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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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  • Rail vs Driverless Cars
    A few days ago there were two major transport stories, the first was about a new record for rail patronage and the other topic was about the government looking to make it easier for driverless cars to be on New Zealands roads....
    Transport Blog | 25-10
  • The Bridge
    A photograph of my Father in Ha’api, and myself in Nuku’alofa – in different times, but holding the same familiar expression As we flew over Auckland (Okalani) on the way home from Nuku’alofa, I couldn’t help but imagine what this...
    On the Left | 25-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43B
    Recently discovered microbe is key player in climate change Researchers resolve the Karakoram glacier anomaly Recently discovered microbe is key player in climate change As permafrost soils thaw under the influence of global warming, communities of soil microbes act as...
    Skeptical Science | 25-10
  • When do we reach ‘peak cow’?
    How much is enough? Or even too much? It's a fundamental question for any business or economy when you're dealing with supply and demand. And it's a crucial question when it comes to New Zealand's dependence on the dairy industry. So...
    Pundit | 25-10
  • ‘Progressives’ who side with imperialism
    Although the Alliance for Workers Liberty has no co-group in New Zealand and is a minor player on the British far-left, we’re running the article below because the AWL ideas being critiqued in it are certainly relevant here (and probably...
    Redline | 24-10
  • ‘Progressives’ who side with imperialism
    Although the Alliance for Workers Liberty has no co-group in New Zealand and is a minor player on the British far-left, we’re running the article below because the AWL ideas being critiqued in it are certainly relevant here (and probably...
    Redline | 24-10
  • The Songs of Yesteryear – Or, What I Was Listening To 40 Years Ago
     Sonnet to the Fall: Penned by the group, Dulcimer's, founder, Peter Hodge, the song also features the English actor, Richard Todd, reading Hodge's poetry. Dulcimer's first album, And I Turned As I Had Turned As A Boy was released on the...
    Bowalley Road | 24-10
  • Beach Rd Cycleway stage 2 design
    The new Beach Rd cycleway is fantastic addition to the city however at the moment it’s a little short only extending from Churchill St to Mahuhu Cres. That’s set to change next year as the second stage gets underway which...
    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Taylor Swift NOT entertaining misogyny, even for laughs
    I saw this on Graham Norton’s show last night and was impressed with Taylor Swift’s deft ‘warning’ to comedian John Cleese … to not engage in comic misogyny – not even as a joke. Good on her. Here’s a short...
    The Paepae | 24-10
  • Tory Austerity mythology exposed ( from The Guardian & Social Europe Jo...
    The same neo-liberal mythology which declares  National as the best manager of New Zealand's economy is used in the UK to boost the credibility of the Conservative Party with disaster-ous consequences.This article from The Guardian and reproduced in Social Europe...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 24-10
  • Neo-Liberal Economics and the danger to nations’ sovereignty. From So...
    The TPPA debate has echoes in Europe as Neo-Liberal economists conspire to remove national sovereignty through the Juncker Commission.Will The Juncker Commission Continue To Entrench Neoliberal Policies?Lukas OberndorferA few days ago, the designated European Commission finally showed its true colours:...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 24-10
  • Saturday playlist: new beginnings
    Every Saturday we’re going to post a couple of music videos, probably on a particular theme, unless we run out of ideas and it just turns into Stephanie spamming us with professional wrestling soundtracks and Nicki Minaj. This week’s theme, fittingly: new beginnings....
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Save us from Ebola, Muslims but not guns!
    For some reason, Americans are terrified about the threat of Ebola, the dangers of Muslim terrorists, but not gunzzzzzzzzzzz.Meanwhile:At least three people have been hospitalised after a student reportedly carried out a shooting at a high school north of Seattle...
    Left hand palm | 24-10
  • Because they wanted a better life for me
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) The first time I saw snow I came...
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Letter to the editor – Key paints a dirty, great, big bullseye on our cou...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Thu, Oct 23, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Dominion Post . On Radio NZ, on 23 October, I was gobsmacked to hear this from  our...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43A
    Amazon deforestation picking up pace, satellite data reveals An in-depth look at the oceans, climate change and the hiatus Citing rising seas, Florida officials vote to cut state in half Climate records are breaking so often now, we’ve stopped paying...
    Skeptical Science | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings
    Press Release – The Nation Fonterra boss worried about the spread of Ebola in West Africa and potential big consequences for the company, saying it doesnt feel to me like that it is under control at the momentLisa Owen interviews...
    Its our future | 24-10
  • We can be heroes
    (Trigger warnings apply on this post for assault, misogyny, domestic violence, and bitter sarcasm/flippancy about male perpetrators of violence against women.) This is written for cis-gendered straight guys. I have nothing to say to women on the subject of male...
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: Water in Public Spaces
    47: Water in Public Spaces What if we made more of water in our public spaces? Sometimes it is the simple things. People flock to water in public spaces. We need more of it in this city. And in more...
    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Freedom of information: A good idea from India
    One of the better ideas for freedom of information implemented overseas is disclosure logs - agencies posting requests and responses publicly, allowing performance to be monitored and reducing repeat requests. This is widespread in Australia and the UK, but poorly...
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • The Age of Cupidity
    I've been trying to publish a post for the past couple of weeks.  Although I have several in draft form, when I try to finish them I find myself overwhelmed by a deep lassitude - an uncharacteristic gloom which is only relieved...
    Te Whare Whero | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Looking back with pride – Maryan Street
    Maryan Street joined the Labour Party in 1984, was President from 1995-1997 and became an MP in 2005. She talked to Labour Voices about her Labour journey and the people, events and achievements she recalls with the greatest pride....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
    DEVELOPING “a very strong and comprehensive” Women’s Affairs policy going into the 2014 election is one of the achievements Carol Beaumont is most proud of. And being unable to implement it one of her regrets....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
    Radio New Zealand has an appalling story this morning about the government's interference in the Christchurch rebuild over the new District Plan. Normally district plans are decided by elected local councils accountable to the voters who will live under them....
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • Turning a blind eye to corruption
    As we are constantly reminded, New Zealand consistently leads the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as the "least corrupt country in the world". And as we are increasingly becoming aware, that reputation may be undeserved. Today there's another nail in...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Police Association off target with call to arm Police
    Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Political interference at Maori Television
    A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No - according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:“[Maori TV CEO Paora]...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • September 14 Patronage
    Auckland’s Transport’s patronage results for September are now out and they show that the city is experiencing spectacular PT growth, growth which is also setting a number of records. The big news was earlier in the week was that when it was announced...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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