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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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    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    ...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The crime is not being rich, the crime is we don’t tax all the income tha...
    In our last blog we looked at whether the claims of ‘rock star’ economist Thomas Piketty held any water or not. Short answer is that some did, some didn’t. In this blog we turn to what we should do about...
    Gareth’s World | 22-10
  • Justice for Nisour Square
    On September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries ran amok in Nisour Square, Baghdad, indiscriminately firing at civilians. 17 people were killed and 20 injured. Today, a US jury has convicted them of that crime:Three security guards working for the private US...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The gentle art of believing nothing
    I remember, quite a few years ago now, Jenny Shipley addressing a room and asking the question, “What is the purpose of the National Party?” The answer was: To defeat the Labour Party. National was there to be the party...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 23
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Economic ProgrammePolicies 1. JAMI-LEE ROSS (NationalBotany) to the Minister of Finance : What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS Economic Programme—Policies...
    Its our future | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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