Andrew Little’s speech: Backing the Kiwi dream of home ownership

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, July 10th, 2016 - 176 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, housing, labour, Politics - Tags:

Labour conference 2016-2

Tēnā koutou katoa

Can I begin by acknowledging Annette King.

Annette is an incredible Deputy Leader and a real source of counsel, wisdom and advice.

Can I also acknowledge the local MP David Cunliffe, and Phil Twyford our fantastic housing spokesperson.

You’ve never seen Nick Smith look so scared as when Phil gets up to ask him a question in the house.

I see mayoral candidate Phil Goff is here today. Phil I want to say how exciting it is to think what we will achieve for Auckland with you as mayor and Labour in government.

Can I also acknowledge other caucus colleagues and I want to make special mention of a soon to be colleague, even though he can’t be here today: the next MP for Mt Roskill, Michael Wood.

I had the pleasure of attending Michael’s campaign launch last month, and he has a great team that are working hard to deliver a Labour win in Mt Roskill at the end of the year.

We’re here today to celebrate 100 years of the Labour Party.

Here to celebrate generations of men and women who have come together to make this a better country.
We’re here to celebrate Labour’s creation of the welfare state, the achievements of widespread home ownership and the creation of state housing, a free health system and a free education system.
In short, we celebrate the building of a nation.

We celebrate and we remember the image of Michael Joseph Savage carrying the very first furniture into the very first state house.

Offering hope to people that the years of depression were over and there were brighter days ahead.
We’re here to celebrate the beginning of the reconciliation between Maori and Pakeha and the restoration of the mana of the Treaty of Waitangi.

We’re celebrating the decision to make New Zealand nuclear free. We celebrate the courage shown by thousands of New Zealanders who marched against the Springbok Tour.

We’re celebrating KiwiBank. Kiwisaver. Working for Families. The Cullen Fund.

We celebrate Homosexual Law Reform and we remember the scene of the packed galleries in Parliament rising in song after we passed Marriage Equality.

These are Labour achievements.

This is the legacy of our party.

A better, stronger, prouder country.

Today, we celebrate these achievements and we look to the future.

At the heart of our political philosophy, at the heart of all of our achievements, lies a profound sense of optimism.

An enduring belief in our shared power to make a difference.

A belief in our common ability to come together to solve the great challenges of the day.

The power of humanity, acting together, for the dignity of humankind.

We believe that as strongly today as our forebears did 100 years ago.

And this approach is desperately needed in New Zealand today.

Because still, after 100 years, there is so much work left to do.

Today, we have a government that has failed to tackle the big challenges facing our country; that has failed to stand up for most New Zealanders.

After eight years, this government’s lost touch.

And nowhere, nowhere, is this government more out of touch and out of ideas than on housing.
Housing is at the core of a good life.

It provides security and stability.

It helps families put down roots in their communities and save for retirement

It is one of the most common sources of capital for people setting up their own small business.

The ambition of widespread homeownership sits at the heart of our social contract. It is at the heart of the Kiwi Dream.

The promise that if you work hard and do the right thing, you can earn a place of your own.

But under this government, all of that is slipping away.

We all know New Zealand has a housing crisis.

I know it, you know it, the Reserve Bank knows it.

Everyone in Auckland knows it.

The rest of New Zealand knows it.

The only people who don’t think New Zealand has a housing crisis all just happen to work in the Beehive.
Under National, home ownership is at its lowest level in 65 years.

Since 2008, when this government came to office, the average house price in Auckland has nearly doubled.
But over the same period, incomes have increased by only 24%.

In the last year, house prices in Auckland have increased by $2600 a week.

Twenty six hundred dollars a week.

It’s crazy. How on earth do you save enough to keep up with that?

And look, behind all of these figures are real people who are missing out.

One of those people wrote to me recently, a young woman named Jen, she talked about what it was like for her and her partner trying to buy their first home.

She said “I work damn hard, so does my partner, working three jobs to try and save for a home” but she says “We were told that our 550k budget was laughable and made to feel like we could never own our own home.”
People like Jen and her partner, they deserve better.

They’re young, they’re hard working, they’re ambitious.

They’re exactly the type of people this government should be standing up for, instead of shutting them out.

But instead the government is siding with the speculators, the people trying to make big money out of our housing market at the expense of families looking for homes.

The proportion of Auckland houses being bought by investors has now reached 46% – around twice the level of first home buyers.

But it isn’t just first home buyers that are hurt by this crisis.

Even those who are lucky enough, often with the help of their parents, to scrape together enough for a deposit, are hurt by this crisis.

People who know they are winners on paper, but who could never actually sell their house because they would never be able to buy another one in this market.

People who can’t realise their equity because doing so would mean having to move far away from their jobs or their kid’s schools.

People who live in mortal fear of a bump in interest rates, because they know they could never keep up with the mortgage if rates rise by even a couple of per cent.

And then there is the hard edge of the crisis.

The rising poverty and homelessness that National turns a blind eye to.

We’ve all heard the stories of Kiwi kids admitted to hospitals with respiratory illnesses because the cold damp homes they have to live in are making them sick.

We’ve all seen the awful media reports in the last few weeks about what life is like for those who can’t find any home at all.

Of the 42,000 people living in overcrowded conditions or in garages or in cars.

Of children sleeping under bushes in South Auckland.

We’ve seen the story of the 11 year old girl, whose mother has a job, but whose family spent months living in a van before they were taken in by Te Puea Marae.

She said that the hardest part is actually not being able to read in the van, because you don’t have space. And there’s not much light because it would waste the battery.

When did this become the New Zealand we lived in?

When did we decide we wanted to make buying your first home so difficult, or living with a mortgage so tough?

When did we decide widespread poverty and homelessness was ok?

National wants us to believe this is just the way things are, that we don’t have a choice and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Well they might have given up, but I won’t. Not now, not ever.

The truth is, this Government is nowhere when it comes to housing.

They don’t have the political will to look at real solutions, so instead we’ve seen them flail from gimmick to gimmick.

Remember the plan to pay people to move away from Auckland, just a few weeks after they said they were going to pay people to move to Auckland?

Remember the announcement about emergency housing, that turned out wasn’t going to lead to a single extra bed?

And then their big key note announcement: letting a few councils borrow a bit more money for infrastructure – and then it turned out the money wasn’t enough to cover just the cost of one big pipe in Auckland.

And you know the saddest thing about these failures? They’re just from the last few weeks – it’s been eight years of this under National.

This government has completely failed on housing.

The Prime Minister doesn’t know what to do.

Not one of the three Housing Ministers know what to do.

And let me be clear:

New Zealanders don’t have time to wait and hope National will bumble their way into a solution.

After eight years, it’s very clear.

If we want to deal with the housing crisis: that lot has to go.

We’ve got to change the government.

Because the truth is it doesn’t have to be like this.

We can fix it, and together, we will.

Today, I want to lay out Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis.

It’s the plan we will be taking into the next election.

It’s a plan that will restore opportunity for first home buyers, give a fair shot to the next generation and solve the homelessness problem this government has ignored.

We will attack the housing crisis from every angle, starting with the devastating lack of supply.

We’ll start by urgently building enough emergency housing to support those in need.

We’re going to fix the homelessness problem that National has ignored for far too long.

This week, I announced that Labour will urgently address the shortage of emergency housing – with $60 million to provide 1400 new beds in emergency accommodation – enough for 5100 extra people a year.

With the existing support that will take the number of people helped each year to over 8,000.

But it isn’t just the homeless, we need to do more to ensure everyone has access to modern, warm, dry homes.

Yesterday I announced that Labour will reform housing New Zealand – so that instead of being run like a corporation making a profit off the most vulnerable, we can invest hundreds of millions of dollars in building thousands of new, modern, high quality state houses instead.

But we won’t stop there.

The next part of Labour’s plan is one that somehow none of the Government’s three housing Ministers seem to have been able to come up with.

There aren’t enough affordable homes, so we’re going to build more.

Now, the Government’s been really struggling with this concept, so let me say it again:

When there’s a housing crisis, you need to build more bloody homes.

That is what Labour is going to do.

That’s how we’re going to fix this crisis.

The next Labour Government will build 100,000 new affordable homes to be on sold to first home buyers.

Working with the private sector and experts in fields like prefabrication, we can build standalone homes for $500,000-$600,000 in Auckland, with apartments and town houses for less than $500,000

With the average house price in Auckland now about to hit a million dollars this is a big move in the right direction. This will stabilise prices and give people a fair shot again.

Affordable housing developments like Waimahia are already able to build 3 bedroom homes for $550,000 but imagine what we could do building at scale across Auckland.

Now, these homes won’t be palaces. But they will be modern, warm, and affordable, first homes to help people get a foot on the housing ladder.

To get these houses built, we’re also going to do more to free up land for new greenfields developments.
That’s why Labour will abolish the Auckland urban growth boundary that has been driving up the price of land.

We’ll replace it with a smarter way to manage urban growth that will shut down the land bankers and speculators by cutting off their profits.

And to make sure there we can deliver these homes, we need to be growing the construction workforce.

Earlier this year, I announced our Dole for Apprenticeships policy which will take on an extra 4000 young people for jobs training in fields including building and construction. Our policy of three-years’ free post-school education and training will add thousands of skilled workers to the workforce. KiwiBuild will also provide a pipeline of future work for the building industry as the work of the Canterbury rebuild nears completion, freeing up more workers.

100,000 houses will make a real difference to Kiwi families. It will go a long way towards helping families get into their first home.

But we can go even further. The scale of the challenge demands that we must.

Today, I want to add the next part of our plan to restore the Kiwi Dream.

Just like freeing up restrictive urban growth controls, this announcement is about cutting through the barriers that stop us building homes and letting the private sector crack on with the job.

It’s simple: The country needs more houses built, it needs them urgently, and it needs them in well-designed communities with all the services and utilities people need.

Building on that scale gets complicated. With the need for infrastructure, and dealing with different land owners, it can easily get too risky for private developers.

Just getting a change to the Council plan can take several years.

This is an urgent crisis, we can’t afford delays like that. If we want to deal with the housing crisis, we’ve got to cut through these delays and get cracking on building homes fast.

Which is why today I am announcing that Labour in government will set up an Affordable Housing Authority to deliver ambitious new urban development projects, at scale and at pace.

We are going to change the face of our towns and cities, and fix this housing crisis.
Our Affordable Housing Authority will roll up its sleeves and build like we haven’t seen in this country for a long time.

It will lead and master-plan the building of new communities and the revitalisation of old ones.

It will partner with developers to deliver thousands and thousands of high-quality affordable homes, in communities Kiwis will be proud to live in.

The Authority will have a target to meet: 50% across all of the homes in its developments will have to be affordable.

Under National, that number has been as low as 5%.

The Authority will look after the Government’s urban land holdings, and will make sure there is a pipeline of land for future needs – for housing, business, schools, parks and hospitals.

At the local level it will partner with others: the local Council, iwi and private investors to form development companies which will manage the projects.

The Affordable Housing Authority will allow us to turbo charge the scale of urban development so desperately needed in Auckland.

Imagine 10 or 15 projects on the scale of a Hobsonville or a Tamaki.

There is huge potential in greenfield areas like Drury, Whenuapai, and Kumeu while within the city there are opportunities to redevelop around the city centre and in town centres like Henderson and Manukau.

And this is not just about Auckland.

All around the country there are towns and cities who want to revitalise neighbourhoods and town centres.

With the Affordable Housing Authority on their side, they will be able to. The Authority will be able to lead redevelopment projects in places like South Dunedin and the East Frame in Christchurch.

The funny thing is, this is not a new idea. The First Labour Government planned and built ambitious new communities with parks, and community centres.

As with KiwiBuild we are drawing inspiration from the greatest generation to find solutions for the 21st century.

This approach to urban development is widely used overseas, including in Australia.

And it has been endorsed by the Productivity Commission, and the leading lights in the property industry here.

This is a common-sense, achievable way to get homes build.

It’s long overdue, it’s widely supported.

And Labour will do it.

But we can’t just fix the supply issues, we have to fix the problems with demand as well.

We urgently need to clamp down on the speculators who are driving up the prices.

I have no sympathy for speculators and land bankers who are just in the market to make a quick buck. Not when families are missing out.

So we’ll start by cracking down on the offshore speculators – the people who don’t live here, don’t want to live here, whose only interest in New Zealand is to extract profits.

We’ll ban offshore buyers from the market unless they are willing to build a new home and add to the stock.

It’s a common sense idea, supported by a big majority of New Zealanders, and it’s been staring the government in the face for years.

But there’s more we need to do.

Right now, there’s no doubt that the way our tax system is designed gives speculators enormous incentives to wreak havoc in our housing market, allowing them to reap super profits practically tax free.

The government has a piecemeal response to this – a bright line test of just two years that means as long as a speculator holds on to a property for two years and one day, they can flick it on without paying any tax on the profit.

That’s not good enough in the midst of a housing crisis.

What’s more, our rules around negative gearing encourage speculation as well.

The way this works is investors are able to write off any losses they make in property investment against the rest of their income for tax purposes.

That means other taxpayers pick up the tab – its effectively a taxpayer subsidy for speculation.

If homeowners cannot claim their mortgage payments against their taxes why should speculators?

Taken together, these rules give a boost to the speculators, and gives them an unfair advantage over first home buyers.

That’s not right, and it can’t continue.

In government, Labour will hold a comprehensive review of our tax system, to restore fairness and balance between the productive and speculative parts of our economy.

But it has become clear to me that we can’t wait.

The crisis is urgent.

That’s why today I am announcing that the Government I lead will extend the bright line test so that if you sell an investment property within five years, you’ll pay the full tax on it.

That means the short term speculators won’t be able to get away tax free anymore. It means ending the tax incentives to speculate in short term property gains at the expense of families trying to get into a home.

But we won’t stop there.

I am announcing today that Labour will begin consulting on how to end the loop hole of negative gearing.

We’ll do this in a way that’s targeted at speculators, not investors looking for a stable, long term return.

Under Labour, the market won’t be stacked in favour of speculators anymore – we’ll back families and first home buyers. We’ll back the Kiwi Dream.

These announcements make it very clear: Labour is the party of home ownership in New Zealand today.

That’s what we stand for and that’s what my government will deliver.

For 100 years now, Labour has stood for security and opportunity for every New Zealander.

A good job. A good life for your family. Good education. Healthcare that’s there for you when you need it.
And a home you can call your own.

For generations, Labour members and supporters have made this a better, more decent, more caring country.

Today, it’s our turn to continue that mission.

Next year, New Zealanders will have a clear choice.

On the one hand a tired, out of touch government that will do nothing to solve the housing crisis.

That will deliver three more years like the last eight.

Falling home-ownership, substandard rentals.

A housing crisis with no end in sight.

Or New Zealand can choose a better way

They can choose to build affordable homes.

To cut through the red tape and get the job done.

To crack down on foreign speculators.

To bring in proper rental standards.

To stop tolerating homelessness and start giving Kiwis in need a roof over their heads.

That’s the choice in front of us next year.

And together, New Zealand, we can make the right choice.

We can choose to end the housing crisis.

We can choose to restore opportunity to our young people.

We can choose to make this a better, fairer country once again.

Together, let’s go make it happen.

Thank you.

176 comments on “Andrew Little’s speech: Backing the Kiwi dream of home ownership ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Labour is going to build a large number of $500K-$600K first homes.

    If your household income is around $90,000 to $120,000 p.a. thanks to Labour you should be able to afford one of these.

    • North 1.1

      What’s your view CV ? A pointless exercise, would result in no overall improvement ?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Its a policy which will greatly help the top quintile by earnings.

        If you are a median full time employed wage earner on $55K it doesnt help you. Unless your partner also earns similarly. If you are single or your partner doesnt work: sorry.

        Strict rules will have to be put in place to prevent these properties being flipped on a few years down the track. Perhaps they can only be sold back to the government. This will suppress the prices of these houses long term.

        • ianmac

          I think Andrew is going to shift the 2 year clause out to 5 years for the penalty to kick in.
          Edit “It will also extend the ‘bright line test’ from two years to five years so investment properties on-sold within five years have to pay a tax on the capital gains achieved.”

          • In Vino

            Face it – we are all hissing into the wind unless the average house price drops enough to suit the average wage-earner, or the average wage rises enough to enable buying a house.
            Surely we all know that neither will come to pass.

            So what you are actually trying to do is to help those who are currently not quite rich enough. But this still limits the help to the rich.

            That does not inspire me. (I started very late – could have bought in 1970 with 3% State Advances loan, but did not. Bought a $49,000 house in 1982. It is now worth nearly 10 times that. Unearned and bloody ridiculous. Nobody should be able to make unearned profit.)

            The bubble needs somehow a big deflation rather than a burst.

            Sorry – none of this inspires me much. The system needs fundamental correction, not just another superficial temporary massage.

            • Ovid

              It would be a step in the right direction if the average dual income family could afford a home in the Auckland market. Which sucks especially hard for single parents. But this is where things are at.

            • Chooky

              +100 In Vino

    • ropata 1.2

      Considering homes in that range are only 4% of the Auckland market at the moment, it’s not bad.

      But I think Labour should not have ceded the Urban Growth Boundary argument to the glee of land bankers. There’s plenty of space within Auckland without more endless sprawl required, ffs Auckland is already ridiculously spread out. The problem isn’t the urban limits its a building industry that can’t keep up (and is rorting the situation). The biggest single cost of a house in Auckland is the construction, not the land

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        ” Considering homes in that range are only 4% of the Auckland market at the moment, it’s not bad.”

        Yes this Labour policy targets households earning around $100K pa which were finding themselves priced out of the market.

        • ropata

          True, but perhaps the social housing end of the market is better managed by HNZ than the proposed “Affordable Housing Authority”? Need to hear more on this from Lab/Green

        • Pat

          nothing wrong with putting price pressure on the market with housing aimed at that demographic PROVIDED the social housing and rental market is also addressed (i.e. emergency and state rentals)……assistance to buy first homes is nothing new and this is simply a variation on that theme……removing some of the ticket clippers, hopefully.

          • Colonial Viper

            OK, so the Kiwi dream of house ownership is for those in the $100K earnings bracket.

            • Pat

              the dream remains…..home ownership has never been 100% (it peaked at a shade under 74% in 1991) even in the heady days of state housing builds….thats why state house rentals were built.

            • dukeofurl

              Do you read the policy- ever-?
              half the houses are for Auckland, the rest for other cities in NZ.

              median household income in Auckland is $76k(2013) already ( highest in NZ, so is probably over $80k now)). so the $100k figure is just made up by you.
              You normally have these sort of things sorted , so Im surprised you have slipped up here.

              • Colonial Viper

                Using a house price to income ratio of 5 as the limit of affordability, a $500,000 house in this scheme requires $100K pa household income.

              • Colonial Viper

                Also by the time the first house in Labours scheme is finished in 2019 it’ll probably be up to $700,000 given 10% annual price increases.

        • b waghorn

          If a number of people in the $100k plus wage bracket can afford to buy new houses. this will free up rentals which while not perfect is a step in the right direction.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        But I think Labour should not have ceded the Urban Growth Boundary argument to the glee of land bankers.

        Yeah that was my thought add well. Expanding the boundaries only plays into the hands of the land bankers.

        The biggest single cost of a house in…

        Actually, the biggest cost of building is the materials. That’s the problem of having a duopoly and most of the raw materials are sent off shore for the benefit of the owners rather than having them used here for the benefit of New Zealand.

        • Graeme

          With materials it’s also a function of scale, virtually all the houses built in New Zealand are one offs. Our Housing Trust in Queenstown is doing good things by getting the scale up into the 10s. I would hope a Crown building programme would get this up by a couple orders of magnitude. Get standard designs that you are building 1000s of and costs come down with a wallop.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 1.3

      CV you are such a cherry picking negative wanker. I am so sick of you trolling this site. No doubt you will spend the rest of day with dozens of negative nitpicking comments. So to balance out all your negativity.

      Little said terrace housing would be under $500K -only the stand alone housing would be $500 to $600K. These house prices are a massive improvement on the $1 million average that the market currently offers and would be a huge step towards affordability.

      Anyone can criticise the good for not being the perfect. But in the real world perfect doesn’t exist and moving towards the good is the better policy.

      I think Andrew Little and Labour did well today -they were brave and pragmatic. It was an excellent birthday celebration.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        A $400K terrace house, using a house price to income affordability ratio of 5 (which is already generally considered “highly unaffordable”) would require an income level of $80K p.a.

        No one is denying that this is better than the current situation. But lets be clear who is helped by housing at these price levels, and who is not.

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

          That is why we needed state housing reform package announced earlier this week and why we need to move on improving renting conditions and security of tenure rights. It is all part of a broad package that overall will massively improve housing conditions for kiwis.

          P.S $80,000 is about the median household income, so a $400,000 terrace house would help the median income earning family.

      • Saarbo 1.3.2

        @Brendan Harre (1.3)

      • ropata 1.4.1

        Those are CV’s (council valuations not the other CV), the sale prices tend to be double that. Also there’s a crapload of apartments, 1 brm units, and places for auction on your list. Auctions tend to go miles over any sensible value at the moment.

        • idbkiwi

          Hmmm, well it’s not my list, it’s Trademe’s, and they are not CV’s, they are the asking prices, but say we reduce the list to 3 and 4 bedroom homes; there’s still a choice of a mere 256 places for sale in that range in the Auckland area, is that not enough?

          Why not have a look at this one?

          75J Hill Street, Onehunga
          Location: 75I/(J) Hill Street
          Onehunga, Auckland City
          Rooms: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
          Property type: House
          Price: Asking price $320,000
          Parking: 2 Car Garage
          Modern townhouse nicely spread over three levels, complimented by four large bedrooms, and a generous living area, that joins onto the outside courtyard.

          • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

            Yeah nay. It is a leasehold property you muppet.

          • Pat

            “Presently tenanted by Housing New Zealand until 22nd May 2018. This property is also Leasehold. “

            • idbkiwi

              So, what’s your point?

              • Pat

                you do know what a leasehold property is?

                • idbkiwi

                  Yeah, I’ve got some idea. Large areas of Karori and Newlands, here in Wellington, are leasehold sections, owned by Manchester Unity and other trusts. My in-laws house on Wrights Hill, Karori was a leasehold section, they didn’t die under pressure of payments. It’s a viable option for first-home buyers especially and is a sensible option for Labour to explore, but…hey, if you don’t like it, there are still another 255 properties to look at…go for your life.

                  • Pat

                    think I’ll pass thanks….like most folk I think leasehold properties are to be avoided like the plague…..theres good reasons why banks are far more restrictive on their lending for them.

          • Andre

            That’s a leasehold property so you’re paying a hefty ground rental separately to buying the house. And you’re totally helpless when it comes to rent review time, it could go up to anything.


            • idbkiwi

              Fair enough, but in what way is it not affordable?

              You are not “totally helpless” when it comes to rent review time, you have options including selling the property, using your (hoped for) capital gains or property improvements to take another small step up the ladder, that’s the way the vast majority of people gain value; hard work and small increments. It’s worthwhile, I assure you.

              • Pat

                unless you know the details on the lease and the term to run you have no way of knowing its affordability or value, so as an example it is pointless

                • idbkiwi

                  Well then Pat, drop that property off your list, there are still 255 others to look at, and time waits for nobody…

              • Andre

                In the law firm paper I linked, the ground rent went from $8300pa to $73750 pa, so the owner abandoned the property and lost everything she had paid for it.

                In the Onehunga property you linked to, the ground rental on a neighbouring property (looks exactly the same) in the same block is a bit over $14k pa, plus body corp fees plus etc. That’s on top of $340k for the house. That doesn’t look affordable to me. Then you’ve got the risk of having to walk away from it all if the rent review does what the Cornwall Park Trust ground rents did.

                • idbkiwi

                  I appreciate what you’re saying Andre, that there are horror stories, and I accept that, but there are also numerous good stories, yours could be one yet to be told. Don’t be afraid of a lease-hold section…check out your landlords by all means, and if they are bastards, well then they are bastards and stay away from them, but don’t be afraid of the concept, it could be the best thing you ever did.

                  • Pat

                    good grief, you sound like a realtor…are you on commission?

                    • idbkiwi

                      Not so far Pat, but I’m open to offers.

                      Seriously though, Labour should be considering this. Forget Kiwibuild and think Kiwisite.

                      Government should not be involved in house-building in a big way, not with all the legal requirements and related whoo-har of end-product value or usage, lack of productivity, poor quality, or the shortfalls implicit in complaints associated with people’s aspirations, but instead home in on an on-going, long-term, cash return based on viability and affordability of sections alone, this is a concept most Kiwis would be comfortable with, it would be a far better focus, and could be accommodated under the NZ Superannuation Fund and ACC Funds terms of business without compromising earnings potential.

                    • BM

                      KIwi site is a great idea, free up and develop the land and then get out of the way.

                      Unfortunately socialists are control freaks and can’t cope if they aren’t controlling the whole process.

                  • Pat

                    “Government should not be involved in house-building in a big way, not with all the legal requirements and related whoo-har of end-product value or usage, lack of productivity, poor quality, or the shortfalls implicit in complaints associated with people’s aspirations, but instead home in on an on-going, long-term, cash return based on viability and affordability of sections alone, this is a concept most Kiwis would be comfortable with, it would be a far better focus, and could be accommodated under the NZ Superannuation Fund and ACC Funds terms of business without compromising earnings potential.”

                    one more time….in english if you would be so kind.

                    • idbkiwi

                      Yep, ok Pat, fair point.

                      Let me try again;

                      Labour should not pretend to be house-builders, they should concentrate on supplying developed sections which could then be leased back to lessees based on the capital value of the building above the ground (already reliably and timely assessed and re-assessed by QVNZ or local councils, so there is no extra level of cost).

                      Disappointments related to mortgage restrictions made by banks on houses built on leasehold sections, due to the perceived volativity in ground rents, would disappear, or largely disappear, if backed by HNZ long-term leases.

                      The capital cost of home-building could be halved, at least in Auckland’s case, and in this way every tradesman or teacher, Jack or Jill or in-between, could aspire to an affordable home and the security that offers, and taxpayers would receive a return on thier investment, forever.

                      I don’t see negatives, compared to the alternatives.

                    • ropata

                      so idbkiwi you reckon the govt should
                      a) develop new subdivisions & associated infrastructure
                      b) offer the developed land to the open market on 100 year leases or something
                      c) jack up the lease price if someone actually puts a house on top?

                      That isn’t going to encourage development much

                      IMO a land value tax will work better. It’s similar to rates, but the difference is the same tax applies whether you have developed the land or not. Effectively this discourages land banking & encourages greater housing density.

                  • Pat

                    “Labour should not pretend to be house-builders,”
                    No they should not pretend, but they can (and have in the past) been that and the private sector have made a pigs ear of the construction industry these past few decades so on that I disagree.

                    As to government owned leasehold land on say 99 year lease that i have no real issue with and it may well offer some of the cost benefits to which you refer, though I would suggest the public would prefer freehold and act accordingly and the leases would have to be watertight to prevent future government modification.

          • Anno1701

            “256 places for sale in that range in the Auckland area, is that not enough?”

            hmmm and HOW may people do we have arriving to live in Auckland each day ?

            you “256 places ” is maybe a 1-2 week supply @ best ?


    • mickysavage 1.5

      Christ CV at least read the speech before sniping at it. The policy includes apartments which will be significantly cheaper.

      • Colonial Viper 1.5.1

        Labour’s announcement definitely helps people who are in the top quartile income bracket own their own home, no mistake about it.

        At 5x your earnings, houses are generally regarded as highly unaffordable.

        Going lower end, $400K terrace houses or apartments will work for those households earning $80K or more.

        For a couple both working full time minimum wage ~$65K pa total income they will likely have to stay renting long term.

        • leftie

          Labour’s plan can be built on. Coalition partners will have good ideas too. So howz John Key’s brighter future doing for everyone Colonial Viper? Sounds like you rather retain the Nats current outrageous mess, rather than give Labour a fair go.

          • Colonial Viper

            No more 1/4 way measures.

            • leftie

              That’s just the way you think. Sad really.

            • Incognito

              @ Colonial Viper 10 July 2016 at 6:54 pm:

              You seem to be displaying shades of absolutistic, dichotomous thinking, i.e. black & white, all or nothing, etc.

              Potential solutions are judged on achieving 100% cure, success, or whatever; anything less is considered short of the mark and thus utterly and completely (!) futile.

              This seems to fit with your apparent contempt for NZ Labour, for example, which you have supported in the past I believe.

              The only reason why I raise this – and I might well be very wrong – is that your negativity is starting to grate and is becoming a distraction, at least for me, and I find it increasingly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff in your comments. So, essentially, this comment is about me more than anything …

        • mickysavage

          How stupid of me thinking that building lots of houses would help the lack of housing crisis.

          FFS CV improve the quality of your comments. Please.

          • Colonial Viper

            MS, just pointing out that building $400K, $500K and $600K houses destined for first home owners is going to help a very select group of aspiring first home owners.

            Those with household incomes in the $80K to $120K range.

            (And I’m being generous here – by the time Labour can implement this policy, both land costs and build costs will have increased another 20%)

            For other Kiwis who aren’t lucky enough to be that well off…the “Kiwi dream of home ownership” apparently ain’t for you.

            How stupid of me thinking that building lots of houses would help the lack of housing crisis.

            And who exactly are Labour helping to become first home owners? Those people who sit in the top half of household incomes.

            Well that do good for these people? Of course it will. Never denied it.

            This is also the demographic you can count on to swing vote for their own best interests.

    • Kenya 1.6

      There are cheaper town houses and apartments too. Honestly, read the policy dude.

    • billmurray 1.7

      CV, most poor people do not have a income anywhere near the $90,000-$12,000,00 that you say is required.
      This so called radical policy from Labour is fucking humbug and will do nothing for the poor people of NZ except make them more poor to the rest of the population.
      Rip off politics from Andrew Little and the Labour party.
      Fellow NZs wake up to these self serving bastards.

      • Colonial Viper 1.7.1

        It’s good for the middle class voters (and their kids) who are being priced out of the Auckland housing market.

  2. BM 2

    What’s the advantage in me buying a house off Kiwi Build instead of getting some one like G.J. Gardner to build it for me directly?

    Also when did it become, your first home has to be a brand new home?

    • ropata 2.1

      Supposedly a KB house will be cheaper? Economies of scale, supply chain optimisation, lower markup and what not

      • BM 2.1.1

        I’m assuming G.J. Gardner, Jennians and all the other housing companies will be building these houses.

        If you add the the cost of running Kiwibuild into the mix I can’t see how it’s going to be cheaper unless this who thing is going to be tax payer subsidised.

        I’ll be honest I wouldn’t be too impressed if my tax dollars were going toward people buying a flash brand new house.

        • ropata

          if the houses go to auction, prices would indeed be bid up to current silly numbers, presumably these houses would be sold by some form of rationing

          • BM

            these houses would be sold by some form of rationing

            Yeah and I’ll bet all the labour/green party members will “some how” end up at the front of the queue.

            That’ s so typical of the left.

            • ropata

              I am with you on most of this, Working for Families is just as obviously a subsidy to middle NZ and to minimum wage employers. In order to be truly affordable these homes need to be around 250k and really basic. That would help a lot more people than 500k houses for young professional labour voters.

            • dave

              iam picking homes built on such a scale will move from the site to the factory as they do in Europe ,production automation would take care of any changes people wanted . working hours per house would plummet also you wouldn’t need skilled labour , skilled labour would only be necessary in siting the home.
              automation is coming and kiwi build is perfect scale for its use

          • Chuck

            From the detail released so far:

            – You need to be a first home buyer
            – You buy directly from the Govt (department)
            – The house will be encumbered by the Govt that you can’t on sell for x number of years.

            Maybe if demand exceeds supply some kind of raffle / lottery for the lucky family??

            • Lanthanide

              You can sell it, but any profit above the initial sale price (and presumably cost of sale) in those X years will go back to the government.

        • Anno1701

          “I’ll be honest I wouldn’t be too impressed if my tax dollars were going toward”

          to be fair mate i cant imagine your happy about paying any tax AT ALL…

        • McFlock

          based on your assumptions you can’t see it, and you wouldn’t be impressed by another of your assumptions.

          Come on, BM, you can spin better than that if it’s actually a bad policy.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Because this is a $500-600k house AND land, in Auckland.

      Go try and build a house for that price in Auckland now, including land, with G.J. Gardner and see how you get on.

      There will be 50,000 of these houses, rather than the 400 or 500 that GJ Gardner might be able to supply, on the very fringes of the city.

      • BM 2.2.1

        So the saving will be in the land price?, because G.J. Gardner isn’t going to build it for nothing.

        • Lanthanide

          A part of the saving will be in the land price, the other part will be from the economies of scale and new methods (see the mention of prefabrication), and another part will be a saving in consenting and standard overhead costs.

          • BM

            So it would be something like this?.

            The government will grab land using the public works act, then develop the land for housing using some one like fulton hogan and then hire housing companies to build on the new sections.?

            The public will then buy the houses off the government at a greatly reduced price because the government is doing everything at cost.?

            If this is indeed the case you’d be mad to buy a house from anyone but KiwiBuild.

            • Lanthanide

              That seems to be the plan.

              Bearing in mind, that if you sell it within 5 years, all profit above the initial purchase price goes back to the government.

              • BM

                What do you think that will do to house prices?

                • Lanthanide

                  No idea.

                  • BM

                    You don’t think it may put down ward pressure on house prices.

                    Lets be honest no private firm will be able to get near the prices of what the government could build a house for.

                    It’s a bit of a no brainer why pay 800k when you can get the same thing for 600k

                    Going to be tough for a lot of developers or housing companies that do house and land packages because everyone will want to get a house via Kiwi Build.

                    • Lanthanide

                      It’s not the same thing. For starters, if you re-sell your $600k house within 5 years, you don’t get to keep any of the profit.

                      I’m sure they’ll have rules about owner-occupiers only. They may have other rules too, about who qualifies to buy a house, and how the houses are dished out, like a lottery.

                      So these houses simply won’t be on the same level as the others.

                      But yes, the point of this policy is to take heat out of the market. If a bunch of supply becomes available that meets a large part of the demand (houses for owner-occupiers to buy and live in), then it means the rest of the housing stock will have less aggregate demand, easing house price pressure.

                    • Pat

                      “You don’t think it may put down ward pressure on house prices.”

                      isn’t that the point in an unaffordable housing market?

                    • BM

                      But yes, the point of this policy is to take heat out of the market. If a bunch of supply becomes available that meets a large part of the demand (houses for owner-occupiers to buy and live in), then it means the rest of the housing stock will have less aggregate demand, easing house price pressure.

                      There’ll be a lot of unhappy monkeys, who’ll all blame Labor.

                      Can’t see them voting left in 2017..

                      Be like a Turkey voting for Christmas.

                    • Pat

                      “There’ll be a lot of unhappy monkeys, who’ll all blame Labor.

                      Can’t see them voting left in 2017..

                      Be like a Turkey voting for Christmas.”

                      well there may be some upset turkeys but I suspect you overestimate their number….I would suggest most property owners will be reasonably happy to see the bubble deflated somewhat….especially when the alternative is a wholesale crash.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      Oh noes, property developers will all be homeless in the future! No, wait, we could always build some houses for them…

                    • Incognito

                      @ BM 10 July 2016 at 5:21 pm:

                      There’ll be a lot of unhappy monkeys, who’ll all blame Labor. [sic]

                      Who are those “mon-keys” and what exactly will they blame Labour for?

                      Do you really think that your imaginary doomsday scenario will eventuate, i.e. that house prices will go down?

                      IMO the more likely scenario is that the absurd rises in house prices will come down somewhat but they will still rise.

                      Another likely scenario, according to many experts, so don’t take my word for it, is that if we stay on the current course, i.e. do nothing and hope for the best as National seems to be doing, we’re in for a major ‘correction’ AKA an uncontrolled and uncontrollable collapse of the market.

                      My guess is that you, and some other commenters here on TS, will opt for the second scenario without giving it a second thought! I believe there is a name for that: cognitive distortion. (NB don’t look this up; it’s depressing reading)

                    • ropata

                      Those greedy monkeys cannot keep expecting free money as a birthright simply because Mummy and Daddy gave them a house deposit and wealthy foreigners want to launder dirty money.

            • Graeme

              I’d presume the KB homes would also be to standard plans with basically no options. Think Neil or Keith Hay from late 70’s, which were a response to a similar situation in early 70’s, but in current vernacular. So basic designs, really standard componentry, but with the government taking the spec risk, not the builder. If you want something better, then go direct to the builders.

              • McFlock

                and even then you can do all the internal fripperies yourself, like different kitchen bench etc, if bogstandard (or the standard bogs) isn’t good enough for you.

  3. ropata 3

    Pleasing to see that Labour will extend National’s 2 year CGT out to 5 years, ought to be longer. Some policies that should make a real difference.

    Would have liked to see some policies with real teeth like a LVT and FTT. Disappointing that AL spoke positively of property “investors” as opposed to “speculators”; in my book they are the same. I consider the NZ cult of landlordism to be immoral, all rentals should be non profit (and all banking for that matter).

    • ropata 3.1

      Should also ban *all* offshore buyers, allowing foreign “investors” to build & buy still takes builders & land out of the domestic market.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        I suspect that the size of this category will be small and not put a significant demand on and compete for resources.

        To treat the market as one amorphous whole in which state housing is lumped with upper-market housing is losing sight of important detail & differences IMO and not conducive to good policy setting.

        Similarly, to treat investors and speculators the exact same way is overlooking important differences. Labour is careful not to spook the business sector and private investors as you can tell from AL’s speech.

        One might argue that Labour is using market tools to try and deal with social issues that cannot be fixed by the market alone (obviously) or arguably have been created/increased by market forces. Only a dogmatic purist would vehemently object IMO.

  4. Chuck 4

    The devil will be in the details.

    100,000 new affordable houses over 10 years, add in another 1,000+ new state houses per year that = 11,000+ new house’s per year. On top of that we already build about 8,000 new houses in Auckland per year. Easy for Andrew Little to promise this in the safety of opposition, another to deliver.

    The affordable homes ($550 – $600k!) will not be able to be on-sold, Little has already pointed this out. Interesting to see just how long they are encumbered for…what happens if a family circumstance changes? are they locked in for 10 years?. Will lenders lend on standard terms if the price is suppressed? think mortgagee sales or a down turn in the property market.

    Only for first home buyers? what about the Smith family (example) who owned a house somewhere other than Auckland. They move to Auckland for work, all they can afford is $600k to buy…they are still out in the cold under Labour.

    At the moment its sound bites for the faithful…the public will be waiting for the details and ability / chance that Labour can deliver on its promise’s.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      You can’t do it, that’s true. That’s because you’re a delusional fuckwit, in a team of delusional fuckwits, whose sole purpose is naked self-interest.

      You worship market forces, and yet you’ve failed to notice the most powerful market force of all.

      You can’t do it. Get out of the way before you get hurt.

      • Chuck 4.1.1

        When you resort to name calling OAB, basically it means you have nothing…its school 101 type of thing.

        I do hold out hope that at some stage in the future, you can be a productive member of society… I will not give up on you buddy!

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Oh, indeed, the labels I apply to you are irrelevant.

          The market force you’ve failed to notice is the substantive part of my contempt for your opinions.

          As for your insulting reference to your hallucinations about my life, oh noes, it’s exactly like my labels only longer, you vermiculous trash.

          • Chuck

            You are making good progress OAB…let it all out, I am here for you mate.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Stop projecting, Wormtongue.

              • Redelusion

                I have faith in old OAB as well, we are all here for him, possibly and exorcism may help with his anger, a few demons lie within I suspect.

  5. Sabine 5

    When ya don’t have enough affordable houses you bloody well build some more!

    Labour, been doing it since ages ago!

  6. Sacha 6

    Good policy, nice speech-writing. Well done, Labour.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    All this focus on Auckland housing. Hope we can also get thousands of affordable homes in other parts of the country. Say $210K to $250K in price.

    $400K to $600K housing options still aren’t affordable to the vast bulk of working people.

    • leftie 7.1

      Andrew Little did say it’s not just Auckland, regions around the country too.

      Yet it’s still a lot cheaper than the current cost. Labour have outlined a plan that can be built on, to assist Kiwis into a home, what is wrong in that? Far better than the no future the key National government is offering.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        I agree, Labour’s plan helps a lot more people, if your household is in the ~$80K to $120K income bracket Labour will help get you into the ‘Kiwi dream’ of your own home.

        Anyone in that income bracket in Auckland who is not yet a home owner should certainly swing their vote to Labour.

        • leftie

          Just because it’s not written in neon lights for you Colonial Viper, Labour have not forgotten those in lower income brackets. What we have seen in the announcements is the direction Labour is heading, it’s a beginning for change that will be built on. We should be welcoming that. At least Labour is offering Kiwis a future, we don’t have that with John key and his Nats.

    • Sacha 7.2

      “All this focus on Auckland housing.”

      Tiresome. Get over yourself. This is where 60% of the population growth is projected over the next few decades – two thirds of it from internal births, not migration. Auckland is where the problem bites hardest. It is where the solution is needed most. Nothing you or I say will change that.

  8. Saarbo 9

    The power of humanity, acting together, for the dignity of humankind

    Nice, I hope Labour puts this on Bill Boards next year.

  9. save nz 10

    Good speech.

    Labour really need to look at the tiny house movement. If you are on a minimum wage job then you need something under 300,000 not 500,000-600,000. The only way to achieve that is to build smaller. Currently only apartments are built smaller but are often not suitable for families and often have high body corporates so cost more.

    In other countries they have allowed tiny houses to be built with free permits to save costs and within a single story be able to be sited on existing sites with existing infrastructure. At present the proposed unitary plan increased height zoning is a joke, with the council approving many properties in violation of the district plan guide lines which are not affordable and over size – they are actually driving people on Kiwi incomes out of districts, as by the time a property becomes a 3 story mansion it becomes unaffordable on local wages, and are often totally unsustainable in most respects. One of the reasons that Auckland house prices are escalating is that houses are being doubled or tripled in size and therefore are going to cost a lot more. The idea of increased height to boundary seems to be to drive terraced housing but it is not working at all, instead larger mansion are being built that are creating inner city mansion districts away from the traditional bungalows priced much more affordably.

    A few years ago you could buy a studio apartment in Auckland for $200,000 now it is close to impossible. One of the reason’s first home buyers could not buy them was that the bank would not lend unless you had a 30% deposit.

    The other issue is the proposed capital gains road tax, that clearly will discriminate for the cheaper further out areas of housing. It is clearly not going to work to build houses in the greenfield areas like Drury, Whenuapai, and Kumeu if people have to pay $30 – $100 in road charges per person per week and then have to pay petrol on top of that. BTW, just a section in Kumeu is over $400,000 so you would be looking further out like Helensville and then you need to look at high speed rail to link and place to park for park and ride.

    The other big issue is migration, if migrants who have settled here at a rate of 60,000 overseas students living here and trying to gain residency and 60,000 new migrants then it is a waste of time trying to build the houses, Labour will not be able to keep up with that level of change in the population. Migration is the biggest factor inflaming the housing. Once that falls, then investors will stop being in the market as it will flatline the prices and there will be no profit to be made.

    • Ad 10.1

      One man’s Tiny House is another man’s caravan park.
      Save me from Kirsten Dirksen.

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        Make the rule no renting. If you take the tiny house route you sack the landlord forever.

    • BM 10.2

      Tiny houses are for hair shirters.

    • Chooky 10.3

      +100 save nz…”Migration is the biggest factor inflaming the housing”…and overseas ownership…and we still don’t have the stats on this

      actually I am not that impressed with Labour’s housing policy…too Little to late…and building a few more houses for those on a relatively good income won’t affect the crisis in housing much imo until the underlying core of the problem is addressed

      …and state houses should not be sold off …they should be repaired and renovated…as well as many many new ones built for New Zealanders

      • Incognito 10.3.1

        actually I am not that impressed with Labour’s housing policy…too Little to late…and building a few more houses for those on a relatively good income won’t affect the crisis in housing much imo until the underlying core of the problem is addressed

        Well, according to some we may have to wait till 2020 (GR2020?) before this policy may be implemented.

        • leftie

          They may not get what they wish for Incognito. They don’t seem to be on the side of average Kiwis do they?

          • Incognito


            I really don’t know what’s behind their (wishful?) thinking and what purpose it serves, if any, for the good of all.

            I have very few answers and many questions and admittedly sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by it all …

      • leftie 10.3.2

        “…and state houses should not be sold off …they should be repaired and renovated…as well as many many new ones built for New Zealanders”

        That’s what Labour is proposing.

        “and building a few more houses for those on a relatively good income won’t affect the crisis in housing much imo until the underlying core of the problem is addressed”

        But it’s not just a few houses though, it’s 100,000 and that will go a long way in resolving the crisis. It’s a start isn’t it? Or would you rather stick with John key and the dismal, bleak status quo?

        “actually I am not that impressed with Labour’s housing policy…too Little to late…”

        That’s a surprise, NOT!! Sour grapes? Little’s big bold plans are timely, and they are what is really needed right now.

  10. Rodel 11

    Watched Newshub on Little’s housing speech. Paddy E Neuman trying to claim that Labour’s election future will sink or swim solely on this one policy issue.Does he really think Labour is a one policy party? Watch this space for more Paddy.

    And didn’t you love Mr Joyce’s frenetic spin/sneer response to Andrew Little’s housing policy announcement. Apparently it’s called ‘post truth politics.’…Donald would be proud of you Stephen..

    • leftie 11.1

      Lol they know they are on the back foot.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.2

      I think its more that Nationals biggest weakness is housing affordability so if Labour don’t get any traction with this then it’s all over until 2020

  11. fisiani 12

    Kindly correct me if I am wrong.

    “The next Labour Government will build 100,000 new affordable homes to be on sold to first home buyers.

    Working with the private sector and experts in fields like prefabrication, we can build standalone homes for $500,000-$600,000 in Auckland, with apartments and town houses for less than $500,000”

    Andrew Little claims that he will use $2,000,000,000 to build 100,000 houses.

    Do the arithmetic . Does anyone seriously believe you can buy a section and build a house for $20,000? of course not.
    He acknowledges the minimum cost would be $500,000. That equates to just 4,000 houses.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Dude, the $2B is only needed to build the first few houses with.

      The government then sells those completed houses into the market to raise the next tranche of funding required to complete another phase of houses.

      It is not necessary or desirable to have all the cash available up front for 100,000 houses lol. You only need to be able to fund the first part of the first phase of the project then start selling units off the plans to get more $$$ rolling in.

      • Greg 12.1.1

        Wasnt there a rent to own policy for state houses, or was just that a policy suggestion,

      • fisiani 12.1.2

        But that’s just a copy of what is already happening. What a damp squib. I actually thought he was going to announce something radical.

        • leftie

          Nothing is what is happening Fisiani, that’s why Labour have come up with an achievable, practical, comprehensive plan to put Kiwis into homes. Labour have done it before, and will do it again. Who said anything about it having to be radical?

      • Reddelusion 12.1.3

        A fair point barring that the policy encompasses once the houses are sold the funds will used to payback the tax payer loan, only leaving profit for reinvestment, which i suggest based on making housing affordable this will be very little

      • Bob 12.1.4

        Okay, so when National put up $1Bn for councils to move forward infrastructure programs there were howls that this would only allow 500 houses to be brought forward. Based on this logic, $2Bn would cover 1,000 houses.

        Let’s say 6 months for council consents / land development (generous), 6 months to build (again, generous) and buyers are already lining up so no downtime on purchase, the means $2Bn would build around 1,000 homes / year, 10,000 over 10 years.

        So now I ask, where are the other 90,000 homes coming from???

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s all too difficult for right wingers to comprehend. That’s why you make shit governments.

          • Bob

            Ah, now I understand where they are coming from, thank you for once again enlightening the world with your pure intellect. Great contribution as always OAB.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              That’s rich coming from someone whose sole contribution is “it’s too ambitious, let’s do nothing”.

              If you can’t figure out how a government can build more houses than the one you support, well, that probably explains your support for such a pack of incompetent buck-passing dimbulbs.

              • Bob

                Bullshit OAB, my contribution was suggesting raising the minimum wage significantly to increase inflation, allowing the Reserve Bank to increase interest rates:
                This has already been singled out as the ‘biggest risk’ to Australian house prices:

                Of course my ‘right wing’ ideas are obviously too hard for you to comprehend.

                What was your contribution again OAB? Oh that’s right:

                “Oh noes, property developers will all be homeless in the future! No, wait, we could always build some houses for them…”
                “That’s because you’re a delusional fuckwit, in a team of delusional fuckwits, whose sole purpose is naked self-interest”
                “Stop projecting, Wormtongue.”
                “If you can’t figure out how a government can build more houses than the one you support, well, that probably explains your support for such a pack of incompetent buck-passing dimbulbs.”

                Such enlightening commentary.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You’ve proposed a lot of “market” tinkering, in other words, that won’t see a single homeless family housed, and when it doesn’t, you’ll act all surprised and come up with some more market tinkering that won’t get a single extra house built either.

                  Brighter future, remember: the party of no plan and no ideas needs to get out of the way.

        • dukeofurl

          Private developers in Auckland are building low end houses in 8 weeks now. Everything is timed to the day, ie deliveries to the time of day, subbies to be there on a certain day as well. The costs are lowered by not having large areas of sliding doors and more insulation to do away with need for double glazing.

          Existing consent rules allow standard house designs to be pre approved, so if you have 10 designs, once one is consented doesnt need individual consent again.

          For far loo long NZ has built over individual designs , which is Ok for people who want this or that but it makes the houses un affordable in the process.
          Who really needs over 75 different aluminium window colours to choose from, and every window is unique dimensions. Lets have 12 window sizes and 12 different colours and save maoney

          • Colonial Viper

            Private developers in Auckland are building low end houses in 8 weeks now.

            Can you give me an example of such a development?

            I was under the impression that developers far prefer to build higher margin homes, minimum $800K selling price.

    • Craig H 12.2

      Also, some of the houses will be built outside Auckland…

  12. leftie 13

    Very cool that Andrew Little acknowledged David Cunliffe and gave him a special mention. I liked that a lot.

  13. Chooky 14

    Labour should be promising millions to places like this who cater for those most in need of housing and shelter…I know this is what Mana/Internet ( a real Left Party) would do if it was in power

    “A Wellington urban marae built by homeless youth, ex-cons, and gang members is struggling financially after the closure of several of its buildings by the Wellington City Council. The Council says it’s a death trap. Our reporter Daniela Maoate-Cox visited the marae to find out more.”

    ( This Marae 20+ years ago provided free of charge large native trees for me to plant in our local council owned rough wilderness reserve above Wellington city…Bruce Stewart and whanau have hearts of gold and are real environmentalists and Greenies

    …and why is Wellington Council NOT helping them?!…bring them up to standard instead of closing them!!!….utterly heartless and disgraceful!)

    …instead of tearing down ‘substandard’ state houses and selling them off to privatising speculators…they should be renovated by unemployed NZ youth who could be taught carpentry and other skills under supervision…this is what a real Labour Government of Micky Savage would do

    …Labour should be attacking jonkey nactional on selling off existing housing stock

    • leftie 14.1

      Looks like Andrew Little’s Labour is a real Labour led Government in waiting, that you are calling for Chooky. Didn’t you read the speech etc?

  14. john 15

    OK….Lets check the numbers.
    $500,000 per house
    4000 houses
    to meet the target 3334 houses built every 4 month
    ie land found, bought, consented, infra structure built and all house constructed finished and sold….in 4 months.
    So they can do it all over again, every 4 months for 10 years….really?
    Where is the initial money coming from?
    Where are the builders, electricians, plumbers, painters etc coming from?
    Have you told the workers, to keep the price at $500 000, they can’t have a pay rise for 10 years?
    So inflation will be ZERO under your plan, for 10 years?
    On the money that you will HAVE to borrow initially to fund it, you expect to pay ZERO interest?
    Apart from compulsory purchase of PRIVATE land, there will be no price increases of land due to the artificial demand created by the govt.?
    Should there be compulsory purchase, you will need to change the law to create the ability for the Govt. to compulsory purchase land. Which was, in my understanding, used for war time purchases to create things like army bases and airstrips.
    This new ministry will cost no more to run than the current system (yeah right)?
    etc etc

    • dv 15.1

      Yep your right John
      How will the Natz manage it?

      • Puckish Rogue 15.1.1

        The Natz won’t of course but what they will do is pick massive holes in this plan and try to turn it into just another “game-changer” of Labour

        • dv

          The Natz won’t of course

          Glad to see you agree that that NATZ don’t have a plan PR

          • Stuart Munro

            The Gnats have entered their ‘dying swan’ phase – they’re all dying to swan off to Indonesia or Europe like John and stop even pretending to give a shit about New Zealand.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I’d have thought that Labour would have realised that, based of the previous 8 years, that any plan they come up with will be picked apart by National

            • dv

              Again I agree PR. !!!!
              NATZ are good at negative BUT not so good a planning themselves.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Heres the thing though, at the moment the only real concern for National is housing affordability, there not really any other issue that could potentially lose the election for National

                So what Labour should be doing with housing is making sure that whatever plan they come up with measures up, its not to work out what National will do

                Work out what National will say about the plan and then come up with a (credible) answer to Nationals objections

      • john 15.1.2

        Already doing it!!!
        40 houses per day need nearer 50 that is why this number is increasing.
        14,600 per year
        Need 16000

    • instrider 15.2

      No need to change the law; we have the Public Works Act which allows govt and councils to buy any land they need.

      • john 15.2.1

        Only for specific purposes, which don’t include generic housing.

        • instrider

          Nope. Read the act. Govt’s power is almost limitless. Any land for any reason they see fit

          • john

            In that case, I hope it’s your place.
            Maybe then you’d see it as draconian over reach of Govt.
            In that case I also don’t want National to do it either.
            Buy the land from owners at Market rate, IF they will sell it to you.

            • dukeofurl

              land is taken all the time when people dont want to sell. Most of Nationals expensive highways would have had land acquired compulsorily or under the threat of compulsion.

            • instrider

              I’m not justifying it just educating you on its existence.

              It’s unlikely amy of us will encounter it unless someone wants to build a rail tunnel, sewage or water pipe, power line, airport, road, or other government memorial on, over or under your property. If they want to do it beside yours, though, you’re stuffed; you’re not entitled to a cent

    • Lanthanide 15.3

      Interest costs are never taken into account for the cost of any government spending.

      Even when they should be, eg when National borrowed for tax cuts.

      • john 15.3.1

        Sure they are:
        Borrowing paid for infrastructure (roads etc)
        Income tax cuts were covered by increase in GST….common labour lie to miss out the fact that the tax take was neutral.

        • Lanthanide

          “Income tax cuts were covered by increase in GST….common labour lie to miss out the fact that the tax take was neutral.”

          Except that all subsequent budget updates showed that GST tax take was under forecasts, ie, the tax cut was “forecast” to be “neutral”, but in reality never was (and no-one with half a brain believed that tax cuts during a recession, immediately followed by the worst natural disaster in this country’s history, would be “neutral”).

        • Lanthanide

          Also, you’ve brought into the lie that the GST increase offset the tax cuts.

          But it didn’t – it covered about 80-90% of the loss in revenue, but the remainder was covered up by “greater macroeconomic effects”. In other words, the government “forecast” that because of their “amazing economic management” and the tax cuts, that the economy would grow faster than it otherwise would have, and that that extra growth would make up the remainder of the lost revenue from the tax cuts.

          There is no detail or justification for how they arrived at the figures that they did. In other words, for all we know, is the government said to treasury “we need to make up a hole of about $300M a year, can you make up some bullshit to justify that?”.

          • john

            But the economy is growing, inflation is VERY low….therefore they were right and proven to be so by subsequent events.

            • Lanthanide

              Would the economy be growing by as much without the tax cuts they implemented?

              I would argue yes, on the basis that the current growth is driven almost entirely by immigration, eg GDP per capita is staying about the same, even if the total GDP is going up.

              I don’t think the previously higher tax rates would have made any real impact on our current rate of immigration, and therefore growth.

              Furthermore, the current low level of inflation is a concern for the economy, which is why the RBNZ has kept trying to increase it by cutting rates.

              • john

                You can argue all you like, the facts are that taxes are an impediment to growth and always have been everywhere.

                • Lanthanide

                  No, that’s not true at all.

                  Taxes pay for infrastructure like roads and electricity networks, and services like police and healthcare.

                  If you want to see a country without any taxes or government at all, go look at Somalia and see how a country without taxes has no impediments to growth at all.

                  • john

                    I didn’t say no taxes, I said they are an impediment to growth.
                    The higher and more taxes the govt. takes, the lower the growth.
                    There is a minimum and any govt. should strive to reach it.
                    After all it is the people who earn the money and the govt. that takes it, in the proportion that they decide (sounds like an extortion racket, doesn’t it).
                    1. Find the customers/supply the service.
                    2. source the product/service the customer wants.
                    3. sets the price the customer will/can pay over and above costs.
                    No mention of govt. here in the process of earning money whether by wages or profits.
                    Taxes are TAKEN from this process for reasons determined by the govt.
                    I am saying, that the govt. should limit the justifications it uses to TAKE that money from the very people who earn it and VOTE for them.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “I didn’t say no taxes, I said they are an impediment to growth.
                      The higher and more taxes the govt. takes, the lower the growth.”

                      Again, not true. If a government took in $1 in taxes (which is not “no taxes”), then they would not be able to achieve much in the way of public infrastructure with it. But if they took in $1B in taxes, then they could. That infrastructure enabled by that tax take would promote growth.

                      So clearly we have a case where “higher taxes = higher growth”, so your statement is false.

                      “There is a minimum and any govt. should strive to reach it.”

                      Yes. Can you tell me what the ideal minimum is for New Zealand? Do you have any evidence that shows that National has put our taxes at the optimum level? Given that we have huge backlogs in our health system, cuts in funding for police and other social services – funding per capita has decreased in real dollar terms since National has been in power.

                      The rest of your comment is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

  15. Robertina 16

    Labour has made some good strides in its intentions to push for a decent warrant of fitness scheme for houses, and it would be good to see way more focus on it.
    Let’s face it, while the anti-Labour carping on this site does get tiresome, it’s true that this kind of tinkering will not achieve much in a comprehensively fucked market.
    A WOF works two ways – it renegotiates the relationship between tenant and landlord to improve the standard of homes and, especially if combined with rent and other controls, deters speculators from ‘investing’.

    • leftie 16.1

      The thing is, Labour’s plan is not mere tinkering, and it will achieve a lot. It’s a far cry from what we have now under the key regime. Funny you should say that “anti-Labour carping on this site does get tiresome” when you did just that yourself !!

      • Robertina 16.1.1

        This might be a bit nuanced for ya leftie, but it’s reasonable to constructively criticise, while at the very same time being annoyed by the Labour is completely fucked and evil carping brigade!
        But then, it’s a dynamic that you must be rather fond of, given you seem to get into long exacerbating arguments with its antagonists.

  16. Dave 17

    Andrew little is on fire at last a real leader ,a prime minster in waiting
    Who are the losers ?

    Over leveraged property investors
    Those who have bought recently
    Land lords who going pay there rents
    Overseas buyers
    Real estate companies
    House building industry won’t be able compeat with mass produced homes
    Baby boomers
    Between now and the election who will buy I think labour has just savataged the housing market
    Those yet to buy
    Banks ?????sudject to mortgage defaulters

  17. fisiani 18

    “Working with the private sector and experts in fields like prefabrication, we can build standalone homes for $500,000-$600,000 in Auckland, with apartments and town houses for less than $500,000”

    Will Labour force private building companies to do this work? Where is the evidence that private companies want to work for government. So many questions . Why so little answers?

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