ACTing all surprised about it

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, May 13th, 2015 - 129 comments
Categories: act, housing, human rights - Tags: , ,

It’s like ACT’s David Seymour is seeing the world for the first time:

Home ownership now for privileged few – ACT

For the first time in New Zealand’s history, home ownership has become the privilege of the wealthy, says ACT leader David Seymour. Seymour said house prices in Auckland, and to a lesser extent other parts of the country, had risen so high, so fast that owning one was increasingly a function of the wealth of a young person’s parents. “For the first time we have a situation in New Zealand where property ownership is heritable,” Seymour said.

He pointed to the way his circle of friends had made it into their own homes. “I look at most of my friends, lawyers, doctors or engineers. All of them went to Auckland Grammar, or St Cuthberts. All of them have done it with parental help.” With house prices rising up to a reported $1000 a day “houses in Auckland are earning more than people”, he said.

Seymour admitted that for young people to be able to save that amount New Zealand needs affordable housing. Buying a house can mean so much debt that saving for retirement looks a forlorn hope, he said.

“There are a lot of people of my age group saying you want us to pay twice as much for our houses, you want us to save twice the money to retire, and I have to pay off my student loan,” Seymour said.

Well duh. This is all a direct and predicable consequence of the policies that you are propping up, David. Entrenching privilege is what your government is all about. Hiding behind the bullshit of “personal responsibility” and “equality of opportunity” while the playing field is massively slanted towards the rich, like you and your friends. Oh – that and the refusal to consider alternatives such as a capital gains tax which would help.

You right-wingers own this mess. There’s no point in acting all surprised about it now.

129 comments on “ACTing all surprised about it”

  1. Paul 1

    This is faux concern.
    Designed to attract attention to his dreadful political party.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yip. He fails to realise that lawyers, engineers, doctors and those that went to Grammar schools are privileged. His concern seems to be that these upper-crust types can’t buy houses on their own.

      If it weren’t for them having trouble, this concept of privilege wouldn’t have even entered his head.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Yes I am one of that privileged bunch who went to Grammar schools. And I’ve always been conscious that it was a privilege not to be abused …

        My father spent the first five years of his life living with his single mother in a tent. Yes a tent – in a well known Epsom street where properties are now worth millions. When Mum and Dad married they barely had ten quid to their names, but were able in their lifetimes to see their kids get well educated, and make decent professional careers for themselves. For this I am grateful – although like all children it’s only later in life you probably get to that realisation.

        It did of course take a lot of hard work and discipline. Working two jobs, paying off big mortgages, modest holidays, no smoking, drinking, gambling – but crucially there was a ladder in place, and it didn’t have a big gaping hole at the bottom. The social mobility ladder was there if you wanted to climb it.

        Here is the thing that has changed. Fifteen years ago when we first started out as landlords, we had a number of tenants move on to owning their first home. We brought them a bottle or two, some flowers and celebrated with them. That hasn’t happened recently. And if you stay with us, the rent doesn’t go up. Seymour does have a point; if the children of middle-class professionals are dependent on their parents to get into a first home – what chance the rest?

        All around us we could see that ‘left behind’ New Zealand getting even more lost and left out – and knowing where we came from – that makes me despair.

        • Chooky

          +100 …well said…for our generation and our parents’ generation and those generations of New Zealanders before them….there was always the chance with hard work to make a good standard of living and own your own house, property and business (and quality education was free)….and there was a safety net for those who could not or would not make it, hence safeguarding the egalitarian rights of their children….(Jonkey, of new immigrant parents, was a recipient of this state housing and education)

          ….now there is no chance and no dreams for many young New Zealanders…it is a CRYING SHAME!

          …and Jonkey Nact is responsible…New Zealand’s wealth has been plundered and is being plundered…our children are the losers

          weird that the leader of Act is only just realising this….or are these crocodile tears?…or does he know Nact is on the way out… for some reason we do not know?

        • Once was Tim

          Similar situation @ Red….. at least in terms of elder siblings ability to access the Cathedral Grammar’s and Christ’s College’s – hob nobbing with the now ‘pillars’ of the Natzi Party and their ilk – the one time “I like ’em fat and cuddly”; partakers (whilst boarding) of the nightly escapes to attend heroin parties; etc;.

          …… oh, and btw, the oft times proponents of “left” thinking – until the benefits of the American Express card droppped into their pockets. (I have one of those btw)
          They’re fucking full of it – has to be said. It’s the kind of thing a Natzi/CT spin doctor would love to have on his contemporaries – to be used against them later in life. Bastions of the (now) elite – most of whom followed in their fathers’ footsteps ….. the old money …. picking up one or two “Class of ’87” on the way, then in the absence of them, some wealthy overseas Entra-prin-ooooers, vestas et al.
          On that basis tho’ its no surprise that Everidge Men JK is so worshipped and adored (forgetting of course the reality that he never ever really did it that tuff.

          (Matty is a daily source of humour tho’ eh?; as well as one or two others – like that supposed wonderboy of business now offshore who grew up on “the back of inheritance and ‘old money'”, once in the brewery business.

          Christ! – what a legacy we leave huh?
          (With the risk of offending ROB – who seems to think I’m advocating a shitty outcome by mentioning lamposts) – we don’t really learn that much from history do we? ….. “sounds like………?”
          Like … I wonder what next with the Labour Party; Like Tariq Ali has some [like] ideas …. Like the Labour Party are like evaluating what went wrong …; should we like target the like Left, or target like the centre;
          FFS! maybe just get a bit honest and go with some founding principles – or alternatively……. change your fucking name and don’t pretend to be what you’re not

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        It does seem very odd that this penny has just dropped for Seymour. Overnight, I suspect, he has been quickly pulled back into line and told to lay low… the last thing his constituency and party want is the privileged advantage racket out of the bag.

        • felix

          Seymour doesn’t tie his shoelaces without instructions from John Key’s office.

          What he said yesterday was exactly what he was supposed to say.

          • Puddleglum

            What he said yesterday was exactly what he was supposed to say.

            I agree.

            I remember Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble banging on about how unfair it was for the ‘son’ of a butcher to have to pay tax so that the ‘son’ of a lawyer could go to University for ‘free’. How university education was only for the privileged (which it more or less was – I seem to remember that only 3% of University students had ‘unskilled’ fathers (it was always the father who was the point of comparison, of course).

            But that seemingly ‘anti-privilege’ rhetoric was the precursor to the student loans system, the subsidisation of private tertiary providers, etc..

            • peterlepaysan

              That was Prebble bs. I went to Uni in the sixties. Most of us to were working our butts off to pay our own way. Even the well off worked the long hours at summer vacation on the Hawkes Bay Wattie croplands and the freezing works. Being a “townie” in wellington I worked building sites, fast food stores and drove trucks.

              How many fathers are unskilled these days?

              I suppose that depends on the definition of “father” and “unskilled”.

              I recall that Prebble once wrote a book with the extremely unlikely title of “I have been thinking”. Go figure.

              • Tracey

                Allan Gibbs is the real common factor. He seems to escape any scrutiny or responsibility. Yet there he is, every year on the donor register propping his party up with hundreds of thousands (over the lifetime of ACT). Hide was his puppet.

            • Tracey

              Thanks for the reminder

              Remember before the 80’s we kind of didnt have unemployment, so IF you were one of the few that went to University, you could also have a part time job.

              By the 80’s and later you needed one but there were fewer about. By the late 90’s tertiary was the repository for the otherwise unemployed (in a sense people were herded here to take pressure off the increasingly unavailable jobs).

              I re-read Seymour’s Wikipedia yesterday to see what he has been doing with his young life…

              • RedLogix

                Yeah – and those uni jobs you did to get through uni before the 80’s (while the Course Fees and expenses were much lower there were no Student Loans either and you still needed to make rent and drinking money) … served another more important purpose.

                I too worked wharves, works, painting contracts and I think I cleaned every sodding office toilet in downtown Auckland at least once. But what I got from them was a life-long respect for the working class people who had to do those jobs all their lives.

            • Gosman

              Except more lower income people access Tertiary education today than they did in the 1960’s.

        • Andrew Atkin

          Jesus you people are clueless.

          You have zero idea who the ACT party is (I am an active member of it myself), or who David Seymour is. If you did you wouldn’t make such embarrassing assertions.

          ACT…BELIEVE IT OR NOT…is the most anti-corporate capitalism party we have in New Zealand today. Always was.

          Try this to learn something worth knowing about:

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Claims to be anti corporate capitalism.

            Introduces Charter schools.

            We need better wingnuts.

          • Jessica Parsons

            Claims to be anti corporate capitalism.

            Does deals with National to form a government.

            “anti” – you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • SHG 1.1.3

        I on the other hand read it as “I know lawyers, doctors, and engineers who still can’t afford to buy a home without the help of their parents. If even rich fuckers like those can’t buy a house, Auckland housing is broken”.

        His acknowledgement of privilege IS THE POINT.

    • Sans Cle 1.2

      Personally, I thought the article pure satire.

  2. capn insano 2

    Goalpost-head with his finger on the pulse late I see.

  3. He may actually be failing to see the connection, and how he CAN’T see the connection while all his friends are lawyers and doctors who went to AG and St Cuths.

    At a panel discussion, he admitted that changing schools is “a terrible thing” for the kids and parents, while continuing to support charter schools as the solution to all academic problems and the amazing power we have to “vote with our feet” if we don’t like the school.

    His own childhood experience at leaving a school he didn’t like seemed to be a big factor in this.

    • vto 3.1

      It amazes me Jessica Parsons that these people who are doctors and engineers and lawyers that Seymour refers to are clearly academically intelligent, yet they fail to see so very much….

      it is confusingly common …..

      which I guess also goes to show, contrary to Act rant, that people drive their lives off far far more than supposed ‘logic’ and self-interest. There are clearly a whole bunch of interlinked and complex drivers and intelligences that form our societies and that just cannot be separated out individually.

      the countrys biggest political failure ever

      wait for the gosman pinhead dance to turn up ……

      • It’s easy to keep your illusions that people who have economic troubles are personal failures, if you don’t bother to know any. If you only know the “I worked hard for what I have, and so could they” crowd. If you don’t want to believe it could ever be you.

        I will watch Seymour with interest. He is earnest and not dumb, so it will be interesting to see if enlightenment and reality win out over the attraction of being in power with his idols. There must be a huge pull, having succeeded, to stay in the system in order to make a change, in whatever direction you dream is a better one.

        • Tracey

          and whether his party stamps on him for pointing out they are privileged

          • Jessica Parsons

            Do you mean his party National or his party ACT? 🙂

            Who is the rest of the ACT party, anyway? And would they even get reported if they said something?

            • Gosman

              You mean as opposed to the Mana Movement, whiich has exactly zero representatives in Parliament. I presume you think their views can be safely ignored too then.

              • Macro

                What has that comment got to do with the price of fish (or housing for that matter) Gos?
                You are aware – I’m sure – that Mana achieved twice the endorsement in Party Votes than Act. Mana in a truly representational parliament would have at least 1 seat, and Act maybe none.

                • Gosman

                  Still didn’t get in though. As for if it is relevant, it isn’t in terms of whether Mana has a legitimate voice. It quite obviously does and one which deserves to be taken seriously. As does Act.

                  • felix

                    lol @ ACT’s “legitimate voice.”

                    ACT speaks for Alan Gibbs, Gosman, and about four other people.

                    If that deserves representation in Parliament then so does my cat.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      I’d be far happier voting for your cat in the elections than most of the other candidates and that’s without having met the delightful feline.

                    • felix

                      Be careful voting for candidates you don’t know. My “cat” is a pitbull/labrador 😉

                      She’s putting together quite an impressive party list though, mostly worms and rodents. A lot more talent than the ACT list.

                  • Mana and the Mana movement have a legitimate voice, they just don’t have one in parliament this term.

              • Tracey

                So that makes it’s ok then FOGGY?

              • Oh look! A straw-Mana argument 🙂

      • Anne 3.1.2

        It amazes me Jessica Parsons that these people who are doctors and engineers and lawyers that Seymour refers to are clearly academically intelligent, yet they fail to see so very much…

        Many of them are not all that intelligent but they have had a privileged education at top level private schools with plenty of one-on-one tuition – far more than most state schools can provide for their students. They also have “doors” opened for them that are denied most young people.

        I have two relatives who were educated at a top girls’ private school and they both became barristers. Yet they are no brighter than the rest of the family.

        Imo, that is why they fail to see so very much…

        • vto

          hmmmm, well pointed out and very true. Have seen it meself as you describe come to think of it ….

      • Tracey 3.1.3

        emotionally unintelligent. They view the world through their lens and assume everyone else has the same lens. An inability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes…

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4

        It amazes me Jessica Parsons that these people who are doctors and engineers and lawyers that Seymour refers to are clearly academically intelligent, yet they fail to see so very much….

        People see what they’ve been taught so when what they’ve been taught, specifically economics, is wrong they won’t see the causation even though it’s staring them in the face.

  4. vto 4

    Yep, goal post have been set since 1984 in a particular manner under Act-type policies and now 31 years later the Act Party realises what it has achieved.

    Excuse the language but that is completely fucked in the head.

    Now I wonder if Seymour can continue this practice of looking around with eyes open….. and look to what the goal posts were set at during times in our history when these problems didn’t exist….. and do some more thinking about the set of goal posts that actually work

    Act=Fail as stated by its only MP.

  5. felix 5

    So ACT is now slightly less fundamentalist than John Key, who thinks there’s nothing wrong with the Auckland property market.

    • miravox 5.1

      Nah he’s just trying to work the word ‘vouchers’ into the problem.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Interesting thought miravox. Watch this space aye?

        • miravox

          Yup. If he’s thinking out loud he’ll come to the realisation he’s in the wrong party. Else it’s a precursor to some libertarian housing-for-poor-people nightmare.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      “who thinks there’s nothing wrong with the Auckland property market.”

      He’s just not admitting it to the media yet, because they haven’t found a solution the focus groups will accept, yet.

      But it seems they’re trotting out the RB this morning to put in some constraints, which they get to claim is none of their doing because the RB is wholly independent.

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        A representative of the Property Institute stated the changes won’t make a difference because many investors can easily get the extra 10%…

        On Prime they had the good grace to follow that statement with one from RBG stating that 50% of investors require 70% or more financing fr their purchases.

        TV3 didnt.

        So, again a lobby group misleads the public (“many” investors – letting people think it is a large number) and a media outlet with easy access to a contradictory statement leaves it out. I know our news desks are under resourced but….

  6. vto 6

    Mine own past comments have suggested that this government is the last throw of the dice for neoliberalism. From here (or recent past) it will peter out and morph away back to something more normal. I have suggested this will occur within the National Party policy settings over the next period – they will abandon much of neoliberalism.

    I would suggest that Seymours awakening is also a part of this. It is a sign that this swing, or ending to neoliberalism, is looming.

    Pity conservatives are always so slow to see the reality…. the rest of us have to sit around and wait for people like Seymour to come around ….. …..

    conservatives …… shouldn’t be allowed out

    edit: and further evidence of this failing of conservatives was shown on Nat Radio yesterday when Josie Pagani was recalling her protest times over Nelson Mandela etc etc…… while David Farrar sat in silence absolutely unable to proffer anything similar – because he is a conservative and likely didn’t protest or even agree with the likes of Pagani over Mandela at the time. Yet now Farrar has finally caught up with reality and would certainly agree with Pagani around Mandela.

    Poor David Farrar – so slow

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.1

      I have suggested this will occur within the National Party policy settings over the next period – they will abandon much of neoliberalism.

      Note that in the rest of the FVEY countries, neoliberalism’s next stage has been a transition towards propagandised authoritarian feudalism. That’s not necessarily an improvement.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Yes, you’re right and been wondering about that sort of change seen too….

        maybe my rose-tinted specs should be removed…

        • Colonial Rawshark

          In the US they have legalised indefinite detention without charge, the ability to confine whole classes of people by declaring them to be a national security risk (section 1021 of the NDAA), have paramilitarised their police as well as broken a two centuries old convention not to be able to deploy a standing army on US soil, and instituted a secret police state with 18,000 paid informers plus mass electronic surveillance with no legal limits.

          It’s almost like the 0.1% in the USA predict that there will be trouble ahead for them.

    • Tracey 6.2

      Farrar silent?????????

      Once a week due to an appointment I have I catch the pre-curser to the panel (before the 4pm news, as the slot for what the world is talking about plays.

      Yesterday Farrar and Pagani thought everything McCarthy said was a question to them, they just talked and talked. Usually you get the odd quip but it was all about them. I turned the radio off.

      • Rodel 6.2.1

        Tracey Metoo. RNZ presented Farrar and Pagini as right and left. Pagini does not represent anything like the left. She represents herself. Farra is certainly right Pagini is usually wrong.

        I too turned them off..waste of grey matter rNZ. I see they still promo these people as ‘opinion shapers’. What pretentious rubbish!

        • Tracey

          and why do they introduce Williams as former LP Pres. but not Hooton as former Nat Party strategist

  7. lprent 7

    ACT and their fellow travellers are directly responsible for two of the main housing issues in Auckland.

    In the 1990s they deregulated the building inspection processes at the same time as they gutted BRANZ. The effect was the introduction of some no mistakes building techniques at the same time as they dropped quality control with fly by night building inspection companies. The result was a decade of building leaky buildings. This resulted in massive litigation and a rightfully distinct reluctance by insurance companies and councils to let through shoddy work that cost them so much…

    As a result of the rights short sighted ideological stupidity, we have a building industry that now is more far more regulated than before. But largely by the free market insurance industry who cover builders. Architects. And councils. Much the same massive cost burden as the medical litigation in the US produces.

    It also slows housing construction and makes it far more expensive.

    In Auckland this is coupled with the ACT stupidity of massively disrupting the planning and regulatory processes with their half-arsed Auckland supershitty chaos. Effectively on its own that disrupted several years of housing supply because it caused massive delays as existing approval systems were damaged through amalgamation. So were the planning processes.

    Basically rather than having an inexperienced an naive ideological fuck-wit like Rodney Hide playing political games. The government should have just implemented the carefully thought through recommendations from Aucklanders as expressed in the Royal Commission.

    And I won’t even get into the stupidity of having 70 years of National’s rural and provincial Ministers of Transport diverting transport taxes raised in Auckland away from Auckland to finance rural and provincial roads. The effect has been to wastefully use land resources here by spreading the city wide with highly congested roads. It has resulted in the super high land prices and pitiful under developed urban transport systems that are currently crippling Auckland.

    Simon Bridges is merely the latest of these short sighted fools.

    Under his and Brownlee’s watch there has not been a single major transport proposal started for Auckland. All of the ones under-way were from Labour 7 years or more ago. Instead we have a “holiday highway” proposal whose major benefits will be for Northland being lumped as a Auckland project, and a vague idea of a second harbour crossing FOR CARS that traffic volumes on the bridge don’t justify.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Strong regulation makes competent professional builders. Probably by some sort of competitive market process. The irony, it burns.

    • dukeofurl 7.2

      Wellingtons transmission Gully motorway project will see big queues either end as they merge in with existing 2 lane highway north and existing motorway south.

    • Tracey 7.3

      BRANZ continued to get funding from every Building Consent. However the free-market model they developed meant that manufacturers could essentially pay $50,000 for a certificate of appraisal. The number of appraisals issued in the 90’s and 2000’s which simply accepted the testing or promise of testing of product by the manufacturer rather than BRANZ actually testing for weathertightness etc is staggering.

      • lprent 7.3.1

        The gutting of BRANZ was more about their authority to say what building procedures MUST be followed. Effectively they stopped mandating what the councils had to accept as being good building practices.

        As you say, they pretty well stopped doing much testing on the materials. In particular what materials and practices went together and what the flaws were. That largely got abrogated to the building material manufacturers and importers

        The same happened in the councils. The building inspections got offloaded to external companies competing on price and carrying inadequate insurance. From what I hear, they promptly got into bed with the builders. So even what guidelines were mandated by councils weren’t followed with more than ticket clipping for a compliance certificate. The same attitudes even crept into those council inspectors who were left.

        This was all perfectly predictable and predicted when the infantile ACT dickheads and their compatriots in the right of National pushed the building industry deregulation legislation through in the early 90s. So we had a leaky building saga which involved 10s of thousands of home owners finding that they had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollar repairing their homes, and tens of thousands pulling builders, architects, councils, and insurance companies into court for a total bill of billions of dollars.

        All because ideological fuckwits in Act and their fellow travelers in National have a crazed enthusiasm for putting markets in a place where they didn’t work for religious reasons. An excess of unjustified and irrational faith that sadly none of them have suffered for. Consequently we have intellectual morons like Seymour finding out the problems with his faith long after everyone else.

        The downstream result has been that Auckland has more than a decade of housing that it didn’t build as the litigation got processed and builders left the industry. Consequently we have a massive housing shortage.

        A shortage that is not helped by cheapskate fools like John Key wanting to build houses in his electorate without building the transport links

    • Gosman 7.4

      The Supercity was never Act party policy. Rodney Hide had the dubious pleasure of shepherding the legislation around it through Parliament but it was largely the outcome of an independent commission.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1

        No, the independent commission’s results were thrown out in favour of Rodney Hide’s and National’s ideology.

        • Gosman

          What were the fundamental differences as far as you are aware and how can you tie them to Act party policy pronouncements?

        • lprent

          Hide threw out or substantially modified about 2/3rds of the recommendations.

          Perhaps you should point to which ones he left in or didn’t gut. That is the shorter list.

          But a search on this site for supershitty will give you analysis of what was changed.

          • Gosman

            I’ve actually done as suggested and the majority of your objections seem to be about the control of CCO’s and the fact the power of the local boards were left to the transitional authority to define rather than explicitly outlined in the empowering legislation. Not entirely earth shattering differences and I don’t know where you get the 2/3rds of recommendations being ditched from.

            • Macro

              Gosman reinventing history to suit his ideology.

              There would be no super city (at least not the way it is now) had Aucklanders been given a say in it, and Hide knew that. So Hide owns the super shitty that resulted. And as he was head of Act at the time, Act owns it too.

      • Macro 7.4.2


    • Draco T Bastard 7.5

      As a result of the rights short sighted ideological stupidity, we have a building industry that now is more far more regulated than before.

      And I know of at least one builder that’s getting out of the trade because of that. That said, it’s not the regulations that’s pushing him out but the fact that he isn’t paid enough to cover the added costs of the regulations. In other words the market failed to pay for the added costs.

      In a few months I suspect that you’ll see even more builders being brought in to cover skills ‘shortages’ – the type of shortages that come about because the market isn’t paying enough to entice the people with the skills to work with them. Especially if the foreign workers continue to be seen as not employed in NZ despite working in NZ and there’ll definitely be no accountability of those firms.

      • Tracey 7.5.1

        The problem with bringing in the foreign builders is that under the new legislation all the personal liability sits on builders and designers’ shoulders… IF MBIE licences these folks as LBP, and they eventually go home, the liability is moot. Again.

        BUT no personal liability sits on Developers, who create the project, hire people to execute THEIR needs and provides a budget to execute it.

        IF they had personal liability (including going behind Trust vehicles), watch the ratbag portion find another way to earn a living, fast. We will be left for solid, decent, ethical developers.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep, all our laws are about taking responsibility off the developers and others in similar positions (Generally the rich) and placing it firmly on the subcontractors and the employees. In other words, it takes the risk off of the ‘investors’ and places it on the workers. The changes to welfare under this government and SFC bailout shows clearly that the rich are well protected by the government and take almost no risk while the poor keep having the limited societal support that they have knocked out from under them.

          • Tracey

            Yup, those who pull the most out of the project have the least liability and vice versa.

            Also, some builders are taking on the LBP role for a contractor/developer leaving them holding the legal can… A nephew of mine and I had a long discussion about this. He pointed out instances of developers telling him he would not alter the budget to do things a different way. I suggested to him that for the risk he is taking he is better to start his own company and then he can control more of the risks.

    • Tracey 7.6

      “naive ideological fuck-wit like Rodney Hide playing political games.”

      run by his puppet-master Alan Gibbs you mean

  8. Sable 8

    Time to try and shift the blame. I’ say good luck with that were it not for the creeps in the MSM who keep paving over the cracks.

  9. s y d 9

    1992 performance based building code.
    Private and self certification
    introduction of hundreds of new and untested (in NZ) products
    destruction of trades and substitution of skilled craftspeople with fragmented installer/piece/foreign workers
    Use of Commerce Commission to prevent attempts to maintain a minimum level of fee for a minimum level of service, under the guise of anti competitive behaviour

    costs and quality reduced, profits maximised. First sign of trouble, wind up the company and move on….

    • Tracey 9.1

      Not even first sign of trouble. It was and is a strategy. Open company, do the project, remove profit, close company. Repeat.

  10. repateet 10

    Seymour is a boy pretending to be an adult but past the naiveté he knows he needs to do the homework to keep his seat next time up. But even then surely this has to be a parody, even he’s not that dumb.

    (Is it his friends who regularly tell me about needing to live in the “real world”?)

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    What are the ACT policies which have caused the tight housing supply in Auckland?

    • Tracey 11.1

      is there a housing supply problem in Auckland?

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.1

        I think the number being bandied about is a shortfall of 25 000. But this is not the only problem & TGF is being disingenuous in pretending otherwise.

      • Gosman 11.1.2

        Which doesn’t seem to be the result of Act party policy. In fact the reason David Seymour is raising this issue is to address the Supply problem.

        • felix

          ACT has been in government for over six years.

          • Gosman

            Not every policy of this government is Act party policy. Infact quite a few of them go against Act’s core philosophy and David Seymour has been quite vocal about that.

            • felix

              It’s not my problem ACT are propping up a government they don’t agree with, Gosman.

              Sheesh, when are you guys going to get some sense of personal responsibility?

        • Tracey

          Funny how all the supply/demand proponents of free marketing thinking keep focusing only on addressing supply…

          What about demand? The RBG has just tried, again, to address that, yet the Government (National/ACT/UF/MP) only talk about the supply side of the equation…

    • crashcart 11.2

      You do realise that there are two sides to the market model Gormy? Supply aaaaannnnd Demand. You learn that in your first year of Economics.

      National AND ACT refuse to address the demand side.

      Does that clear it up for you?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11.2.1

        Sorry, wasn’t trying to be controversial. Tell me the ACT policies that have led to the problem, be they on the supply side, the demand side, or otherwise.

        • r0b

          You can ask that question sure, but the post wasn’t about ACT policies. It was about government policies that ACT is propping up, and right-wing ideology in general. ACT is just the Epsom branch of the National party.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            I’m not trying to be tricky.

            What policies have led to the current state of the Auckland property market?

            • thatguynz

              I would have thought it was more the ABSENCE of policies that have exacerbated the current state of the Auckland housing market. You know, the free market has run wild and this is the net effect.

            • crashcart

              Being against a capital gains tax, and buying of properties by non residents. Just two positions the current government have taken that oppose trying to address demand side. Their effect is debatable but when they are willing to make changes that result in very little on the supply side and claim that is all they can do then they lose credibility as a government actually trying to address the issue.

              • Gosman

                I’m not sure if Act has come out categorical against a CGT. Certainly the issue with tax for Act is the total tax take not normally the type of tax. Admittedly the view is that taxes on Capital tend to have a greater negative impact on economic development than taxes on Labour or Consumption however if it was shown that a CGT was effective (a big if) AND the other Taxes on Capital (e.g. the Company tax rate) were reduced by a similar amount I don’t see why a CGT is not consistent with Act party principles.

                • Tracey

                  “I’m not sure …against a CGT”

                  which is odd when you consider you voted for them and had quite a few opinions about LP policy on the matter

                  • Gosman

                    My objections to CGT is not against the tax at a philisophical level but at a practical one. They don’t seem to do what the proponents of them think they should (i.e. reduce the chance of an Asset price bubble in markets).

                    • vto

                      A CGT is also about spreading the tax burden around all people.

                      Some people make money by working a wage or salary
                      Some people make money by driving capital value
                      Some people make money by luck
                      Some people make money by inheritance
                      Some people make money by business activity
                      Some people make money by welfare
                      Some people make money by ill-gotten gain

                      Everybody needs to share in the tax burden

                    • Gosman

                      Which is why I’m not against a CGT on principle as I’m in favour of a broadbased tax system. The point being though a CGT is not being proposed to broaden the tax base but to try and tackle the demand side of the housing bubble in Auckland. I don’t think this would be either effective at that or in raising revenue.

            • r0b

              The tax incentives are all wrong. Leaving the doors open to any number of overseas buyers is wrong. The refusal to maintain and develop state housing and significant amounts of new affordable housing is wrong. As thatguynz said above it is as much about the absence of policies (capital gains tax, limitations on overseas buyers, KiwiBuild) as it is about the currently wrong ones. The market has failed.

              • Gosman

                Kiwibuild will just be another Supply side issue rather than solution. Instead of Private investors being the main source of demand for new land you will have them AND the Government. This will drive up land costs even more than they are now unless more land becomes available.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  What a load of BS. The reason why land is so expensive is because National and it’s hangers on are preventing densification of cities so that the land bankers on the outskirts of cities can reap the untaxed capital gains.

                  Push medium and high density building within the limits of the present city and the demand for land on the outskirts drops – exactly the opposite of what National wants and is legislating for.

            • te reo putake

              Thatguynz is onto it. National are also in favour of urban sprawl, but don’t want to provide the transport infrastructure that facilitates that expansion. Well, they’re in favour of nice roads to their Northern beaches holiday homes, but west Ak or Manakau, not so much.

            • Tracey

              Do you believe that a government who, say, didn’t cause a problem, therefore has no responsibility/obligation to try to fix such a problem?

      • Tracey 11.2.2


    • Sabine 11.3

      there is tight housing supply in Auckland?

    • Macro 11.4

      What are the ACT policies which have caused the tight housing supply in Auckland?

      You actually have to ask that question??
      Yes you really are a gormless fool.

      • Tracey 11.4.1

        NACT governments make working/wage conditions more difficult, allow cheap labour importation ( as does LP) and this is a policy which impacts the housing problem in Auckland. It makes the rich, richer (and able to buy more property) and the poor tread water and line the pockets of the landlord’s superann plan with what income they have.

    • Tracey 11.5

      Is there a housing affordability problem in Auckland

  12. plumington 12

    I understand and agree with the just criticism for act and nationals ideology But why would you vote for another party admittedly different ideology but the same result (past recent Labour govts)
    No wonder labour has had a sounding defeat at the polls
    Labour needs to get back it’s core values (social responsibility and the like) the voters will come back instead of being split over the more social responsible parties
    Beware of a mass population without hope and nothing to lose

    • Tracey 12.1

      That is perhaps why a few here have moved their vote in recent elections to other partys (outside of Nat/ACT/Labour). I, for example, don’t think LP has a different ideology but rather blur the edges.

      Many who are new to this site assume that a site related to the voice of the labour movement must be a Labour Party site. The important bit is the small “l” in labour movement.

  13. Shona 13

    What a narrow range of friends /life experience Seymour has. He really is a right twat!

    • I met him once in a Newmarket curry house, just before the election. We had a conversation about charity and the need to be self reliant and to pull oneself up by one’s own bootstraps etc. To be fair to him, he seemed to realise I was taking the piss out of ACT’s reliance on National’s charity after only a few minutes. The banter came to a sudden halt about then.

  14. Macro 14

    He pointed to the way his circle of friends had made it into their own homes. “I look at most of my friends, lawyers, doctors or engineers. All of them went to Auckland Grammar, or St Cuthberts. All of them have done it with parental help.” With house prices rising up to a reported $1000 a day “houses in Auckland are earning more than people”, he said.

    That is a telling observation by Seymour. It contains realization that even though one is earnest and working hard, and even in a profession or occupation that is regarded as upper middle class, the simple fact remains that they are going backwards with respect to the fair distribution of wealth. This is a phenomenon that is not peculiar to NZ, it is World Wide, and only now evidencing itself in developed countries. It is a direct result of Globalisation, “Free Trade”, the corporatism of Government, and the liberalization of money supply. When a handful of people control almost all the world’s wealth something must be wrong.
    I hate to say it but the end game can not be far off.
    The French Revolution was not run by the poor of France, It was masterminded by the middle class when they suddenly woke up to the fact that they were being ripped of by aristocracy. The realisation of Seymour and his ilk is just that. The new aristocracy are those who are the banksters and their crony mates, the parasites of our economy living off the work of others. What the result will be in the future I have no idea – but I fear for my children and grandchildren that they will be facing a very disturbed and fraught time.

    • Gosman 14.1

      Settle down. The situation in NZ today is a long long way from that which was in place in the Ancien Regime pre 1789.

      • Macro 14.1.1

        you would know!

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          I hate to say it but the end game can not be far off.

          Peak Oil will be the next sign.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Peak oil was 2006. The global economic situation we have been experiencing since then is in a large part contributed to by that phenomena.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    They could slow auckland housing down by making a % of the interest financing mortgages on rental housing within a defined geographical area non deductible for tax purposes and gradually lift the %. So for a central auckland address say 40% of any interest is non dedcutible. Then keep lifting the %.

    • Tracey 15.1

      Isnt it the case that rental yields in Auckland are not sufficient to attract an investor with a mortgage, compared to other parts of NZ? I understand cos the prices of purchase are so high, rental yields are barely above (if at all) cost of borrowing? That being the case it is the capital gain that attracts the investment?

      May have misunderstood.

      • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1

        Absolutely it is the (tax free) capital gain that Auckland property speculators are after, not the (taxable) rental income. In that way they are just like highly leveraged dairy farmers – who are property speculators milking cows to pay the interest on their farm mortgages while waiting for farm prices to climb (a speculative strategy which isn’t working so well any more).

        • Tracey

          It was almost (only almost) funny to hear property investor/institute types seemingly worried about this new move causing rent rises on the poor old renter…

  16. Tracey 16

    Speaking of ACT

    “Matthew Hooton @MatthewHootonNZ · May 11
    .@ipredictnz launching more stocks about property prices …”

  17. s y d 17

    This article keeps popping into my head – Chris Hedges.

    “It is always the respectable classes, the polished Ivy League graduates, the prep school boys and girls who grew up in Greenwich, Conn., or Short Hills, N.J., who are the most susceptible to evil. To be intelligent, as many are at least in a narrow, analytical way, is morally neutral. These respectable citizens are inculcated in their elitist enclaves with “values” and “norms,” including pious acts of charity used to justify their privilege, and a belief in the innate goodness of American power. They are trained to pay deference to systems of authority. They are taught to believe in their own goodness, unable to see or comprehend—and are perhaps indifferent to—the cruelty inflicted on others by the exclusive systems they serve. And as norms mutate and change, as the world is steadily transformed by corporate forces into one of a small cabal of predators and a vast herd of human prey, these elites seamlessly replace one set of “values” with another. These elites obey the rules. They make the system work. And they are rewarded for this. In return, they do not question.”

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    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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