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State housing vs home ownership

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, January 11th, 2013 - 159 comments
Categories: assets, class, class war, david shearer, housing, labour, polls, poverty, privatisation - Tags:

So Labour’s Kiwibuild programme is very popular, according to a small scale digipoll, as quoted by Mike Smith in his post ‘Labour’s popular housing policy‘.  Also in that post, Mike Smith claims that Labour’s 2011 pre-election housing policy is still live, quoting from that policy as follows:

Labour will focus on new builds for any state house acquisitions, rather than purchasing existing properties, to increase the overall housing stock. Where possible new state houses will be built in accordance with the disability sector approved Lifemark standard for accessible, adaptable lifetime design.

However, having a quick look through Labour’s 2011 housing policy, I see a disconnect between Shearer’s Kiwibuild flagship policy, and the 2011 Housing policy.  The section of Shearer’s conference speech on affordable housing is all about enabling more people onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder.

Owning your own home is a Kiwi ambition but for tens of thousands of New Zealanders it’s a dream that’s out of reach.

If there is one thing your newspaper tells you every day about life in New Zealand it’s this:

We have a housing problem. And it’s a deep seated problem.

If you’re a young person today, you look at the cost of houses and you despair.

For the first time, home ownership in Auckland has dropped below 60%.

However, the most urgent and deep seated affordable housing problem today is for low income renters: the kinds of paid and unpaid working people who were given state housing in the past, or those who could readily find affordable private rental accommodation.  Nowhere in Shearer’s speech does he mention state housing.

In contrast the 2011 policy focuses most strongly on the urgent need to build state houses.  The policy indicates the extent of the problem.  While it says there is no one way to improve housing affordability, the policy begins focusing on the urgent need to increase the state housing stock.  And, in a reference to the fifth Labour government, the policy states that state housing  forms the foundation of an affordable housing across the board, but that had been achieved by that last Labour government:

Re-establishing a solid base of state housing was an important achievement of the Fifth Labour Government. From that base, we can consider how to move on, into solutions which will impact further on the enormous need for social housing.

However, while that government did make some inroads n resurrecting state housing, the above is an overestimate of what that it achieved. Furthermore, that foundation has been undermined extensively by our current NAct government.

The policy also states that there is a need to support the extension of community and social housing:

Labour will work with the community housing sector to develop it in ways that will see  it complementing an increase in HNZC social housing stock through access to capital  or land. See our “Housing affordability‟ policy for more details.

My memory of the MSM reports of Kiwibuild was that it was totally focused on increasing the stock of housing available for private purchase.  This is certainly the case for Shearer’s conference speech.  A quick search throws up articles reporting on Kiwibuild, all with no mention of state housing, as in the article on the poll showing 70% approval of Labour’s housing policy.

The housing policy was announced by Labour leader David Shearer at the party’s conference a month ago and Labour has promised to build 10,000 houses a year for the next 10 years for first-home buyers, aiming to sell them for less than $300,000 in high-demand areas such as Auckland, Tauranga and Queenstown. If there is high demand ballots may be needed.

Also see here, where Shearer claims a “new direction” for Labour.  And here, where it is question whether the it is do-able to build the volume of houses Shearer plans for the private market.  And that’s before any considerations of building more state houses. And here, with more questions on do-ability, although Brian Rudman does think it is do-able. The Kiwibuild policy involves a

partnership with the private sector, community agencies and local government , using the Housing New Zealand as the lead agency. It says the Crown is “the only player large enough to make a real difference to the home affordability crisis”.

And the article ends with this curious statement:

Labour’s publicity says the houses will be built on new land, or on existing developments, and by looking at “reconfiguring and subdividing some existing state house land as opportunities arise.”

Given that the article is focused on building homes for first home buyers to purchase, does this mean state housing land is to be used to build these new homes, rather than to build more state houses?

So, focusing on Labour’s 2011 Affordable Housing Policy, raises a number of uncomfortable questions and concerns, as well as those of do-ability:

  • Why, in the widespread articulation and promotion of Kiwibuild, has the focus been on building homes for first time buyers, with no mention til yesterday of the urgent need for state housing?
  • Why has Shearer never explicitly endorsed and owned the 2011 policy?
  • There are still big questions about whether Shearer, and his senior Labour Caucus backers  still espouse their past neoliberal views, as clearly articulated by Chris Trotter in his post yesterday.
  • One flagship policy is a far cry form the comprehensive range of provisions enacted by the first NZ Labour government in the 1930s and 40s, which truly was a “new direction”.

Kiwibuild promotion seems to have been targeting the neoliberal establishment, with the urgent affordable  state and rental housing crisis remaining in the realm of the unspeakable, or only talked about away from the glare of the MSM and corporate establishment.

159 comments on “State housing vs home ownership”

  1. just saying 1

    Thank you Karol.
    I thought much the same things when I read Mike Smith’s post yesterday. But I realised that rebutting it would require a lot of work crafting and chasing up links. I could have made the time, but I’m grateful you actually have, and with clarity and grace that I could never have mustered.

    I’m shocked to hear Labour intends to subdivide state properties. There is a shortage of build-on-able land in my city, but as I look up and down my street, I can see that many of my neighbour’s sections could easily be infilled. Picking on these people, yet again, this time as part of a bribe for the well heeled, and it makes me really freaking angry.

  2. This is a confusing post. David Shearer’s speech never said it was setting out our comprehensive housing policy. Our 2014 policy will be based on what we said in 2011, what the reality of the housing situation demands in 2014, and a share of the resources available to the incoming government to deliver this part of the manifesto.

    The 100,000 affordable homes pledge will obviously be a key part of that. So, I imagine, will be expansion of the state housing stock. So, I hope, will tenancy law reform.

    How any of this can be described as neo-liberal is beyond me. State intervention in the housing market to construct more housing for owner occupation and for social tenancy, along with improving tenants’ rights, sounds like quite the opposite to my ears.

    • Mary 2.1

      And will your welfare benefit policy be based on similar lines as your 2007 amendment Act?

    • karol 2.2

      Well, I can only go on what is available. So the Labour Party public statements, speeches etc are what is causing confusing.

      On “neoliberalism” – I should be more consistent in putting it in inverted commas, although it was towards the same end that I parenthesised “(neoliberalism)” on the front page blurb to this post. “Neoliberalism” promotes itself via the “free-market” and “small government” mantra, but, when it serves its proponents, it practices strong government intervention.

      I referred to Aaoron Ettinger on that in my post “Will the real David Shearer please stand up?”.

      “Neoliberalization” involves two, sometimes sequential, but often intertwined moves: rollback (the state) and roll out (interventionist state involvement in private endeavours – PPPs etc).

      Merely being interventionist doesn’t mean it doesn’t continue to serve the wealthy and powerful elite, especially when government draws PPPs into its operations.

      Our 2014 policy will be based on what we said in 2011, what the reality of the housing situation demands in 2014, and a share of the resources available to the incoming government to deliver this part of the manifesto.

      So we can’t take any of the proposals stated now as firm commitments, just take on trust that any Labour-led government will do what’s best for the many come 2014?

      That comes down to trust, and where we believe the Labour leadership stands on general policy direction. And I am not yet seeing any strong statement of commitment to reducing inequalities, and alleviate the current raft of crises impacting on those on low incomes.

    • fatty 2.3

      How any of this can be described as neo-liberal is beyond me. State intervention in the housing market to construct more housing for owner occupation and for social tenancy, along with improving tenants’ rights, sounds like quite the opposite to my ears.

      Well, that depends on if you see third way policies as neoliberal or not. Making unaffordable housing slightly cheaper, and therefore possibly affordable for middle class and above, is merely a tool to continue our neoliberal economic disaster.
      Perhaps you are correct in saying that this policy is not neoliberal, but to be fair, that would also make the current National Government not neoliberal as well…they are both third way.
      Its quite clear we need more state houses….I want to rent from the Government, I do not want to give my money to people who are trying to monopolise land, leech off other people’s needs and are hogging resources.
      What is the appeal of renting privately? And what is the downside of renting from the Government?…does it have something to do with someone’s perception of freedom?

    • Peter 2.4

      Come on Jordan. This is the same-old TINA rhetoric, there is no alternative to private home ownership. Sure, we’ll reduce the cost a bit, thus increasing the number of people entering the housing market, and thus, the banks profits and ultimate control of the housing market, but we won’t make any fundamental reform on the most basic of all Labour policies – housing.

      I’m not opposed to intervention on a broken system, sometimes it’s needed, in this case, it’ll create another housing bubble, as well as giving well-off New Zealanders a new shiny investment tool that they don’t need – the housing bond.

      The First Labour government didn’t do it this way – it printed the money, and made the housing largely from NZ resources, thereby avoiding a bubble in an already over-geared part of the economy (the financial sector). Sure, it might create a bubble in another part, but that’s the part that sorely needs a boost.

      There’s another thing, which my staunchly National friend pointed out. Labour’s policy on building housing is hands-off, and therefore, it’s exposing NZ to the possibility of large scale fraud and ticket clipping on these new houses.

      We have a Department of Building and Housing. This Department needs to start employing builders. That will keep any inflation and rorting under direct control.

      • McFlock 2.4.1

        1: people want to own their own homes. The policy aims to make the hopes of many NZers realistic. Simply recognising the realities of what a lot of nzers want is not “TINA”;

        2: It doesn’t inject more people into the housing market. It injects more houses into the market. This creates bubbles how? To a certain degree I think the repercussions are based on the mechanisms used: just giving people cheaper loans would inflate the market, but actually building new homes then selling them at cost would increase the supply and depress the market. And free up rental stock, which would depress that market, too. In fact I think that building more houses would be a way to ameliorate the property boom/bust cycle that screws poor and middle class nzers in different ways.

        3: “hands-off” does not equal “zero oversight”.

        Once again an okay Labour policy that is at least a step in the correct direction (more available housing provided by government) is wrapped in a turd.

        • karol 2.4.1.1

          “hands-off” does not equal “zero oversight”.

          Actually, a key theme of Shearer’s 2012 Conference speech was that a government led by him would be taking a new direction, largely because it would be “more hands-on”.

          But more hands on than…. what? Clark’s government? Blair’s government? Key’s government that removes democratic processes and gives more direct control to central government?

          It’s a myth that “neoliberal” or it’s softer third way version are hands off. Merely being more “hands on” doesn’t necessarily mean a new direction for the benefit of many rather than the powerful few. It’s all in how and what is done.

          • McFlock 2.4.1.1.1

            True.

            But I think a step in the right direction is to actually have a plan to address a housing problem by building new houses.

            Whether it ends up being assistance for people to get their own homes or just another subsidy to property developers is a real concern, but even recognising the problem is a promising start. Especially this far from an election (as opposed to last time, when all of a sudden six months out Labour was pretending to have MJS’ spirit again). Who knows, if they keep it up for a couple of years it might be easier to believe.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Given the sheer size of the Kiwibuild programme, it seems doubtful they could achieve that, and also build a sensible number of state houses, at the same time. Then again, perhaps economies of scale would come into play and make it easier to build extra state houses at the same time.

    • Anne 3.1

      It can be achieved over time just as the 1st Labour government’s housing policies were achieved over time. But it took a decade or more to begin to make a big dent in the needs of the population.

      Oh, and the Labour government of the 1940s also acquired older ready-built homes to be rented out by the state. I know, because my parents were one of the early recipients. They were also one of the first groups to have the option of buying these homes at very reasonable state provided mortgages. So, there’s nothing particularly new about this policy and I’m delighted the far sighted views of that first Labour govt. are now being revisited. Let’s hope it also extends to other areas of social and economic well-being.

  4. onsos 4

    I have real worries about the Sixth Labour government, but this isn’t yet one of them. There’s no particular reason to suppose that Kiwibuild is a substitution for increasing state housing stock, although it may do. That’s not to say I won’t keep my eye on it. If this Labour government turns craven it may drop the ball on this, which would be a social disaster, and a political disaster for the party.

    The combination of increasing the supply of state housing, and something like Kiwibuild which sees the government encouraging an increase in low cost homes in the private sector, is what is needed. There are practical concerns: the private sector will not achieve what state housing can, nor will it achieve affordable homes for first buyers. These markets are bound together, and pressure can be taken off the sector at all points. These policies also address the continual hyper-inflation of the housing market, by militating against the return on rentals.

    There are also critical political concerns. The provision of affordable housing is an area where policy can produce solidarity amongst the middle and working classes, which has to be the goal of a Labour government. The young middle classes share interests with the working poor. They also attract political conern from the middle classes generally.

    The political success of WFF and interest-free student loans was based on the fact that they extended into the middle classes, effectively making them third rail issues. However much the Tories and their backers hate those programmes, National will not touch them. Affordable housing needs to be put into this camp, which means working on a large scale and tying together the interests of the working and middle classes.

    • just saying 4.1

      …and interest-free student loans was based on the fact that they extended into the middle classes,…

      Interest-free student loans didn’t “extend into” the middle classes. At least 90 percent of the benefit went (and still goes) straight into the pockets of the middle-classes.

      A goodly percentage of WWF does likewise. Not quite as much of a bribe to the middle-classes, because the working poor benefit also.

      And I’d put money on bourgeois-build cutting heavily into resources for provision of housing for the poor.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Not quite as much of a bribe to the middle-classes, because the working poor benefit also.

        Unless you are the working poor without kids, in which case you’re just ignored.

        And if you are part of our massive youth unemployment problem, sorry, no WFF lollies for you, either.

  5. Tracey 5

    Common sense suggests it has to be a mix of both state housing (for rent) and low cost homes.

    There is a lot of talk about how a home could be built for $300k including land, and I note that National rebuts this idea on the basis that people would have to live far out of Auckland. ironic given they didn’t see this as a block to opening up greenland on the outskirts of Auckland to development.

    Part and parcel of anything to do with affordable housing and rental has to be the public transport issue of Auckland. Those who see these as separate or separable are, imo, crazy.

    Satellite towns are one option, with GOOD/RELIABLE transport links directly to where people are employed.

    IF anyone is looking for a government initiative to create jobs and stimulate the economy these ideas can help that PROVIDED they are well thought out and Fletchers dont automatically get all the contracts to then subcontract from CHH.

  6. The Kiwibuild policy is neo liberal in the following way.
    Apart from the already well publicised fact that it it should be termed ‘Middle class Kiwibuild’.

    It concedes that to win support Labour has to push the ‘ownership dream’ of everyone becoming middle class through property ownership. To say that this does not mean the end of state housing is true only if we accept state housing as it is now defined, a sort of booby prize for ‘losers’.

    That puts Kiwibuild into conflict with state housing as originally conceived by Labour in the 1930s.
    This morning’s NZH ran a big article on people who had been living in State houses for generations.
    Again feeding the standard neo-liberal presumption that state tenants are ‘losers’ and that ‘winners’ dream of home-ownership.

    Yet this only became Labour policy after National had made it possible for tenants to buy state houses in the 1950s rendering them ‘hostages to capital’ in the form of banks and property speculators. How often have we seen that fear of losing a job to pay the mortgage is a real fear for workers taking strike action?

    So what Shearer is doing is reinforcing the neo-liberal holy grail that the market is the road to freedom. Whereas its only freedom for the banks and speculators while the working class is stuck with unaffordable mortgages and rents.

    A true Labour Party would return to a State Housing policy that shifts the provision of housing away from the banks and property speculators, back to the state, and creates a positive belief that state tenancy is not a privilege for scroungers, but the right of citizens.

    Of course if Shearer were to launch a popularity campaign on the basis of a return to Labour’s classic housing policy he would lose his prized appeal to the middle class who have for decades used property speculation as the basis of wealth generation, and have to look again for the support 100,000s of ordinary working class families which the Labour right have turned their backs on.

    • McFlock 6.1

      Actually, the state house tenants who are being evicted by the current nat regime have discovered one of the advantages to home ownership.

      Not saying that there aren’t ways to kick people out of private homes, just that it’s easier to kick out tenants.

      • Mary 6.1.1

        Am feeling a bit dumb asking but I don’t know what you mean.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          Not all the state houses being sold were vacant when the decision was made to sell.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            The problem you identify here McFlock is one where the State becomes a rapacious capitalist landlord, like the bankers.

            Red Rattler is speaking against this scenario, having the state return to the provision of social housing quite apart from market influences, without having to subject people to the uncertainty of a 20-30 year mortgage.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              It doesn’t matter if you are evicted by a bank or a government. You’re still evicted.

              The problem isn’t even the government becoming a capitalist landlord. It’s, once again, tories destroying things for everyone who isn’t rich. They don’t think the government should own houses at all, and the “low hanging fruit” in the process are the supposed 1 person living in a 5 bedroom remmers mansion. In term 3 the bulk of state houses will go.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        Not saying that there aren’t ways to kick people out of private homes, just that it’s easier to kick out tenants.

        We could introduce legislation allowing secure long term tenancies like is common in Europe.

        • McFlock 6.1.2.1

          possibly, but that’s easily reversible.

          Whereas private property rights and home ownership is well entrenched and the ability of councils or developers to evict you from the house you own is restricted to a few very specific situations, e.g. public works or massive rates default, or recurring public health issues.

          Unlike the Auckland state houses that are being sold because of property valuations.

  7. It would be interesting to find out how many State Houses were needed when working people were able to,buy through the former State Advanced Housing Policy .I would think that most working people would prefer to buy their own house if it was possible. By all means have a decent State House Policy for people who for one reason or the other prefer to rent but even today most working people dream of their own home, The only reason they are are not is because of price and means of paying back the mortgage NZ’s State Advances Scheme was the envy of the world .Time to think how to have a similar scheme.

    • karol 7.1

      I think the preference for buying is because they is what has been promoted in NZ for a long time. It wasn’t so in Denmark when I visited in the 80s. People there often chose to be lifetime renters. It actually is capitalist societies that promote buying over renting. It benefits the bankers, and those at the top of the housing ladder.

      When there is a financial crash, as in 2007/8, and a housing bubble bursts, it’s the people at the bottom of the ladder that suffer most. They are always the most insecure buyers. Buying does not always mean you are better off in the long run than renting, as explained in this Campbell live video.

      Taking out a mortgage can mean that you are paying into the bank’s profits, rather than just putting money into a secure home for yourself. Also, it depends on house prices always rising.

      Part of the reason people are encouraged to buy, is that government’s make policies to incentivise home buying: e.g. tax incentives. But government’s can also make renting more attractive: security of tenure, renters and and landlords rights and obligations spelled out clearly; and, above all, adequate amounts of affordable housing in relation to incomes…. etc.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        As someone who received the “terms of new ownership are vacant possession, you have 40 days to leave” letter which fucked my rhythm years ago, I really want to own. Currently my low rent and the fact my landlord is a relative keeps me renting. Plus the fact I seem to piss my money away.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          Well, I’ve had that, including about a year ago. i didn’t mind so much as I was wanting to move. I found somewhere fairly quickly, but it’s barely adequate. I do not want to own, just have a better choice of affordable places to live.

          However, I am someone with qualifications, an adult life working in middle class occupations, savings and a bit of a UK teachers’s pension (reached their retirement age not ours), a part time middle class job, and am happy to live on a fairly restricted budget. Also, I’m single and have no dependents.

          However, while I can get by, I can see it must be extremely hard for those on lower incomes, with less or no qualifications, a lower paying job, and dependents to support, to find anywhere affordable to live in Auckland.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1.2

        Karol,

        You clearly haven’t experienced rental hell. If you had then you would understand the psychotic drive to own your own home.

        This is what we renters in major cities face whenever we move, often not because we want to move either:

        - exploding “market” rental prices that steadily increase until we can’t afford to live where we are

        - dog eat dog battles to secure a rental property, and by that I mean ANY rental property. Usually renters get to pick between one badly insulated and rotting home and another equally as bad OR we get screwed on the rent. Either way we lose

        - multiple changes of school for the kids (known to cause psychological problems and undermine education). Tawa College where my kids attend runs a program to pick up these kids who often have been to 10 or 15 schools before reaching secondary education. This has only been a factor in NZ in the last decade or so and will have massive social consequences.

        - I am a long term tennent, with refs and good credit history and I have great difficulty. For anyone else I imagine given my experience of trying to find somewhere that their situation is close to impossible unless social housing is utilised.

        - We now have children brought up in homes with flatmates. This increases vulnerability of these children having a stranger living in their home.

        john Key never had to grow up with any of these issues and neither should our kids.

        • McFlock 7.1.2.1

          john Key never had to grow up with any of these issues and neither should our kids

          Fucking spot on.

        • karol 7.1.2.2

          I’m sorry to hear of your experiences, ASW. It is worse than my experiences, however, I was under no illusion that there are many renters doing it extremely tough.

          Nevertheless, I don’t think the answer is to put the focus on encouraging everyone to own their own place. I think government can give a better choice, by policies enabling affordable rental accommodation for all who want or need it.

          • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1.2.2.1

            I agree with you that it isn’t the best (in fact it only fuels the problem), but it is my aim even though houses are overpriced and I can’t afford it.

            I have come up with a scheme to build and sell web based businesses and take advantage of having no capital gains tax in order to get the freakishly large deposit. There is no way in hell Kiwisaver is going to help me unless I move to Gore or something. Such is the plight of a single parent.

            Sounds good on the surface, but in reality by the time this plan comes together the kids will have left home, house prices will have doubled, and I will probably realise I should have just left NZ and got more $$$ and cheaper living expenses elsewhere.

        • Rogue Trooper 7.1.2.3

          true

      • Cactus Kate 7.1.3

        A very good comment. “It actually is capitalist societies that promote buying over renting”.

        Once you become a home owner you are a slave to home valuations always increasing and interest rates staying low until you pay it all off then want the opposite.

        • Populuxe1 7.1.3.1

          And rates, and maintenance…

          • McFlock 7.1.3.1.1

            all of which are factored into the cost of renting in the first place. But you also have to worry that your landlord might go underwater, not just you.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.4

        At the risk of being called a blancmange brain again, I find it most peculiar Karol that on one hand you claim solidarity with the values of the working class (whatever that actually means in a predominantly bourgeois society like ours) and then on the other hand you shit all over their tastes in popular culture (usually with a disdainful critical theory analysis) and their aspirations – in this case home ownership.

        There is a very good reason why lower income people in particular aspire to home ownership – a lifetime’s experience of marginal security which has very little to do with what has or hasn’t been promoted. Home ownership represents security and provides a great deal of utility in the form of intangible emotional benefits. It also represents a useful economic asset in case of financial emergencies. I have nothing against renting, but I perfectly understand why people would want to own their own homes and I don’t think you are representing them fairly.

        • bad12 7.1.4.1

          But most of that ‘desire for home ownership’ has been manufactured in our society by the neo-liberalism of the past 30 years,

          Prior to Roger Douglas talk of State Housing being of a temporary nature was unheard of, what people want firstly is security both of tenure and rent, State Housing used to provide both…

          • Populuxe1 7.1.4.1.1

            That would probably come as a surprise to the early European settlers, who were actually trying to get away from that sort of thing following the closing of the Commons, the Highland Clearances, the potato famine, the corn laws etc etc

        • karol 7.1.4.2

          I am not so much against people owning their own home, as against the way affordable renting is not equally promoted and supported as a viable choice. I can fully see why, in the way our system is set up, that people would see ownership as the most stable option.

          However, this works against the least well-off, who could never afford to own a home. It would make life easier all round if things weren’t set up for to benefit the banksters and high end property buyers via the promotion of home ownership as THE best way to go.

          Actually, I would say home ownership is as much, if not more, a strong part of middle class culture as a working class one.

  8. Rich 8

    There should be a scheme allowing people to get a state house on a secure lifetime, swappable basis at an affordable rent, paying for somewhere to live rather than speculating on a possible gain.

    • rosy 8.1

      +1 That would promote stable communities with the flexibility to move when jobs or other circumstances require.

  9. Tiresias 9

    Labour building cheap houses for sale should be repugnant.

    Who are they going to be sold to, and under what conditions? Is there going to be a bullet-proof system of ensuring they only go to ‘deserving’ buyers – presumably couples that don’t already own a home? Yet what about the parents of one in such a couple who might be willing to help them purchase it but only if they ‘own’ it so they don’t lose their investment if the couple split up, or their sprog dies and his mate remarries, etc.

    Are these deserving buyers going to have to get mortgages? If they break up or lose their jobs the bank then forecloses and resells it at the best possible price – quite probably to a private landlord who then rents it out for as much as he can.

    Or even when the initial ‘deserving buyers’ decide or are forced to sell up and move on. Are they going to be required to sell to an equally deserving buyer, or allowed to sell for the best price &tc.

    If Shearer really said, “Owning your own home is a Kiwi ambition…” he again proved himself unfit to be Labour leader. Property ownership is a meme and a myth just like the “American dream” of anyone being able to become a millionaire through hard-work, which permits society to write the poor off as simply not hard-working enough. Selling Property Ownership as something you ‘should’ aspire to – which Shearer effectively did if he said what is claimed – is to buy into the Right-wing myth that property and ownership is all, a sign that you’ve “made it”, and that renting is little better than serfdom. Sure it might be a “Kiwi ambition”, but that’s only because it’s been sold as such by Estate Agents, property investors and banks for a generation.

    The State’s responsibility is to provide housing at affordable prices to those starting out so that they aren’t crippled by unaffordable mortages on top of repaying student loans, so that they can easily move locations if their jobs require it, or just to find jobs, so they can start out as a couple in a small easy-care central apartment when their time is taken up studying, partying, finding a job and establishing themselves, and move into larger properties with gardens and air when the children come along and they need it – and to let them think about buying a property for their retirement.

    • karol 9.1

      If Shearer really said, “Owning your own home is a Kiwi ambition…”

      It’s there at the link in my post, under the heading Affordable Housing. Go check it for yourself. And it’s in the video at about 32 mins 10-15 secs.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.2

      :)

  10. Annette King 10

    Labour’s 2011 Housing policy stands until or unless the Policy Council of the NZLP decides to amend or change it.
    The first part of our 2014 Housing policy was announced by David Shearer at our recent conference- Kiwi Build. There is much more to come over the next 2 years . The Kiwi Build policy was announced to give plenty of warning to all participants in the building and construction sector as well as voters we are serious about changing declining home ownership for modest income first home owners. The response from builders, banks, suppliers, third sector housing providers, local government and people in rental accommodation has been very encouraging.
    Over the past twenty years affordable homes( like the type many of us grew up in- around 100sq metres) have not been built. Of the total build, affordable housing makes up around 5%, down from 40%. Many modest income earners are locked into renting unable to afford their own home. They in turn put pressure on the rental market with demand outstripping supply in many parts of NZ. The flow on effect is to push people into overcrowded situations, inadequate housing and poor quality housing. The Accommodation Supplement(now costing over1 billion dollars a year) has done little to improve the quality or the cost of private rentals. Even with the subsidy for heating and insulation introduced as a joint policy between Labour and the Greens few private rental landlords have taken advantage of it.
    It’s worth reading the comments of Diane Crossan, recently retired Retirement Commissioner (oft repeated by her) that we will face poverty among older NZers if we don’t do something to increase home ownership for post baby boomers.

    The second part of the policy announcement made by David Shearer appears to have had little attention by commentators to date although some landlords have noticed going by my emails and letterbox! All private and state rentals will be required to be insulated and provide affordable non polluting heating. To date there has been considerable carrot through subsidies now it is time to apply some stick to ensure the quality of rental accommodation improves. Research undertaken by Prof Phillipa Howden- Chapman shows the health benefits of warm dry housing far out strips the cost. Enforcement will come through legislation, tenancy agreements , regulations etc.

    The provision of state housing is core Labour policy. In our last term of government we concentrated on rebuilding and buying more houses to add to the stock after 13, 000 had been sold off by the National government. We could have done more but health and education which had been severely cut during 9 years of the Nats became our top spending priorities. Improved and increased state and not for profit accommodation will be part of our future announcements.

    Our 2014 Housing Policy is well underway working through the policy mechanism of the Party. It will be comprehensive and be a major part of our social, health, training, employment and economic policy.

    • r0b 10.1

      Welcome Annette – thanks for engaging here on The Standard.

      Anthony / r0b

    • bad12 10.2

      Annette, we will have to wait a while for the numbers and time-frame for what Labour intend to build in the way of HousingNZ rentals, do you think it is achievable to build 10,000 homes for sale and at the same time build a substantial number of HousingNZ rentals,

      Can you please put an income figure on what you consider the target of the ‘KiwiBuild’ program to be, in the debate here at the Standard the figure of a minimum household income of $60,000 a year was sourced from one of the on-line mortgage calculators???…

      PS, great to see someone from ‘on-high’ willing to engage…

    • karol 10.3

      Thank-you for a such a detailed explanation, Annette.

      I think, in response, bad12 has asked a very good question.

      And I also think QOT @5.05pm makes a very good suggestion about clearly posting Labour Party policy online under the relevant area.

      On of my concerns is about the message that has particularly been coming through the MSM, which gives the impression that the current focus of the Labour Party on housing is on building for the private market, without re-stating a commitment to sate housing. As bad12 has explained extremely well @5.33pm below, I think it is state housing that first needs the attention as an urgent matter.

      As a renter, I often get people ringing me asking me to take up a government sponsored home-insulation provision. Actually, my current place is very well insulated from the cold – the summer heat is a bigger problem.

      However, my fear for other renters would be that an improvement in insulation would mean a rise in rent.

      • bad12 10.3.1

        Yeah Karol, i would bet 100% that unless some form of regulation/legislation were used landlords would simply ‘pass on” the cost of insulation to tenants,

        If the landlords were going to insulate of their own free will they would have all done so via the Labour/Green subsidy that was available until quite recently…

    • Rogue Trooper 10.4

      “echo chamber”; I don’t think so (interesting) :)

    • xtasy 10.5

      Hi Annette, welcome to the Standard:

      “Labour’s 2011 Housing policy stands until or unless the Policy Council of the NZLP decides to amend or change it.

      The first part of our 2014 Housing policy was announced by David Shearer at our recent conference- Kiwi Build. There is much more to come over the next 2 years .” AND …

      “Our 2014 Housing Policy is well underway working through the policy mechanism of the Party.”

      By that last comment you made at the end of your attempt to clarify Labour’s new Kiwi Build” housing policy, as well as improved housing conditions for renters, do I conclude from that, that your earlier comment, that the housing policy in Labour’s Manifesto for 2011 is only still “valid” as a “redundant policy remnant”, until it will be more comprehensively replaced by what else will come in addition to what David Sheaerer and Labour announced already for housing at the conference?

      What income limits will be applied to qualify for a Kiwi Build” home?

      What is going to address the issue of land availability more clearly, to construct such “affordable” homes, say in Greater Auckland. Crown land may be available here and there, but I cannot see enough of it being easily available.

      What kind of state housing projects, with or without “third party” involvement, are planned. Are these going to be blocks of apartments with little studios, where not much space is left once a double bed and seater are put inside? Or are future state homes actually going to be a good mix of good quality, partly blocks of apartments, perhaps rows of units, townhouses, and a few standalone homes for larger families?

      Is Labour also still going to get the category C and D Housing NZ waiting listers off the lists, by getting them housed outside Housing NZ? Is that then not a bit like what National are doing now already?

      Re the rental standard improvements, e.g. insulation, heating and so forth, what is going to address the consequence of private landlords simply passing on the extra costs and increase rents?

      What is going to happen in the meantime to the WINZ accom supplement???

      I see a real need for more state housing, as too many will under present conditions, and even with Kiwi Build NEVER be able to have affordable own homes, to rent and live in.

      Your replies will be appreciated.

      • xtasy 10.5.1

        I add to the above: Present government is even off-loading category 2 Housing NZ list waiters, by saying, we will consult with you and work on finding alternative solutions to your housing needs.

        Heatley and the Nats only “look after” category A now, being the most severe and desperate cases of people needing housing. I contacted them on clarification once, it means basically, you have to be on the street, in a totally unsuitable boarding house, and/or living without flowing water, drains, electricity and the likes.

        ALL else are now FOBBED OFF by Housing NZ, and it is near impossible to get onto the waiting list now.

        So clearly, the Nats want to only deal with the extreme cases, offer them minimum housing (they do not even decorate and repair many homes anymore!!!), AND tell them and the rest: Shut up and go away!

        They go on about ensuring only now basic health and safety standards, which I suppose is, if the roof does not drop on your head, you are all safe.

        This is no BS, I went through it early last year, with a mate of mine, they only “moved” after disgusting fob-offs, once the media was onto them!

        We were shown totally unsuitable homes, where holes were in walls, where leaky ceilings and roofs were issues, and the list goes on. This is Heatley’s great NatACT NZ Housing scheme now!

  11. QoT 11

    Awesome post, karol.

    For comparison, people may want to check out the Greens’ idea of a housing policy, which includes increasing the stock of state housing, supporting “third sector” housing construction and promoting non-traditional housing setups.

    (For bonus points, it’s on an individual, easily-accessible webpage with the current contact details of the relevant spokesperson. Could someone in the Labour Party please figure out how internets works?)

    • bad12 11.1

      I remember Norm Kirk’s ‘Ohu’ scheme where DOC land was made available to the ‘hippies’ of the time to explore their visions of alternative life-styles,

      RIP, Norm Kirk, a great man, a great SOCIALIST, and, a great Labour Prime Minister…

  12. bad12 12

    To address the whole issue of housing over and over in various posts becomes extremely labourious, but the BIG issue here is just who does Labour really represent???

    To house the children of the middle classes in homes they will buy will take 100,000 homes over a 10 year period of building according to the Labour ‘KiwiBuild’ policy, and unfortunately i cannot escape the conclusion that to do so would be to reward those 1000′s in the middle class who piled into the housing market looking for rental investments which then drove the prices of such houses as what their children might buy into the realm of un-affordability,

    Having pointed this out before, it becomes wearisome to be repetitive, BUT,it is those with who work for or just above the minimum wage who in the past 30 years have suffered the worst changes in their housing costs over that time, by dint of actually having an income such workers have been regressively excluded from HousingNZ rentals at 25% of income by the growing number of beneficiaries who by dint of pathetic benefit levels were shown to be more in NEED by dint of the allocation regime of HousingNZ,

    Forced out of HousingNZ homes by the rising tide of poorer,(than them), beneficiaries those who work for the minimum or just above were then at the mercy of private landlords and the whole deciles rents shifted from being 25% of income to being 50%+ of income in the private market,

    To ‘fix’ this outrage which has been occurring under both National and Labour”s political control, with National being by far the worst offenders, my belief is that to offer affordable housing to those working at or near the minimum wage the same 100,000 houses NEED to be built and rented to that decile of workers at 25% of their household income,

    There are 2 obvious economic advantages to be seen in doing this besides the obvious economic boost of building 100,000 houses,

    The first would be to kill off demand for rental investment properties, killing off such demand will LOWER the cost of buying houses on the private market thus negating the need for Labour to intervene on behalf of the children of the middle class who’s parents created the un-affodability issue in the first place,

    Freeing those who work for the minimum wage from the private rental sector will in itself give the economy a boost as those working for that minimum would go from paying 50%+ of income in rent to paying 25% of that income as rent,

    Having said all of that, i am lead straight back to the question of WHO does Labour represent, i do not believe that Labour can both house the working poor at 25% of income AND build 100,000 homes to on-sell to the children of the middle class,

    Thats the real question inherent in this debate, and the shortest means of addressing that debate to the Labour Parliamentary team is simply this,

    WHO in the above equation is MOST in NEED, the children of the middle class on the verge of having income enough to service a 300+ thousand dollar mortgage, OR, the minimum wage workers attempting to raise families while paying the parents of those YOU intend to bestow the largesse of ‘KiwiBuild’ upon while paying 50%+ of income AND part of the 1.2 billion dollars of income supplement every year paid from the Government coffers,

    Just WHO needs that Government help the most???…

    • just saying 12.1

      Excellent comment and questions bad12.
      I too would love to hear them answered.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 12.1.1

        There’s a few more things that can be added in the mix as well:

        1. It’s been housing policy to build the houses and then have Enable fund any modifications for people with disabilities. Speaking to HNZ about this they said they have no intention of initially building houses up front suitable for people with disabilities. You of course can’t really do things later like widen the passageways for someone in a wheelchair or easily build a open flat shower area.

        Specific housing needs to be built for those people with physical disabilities.

        2. Currently many of those with disablities are living in sub-standard private housing. Part of the problem being of course they can afford what they can afford and they can also easily be taken advantage of. In some cases sexual and physical abuse occurs as a result of not paying their rent.

        An increase in housing stock for these people is needed with strong security of tenancy. The reality is most of these people will be renters for life. The occassional person might geet an inheritance or house from mum and dad but that’s not the norm – particularly given that the parents earnings capacity was often reduced while raising them either through one partner not being able to work or as in many cases the husband buggering off from his disabled child.

        The state should simply provide them with housing for life.

        3. Security of tenancy. For other people there should be much more security of tenancy. If the notion is that you want people to save and get ahead a 10-15 year reviewable tenancy seems to make much more sense. Over that time-frame their should be sufficient contribution in many peoples Kiwi-saver account to be able to have the necessary deposit to purchase their own home should they wish.

        4. Rent security is also important – market rents should go. Yep peoples circumstances change – great. It’s only state housing that says great you’ve got a job we’ll put your rent up. I haven’t seen a private landlord do this yet. How fucked up is that. Again if the idea is for people to improver there lot and move into home ownership then the abilirty to work and save and get ahead should be maximised. Security of rent should go alongside security of tenancy.

        5. Transitional housing. It is a significant issue for released prisoners, people being discharged from mental health units, women leaving refuges, those being dis-institutionalised out of IHC care, people living rough who no longer wish to do this and so on. The state should be providing up to six month transitional housing to help get these people re-established.

        6. Wet-houses. Alcoholism continues to be a significant problem in this country with a decided lack of night accomodation for those who are alcoholics and live rough. These places should be distinctly and openly be funded via alcohol taxation.

        7. Rental housing codes and inspection. Its no use having codes if no-one is inspecting the rental housing stock. There is some abysmal housing out there and if standards are not met the landlords should not be allowed to rent them and if they don’t bring them up to scratch they should be condemned and bulldozed.

        This would have both the effect of bringing up accomodation to scratch and making land available. There’s plenty of rental accomodation that should be bulldozed.

        Inspection should be funded through general taxation – user pays is a crock of shit.

        8. In parts of Australia you must for instance upgrade your wiring and power box within a 3 month period of buying a house. This helps reduce the risk of fire and ensures houses are bought up to current standards. This applies to everyone – not just rentals. Again there is some atrocious wiring in some houses – let alone plumbing, etc.

        9. We have an aging population. Wankers like John Banks have sold off council retirement housing and this will be a problem for thirty years or so. The state should be building some retirement housing and could even do swaps with older people for their 3 or 4 bedroom house to free up both larger homes and land. Brand new unit for an old 3 bedroom house built in the fifties isn’t necessarily a bad swap and in many places will likely be even more attractive as baby boomers age and are all trying to sell their properties (+ their rentals). This type of appraoch would also help ensure that state house tenants aren’t ghettoised and the same for old people.

        Our communities need our older people in them. They provide valuable service and connection and skills. Retirement villages are not the way to go.

        10. Feild workers to check on those with disabilities living in our communities wherther state tenants or not. Not linked to hours per person but people who are able to assist – support where needed to to pick up issues of abuse – there is plenty of discussion about elder abuse but little about the abuse of those with disabilities.

        • just saying 12.1.1.1

          Thanks for this valuable contribution. I hope you will be taking part when we get stuck into discussing policy in more detail. This stuff is so important.

          I would very much like Ms King’s response to the matters you raise.

  13. Cactus Kate 13

    Another great example of the tension on the left between those welfare is MEANT to assist (the actual poor) and those that welfare is not meant to (those who feel too poor to (insert an activity such as buying a house)).

    The support for Kiwibuild is from those who can probably always afford their own home anyway. They just have to wait a little longer than Mummy and Daddy and save up and perhaps get them to help as Mummy and Daddy sit on an overcapitalised piece of ‘burbs. Welfare cannot provide for these people in the modern age, there simply are too many people with their hands out claiming to be driven into poverty by their own lifestyles.

    The tension in Labour is that this populist rent-a-vote grab for the centre vote will only end up costing the support of one group – the working class and beneficiaries none of whom ever will have a hope of even qualifying for Kiwibuild because in my entire lifetime they have never been able to afford even the rent least of all a home. They will now be pushed left to vote for Mana or the Greens.

    Core to the Shearer v Cunliffe battle is this tension and it is shown here in posts. Shearer wants to throw welfare at the middle classes to buy their votes. Cunliffe wants to take it from everyone and give to the poor. I think historically Cunliffe’s approach is more true to the principles of the Labour Party than that of Shearer which sits well with what the Nats are already doing.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Forget the Shearer vs Cunliffe cage fight bullshit

      Just give the membership a chance to have their say and democratically confirm the Leadership.

      • Te Reo Putake 13.1.1

        Its not just the membership, CV. The affiliates get a say, too. I’ve been thinking about that construction a bit today. It seems to me that the Cunliffe supporters at conference unintentionally damned DC by going for the 60% plus 1 trigger.

        A scenario: Shearer fails to get 60% plus 1 at caucus. It goes to a wider vote. DC stands and gets 50% of the caucus vote, 50% of the membership vote and all of the affiliate vote. 60% in the total college.

        DC is elected leader.

        The very next time it goes to a caucus vote, DC gets 50% and loses and the whole process starts again. DC may win the combined vote again, but he is fatally undermined because he cannot get the support of his caucus. He’d be permanently in Dead Man Walking mode.

        Waddya reckon?

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          A perfectly valid question, TRP, but not on topic for this post. Can you, please continue the discussion on open mike?

        • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.2

          If caucus vetoes the party, then they validate everything that’s been said agin them.

      • Cactus Kate 13.1.2

        You don’t get it do you? There will not be a membership vote.

        Cunliffe has not got the stones for a challenge, he lacks the numbers to back him in caucus and so there won’t be a vote, caucus will lock in behind Shearer and best you all do too, because he will be your leader at the next election and the membership in the meantime will find out that caucus hates you.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.2.1

          and the membership in the meantime will find out that caucus hates you.

          Yeah, been there done that :)

          • Cactus Kate Viper 13.1.2.1.1

            Good to know that you realize and therefore eyes were wide open. Carry on then, the dream is over :)
            If the Labour membership can pull off a Cunliffe victory I shall tip the hat to them. I agree he should be leader but politics is full of shoulds and coulds.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.2

      “They will now be pushed left to vote for Mana or the Greens.”

      OH NOES.

    • bad12 13.3

      i would like to say a few choice things to you about your comment but as Karol has pointed out, you are using one issue, Housing, to drag this particular post off into some other realm of debate, so, best your given as little oxygen as possible…

    • On this issue, Kate has a point (11 Jan @ 7.26pm). There is an element of reality in her second and third paragraphs, and most of the fourth.

      With limited resources we need to look at what gets built for whom.

      Whilst I appreciate that Labour has focused on the housing problem (I refuse to refer to it as an “issue”) in this country – and rightly so – a Labour-led government has to spend our tax dollars on those who need it the most.

      The priority must be for State housing to be built, at around 10,000 units a year (not impossible – and the maths supports such a programme). Something I put together with a bit of costings, back in August 2011; Can we do it? Bloody oath we can!

      The first priority must be addressing issues relating to child poverty. All else is secondary. (And anyway, the Middle Classes got their “cake” with Working for Families and by voting for two tax cuts in 2008. Labour and National have both been extremely generous to middle class families.

      Offering housing for the middle classes (of which I am one) is a “nice to have” and perhaps something that can be looked at after housing, poverty, disease problems have been addressed for those really in need.

      I think most fair-minded New Zealanders will understand such prioritisation.

      We should also consider that if something looks like an election “bribe” to voters, they may think twice about voting for Labour. The Nats can get away with such bribes because their inherent doctrine of naked self-interest allows them to get away with that kind of policy.

      People look at Labour and expect different values.

      (Or else why bother having two different Parties, the Nats and Labour?)

      Indeed, if we want to attract New Zealanders to live and work in their own country, we have to offer them a point of difference to other, high-wage nations. We can’t compete with Australia, US, etc, for high wages.

      But we can compete if we can offer a sense of national pride; a sense of belonging to a society, rather than an “economy” (and I don’t mean bloody rugby teams and Hobbits, either). As I blogged on an issue relating to migration,

      ” Another issue here is that despite National’s right-wing reforms, tax cuts, and partial-asset sales/share floats – New Zealanders are continuing to vote with their feet. An increasing number of families and young people are departing our shores in a vote of no-confidence in John Key and his administration.

      It also suggests that the neo-liberal concept of the atomisation of “society” – replaced by the Individual and families – has reached it’s inevitable consequence. If all that matters is the Individual and their own needs, then concepts such as national identity and cultural heritage are hopelessly out-dated concepts. In which case, people will simply follow the money and nothing else matters.

      If we are ever to attract New Zealanders back to our country, and to persuade those already here that it is worthwhile being part of this society, then we have to move away from raw Individualism and self-interest. To encourage people to be a part of a society, that society has to be vibrant, strong, and offer more than just cash incentives. ”

      Part of that is looking after one another, and those most in need are in the fore-front of such a philosophy.

      After all, that kind of socialist principle worked very well for John Key when he was a child; his siblings; his widowed mum, and it gave him quite a leg up. It’s a shame he’s forgotten his roots.

  14. Annette King 14

    Thank you for your questions Bad12. In NZ we are currently building around 15,000 houses a year.A large number of them 200sq metres plus with two bathrooms, ensuite etc not in the affordable first home buyer category. In the mid 2000 s we were building around 30,000 a year and in the Norman Kirk years even more. To gear up from the current figure will take some time but construction companies I have met tell me there are people ready to work if there was investment into housing. Part of the policy is to also stimulate our apprenticeship programme and encourage NZ tradespeople home. 27,000 construction workers have left NZ in the last 4 years(latest figure I have from Construction Alliance).

    There are a number of ways to make housing affordable to low income earners- home equity schemes etc. it can be based on family income. The key issue is the deposit. Policy work underway.

    • bad12 14.1

      Tah Annette, while i don’t want to come across all pedantic, you have sort of answered one question and left a big void as an answer as far as the income group you envisage will be able to sign up as the mortgagor for the proposed ‘KiwiBuild’,

      Is the figure gleaned by one commenter from an on-line calculator of the need for a household income of $60,000 where Labour intend the ‘KiwiBuild’ to be targeted…

    • bad12 14.2

      As an afterthought can i ask you if you feel like giving any sort of answer to the question i pose in the comment i made at 5.33,

      It’s simply this, if you were instead of building 100,000 houses for sale under ‘KiwiBuild’ to build those 100,000 houses as HousingNZ stock with the specific intention of providing housing for those on the lower wages attempting to raise families would this not then be the most efficient use of resources in helping not only that decile of low paid workers but the resultant drop in demand for the purchase by landlords of housing stock would then lower the market price of such houses and logically those you see ‘KiwiBuild’ as necessary for could then afford to buy from the private market…

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        Except of course that increased home ownership would decrease demand for rental properties which would lower the price of renting, including for the lower cost areas.

        edit: was your entire comment one single sentence? Hurts me noggin.

        • bad12 14.2.1.1

          Except of course,(not having as yet elicited an actual figure from Annette), the lower wage workers who are unlikely to be able to afford a 300 thousand dollar mortgage will not benefit from this policy,

          The same ends can and would be reached by simply housing 100,000 of the lowest waged workers in HousingNZ accommodation at 25% of income, demand from the middle class for investment property would drop when demand for homes to rent in the private sector from the lower waged workers fell, property prices would then fall, plus the economy would gain a boost from the lowest waged workers paying less of their income in rent,

          Too long a question Mac, you’ve been spoiled by all those one liners you constantly engage in…

          • McFlock 14.2.1.1.1

            More like indicative of not pausing for breath.

            But I disagree with your first paragraph: the lower wage workers and unemployed/unpaid workers will benefit because the people who can afford a $300k mortgage will no longer be outbidding them in the rental market.

            But if the “same ends would be reached” with your methodology of putting all of the housing directly targeted at renting to the poor, aren’t you just splitting hairs?

            As it is, I suspect the actual proportion of the 100k homes that be state houses (or indeed, that rebuilding the state housing portfolio is a separate policy entirely) is still TBA.

            • just saying 14.2.1.1.1.1

              But if the “same ends would be reached” with your methodology of putting all of the housing directly targeted at renting to the poor, aren’t you just splitting hairs?

              No, those in greatest need should not be waiting many years for the “trickle down” of benefits.

              Btw, I have left an off-topic message for you on open mike (at or near the bottom).

              • McFlock

                got it:)

                I’m not entirely sure the “trickle down” theory applies here – it’s a case of reducing competition to bring prices down directly, rather than hoping that the largess of the well off would be spread around the area.

            • bad12 14.2.1.1.1.2

              Crumbs off of the table for the lowest wage workers Mac??? while the already much pampered children of the middle class who created the housing problem in the first place by piling all their excess cash into rental properties get further largesse from the State???…

              • McFlock

                No. I was extrapolating off your worst-case scenario that a Labour housing policy only assists people with double or thrice the median income into buying a home.

                And even then you said the same ends would be reached.

                • bad12

                  We don’t KNOW exactly the decile the Labour policy will reach, which is why i have been trying to get Annette King to put a figure on it, the policy tho isn’t finalized and perhaps Labour will come up with a good little plan which allows the low waged with families to capitalize on their working for families tax credits while giving a Government guarantee to KiwiBank to enable that bank to provide the low income workers with a mortgage,

                  However, such a policy as KiwiBuild will only house this generation, whereas a HousingNZ rental protected by long term leases would in all probability house a number of generations over the years,

                  There can be no means of stopping those who benefit from KiwiBuild from gaining enough equity in that property to use it as the means to mortgage into another property thus carrying on the current cycle…

                  • McFlock

                    The thing is that ANY policy of government funding or providing housing will affect a bunch of deciles, varying as to which ones according to how it’s done. Not to mention the economic effects that occur from housing policies interacting with other policies (CGT and benefit levels being the most obvious).

                    You seem to be asking for an exact economic prediction, which is a contradiction in terms.

            • bad12 14.2.1.1.1.3

              wht should those on the lowest wages be forced to bid in a market with other’s who have far greater means than them just to get into a decent house,

              Are you playing devils advocate here Mac,or do you really believe that housing the lowest waged workers should be discussed in terms of ‘markets’, it, according to the ‘marketeers’ is the fault of the lowest waged workers that the middle class renters can out-bid them…

              • McFlock

                oh ffs.

                I believe that the state housing property assets should be increased dramatically.

                I also believe that making single home ownership more accessible for people other than the rich will have a positive effect on the rental market and bring rents down. Even for very poor people.

                The second belief does not mean that I reject government-owned affordable rental accommodation.

                • bad12

                  Settle Mac, which just comes back to the point i was labouring tonight, it’s a matter of the political will to build such State rentals,

                  Ok, ‘Kiwibuild’ is a simple matter of a Labour Government borrowing a couple of billion the theory being that the money starts coming back as soon as the Houses are built and the mortgages are signed with the banks,

                  As Annette King pointed out tonight, Norman Kirk’s Labour Government were building 30,000 State Houses a year, so given the political will it is within the realms of possibility to be able to build 10,000 ‘KiwiBuild’ properties AND 10,000 State owned rental units in any given year,

                  Now that i could really find it in my bones to heavily support a Labour Government over,

                  My preference is that there be an ‘A’ type state house where the target is to house beneficiaries, and, a ‘B’ type state house where the target is the lowest waged workers with families,

                  Now that would take the heat out of both the rental and house sales markets…

                • bad12

                  PS, the fact that we are having this debate at all is down to poor political management where the Labour Leader has released ‘part’ of Labour’s housing policy with very few details,

                  If Labour release policy which promises to increase the number of State owned rentals by the same number as the ‘KiwiBuild’ policy with perhaps some thought being given to what i say above about having an ‘A’ and ‘B’ category where low waged workers are not barred simply by dint of actually earning a wage then i for one would shut my fat gob about Labour supporting the middle class to the detriment of the lower paid wage workers of this world…

                  • McFlock

                    I think that the reason we are having this debate is that although I broadly agree with your state housing objectives, the policy announced so far (while meaning improvements in housing affordability) is not exclusively dedicated to the specific area you want.

                    • bad12

                      Yeah sure, but then i am a SOCIALIST who believes that the resources of the State should be distributed on the basis of the greatest NEED first and foremost,

                      I sure as hell don’t believe that the housing of the lowest wage workers and their families should be left to them having to bid against the middle class to be housed by the market,

                      And i sure as hell don’t believe that the lowest wage workers should be left as fodder paying off the rental investments of the bloated middle class who over the past 10 years have been well pampered by successive Governments while the children of that bloated middle class are further pampered by Government…

                    • McFlock

                      I sure as hell don’t believe that the housing of the lowest wage workers and their families should be left to them having to bid against the middle class to be housed by the market…

                      That’s nice. If the policy said that then you might have a point. And indeed it would probably fall under the definition of “neoliberal” because it would involve the complete removal of not only state-owned rentals, but this policy, too.

                    • bad12

                      Read the comment back up the page a bit that describes succinctly ‘renters hell’ it’s not the policy it’s the reality of the rental market today,

                      i at least have a good understanding of the shifting decile of the last 30 years where the low waged workers have by dint of ‘having a wage’ been forced into the market rental sector by the rising tide of beneficiaries who qualify to be housed by the State ahead of them simply by the ‘NEED’ involved in having to survive on less than a wage,

                      That in no way lessens the NEED of those low waged workers to also be housed by the State…

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting. So even if all 100,000 homes went straight to the middle class private ownership, it would lessen the strain on the under-supplied state houses because the LMC and ULClasses aren’t also looking for income-related rents?

                      Good to know.

                    • bad12

                      What you just said is un-decypherable, perhaps you would like to repeat yourself without the use of lazy initials replacing words,

                      Whatever it is you are saying is obviously a twisting of my previous comment to suit your personal agenda,

                      You don’t own a couple of rental properties by any chance…

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, right. I’m a property developer /sarc. You ain’t reading very closely, are you.

                      Lower Middle Class. Upper Lower Class.

    • just saying 14.3

      I’d like to hear your answer to Bad12′s actual questions.

      Particularly, I’d like to know why Labour isn’t primarily focussing new housing resources on those in need. As Bad12 points out, this would have the same downstream benefits of more, better, cheaper housing. The professional middle class are doing better than than ever have. How can you jusitify even more tax-payer largesse while many are in genuine need?

      • karol 14.3.1

        Agreed, js. Annette’s answer seems to be to focus on getting people buying their own home. The 7.49pm answer is not focused on providing for a significant amount of people who may choose or need to rent, especially those for whom renting a state house would be the best option.

      • bad12 14.3.2

        LOLZ, She is after all a politician, it would be nice tho if Annette chose to roll up Her sleeves,drop the political speak and give it to me in an answer from the heart instead of the,(as yet unfinished), policy paper,

        Mind you if we really got going Karol might have to grab Her mods hammer to keep everything reasonable,(just kidding)…

    • Be bold in your policy-making, Annette.

      And in doing so, I hope you talk with people such as child-poverty documentary maker, Bryan Bruce; Gareth Morgan (he has good ideas that merit consideration); CPAG; principals from low-decile schools; Inner City ministries, and others in the community who can give invaluable advice as to what this country really needs.

      And once your policies are in place – for god’s sakes, we need to find some way to cement them in place so incoming National governments can’t readily undo them. The damage they cause to low income and middle class families with their constant cutbacks is incalculable.

      And just recently, when we have people like Tony Ryall considering advice to cut back on grommet operations for children, then we’re back to the 1990s. http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/childrens-health-not-a-high-priority-for-health-minister-tony-ryall/ (Look at the news-story “$1.5b injection for health”, dated 9 December 2001)

  15. millsy 15

    An increase in the state housing stock would probably render a capital gains tax unnecessary.

    Would push the speculators out of the market while not affecting those who dont mind a bit of give-and-take to get ahead.

    • bad12 15.1

      Aha, i made that very same comment in one or other of the posts today, a Capital Gains tax would rely on the owner selling, very slow and ponderous and just as likely to provoke those with multiple houses for investment to hold onto them while punishing those who needed to sell up and move for legitimate reasons…

      • @ Bad12, “…while punishing those who needed to sell up and move for legitimate reasons…”

        All speculative property is eventually sold. That’s the purpose of speculation.

        • bad12 15.1.1.1

          Perhaps i needed to be more exact in my reply to Millsy, what i was alluding to in the first part of my answer was to speculative investors and in the second genuine home owners who may for instance have to move cities for employment and thus would be punished by a capital gains tax if they sold up their home and moved,but then you would have known that if you had of taken a moment to think about it…

    • Sorry, no, Millsy.

      The purpose of a CGT would be to make all investments equally taxable. In doing so, hopefully NZers may actually invest in productive sectors of the economy rather than property speculation. Every time an ex-rental is sold for a profit, the extra value has to be leveraged by borrowings from overseas.

      In effect, we’re using other peoples’ savings to create the illusion of “wealth generation” in NZ. And pushing up prices at the same time, making it harder for many of our children to buy their own homes. Our private debt is now amongst the highest in the OECD and approaching Greek levels.

      I think a CGT is but one ‘weapon’ in a whole armoury to attack the property boom-and-bust cycle.

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.1

        A straight out property tax has to be part of it. 0.25% pa for on the value of every property over $1M ie. $2500 annual property tax on a $2M home, $5000 annual property tax on a $3M home.

      • millsy 15.2.2

        I am talking about a CGT in the context of the property market.

        Moreover, I think that taking (some of) the WFF spend and put it into the state/social housing seems to be a good idea.

  16. Karol’s right, Labour’s housing policy is committed to home ownership and appealing to those who can afford these $300,000 houses. And Bad12 is right, by implication this will crowd out the resources needed to build more state rentals.

    The problem with that is that it continues to feed property speculation and the mortgaging of workers to the banks who are likely to fall over crashing on workers assets again. A house and a patch of land is no security and certainly not the road to freedom, rather financial serfdom.

    That’s what’s wrong with Labour. It is committed to trying to make capitalism work when its obvious that it doesn’t work for the workers. There is no use flogging the aspirations of the middle class when the global economy is in the doldrums, and the middle class is finding out what its like to be ordinary working class.

    Ms King talks about getting all the resources lined up. But that’s dependent on the private sector. That’s why we need to revive the Public Works Department. It exists now as a subterfuge to pump subsidies into the private sector (eg Fletchers rebuild of ChCh. It was James Fletcher who ran Public Works during WW2 as well). It just needs to be given the right name and cutting out the profiteering PPPs.

    So the KiwiBuild PPP is going in exactly the wrong direction. In Auckland the only houses that most working people can afford now are inner city apartments or attached medium density housing. The new plan is for infill (which is sensible) but that will mean more flats and apartments. There is no reason to justify owning these as opposed to renting them other than too make a capital gain.

    Of course if Labour was to prick the market (its CGT is hardly a prick) and offer decent public housing with good social amenities such as many of us will have lived in overseas, this would mean Labour standing up for what its working class constituency needs and there is no sign of this happening right now.

    If Labour continues to trickledown health, education, housing, doling out bits here and patching up bits there because its first duty is to meet the needs if international capital (the Aussie banks mainly) then sooner or later it will part company with the working class that looks to the Greens and Mana promising policies to provide what used to be Labour’s bread and butter public provision of jobs, health, education and housing to boost living standards and eliminate poverty.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      then sooner or later it will part company with the working class that looks to the Greens and Mana

      Well, it’s already done that, look at the stay at home non-vote; it’s just that they haven’t gone to the Greens or Mana yet.

      • bad12 16.1.1

        Possibly hoping like i hoped for many years, that the Labour Government would become the Labour Government again instead of those other people…

      • QoT 16.1.2

        Could one put forward the theory that for the quite-leftwing-but-stayed-at-home group, voting Greens (maybe less so now they’re consistently >10%) and Mana is less appealing when the end result is still an uninspiring, possibly neoliberal, certainly unstable Labour Party in charge of things?

        • rosy 16.1.2.1

          One could put forward that theory. And at lease this one other could agree with it too.

          I’m looking for a strong, left-wing Labour party. Not a a Greens or Mana party compromised by their possible coalition with a right-wing Labour party.

          • McFlock 16.1.2.1.1

            What turns me off the Greens is the Greens.
            What turns me off Mana is their leadership.

            • gnomic 16.1.2.1.1.1

              “What turns me off the Greens is the Greens.
              What turns me off Mana is their leadership.”

              Umm, thanks for sharing about your feelings. But what has this to do with the world at large? Can you be more specific about what you are trying to say here?

              • McFlock

                Yes.
                I don’t vote for either because of the characteristics of each.

                Which, applied to the wider electorate, is as viable theory as someone not voting for the greens because they’ll be shackled to a tory labour party.

            • fatty 16.1.2.1.1.2

              What turns me off Mana is their leadership.

              What’s wrong with their leadership? What have they done or said? What do you think of their policies?

              • McFlock

                Whats wrong with Hone Harawira? Well, we can start with his claim that he wasn’t diplomatic enough to be a party leader when he was in Maori party, then what does he go and become?

                I like some of their policies, but my general feeling about Mana is the same to a certain extent as my feeling about the Greens: their focus is on one issue, and other policies are tacked on (and negotiable). I certainly don’t think Mana would sell out on non-core policies to the extent of going with national (like Maori party did), but we need a wider focused party as well a a melange of narrow-focus representatives. So it’s either Alliance or Labour for me (depending on how I feel on election day – the struggle between principle and practicality).

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well, we can start with his claim that he wasn’t diplomatic enough to be a party leader when he was in Maori party, then what does he go and become?

                  That’s a bit of an odd thing to hold against him. So, Hone admitted that he wasn’t diplomatic enough to do Maori Party coalition negotiations with John Key. He probably would have told Key where to stick it. I would have considered that mostly a positive.

                  Sure, Mana seems to have a fairly narrow focus, but as a party they only have a tiny fraction of the resources and infrastructure that the Greens and Labour have built up over decades.

                • fatty

                  same as CV…I don’t understand how that is a negative.
                  McFlock – do you think Hone should never have been in the Maori Party, or he should have stayed, or he should have left earlier?
                  Mana’s policies are fairly wide-ranging, despite how they are portrayed in the media. Education, health, housing, taxes…what do you think Mana should expand their focus into?
                  I cannot understand your critique at all…but I am interested

                  • McFlock

                    I think the Maori party went a different direction from Hone when it went with the nats. In that case, his timing was fine. But I don’t think he in particular is the right type of guy to lead a broad-base party.

                    My point is not that mana or the greens don’t have wide-ranging policies. Just that their emphasis and depth of analysis is too focused towards one particular area.

                    I don’t think that the same depth of analysis they put into environmental or Treaty issues is necessarily applied to foreign policy, defense, economic development, health, or each other’s respective areas of interest.

                    Neither of them are genuinely broad enough for my taste, but I do think that it is good for parties with a depth of thinking in those areas to be part of government. I generally agree with Green policies, and I generally agree with Mana policies. But I think that either would have policy blindspots that would be exploited by treasury or whomever should either party become the major coalition partner. Just like Labour in the 80s.

                • karol

                  I like some of their policies, but my general feeling about Mana is the same to a certain extent as my feeling about the Greens: their focus is on one issue, and other policies are tacked on (and negotiable).

                  Have you paid attention to Green MPs and their policies over the last few years? They’ve been pretty consistent on issues of poverty, unfairness, social justice, anti-poverty, human rights etc. And they focused on a significant range of issues, considering environment, nature and a livable human society and to be all inter-linked.

                  • Populuxe1

                    I can’t say as I’ve seen much depth in their policies though – lots of hand waving and things that sound nice and probably came straight from Wikipedia, but very little in the way of concrete, holistic policy planning. Gareth Hughes, for instance, wants to do away with much of our navy – but doesn’t seem to have stopped to consider that with the size of our oceanic territory, patrolling for illegal fishing etc rather requires one. Then there was a hissyfit over our navy having war games with nuclear powers because it’s baaaad – which would seriously limit our defense options. And don’t get me started on printing money…

          • LynWiper 16.1.2.1.2

            +1 Rosy 11.16pm

        • karol 16.1.2.2

          That’s a very good point, QOT. I switched my party from from Labour the Greens a few years back. Last year, for the first time, I became really worried about the negative impact of a government led by a right wing Labour caucus leadership.

          I will still vote Green/Mana, but the overall nature of the NZ opposition, because of the current political position of the Labour leadership, is worrying. Hence why I voice my criticisms.

  17. ak 17

    Jesus H Fracking Christ

    ah farook, what now…..

    Get your erse up here. Now! What the frack’s happening in section 75831G?

    nothing…

    Nothing my sweet panuba. I’m getting reports of inteference every fracking G year and it’s keeping me awake. How many times must I tell you – GOVERNANCE you little wonker, leave the bustards alone

    ah frock that…..

    Sarry?

    You hord me. Little crunts are going backwards in a big hurry, just gim a few wee reminders….pracks nearly elected a sheep in Gunnica so wee storm nothing special

    Yeah but why the frack the action in special section Z? Thought they were still leading the pack?

    ha ha ha. Nup. Picked a frackin pharisee, mao I hate those crunts, but yeah ok. Bit over the top mebee. Yeah made em stop hating their nuggers, still not clicking maori mao fock how many hints yo need but hay they took my name in Z1, expected better….

    So you smash em? Is that a mature reaction do you thint?

    Frack off. Just a wee shakeup. And it didn’t work anyway, dipshots are building a new templefornobody in wait for it……cardboard. ha ha thats ship in case you didn’t knowl…

    And our peeps in G?

    Frocked. Gim a new mouth and wont use it sep for infighting….dog eat dog in my image e vun, heh ya neva know but heh course ya do heh but see a king toppy engaging evun as we speak…..mebbeee loining

    OJ. Stick down there then, work on em. But softly, GOVERNANCE!

    yeah yeah yeah. unless they keep possin me off and then its moving north and it wont be wee…..

  18. xtasy 18

    Karol and others here are right, when they question and criticise the disconnect between the greatly announced “Kiwi Build” policy, and what Labour did actually state in it’s 2011 election manifesto!

    What Shearer, the Council and caucus are engaging in is nothing but:
    The battle for the hearts of the “middle class”, whatever it may look like these days, there in that much referred to “centre” of NZ.

    It is a battle against the present government and National, who have offered much less in the way of housing solutions, well, next to nothing.

    State housing has just been raised again by Mike Smith in his last article here, and he tries to serve up “political left-overs” of “stale” policies from the 2011 manifesto.

    It is poor, poor and absolutely unconvincing, and only if a proper, clear, comprehensive state housing policy will get announced in the coming months, will others who will not fall into the category of those qualifying for a 300 k home start to rethink their reservations towards Labour.

    There are so far no plans we can see for proper, expanded state housing schemes, with or without non government players.

    Also this government under the two faced master of BS, John Key, has been high on their ideology, repeatedly going on about too many staying in Housing NZ homes, who should not be there.

    Well, there are apparently 31 per cent who have lived in a Housing NZ home for 10 years or more, but is that such a huge catastrophe, as people tend to live in homes as long as they can, when they fulfill their needs.

    No, everyone is to be reviewed, scared and intimidated, every 3 years now, that is what Heatley wants, and that is what National want. Selling state homes to make way for large block of tiny shoebox units, and selling the rest of the land to developers is the agenda.

    It is equally appalling, if Labour want to use Housing NZ and other Crown land to allow Kiwi Build homes on, and then perhaps herding Housing NZ tenants in blocks of tiny apartments.

    The NZ Herald had this interesting story today, showing the more realistic situation with Housing NZ homes being tenanted for various periods (mostly justifiably):

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10858440

    • karol 18.1

      Thanks for the link, xtasy. And that article surely is propaganda for the housing market profiteers. And they are fishing for personal stories of people who have been in state houses long term, so they can parade them before the public, as an example of what they think needs to change.

      I’m so glad to hear that for some people, a state house has pretty much meant a home for life. Such was the way it was back in the 40s and early 50s.

      I agree xtasy, the NAct government is just creating uncertainty for those on low incomes, and little alternatives other than being frequently moved on. And this at a time when the wealth gap is large and not looking like getting any smaller, while NZ is continuing down the road of a low wage economy.

      Any housing policy should be developed along side policies to ensure a living wage for all.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.1.1

        The income increase aspect is bullshit as well. It’s not like there’s the same job security there was in the sixties.

        People’s jobs can disappear in a heartbeat.

        And let’s say I’m a mother whose child is born with severe disabilties and I choose to look after him and save the state from doing so. Well there is 18 years but wait he still needs looking after as an adult so I do that as well.

        10 years is a pittance in many cases.

        Why arbitrarily use 10?

        Ewwwwww I just noticed this at the bottom:

        “Tell us

        Do you know someone in one of the longest state house tenancies?

        Email: newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz

        That just makes my skin crawl.

        • just saying 18.1.1.1

          The government doesn’t need to pay for “dob in a bene” media campaigns a la the Shipley era. Today’s media will gratefully lap up information for salacious OIA requests, as well as dream up their own, and wage war on the poor for them, free of charge.

          I wonder if the “journalists” who pump out this cheap shit ever feel a little bit sick about what they have become. I can’t imagine anyone dreaming of becoming the reporter who sucks up to the rich and powerful and eagerly plays bully-boy for them.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 18.1.1.2

          Invasive pricks. They’ll probably hang around outside and harass the occupants for an interview, photographing them in “public” (just outside their front door).

          Well spotted DoSS

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.3

          Tory Herald Pricks.

        • xtasy 18.1.1.4

          The NZ media is increasingly becoming “Nazi like”, I am afraid, and it must have something to do with the ones sitting in control, whether senior editors, managers, all thinking of pleasing “shareholders” in their corporate boxes, to feel “pleased” yet again, about the “right kind of” reporting they love to see.

          Fuck NZ MSM!!!

    • millsy 18.2

      Dont have a problem with state housing tenants being in their house since the war. Security and stability is a good think IMO, nothing can be achived by moving families from house to house.

      With security, families can thrive.

  19. What any government could do is face reality, and start building ablution blocks for all the tent cities that are going to start popping up, once the welfare payments reduce then stop ….. they should be planing for the unavoidable future we all face.
    This system is heading for cardiac arrest. if not already on life support … $300 million per week is a bloody fat tube stuck in our guts.
    Once the ponzie scam that is fiat money hits the final overload switch, there will be nothing of $ value anywhere on the planet, as a $ will only be worth what use you can put a peace of paper to – like lighting fires, or a dart maybe?
    Once there is no food available, a $ becomes worthless, investing in say Australian wheat or rice over the next few years – you might understand what I’m on about.

    Housing is a right ……………… there are no ‘rights’ …. We are just bloody lucky to have what we have at any point in time, after all we are no different than bacteria in a Petri dish.
    Who gave us these so called ‘rights’?
    In reality ‘might’ is the only ‘right’, might gives you the ability to take or withhold something, say like the government, or that big bully at school, or the USA.
    In the end it depends what end of the gun you are at to how many rights you might have )

    • Robert you are a mighty activist bacteria who jumped out of the petri dish.

      “Rights” such as housing rights were won by big fights, usually involving the use of guns by those who opposed those rights. The bigger the concession the bigger the guns.

      The General Strike of 1913 threatened capitalist rule in NZ. So out came the military and the Cossacks. They were shit scared that the Red Fed would follow the Bolsheviks and have a revolution. The state forces and mercenaries won then and gave us the Labour Party as our booby prize. Labour then conceded a welfare state including state housing to implement the WB Sutch Keynesian plan to insulate the economy and boost state spending for economic development.

      Of course labour abandoned that plan when it could not longer produce profits in NZ, and it is now working for international finance capital.

      100 years is long enough to wait for the another general strike which is what happens when all the bacteria jump out of the petri dish.

      • Robert Atack 19.1.1

        Unfortunately Red as I’ve found, once you jump out of the petri dish you land on a cold unforgiving lab floor, which is what this planet is fast becoming.
        Alas 1 dysfunctional planet divided by 7 billion parasites = a very dark future, for the parasites anyway.

  20. Cactus Kate Viper 20

    Having used the 7th best Mayor in the worlds train system, may I suggest a great start is to tender out building apartment blocks over the rail stops and sell these as Kiwibuild?

    I do not think Kiwibuild is the right policy for a left coalition true Labour party. It is more a National policy. It is a middle class populist policy aimed at the swing middle class voter. A Labour policy would be building 100,000 state houses and renting them to lower income people.

    For a start to put you off – if I came back to New Zealand and had the sort of job I had when I left, I would most likely qualify as a first time home buyer for Shearer’s policy based on what I have read thus far.

    Is that *really* where you should be aiming the policy as a Labour Party with Greens/Mana partners?

    • xtasy 20.1

      Cactus Kate Viper – thank you for your honest views on this.

      Yes, in some ways I agree, but there needs to be much more done than offer affordable, decent homes for the poor. The housing market here in Auckland is in a bizarre, insane state, and neither government, nor private investors are doing enough to address it.

      Expanding city development, building on greenfields are also not going to solve much.

      I see some new developments in Mt Wellington, Panmure and so, but more is needed, also to be affordable. I do not totally rubbish Kiwi Build, as it can set a damper on price growth, but it is still too much full of flaws, a major one being the “affordable” land.

      By the way, who wants to build on Crown land or other leasehold land, getting an affordable house, when in future the ground underneath may be up for debate and huge increases of costs?

      Most people want more certainty, certainly fairness, and a smartly thought out plan. Forgive me, I am NOT a Cunliffe fan, but I again fear, that man may have more of an answer to this challenge, than the present “leader” of sorts that is heading Labour.

  21. Fortran 21

    In using the good Kiwibuild model proposed it has been suggested that Kiwibank finance the mortgages of the buyers with low subsidised interest rates.
    Many existing Kiwibank mortgage holders would not be very happy that they would be subsidising these subsidised rates.

    • xtasy 21.1

      What is more common in some continental European countries is, to have collective housing projects. People can invest in them and build their own block of flats, townhouses or whatever, or they can even come in later, and rent to buy!

      Now that is something I would favour and see as a winner. Get more rent to buy schemes on the market, which will of course mean paying more than for a Housing NZ home, but then again, the rent will go into the investment, and people will own their homes after so many years.

      Cut out the bloody banks, dead interest paid to “investors” or whatever, that is a thought worth having. Also doing things collectively cuts costs, as bulk buying and doing is always cheaper, unless you are a bloody idiot or no-hoper.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        What is more common in some continental European countries is, to have collective housing projects. People can invest in them and build their own block of flats, townhouses or whatever, or they can even come in later, and rent to buy!

        What is the typical business structure of such a collective housing project? Let’s take the case of a small 3 or 4 level apartment block. A developer raises funds by selling shares in the whole project, but not in individual apartments within the project?

        • karol 21.1.1.1

          I think it starts with the cooperative. Some London examples reported on here.

          The co-operative paid £620,000 for the property in Walthamstow, with the purchase financed by loans from Co-operative & Community Finance (which lends to organisations owned and controlled by their members) and a linked organisation, the Co-operative Loan Fund, plus various individuals and other housing co-ops. But the bulk of the money came in the form of a 75% mortgage from Yorkshire-based Ecology building society….

          The Drive housing co-op has been structured as a registered not-for-profit body that owns the property and provides accommodation on a purely rental basis. Only the tenants can be members, and they will pay about £500 a month in rent to the co-op, which will be their landlord. Each member has a single £1 share, and, crucially, individual members can’t gain or lose from changes in the value of the property.

          • xtasy 21.1.1.1.1

            Karol: That sounds similar to what I have heard about, and what I suggest!

            Of course there may still be a collective mortgage, loan or whatever, but they also have some different banks on continental Europe, which are a bit more like the traditional ‘savings banks”.

            Sadly the EU regulators decided some time ago, they favour the market players, who then again are the ones largely responsible for the GFC, right?!

            Some may be ok, but others went mad, lent, borrowed and got themselves into the shits, so good old governments bailed the fuckers out.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.2

            Cheers Karol. (and Xtasy)

            • xtasy 21.1.1.1.2.1

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_cooperative

              See this for some historic info on collective or co-operative housing CV.

              Sorry, I rushed a bit with slagging off on “share holders”. Indeed, the unit ownerships are “shares” that members of such collectives own or invest in.

              But it is all NON PROFIT, which is what we really want, is it not?!

          • xtasy 21.1.1.1.3

            Karol: You can get even cheaper rents in Germany and other Central European countries, yet get excellent equipment with modern chattels, utilities and such, and a fair bit cheaper than the average rental in NZ, where you get a stove, but may have to clean the crap out generations of pre renters left behind. Also in Europe people (and landlords) make long term agreements, so tenants are able to, and happy to, decorate, equip the interior to their liking, while in NZ, I never bloody know, when the landlord may say, f. off, I want to sell.

            Hence tenants in NZ have little incentive to bother with looking too much after the place. It is all short term, non committal and leads to endless problems due to that.

            But then again, we have some “cultural” differences between here and certain other countries.

        • xtasy 21.1.1.2

          It is indeed more run on a kind of “trust basis” there, nothing to do with developers selling shares. That anglo saxon “share business” must be crapped out of people’s brains, please, as it is always implying “profit”, “gain”, “win win” and so forth.

          There are many other models for doing things, and developers in NZ may in some cases be genuine and decent folk, but hang on, I met so many rat-bags, it was not funny.

          Living in a rented unit a few years ago, at the end of the property hype, that taught me a life lesson CV, I had landlord after landlord speculate, buy from one another, and hope for a higher sales price next year, so I never had any security of accommodation.

          Eventually I was out, now I am with an “old fashioned” small scale NZ Chinese property owner, who has proved to be the best of all of the landlords I ever had in NZ. She is investing for the long run, she told me, she is not interested in selling. Few are like that though. So collective schemes are an alternative.

          It happens in big cities and smaller ones, in Berlin and other places, so it is a go.

  22. the sprout 22

    Fantastic post karol, an invaluable critique.
    Much appreciated.

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  • Time for a local drone strike policy
    A message from Arthur McGee, founder of and spokesperson for the Commonsense Corrections Society...
    Imperator Fish | 19-04
  • AT Bouquets and Brickbats from the severe weather
    There’s a lot that Auckland Transport do that we criticise them for and I so always like being able to give them praise when they deserve it. As such this is just a quick post to say that I thought...
    Transport Blog | 19-04
  • Greens: Everywhere they look, Peters is there
    It's not bad strategy, it's not bad planning. It's not their fault at all. But unless the polls move dramatically in the next few months, the Greens are backed into an uncomfortable political corner. New Zealand First has them by the,...
    Pundit | 19-04
  • Varying explanations
    I had reason recently, in the context of discussion about a disingenuous lobby group peddling some of its “non-partisan” wares, to remember the quote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not...
    The Paepae | 18-04
  • Mighty River Rail: A Fresh Future?
    Looking at a number of separate but current issues got me thinking about the possibility of the return of passenger services on the existing rail lines through the Waikato. These include: The potential appeal of well connected and well designed...
    Transport Blog | 18-04
  • Global warming can’t be blamed on CFCs – another one bites the ...
    A paper published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B by the University of Waterloo's Qing-Bin Lu last year claimed that solar activity and human chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions, not carbon emissions, could explain the observed global warming over the...
    Skeptical Science | 18-04
  • The Road Marking Dance
    A neat video showing two clearly experienced guys painting doing road marking. Note to AT, see how easy it is to mark a street, perhaps you could get some people doing the same thing but instead of saying BUS STOP...
    Transport Blog | 18-04
  • Boundary changes
    The new electorate boundaries which will govern the election came out yesterday, and I have now had a little time to digest the final changes. Here are my three reactions. 1. Meh One of the nice things about MMP is...
    Polity | 18-04
  • There are no human rights on a dead planet
    Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues. I called on the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 18-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Date of Release: Friday, April 18, 2014Body:  The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions."Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    First Union Media | 17-04
  • Could this man be Prime Minister of New Zealand?
    If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as...
    Brian Edwards | 17-04
  • Movies, feminism and postfeminism
    So, a confession: I've never really liked biographical movies about women I otherwise admire. I'm not entirely sure why - there's something about the cliches they indulge in, the Hollywood-isation. (She lapses into total vagueness revealing, yet again, that she...
    The Hand Mirror | 17-04
  • Barabbas – An Easter Story
    "All I know is that he died and I live. Maybe it’s what lies at the heart of that day."  “YOU’RE A HARD MAN TO FIND!”, exclaimed the sharp-featured young fellow, setting a jug of wine upon the table. “I’ve...
    Bowalley Road | 17-04
  • Low Traffic Forecast For Costly Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz Previously I pointed out that the NZTA produced...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Mitigation of Climate Change – Part 3 of the new IPCC report
          Guest post by Brigitte Knopf             Global emissions continue to rise further and this is in the first place due to economic growth and to a lesser extent to population growth. To...
    Real Climate | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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