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A new house every 13 minutes

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, November 27th, 2012 - 82 comments
Categories: dpf, housing, labour, national - Tags: ,

KiwiBuild has the Nats rattled. It’s difficult to oppose a program that creates both affordable housing and jobs, but they’re doing their best. One of the lines that has got the most traction amongst their drone repeaters on the blogs comes, of course, from Kiwiblog:

Labour is promising a new house every 13 minutes of the working week!

10,000 houses a year is 192 houses a week. Now if you take the working week of 40 hours, that is 4.8 houses per hour. That is a new house every 13 minutes of the working week.

Hands up those who think the Government can build a new house every 13 minutes? If your hand is up, please keep it up and please join the queue for free trips to the North Pole to see Santa Claus.

Oh my aching sides – funny guy that DPF. Not so good at logic, history, or current events though.

Here’s DPFs “13 minutes” logic applied to babies. “For New Zealand to achieve 60,000 births every year would mean that a woman has to have a baby every 9 minutes! Ridiculous, right? Have a trip to Santa Claus!” Off course that’s a stupid argument, in fact NZ does have 60,000 births a year, go figure.

In 1941 (with an estimated population of 1.6 million) the NZ Government built 4,000 state houses in a single year – one every 30 minutes! Do you think that NZ, 70 years later, with modern methods and a much bigger population, can do better? I do.

Christian charity “Habitat for Humanity” builds at least one house every few minutes (estimates from every 23 minutes to every 10 minutes) world wide. I don’t see any reason why the Government of NZ shouldn’t be able to match the performance of a single charitable organisation. And look – a single construction company in Canada builds a house every 41 minutes. Do you think NZ can do better than one construction company? I do.

In 2003 there were 29,801 building consents for new homes issued (ht Colonial Viper). In March this year consents were issued for 1,559 new dwellings, in September it was 1,520. Check out the monthly figures and you’ll see that we’re already building more than 10,000 new dwellings every year (laughably impossible according to DPF).

And finally, worst case, what if Labour does fail to meet their target of 10,000 houses a year. What say they only get half way – 5,000 a year. 50,000 new homes after ten years. Damn – what a terrible thing that would be!

So in the end folks, once again, it’s pretty simple. Labour’s solution to the shortage of housing is to build houses. All National can manage is to complain about it.

82 comments on “A new house every 13 minutes”

  1. Peter 1

    I dunno. David Shearer’s inability to sell the KiwiBuild policy (a policy that should sell itself) has me rattled…

    • Jilly Bee 1.1

      Yep, I agree – I was cringing watching DS on Three News last evening.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I still haven’t got around to fixing my freeview. Obviously I should avoid doing it.

        I watched the weekend’s The Nation this morning on my android phone this morning (why do they take so long to put it on-demand). He wasn’t bad in that. Was pretty easy questioning though. He will get better at it. But it is pretty evident that he should have done a lot more practising a lot earlier when he was still in the media honeymoon.

    • Ant 1.2

      Isn’t Trevor Mallard still his strategist? he couldn’t sell Aucklanders a free stadium.

      • Binders full of women 1.2.1

        Funny that- Mallard Stadium- it’s what I 1st thought of when I heard about kiwi build. Initially sounds good, and oh so big.. then it gets murky. I honestly reckon they thought 10,000 houses would do it, then some bright spark said “not bold enough- whack another zero on it”. Not against govt involvement in housing, esp if along the Glen Innes model or Stonefields, and I’m in favor of higher density if it can make public transport more achievable. But to randomly draw out who gets cheap houses…. not the best Shearer– feels like an election bribe like int free loans and WFF.

  2. Morgy 2

    I think you are being a premature about how us on the center right feel. My view is that we are excited with anticipation of the fall out that will happen as the light of day dawns over this policy. In principle I like the idea but how did Labour get their numbers soooo wrong?? The logistics alone are a challenge but I and many more like me, would like to know where is he going to build these houses worth $300K? Is it possible that they have forgotten to mention the section price in all this? $300K houses on sections worth >$100K. Come on…..with a policy as big as this wants to be, even the left need to take off the rose tinted glasses and see there are serious unanswered flaws here. Good luck.

    • One Tāne Huna 2.1

      I have the remedy for your low intelligence and it’s right here on The Standard!

      So the important thing to notice is that the land value of my apartment was $85,000 out of $205,000. The reason why it is so low is because this is medium density housing. This apartment block is single bedroom single floor apartments (in which two people live easily) three levels high on top of two levels of car park. There are 60 apartments in total in the block. I’ve lived here off and on for almost 15 years now – it is great. It does have curtains for this blogger to ‘hide’ behind. It also has a rather pleasant polished concrete floor.

      How do you “center” (sic) morons cope with tying your shoelaces?

      • Morgy 2.1.1

        OTH. Please identify for me where I abused anyone in my post? You show complete contempt by your answer by disrespecting my view by having a crack at a minor spelling mistake. Get a grip. Just because I don’t agree with you, doesnt make me a moron. For Christs sake! People sometimes.

        So back to the debate. So we are going to have med/high density housing/apartments? If that is it, cool….lets be upfront about it. As far as I know, what is being touted is two thirds of the 100,000 will be in Auckland. That’s where the land cost becomes an issue with the numbers.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1

          Did I hurt your feelings? Good – perhaps you will think about reading the material in front of your eyes next time.

          I did not come to the conclusion that you are a moron because you employed a US spelling. I came to that conclusion because of the ludicrous ill-thought-through “objection” you raised in your comment, and your apparent inability to spot the headlines (“Medium density housing”) on the front page.

          Oh, and because you describe yourself as being from the “centre right”, which is where morons hail from.

          PS: slip-on shoes, jandals, velcro?

          • vto 2.1.1.1.1

            one tane huna and morgy.

            That little spat of yours right there highlights one of the great forgotten truths. All opinions are not created equal. Some opinions are just crap while some are 100% pure. Todays times people seem to think that everyone’s opinion is equal – example, dopey John Key and the Hardtalk interview where he said he can get another scientific opinion to counter any other scientific opinion.

            moronic thats for sure.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1.1

              This little spat was brought to you by the campaign for evidence-based policy 🙂

          • Morgy 2.1.1.1.2

            Arrogant sods like you will never hurt my feelings but you missed my point completely; I like the idea! I just don’t think it stacks up. And that’s a problem don’t you think? How will these be built and how will they they cost $300,000? I wasn’t trying to be smart or provocative just trying to get an answer to what I think is a serious issue if this policy is to fly. I fear I won’t get a rational debate from OTH so, anyone?

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.2.1

              “we are excited with anticipation of the fall out that will happen”

              Yes, of course you weren’t trying to be smart or provocative. Do you think people can’t scroll up the page or something?

              You can’t see how a government-backed house building program will work?

              “Moron was defined by the American Association for the Study of the Feeble-minded in 1910, following work by Henry H. Goddard, as the term for an adult with a mental age between eight and twelve; mild mental retardation is now the term for this condition. Alternative definitions of these terms based on IQ were also used. This group was known in UK law from 1911 to 1959/60 as feeble-minded.”

              Wikipedia.

              • Morgy

                Got me there…..should’ve re-read my post. Of course it can work. Anything can at a cost though and this is where it is falling down. At what cost. Where is the land? Is it because most will be apartments and therefore bring the average price of the proposal to $300,000 per house?

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Here’s the thing see: where there’s a will there’s a way.

                  Nitpicking just makes you look tired, bereft of ideas, and a little bit desperate.

                  To put it another way: the reason you are having trouble is because of your bias, not because there’s something wrong with the policy direction.

                  • Morgy

                    OK I get that, but a good idea may be unworkable. If it doesn’t stack up, no amount of wishful thinking will help.

                    I am not looking at this particular issue with a bias (many others…for sure) I just want to know how it is really going to work; if it can

                    • PlanetOrphan

                      So Morgy , how do we knock 30% off the house/land prices in NZ ?

                      That’s the question, and how are we gonna deal with people holding Mortgages that are 30% inflated afterwards?

                      This is why so many say it’s the Banks that are profiting no one else.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      “A good idea may be unworkable”

                      You do understand what the Treasury benches are, don’t you? The government controls the resources of the nation, that sort of thing?

                    • Morgy

                      Orphan. who wants to do that? The price is the price. I don’t want my three houses value deflated artifitially!!! Crikey that wouldn’t be good at all. It’s like shaving 30% off my super!

                      OTH, you’re a dick! The best advertisement for the left.

                    • PlanetOrphan

                      I thought I heard fear in your comments Morgy (-: , enjoy your retirement M8!
                      We could just raise the average wage/salary by 30% ?

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Got a substantive argument there, Morgy? On the one hand you love the idea, on the other you just can’t see how it can possibly work.

                      I’ve seen centre right cretins attempting to score points before, but your insincere handwringing doesn’t even meet that test. Feeble.

                      Morgy Porgy pudding and pie, whined and cried and cried and cried. The end.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The price is the price.

                      No it’s not.

                    • OneTrack

                      Morgy, you are on a hiding to nothing trying to get intelligent discussion out of most of these guys. As soon as you questioned the great policy that will save us (the latest in a long line of great policies to save us, mind you), your fate was sealed. You had been measured and found wanting.

                      And by asking for clarification about the policy,which they suddenly realised they either didnt know the answer to or, much worse, that maybe it didnt really make sense, they fall back to the default attack mode.

                      Good to see you try though.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      “Save us”.

                      What a lovely strawman. Did you make it yourself? You clever little wingnut.

                      PS: “…they suddenly realised all they had to do was point to the article about medium density housing” FIFY

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Just because I don’t agree with you, doesnt make me a moron.

          No it doesn’t. Not being able to think of the obvious answer does.

      • Rob 2.1.2

        and again Aucklanders are laughing at you as you guys take the CV component of the land value as true.

      • Fortran 2.1.3

        One Tane Huna

        Assume your apartment not freehold, and subject to regular lease adjustment cost increases, and other on costs for property maintenance etc like most apartments ?

        • lprent 2.1.3.1

          Apart from the CBD’s and inner cities – please tell me what other city areas have leasehold land…..

          Arrghhhhh you really are astro-turfing that line… aren’t you troll?

          • David C 2.1.3.1.1

            Napier has lots and Palmy Nth both has quite a bit, Welly has a fair chunk around the Port that would suit appartments…dunno about further north tho….

      • DropDead 2.1.4

        Close your eyes / can’t happen here / David Shearer’s Labour is near / NationalACT won’t come back you say / join the revolution or you’ll pay

        http://cache.gizmodo.com/assets/images/4/2011/11/9dfba093c799cfcf53f822f64744429f.jpg

    • Peter 2.2

      It’s a policy that would work, if the following steps were taken:

      1) Create a new Ministry of Works to undertake the building and construction, along with all the various supply chains. Otherwise you are handing blank state cheques to contractors and massively increasing the cost of the house.

      Same argument works with the Christchurch rebuild.

      2) Identify land for infill housing around Auckland. This will be far less than what is promised of course. But there’s no denying the physical reality – if you squeeze 1/4 of NZs population into 0.3% of its total land area, you are going to get inflated land prices. No denying that.

      3) Undertake the vast proportion of the rebuild outside of Auckland, and give people an economic reason to live elsewhere. You could even do the rebuild in rural towns that have a fairly blighted housing stock but are fortunate to now have jobs as a result of irrigation developments.

      4) Don’t offer an easy safe housing investment to the middle and rich classes, and just print the bloody money for the rebuild…

      • redfred 2.2.1

        “Undertake the vast proportion of the rebuild outside of Auckland”

        Exactly make the “golden triangle” a reality, fast train through to Hamilton linked through to Tauranga, make the plan not just about Auckland that just seems stupid. Land is half the price south of the Bombays and once you get over yourself quality of life is actually better (speaking as an ex aucklander).

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          The problem is that the urban export industries (ie the ones that provide so much of the employment directly or indirectly) are increasingly bound in clusters. Which is why big cities get bigger. I mean I can code anywhere. But I rely on engineers and they rely on warehouses and prototyping shops…. etc etc etc

          That would be a case of doing it in the right order. Set up the transport links first. Then the industry clusters and people can start moving.

          However that would required some imagination for the initial investments

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            The problem is that the urban export industries (ie the ones that provide so much of the employment directly or indirectly) are increasingly bound in clusters. Which is why big cities get bigger. I mean I can code anywhere. But I rely on engineers and they rely on warehouses and prototyping shops…. etc etc etc

            Yep, that’s what people seem to have forgotten over the decades. Cities are manufacturing hubs and the more people in the city the more complex manufacturing that you can do.

        • Peter 2.2.1.2

          For sure. Your scheme works well. As parochial as I am, I’m not advocating building the houses in Dunedin or Invercargill, because, I could by a damned nice place for about $200,000 here, and something resembling a palace for $300,000 (Labour’s figure for the cost of houses under this new policy).

          But yeah, extend the new 25kV catenary south to Hamilton to join the existing electrification, upgrade the tracks, and have a decent fast corridor to and from Auckland. Would help massively with freight from Tauranga to/from Auckland as well.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1

            There should be a policy to electrify all rail in NZ ASAP. NZ is one place in the world where planning for the decline of oil availability should be obvious (except to National and it’s supporters on Planet Key).

  3. tc 3

    It’s a great policy being sold by the old guard’s boy, so bumbling fact bereft incoherence as expected.

    The NACT will be preparing the lines to rip it asunder as unaffordable, not thought through etc etc, Joyce’s sweet spot.

    Recall in 08 the NACT choose to kill an opportnity to be ready for this (and chch rebuild for that matter) by taking school leavers without jobs and up skilling them in building trade apprenticeships etc

    They chose the brighter future aka Oz instead.

  4. fatty 4

    weird how National has the ability to measure everything except the number of Kiwi kids in poverty

  5. vto 5

    “In 1941 (with an estimated population of 1.6 million) the NZ Government built 4,000 state houses in a single year – one every 30 minutes! Do you think that NZ, 70 years later, with modern methods and a much bigger population, can do better? ”

    ^ This.

    Why doesn’t Shearer have all these sorts of facts at his fingertips?

    • djp 5.1

      Did they have the RMA then? What was the council consent process like then?

      • Peter 5.1.1

        Explain how the RMA is an issue please?

        Last time I checked, about 99% of consents went through without objection or appeal?

        • One Tāne Huna 5.1.1.1

          Unfair! You should know that right wing arguments aren’t subject to reality.

          • Peter 5.1.1.1.1

            Of course not, I’m speaking to the more flaky of the left wingers who are inclined to start running with those arguments.

            I process many resource consents per week, most issues can be dealt with through negotiation or by way of consent condition. Hearings and court cases are rarely needed, except when they are absolutely needed, for big controversial projects.

        • djp 5.1.1.2

          Even if the consent is not objected it still adds time and cost to the project.

          Also 100000 homes is a huge number, its not unlikely that there will be big projects that attract protest

          • Peter 5.1.1.2.1

            Consents must be processed within tight timeframes – try about 28 days?

            Doesn’t seem costly to me…

            • djp 5.1.1.2.1.1

              >Doesn’t seem costly to me…

              Best case an extra month paying both rent and mortgage on a 5-6 month project (plus consent fees). I guess we will just have to differ then.

              • Colonial Viper

                Dude 30,000 new dwelling consents approved in 2003, alnmost 6,000 per week, and I do believe the RMA was in force back then too.

                Whats the problem. Try and remember what happened last time idiots tried to “cut red tape” from Auckland building standards.

                • djp

                  You are missing my point.

                  I am saying there are different constraints now as opposed to 1941 (when apprently the govt built 4000).

                  Yes it seems the entire market does mamage to build more then 10000 houses per year.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As has been pointed out, there was a big frakking war on in 1941, a lot of young NZ men were overseas fighting it, and rationing of even the most basic goods was in force.

                    Our problems are sorta piddly in comparison.

                    • djp

                      Well if labour get the treasury benches then we shall see, I hope they are better then the goons who build sports stadiums

                • Jimmie

                  A small point CV that 30000 consents divided by 52 weeks = 576 per week not
                  almost 6000.

      • Poission 5.1.2

        they did not have building covenants on available sections,which restricts the availability of land for affordable homes.

        As building covenant are in essence to protect the owners investment,development properties with covenants should be included in a CGT or asset tax regime.(they would disappear overnight)

        Building covenants are in essence economic apartheid.

        Nice to see Farrar convincingly prove that he is logically inept with numbers again(unfortunately the problem seems to be ubiquitous in the NP, hence one could pose that it is a generic quality of the marketeers)

      • vto 5.1.3

        dip “Did they have the RMA then? What was the council consent process like then?”

        No they probably did have an easier consent process.

        But they did have World War Two going on. Do you imagine that would have led to similar constraints as the RMA imposes today? Or less? Think carefully now.

        • djp 5.1.3.1

          No idea… I could think of a few different scenarios

          • vto 5.1.3.1.1

            Oh don’t be so silly djp, there was the biggest war in the world on and we as a country charged in boots and all. And yet we still managed to build 4,000 homes right smack bang in the middle of it.

            It actually speaks to the right wing of this country that they think it can’t be done when we as a country have done far in excess of that in the past, relatively. I guess the thing is that the Nats never do anything ground breaking because they are conservatives. Hence, not worth listening to when it comes to new things.

            Grow some cred bro.

  6. Seti 6

    Speaking to a couple of younger co-workers who are trying to get on the property ladder. Don’t know their political leanings but they’re quite cynical about the type of property Kiwibuild would offer them. Comments such as “a small house on a tiny section…living check-to-jowl with neighbours…estates that would look like trailer parks…and having to borrow $280k for the pleasure…would rather continue renting a decent place for less.”

    Even if issues such as land availability, build cost/time, related infrastructure, proximity to employment etc are resolved the house still needs to be an appealing prospect when large mortgages are required. Its possible they will be seen as low cost slums by those with the means to borrow.

    • lprent 6.1

      And that is really a choice. In fact it was exactly the choice I made up until 1997 when the property market went ape and I got had to leave one place because the owner sold, the second I wound up with a flatmates that were a pain, and then I brought an apartment. The mortgage payments were higher than rent (and a lot less than rent now). But I didn’t have to move lines and my gear every few months.

      It should be better these days when you can get a lease rather than the few weeks notice. But renting is definitely a viable choice for those who prefer it.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      You get your own place for $300K instead of $600K in Auckland, yes you may have to give up the rumpus room and space for the spa bath. Sacrifice, but for some worth the $300K difference.

      • indiana 6.2.1

        …everyone living in misery equally…that’s the real sacrifice!

      • QoT 6.2.2

        Have you looked at property recently, CV? Having recently house-hunted in Wellington, 300k does not buy you a lot, and it certainly doesn’t buy you close to town. Fortunately we have better public transport than Auckland. But I shudder to think what 300k would get you in Auckland.

        The people whinging about not being able to buy a ~family home~ on 600k do need to sit down and STFU. But there’s a seriously big difference between “suck it up and sacrifice the spa bath” and what you can actually get for 300k.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.1

          Ah yes Wellington house prices, no fun at all for someone starting out.

          Perhaps move to Wanganui or Hastings? 😛

    • felix 6.3

      “small house on a tiny section…living check-to-jowl with neighbours”

      So don’t live in the city.

    • One Tāne Huna 6.4

      What a surprise: Seti’s co-workers found the policy unpalatable after Seti “explained” it.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.5

      Its possible they will be seen as low cost slums by those with the means to borrow.

      Yeah, they will be such slums.

      The reality is that people will see them as slums because some idiots will keep telling everybody that they will be slums without knowing anything about them.

      • Considering Place des Vosges is an incredibly upmarket and expensive piece of real estate, historically inhabited by well heeled aristocracy, I don’t think this is a very good example of good, low cost living.

    • mike e 6.6

      Seti vini rambuka families are getting smaller the population is getting older so we don’t need that many large houses, I don’t think somebody living in a garage or car caravan or crowded in will want a big house!
      Demographics are changing!

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    Even the most amazing policies need a great salesman to sell them to the general public!Have the Labour Party got that great salesman as Leader of their party? In a word, NO! Having the right person to explain the policy in an easy-to-understand way would help! No such luck!

  8. AwakeWhileSleeping 8

    Not so far fetched at all. I watched a time lapse video of the Chinese assembling a high rise building in 3 freakin days.

  9. Herodotus 9

    The building of 10k pa of houses is a distraction and I am surprised that it is being continued here. This could be achieved as over 27 k of houses were built 10 years ago
    The real issues are where is he land and why do the costing appear total crap
    But don’t let reality get in the way and how will putting stress on the building sector alow for cost savings that shearer is spouting about 25%

    • Herodotus 9.1

      Whilst the policy could be said to be bold perhaps it should have been down scaled to a more manageable starting figure say 3k and the period extended to say 15 years maxing our at 7-10k pa
      Because we know that when the nats regain power this policy would be dramatically changed

  10. Farrar’s calculations seem very odd from a right-winger. Whatever happened to the ‘miracle’ of the division of labour? Adam Smith, pin factories and all that (produces one pin every 7.5 seconds – assuming a ten hour work day):

    I have seen a small manufactory of this kind where ten men only were employed, and where some of them consequently performed two or three distinct operations. But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day. Each person, therefore, making a tenth part of forty-eight thousand pins, might be considered as making four thousand eight hundred pins in a day.”

    Personally, I think the division of labour also has its human costs, but there you go …

     

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Farrar’s calculations seem very odd from a right-winger.

      No they don’t. They’re perfectly in line for someone out to lie with numbers.

  11. MrSmith 11

    “And finally, worst case, what if Labour does fail to meet their target of 10,000 houses a year. What say they only get half way – 5,000 a year.”

    You see Anthony I can see this turning into another Labour fuck up, you just dropped the number of house by 50%, it would have been far better if they said they were going to build 2000 houses and then you, them, say if things go well they might double or triple that amount. National are going to hand Shearer and Labour their asses on a plate over this just watch. The private sector do a good job with housing, this industry is highly competitive, material supply may not be but building houses is, Labour would be far better breaking up some of the monopoly, duopolies and cartels than sticking there nose into a competitive industry.

    If people had a few more dollars at the end of the week after paying for bankers salaries, over priced food, petrol, cell phone charges, land line rentals and the CEO’s outrages salary, power company profits, etc etc etc they might be able to afford to have a house build.

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