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Warm, dry homes – let’s just do it

Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, March 20th, 2014 - 99 comments
Categories: child welfare, housing, housing insulation - Tags: ,

Healthy HomesMaking sure every rental property is a warm, dry home should be a no-brainer in the 21st century.

Parliament will shortly get the chance to vote on my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill. The vote will sort the parties for whom this is a genuine belief from those who just pay it lip service.

I think the public argument on this has been won. Academics at Otago University have done compelling research  on the connections between cold, damp homes and the epidemic of respiratory and infectious diseases hospitalising so many of our children.

We have 285,000 children growing up below the poverty line. Most of them living in private rental housing. Less than half of that is insulated. When kids constantly get sick it sets back their development and their schooling, locking them into the cycle of disadvantage.

A warm, dry home is an essential part of giving every Kiwi kid the best possible start in life. But if that doesn’t do it for you, then consider the economic payback. Investing in warm, dry homes delivers a return of $5 for every $1 invested, because of the savings in health spending.

My bill will have the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency (EECA) set standards requiring home insulation, and an efficient heating source. Landlords will then have to certify a rental meets those standards before they can sign a new tenancy agreement. After a five year phase-in period, all properties will have to comply. If a landlord is found to be in breach they face a fine of up to $3000, compensation to the tenant, and an order to upgrade.

This approach takes the two big factors, heating and insulation, and sets mandatory minimum standards. There has been a generous taxpayer-funded subsidy scheme for the past few years but relatively few landlords have taken it up.  But with one-third of New Zealanders now renters, and that includes most people on low incomes, the subsidy scheme has not helped the people who need it most.

Housing Minister Nick Smith recently announced a pilot scheme of a Warrant of Fitness for 500 state houses. It was a Nick Smith special; a photo op designed to look like he is doing something. In fact as Minister he can just require state houses be upgraded to a certain standard, and anyway state houses have now almost all been insulated. The real problem is in the private rental sector.

And just as National stands up for property speculators and won’t support a Capital Gains Tax, it’s refusal to back my Bill and guarantee warm dry homes puts it squarely on the side of slum landlords.

The Greens, NZ First, the Maori Party, Mana, and Brendan Horan, have all pledged support for the Bill. National has said they won’t support it. ACT, well, you can imagine. The vote may well come down to Peter Dunne.

To be honest, this issue is such a no-brainer, and so essential to the Kiwi value of giving every kid the best start in life, it should be above politics.

It is time to just do it.

Phil Twyford is Labour’s housing spokesperson and the MP for Te Atatu.

99 comments on “Warm, dry homes – let’s just do it”

  1. The Real Matthew 1

    Having moved from a villa with no insulation to an insulated house I am against this bill.

    In my year renting the uninsulated villa I got sick just once. We had no additional heating costs. We simply rugged up warm, wearing sensible clothing for the weather and survived just fine.

    Back into an insulated house I am sick 2-3 times per year. The house is like an Oven and is unbearable during the summer months. It’s now the end of March and I still can’t sleep because it’s too hot at night. At least now it’s a bit cooler outside and I can open the window, though it’s lucky dip to see if I get any mozzies in to join me along with the cool air.

    Perhaps for those living below Taupo this bill might bring some benefit with the cooler temperatures but for me in Auckland this bill will bring a lifetime of costs trying to cool my housing.

    • lprent 1.1

      There is something screwy with your logic. It is pretty much the same in the uninsulated houses in Feb in Auckland. I moved several times over the last few years in an assortment of uninsulated to poorly insulated and back to my fully insulated apartment.

      The uninsulated place was the hottest in summer. That is because it is the wind that allows the place to cool and it didn’t have any. My current fully insulated apartment is also just below the peak of a ridge and usually has a nice wind running from front to back. Coolest place of the lot. I virtually don’t use my portable aircond unit in there except for those odd nights when the sea breeze doesn’t pickup later at night.

      I suspect you have a faulty causation issue. I guess that you moved to a place without much wind or where the windows were poorly placed to catch it.

    • Ant 1.2

      I open the windows in summer to cool my insulated house, works pretty well. The heating portion of our power bill has been cut in half over winter.

    • It is true that ventilation is also important, particularly to prevent mould. What we have done with our policy and my Bill is to focus on heating and insulation because these two factors make the biggest difference. Ventilation and a bunch of other things should also be improved, and ultimately will be via a broader Warrant of Fitness.

      • Chooky 1.3.1

        +100….This quiet unobtrusive bill is very important!……The ‘Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill’, if it goes through, will make a lot of difference to the quality of life and health of a lot of NZ adults and children .

        I have lived in damp flats and dry well ventilated flats as well as in family owned houses … which were both damp and dry and well ventilated experiences ….in the damp places i had chronic bronchitis and asthma

        …NZers often neglect this aspect of their housing because we live in a moderate climate (and have been brought up to think we are tough) , unlike North Americans and Europeans who are very concerned and fussy that they live in warm , insulated houses.

        Good work Phil Twyford!

      • It’s a bit bizarre that this isn’t getting support from National as well given how much of a no-brainer it is, how lenient the phase-in period is, (5 years is a LOT of time) and that you presumably aren’t repealing or ending any of the insulation or heating subsidies, so many landlords will still get an easy ride on the upgrade.

        We have incredibly lax building standards in New Zealand, it won’t hurt to strengthen them a little- they’ll still be completely reasonable.

  2. Tel 2

    Good on you Phil. This issue of private sector slums needs some light shone on it, and is long overdue, no where more so than in Auckland which has very high humidity levels in winter which combined with cold temperatures is the cause of mould growth in houses and illness. Insulation is certainly important, but so is humidity control, so I’m pleased to see you mention an efficient heating source by which I take that to mean heat pumps. Heat pumps are vital to keep the relative humidity below the important 60% to 80% threshold of mould gemmation on interior surfaces, and ultimately this will make a huge contribution to the health of our nation. Well done and all the best with your bill.

    • Tracey 2.1

      Good to see a greens proposal from about a decade ago getting claimed by national and now embedded in lp policy.

      Thats why mmp must stay.

  3. freedom 3

    I admit I have not read the Bill
    but do have two quick questions which I hope someone out there can answer.

    Q1: Is it the intention of the Bill to apply this new standard to a residential lease in a commercial property?

    By this I mean will those leasing commercial premises for dual purpose be required to meet these standards?

    There are a lot of people in this situation, usually by choice, as not everyone wants to live in a house.
    It would be unwelcome and highly impractical to expect dual purpose premises to meet any insulation standards of a normal home.

    Q2: If the standards are to be applied, can the standards’ application be suspended if both parties are in agreement? (and this question would apply to residential houses as well I think)

    • Q1: So like a loft? Haven’t worked out the detail on that. It is the sort of thing I would expect would get ironed out at select committee with the benefit of public and expert submissions. Thanks for raising it.
      Q2: I wouldn’t support an opt out provision. I don’t know how you’d prevent landlords at the bottom end of the market only offering to take on tenants who agreed to an opt out. The aim here is to lift standards right across the market.

      • freedom 3.1.1

        Thank you for the prompt response. A loft is a nicely romantic vision of the reality that some people prefer to live in, but the separation of work and domestic environs (in a dual purpose lease of a commercial premises) are not always so precise. Hence the impracticality of applying residential insulation standards.

        I completely agree that on a residential lease the ‘opt out’ is open to potential misuse.

        However, in a commercial dual purpose lease scenario, I believe it will be essential.

        Earthquake standards, Insurance adjustments, suburban sprawls ( and the noise control issues they bring) combined with the ever growing list of OSH regulations are combining to create a perfect storm of impediments for dual purpose leases. These essential accommodations are getting more and more difficult to secure and this restriction would only be a further impediment.

        There are probably a few thousand such relevant leases across the country, (mostly Artists, Musicians, Film makers, Mechanics, Engineers, Inventors and the like) but the lives of these people often contribute much more than the strictly commercial aspects of their accommodations.

        Further barriers to their contributions seem unnecessary.

  4. geoff 4

    People go about Winston as kingmaker etc but having that bow tie wearing pervert having so much influence is far worse.

    Great Bill, Phil, hope it passes.

  5. bad12 5

    Phill i hate to nit-pick, but, having said that will now indulge, your Post points out that we have 285,000 kids living in poverty,

    Part of the ‘solution’ is to require an efficient source of heating???, ‘poverty’ i would suggest would leave such families without the means to pay for any heating efficient or otherwise,

    Problem number two i would suggest is that as soon as you ‘require’ a Landlord to add something to a proposed rental property that will cost the landlord the immediate response from the landlord will be to attempt to pass the cost onto the tenant,

    Or, if the landlord happens to be an objectionable prick, and, there are more than a few of them out there, such landlords will simply issue the tenants an eviction notice,

    And back to the nit-pick at the top of the comment, can you not see the relationship between the poverty of the tenants renting in the private sector and the fact that they have to rent in that private sector…

    • Ergo Robertina 5.1

      ‘Problem number two i would suggest is that as soon as you ‘require’ a Landlord to add something to a proposed rental property that will cost the landlord the immediate response from the landlord will be to attempt to pass the cost onto the tenant,’

      Ideally it dampens speculators’ enthusiasm for buying rentals, as it’s basically increasing the cost of doing business.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Ergo, so you do not believe that the Landlords forced by legislation to insulate and provide a source of heating will simply pass the cost onto the tenants by increasing the rent???…

        • Ergo Robertina 5.1.1.1

          Yeah it’s probably wistful thinking, why I said ‘ideally’. You have made some good points.
          However, I hoped it might be a reality check and a reduction to the subsidising of the phony capital gains of landlords (in this case the public health cost of respiratory illness).

          • bad12 5.1.1.1.1

            My view is the best means of dis-incentivising the landlords is to take away from them the one impetus that has them all piling into such an ‘investment’, the Tenants,

            How bout it Phill, instead of pottering around at the margins why not get real and build a whole new city of State Housing,

            The Chinese can knock one of these up for 250,000 people in 3 years, and you only have to look at where the first Labour Government got the monies to pay for the first State Houses to find the means of construction…

        • Melb 5.1.1.2

          That’s the best thing about a warrant of fitness for all rentals.

          My rental has a heatpump, had the ceiling insulation replaced two years ago, I’ve just put airfoam in the walls in Dec, and I’m having a DVS system installed in two weeks.

          Bringing all the shitbox cheap houses up to a certain standard across the board will increase their rents, there’s no two ways about it. And because those floor rent rates have increased then the rental rates for my place will increase too, just to maintain that margin above the bare-minimum shitboxes.

          • bad12 5.1.1.2.1

            Melb, thanks for the comment, and, your ‘reasoning’ is why i made the suggestion to Mr Twyford in the comment above…

          • Ant 5.1.1.2.2

            That assumes that most landlords aren’t already charging the maximum they can for the location and rental type. In reality a significant percentage of landlords will have to absorb the cost without passing it on.

            • Tracey 5.1.1.2.2.1

              not in Auckland. People are paying double the bond, and some a non refundable bond to get tot he front of the queue for a flat.

              • Ant

                My point is in high demand areas (as a generalisation) landlords are already charging the maximum they can get in rent, insulation or no insulation. Looking at the high demand central suburbs there is no real difference in rental prices between insulated and non-insulated houses – it’s now at a point where it is far down the list of drivers.

                From friends and acquaintances in ChCh, I’ve heard they take whatever is going along similar lines to Auckland.

    • Olwyn 5.2

      I am with you on this bad12. Quality standards for homes is a good thing, but affordability and security of tenure are more fundamentally important. Look at the current uprooting of the Glen Innes community. What I want to see more than ever from Labour is some real protection of the poor from the machinations and ambitions of the rich and powerful, on so many levels.

      • bad12 5.2.1

        Olwyn, Phill Ure has linked to a Chris Trotter piece down near the bottom of today’s ‘Open Mike’, its well worth a read,(i would suggest the whole Labour Caucus have a good read of it, especially the bottom half),

        Yep agree with you 100 on the security of tenure and affordability and would love to hear any ideas Phil Twyford has on these most basic of issues,

        i would suggest offering the States Tenants security of tenure would be easily accomplished by forming a Trust of a dozen prominent left wing personalities and placing whats left of the States Housing after Smith has finished flogging them off into the ownership of such a trust, with the trusts deed meaning none of them could ever be sold, and then, put HousingNZ back together as the management company for all of such housing,

        It aint going to happen tho because the ‘political will’ is missing…

        • Olwyn 5.2.1.1

          Thanks bad12 – I may have read it, but I will follow up on Phil Ure’s link. And I too would like to hear what Phil has to say on this important subject.

      • bad12 5.2.2

        The point i forgot to make to Phill Twyford was that if He wants the 280,000 kids living in poverty to have the means of heating their homes without becoming more impoverished He may have to ensure their parents have the monies to pay for the heating costs,

        On paper Phill might think His Legislation is the means of solving a problem, but it aint, i would suggest that Phil should set about taxing the landlords sufficiently so as to be able to pass on to these impoverished families free power for the months of winter, that will ensure that those 280,000 kids can be kept warm…

        • Tracey 5.2.2.1

          The positive is it is a policy, on paper and in the public domain. Compare it to what we have under this government. I don’t count their home insulation as such because it wasn’t their idea. YES they have implemented and good on them for that BUT it was not their idea and is a minor pillar to attempt to show they give a shit while most other things they have done have made living int he newly insulated home more and more impossible for low and some middle income earners.

        • PapaMike 5.2.2.2

          Problem is to the Landlord not passing on his upgrade costs that he would have no hesitation to sell if he gets fed up with this legislation, and some probable new (young) first buyer will take it on and upgrade the house themselves.
          That would take another house out of the rental market

          • bad12 5.2.2.2.1

            Yeah Papamike, it would be the more ‘bloody-minded’ landlords that would do this, more than a few i would think,(which to a small extent might help those who can buy a home),

            Still in the end the proof of the pudding and all that, it would appear that this is how a Labour Government intends to ‘help’ 280,000 impoverished children,(and it is pointless adding my further thoughts about them),the ‘outcome’ will make an interesting study and upcoming polls and the vote in September will tell us all how the electorate view such tinkering…

      • Phil Twyford 5.2.3

        Hi Olwyn. I agree. Three big issues in housing: affordability, quality (warm and dry), and security of tenure.

        On affordability, we have to 1. increase wages and reduce household costs (see my comment above), and 2. build a lot more houses, especially in the affordable range. Which is why we have committed to build 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers. Plus a Capital Gains Tax excluding the family home, that will quieten down the extreme speculative pressures that drive the Auckland property market.

        On security of tenure: Yup, one third of NZers rent. They can be kicked out in 90 days for no reason. It is no way for people to live. Especially if you are raising kids. We need to do something about it.

        • Olwyn 5.2.3.1

          Hi Phil, thanks for your reply. Housing is one of the things most fundamental to security, sanity and an ordered life. There are far too many New Zealanders now forced to live as if they were the dispossessed of an occupied country. I so want the left to win this election and to make a real difference in having won it.

        • Tracey 5.2.3.2

          Hi Phil

          Do you agree public transport and housing affordability solutions have to go hand in hand?

          If yes, to build affordable homes in great enough numbers they will currently have to be geographically further out of Auckland. Will Labour re-examine the auckland public transport plans and have you personally read anything from transportblog and generation zero on their ideas for the rail loop and integration of public transport? If yes, what is it labour policy to stick with Len Brown’s Council’s current pan.

          I dont believe I am digressing because without affordable, reliable and regular public transport any affordable home will be quickly offset by transport costs

          • Phil Twyford 5.2.3.2.1

            Public transport and housing affordability do go hand in hand. I’ll give you an example. If we are going to build a new town centre with residential, commercial and industrial development in the North West we cannot do it without turning the North West Motorway into a rapid transit corridor with a dedicated Busway. SH16 already cannot cope at peak hours.

            Labour supports the Congestion Free Network produced by TransportBlog and Generation Zero.

    • bad12 – It’s true that my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill won’t solve the poverty problem. Also true that it’s all very well to require the landlord to provide an efficient heating source, if the tenant cannot afford the power bill.

      For that, we need an economic policy that delivers more jobs and higher wages. And other policies that reduce household costs (housing affordability, more and better public transport, reform of the electricity sector). Labour has some pretty grunty policies in all those areas, if I do say so myself.

      Will the landlords just pass the costs onto the tenant? I am sure some will. But it hard to say how much.

      To insulate your average family home, and install a heat pump or two, you are looking at an outlay of $5-6000. That investment will last say 15 years. Over that time the property will generate a gross revenue of between $150,000 and $450,000 depending on where in the country it is. That is not a huge investment set against the potential revenue. What’s more, it is supply and demand that ultimately sets rents. When only some landlords insulate and heat their properties then maybe they can charge a premium over their uninsulated competitors. When all properties have to meet the minimum standard, it won’t be so easy.

      • Ergo Robertina 5.3.1

        ‘What’s more, it is supply and demand that ultimately sets rents.’

        That’s rubbish. Lots of things have a distorting effect, primarily the availability and cost of credit.
        Also, the amount Governments are willing to subsidise the market through accommodation supplements; and income inequality which creates an entrenched landlord class.
        The invisible hand of the market is a myth you know..

        • Phil Twyford 5.3.1.1

          I’m not arguing its a perfect market. Just that there are limits on any increase a landlord wants to make in the rent. They can only pass on what the market will bear.

          • Ergo Robertina 5.3.1.1.1

            ‘They can only pass on what the market will bear.’

            Your Victorian notion that the market is more or less a servant of the needs of the lower paid is so far from the truth that I can’t take anything you say seriously.

            • bad12 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Ergo, i admire your patience, i am afraid that when i read Mr Twyford’s answers this morning that i had the immediate impression that i was over in ‘Open Mike’ engaged in the usual entanglement with ‘SSLands’…

              • geoff

                Get a grip, bad12.

                Likening Phil to SSLands is a bullshit thing to say.

                • bad12

                  Oh i have a grip geoff, Mr Twyford and His market theory are exactly what SSLands would advocate and i reckon Sir(spit)Roger Douglas would be quietly pleased with the view that leaving those who suffer poverty in the hands of the market as far as housing goes provides the best outcomes…

              • Tracey

                I hear you but I think Mr Twyford has one or two things srylands does not. Genuine compassion for people and a desire to intervene in a market that has done nothing to help many many people.

                • bad12

                  ”A desire to intervene in a market that has done nothing to help many many people” really Tracey, perhaps we read words spelled in English differently,

                  ”its all very well to require the landlord to provide a efficient heating source if the tenants cannot afford afford the power bill” unquote Phill Twyford,

                  What then is the point of Legislating the installation of heat pumps then Tracey, the only beneficiary of doing that are the makers of heat pumps and i don’t think we make a lot of them in New Zealand,

                  Will the landlords just pass on the cost to the tenants?i am sure some will.but can’t say how much”, unquote Phill Twyford.

                  So how does this help the tenants Tracey, Legislating heat pumps into rental properties where poverty exists would presuppose that the use of them will not be affordable and meanwhile how many landlords will increase the rent and increase the poverty of the tenants to recoup the cost of having to insulate and install the heat pumps,

                  Phill Twyford doesn’t know how many landlords will do this,But, lets do it anyway, that sounds like a recipe for even more poverty to me…

                  • Tracey

                    key word from my differentiation of Phil from Srylands is “desire”. I didn’t say he was right, or that it would work, but it’s great to see someone who doesn’t think the answer is to leave everything alone as it is and let the market do its thing.

                    Were you getting extra something for every time you used my name?

                    • bad12

                      Tracey perhaps you would be happier if i used another noun in place of your name,

                      Desire, whats-your-face, desire to Legislate heat pumps into rental homes while admitting that its a given that the tenants who are impoverished wont be able to afford to turn the fucking things on????,

                      Desire, that rental housing is all insulated while admitting that the landlords are likely to crank up the rent as a result of having done so further impoverishing the tenants???,

                      Mmmm let them eat desire,its bound to keep them all healthy and warm,…

                • Chooky

                  +100…landlords should bring rental properties up to health standards without increasing rent….otherwise they should NOT be landlords..(.to be a landlord is a privilege…. not a right to rip off your fellow New Zealanders)

                  …also something must be done about electricity prices to keep them at a minimum for New Zealanders….the Greens and Labour have plans for this….this should also be an election issue which is trumpeted

      • bad12 5.3.2

        Mr Twyford, yes Labour propose to build 100,000 affordable homes, are you suggesting that those living in poverty are somehow going to suffer a magic transformation via the ‘grunty’ economic policies and en masse be able to afford to buy such housing,

        Can you not see that it is ‘the market’ when it comes to housing that is the biggest drain on household incomes and therein lies a major ’cause’ of 280,000 impoverished children,

        i am afraid Mr Twyford that the not to often occurrence has occurred, i am gobsmacked into near being lost for words having read you reply,

        Poor families, a real growth demographic under the auspices of both National and Labour Governments ‘probably’ wont be able to afford to turn on these Legislated for heat pumps but lets do it anyway???,

        i think Mr Twyford i had better shut it befor i say what i am really thinking, and will leave you with the thought that at a time, probably when we all live on planets at least within talking distance of each other, that Labour propose that those 100,000 affordable houses are built as State Housing we will have then changed at least my vote and my voice to be one solidly Labour,

        i suspect that there are more than few other’s here and elsewhere that would express the same sentiments…

        • Tracey 5.3.2.1

          my concern is the transfer or purchase of those new affordable homes to landlords. I guess as long as rentals drop and public transport access, efficiency and cost is reasonable, that doesn’t matter?

      • Tracey 5.3.3

        “Will the landlords just pass the costs onto the tenant? I am sure some will. But it hard to say how much.”

        To your knowledge was any such research undertaken with regard to the insulation project of subsidies by government? Pre insulation rental and post insulation rental charges?

      • karol 5.3.4

        As you say, improving housing quality needs to be accompanied by other policies that tackle poverty and housing affordability.

        One big policy not mentioned is the priority need of more state housing. This will take some of the heat out of the housing bubble.

        As a renter in Auckland, who has moved twice in the last 2 or 3 years, I agree with others about the negative impact the warm, dry homes policy would most likely have.

        I fear that it will not only push up the rents on already over-priced private rentals, but it will cause a related rise in poor quality un-improved, “black market” accommodation. Many are already living in garages, on people’s floors, in camps, etc.

        Where will people go if rentals become even more unaffordable? My guess would be that they would turn to unscrupulous landlords who won’t comply with the regulations, and will continue to provide housing that is not signalled or registered on the official rental market. Some landlords are already providing accommodation that doesn’t meet with current requirements – cut corners in various ways.

        So the very poor are the least likely to even get into the new and improved warm and dry homes.

        • Tracey 5.3.4.1

          Each week as I drive to my weekly supermarket shop I pass a shed advertised as an extra room from $65 per week. I presume this doesn’t include hook up to electricity but don’t know.

          One answer has to be to “grow” the economy outside auckland. I see cerebus has dumped 125 jobs and they will now go to dunedin and sydney. Obviously the sydney bit is not good but the provinces as a person for person shift is a good idea, imo.

          If I recover from my large mortgage due to leaky home repairs I intend migrating south for my retirement… I am lucky that I have a valuable central auckland property with equity.

          As for the higher density housing. A project of apartments on Dominion Rd is now offering apartments for sale. The site is between balmoral and valley roads on Dominion Rd (for those who know Auckland). It’s a main arterial route for transport to the city and in to britomart if need to.

          The studio or 1 bedroom is being advertised for about $330,000. I will double-check while out today. So, you will need $66,000 as a first home buyer to secure a studio or 1 bdr… borrowing 267000 at 6% over 30 years comes to 738 fortnightly. That’s $369 a week for a studio or onbe bedroom. If you work in the city, the bus top will be literally at your front door. Is that affordable?

          • bad12 5.3.4.1.1

            Tracey affordable to the middle class earner, Yes, which is my whole point made to mr Twyford about the 100,000 affordable homes Labour plans to build, they will only be affordable to the middle income earners,

            Wheres the 100,000 State Homes for the bottom 30% of the economy where as economic conditions improve Labour can shoehorn the tenants that can afford the mortgage into ownership by allowing their future working for families/kiwisaver accounts to be bundled together as the deposit thats ‘real Labour policy’,

            Karol above points out ‘the reality’ of what is happening more and more in the ‘rental market’ and the other aspect of this not yet mentioned is the multi-family private rentals where 3 families are cramming into 3 bedroom homes, 13 people a house, so as to afford to keep a roof over their heads,

            Much of this goes un-noticed because such tenants are hardly going to call attention to themselves…

            • Tracey 5.3.4.1.1.1

              I agree, that Michael Savage had it right. After the depression and all that… well we have had two economic collapses since 1987 one of an incredible global scale… so it’shardly surprising we are in need of such measures again.

              The “market” has failed in this regard, and will do so again.

              I agree that these “affordable” homes need to be state owned rentals, not fodder as second homes (cos with clever lawyers people will always find a way around the law… put their children on applications as genuine “first home buyers” etc etc.

              If 100,000 2-3 bedroom homes appeared as state funded (built at per cost) and with some garden space (green is good), many of them in Auckland, rentals would start to fall.

    • Tracey 5.4

      evict them but replace them with someone who will pay the higher rent you mean?

      Phil? Do you know how the WOF pilot is going? Have their been any interim reports?

      No policy will ever be perfect but law changes are a signal to society of the new line in the sand. It takes education and so on to change behaviour but it starts with a signal from the law, in this instance. Also, if many landlords have to do this, perhaps the increased demand for specific supplies and installation will bring the cost down?

      • Phil Twyford 5.4.1

        I don’t think there are any interim reports on the housing WOF yet. There is Nick Smith’s pilot with 500 state houses but that’s only just been announced. A number of City Councils are also working on a WOF but its early days I think.

  6. lurgee 6

    Will the proposals allow landlords to make a tax deduction for the cost of improvements like insulation? If it doesn’t, I think it will fail, dismally, and make the problem worse.

    • bad12 6.1

      Theoretically lurgee my understanding is that they probably could now, the smart landlords have their properties in a company that also includes their remuneration from whatever they are employed as,

      This is for the purpose of writing off income tax where if the property shows a loss they recoup this in rebates on their tax while the interest on the mortgage is also i think able to be deducted from their income tax as well,

      Easy to see why, along with the 200 odd bucks of Accommodation Supplemenmt they collect via the tenants that the ‘rental’ is a favored investment…

      • srylands 6.1.1

        “This is for the purpose of writing off income tax where if the property shows a loss they recoup this in rebates on their tax while the interest on the mortgage is also i think able to be deducted from their income tax as well,”

        No. There is no tax rebate. Interest on the mortgage (an expense) is deducted from rents (revenue) to produce an income. 100% of that income is subject to tax.

        So again, you are making shit up.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          Interest on the mortgage (an expense) is deducted from rents (revenue) to produce an income. 100% of that income is subject to tax.

          So the answer to lurgees question is “yes”.

          Fuck me, SSpylands has finally done something useful. Never fear though, Pete George is impartially plugging United Future press releases like old times…

        • bad12 6.1.1.2

          More bullshit SSLands, this from RadioNZ two days ago,

          ”Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said New Zeland’s tax system probably explains the greatest proportion of the decline in home ownership”

          ”Basically landlords can register tax losses on rental properties. If they have a mortgage its tax deductible at their marginal rates of income tax” unquote Dominick Stephens.

          http://www.radionnz.co.nz/news/business/239227/home-ownership-on-decline

          So who is bullshitting who here SSLands, you who is paid to hide such schemes from the light of day,paid to arrange peoples taxes in such a way that they escape their due taxation, or, the chief economist of Westpac Bank.

          It would appear that the Aussie property investors love the tax rorts they can tuck into by buying up New Zealand property as well,

          ”For Australian investors, owning New Zealand investment property is even more tax effective, the Australian tax office allows investors to deduct any tax losses from their NZ property from their Australian taxable income”

          http://www.nzps.com>CONTACT>US>HOME

          The Google title for the above = Managing New Zealand investment property,
          i found both this and the RadioNZ article by Googling ”Tax rebates for landlords in New Zealand”, and both articles from memory were on page 2, that’s just in case my links,(as usual) do not work,

          i am pretty much sick of you SSLands, your a nasty little turd who continues to enter the discussions here at the Standard peddling absolute bullshit, you are a Liar and a Coward who when confronted with the truth tucks tail and runs for a week or two only to, like a snake slime your way back here with the same lies every time,

          i well remember the 1990’s when little posses of tax lawyers and real estate agents flogged the current house price unaffordability into its current guise by going up and down the country holding seminars with the very intent of starting the gold rush by teaching people how to couple their income tax to their investment properties so as to write off 1000’s of dollars of tax a year, these ‘professional tax evaders’ made a fortune out of showing average citizens how to get into property and how to arrange their tax so as to be able to write off plenty of it,

          i will SSLands search a link out to this little tax rort,(legal but still a rort), tomorrow BUT only on the understanding that when i produce the details of how this is done YOU will leave this site and never come back,

          As to providing you proof of anything else i claim on this site, you won’t be getting none’ the only thing you have ever earned and deserved here is ABUSE so expect plenty more of it…

          • bad12 6.1.1.2.1

            As a little adjunct to the above, i well remember the rolling out of this little tax rort in the 1990’s by those little posse’s of tax lawyers holding seminars up and down the country because my brother got involved in it,

            Dating a chardonnay swiller at the time who was a Party big wig He had found on a notable NZ lonely hearts dating site who for obvious reasons will go unnamed along with the Party She was attached to, He tried to get His hand in my pocket at the time spending a lot of time and verbiage trying to convince me of how great this little scam was and just how many big wigs he had met at the seminar,

            Me being a man of many convictions the brother couldn’t get His head around the fact that i wouldn’t have a bar of this little scheme /scam, what He didn’t have the intelligence to understand,or, the will to even consider, was what such schemes/scams had the potential to do to the balance of both home ownership and the rental market,(considering who He said was involved),along with the position of where this would leave the provision of State Housing,(again considering who He said was involved),

            There is one thing i will never forget, and that is where i came from, where the working class,the wharfies, the freezing workers,the bus drivers,everyone in my small town, now a city,all the low paid hard workers who gave their labour to this economy, all of them, the only way to home ownership for any of them was through a State House and being able to cash up the ‘family benefit’ to be able to purchase those homes where their children had been conceived, many actually born, and where those kids grew and thrived,

            There is,in my world a code that must be obeyed, and the obedience to such a code would prohibit me to take actions that would in time negatively effect the very institution that i had been born into and who’s walls had sheltered me in a rough childhood that would have been 20 times worse had that institution not existed, this institution??, The State House,

            Its a damn pity i cannot say the same for those who availed themselves of the
            scheme/scam i discuss here, many of them in positions of political power creaming it every which way through the tax systems and welfare payments made to their tenants both beneficiaries and increasingly a growing number of the working poor…

            • Ergo Robertina 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Your values are not their values Bad.
              News out this week in Census data that home ownership rates have fallen to less than 50%; meanwhile Duncan Garner has a list of MPs and their predator like acquisition of multiple houses.
              Of the 121 MPs, 68 own more than one house.
              Here are the MPs from the ‘left':
              Raymond Huo
              5 investment properties
              1 house

              Louisa Wall
              3 houses

              Iain Lees Galloway
              4 houses

              Sue Moroney
              4 houses

              David Parker
              3 houses

              Shane Jones
              3 houses

              Chris Hipkins
              3 houses

              David Clark
              1 house, 2 holiday homes

              Clayton Cosgrove
              2 houses

              Phil Goff
              Home, farm and 2 other houses

              David Shearer
              2 houses and a section

              Ruth Dyson
              2 houses

              Moana MacKay
              2 houses

              Nanaia Mahuta
              2 houses

              Trevor Mallard
              2 houses

              Sua William Sio
              3 houses

              Greens

              Catherine Delahunty
              2 houses

              Kennedy Graham
              3 homes

              Kevin Hague
              3 homes

              Eugenie Sage
              2 houses and an 8 hectare block

              Mojo Mathers
              2 houses

              United Future

              Peter Dunne
              2 houses

              MANA

              Hone Harawira
              2 homes

              NZ FIRST

              Winston Peters
              2 houses – 2 plots of land

              Andrew Williams
              3 homes

              Richard Prosser
              1 house 1 block of land

              Asenati Lole-Taylor
              2 houses

              Dennis O’Rourke
              2 houses

              • bad12

                Tah for that Ergo Robertina, that’s only the more honest among those who admit to owning such property, there is plenty of ways of stashing house ownership out of site, we have to remember also there may be many reasons for multiple home ownership,(although i am at this point in the night bereft of an ability to list the ‘many reasons),

                In an ideal world, yeah sorry if i have you choking on the coffee, our MP’s would not only list such ownership but also tell us what if any ‘rebates’ from taxation such ownership allows them to receive, along with the dollar value of the annual tax benefit they get,

                In that same ideal world, i promise to stop with this in a minute, our MP’s would also be happy to tell us all just how much in Accommodation Supplement and Special Benefits any tenants they may have in these homes is putting in their pockets on top of the rent and tax benefits,

                In yet that same ideal world again, i know i promised, the poor working sod down the street from me who despite having a number of health problems has always been in the workforce wouldn’t have to go begging down at the local WINZ office for an Accommodation Supplement to line the pocket of His fucking landlord to make up the difference in being able to eat for the week or not, and nor would that same poor working sod when they cut His hours, which they regularly do, have to do a repeat performance to get a special benefit for that same food,

                My apologies to Phill Twyford for having dragged His Post far far away from what He intended it to discuss, i will tho inform my working mate who hates having to beg at WINZ about the fact that He could be getting a heat pump to look at while He ponders filling in His next WINZ application, that ought to cheer Him up no end…

                • RedLogix

                  Supplement to line the pocket of His fucking landlord to make up the difference in being able to eat for the week or not,

                  I suppose your poor working sod could always just get a mortgage and own the house.

                  (Oh but he can’t because in all probability the bastard landlord is actually subsidising his accommodation … and he couldn’t afford to pay the difference.)

                  All this has come about because the middle-class (yes I know the despised middle-class who pay most of the tax in this country) had no other sane option to fund their retirement.

                  Because you don’t spend your youth working hard to get qualified for a skilled occupation, then grind out long hours, for bastard bosses, taking home worries and responsibility for 40-45 years – just to spend the last 20 or more years of your life on the miserly sum we call Super.

                  Give me a sane choice to fund my retirement any other way and I’ll happily look at it. Really a lot less stress than dealing with tenants who may or may not turn out to be a dead loss.

                  Making a class enemy of your landlord is fucking dumb – in this country he or she is most likely just another working stiff like you. Most of our tenants have much flasher furniture, cars and toys than we do.

                  The only pockets really being lined here are the banks.

                  • bad12

                    Nice knee-jerk reaction Red, i suppose, and you would obviously know, that my mate down the road neither earns enough at His job when He has good hours to have sufficient income to support a mortgage and doesn’t get enough hours of work to support such either,

                    Yep!!! them damn bankers forced your arm up your back and made you sign up as a landlord, its all their fault,more of the 1%er stuff right Red, it takes ‘enablers’ for the 1%ers to be able to get their slice of the pie,

                    You didn’t see me put the label ‘Class Enemy’ on landlords, i will have to sleep on that one,but, i must admit i could become quite attached to it…

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    What a mean and miserable diatribe.

                    ‘I suppose your poor working sod could always just get a mortgage and own the house.’
                    HOUSE ownership rates are dropping, latest Census data released this week shows. Unless people have become more feckless by nature, there must be external elements outside their control.

                    ‘(Oh but he can’t because in all probability the bastard landlord is actually subsidising his accommodation … and he couldn’t afford to pay the difference.)’
                    THIS shows contempt for the tenants you’re banking on to fund your comfy retirement. You are not subsidising the tenant. You are expecting the tenant to compensate you for your imprudent investment decision.

                    ‘All this has come about because the middle-class (yes I know the despised middle-class who pay most of the tax in this country) had no other sane option to fund their retirement.’
                    THERE are other sane options to fund your retirement than exploiting vulnerable people, and then playing the victim.

                    ‘Because you don’t spend your youth working hard to get qualified for a skilled occupation, then grind out long hours, for bastard bosses, taking home worries and responsibility for 40-45 years – just to spend the last 20 or more years of your life on the miserly sum we call Super.’
                    WE have had structural unemployment for the last 30 years, introduced by the the 4th Labour Government, which means some people don’t get the chance to have a career. Oh well, at least their lack of options in life makes them easy pickings for greedy middle class speculators.

                    ‘Give me a sane choice to fund my retirement any other way and I’ll happily look at it. Really a lot less stress than dealing with tenants who may or may not turn out to be a dead loss.’
                    THIS is essentially the argument that it is economic necessity to screw over your fellow New Zealanders. Doesn’t wash.

                    ‘Making a class enemy of your landlord is fucking dumb – in this country he or she is most likely just another working stiff like you.’
                    YOU are making a class enemy of your tenants by treating their lives with contempt.

                    ‘Most of our tenants have much flasher furniture, cars and toys than we do.’
                    DON’T blame your tenants for their purchases because you have made a bad investment decision.

                    ‘The only pockets really being lined here are the banks’
                    WHY aren’t you just pleased you’ve got tenants to line the pockets of your bank, since it is your retirement plan?

                    • RedLogix

                      What a mean and miserable diatribe.

                      The mean and miserable started with YOU making a list of MP’s who own investment property – as if this made them the spawn of the devil.

                      You are expecting the tenant to compensate you for your imprudent investment decision.

                      Most investment property starts out with negative cash flow until the mortgage is paid off – which might take 15-25 years. By the time you include rates, insurance, maintenance, vacancy and fair wear and tear costs usually exceed rental income.

                      The average tenant paying say $18k pa to rent would likely find that to live in the same home would cost them in excess of $25k to own. The point is of course that over a long period of time the property eventually pays off it’s mortgage and returns a modest positive cash flow – hopefully about the time you need it in retirement.

                      If I never sell the property, then the capital gain over that time is a meaningless paper transaction. You really cannot label me a greedy speculator and then sneer at an ‘imprudent’ investment in the same breath. Pick one.

                      THIS is essentially the argument that it is economic necessity to screw over your fellow New Zealanders. Doesn’t wash.

                      Complete fail at answering how I should fund my retirement. I explicitly asked for an acceptable alternative investment that you would NOT regard as ‘screwing over my fellow citizens’. I await your wisdom.

                      YOU are making a class enemy of your tenants by treating their lives with contempt.

                      You have absolutely no idea about how I treat my tenants. None.

                      Your apparent hatred of landlords has blinded you to the fact that the vast majority of us are just ordinary, sometimes very ordinary, people who are simply doing our best with the limited options open to us.

                      Hating us just clouds your thinking on the topic ergo.

                    • bad12

                      Red, your obviously a little ‘sensitive’ to any perceived criticism of yourself as a landlord,

                      What interests me is you immediately jumping into the discussion at the point i used the words ”fucking landlord” in relation to my friend down the road’s landlord, an immediate positioning of yourself not with my friend in the dire position He is forced to live in, but with His ”fucking landlord”,

                      The point being that my discussion about ‘a particular landlord’ resonates with immediacy in your mind as a discussion about ‘You’, so far from me having brought this conversation round to one of being about ‘class enemies’ you have done so yourself,

                      Why ”Fucking Landlord”, i will explain,

                      There are a number of long term residents in the little street i live in 25–30 years and they know the history of who is who and how they come to be here,

                      What we know about this ”fucking landlord” that is in the first big sell off of the States Housing stock in the 1990’s he got in fast and what a price He got in for, 60 grand way back then on a property that now has a value of 3 to 400 thousand,

                      His modus operendi as far as tenants goes is to get to know them and get to know their financial situation and then bump up the rent bump,bump,bump until the tenant is tapped out to the Nth degree,

                      Once He has the tenant tapped out to that Nth degree He expects them to pack up and leave for someplace cheaper, most do, a few over the intervening years havn’t which stops the ”fucking landlord” chasing ‘the market’ as far as rent setting goes,

                      He solves this little problem of intransigence of a tenant He knows he can no longer bump up the rent on by putting the place ‘up for sale’ and issuing an eviction notice,

                      Once the tenant packs up and leaves ‘off the market’ comes the property and the process starts again with the next tenant,bump,bump, bump up goes the rent to the Nth degree ‘chasing the market’,

                      My mate down the street has for the moment ‘fucked’ this pricks little game with a novel means of having the real estate people scarper as if the place is the source of the Black Plague, i won’t describe this novel means because we plan to use it elsewhere,

                      My mate tho knows His days are numbered, with being tapped out to that Nth degree requiring Him to get both the maximum Accommodation Supplement and a Special Benefit WINZ have told Him He will have to move to somewhere cheaper, and, we don’t for a moment think that this ”fucking landlord” will not in the end simply evict him under the 90 day provision,

                      Having just wrote all that Red, yeah i think your right, a class war it is…

                    • RedLogix

                      On the other hand bad12 we never ‘bump’ the rent.

                      Never.

                      Long term vacancy and someone who looks after the place is far more valuable to us than your ‘fucking landlord’. Who sounds like a total idiot.

                      The only time we have ever needed to increase the rent is in between tenancies; and then to meet the median rent for the area as listed on the DHB website.

                      The core of the affordability problem has nothing to do with the renting business. It has everything to do with housing overall being far too expensive, whether you occupy it or lease it.

                      My point is this; it’s easy to hate on your landlord because he/she has a face. The cause of all property bubbles is of course excess credit creation by the banks and that has nothing to do with me.

                      What we know about this ”fucking landlord” that is in the first big sell off of the States Housing stock in the 1990′s

                      Ah yes . That would have been a National govt. that sold them.

                      PS. We built, yes hands on built, three of our homes. Three others were substantially renovated and another was a fixed price contract because I was working full-time by then. One other we bought recently from a lady dying of cancer at well above QV in order she could fund her daughter into a home.

                      So no I didn’t buy up cheap ex-Housing NZ stock. Nor would I. You too are letting hatred cloud your thinking.

                    • bad12

                      Red, again you take what i say as an explanation about another landlord and apply it to ‘You’, i neither insinuate nor imply in that explanation of ‘a fucking landlord’ that ‘you’ have or do manage your portfolio as this particular individual does,

                      i find your little explanation of the cause of ‘property bubbles’ to be quite a laugh, sure the banks play their part but for them to do so there must be a willing seller of credit, the bank,and, a willing buyer, now who might that be,

                      Reading the article Duncan Garner penned, along with the list you find so abhorent, He points out where the root cause of the ‘property bubble’ was and still is,

                      Open slather immigration created demand, simple as that, once demand was created every man and his dog piled in, including MP’s from across all the parties in the Parliament,

                      Governments both Labour and National have played their part in fostering this demand and the simple answer, admittedly far too late as the horse has mostly bolted, would have been for any of the Governments of the past 25 years to have said to potential immigrants ”sure you can come,build a house tho befor we will allow you too”, and, for every immigrant allowed in other than those who had the means to build that house, in my opinion, it was and is the duty of Government to have had the foresight to have caused a house to be built for each of them,

                      Add to Garners little list any politician in the last 25 years who has also indulged in this game of monopoly, the property bubble, and you begin to see why any Government has been loath to do anything at all…

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Redlogix, the problem is that a surfeit of easy credit pushed prices beyond what our low wage economy can support in rentals.
                      I did not say all landlords are creaming it. But if the returns are not at the desired level, why start slagging off at tenants, and criticising their lives and purchases?
                      An investor can be both greedy and imprudent, so I don’t accept that dichotomy.
                      For an alternative, perhaps try a balanced investment portfolio?
                      I do not know, but I don’t accept the argument that economic necessity justifies participating in an overpriced market that landlords demand taxpayers subsidise through supplements and renters through paying a disproportionate amount. The solution is political, and that is why there is public interest if MPs have a conflict of interest through owning multiple houses.
                      This, at a time house ownership has fallen below 50%. Home ownership is not about figures on a balance sheet, or shoring up one’s retirement. It is about community cohesion, equality, a stake in one’s country.
                      I suspect most MPs share your mindset on this – they know things aren’t right, but feel there is no alternative, and they might as well seek security and comfort for themselves and their families.
                      Doesn’t make them bad people – but it’s not right, and I’m glad commercial radio of all things is highlighting this crisis.

                    • miravox

                      This…

                      I don’t accept the argument that economic necessity justifies participating in an overpriced market that landlords demand taxpayers subsidise through supplements and renters through paying a disproportionate amount. The solution is political, and that is why there is public interest if MPs have a conflict of interest through owning multiple houses.

                      This, at a time house ownership has fallen below 50%. Home ownership is not about figures on a balance sheet, or shoring up one’s retirement. It is about community cohesion, equality, a stake in one’s country.

                      Thanks Ergo Robertina – in a nutshell.

    • lurgee – I am not sure. The Property Investors Association would like to see a tax deduction. But there has been a generous taxpayer funded subsidy for insulation and heat pumps for the last five years and relatively few landlords took it up. I think it is just time to set minimum standards for decent housing and be done with it.

      • phillip ure 6.2.1

        good on ya for having the balls to pop up here..(under yr real name..)..

        ..and more importantly to answer questions..(not just crap and leave..)

        ..getting some of yr colleagues to do the same..

        ..wouldn’t hurt..

        ..eh..?

        ..maybe you cd go back and tell them..

        ..’see..!..it didn’t hurt..!’..

        (oh..!..and by the way..fuck the property investors association..

        ..eh..?..

        ..give ‘em nuthin’..

        ..except grief..)

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        Fair comment. If the carrot didnt work, then the stick?

        • lurgee 6.2.2.1

          I think a combined approach would be preferable.

          On the one hand, many landlords won’t take advantage of a subsidy / improvement deduction unless compelled to.

          On the other hand, if landlords are forced to comply with this legislation, and make expense improvements to the property, they will increase rents and not let to poorer tenants. Who will then end up sleeping in garages and cars.

          Currently, landlords can claim tax deductions for maintenance / repairs but not for improvements. What counts as maintenance and what counts as an improvement is not clear cut and is one reason why accountants exist. Putting in insulation where there was none would clearly be an improvement, though, so a landlord would have no real incentive to do it. We can talk righteously about how it will save $5 for every $1 spent, but that’s not much use to the landlord forking out the money so others can save. They have to be given the incentive to improve their stock, without making it unaffordable for low income tenants.

          And yeah, major kudos to Mr Twyford for showing up and commenting.

          • lprent 6.2.2.1.1

            Currently, landlords can claim tax deductions for maintenance / repairs but not for improvements. What counts as maintenance and what counts as an improvement is not clear cut and is one reason why accountants exist. Putting in insulation where there was none would clearly be an improvement, though, so a landlord would have no real incentive to do it.

            That is a good point. Obvious. Can’t remember it coming up before either.

            • RedLogix 6.2.2.1.1.1

              It’s a point I’ve made many times before, these kinds of improvements finish up being a benefit to the tenant, but cost to the landlord.

              So there isn’t a market driver to get it done.

              • lurgee

                I think Lprent may have been giving me a slight tap with the Sarcastic Stick.

                Even if it is blindingly obvious, no-one had adequately addressed it when I mentioned it up thread – just lots of uncertain waffle.

                There are some scum landlords – the ones who operate dozens of properties and don’t particularly care what is going on in them as long as the rent (usually paid by WINZ) is coming in. There are also lots of landlords who may have only a couple of properties and who are not running them for profit – people who have decided not to risk their money in our dodgy and erratic banking system, or who are hanging onto their first home to pass on to a child, and renting them out to simply cover costs. They would ,might be interested in upgrading, but the rules as they stand are a disincentive. If ecological or health improvements were covered as a tax deduction, that disincentive would be removed.

                The problem with markets is, if you have them, you have to play their game. The solution to the slums can’t just be diktat. It has to be made financially more attractive to the supplier. Subsidies don’t really work as they are just another hassle (and simply inflate prices, as the Australians found).

                • geoff

                  Symptomatic of a perverted system.
                  I don’t think the healthy homes bill is a complete solution by any means but it is a step in the correct direction. No single magic-bullet policy is going to fix the wrongs of 30 years of rogernomics, anybody who expects to do so is being naive.

                  This is where the left wing parties should be working together to project a united front to the media as they have so much common ground. The overlap in the suite of policies that Greens, Labour, NZ first and Mana have should form the basis for a coherent leftwing pre-election stand point. Not a coalition but just an agreement that these are the sorts of things that need to done and National is not doing them nor planning to them.

                  If you could get DC, Russel, Winnie and Hone up in front of the camera together all saying that they have agreement over the failings of National and broad agreement on how to fix those failings, I think that would have a strong positive boost for the left.

                  • lurgee

                    Indeed. But it would have to be a policy platform that landlords would support, not oppose. Telling them they are going to be compelled to shell out thousands of dollars isn’t going to do that. At best, you’ll increase the cost to the state as landlords pass on the expenses via WINZ; or, less optimistically, you’ll create nice house that will be rented out to middle class people who can’t afford to buy, but can afford the inflated rents, while the people who were living in those houses will be sleeping in garages and cars.

                    I don’t like reality, but I try not to deny it just because I don’t like it. Unlike too many on the left.

                    • geoff

                      30% of kiwis are now renting.
                      What sort of solution would cost neither the government or landlords in some way.
                      I prefer the greens housing policy where ( i think) the government would build state houses that occupants could rent to own. If that were to happen it would have a detrimental long term effect on landlords as they couldn’t compete with the state. Does that mean we shouldn’t support a policy like that?

                    • lurgee

                      I agree we need more state houses. Absolutely. And high quality, well maintained ones, to force landlords to raise their game.

                      As for the problem of motivating landlords, I think the simplest one is to allow certain improvements to be tax deductible, the way maintenance is. there’s already a lot of uncertainty about what counts as what. Allow installing solar power and insulation and better boilers and what not to be tax deductible, back it with a credible inspection / certification regime, and landlords will do it. Try to force the latter on them without the former, and they will resist – and all those crucial middle class votes will go to National.

                      Yeah, it means there will be more rich accountants, and some impact on the tax take – but it is a simpler system than offering subsidies (as it uses a pre-existing mechanism and can be used to the landlord’s advantage) without tempting tradespeople to inflate prices grotesquely.

                    • bad12

                      Geoff, my understanding is that home ownership via the census figures is now somewhere in the vicinity of 48% with around 52% renters,

                      i could have those figures wrong,(and should have checked befor i commented),i would suggest that little will be done vis a vis the shrinking number of State Houses until such time,(10 to 15 years at a guess),that the renters/owners figures go 60/40 or bigger in favor of the renters,

                      Obviously this shift in demographic as far as housing goes will eventually transpire into political party membership and a rise in demand from those members of political parties that action is taken to provide affordable rentals,

                      Like you i see the Green Parties policy on the rent to buy, with a paydown based around what the ‘owner’ believes She/He can afford as ‘smart housing policy’, but how much of such housing will ever be provided is in a large part up to how much Labour will concede in a coalition negotiation…

                    • geoff

                      bad12, it’s more like 65% of households own their home so which means around 35% rent (some live rent free).

                      The stat you’re referring to is individuals over 15 that own their own home which is 49.8%

                      http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/201412/QuickStatsHousing.pdf

                • greywarbler

                  lurgee +1 Good thinking. Maybe it’ll catch on.

            • Herodotus 6.2.2.1.1.2

              Search the ird for capital vs maintenance
              Heat pump would be capital, replacing insulation maintenance.
              http://www.elevateca.co.nz/property-repairs-maintenance/
              http://www.hayesknight.co.nz/home/news/news-items/2012/7/13/when-are-repair-and-maintenance-costs-deductible.aspx
              https://www.ird.govt.nz/property/property-rental/deductions-you-can-claim/
              “any repairs and maintenance that go beyond replacement and are in fact improvements to the property”
              Improving a property, even if maintenance adds value, so should rental rates not increase the landlord still benefits when the property is sold.

              • lurgee

                Sadly, not very clear cut. From your second link:

                “The cost of insulating a rental property that was previously insulated is likely to be held on revenue account on the basis that the work only restores the property to its former condition and the repair does not change the character of the asset. Therefore in this case the insulation would be tax deductible.

                “Note that the outcome may differ depending on the materials that are used to repair an existing asset. Where a material that is required for repair work is no longer available or is no longer able to be used due to regulations, then using a comparable or equivalent alternative may still be held on revenue account even though a newer, more modern material is used i.e. spend is tax deductible . If a taxpayer simply decides to upgrade to more durable material in place of the existing material which is readily available the expenditure may be held on capital account as it changes the nature of the asset i.e. spend is not tax deductible .”

                So replacing old sub-standard insulation with modern substandard insulation is repair/maintenance. Putting in better insulation is improvement. That needs to be changed.

  7. tc 7

    Great start Phil, opposition from the nact needs to be framed as greed, self interest and a lack of humanity.

    there are many nact supporters making a tax free rock solid return on their rental dives, I used to rent from one. A nasty piece of work who would not discuss kitchen extraction or smoke detectors to name a few and whined on and on about her minimal obligations.

    • lurgee 7.1

      “Great start Phil, opposition from the nact needs to be framed as greed, self interest and a lack of humanity.”

      Disagree. That’s a good way of alienating a lot of small property investors and prompting them to defend the status quo.

      Respond to opposition constructively, build consensus and come up with a solution that includes carrot and stick.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Oh and just for the record.

    Just got an email informing us that a tenant has badly trashed one of our homes. We spent over $15k just before we left fully insulating and heating the place. Warm and dry with spades on. We are still paying the bills.

    Now it looks like the place may well be a total loss. I mean total. In the worst possible way. The plan to finish upgrading the last of our older units is not going to happen.

    Until the whole tenancy business in this country is properly tightened up to dramatically improve security and risk management for both owners and tenants I think you’ll find not much progress will be made in this sector.

    • lprent 8.1

      Urrgh. Impossible to track them or get recompense either based on my parents experiences. Eventually they just shifted into shares and places that were local and they could inspect themselves.

      No help if you’re offshore.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        I was always aware of the risk and because we managed the places ourselves so far we’ve been pretty lucky.

        As soon as you are not about things start to go wrong.

        I can’t help contrast this with how very different things are over here in Aus. The whole business of applying for tenancy is far more stringent and talking to the tenancy management people here they tell us that while they always encounter some level of problems locally – they shake their heads in disbelief at the situation in NZ.

        I guess that’s my point. The latest stats show more than 50% of kiwis are now renting. It’s important to a LOT of people on both sides of the business. It’s now the dominant element of NZ housing and there is one hell of a lot more govt should be doing to lift the game.

        • Ant 8.1.1.1

          From my experience as a tenant, laws have generally protected bad tenants more than good ones. Not enough security or protections for a good tenant, just enough security and protections to be lethal for a bad tenant with little to lose.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes that expresses it well Ant. Worse still all the good tenants (and the vast majority are) eventually finish up paying for the losses incurred by the bad ones.

            I think NZ could do very well by examining how it’s done in Australia.

        • bad12 8.1.1.2

          Insurance Red???, i am ignorant as to the availability of such from insurance companies for landlords,

          As a cost wouldn’t such insurance be a tax write off…

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.1

            Yes we are insured – haven’t really even started to think about this, but I’m skeptical about exactly how useful it will turn out to be.

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    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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