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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 Jackal | 30-07
  • A video has emerged showing far-right Israeli protesters celebrating the death of children in Gaza in Tel Aviv this weekend.The protesters, who were picketing a much larger anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, can be seen...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • Novopay triumph for government
    Today the National government announced the future plans for the troubled education payroll system Novopay. The system has had a rough ride since it was implemented almost two years ago. At parliament today the Cabinet Minister for Fixing Up Really Bad...
    My Thinks | 30-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #3: Plane Tree Avenues
    Stuart Houghton’s 100 ideas for Auckland continues 3: Plane Tree Avenues Franklin Road, with its historic plane trees, is one of the most loved streets in Auckland. What if plane tree avenues defined all the major city fringe streets? This...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Too Much some recent articles on Inequality
    click here for these...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • From truffle to light crude; oil doesn’t come cheap
    The Governments oil salesman Simon Bridges just can’t catch a break these days. Whether it’s having to admit that he’d never even heard of NZ’s largest forest park (Victoria FP) which he’d just opened up to drillers or getting stick...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-07
  • Submit on the Draft Parking Discussion Document
    Auckland Transport have had their Draft Parking Discussion Document (2mb file) out for consultation over the last couple of months, but this closes at midnight on Thursday. This covers the full range of parking issues around the city, including on-street, off-street and park...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Reaching out to voters
    This is going to be the biggest grassroots campaign we’ve ever run. A couple of weeks ago I shared some of the stats from our voter outreach programme with the media. It’s campaign activity that’s often hidden from view, but...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Scrapped
    Wellington City Council has scrapped its "alternative giving" campaign. Good. As the article notes, the campaign was an expensive failure, with $40,000 spent to raise just $3,500 for the homeless. But despite that, its architects are still trying to pretend...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Following in illustrious footsteps
    Gaylene Nepia is campaign manager for both the national Māori campaign and for her brother Adrian Rurawhe - Labour’s candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. Mr Rurawhe and Mrs Nepia are great grandchildren of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, founder of the...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Seeing life through a Maori lens
    Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, is contesting the seat for the first time at a general election. She entered Parliament through a by-election in June last year, following the death of her predecessor Parekura Horomia....
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Bribery
    So, it turns out that the government blew $240,000 on hosting eleven oil company executives for a four-day junket during the 2011 rugby world cup. In Parliament today Energy Minister Simon Bridges admitted that $22,000 of that spending was on...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • All other things being equal… except they aren’t
    US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts likes to say that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race", a sentiment ACT leader Jamie Whyte would applaud going by...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Celebrating a great talent pool
    I've been an MP since the 1996 election, first for Te Tai Hauauru and then for Tainui, which became Hauraki-Waikato after boundary changes. I'm seeing a real energy around Labour among Māori. The talent pool that Labour is fielding in both...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Labour on wages
    Great to see positive, progressive policy from Labour on wages today. The core points are: Increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first hundred days in government, and increased...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Inequality: Balancing the Extremes from Credit Suisse Research Institute
    click here for this youtube clip...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours Industrial Relations policy package.” CTU President Helen Kelly said...
    CTU | 30-07
  • Inequality and Its Consequences Stiglitz and Feldstein
    click here for this youtube discusioon...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Australia’s corruption cover-up
    Wikileaks strikes again:A sweeping gagging order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • A bottom-up plan for inequality
    Labour released its "work and wages" policy today. The headlines? Abolishing the 90-day law and increasing the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by April 2015. Those are fairly obvious ways of delivering to their core constituency, but...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 30
    Top of the AgendaU.S., EU to Toughen Sanctions on Russia...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Where are Labour’s billboards?
    On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...