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Andrew Little on housing

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, August 23rd, 2016 - 109 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, housing, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

Andrew Little has an excellent piece on Stuff this morning:

Andrew Little: Time for excuses over, time to build houses

It’s official: the average Auckland house price has doubled since the Key Government came to power. In December 2008, the average house cost $496,000. Now it’s an astounding $992,000.

As house prices have skyrocketed, wages have stagnated. The share of the economy going to working families has fallen by an average of $50 a week under National. Auckland house prices have risen more than four times faster than incomes.

Getting together a deposit has become impossible for young families; their goal is moving away as fast as they can save. The homeownership rate of under-40s has halved in a generation. The Kiwi dream of owning your own home is slipping away.

It’s clear that National has no answers. Seventy-five per cent of Kiwis say National is failing to fix the housing crisis. Meanwhile, John Key can’t even bring himself to admit there is a crisis. While this Prime Minister buries his head in the sand, families are facing a lifetime of renting, and a housing bubble is building up that threatens to burst and damage the wider economy.

So, what’s the solution? We’ve got to stabilise house prices and lift wages. There’s no silver bullet; it takes a set of bold policies.

Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is all about building affordable houses and cracking down on speculators, while helping the families most in need: ….

See the full piece on Stuff for a list of Labour’s policies.

John Key will give you all the excuses you can stomach for his failure to stabilise house prices and boost incomes but the truth is clear: if we want to change the path we’re on, we need to change the government.

We need a government that will stop making excuses and start building affordable houses.

Only Labour has the plan and the resolve to restore the Kiwi dream of owning your own home.

Meanwhile National is faffing about with crucial issues like lost luggage.

109 comments on “Andrew Little on housing ”

  1. Siobhan 1

    Even if house prices stabilised, hell, even if they stagnated, a working class couple in Auckland are going to need a Bloody massive pay rise to buy an ”Affordable” house, especially if they are meantime renting in such an exploitative market.

    Excuse the potty mouth, but if Andrew Little can throw around Real-Working-Class-Union-Man-on-the-Street language when he’s talking about $500,000 houses then so can I…

    • Garibaldi 1.1

      I quite agree Siobahn, it’s all just words at the moment. Labour needs to get a handle on what has to be done NOW. A solution that takes 5 or 7 years or whatever isn’t much use to those suffering now, or is Labour not interested in the poor ,as Helen Clark so ably demonstrated?

      • whispering kate 1.1.1

        Hey you’re coming down a bit hard on Labour, yes they have their warts but this crisis has been a long time in the making and its going to take sometime to sort out the usual crap National always leaves the incoming government. It cannot be sorted NOW – that would bring about a complete collapse in the housing market and leave a lot of deserving young people who have bought into this dangerous market in a whole heap of doogie doo. Bugger the investers they can sort out their own shit but at least Labour has acknowledged there is a problem unlike the Government who like the water contamination crisis do not see a big problem – they just do not accept that housing is too dear, to them its keeping their voting constituency happy with their asset rich money poor attitude, that’s all this Government has ever cared about – polls and their faithful voting base.

        • save nz 1.1.1.1

          I was pleased and surprised when Grant Robertson apologies for Rogernomics. But seriously we need to get the Natz out, so yes Labour have been bad in the past, but for 8 long years National have destroyed the country so put the blame where it should be!

          National are to blame for the housing crisis. The end.

          • Siobhan 1.1.1.1.1

            “so yes Labour have been bad in the past”…I guess that some of us would like to see some evidence that Labour are no longer held under the sway of Neoliberalsm, Globalization and the Centrist policies that they have blindly followed for the last 30 years.

            The housing crisis itself was born 30 years ago when baby-boomers realised they could buy a villa in Ponsonby, knock out some walls, fling on a coat of paint..and actually MAKE MONEY buying and selling the family home.
            cha-ching!!
            The idea of a “housing Market’ as a way to supplement the wages of the middle class was always going to end badly.
            Foreign investors are just the rotten cherry on top.

            No matter how you manage it, as long as people are encouraged to see housing and rentals as a way to fund their retirement, we will end up in the same situation we are in today.

            • save nz 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Umm under Labour we did not have 67,000 new people coming to live in New Zealand per year, god knows how many people on student visas and so forth. The housing crisis is manufactured and helps National get the poorer people out of Auckland and new more National friendly folks in there voting instead.

              If they cared about the crisis why would National sell off State houses? I find it odd how people are still in denial or comparing it to homeowners doing up houses in the past. We used to have 75% home ownership in NZ, now it is 65% and dropping.

              This is a world wide housing crisis situation caused by foreign investment and migration not just NZ but in the UK, Canada etc.

              • Siobhan

                2002…14,745 gain in migrants from China…no one says a thing. Helen Clark and Labour in charge.*

                2006…10,935 gain in migrants from UK, largest group of migrants…no one says a thing. Helen Clark and Labour in Charge.*

                2015….12,600 real gain, migrants from India, largest group of migrants excluding the masses returning from Australia…people suddenly realise there’s a problem and it’s all Nationals fault.*

                God help me, I’m sounding like a National defender, which I’m not, I just don’t feel inspired to vote for a Party (Labour) just because it’s ‘better than’ National.

                *http://www.enz.org/migrants.html

                • Colonial Viper

                  I always get caned for saying ‘Labour did it too’ so nice someone else can speak to the issues as well.

                • indiana

                  …and during those times Labour introduced Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies (LAQC’s) that allowed people to offset their incomes against their mortgage and pay less tax and even become property speculators…and then when they were in opposition proclaimed how many people were avoiding tax but never admitted to establishing the process in the first place…

                • save nz

                  I have no problem with 15,000 Chinese migrants in 2002 because we did not have a housing crisis and migration is not a bad thing by itself, now we have nearly 5 times that amount of immigration per year and we can’t cope with it, no houses, no jobs, no infrastructure, more pollution, more tax evasion and money laundering, Kiwis are 2nd class citizens and tenants unable to afford what the country has to offer – that’s the issue!!!

                  The zero tax haven offshore status seems to have had a massive effect on housing prices in my view. Because it has been the last 2 years that caused this massive change in housing in Auckland in that low cost housing sector or $200,000 to $400,000 that first home owners need.

                • AB

                  Much to admire about Clark/Cullen. But not tackling house price inflation primarily due to domestic speculation/investment was one of their biggest failings. Unarguably It has got a lot worse under National but that’s to be expected because ideologically they are in favour of markets creating winners and losers irrespective of the social consequences. Mainly because their core supporters are sufficiently advantaged to mostly end up in the winners camp. We expect that sort of vandalism from National but expect better from Labour.

                  The full effects of 9 (or 12) years of National Party vandalism will not be undone before a leftish government runs out of steam and support. I don’t expect Auckland houses ever to be affordable again for the bottom 80% of the population. Maybe a calamitous collapse of some sort might do it – say caused by sea-level rise after mid-century but who knows how that might pan out and we can’t be certain it won’t make things worse.

        • Brigid 1.1.1.2

          It must be sorted NOW.
          If your “deserving young people” have bought on this market, they are fools. But I very much doubt there are many.
          None of the young two income couples I know are prepared to buy in Auckland at the moment, even where they can afford to.

          Alas, it wont be sorted now. Either by the incumbent or the next government.
          We will just have to wait until China goes bust and runs out of cheap funds.

        • Garibaldi 1.1.1.3

          Hi wk. @ 1.1.1 I was trying to point out that the people suffering from homelessness etc need help now, not some nebulous time in the future.
          Don’t forget Helen deliberately dumped on the poor when wff was introduced.

    • G C 1.2

      The problem with Andrew is he thinks he can build affordable houses, rather than realising housing should be like the car market. As people become richer they sell their old cars and by newer ones. The older cars go to first time car buyers.

      The problem with Grant Robertson is he is obsessed with surpluses. He thinks the government should be run like a household. This is absolutely dangerous thinking! The government makes money when it spends money, it’s call taxation (GST, income tax, excise tax, etc). In theory if all the money they government spent stayed in the NZ economy, the government would get it all back.

      So Andrew wants the homeless in brand new homes and Robertson wants a surplus via a leaf from Margaret Thatcher’s austerity book.

      Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

  2. Grant 2

    Possibly get the majic lantern out and give it a quick rub? Really people, get real! The low wage economy has taken at least a generation to reach this point, it’s never going to be fixed tomorrow. Even with bold new policies and a total turnaround to get the economy moving for all of NZ, it will take years to get a result.

    • gsays 2.1

      hi grant, how about, as a start, increase wages to the living wage?

      immediate impact, helps lots of people(not just home buyers), stimulates economy…
      seems like a win-win.

      as is evidenced here- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2gO4DKVpa8
      a billionaire, nick haneur addresses inequality, capitilism and puts a flawless case for a living wage.

  3. save nz 3

    At least in Auckland many may be living on the streets and in cars (which is not a crisis) but in Hawkes Bay, the Natz pro pollution policies and fictional government statistics are actually poisoning people. Who needs chemical weapons when you can just shit in the water.

    Thanks Natz! We love not so Clean, not so Green, 100% poohy crony NZ under your reign.

  4. BM 4

    The price of a section in Auckland starts at 400k Add another 200k for your house which means the cheapest build currently will be 600k.

    600k for a first home isn’t feasible for most people and in all honesty it’s madness to go that far in debt just to own a house.

    You basically give up at least half your income for probably the next 15 years just so you can get on the property ladder.

    All that money going to foreign banks and out of the NZ economy, that’s really bad for the country.

    • maninthemiddle 4.1

      Labour had a fantastic opportunity to get a hit on the government with this manufactured crisis, and they have failed. They have had the media on their side, and a politically sensitive issue to work with, but as usual they’ve come up with an workable and totally impractical solution. Muppets.

      • BM 4.1.1

        Yep, any one with two or more brain cells can see what they’re proposing is pie in the sky bollocks.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        Laugh it up muppet – the housing deficit is as real as it gets – and the most conspicuous failure of this government. The Gnats are toast – they aren’t up to fixing it.

        • maninthemiddle 4.1.2.1

          Housing ‘deficit’? House prices are going up, but by less than they did under Labour. There is more construction activity in NZ now than ever under Labour. And all Labour have is policy made up in a dream time.

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.2.1.1

            Another forest of lies.

            The ‘blame Labour’ line isn’t going to get your fuckwits off the hook this time.

            • maninthemiddle 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Whose blaming Labour? I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy of the left, who were very silent while house prices doubled.

    • save nz 4.2

      @BM before National inflamed the crisis you could buy an apartment for $200,000 or a 3 bedroom house for $350,000 in Auckland, that was only 2 years ago. Now you’re screwed with their so called housing strategies to ‘build more houses’. Yep, $800,000 sounds affordable on the national income. Not!

      • BM 4.2.1

        Why is it so important to buy a house or an apartment?

        • save nz 4.2.1.1

          @BM because in our low wage economy (getting lower) it is the only way to save enough money for retirement or to have a way to survive your insecure job, have an asset to borrow against to start a business etc . Rents go up over time, mortgages in general go down.

          • BM 4.2.1.1.1

            If your house value stayed static or decreases in value then owning isn’t a great option.

            • save nz 4.2.1.1.1.1

              if you house stays static you are still better off, because you are paying your house off and in 30 years approx you will own it. If you rent you will be paying rent till the day you die. The only risk is that the government has pushed prices to their limit and now it’s a ponzi scheme that could fail and prices really fall. But even then as long as interest rates don’t go up you are still better off in the long run because they will recover eventually.

              • BM

                Once you take away the amount you’d have paid in interest, maintenance and insurance over that 30 year period then purchasing a house is a really poor investment

                Without any capital gain then a house is nothing more than just a huge pit to throw money into.

                You would do so much better investing your money in stocks.

                • save nz

                  Tell that to the Aucklander’s BM and get a laugh in your face, or get a job in the Granny Herald peddling this nonsense paid promotions, via the stock market firms.

                  • BM

                    So you think prices are just going to keep climbing?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      By the time the first $600K “affordable” home is actually physically built it will be over $700K.

                    • BM

                      Yeah, it’s really not going to do much

                    • save nz

                      Who knows what will happen to property prices. It depends on immigration. Long term, house prices tend to always rise. I would like to see us back at 75% home ownership and state houses for the vulnerable but also concentrate on diversifying and creating more well paid and creative jobs. Not relying on Dairy and property for everything in NZ.

                • Siobhan

                  Buying a house is not about investing money.

                  It’s about being able to stay in your chosen neighbourhood for the years your kids are at their local school

                  It’s about being able to plant a lemon tree

                  It’s about not being ‘inspected’ once a month to check you haven’t put up a poster with blue tack.

                  It’s about knowing that if you get cancer sick you can potentially have a mortgage holiday.

                  It’s about being in one place long enough to know the neighbours who can look after the cat when you go away.

                  It’s about knowing that you don’t have to live with a kitchen painted with such crappy paint you can’t clean the walls.

                  It’s about knowing you don’t have to live with lime green carpet..

                  It’s about knowing that when you retire you and your partner won’t be looking at a $300 a week plus rent bill.

                • Red Hand

                  They might want to “own our own home” and think of investing in stocks as something “we don’t do”.

              • Garibaldi

                BM and Maninthemiddle…..Surely you can see that it is your Governments policies that are at fault here so why defend them? Even though Labour did similar stupid things at least it is now offering more of a solution than your bunch of fuckwits.

              • mikesh

                Home ownership is beneficial because the rent that you save is tax-free income – the mortgage payments are for the house itself, not the benefits by way of accommodation that rental payments would cover. Susan St John has estimated the average net benefits to be about 4% of the value of the house; this means that on a $600,000 home you would be -paying $8,000 tax (or $4,000 each in the case of a married couple) if property taxes along these lines were introduced – as they should be.

        • Muttonbird 4.2.1.2

          Stability and self determination. That latter of which I know is held very dear to ladder-kicking conservative types, but in this case they seem to not want as many people as possible access to that self determination.

          But on stability, you already know this as you’ve accepted it in a post below.

          Growing communities on the back of the stability provided by home ownership is primarily what socially conscious people are referring to when they talk about the pitfalls of decreasing home ownership.

          The security in retirement from the sale of a family home is secondary afaik, even if you yourself consider the benefit of home ownership to be indistinguishable from a lifetime of renting and saving by other means.

  5. Bill 5

    What’s with peddling this families are facing a lifetime of renting as though there’s some stigma that goes with renting? This recurring bullshit, implying that renting is somehow ‘lesser’ or whatever has to fucking well stop.

    When I go to the piece, everything seems to be built around ideas of home ownership…and subsidising employers (again). Remember that glorious ‘working for families’ back-hander to employers that worked so well at keeping wages down? Well, how is handing employers the equivalent of the dole for every apprentice they take on going to play out? Sure, it won’t have the same effect as wff, but if a company needs skills, it trains people. It shouldn’t be my role as a tax payer to pay into the public purse in order to line the pockets of private sector employers.

    From the ‘shopping list’ on the stuff link, Labour intend to…

    • Help 5100 more Kiwis into emergency housing every year
    • Build 100,000 affordable KiwiBuild homes for families to buy
    • Stop taking a $100m a year profit out of Housing New Zealand and build an extra 1000 state houses a year

    So by the numbers and (fairly or unfairly) ignoring time scales, about 5% of the effort that’s being expended on people who might buy a $500 000 house is being expended on those who rent or who are at risk of homelessness – 100 000 houses for the buying there-of and 1000 for purposes of renting…plus 5100 people shunted into temporary accommodation.

    Seriously. What the fuck is going on here? Is there some notion that people who are homeless or renting today will be putting down a deposit on some “KiwiBuild” house tomorrow?

    Build fucking rental houses (with 2050 in mind) , remove any ‘right to buy’, and put decent tenancy rights in place. And for the shrinking numbers of people who may actually be able to afford a $500 000 house, well good on them – hammer speculation and do those other things mentioned on that shopping list, but again – in line with my objection to ‘dole for apprenticeships’ the public purse ought not to be used for the purpose of lining the pockets of those out to make a buck.

    • BM 5.1

      I agree with what you’re saying the cost of renting is completely out of whack to most peoples incomes.

      That’s the issue that needs solving not building 600k “first homes”.

      • save nz 5.1.1

        So why would landlords pay $800,000 for a new house and rent it out for a rent related to our low pay rates of say $400p/w. The maths doesn’t work there.

        Or are you advocating Labour’s policy of having more state houses as the free market doesn’t work?

        • BM 5.1.1.1

          If the government is going to build, it wants to do it at the lower end, build apartments and duplexes.

          If you make those lower end houses less desirable to land lords and property speculators, because the demand or return won’t be there.
          You’ll see that bracket of housing become cheaper and those houses will become more available for the first home buyer which is really what Labour should be trying to achieve.

          Building 600k starter homes is nonsense and won’t help any one.

          • save nz 5.1.1.1.1

            Have a look at what prices they want for new apartments BM, and duplexes, $500,000 for 1 bedroom, $700,000 for 2 bedroom etc Then add on BC fees.

            • BM 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not talking about building houses to sell.

              I’m talking about the government building houses to rent.

              Latter on down the track once things quieten down the government can sell to the tenant if the tenant is interested.

      • Keith 5.1.2

        BM: The same is happening to small businesses. Leases are not been rolled over, no automatic renewals and I can see why, who as a building owner in this speculator market wants to be tied to tenants on long or even shortish leases. It cuts down your asking price when selling if that is the case. And this is the kicker. the new owner, if they are playing the market will not want to be tied to long term tenants either. And anyone who buys and is taking the longer game will have to recoup their purchase somehow and that reflects in sky high rents and I know this is the case right now.

        This so called boom cannot have a happy ending!

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.3

        That’s the issue that needs solving not building 600k “first homes”.

        Simply ask yourself which voting demographic benefits from $600K “first homes”, and you know exactly who Labour is targeting with their policy.

        It definitely ain’t median wage and salary earners on $50,000 p.a.

        • Bill 5.1.3.1

          The median is weighted, yes? (ie – too high) Most people would only be on something between $25 and $30k.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1.1

            Ah yes I used the standard trick of defining the group as “wage and salary earners” which neatly cuts out the retired, unemployed, etc.

            If you include them, then NZ median income is in the high $20K range.

      • Siobhan 5.1.4

        I wonder if people in the middle to low income bracket could afford todays rents without Working for Families and the Accommodation allowance.
        The Allowance alone is a $2 billion subsidy to Landlords charging too much for houses they paid too much for.
        Quite the irony for people who are touting the Market driven Economy.

    • Bill 5.2

      By those numbers, it will take Labour 100 years to build the same number of houses for rent that it intends to build for sale.

      I’m thinking there might be few people who can’t quite wait that long.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        It’s like childhood poverty. If your political initiatives takes 10 years to halve it, you are still condemning hundreds of thousands of young Kiwis in the mean time to life long health and educational disadvantages.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          There was a photo on twitter the other day of Little outside a HNZ block of houses that are sitting empty and being left to deteriorate. I reckon the community should get in there, break locks, do the place up and then protect the people who end up living there, and sort out the formal issues about rent and ownership later.

          Unlikely to happen, for a raft of reasons, but there is a big gap between that kind of immediate action and what Labour can do in its clunky, bureaucractic way. I know lot of lefties find this idea abhorrent, but I think that we need NGO intitiatives to solve the short term problems. Te Puea Marae being one example, but lots of people in NZ know how to build houses, or do up ones that other people can’t be bothered with (aka can’t make money from). Think Habitat for Humanity, or some of the community based projects that Grand Designs has showcased. Retrofitting, and using working bees from the community. These are not silver bullets, and definitely won’t suffice on their own, but I think we need a range of actions across the board. That’s where the resiliency will be (eg when we eventually get another right neoliberal govt).

          • marty mars 5.2.1.1.1

            Turn building affordable homes into a reality show – they will built quick then. They could have MPs as guest builders/supporters. Maybe each minister or perhaps each party could have a team. ☺

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.1

              The MPs should be on the projects that are building MP housing 😉

              • alwyn

                One way that the MPs could get more housing available is to tell the List MPs that their job is in Wellington and that they have to move there, or pay for their own travel to Wellington and their own accommodation while they are there.

                Pay for their moving costs when they come here but why should we have to pay them $28,000/year each for Wellington accommodation?
                They are List MPs, they have no role anywhere except in Wellington.
                This would free up 40 or so houses in places outside of Wellington, wouldn’t it? Not much but it would be a help.

                Electorate MPs are different. They do have duties that require them to live in, or near their electorate.

                • weka

                  Green Party MPs generally have responsibilities in the area they live in. They also have families and communities they are part of. You are a bit behind the times there.

                  • alwyn

                    I wasn’t just talking about the Green MPs Weka.
                    I was talking about all the List MPs.
                    Also, for your other points.
                    “Responsibilities”. Being an MP is meant to be a full time job. Make it one.
                    “Families and Communities” Everyone has those, but if their job requires them to be in another town they move. When I took a job in another city I didn’t expect my new employer to provide me with accommodation and travel back to my previous home every weekend.
                    If they moved, with their family, to Wellington it might also be much better for their marriages. The marriage failure rate among MPs is pretty awful, isn’t it?

                    • weka

                      I simply gave the Greens as an example of why your idea fails, because they’re the ones I am familiar with. I don’t know about other parties.

                      The Greens did this intentionally because they were a list only party. You can try and marginalise with the scare quotes, but if I want to phone an MP about something I am glad there is a Green one I can contact who doesn’t live in Wellington. Like I said, you are behind the times on this and what list MPs actually do.

                      “Everyone has those, but if their job requires them to be in another town they move.”

                      Yes, and that damages communities and explains a lot about our relatively dysfunctional society.

                    • alwyn

                      But Weka, look at all the MPs who happily shift to a nicer town when they get a well paying job as a list MP.
                      Meteria Turei was living and working in Auckland when she first got into Parliament. She rapidly upped-stakes and shifted off to Dunedin, didn’t she?
                      Kennedy Graham was living in Christchurch I believe. Didn’t he also head of elsewhere, to Auckland I think, as soon as he got into the house?
                      Gareth Hughes, when standing for the leaders job, said he would shift immediately to Auckland if he won. He didn’t so we are stuck with him.

                      You would know better than I do about others but that is a quarter of their number who didn’t see any need to stay in places where they supposedly had families, responsibilities and communities. Are they really making society dysfunctional?

                      As for “If I want to phone an MP” why doesn’t the party get an 0800 number. Or at least tell us what their MPs numbers are and where they live. Do they only want to be contactable by their mates?
                      The electorate MPs list themselves in the Yellow Pages. Of the List MPs, there is only one, Brett Hudson, to be seen. Why aren’t Wellington resident Green MPs listed in the Wellington Yellow Pages?
                      Looking at the Parliamentary website and the Green Party site I can’t find an MPs telephone number anywhere. I can remember when the PM (Keith Holyoake) had his phone number in the phone book AND he answered it.

                    • Anne

                      All list MPs have responsibilities in their electorate of residence – wherever it may be – or an electorate close by. They have their own electorate offices and tend to the requests/needs of people in that electorate in the same way as incumbent MPs. For a variety of reasons some constituents do not want to visit the electorate MP. It could be political… it could be because they are acquainted with the MP and want to see someone who has no associates in common with them… it could be because the list MP in question has particular skills or knowledge of the problem they wish to discuss.

                      The myth some promulgate that they sit around doing nothing is based on ignorance and a lack of understanding of the role of the list MP. Indeed I would say there are list MPS (in all parties) who work a damm sight harder than some of their respective electorate MPs.

                    • weka

                      You obviously have no idea what list MPs do, 0800 numbers 🙄

                      You’re probably also making shit up. I don’t have time to check and this conversation is stupid and boring, so I’m off.

                    • alwyn

                      To Anne.
                      Really? They serve their electorates and have electorate offices?
                      The Parliamentary website contains details of all the contact addresses for MPs.
                      Some of the electorate MPs have a single office. Some of them, generally in the rural areas, have a number.
                      There are 3 post office boxes listed for the Green MPs. One is in Auckland, one in Christchurch and one in Dunedin. That is it. They all share these boxes.
                      Delahunty supposedly “serves” the Coromandel electorate doesn’t she? How is she supposed to do that from an Auckland address and an Auckland telephone number. Why not just do it from Wellington?
                      Gareth Hughes claims to serve the people of Wellington. Why is his only contact address, apart from Parliament itself, the same PO Box and telephone number in Auckland?

                      However, the main aim of my comment is that having all the List MPs living in Wellington would free up houses in other parts of New Zealand and save the tax-payer $28,000 per list MP per year to spend on the provision of housing for people who don’t already have one.

                    • Anne

                      Agree with weka. You’re boring alwyn. What a miserable life you must lead if you have to get your kicks playing some silly one-upmanship game all the time.

                      Oh and for your information…the smaller parties have to allot several electorates to their list MPs because there isn’t enough of them to go round. The Green Party and NZ First fit into that category. Labour MPs also have a few “buddy” electorates too for the same reason but, of course, you knew all of that didn’t you clever prick dick.

                    • alwyn

                      I am sorry to have upset you Anne.
                      It must be painful to hold beliefs like ” They have their own electorate offices and tend to the requests/needs of people in that electorate in the same way as incumbent MPs” and then have somebody demonstrate that they are completely false.
                      I see why you are not going to look any further into the matter.

      • alwyn 5.2.2

        Did you consider the other claims in the Stuff article? I think he must have had Grant Robertson, the eminent economist, work out the numbers.
        The article contains, as a single sentence.
        ” Stop taking a $100m a year profit out of Housing New Zealand and build an extra 1000 state houses a year”

        The only rational way to read this is to assume Andrew thinks that you can build 1000 new state houses for $100 million. That is $100,000 each. Does he really think you can buy the land and build a house $100,000. As we heard in that film The Castle “Tell him he’s dreaming”.

        They certainly aren’t going to be very flash places are they? Maybe you will get 20 sq metre places with 40 of them crammed onto a 500 sq metre piece of land.

        • b waghorn 5.2.2.1

          Funny I’ve never seen you hold key to this high level of accuracy .

          • alwyn 5.2.2.1.1

            I hold John Key to a much higher standard than this.
            I complain if he is out by a factor of 2. You know. If he says either 4 or 1 when the answer is 2 I abuse him.
            He is much accurate than that of course so abuse can be very rare..

            Andrew and his mates are out by a factor of at least 5. It is about par for the course with Labour leaders though. Remember poor Phil when told to “Show me the money”? Or David when he didn’t know even the simplest details about his parties’ main policy?
            Why can’t they come up with someone competent though. Shearer is the only possible candidate but they white-anted him and forced him out.
            New Zealand needs a competent opposition and a replacement for the current lot. Unfortunately the Labour and Green parties aren’t in that class.

            • b waghorn 5.2.2.1.1.1

              Wrong answer , key never actually answers a question or he has the wrong hat on at the time so he’s never actually accountable for anything.

            • maninthemiddle 5.2.2.1.1.2

              Shearer is a thoroughly capable bloke, but useless at running a rapid animal like the Labour Party. Labour has no money, no principles, and very little quality amongst their current Caucus. Frankly I feel sorry for Little.

    • weka 5.3

      Have to agree Bill. It looks like trickle down theory. If you get working people into home ownership and lift their wages this somehow means that the people in minumum wage or benefits are ok. Maybe the rental that gets freed up when Hard Working Family finally buys their first home will be available for the bludger in the mouldy bedsit?* I don’t know, but I can see why you and CV etc talk about Labour’s housing policy being for the middle classes. I think it’s not quite that, but more that Little appears to describe the most vulnerable people as those who will go on to buy a home. I doubt he intends it that way, but it’s hard to see it differently.

      In addition to the renter shame thing, there seems to be something implied that people needing housing will be provided for by state housing. Which is great if you live in a community where state housing exists. If you don’t, then what happens? I agree with you, there is a big gap here around tenancy rights. Too much using the Auckland situation to define the overall policy I think.

      *that’s too harsh to be applied to Little, I really don’t think he has a bludger meme thing going on, but until Labour make an effort to make up for Shearer’s painter on the roof bene bashing, it’s hard not to see Labour policy in that light. Don’t mention the benes!

    • McFlock 5.4

      re: the “stigma” thing, it’s not that for me. It’s because I’ve been kicked out of a few rental homes because either the owner sold and the new one wanted vacant possession or the rent was getting hiked.

      For me, rental is insecure – just as I get used to the place, I lose it. I’m fortunate with my current situation, but after seven years I’ve still to unpack everything. that’s why I’d like to own one day – not because of any stigma, but more that I won’t have inspections or as much insecurity. There are downsides to ownership, too, but by and large if you buy wisely you’re not in fear of moving come January.

      But then maybe that’s just because I’ve not considered the things you mean by “decent tenancy rights” – what are you considering over and above the current situation?

      • marty mars 5.4.1

        Yep us too. Moving soon landlord selling packing underway what a pain.

      • weka 5.4.2

        “But then maybe that’s just because I’ve not considered the things you mean by “decent tenancy rights” – what are you considering over and above the current situation?”

        I’d really like to see some decent discussion of this. Bill would you consider putting up a post, even a short one that opens up the topic?

        • Bill 5.4.2.1

          Aye. Gimme a day or two. Kind of off-line and busy atm. And there’s someone I’d want to talk to regards some of the detail of already existing legislation to make sure what I write is absolutely correct.

      • save nz 5.4.3

        Even if you manage to get secure tenancy legislated, how many people are in secure enough jobs to want a lease for 3 years?

        Jobs and houses are very tied up together in NZ. People have insecure jobs with insecure hours now, so the tenancy is not their only issue of security.

        I think that companies have to go back to the old days of offering proper financial compensation when employees lose their jobs like 6 months+ of income so that people have enough time whether they own or rent a place to survive to get another job they want. People are being flung out on the scrap heap constantly and actually the tax payers are now expected do what the company should of, which is support them. Funny how the companies just end up reemploying people 6 months later anyway, but on lower wages and conditions… That is what is wrong with the country and why things are getting worse and our productivity is low. Why bust a gut or have loyalty under these work conditions?

      • Bill 5.4.4

        Was away McFlock.

        Tenancy rights. Well, I relayed this story before, but it covers a fair bit of what I mean.

        Couple came back from overseas and put their name on the council housing list (read:HNZ). They got a place and it was theirs for life unless they willfully broke the terms of the lease. One partner died. The other continued to live in the place. Remaining partner died. If any of his children had been living in the place with him for 12 months or more before his death (with the full knowledge of the council) then the lease and all its conditions would have passed to that child/those children and been theirs for life.

        No right of a ‘rent to buy’ btw and there are functioning lists of people wanting to swap with others in different areas or in different sized properties.

        As for private rentals- no reason why they can’t also be for life, so that a house sale comes with sitting tenants on life long leases… ie- the buyer buys an entire pre-existing arrangement, not a pile of brick and mortar

        In addition, introduce formulae to cap rent and rent increases and so on.

        Hell, all of the above is done in other countries as a matter of course, and there is absolutely no reason why such a culture couldn’t be introduced to NZ – no reason at all.

  6. Ad 6

    If Labour/Greens even just level the housing market price, there will be the most almighty uproar from banks and investors and pensioners with one rental and the media that they will have burnt a terms worth of political capital in a tear.

    Some commentators here gave likened it to an addiction. The comedian will be a seizmic hit to the economy as all the debt gets risky, all those equity dreams go up in smoke.

    Has to be done, but it’s a one term and gutsy government that does it.

    • weka 6.1

      Unless a whole swathe of people notice their lives improving because of the whole policy package that comes with that particular left wing govt.

      What’s the experience been overseas?

    • Bill 6.2

      I’ve read elsewhere that an almighty pensions crisis is being averted by having high house prices (retirees can cash in equity or whatever to augment their pensions).

      But in 20 years time when those who can’t buy anything retire, the shit really hits the fan.

      Any government got the balls to prevent the hell that’s looming 20 years down the track? Nah. They won’t be in office then, and they ain’t going to inflict any level of pain on those home owners who are giving them the vote today.

      • ropata 6.2.1

        I am Gen X with no house, could never put together a deposit because of low wages.

        Even on my current high income I am afraid to buy into this unregulated market, it’s a frenzy like the sharemarket madness of 1987

        Kiwisaver and term investments are not immune to theft by some future greedy government or bank, or degradation by inflation / unfair OCR settings

        The entire system has been corrupted by Wall St shysters like FJK

      • Ad 6.2.2

        The housing spike is the gift that NZSuperfund and government needed to get over the massive boom in the +65 that we are going through over the next decade. Just one rental keeps a retired couple from near-subsistence.

        You may not like Labour’s housing plan, but whoever is the next government is sure going to need one.

        • Nic the NZer 6.2.2.1

          I thought the super fund was to cover the babyboomers retirement. Am i now to understand i was misslead and its an end to itself? Thats a rhetorical question but many people with student loans might be asking why the super payments could not have funded their studying instead.

      • ropata 6.2.3

        National doesn’t care if Gen X and Y retire with nothing, they will just keep flooding NZ with waves of rich immigrants and push the surplus kiwis into homelessness and penury.

        Democracy only works for the rich

  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    .
    House owning; House renting
    .
    . I note that many of writers constantly blame Labour.

    It is however good to see that all the writers have at last understood what has happened in New Zealand.

    Namely, that the wealthy have been able to buy homes at cheap prices and sell them at a huge profit.

    Namely that, the wage structure in New Zealand is low and stagnant. People are not able to afford high rents or home ownership.

    Namely that, job security has down spiraled in recent years. It will vanish further. Currently 13% of the population cannot obtain sufficient work to meet their needs

    Namely that massive Immigration has enabled wealthy foreigners to buy up whatever they want at any price. Foreign wealthy ownership and high immigration is an ongoing policy of the present Government. (But I presume that is labour’s fault.)

    Put together this a huge challenge. !

    If I were The Labour/Green Party, which so many on here blame for every woe, i would immediately advise the nation that all vacant land commencing on a day to be nominated will be rented by the Government on a 100 year lease. Following that day no land may be sold privately. It may be sold to the Government.

    The land would then be built upon to provide quality housing at low rentals. This includes apartment blocks. The Government would own the buildings.

    As each house / apartment is built and rented, Government would remove rental subsidies to landlords. The landlord could still rent out his property if he/she charged the same rates of rental as the Government. But not more.

    This because wage earners are not paid much. Nor do they have job security in this country. The housing would not be available to absentee residents; to speculators, or immigrants.

    I would put every accredited Architect, Builder and Tradesmen to the task of designing and making housing and appropriate infrastructure. Shoddy workmanship would result in a severe prison term.
    .
    We have been sucked in by Private Enterprise which has shown itself to be private carnage. Shoddy; expensive; bullying; non productive – except for the very wealthy.
    .

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      If I were The Labour/Green Party, which so many on here blame for every woe, i would immediately advise the nation that all vacant land commencing on a day to be nominated will be rented by the Government on a 100 year lease. Following that day no land may be sold privately. It may be sold to the Government.

      Now you’re talking. This is an excellent plan and dovetails in with the idea that property itself should never be considered a financial asset in of itself.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        Yes. I’ve advocated something similar in the past. Making all residential land lease-hold would have the effect of removing the land value from the asset value of any mortgage. This would immediately stop speculation in land in its tracks.

        It’s not actually all that radical an idea. There is already a reasonable amount of lease-hold land about and it works perfectly well.

        Oh and non-citizens should not be allowed to own property. And citizenship requires proof of a five years NZ income from a business that employs > 10 New Zealanders, or wages and salary from a NZ owned company. Not totally foolproof, but a start.

  8. ropata 8

    It will never change while New Zealanders continue to believe the Nat party narrative and love John Key. Plenty of people are making a lot of money and for them the economy is humming.

    From the comfort of their million-dollar-plus leafy suburbs, they are insulated from the downside of massive inequality, and they actively blame the poor for their misfortune.

    New Zealand is turning to shit for 50% of people. But for the other half, it is sweet and FJK tells them what they want to hear.

    Homelessness, unemployment, pollution, can all be safely swept under the carpet as long as GDP keeps ticking over and rich foreigners keep arriving with suitcases full of cash

    • Observer Tokoroa 8.1

      Hi Ropata

      “From the comfort of their leafy suburbs they are insulated…”

      However, all the Opposition has to do is tell the 50% over and over that they will get wealthier under a better Government.

      They will get far better wages. Affordable Housing. Affordable Rents

      Immigration will be slowed dramatically. House Prices will steady down. Work will not be granted to foreigners – until the stagnant wages under National and the Maori Party have risen by 50%.

      They will not rise for the already well off. They will rise for the workers.

      Thinkers in National Party will know they have to spend Billions to look after Kiwis. For already the word is out around the Globe that our Politicians don’t give a fig for ordinary people.
      .

      .

    • BM 8.2

      Do you own a house Ropata?

      • ropata 8.2.1

        Nope, I’ve been shafted by the system every time I try to get ahead.

        Working hard all your life is for mugs. Seems the way to wealth in JohnKey NZ is to cheat and steal and know people in the right places.

        • BM 8.2.1.1

          No wonder you’re so fucked off.

          Don’t worry, prices will pull back significantly.

          It’s just a matter of being patient, there’s nothing to be gained by being grossly over indebted to some foreign bank for the next 20 years.

          • ropata 8.2.1.1.1

            Cheers BM, yes I am pissed at both Clark and Key governments for letting this shit happen.

            Fingers crossed things will cool off, no way I am going to sign up for a million dollar mortgage just for an OK (not flash) place. Around half that should be feasible.

            My parents have done really poorly out of this housing debacle as well, they sold their 10 acres + big house outside Papakura in 2007 for “only” 800k, then made some crap investments, now they are living in a cheap place up in Northland.

            For all the mega profit stories we see constantly in the media, someone (or several people) have missed out big time.

  9. ropata 9

    WTF is happening with migration policy, NZ awash with laundered cash. Most of Auckland real estate is marketed to Asians. Seriously dodgy shit going on.

    Citizen Yan to pay police nearly $43m https://t.co/yhUAC6KFKK via @nzherald That should fund a few more #police in the #Communities— Zelda Wynn (@ZeldaWynn) August 22, 2016

    Are Barfoot & Thompson actively promoting Akld Land Banking?! @nzherald @HDPA pic.twitter.com/xrnSnQX1KF— Leilani Tamu (@LeilaniTamu) August 23, 2016

    This is the norm under National's policies. With 25% capital gain last year, why wouldn't you be a land banker? https://t.co/CyfeHQrDOs— Phil Twyford (@PhilTwyford) August 23, 2016

  10. ropata 10

    Oh look

    "Corruption, organised crime" alleged with student visas https://t.co/Sr9LXc1jPr (Via @patrickgowernz)— Newshub Politics (@NewshubPolitics) August 23, 2016

    Real question for NZ export education industry: is it selling education or work rights with a pathway to residency? https://t.co/eKlEYh2Ide— Bernard Hickey (@bernardchickey) August 23, 2016

  11. Observer Tokoroa 11

    .
    . Thanks Colonial Viper

    . It is imperative that the Nation of New Zealand leases / owns the Land. For it then can control the cost of Housing.

    I rather thought that people would think I was mad for making the suggestion, but it is the only way of keeping costs of housing down.

    The Timbers, Bricks n Mortar, Glass – of high quality – can be purchased from the United States at much lower prices than the Construction Corporations charge here. (We have been pillaged by our so called great suppliers. They don’t even seem to know what quality steel is.)

    If Govt owns / leases the land and housing materials are purchased at a realistic price, the Housing problem will be affordable – and rentals will be low.

    I think that any half brained adult (like me) can see that the Land belongs to the Planet not to Jonny and billy. Just as water belongs to the planet and not to outrageous idiots who contaminate it.

    Air also belongs to the planet. It does not belong to polluters. We need to divest all the dangerous men who think they have the rights over what belongs to the Planet and which in all reality is not theirs.

    I really earnestly thank you for seeing my point of view CV.

    .

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