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The Kiwibuilt announcement

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, November 4th, 2013 - 69 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, housing, labour, phil twyford - Tags:

Brighton Artists Impression

Yesterday Labour announced further Housing Policy.  The announcement was handled by David Cunliffe, David Parker and Phil Twyford.  It is good to see these announcements being shared around.

The proposals are:

  • 10,000 affordable houses to be built in Christchurch in the first four years of the program.
  • The rebuilding of New Brighton into a “vibrant and modern beachside community”.
  • The investigation of the use of appropriate Red Zone land and properties as a stop gap measure for temporary accommodation.

The justification is that up to 7,400 people in the region are living in insecure housing and that there is a 7,000 house shortfall in the region.  And the rationale is that leaving it up to the market is not working and for the common good Government Intervention in the housing market is appropriate not to mention necessary.

David Cunliffe has criticised the National Government’s failure to address the housing affordability issue.  Its inaction has meant that the Reserve Bank has had to step up and with the limited tools that it has fashion a housing policy.  Its choice, to place limits on loan to value ratios, is rather brutal in its effect and has a number of draw backs:

  1. They hit first home buyers the hardest and these are the people who the Government is meant to be helping with these changes.
  2. Because first home buyers often build first this policy has depressed the construction of new houses and have thereby made the problem worse.
  3. They have effect throughout the country even though the housing affordability issues are only in Auckland and Christchurch.

The temporary opening up of houses in or near the red zone is a proposal to at least immediately increase the supply of housing until new stock can be built.  The examples given, a street where services were intact and one side of the street was outside of the red zone and the other side in the red zone, and a Housing Corporation area outside the red zone where houses were inexplicably boarded up, suggested that there could be an immediate beneficial effect although the numbers may not be large.

Other measures previously proposed by Labour include a capital gains tax and a restriction on overseas ownership.  Many foreign administrations have restrictions and a local restriction would dampen down pressure on price increases especially in Auckland.

The immediate political effect is to show to Christchurch that Labour cares.  And long term it shows a fundamental difference between Labour and National.  While National thinks that the market will always deliver, Labour will proactively intervene if the public interest requires this.

69 comments on “The Kiwibuilt announcement”

  1. Zorr 1

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/01/cutting-energy-bills-oldham-passivhaus

    Saw these linked through to from Hot Topic the other day – can we also legislate that the houses built be as energy efficient as possible? ^_^

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Unfortunately we simply don’t have the expertise or skills to be building energy efficient homes in CHCH on the mass scale proposed under this plan.

      Then again it is 10,000 over 4 years, so it’s possible that the majority of houses built in years 3 and 4 (which would probably be a majority of the total) could be made more highly energy efficient if sufficient forethought was put into it.

      • Zorr 1.1.1

        Lanth – that’s a cop out.

        Energy efficiency is all about selecting the right materials and then building with foresight. There is no real increase in the amount of expertise required as it is a situation of making sure to insulate walls and use triple glazing.

        Where is the additional expertise required here? And if there is, why aren’t we facilitating this? “Lets build 10,000 cruddy homes” isn’t much of a promise.

        • Tat Loo 1.1.1.1

          Unfortunately we simply don’t have the expertise or skills to be building energy efficient homes in CHCH on the mass scale proposed under this plan.

          Its all in the original design, layout and materials selection. Building them to the defined spec is then the easy part.

          • Ant 1.1.1.1.1

            And the design and materials selection for affordable and efficient housing has been well researched, tested and documented.

            It’s one of the more popular fields of applied research, 100s of test case homes built every year.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2

          Hey, just basing it on the fact that I have recently begun investigating building a Homestar 6-8 rated house myself. Talking to whom appears to be the premier architect in Christchurch who designs these homes (Bob Burnett) he is very dismissive of the local building companies saying that their houses are between 2 and 4 stars and basically you end up with a 4-star home by luck rather than planning.

          It actually takes a lot of knowledge, expertise and the right tools to design truly efficient homes. That knowledge and expertise simply doesn’t exist on a large scale in Christchurch today.

          Also, triple glazing isn’t cost-effective. See how easy it is to just assume what is required to build an energy efficient home, and get it wrong?

          • Zorr 1.1.1.2.1

            If you look at the link I provided, it states what went in to those houses and how they were considered cost-effective… WITH triple glazing…

            See what I did there? I referred to the link I linked that you obviously never bothered to read

            Just because some architect can’t see how it can be done, doesn’t make his opinion correct. These energy efficiency stars are self serving to the industry and not indicative of what is actually possible. I mean, for example, a 6-star EcoHome was for sale from a house moving company for $200k (that includes the move and on-site costs as well) so why the hell can’t we have them?

            http://www.centralhousemovers.co.nz/datashed/listings.asp?categoryID_list=&listing_price=&UserDefinedDoubleNumber1=

            You’re full of shit Lanth

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2.1.1

              When I said triple-glazing isn’t cost-effective, what I mean is that you might spend $20,000 extra on triple glazing and your house is (arbitrary example) 7% more efficient. But if you took that same $20,000 and spent it on other methods, you could improve your efficiency by 18%. Sure, if you’ve got $20k to spend and you’re out of ideas, do it, but there are many other things that should be done in preference to triple glazing for most houses in NZ.

              The link you linked to is about houses build in Britain, which is not the same as houses built in New Zealand or even Christchurch. In other climates, in other economies, triple-glazed windows might be cost-effective. They aren’t (generally) in NZ.

              “Just because some architect can’t see how it can be done, doesn’t make his opinion correct.”

              I’d trust an expert who has been designing energy efficient homes in Christchurch for years more than you.

              As for moving 6star homes, once again, energy efficiency depends on the site. If you rotate a house-design by 90 degrees it can actually end up being far more energy inefficient than a standard house.

              • Zorr

                One simple question then:

                If other countries can do it, why can’t we?

                Is it because we’re too small? Too stupid? Not innovative enough?

                Instead of finding people who tell us how we can’t do something, how about we find people who say “yes we can and here’s how we’re going to do it” and then present a reasoned plan.

                People who just say we can’t without providing an action plan of how we could do it are adding nothing to the conversation. At the moment, we *aren’t* building affordable energy efficient housing, that’s the bloody problem and we need to do something about it.

                • Lanthanide

                  “If other countries can do it, why can’t we?

                  Is it because we’re too small? Too stupid? Not innovative enough?”

                  First off, the particular PassivHaus standard you are talking about is VERY VERY stringent. Probably the best way to appreciate this you’ll get about it is by watching the Grand Designs episode where they made a house like an arch that was also a passivhaus: http://www.hawkesarchitecture.co.uk/grand-design

                  PassivHaus in particular require special ventilation systems which are not made in NZ and must be specially imported. This means they cost a lot more money for us than they do for Germans where they can be bought locally. It also means repairing them is more expensive.

                  So, too small is an aspect. Too stupid is also an aspect: the building code could easily be made to be more energy efficient by simply requiring thicker insulation and walls. So why isn’t it? Because there’s no appetite for it from either the public or those in charge.

                  “People who just say we can’t without providing an action plan”

                  People who face reality and say “actually we can’t do that right now” are the first step. It’s not my job to come up with an action plan – I’m simply commenting on a blog on a topic that I happen to know a small amount about.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Unfortunately we simply don’t have the expertise or skills to be building energy efficient homes in CHCH on the mass scale proposed under this plan.

        More BS.

        150mm walls instead of 100mm
        Double and triple plated windows (already have those)
        Controlled ventilation so as to minimise heat loss with a solar powered heat pump in the exhaust

        Really, what fucken expertise don’t we have?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1

          The expertise to design houses to meet all of those requirements (and far more) that is suitable for the site the house is going on. For example placement of windows and size of windows, so that the house doesn’t overheat in summer and feel frigid in winter is not just a matter of sticking a few holes in a wall and calling it done – it is site-specific, and every site is different.

          It’s quite easy to cookie-cutter houses that are all the same and stamp them on sections, but if you take that approach your energy efficiency results will be mostly by luck and not by planning.

          Btw, the actual materials involved and construction itself is only marginally more expensive than a standard building code house (~5%), it’s the design that costs a lot more.

          Also when you’re talking about building 10,000 houses, an issue of tradesperson competence also does enter into it. We ended up with leaky buildings because the regulations weren’t correct and the councils just inspected to what was there – if builders were able to think from first principles about what they were doing we wouldn’t have had leaky buildings. Like it or not, building energy efficient houses DOES require different approaches and techniques compared to building standard code-compliant houses, and this is something that is NEW and people will require training on to do a proper job – both the builders AND the inspectors. It’s no good building something and claiming it is energy efficient when it isn’t because it was done wrong, just as we’ve seen that it’s no good building something and claiming it is watertight when it isn’t.

          This whole debate reminds me of the silly claim that popped up on The Standard after the quakes with people saying “just get the unemployed to dig ditches and install drains, it’s not hard”. Actually drain-laying is a very hard and skilled job to do properly. Just like designing houses, any houses, to any standard, is not trivial.

          • Zorr 1.1.2.1.1

            So… government buys 4-5 plans… then uses those plans for 10000 houses and manages the build… thereby eliminating any regulatory issues because *everything* is by the book and through the government…

            I have yet to understand how the issues you are raising are relevant for this?

            EDITED: To add that basically your issue is that we currently don’t have the specific training you feel is required to do this so therefore we can’t. That is the worst kind of argument for not doing something

            • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1.1.1

              “I have yet to understand how the issues you are raising are relevant for this?”

              Everything is “easy” when “all you do is…”

              • Zorr

                By the same dint, anything is impossible if you never try…

                If there are hurdles in the way, they should be jumped and not used as an excuse to not complete the race…

                • Lanthanide

                  Try rending the second sentence of my original comment again.

                  My point is that we don’t have the skills on the ground RIGHT NOW, not that we can never have the skills on the ground.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.2

            The expertise to design houses to meet all of those requirements (and far more) that is suitable for the site the house is going on.

            Got that too. Yes, there happen to be architects in NZ that can design to Passive House standards. Make it a required standard and I’m sure the rest will pick it up fairly quickly as well.

            Like it or not, building energy efficient houses DOES require different approaches and techniques compared to building standard code-compliant houses, and this is something that is NEW and people will require training on to do a proper job

            Yep but that would only take weeks for a trained builder to learn, not years.

        • BrucetheMoose 1.1.2.2

          That’s right Mr Bastard. Also upgrade the wall and ceiling insulation another 20 – 30%, keep glass areas to optimum amounts with the largest areas to the north and west walls, minimum on south, insulate under floors whether they be timber or concrete, don’t clad the whole house in a metal cladding – if any, buy local products where possible, have eaves, keep the house size sensible, make sure rooms can be compartmentalised for when not in use and install quality thermal curtains. None of this is difficult, just fundamental good design and sensible material choice. Will the group housing companies run any of this past their clients. Nope. They like their stencil cut out homes. They nice and easy to build and cost effective, initially.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.2.2.1

            Sure, that will make houses *more* energy efficient than a standard house built to the building code, but nowhere near PassivHaus standards, or even “as energy efficient as possible”, which are both the things that Zorr suggested and I objected to.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Yep, just reading the standards for Passive House and the insulation thickness is 335mm for walls and 500mm in Sweden. For some strange reason I had 6″ running through my head.

              But it’s still something we can do. Even the required air-tightness is now pretty much part of the standard building code. A lot of older builders are complaining that buildings need to “breath” which is old school design and, IMO, why we have such cold houses in NZ.

  2. vto 2

    This has been bashed around a bit on open mike. One question – to get such a herculean policy implemented immediately on election then a team of people would need to be working on the implementation of it right now – not just the actual policy but the reality of housing plans, sites, prefabrication, contractors, Council, surveyors on it goes… on it goes….

    If Cunliffe wants an immediate start (which is what will be required for 10,000 homes in 4 years) then people need to be lining it up now.

    Is anybody lining it all up?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Simple answer is no: More likely 2 years after election it would be just getting underway

    • mickysavage 2.2

      The announcement talked about “the first four years of the programme”. The way I read this is the programme will have to be set up and the stop watch starts from the launch and not now. And the launch could be 18 months or more away.

      • vto 2.2.1

        Might I suggest (for political advantage and for Chch benefit) that a team work on this right now so that Labour can actually hit the ground running in its first week/month of election?

        Would make a mighty big splash surely ……..

        • mickysavage 2.2.1.1

          Thanks vto. I am sure that consideration is being given to this now and I agree that speed is vital.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.2

          There’s only so much political parties can do when they aren’t in government around this sort of thing.

          For example if they went and spoke to construction companies and the council around consents etc, because it relies on them actually being elected before they can do any of it, the construction companies and council aren’t going to want to get into detailed discussions because it would be a waste of their time.

          Furthermore the government is very large with lots of departments, and when you’re the party running the government, you get to direct those departments to do work for you. Until then you’re just a group of people largely funded by public donations and a small amount of support from parliament. So the Labour Party itself doesn’t have the resources or expertise to do terribly much on this policy until they’re in government.

          • vto 2.2.1.2.1

            Lanthanide, private sector companies spend hours and days and weeks and months talking to people and organisations who have nothing but an idea for a building. It takes huge chunks of their time and most of them come to nothing. But they do it. And they do it willingly because of the potential work involved.

            I think if the Labour Party got stuck in on some of the requirements now they would be pleasantly surprised at the uptake in concept, detail and implementation. Even if the first, say, 200 were on the drawing board and ready to dig the dirt within a few short weeks of election.

            Sure, resources would be an issue I guess (how would this be funded pre-election? Would be enough to pay no more than two competent people, part time imo), but it is entirely feasible and the people required would take the time.

            Mind you it is an easy thing to say “no wait” to……

            • Lanthanide 2.2.1.2.1.1

              “I think if the Labour Party got stuck in on some of the requirements now they would be pleasantly surprised at the uptake in concept, detail and implementation. Even if the first, say, 200 were on the drawing board and ready to dig the dirt within a few short weeks of election.”

              Ok sure, on that scale I think you’re not being unrealistic. I was sort of thinking that you wanted 2,000 houses started within 6 weeks of the election.

      • David H 2.2.2

        Yeah, and there is always the small matter of an election to win first.

    • Tat Loo 2.3

      Initially some private contractors would have to be used, but this project is a perfect launch pad for a Department of Public Works.

      • BM 2.3.1

        And where are you going to magic up all the staff and equipment from?

        • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1

          Procurement function will sort it. Most smaller items to be NZ made.

          • BM 2.3.1.1.1

            And how long do you think this process will take.

            • Tat Loo 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Most of it could be done within 18 months.

              • BM

                You reckon Labour could recreate the Ministry of Works in less than 18 months.

                That’s pretty optimistic.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  you’d only need a housing development and build team to start with. In the private sector you could pull together a hands on property development company within a few weeks.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yeah, I keep wondering why people keep mentioning 18 months. In 18 months should have the first thousand built or under construction.

                  • BM

                    If you’re going to go down this path, wouldn’t it be easier to just buy out a couple of companies instead of starting from scratch.

                    Buy up existing businesses and use those as your foundation for the new MOW.
                    They’ve already got the skill, men and infrastructure in place to get you off the ground.

                    • Tat Loo

                      That’s definitely an option which should I also think should be considered. Also there are various local council owned operations which could be bought out or extended.

                    • BM

                      It’s by far the quickest way to get this kiwi build project under way

                      If Labour tries to create the MOW for scratch it would take about 10 years + of just planning, be a complete waste of time and money, never get off the ground.

                      Christ, it would take 5 years just to get the gender demographics sorted.

                    • joe90

                      Buy up existing businesses and use those as your foundation for the new MOW.

                      While the MOW did carry capital investment in plant and machinery in the main it was a design – clerking service which used local businesses to carry out the work.

                    • Tat Loo

                      Christ, it would take 5 years just to get the gender demographics sorted.

                      That;s actually really funny.

                    • Tat Loo

                      While the MOW did carry capital investment in plant and machinery in the main it was a design – clerking service which used local businesses to carry out the work.

                      I don’t think that’s 100% correct – I used to see yards full of MoW logo’d heavy equipment and vehicles. So they obviously had strong delivery capabilities themselves.

                      But yes, for some stuff like Manapouri, a lot of outside private sector help would be called in as well.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.2

          Staff: Well, there’s ~ 170,000 people unemployed ATM
          Equipment: Plenty in the stores

          • mickysavage 2.3.1.2.1

            Agreed Draco. The first day after the first earthquake the Government should have thought “there is going to have to be a lot of construction and repair work done” and then started to train up carpenters and got ready. It is amazing at a time of high unemployment we are having to import labourers to do work that locals are perfectly able to do.

        • risildowgtn 2.3.1.3

          Bring them home from Australia.

          I have heaps of mates just waiting to come home and they WONT til Key is gone.

          Your Govt has not delivered on its promises in the 2 Budgets from what I have seen since coming home ,of 170,000 jobs .

          More like lost them

          Your Govt has had how long to start training people for the rebuild?.
          What have they done? (Btw Links if you are going to provide this as well).

          Instead all they have done is source overseas workers

          Massive fail

      • David H 2.3.2

        As long as it’s not only the cities that benefit. Us here in the small towns, some of us are feeling a mite left out.

  3. Ad 3

    People may well want to start reading up about Australian state Urban Development Authorities.

  4. amirite 4

    Something should be done about Fletcher’s monopoly.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 4.1

      A vertically integrated Department of Public Works with its own forests and mills, for a start.

    • bad12 4.2

      LOLZ, that’s a unintended Funny right, guess who Labour will be looking to sign up as the major contractor for it’s KiwiBuild,

      Yeeees you’ve got it, FeeeerLechers…

  5. Tracey 5

    Listened to 2 guys from the new report on the building industry. Branz involved again which gives me no faith.

    labour needs to build houses but good houses. How about developers being personally liable for 10 years like builders and designers so we can ensure quality. The corner cutters will bugger off… and no opening companies taking the profit closing it and opening a new one for the job.

    Nats contribution was to sheet it all back to builders again

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    While National thinks that the market will always deliver, Labour will proactively intervene if the public interest requires this.

    Which means that they will always be intervening because the market always fails to deliver. Not that I’m upset by that idea but I do wish that they’d drop the delusional belief in “the market”.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    That’s smart, rebuild a flat low lying coastal suburb right in the face of projected, but with unknown severity, sea level rise.

    • Ad 7.1

      Particularly smart to turn your back on a major area of a destroyed city and let billions of real estate capital and retirement savings be given over to weeds and rats.

      • Richard Christie 7.1.1

        Yes, turning our backs on some areas may certainly be smarter in long term. This is already the case with areas with particular soil and vulnerable geological makeups. However it’s a difficult pill to swallow and sell.
        Billions of real estate capital? As you concede to its physical (presumably) destruction I assume you allude to land capital, the bulk of improvement value already written off.

  8. NickS 8

    Prefab everything ( windows, power, water connections, etc) and it becomes possible to throw a house (or townhouse block *hint-hint*) up and make it watertight in less than a week with a team of semi-skilled labourers + a builder or two leading them. With maybe a week more to finish utility connections and paint up the interior and flooring. Use floating foundations + prefab base instead of a concrete slab, and you get an even faster turn around + less issues with the house being writ off due to the slab cracking in another quake.

    You don’t even have to build it all in Christchurch as long as the components can fit in a container, allowing for factories to be built in areas outside of Christchurch with sufficient logistical connections and plenty of unemployed people floating around. Which would get around the lack of housing here in Christchurch and give people transferable skills/work experience and the money to move elsewhere once the demand drops. Along with giving the local economy a boost.

    As for it being “too difficult”, with CAD blueprints and computerised cutting tools you can get components cut to spec and nut out how to break down the design so it can be assembled on site and up to specs vis earthquake etc requirements. Also, various companies in Europe having been building bespoke prefrab/kitset housing for over decade, so it’s not like there’s no prior knowledge base to draw on

    • tc 8.1

      Yes nick and by tendering it internationally you will maybe not be stuck with cartel carter/fletchers etc.

      plenty of energy efficient designs with the group builders now, point them north, double glazing, 150m walls etc.

      DC shows how you kick start an economy, pity the nats closed night school down nearly 5 years ago now, all the wasted opportunities for upskilling.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 8.1.1

        Yes nick and by tendering it internationally

        Uh, why would you want to tender work out internationally?

  9. lolitas brother 9

    “The rebuilding of New Brighton into a “vibrant and modern beachside community”.
    sweet jeez.
    Did you go for a drive down there Micky
    The left wing Christchurch Councils tried for 30 years Micky, and it got worse.
    They were to dumb to join it to Sumner. Instead Vicky Buck built the Brighton Pier to nowhere.
    The East of Christchurch is shagged.
    “Investigate the red zone down there as much as you like,”
    Its infrastructure has collapsed, utterly and completely Micky.
    It would cost more to re-establish than starting elsewhere,
    nice picture of boxes within the article though

    • greywarbler 9.1

      Brighton could use its beach more – could be an esplanade right down to the beach. With wind breaks! It’s windy but it’s the only one that Chch has.

      And open up that part of town down to Ferrymead for outdoor recreation. Native tree plantings. Get people to go and visit there. Have a new dog exercise area in the east, not just in the north.

      Give the people opportunities to set up art colonies – get into Ferrymead and offer secure buildings for bands to practice in. Provide something that is wanted by the creatives, the musicians, make it funky, make it something, but don’t diss the east with that settled Christchurch superiority and dullness of mind that I often notice (also in Wellington) preventing interesting, exciting things from getting going.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Lanth what absolute rubbish you talk all houses now have to be well insulated.
    The scale of build is a pathetic arguement.
    We were building 10,000 more houses a year before 2008 most
    Bespoke indidual designs.
    All well insulated.
    From ChCh south houses under the building code have to have double glazing and a higher standard of insulation .

  11. greywarbler 11

    This morning on Radionz.
    The head of the Local Bodies association says that the leaky buildings problem has caused councils to tighten up on building consents and inspections. Apparently one of the main grizzles about delayed consents is for swimming pools. I suppose this is for farmers who use them also for water reserves for fire fighting?

    And up to 75% higher costs for building permits. Now councils are asking business and home owners to pay the full costs of these thorough permits, and the costs now they are not subsidised as before, are hurting. This is another problem for everyday homeowners brought on by shonky builders and the huge amount of developments as these businesses try to cash in on the only money making game in town. Fair enough, we know now if we didn’t before that business people can’t be trusted to monitor their own work and procedur

    And that direction of financial investment has caused problems in many directions. There is the moral hazard of saving time and making more revenue by cutting corners, reducing precautionary safety levels, and building to the market. And that is knowing that mass of customers doesn’t understand what is good for it, ie choosing or being attracted to, roofing styles like they have in Tuscany, or insulating a house too well, cutting air flow out in the structure and preventing humidity and condensation from running away or drying out.

  12. charles kinbote 12

    “You are an utter joy Greywarbler, ” the mass of customers doesn’t understand what is good for it, ie choosing or being attracted to,” …. “And open up that part of town down to Ferrymead for outdoor recreation. Native tree plantings. Get people to go and visit there” ……..well Its quite a big swim from Brighton to Ferrymead Greywarble and how do you propose you will “get them there” …….you tell us , we are so dumb

  13. greywarbler 13

    Thanks for your wet blanket charles. You are so wise and full of ideas and enthusiasm for thinking out ways of adding something to Brighton, helping to revitalise that part of town and advancing its potential. Another idea. It could be a centre for kite racing along that beach with that wind. What ideas have you got charles?? Spit them out, now you have spat on mine.

    I noticed your opener about being an utter joy, and I thought oh oh here we go. It is so rare to get a positive person on blogs, in NZ even – about anything we make or propose to make in this country. There are so many losers like yourself who get their only kick in life by bad-mouthing an idea, any idea, well except from one that lays some advantage in your lap. I guess that helping Brighton doesn’t suit you. Perhaps you want the property values to stay low so you can get in on the ground floor for a money-making idea of your own.

  14. charles kinbote 14

    At that Labour conference Bradbury claimed that Cunliffe was turning blood into water. The Labour party is now officially a socialist party he said. The new State owned insurance Company will quickly bring an end to all our insurance woes ; New Brighton which has had a long miserable stagnating forty year death will be revived to a sparkling lively seaside village ; and all the red zone decay leading out there will have infrastructure magically reformed as the new socialists sparkle fairy dust over our entire City.
    This is so great it’s a wonder someone didn’t think of all this before.
    I said to Bob Parker myself, “ why can’t you transform New Brighton to a sparkling lively seaside village Bob”. He said ‘good idea but even I am not that crazy’
    The infrastructure in the entire East is shagged, and development will be as far away as possible. that is the reality, Warbling words mean means nothing, the Conference was a sham. The building will be in the West. You can’t get Insurance in the East. Its a closed shop.

    If you lived in Christchurch you would know the reality of the position Warbler

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    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    7 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    7 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago

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