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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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  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    3 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 days ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    3 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    4 days ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    5 days ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    6 days ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson. ...
    1 week ago
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare… ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    1 week ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago

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