 2014 – 10th Annual Survey still shows Auckland in the “severely unaffordable” range according to the criteria it used.

      Median Multiple (the main ranking calculation they used):
      Severely unaffordable: 5.1 & Over
      Affordable: 3.0 & Under

      By that calcualtion NZ had dropped considerably in the ranking from 5.7 to 8.0

      So clearly there are more cities on the list this year. Whether or not Auckland has “slipped down” the rankings, depends on what cities were added (or taken way) compared with last year, and whether the same cities are below or new cities have been included. I checked. All the cities below Auckland in the 2013 report except one (Swindon) were part of the 2014 report.

      201414 Cities below Auckland
      Auckland (8.0 – Median Multiple rank)
      San Luis Obispo, CA
      Port Macquarie, NSW
      Melbourne, VIC
      Bournemouth & Dorsett
      San Jose, CA
      Sydney, NSW
      Santa Cruz, CA
      San Francisco
      Oakland, CA
      Santa Barbara, CA
      Honolulu, HI
      Vancouver, BC
      China SAR
      Hong Kong

      201322 cities below Auckland
      Auckland (6.7 Median Multiple ranking)
      *Swindon & Wiltshire
      Abbotsford, BC
      *London Exurbs (E & SE England)
      *Kelowna, BC
      *Mandurah, WA
      *Melbourne, VIC
      *Wollongong, NSW
      *San Luis Obispo, CA
      *Gold Coast, QLD
      *London (GLA)
      *San Francisco Oakland, CA
      *San Jose, CA
      *Santa Barbara, CA
      *Coff’s Harbour, NSW
      *Sunshine Coast, QLD
      *Santa Cruz, CA
      *Sydney, NSW
      *Port Macquarie, NSW
      *Bournemouth & Dorsett
      *Honolulu, HI
      *Vancouver, BC
      *Hong Kong
      [* = in the 2014 report]

      So basically, a lot less cities are ranked below NZ in the latest report. Hence Auckland HAS slipped down the rankings, and become more severely unaffordable.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Great place to “create wealth” using a portfolio of rental properties though.

  17. Saarbo 17

    Housing is a biggie in 2014. On one side are the people desperate to gain access to affordable housing, whether that be renting a state house or purchasing affordable homes that don’t require 2 people to worklike slaves for the rest of their lives to pay off. On the otherside are the investors and home owners who are pretty keen to keep their house prices at the elevated levels that they currently are. Personally I think to alleviate poverty then a new state housing scheme is a must. But there is a chance that a very large state housing scheme in Auckland that significantly increases supply could pop the bubble…something is going to because that is exactly what it is.

  18. (not)BM 18

    people who cant afford houses made poor life choices or are welfare bums

    • karol 18.1

      Thank you, BM.

      Actually, people who profiteer from people’s need for housing are the ones making poor (socially irresponsible) choices.

      • (not)BM 18.1.1

        part of our freedom is the right to make a profit ,winners and losers its the losers who complain

        • vto 18.1.1.1

          why would they complain do you think?

          • vto 18.1.1.1.1

            BM, if you’re around….

            In your family (assuming you have partners and sons and daughters and cousins and aunties etc etc), do you have winners and losers? Do you have, say, a son who is wealthy and a daughter who struggles? Does the fact that the son’s wealth is at the expense of your daugher’s struggle concern you?

            This is the crux.

            Virtually no people that I know would be happy with one child ‘winning’ at the expense of another child.

            Yet this is what you and your type want and implement.

            As said above by the others – your actions are callous and inhumane. I do not want people like you in my society. I don’t like you. You are a negative for human good. You are bad for my community. You can bugger off.

            But I think it goes another step further than that too. I think that you would not want that yourself either, yet you vote for it. This means further that you and your lot are unthinking, unintelligent and shallow (on top of callous and inhumane).

            • BM 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Have a read of this, it may answer your question

              http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06012014/#comment-754134

              • vto

                It doesn’t.

                And neither have you.

                Would you be happy with one of your children “winning” at the expense of another?

                • BM

                  You’re arguing with a young feminist girl, not me.

                  • vto

                    Answer the question chicken

                    • Arfamo

                      I don’t think BM understands that there don’t have to be winners and losers to make a profit. The winners and losers thing is what identifies him as unsuitable for living in communities.

                    • BM

                      Even though this argument has nothing to do with me.

                      I don’t like win lose approach to business, that’s for old pricks like Larry Ellison.
                      This need to crush and destroy your opponent is some sort of baby boomer/old person throw back due to the influence of WW2 etc.

                      I prefer the approach of organizations such as google, I might have a larger piece of pie than my competition but at least he has some pie.

                      Tends to my for better business relationships.

                    • Arfamo

                      part of our freedom is the right to make a profit ,winners and losers its the losers who complain

                      Then why did you say this? How do you reconcile that with what you’ve just said.

                    • BM

                      For fucks sake, I didn’t write that, it’s some annoying young feminist that’s pretending to be me.

                      Look at the gravatars, you may notice a slight difference.

                    • Arfamo

                      Oh. Lol. Sorry. That is such a terrible thing for someone to do. That is right up there with voting for National. Pure evil. If I were you I’d storm off out of here in a huff and never come back.

                      Seriously though, that’s a no no. Impersonating someone else. Not good.

                  • dave

                    BM your a total wanker you callous prick winners and losers!!!!!!!!everybody needs a home BM.

                    • BrucetheMoose

                      BM – the old argument of the winners and losers scenario is the classic sociopath’s reasoning in order to justify their selfish behaviour and satisfy their conscience. The law of the jungle and strongest will survive nonsense in other words. You do know who fully used that philosophy to it’s fullest to justify his power lust and manipulate an entire country to embark on a insane campaign of domination and destruction, causing tens of millions of deaths and even more suffering – don’t you? Get with the times BM. The winners and losers mentality belongs in last century, it has no future in this one. Otherwise we simply have no future.

                    • BrucetheMoose

                      The old argument of the ‘winners and losers’ scenario is the classic sociopath’s reasoning to justify their selfish behaviour and is used in order to satisfy their conscience. The law of the jungle and strongest will survive nonsense in other words. You do know who fully used that philosophy to it’s fullest to justify his power lust and manipulate an entire country to embark on a insane campaign of domination and destruction, causing tens of millions of deaths and even more suffering – don’t you? Society needs to get with the times. The winners and losers mentality belongs in last century, it has no future in this one. Otherwise we simply have no future.

        • karol 18.1.1.2

          What sort of system is it where the competition always mean some people will not have enough to survive on? Callous and inhumane system.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.2.1

            Callous and inhumane people who changed the system to this particular setting, despite the fact that they were already wealthy, and despite the fact that there were tried and tested real-world alternatives available.

            Callous and inhumane people who maintain this state of affairs.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.2.1.1

              Callous and inhumane people who maintain this state of affairs.

              Otherwise known as government who do what business wants and not what the people want.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.3

          There is no inherent right to make a profit and, no, it wasn’t the choices of the poor that made it impossible for them to afford to live but the decisions of governments as they kowtowed to the rich.

        • Tracey 18.1.1.4

          making a profit is a “right” BM? Are you sure?

  19. Tracey 19

    Thanks for the posts molly

  20. tricledrown 20

    blinkered monetarist does that include john keys mum.
    the middle classes are now getting squeezed out of the auckland CHCH market the next generation of middle classes will have to stay home with their parents live in a tiny apartment or live in a rural small town.
    The productivity commission said the cost of housing is the single biggest factor holding back New Zealands prosperity.
    Ask Don Brash rodney hide who demanded productivity commission.

  21. dave 21

    the hidden side of the housing bubble is the dept bomb that’s building up i hate think where this is heading we carried on our merry way after 2008 gfc we just love dept! almost 185 billion dollars all on housing ,

  22. greywarbler 22

    A new housing survey to give us a reaslistic view of our market and affordability of housing. With comment by Hugh Paveltich et al, property speculators beating the drum for more greenfield property to be made available. That will bring the price down – more supply. For how long? Christchurch survey author Hugh Pavletich said that year after year there was debate by economists over the accuracy of the income figures used in the survey.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9629141/Housing-affordability-getting-worse

    We hardly do anything beside farming now, we can’t afford to put ticky tacky boxes on every bit of flat land so property speculators can provide inadequate houses for the proles. And leaving speculators doing something that government ought to do build long term affordable housing that stays in the state system. This is by getting people to buy them, or rent to buy on the same basis that retirement villages work. State renters then get a house, at a reasonable price, they get security, and if they keep the place in good order they get a priority pass to a state house in another area if they have to move. Also they get their money back, less some costs. The figures need to be done, but it could be that state housing could pay for itself with this group of people.

    Others who have a poor care record, need help looking after houses properly, which would keep destruction and deterioration down. A house one of my family rented, never had the windows open, hence a build-up of damp which went into the gib board. Talking to the tenants would help with coping with such problems. It might have been they were very afraid of that night time rapist, Rewa? who was busy for some long months. Or burglars while they were working. Did they have a security stay, and know how it works.

    Taking an interest in tenants and regular checking that they know to air a house, get drips fixed, etc. would help save expensive repairs and bad feeling. For the worst, concrete walls and painted floors that could be hosed would be sensible. That would provide something for families especially where there are young children, simple but with rugs on the floor and light painted walls, windows that closed tightly, and reasonable furniture and whiteware that worked it would be pleasant and no-bassle. Permission to put posters up on the walls etc would be given so they wouldn’t lose any bond that would be paid. And the undisciplined couldn’t kick interior walls down then. Probably more window glass would be broken, but that would be less expensive to repair.

    • karol 22.1

      Yes, gw, that is the research I cited in my post. But even on TV3 News tonight, economists at the ANZ who disgrees with the way the figures in that survey are compiled, agree that incomes are not increasing as much as house prices – the general finding of the survey.

      • Molly 22.1.1

        Watched the news as well, and the person that composed the affordability report brought out that old chestnut “free up land on the fringes”.

        That freed land might be affordable to develop, but is usually less affordable to live in. Residents require a vehicle to get to shops, doctors, schools, amenities etc. The development of green fields means – once again – the requirement for good sustainable design in terms of health and community is once again lost to the cheaper building option of one house on a square of land.

        Perhaps we should talk about state “affordable communities” – mainly because the long-term benefit of a well-designed community is phenomenal. Too much planning oversight ends with property boundaries at the moment, and there is little connection between the development and the community it is built in.

        Remember one of the first HNZ developments in Palmerston North understood this and deliberately created a walkable neighbourhood with a variety of building types with access to recreational facilities – Savage Crescent – as recognised by Palmerston North City Council in 1996 and original design plans.

  23. (not)BM 23

    blah blah blah we cant afford a house boohoo may be if you lot stopped opposing John key you could!

    • karol 23.1

      BM, that’s a totally useless comment. I never said I couldn’t afford a house. I rent and can pay for it (although I do think it, and other accommodation in Auckland is over-priced, re percentage it takes of people’s incomes). But I am concerned many others can’t afford even what I can afford. The facts speak for themselves re-affordability and the numbers living in garages etc.

      And how would NOT opposing Key change the unaffordability crisis?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 23.1.1

        So, if we stopped opposing John Key we’d be rewarded with lower house prices? John Key is the PM and house prices are unaffordable (not for me personally, before you start, fool). Kind of the point of the post.

        I think if we put John Key in a sack and sent him to Hawaii it would make good youtube, but I can’t see how it would affect the housing affordability crisis.

        Personally I think we need to revalue a day’s work.

      • greywarbler 23.1.2

        Karol
        You are so patient! Treating RWNJs as if they were worth your time and can actually understand the words.

    • Paul 23.2

      You’re gibbering, poor fellow.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.3

      It’s the actions of John Key and this National led government that are making housing unaffordable.

      • Will@Welly 23.3.1

        Try deliberately “stimulating” the economy to create a false appearance that we are actually improving, when infact the economy was going nowhere.
        $50 billion in extra borrowings does not suggest a healthy economy. If your house was worth $300,000 yesterday, and it now is worth $500,000 today, without any improvements, have you made any significant improvements to the economy?
        Perhaps the point of note though, is that this Government has happily stood by and watched as this country has been transformed into a country now divided in two. One that has wealth and aspirations, the other, without money, and fast losing hope.

  24. jcuknz 24

    There was an interesting report from I believe London where young singles, and not so young singles find rents exhorbitant and the idea to to convert containers into studio units. This is cost effective by quite a margin over subsidising rents.

    From my younger days of renting the idea of a container studio sounds very attractive and not just suitable for housing excess prisoners, or holiday homes as was proposed a few years back.

    The concept of everybody with their quarter acre section is quite ridiculous I have happilly lived on a fraction of that for the last 50 years with first the family home and now my retirement home. .

    Another angle to the situation was the discussion some years back on the merits of renting over home owneship and there was not much in it. Then on the security of tenure is the concept of leasing where I remember my aunt being very pleased with the fact that she had been given a 99 year lease on her cenral london flat, now she is dead the block is an office building from what I could see when I passed by on a nostalgic trip a couple of years ago.

    • Molly 24.1

      You are talking about Container City in London I think. I believe it was a council supported development which encouraged artists to spaceshare.

      Re small spaces. My children have collected second hand materials and designed a cob cottage (around 16m2) to have a go at making their own building. Trench is dug, and materials are there. What is stopping us is the cost of getting a building consent – and probably engineering calculations. The design exercise is what got us interested in small spaces to start off with, and the idea of well-designed as opposed to large is one I’m in agreement with.

      • jcuknz 24.1.1

        I believe that people are their own worst enemies in this situation … there was the hullaballo over the leaky homes and as a result the politicians encouraged the beaurocrats to be more and more restrictive and expensive. Aparently you cannot modify a motor vehicle from what came out of the factory these days without an engineer’s report … sounds like jobs for the boys the way other sectors have placed restrictions on the public ” for safety reasons” yeah right as Tui puts it.
        With the invasion of the American concept of litigation people are designing more and more stringent ‘safety rules’ whose idea is less to protect people but the beaurocrats becuase every time something goes wrong there are the vocals calling for ‘heads to roll’.
        Having built two houses and modified vehicles in past days without undue supervision I am I am glad to be ‘past it’ becuase of age …. originally I was v ery glad of the original Building Regulations becuase they taught me what was required as a non-building industry person, unpopular with the industry becuase it stopped short-cuts leading to problems, but they were scrapped and replaced by an unhelpful system requiring ‘experts’ at high cost to certify what is proposed will work.
        Rant over :)

        • Molly 24.1.1.1

          It was a while back, but I think I submitted on that bill – for the reasons you outline. When I say think – I recall writing a submission but don’t know if I got round to sending it after hearing back from Sue Bradford.

          I had contacted Sue Bradford – so she must have been the MP in charge of that bill at that time – and questioned whether the new building requirements would be effective as a response to the leaky building debacle.

          Also, I asked if owner builders would be required to meet those obligations. Given that most leaky buildings were the product of fly-by-night developers – and inadequate council oversight – it probably would have been less troublesome to educate both building consent officers/engineers and council inspectors than to require builder’s registrations and oversight.

          Sue’s response was that owner/builders would be provided for. But I don’t know if that is the case – having neither the inclination or wherewithal to build my own house.

          I do wonder about the lack of clarity sometimes when problem solving. I see a lot of situations were the end results have required that “something be done”. I agree on resolving problems but do get frustrated when the reasons for the problem are not identified and effectively addressed.

          A solution that does not solve unfortunately seems to be the norm these days. Especially in government.

      • greywarbler 24.1.2

        In early days, there was a core cottage built, and then lean to’s were built on, particularly for the laundry and kitchen, but with a higher core up on foundations. There could be the opportunity to fix to the outer cladding and suitable supports under and go on a concrete slab. The appearance would be quaint. Perhaps we could start thinking practically about suitable designs allowing cheaper housing rather than rigid hegemony by builders and planners.

        • Molly 24.1.2.1

          There’s a really good book – The Company We Keep – from a builder in Martha’s Vineyard (speaking of unaffordable communities) who kind of fell into property development in a roundabout way.

          End result of more than two decades of building and addressing affordability in different ways, is that he ended up creating a collective development company where employees after five years, were looked at as potential shareholders – and board members – for the company. He wanted to ensure the company – South Mountain – would continue when he retired.

          Over the years, he came to the conclusion that the separation of building practices led to a lack of continuity and craftsmanship and so the company approaches the task of residential building from design to completion.

          One design component that they include is:
          To design the structure so that walls/windows doors may be removed to accommodate lifestyle or ownership changes without requiring full demolitions or expensive structural rework.

          He persuades owner builders to spend the extra nominal amount in foundations and structure upfront to accommodate future changes. Then every stage of the build is recorded and documented and the owner receives an owners manual noting where all the wiring, plumbing and structural forms are.

          When I look at the use of triangular trusses for cheaper roof building and think of that wasted space – and how we build stud walls to accommodate only the original design – it makes me wonder where NZ’s much lauded innovation is.

          • greywarbler 24.1.2.1.1

            Molly
            That sounds interesting I will look at it. Have to dash now. Thanks for responding with that. You may feel like me that too often we get bogged down in the adopted norm. and hey there’s more than one way to do anything, more like one hundred possibly.

            If the pollies and the fatocrats want to take us back to poor colonial days, then we will have to approach things in a more simple way without the high-class disdain for the plain and practical. And change can happen, just because of mindless fashion. Look at all the mud coloured houses being painted, the industrial grey, sleet and prison coloured houses. When it is mainly practical we will just have to suck it and do it.

            We had one of our foremost architects in NZ design living huts for slum dwellers in Manila or somewhere that could be built using found materials, sometime in the 70′s? We can take the model train off the rails and set it on a different track. It just requires an overview and to lean over and pick it up and replace it on lines to a different place.

            • Molly 24.1.2.1.1.1

              As mentioned before this is one of my areas of interest – not of professional expertise.,,

              But one exercise we did for a design project with the kids was to design a house, that changed from couple – to family home – to reduced family home when the children left.

              It was actually not that hard to design a small 65m2 home, that could be added to when children arrived – and then could be divided – simply by sealing a couple of internal doors, to create a smaller home and a self-contained ground floor flat suitable for elderly parents or renting out.

              Despite the transitional nature of homeowners now, there are still communities with long-time residents – usually the working class/ lower income suburbs. The ability to only buy (and accrue debt) for the size of the house that you actually need, and make long-term connections to community and place should be considered.

              Couples don’t need three bedroom houses. One of my favourite rentals with my partner when we were childless was a bedsit in London with shared bathroom and utilities.

  25. jcuknz 25

    Unfortunately National have a blind spot over state housing and I am not sure any argument will get them to change.

  26. (not)BM 26

    if we were really serious about affordable housing then the money supply that is fuelling the bubble needs to be turned off a house has become an asset class instead of a roof to keep the weather out .
    whack the interest rates up ,impose a capital gains tax, stop new Zealand from being used to launder dirty money make house prices relevant to new Zealand incomes first then revalue a days work because if we push wages up before a collapse in the housing bubble then the banks will gain not new Zealanders. ,building homes on fringes of Auckland is stupid you swap housing poverty for energy poverty.get the bloody trains out there first

    • Draco T Bastard 26.1

      Wow, you almost got it. You’re right that the money supply is helping drive house prices with the other main driver being offshore owners.

      What actually needs to happen is that the private banks be prevented from creating money and borrowing from offshore (there is absolutely no reason for foreign money to be used in NZ). Then the government creates the money instead and loans it out via KiwiBank at 0% interest* to those who want to purchase their own home and builds several thousand residences as state housing for those that are more inclined to rent. The total supply of houses, ensured by government building, should be 1 to 2 percent over demand. This will keep rents and house prices down.

      * There’d be strict caveats on the loan.

      • TightyRighty 26.1.1

        yea that won’t lead to hyper inflation and debasement of the currency. That’s never happened before in the history of the world. your’e such a dingbat when it comes to economic theory.

        • Draco T Bastard 26.1.1.1

          Dude, we already have hyperinflation in the housing market due to over creation of money by the private banks – same as it happened last time. It’s not the government printing money that causes hyperinflation – it’s the private banks. What it really comes down to is the controls that prevent excess money being created and that the money created is also destroyed. I’ve always said that and put forward ideas as to how to put them in place so, no, it won’t cause hyperinflation nor will it cause debasement of the currency – it’s over valued as it is due to the high interest rates we’ve got.

          • TightyRighty 26.1.1.1.1

            “high interest rates we’ve got” – you having a giggle?

            i was only just born in the 80′s, but my parents and their generation regale me with stories of how lucky we are to have single digit interest rates.

            It is the government printing money that creates hyperinflation. You have localised one market and blamed it’s funding sector (or money creator for the purposes of this discussion) for it’s hyperinflation. take your own theory on hyperinflation in the housing market and expand it to the entire economy, then ask yourself why inflation is only 1.6%? because it’s money creator isn’t creating lots of money.

            It’s not the controls, it’s not how the money is destroyed, it’s how much money is created. inflation is an observable phenomenon since before economics as a study was invented.

            there are two really good methods to control rampant house price increases.

            1) increase the stock of housing. don’t let overseas people by existing housing stock. if they wish to purchase, they need to build new housing. sell existing state houses in well to do areas and use the capital to build two to three new houses further out in what would be considered traditionally state-housing suitable suburbs.

            2) increase the land available for housing. the housing component of house prices are worth fuck all, it’s the land value. closer to town in a nice area? 7 figures easy. further away from town nice area mid to high six figures. further away and a bit edgy, low to mid six figures.

            this is hardly rocket science.

            • vto 26.1.1.1.1.1

              Nope. Governments don’t print money. Get some more learnings as your basics render all else useless.

              • TightyRighty

                really? governments don’t print money. going to split hairs and claim that issuing government bonds backed by nothing more than the governments promise to pay it back at a future date isn’t printing money?

                Or maybe skynet has become self aware and the printing press’ themselves are doing it?

                money is created through the credit multiplier effect, which has it’s transactional grounding through the retail / wholesale banking system. this “flow” is affected by interest rates, which in NZ are nominally set by the reserve bank, which is independent of government operationally, but must follow policy aims dictated by the government of the day. i.e. keep inflation between x and y using this tool. in effect allowing the government to control the “flow” of money created.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’s the theory – doesn’t work though as the exponentially climbing amount of M3 in the system shows.

                  • TightyRighty

                    seriously, quoting the greens on economic issues? how much do you think the national party knows about environmental issues? just your opinion.

                    probably the stupidest thing you’ve said, today. of course m1 is only created by the reserve bank, but m3 is backed by the reserve bank. capital adequacy ratios, LVA’s and interest rates to stem the demand for lending are all tools that the reserve bank uses to control money creation. private banks would not be allowed to do it without the approval of the reserve bank.

                    Surely you know all this? or did the rank aussie bludger tell you otherwise? you stupid git. thank christ you are probably too much of a blundering neckbeard to ever be voted into power. you would actually drag down the economic understanding of the greens caucus.

                    • Paul

                      Oh..you’re here with your usual mix of cheerful insults, rants and barely coherent messages.
                      Every time I hear folk like you throw tantrums about the Greens, I know they are doing something right.

                    • TightyRighty

                      i would expect a green supporter to consider informed economic insights “rants and barely coherent messages”

                      I’m not throwing a tantrum, the greens haven’t done anything. they can’t really. being last cab off the rank each time pretty effectively nullifies any possible impact they may have. it’s little surprise that you consider speaking the truth about DTB’s economic literacy and the shallow economic talent pool that is the greens caucus a tantrum.

                      Keep up with the observations though Paul. Made a single contribution to any argument apart from commenting on how other people comment?

            • Draco T Bastard 26.1.1.1.1.2

              It is the government printing money that creates hyperinflation.

              Nope. Britain didn’t have hyper-inflation back when they were using tally sticks.

              You have localised one market and blamed it’s funding sector (or money creator for the purposes of this discussion) for it’s hyperinflation.

              then ask yourself why inflation is only 1.6%? because it’s money creator isn’t creating lots of money.

              Why are house prices so high?
              The money creator is creating lots of money. The real problem is that most of the money that the banks create is loaned out to housing mortgages pushing up the price of housing.

              take your own theory on hyperinflation in the housing market and expand it to the entire economy,

              Why would I do that? As I’ve said time and time again – increased spending by the government comes with increased taxation ergo, no significant increase of money in the economy thus no hyperinflation.

              It’s not the controls, it’s not how the money is destroyed, it’s how much money is created.

              So, that would be the controls which determine how much money is created and destroyed thus controlling the amount of money in circulation?

              Fuck, you’re a moron.

              • TightyRighty

                No, you’re the fucking moron. That’s why my relaying of the settled science of inflationary measures is the orthodox method, and why what you propose always sends governments and economies to fucking ruin.

            • dave 26.1.1.1.1.3

              one problem people move Auckland roading is one large jamb,the council is on the right path with the unitary plan ripping up more of the country side is not the answer

      • BM2 26.1.2

        the supply side of the equalisation is projects like labours kiwi build and we got to seriously look at how we build in this country and get some real economies of scale in the whole process generic designs manufacture compartmentalisation pre assembles of structures complete with services

  27. tricledrown 27

    BM turning the money supply off
    Is not going to increase the house supply infact the reverse as Nactional found out.

    • Draco T Bastard 27.1

      National didn’t turn the money supply off – they just made it so that only the rich had access to it.

  28. tricledrown 28

    true but they changed the rules back for new builds only 10% deposit because the tightening money supply virtually stopped all new builds.
    so bms argument is fucked on all levels

    • Draco T Bastard 28.1

      true but they changed the rules back for new builds only 10% deposit because the tightening money supply virtually stopped all new builds.

      True but what that showed is just how much our economy has become dependent upon private bank created money. We really do need to do something about that especially as it’s the cause of our economy being unsustainable.

    • Molly 28.2

      I found that requirement interesting. As far as private development goes – someone wanting to build their own home – the deposit requirement was often already at 20% if not higher.

      So, it was interesting to see that National put the deposit/loan ratio at 20%, and it had an impact on new builds. Does this mean that those who were impacted by this change were mainly professional developers who could no longer get commercial loans for their developments from the bank because it was prohibited?

      And now, we have a 20% deposit required for an existing house in an area, and only 10% required for a new build – even though this may be more expensive? Private owner/builders are likely still subject to the development ratio – but if they are not – that is one of the long standing conservative bank policies that has gone down the road thanks to this policy.

  29. BM 29

    i personally think the reserve bank governor has saved a lot of first home buyers a world of hurt standing on the fence at this time is not a bad thing.

  30. jcuknz 30

    +1 BM and DTB

  31. jcuknz 31

    Even 10% of current house prices seems a lot of money to me and my solution way back was to buy a decrepid rundown building and live in it while building a new house in the backyard and only after showing what we could achieve, my wife and I, did I get a small mortgage to complete …. but I was earning somewhat above average and was secure in my job which only required a 40hr week.
    I am very glad I am not ‘young’ today.

  32. MrSmith 32

    The Reserve banks new lending restrictions for first home buyers are nothing but another transfer of wealth to the already rich,

    It’s this simple: People need to live somewhere and if you make it to hard for then to buy, then they must rent, and who will be providing that rental accommodation, the already rich in most cases, with capital from the banks created out of thin air.

    The Banksters like it because they don’t have to sign risky loans to new clients, the landlords and investors like it because the pool for tenants increase.

    And just when there seems some light on the horizon for the poor plebs with some wage increases interest rates will rise, so repayment amounts go up canceling out the wage rises, and then rents go up as well because landlords pass on increased interest costs to the tenants.

    When you have a former banker Graeme Wheeler (who formally was managing director of the World Bank) running our Reserve bank, then the question has to be asked, who is the reserve bank governor working for?

    • dave 32.1

      that is why the housing market needs stiff medicine cranking up interest rates will kill the parasites ! pain is unavoidable and the faster the better, cheap money produces bubbles !

  33. captain hook 33

    “The Market” in New Zealand is just a catchall phrase to denote the latest gang that the tories have given a subsidy to.
    There is no market in New Zealand.
    Every transaction is rigged.

  34. SpaceMonkey 34

    Great post Karol… thanks.

    The way successive Governments (national and local) have colluded with the bankers and property developers to work the housing “market” leaves me cold. Just another get rich scheme for those on the inside, to hell everybody else.

    It’s posts like this that remind me why I’m keen to build an earthship home… once I find the right land.

  35. Even the Communist Party of China recently declared that resource allocation is best achieved through markets; why can’t urban planners in so-called market economies reach the same conclusions and let markets decide how much land and floor space households and firms will consume in different locations?

    Because as long as it’s up to local and central government to provide new developments with roads, water, sewerage disposal, schools, hospitals, you-name-it, the market does its deciding while being offered huge incentives to build sprawl.

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    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • Some thoughts on National’s Standards
    Regular readers of this column will be well aware of my feelings towards National Standards, charter schools and other such data-driven middle management nonsense being imposed upon the public education sector by the various financial experts, economists, business and farming...
    My Thinks | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go...
    PSA | 25-07
  • Let’s Change the Way we Talk about Abortion
    By Michele A’Court, ALRANZ Member (originally written for the Christchurch Press, June 2014) Two weeks ago, the Greens reignited our conversation about abortion, describing our current legislation as “dishonest” and proposing that all terminations be decriminalised. Ok, “reignited” is a...
    ALRANZ | 25-07
  • Pallet-boarding on the tram tracks
    If New Zealand hadn’t ripped up its tram tracks in the 1950s, I’m almost certain that some risk-taking Kiwi would have invented this first: Czech artist Tomáš Moravec… cut down the dimensions of a standard, European wood pallet, or “Eur Pallet,”...
    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30A
    Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots Climate change already having profound impacts on lakes in Europe Error discovered in Antarctic sea-ice record EU agrees to improve energy efficiency 30% by 2030 G20 should facilitate international cooperation on climate change...
    Skeptical Science | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking #2…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking #2…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Israel Murdering Babies, Children, and Their Parents … and the World Lets...
                              How can any decent human state blowing babies and children into pieces with missiles ‘is ok’ if there happens to be missiles hidden nearby? How can any...
    An average kiwi | 25-07
  • Manipulated Data and the Art of Deception
    The National led Government are desperate to present the good news stories to promote the success of the past six years of their governance. They have increased the budget and the numbers of their spin doctors to ensure that it...
    Local Bodies | 25-07
  • Has Brownlee actually broken any laws?
    So Gerry Brownlee was running late for a plane, sweet-talked some hapless airport security guard into letting him duck through an exit door to avoid the screening queue, and is now facing an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority. He’s...
    Occasionally erudite | 25-07
  • Right Thinking: repeal section 172
    Leading authoritarian libertarian Dr Frank Shizenhausen returns with some common-sense thinking on regulation....
    Imperator Fish | 25-07
  • Dissonance
    The Greens revealed their campaign billboards today: images of environmental destruction and the slogan "Love New Zealand". I'm not sure it works. I get that they want to confront people with what they're against - but shouldn't they make it...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • NZ stinks, #LoveNZ!
    So the Greens have launched their art and their hashtags. Here is one of the visuals they are going with: Usually, I am a big fan of the Greens' design work. Their policy documents look exceptionally good. But here, I...
    Polity | 25-07
  • Inside the US “no-fly” list
    The Intercept has leaked and analysed the guidelines the US government uses to place people on its "no-fly" list. Its a long and detailed article (the Guardian has a shorter summary here) and it shows just how arbitrary and baseless...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • “Hideously inefficient” road spending in Australia
    For an interesting Friday afternoon read, here‘s an article from Australia which may ring true for New Zealand as well – especially given the possibility that National is considering an absolutely daft idea, creating a second road-only Waitemata Harbour crossing....
    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • Justice for rendition
    After the US launched its war on terror, Poland played host to a CIA "black site". Prisoners were kidnapped by the US, rendered to Poland, and tortured there. Now, the ECHR has found the Polish government guilty of unlawful detention...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • #ClimateVoter Question Time
    Since launching on the 22nd June Climate Voter has been asking a ‘Question of the Week’ to see what action political parties will take on various climate related issues. This is to let voters decide which policies they want to...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 25-07
  • Coleman lied about Dotcom
    Last week, in response to the revelation that the SIS had initially recommended that Kim Dotcom not be granted residency due to an FBI investigation, then-Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman denied all knowledge. He hadn't been told, he said. He "had...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Aunty Helen copped it so why not Borrows?
    We've all heard the claims before, that the media in New Zealand is biased in favour of the ring wing. There are numerous arguments for and against this assertion and to be fair, it's not OK to tar every journalist...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Awful
    This publication is entirely awful. It documents a meandering, process-laden legal conference call that lasted 30 interminable minutes. Sample dialogue: THE COURT: I have not been able to read the motion because I have just called you immediately. So please...
    Polity | 24-07
  • World News Brief, Friday July 25
    Top of the AgendaKerry Renews Push for Israel-Hamas Truce...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Press Release: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy. “We...
    Gareth’s World | 24-07
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Why anyone does it in the first place
    Florian Habicht’s Pulp film is warm, funny, satisfying and true. And its first few minutes are just brilliantly, awesomely exuberant. They're why people buy records and go to gigs and obsess over bands, and why people play in bands in...
    Public Address | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Accelerating the Additional Harbour Crossing project?
    Yesterday was a busy day for transport news. Alongside Gerry Brownlee’s strange airport escapade, Labour Transport Spokesman Phil Twyford dropped a bit of a bombshell in relation to the possible acceleration of the Additional Waitemata Habour Crossing (AWHC) project as...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking & the benefit of low expectations
    Labour has been bleating about Mike Hosking being used as moderator in a TVNZ election debate. There is even the unconvincing talk that Labour may boycott the debate if Hosking takes that role....
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Brownlee Should be Arrested like we Would be
    If you or I broke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?  ...
    An average kiwi | 24-07
  • No time. No manners. No respect.
    H/T @nintendoug...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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