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The non-resident property speculators are….?

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, July 30th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: capitalism, david shearer, democracy under attack, housing, john key, national, news, overseas investment, slippery, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

An NZ Herald (anonymous) editorial, spells out the problem for Shearer in the way opponents of his policy will attempt to brand it as racist.  For once the usually Nat leaning Herald exposes some of the Nat spin, albeit with some backhanders and hits against the left.  The article begins by saying that any government proposing restrictions on “foreign investment in residential property” would be accused of racism.  Then it focuses on Shearer’s announcement of such a policy:

Parties of the left are less vulnerable than the right to accusations of racism, if only because left-leaning parties make the accusation more fiercely. National calls this policy “xenophobic” but it is a charge Mr Shearer wears with ease.

He urgently needs a popular policy to call his own and this one will do him no harm.

Actually, it’s that people on the left are more sincerely opposed to racism.

The editorial argues:

To have his policy taken seriously, Mr Shearer first needs to show that foreign-domiciled buyers are a significant force in the housing market. The only available figures, obtained from a survey of agents by the BNZ and the Real Estate Institute, suggests non-residents account for around 9 per cent of sales. The agents say the largest number are Australians, who would be exempt from Labour’s ban.

The survey result is generally disbelieved. The agents may have under-reported the proportion of sales to overseas buyers, or many foreign buyers may have someone in their family resident here for at least part of the year.

It goes on to argue that it will be difficult to identify which property is purchased by overseas buyers who don’t reside in NZ.  however, other countries manage such a policy.

However, a lot of the spin in the MSM focuses on Asian home buyers.  Yet, the website that Jonolist award winner, Patrick Gower used to support such claims, targets South African buyers.  It is NZ Property Connections website:

NZ Connections website

And, if the site’s images are anything to go by, the focus is certainly not on Black South African investors.

NZ Connections website section

To be clear, if you can’t read the small print above, it says:

Our vision

At NZ Property Connections we’re committed to helping South African investors maximise value from their Rand. By using our qualified network of professionals in both South Africa and New Zealand, South Africans looking to buy property in New Zealand will find the purchasing process simple and cost-effective.

Our vision – to create a safe, simple return on investment for South African real estate buyers in New Zealand.

Request a call back for more information. 

And the website spells out why NZ is a good place for overseas buyers to invest in the property market:

NZ Property Connetions Why NZ

That is:

Why New Zealand?

Consider your priorities when looking for an investment. We all want something that’s going to make us money – preferably something that’s easy to invest in, with minimal stress and minimal input.

New Zealand ticks all these boxes and more.

Its currency is historically at a lower value than, for example, Australia. Its business environment is transparent and regulated. Growth in property value has been driven by solid demand rather than investor speculation. Rental returns are consistent and at a relatively high level making cash-flat investment yields viable.

Plus, it’s easy for South African investors to enter the market.

NZ Property Connections can help you extract your Rand from South Africa to put into the security of New Zealand property. Controversial political conditions, economic difficulties, a volatile currency and an uncertain future in South Africa are making more and more residents look off-shore for options for both investing and settling. 

So why invest in New Zealand real estate? Here’s why

  • No capital gains tax
  • No transfer duty
  • 80% property finance available
  • Few barriers to purchasing
  • Realistic timeframes and costs for purchasing
  • Excellent rental returns
  • Growth driven by solid demand

In Patrick Gower’s highly manipulative and slanted 3 News report last night, “NZ Property Connections” is shown on screen while Gower says:

Shearer wants to stop websites like this that advertise directly to foreign buyers.

So, what would be anti-Asian about preventing such marketing?

And how hard would it be to outlaw such promotions targeting non resident overseas property speculators?

49 comments on “The non-resident property speculators are….?”

  1. Sable 1

    Yep right wing mainstream press have the bullshit generator at full power as per usual.

  2. yeshe 2

    Thx Karol … question, please, if you can .. did we not previously have law that disallowed any property purchases by non-residents? I seem to recall it was changed long ago under a Nat govt .. ?

    • karol 2.1

      I think they tightened up overseas investment regulations, and that includes land investment:

      Do I Need Consent to Invest in New Zealand?

      You may need to apply to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) for consent if you are an overseas person, or an associate of an overseas person, and you wish to acquire:

      sensitive land or an interest in sensitive land (e.g. by buying shares in a company that owns sensitive land), or
      business assets worth more than $100 million, or
      fishing quota or an interest in fishing quota.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Compare these ‘news’ reports:

    Chook: How much will a Korea NZ FTA be worth to us?
    Key: Oh, billions. Gotta be. It’s a big economy.
    Chook: Thank you, Prime Minister, sounds great.

    Or …

    Chook: How much will a Kiwibuild house cost?
    King: Depends where it is, if it’s a house or terrace or apartment, how many bedrooms, what it’s build of, but the aim is they will affordable for average families.
    Chook: So you can’t say exactly what one of these houses will cost? How can anyone trust a word you say?

    • muzza 3.1

      Still no-one questions, the myth of export lead recoveries….They don’t exist, not in NZ history, anyway!

    • tricledrown 3.2

      hows your band going tom welcome to mugabKey country!

  4. Tamati 4

    Looking at the Property Connection website, it seems their focus is more on holiday homes for South Africans rather than purely financial investment. There are a couple of clearly investment properties in places like Invercargil, but most are in Queenstown and are clearly marketed as lifestyle properties for wealthy South Africans. (Hardly out bidding young couples after their first home!)

    Secondly, I can hardly think of anything more stressful and risky than buying a residential rental property in another coutry. Pretty hard to check up on your tenants when they are an eight hour flight away!

    • vto 4.1

      “most are in Queenstown and are clearly marketed as lifestyle properties for wealthy South Africans. (Hardly out bidding young couples after their first home!)”

      Yep, no problems with locals and workers being able to buy a home for their family in Queenstown is there Tamati. It is cheap as there….. Wake up dozey. Queenstown is the perfect microcosm of this exact problem. It is illustrated in all its glory in Queenstown – thanks for the highlight.

      • insider 4.1.1

        I suspect Christchurch residents have far greater influence on prices. The schools bulged after the earthquake due to relocations to the family baches.

        • vto 4.1.1.1

          Rubbish insider. Firstly, if they relocated to their baches then there was zero further demand for other homes wasn’t there. Secondly, that bulge manifested in many small towns around the SI, including Wanaka. Less so Qtn, except for those already with homes there. And that short bulge is now over. Your argument doesn’t stack.

          Watch Queenstown during the next bust if this policy is in place. It will be spectacular!

          • insider 4.1.1.1.1

            You misunderstood. I meant the ongoing prices in qtown are likely far more influenced by the regular sales to people from chch than by occasional sales to jaapies.

            • vto 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s not my experience. Not now nor in the past. Queenstown has a higher proportion of foreign owners, hence the magnified effect there. Chch has been a blip.

              Although most Qtn sales are to Southlanders – and when Southland finally cedes and becomes its own nation with 25% of our primary exports what will we do?

            • vto 4.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s not my experience. Not now nor in the past. Queenstown has a higher proportion of foreign owners, hence the magnified effect there. Chch has been a blip.

              Although most Qtn sales are to Southlanders – and when Southland finally cedes and becomes its own nation with 25% of our primary exports what will we do?

              • Tamati

                You’re right that many of the million dollar properties overlooking the lake are either owned abroad, or by wealthy Aucklanders. But these aren’t the houses used by the Queenstown locals. They mostly live away from the lake up the valleys, in much more affordable properties.

                Effectively there are two parallel markets, rich foreigners aren’t competing for property with most of the locals.

                • vto

                  Sheesh Tamati. Why do you think the locals have to live in the backblocks? Is it because all the plumb and more habitable home spots have been bid up by foreigners? Who the locals can’t compete with?

                  You have just done it again and gone and argued perfectly against your own position. That’s quite something.

                  Hopefully you can now see the significant advantages of this policy.

                  • Tamati

                    Because if there weren’t wealthy people who visited Queenstown, many of the locals wouldn’t have job.

                    What first time home buyers want are four walls and roof. Million dollar views of lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables aren’t high on the agenda.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because if there weren’t wealthy people who visited Queenstown, many of the locals wouldn’t have job.

                      Bullshit

                      Queenstown economy would have developed in a far more natural and community oriented way without them.

                    • Tamati

                      If you are trying to tell me tourism isn’t important to the Queenstown economy then I have a bridge to sell you.

                    • vto

                      “Because if there weren’t wealthy people who visited Queenstown, many of the locals wouldn’t have job.”

                      The wealthy will still visit Queenstown. Point fail.

                      “What first time home buyers want are four walls and roof. Million dollar views of lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables aren’t high on the agenda.”

                      Again Tamati, if the foreigners are not able to buy those spots then they wont be million dollar views will they. That is why they aren’t high on the agenda – they cant compete with foreigners. If they were more affordable then the locals would live in those spots for the exact same reasons as the foreigners i.e. they are the most favourable human habitation locales in the locale. Point fail.

                      Surely now? Now that it has happened a third time? Can you see the advantages of this policy?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      try reading what I actually wrote, tamati, instead of talking about your own imaginary points.

                    • Tamati

                      I can see the policy may have some effect in Auckland, but very little without other significant reforms.

                      If you ever lived in Queenstown (as I did) you would know there are numerous wealthy Brits and Americans who live there for a few months a year and contribute significantly to the economy. They don’t want to stay in the Hilton for three months straight.

                      Secondly, if you kicked all the foreigners out of Queenstown I’m sure properties with “million dollar views” would be significantly cheaper, but then half the town would be out of a job.

                    • Tamati

                      “natural and community orientated” a.k.a. sleepy ghost town of 500.

                    • insider

                      According to this qtown real estate agent, 15% of sales were to foreigners. Most were local or near local to the town http://stevelindsay.co.nz/

                    • vto

                      “I can see the policy may have some effect in Auckland, but very little without other significant reforms.”

                      Yes agreed and those other reforms are slowly being attended to. The nats plan to release more land. Labour plans to reinstate a form os state housing. Plans to ban foreign ownership. Capital gains tax. Multi-pronged attack. Check out the effects in 5-10 years…

                      “If you ever lived in Queenstown (as I did) you would know there are numerous wealthy Brits and Americans who live there for a few months a year and contribute significantly to the economy. They don’t want to stay in the Hilton for three months straight.”

                      I know the place intimately tamati. Those foreigners you just mention wont be affected. They don’t have to stay in the Hilton just as they don’t now. There will be bucketloads of high quality short term 3 month type accommodation available as there is now. Really mate, you seem to keep pointing out things that argue against your position.

                      “Secondly, if you kicked all the foreigners out of Queenstown I’m sure properties with “million dollar views” would be significantly cheaper, but then half the town would be out of a job.”

                      They are not being kicked out, they are being prevented from becoming owners of residential property. As for being out of a job, please my point just above answering this.

                      Next

                    • vto

                      insider “According to this qtown real estate agent, 15% of sales were to foreigners. Most were local or near local to the town http://stevelindsay.co.nz/

                      It has already been acknowledged that most buyers are local, anywhere in NZ. This misses the particular point.

                      15% is much higher than everywhere else in the country. A 5-10% drop in demand in any mature marketplace is significant. A 15% is very significant. It will have a more dramatic effect in Queenstown.

                      Thanks for pointing that out, very helpful.

                    • infused

                      How many of you have actually gone to Queenstown?

                      I have gone there a few times now and love the place. Normal housing there is just like any other place. The massively expensive places are log homes or lifestyle blocks, or something with a view.

                      The so called apartments are located on Queenstown hill. What do you expect?

                      Tamati is right, most of the housing directly in Queenstown center is in the valley.

                      Queens town is all tourism CV. I love the place. Every single night, people out until midnight easily. Awesome atmosphere.

                      “Wrong again Tamati, if the foreigners are not able to buy those spots then they wont be million dollar views will they.”

                      Nope, you’re wrong. The difference is NZ’ers would own million dollar views (rich nzers).

                      Queenstown is a place like no other.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fuck that’s totally irrelevant. But I guess it reinforces the point that the place has become a transient resort town for well off holidayers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If you ever lived in Queenstown (as I did) you would know there are numerous wealthy Brits and Americans who live there for a few months a year and contribute significantly to the economy.

                      this is just a bad joke

                      we’re acting like service providing serfs in our own country

                      and they own houses which should go to locals instead of sitting empty 90% of the year

                    • tricledrown

                      tamati we are talking non residents here .
                      Local workers can’t afford anything much bigger than a closet it wouldn’t do any harm in Queenstown at all quiet the reverse tenant workers would take up the slack and have money left over to spend in shops. couch surfing is the only way low wage locals can live in Queenstown!
                      While the wealthy laud it!
                      Even these socold apartments you speak of are going for over $400,000 each if you can get one.
                      so banning non resident speculators would boost the economy for the locals1

    • karol 4.2

      The Property Connections site mostly focuses on property as investment. It partly focuses on holiday homes and possible settlement. But it also promotes the returns they will get from renting the property.

      Rental property in New Zealand is booming.
      It’s easy for South African property purchasers to take advantage of this to achieve capital gains and solid returns.
      There are two easy options for achieving returns from your property – long term and short term management.

      […]
      If the property is a pure investment then long term tenants can be put in place. These tenancy agreements are normally for a minimum period of 3 to 12 months and provide a stable rental income.
      […]

      The Hot Properties page has mostly Queenstown properties, but also some in Invercargill and Auckland.

      But these are just the top of the range ones they are using to promote their services.

      They are Queenstown based, but they have a page devoted to Auckland properties.

      Playing host to the largest property market in New Zealand, Auckland has a large supply of investment properties both as stand alone homes, and apartments of varying sizes and price points appealing to different markets. Areas within Auckland vary dramatically in socio-economic levels and in ability to provide a rental return and capital gain.

      And, question:
      do any of these segments/locations for the property market exist in isolation from each other? When overseas investors push up the prices of high value properties, don’t they have an effect of driving up prices all down the chain? – especially if they are buying the property to gain a profit from renting?

      • Tamati 4.2.1

        From what I see, the website is mainly focused on the holiday home market. Hence all the beautiful scenery shots. Could only find one Auckland property on the site, perhaps they have more though.

        To answer your question.

        The segments are reasonably isolated from each other. Those up on the hill with the nice views are expensive, the cold houses in the valley and away from town are cheap. (I rented one for a couple of months and worked as ski tow operator). Obviously exceptions to this rule and in ski season the rentals go through the roof!

        • tricledrown 4.2.1.1

          tamati how long ago was that!
          I haven’t seen a property for sale in Queenstown under $400’000 for a long time!
          I go to Queenstown a few times a year and have friends their renting its a nightmare making a living is even worse they live very meagre lives except the professionals who cream it!

    • karol 4.3

      more on holiday homes for South Africans rather than purely financial investment.

      It looks to me that it’s more likely to be the other way around: i.e. that the primary reason for buying will be in order to generate some income/profit:

      Short-term management
      Alternatively you can use your property for your own personal accommodation when visiting New Zealand on holiday and still obtain a return by letting it out on a short term basis. This is a viable option in a high tourist and holiday destination such as Queenstown, Nelson and parts of Auckland. These short term tenants are usually for 3 to 7 nights and pay a higher nightly rate. Generally a high quality property in the right location will provide strong bookings and solid income –plus of course the flexibility to use the property when you want it.

      And that short term rent “income” will be going to South Africa, and will therefore be a loss for the NZ tourist industry.

  5. karol 5

    Interesting that today in Question Time, during Question One, Shearer seems to be quoting from the NZ Property Connections website (as in my post above).

    David Shearer : Is he aware that property companies are advertising Kiwi homes offshore, with sales pitches like: “Why New Zealand property? No capital gains tax, no transfer duty, few barriers to purchasing, so what are you waiting for?”; if so, why will not he put Kiwi home buyers ahead of offshore speculators?

    But, Key then skews the answer to talk about Asian property buyers:

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Firstly, as I have said, actually the rules have not changed. They are the very same rules that were in place when Labour was in office. But, interestingly enough, I noted from downtown Seoul the policy suggestions of Mr Shearer. If that is the case, that offshore buyers are in fact the people who are driving the process, interestingly enough the architect of that policy we all know is not the Labour Party caucus, but Tony Alexander of the BNZ, and this is what Tony Alexander says about the very problem that the member is saying is a problem: “Here is a growing visceral perception that Chinese buyers are snapping up NZ houses, leaving them empty, pushing up prices, and making homeownership more difficult for Kiwis. The data”—

  6. Binders full of women 6

    What a doozie from Shearer.. it leaves out the two biggest groups of ‘non resident home speculators’- Aussies and Kiwis. A bit like that CGT kerfuffle.. what was it “gambling yes and jewelry no- or jewelry yes and gambling no’???

    • karol 6.1

      As i understand it, Aussies are exempt from the Labour policy, just as kiwis are exempt from the similar Aussie policy.

      As I understand it, Labour’s policy would prevent non NZ citizens or residents from buying property in NZ.

      So, not a doozy from Shearer, you are just ill informed.

      • Binders full of women 6.1.1

        “As I understand it, Labour’s policy would prevent non NZ citizens or residents from buying property in NZ.”

        So you think that non NZ residents would be prevented from buying house in NZ in this Labour Policy? Does this include the many NZ citizens who live abroad but choose to be non-residents (mainly for tax purposes)? See why I am confused/ill informed?

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          No. Read what I said. It doesn’t include NZ citizens living overseas. That’s the way such policies work in other countries like Aussie.

          However, if they are living overseas to avoid playing taxes to NZ, who cares if they are prevented from buying property in NZ. Though I’d question whether there are very many Kiwis living outside NZ to avoid taxes.

          The Aussie system:

          The FIRB assesses applications from foreigners who would like to invest or buy a home in Australia. If you would like to buy real estate in Australia either to live in or as an investment then you may be required to obtain FIRB approval.
          […]
          Who does not need approval?

          Australian citizen

          If you are an Australian expat living overseas or Australian Citizen living in Australia:
          You do not need approval from the FIRB.
          You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.
          You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

          Permanent resident

          If you are a foreign national who has a permanent residency visa:
          You do not need approval from the FIRB.
          You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.
          You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

          New Zealand citizen

          If you are a New Zealand citizen:
          You do not need approval from the FIRB.
          You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.
          You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2

          Hmmmm if you read the sentence

          “As I understand it, Labour’s policy would prevent non NZ citizens or residents from buying property in NZ.”

          it’s very clear and answers your question

  7. Eon 7

    Down here on the Westcoast so many Afrikaners have moved in they won National the seat.. they have a disproportionate amount of wealth and disposable income that have skewered property and traditional values and ways of life. Even the Sunday Church sermons are in two languages, English and Afrikaans.. WTF, Why are we recruiting extreme right wing racists as immigrants, who totally can not relate to our culture and heritage.

    • millsy 7.1

      Yes, people forget that the immigrants bring their attitudes over as well. A few weeks ago I read about how a Chinese employers wrote about how he pays his workers below the min. wage because that is what they are worth. The Chinese dont belive in social welfare or publicly funded health and education services. Essentially their attitude is very social darwinist. And if workers form a trade union or go on strike, they are used to just picking up the phone and calling up the local PLA garrison.

      As for the Yarpies, people forget that Apartheid South Africa was a very conservative state. Not only were blacks forbidden from pissing in the same toilets as whites, but it also banned pornography, booze, abortion, extramarital sex, gambling, and all that. We have to ask ourselves if we really want the Dutch Reformed Church gaining a creeping influence into our lives, via the Conservative Party.

      • DavidC 7.1.1

        millsy.
        I certianly dont want the Govt or anyone else telling anyone who or what they can worship or what political party they can belong to.
        You may not like the Conservatives or the DRC, but fuck you and yours, you dont get to choose for others.

        • Rosetinted 7.1.1.1

          We can decide what parties there will be, there are threshholds for that, we can dislike unpleasant cultures from dominating our country, we can forbid rabid n..s or be concerned about nation.l front types. To be concerned about anti-community parties, or ones dominated by a lobby of the wealthy who pursue their own desires is wise and not to be complacent about. And there is no reason why people should be sworn at for expressing this concern.

        • tricledrown 7.1.1.2

          fundamentalists religions should be spied on not likely from National as most of their support base are fundamentalist fuck wits.
          Mugabkey for PM

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      The problem is, Eon, that there have always been Kiwis who share much of the cultural filth of the worst of the Boers. The response to that stupid Facebook stunt, the Pakeha Party, showed this once again. During the years of racist rugby tours, Murray Mexted claimed blacks don’t like water, so excluding them from white only beaches was not a real problem. The way to fight these pricks is by strengthening our own values and showing them that they are relics of an unwanted past. I hate the fact that enough of us are racist still that these Boer pricks actually feel at home in Aotearoa. On the other hand, we are lucky to have some South African immigrants who have been fighting their crap for years.

    • richard 7.3

      What a load of tosh. How many South Africans have moved to the West Coast?

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        You a Coaster?

      • Eon 7.3.2

        Yes Dick I am a coaster.. I live in the Buller and travel extensively on the whole westcoast.. WTF.. how am I going to know the number of Sth Africans.. but for starters we had a Sth African technocrat running our essential service’s in the Buller into the ground.. cocked up the sewerage and stormwater.. stuffed our drinking water.. most in Westport buy bottled water now.. As this guy did a runner to OZ.. there’s one less.. However we now have another one as the main administrator.. under a CEO who commutes from Nelson.. Like our current National govt; operate behind closed doors, excluding us ratepayers and with no tranparecy at all.. As for the church services being in English and Afrikaans.. this is from further down the Grey and Hokitika.. where it was reported in the Greymouth Star.. I read it with my own eyes in mid 2012… do ya own research and you’ll find a disproportionate number own those new big flash mansions on the hills in the Awatuna Hokitika area.. What are you a real estate sleezebag

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    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    7 hours ago
  • WEST PAPUA: Media restrictions over simmering struggle 50 years on
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch A rally in Jakarta for the Free Papua Movement. Image: CPJ/Reuters Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9190 Bob Dietz NEW YORK (Committee to Protect Journalists/ Pacific Media Watch): One of the… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    7 hours ago
  • $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects 29 new projects have been approved for $7.8 million in new funding over four years through the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), Primary Industries… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    7 hours ago
  • MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches
    MIL OSI - Source: New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment MBIE – Press Release/Statement: Headline: MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches Enforcement action is being taken against 19 employers in the dairy industry for… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    7 hours ago
  • ACT Gets Twitchy – Leader Says National looks after everyone but taxpayer...
    MIL OSI – Source: ACT Party – National looks after everyone but taxpayers “National is parading its indexation of welfare payments while refusing to do the same with tax brackets,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “Benefits were adjusted for inflation today.… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    7 hours ago
  • No good reason for secrecy
    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee recently returned from Iraq with an impunity agreement enabling the deployment of New Zealand troops. But he's refusing to release it:Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand First’s Succession Plan
    Last time I met a New Zealand First MP, I decided to ask him about New Zealand First’s succession plan. He replied “why would we need a succession plan? Winston Peters isn’t going anywhere” “Well, Winston Peters is not as… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    7 hours ago
  • The importance of circulation workers in 21st century capitalism
    New Zealand disribution workers While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation. by Joe Allen Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    8 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    8 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    8 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    10 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    11 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    11 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    12 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    13 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    13 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    13 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    14 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    14 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    14 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    15 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    16 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    23 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    24 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    8 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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