Billion dollar boondoggle

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, July 3rd, 2016 - 112 comments
Categories: housing, national, useless - Tags: , ,

In an effort to be seen to be doing something about a housing crisis that they say doesn’t exist, the dynamic go-getter team at National Inc bring you – this:

Govt puts $1b in Housing Infrastructure Fund

The Government has announced a $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to ensure houses are built faster in areas they’re needed most. … “The contestable fund will be open to councils in high growth centres – currently Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland, he says. “We can’t allow the inability for the councils to fund the infrastructure to stop the houses being built.”

“This is just a way for us, essentially up front financing that, and as the development contributions come in and the rates come in, eventually they can repay us.” It’ll be available for councils in areas of need to accelerate the building of roads, as well as expand water and waste water systems to new housing areas.

The policy will require the Government to temporarily ditch its plans to pay down debt, adding $1 billion to the net borrowings. It’s expected to take 10 years to pay the loan off. …

Sounds good? Sounds more like deckchairs on the Titanic. Councils can borrow money already – this initiative, as usual, doesn’t build a single house.


You know it’s a nothing policy when even your support partners are unimpressed:

112 comments on “Billion dollar boondoggle”

  1. Ad 1

    A far better policy would be for the government to simply forego the $250 million in dividends it gets from Housing New Zealand, and direct them simply to build houses where they need to be built, and either sell them at cost, or simply be a really good landlord. i.e. enable Housing New Zealand to do their job.

    That’s a whole lot more productive than not paying down debt, and instead going into more debt, and telling all the other public entities to go into debt.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      …or simply be a really good landlord. i.e. enable Housing New Zealand to do their job.

      But if they did that then where would the rentiers get their unearned income from?

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Indeed. I’m not a ‘property is theft’ person. There will always be landlords.

        But there doesn’t have to be the almost totally unregulated capitalist cruelty we have here from a great many landlords in this country.

        • b waghorn 1.1.1.1

          We’re not asking the big questions, most landlords aren’t cruel ,so why do they behave in the way they do in gobbling up all the houses.?
          The answer is security, having a nice buffer to protect ones self from a failing social system(think public health and the threat to pensions) find a way to fix that and greed will lessen.

  2. dv 2

    The Government’s books will take a one off hit from borrowing the $1 billion required – but ratepayers will ultimately foot the bill as councils will be required to repay the interest free loan over a 10 year period, either from rates money or contributions from developers.

    Sounds like social credit.

    Each rate payer in Ak will still have to front with about and extra $2000 per year.

    • Sabine 2.1

      and all those pesky little old retired ladies and gentlemen in their nice houses in various suburbs on a fixed income will be forced to sell their house as they can’t pay the rates anymore.

      Cant make that shit up even with good shit to smoke. Fuck i would want what the National Posse of Do-Nothingers smokes. It’s highly hallucinating.

      • Graeme 2.1.1

        “Fuck i would want what the National Posse of Do-Nothingers smokes. It’s highly hallucinating.”

        Far koff… if it blinds them to the consequences of what this will do to rates I don’t want any thank you. Will go and buy a huge bag a popcorn though.

        I can’t believe they are so blind and stupid, but a great distraction to their conference this weekend, which went how?????

    • Mosa 2.2

      Plus the GST paid on the rates !!???

      • dv 2.2.1

        Actually they two bites with GST, once when the 1B is spent, and then when the rates are paid.
        Oops Reclaim of 300million

    • Bearded Git 2.3

      The books won’t take a hit-the billion will be recorded in the government’s books as an asset, a debtor.

      It really is smoke and more smoke. When I first heard it I thought bugger they are actually going to spend a billion building houses. Another policy stolen from the left, but English simply can’t get his head around the state building houses, or in fact the state spending on anything new.

      This is wide open for Labour-hack a couple of billion from roads and defence and spend it on building six thousand 21st century state houses and apartments. Economies of scale should bring these in at $350k each on average.

  3. Incognito 3

    The policy will require the Government to temporarily ditch its plans to pay down debt, adding $1 billion to the net borrowings. It’s expected to take 10 years to pay the loan off.

    Just out of interest, what are the Government’s net borrowings?

    Next question, how can the Nats afford another election bribe of a $3 billion tax cut in 2017?

    • Sabine 3.1

      they can’t, but those that would get that tax bribe don’t care. they get theirs while you and i will pay for it.

      National, stealing from poor John to give to rich Jim…..cause Jim is greasing their dirty fingers.

  4. Descendant Of Sssmith 4

    Another day, another dollar in debt.

    The councils aren’t selling off their assets fast enough for these pricks so this government wants more leverage over them.

    In debt to the government seems a good way to force asset sales when the piper needs the books to look better.

    From whence are they borrowing this billion may I ask. Has it already been committed to eg will we baying interest on this billion dollars whether the councils use it or not.

    Will it make the books look better because only actual council commitments to use some of it would be a commitment on the books.

    Have they factored into the calculation the trends of the aging population eg Tauranga.

    17.4 percent of people in Tauranga City are aged 65 years and over, compared with 12.3 percent of the total New Zealand population. 2013 census.

    “This is just a way for us, essentially up front financing that, and as the development contributions come in”

    Yeah right.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/81412803/international-hotel-sofitel-wellington-fights-350k-development-fee–and-succeeds

  5. save nz 5

    Stop selling state houses. (pretty obvious).
    Stop bowling down state houses for carparks Auckland council (pretty obvious).
    Stop immigration apart from exceptional cases. (pretty obvious).

    • dave 5.1

      they cant because home owners are so over leveraged any change in policy will bring the house cards down and the economy with it the natz have been so irresponsible NZ could collapse. the government gets to keep billion dollar loan as an asset same as student debt and msd debt English gets to cook the books i really think this country is broke.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        +1

        This country is in the crapper financially and National keeps making it worse. Labour really doesn’t do much better.

        • Gavin 5.1.1.1

          Labour did a heap better in their last three terms. Crown debt was almost wiped out, and some of it had been there for a long time. They did it by holding a sensible tax rate for the wealthy, and keeping tax loopholes fairly tight. Of course economic conditions were good, but Labour chose to build a financial buffer, and National has eroded that, plus a lot more. So I’m not happy to see your comment, Draco, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            They did it by holding a sensible tax rate for the wealthy, and keeping tax loopholes fairly tight.

            It was a slightly better tax rate on the wealthy but not a good one and they didn’t do anything about tax loopholes at all.

            Crown debt was almost wiped out, and some of it had been there for a long time.

            Yep, they did – did you see how private debt accelerated though?

            We have a debt fuelled financial system and it’s either through government debt or through private debt that the economy grows. The end result is that the economy collapses.

            Both National and Labour continue to support this failed system.

            So I’m not happy to see your comment, Draco, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

            diddums.

            And, it actually does stand up to scrutiny – Labour haven’t changed their ideas about how the system should work since the 1980s and it’s the same set of ideas that National uses.

            • Gavin 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour tried by example to get private people to save more, they set up the Cullen Fund, they were being careful with their spending, and making sure it had a chance of being productive. The average dairy farmer had a capital gain of over $1mill during that period, homeowners did well too, and that’s what fired off some extra private and farm debt. Much like now, record new car sales, which I suspect are being largely financed with urban mortgage increases.

              Only this time the National govt is being especially irresponsible in their direction, because the increase in Auckland house prices are strongly correlated with the changes in net migration for all of NZ. They control the driving force of that change, they could put a stop to it overnight.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The average dairy farmer had a capital gain of over $1mill during that period, homeowners did well too, and that’s what fired off some extra private and farm debt.

                Some?

                It was massive amounts of it without which NZ would have been in a recession and probably depression.

                Same applies now of course. Without the massive increase in both private and government debt NZ would be in a depression. That’s how the system works. The increasing debt is what drives the economy and allows for profit – until such time that the debt can no longer be serviced at which point the whole lot falls down.

                Labour started us on that road in the 1980s and continued it in the 2000s. National have doubled down on it and Labour are looking to keep to similar policies.

                • Gavin

                  I guess it’s a question of which party will be in power when Auckland prices inevitably fall for a bit. Of course we can’t all keep consuming stuff at the same rate on average, the model will have to change at some point short-medium term, but I still think Labour have a better clue about that, than National.

                  http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key-graphs/key-graph-household-debt

                  Note: National has brought us to even higher private debt levels as a percentage of income. The cost to service this is at about average, because of the historically low interest rates. My generation had a bit of a dream run, we borrowed anyway, and it tended to pay off.

          • jcuknz 5.1.1.1.2

            But Gavin … I cannot see any of all those state houses they built

  6. seeker 6

    Quote from Newshub written report on the ‘new’ billion dollar housing fund:

    “The government doesn’t have firm figures on how many new homes it will help provide, but Prime Minister John Key says it’s “nearer to tens of thousands.”

    As if he knows anything….except how to ‘false harbinge’.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/at-a-glance-the-housing-infrastructure-fund-2016070314

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    I think that more than anything else it shows that the Key government is terrified of even trying to do their job. They know they’d stuff it up.

  8. Peter Swift 8

    Gutting the rma and forever destroying green field sites for building and lending a billion bucks to councils for infrastructure needed to build may be one way out of the mess that is NZ housing these days, but for me, I’d rather someone clamp down on investors and non permanent residents.

    Does anyone believe that no matter how many new houses are built, the majority of them won’t still get snapped up by the same interests who have distorted the property market in the first place?

    Deck chairs on the Titanic indeed.

    • North 8.1

      Swift endorsement Swift !

    • ropata 8.2

      Exactly. No change to the regulatory environment, so the same incentives exist for landbanking & collecting empty houses as an investment option. It’s all arse backwards and getting more ponzi-like the longer it continues.

    • Bearded Git 8.3

      Agreed Mr. Swift. The gutting of the RMA will do nothing for house supply or house prices but will do everything to help profit-hungry developers screw up NZ’s landscapes, especially in Wanaka and Queenstown.

      In terms of the $1billion infrastructure loan, the developers should be paying for most of this anyway.

      • Peter Swift 8.3.1

        Yep! All these belated measures that promise glimpses of homes to first time buyers, yet the reality is they’ll still be underfunded or outbid by investors and foreign nationals.

        And since when is it rate payers and councils responsibility to make developers more money?
        Blind leading the blind, here.

  9. Keith 9

    Don’t address the herd of elephants in the room like;

    Speculators both domestic and foreign.
    Migration.

    No, just pick another billion out of thin air (as Phil Twyford states is already their anyway) to go with the other 3 billion dollar for the tax cut bribe and hey presto, more fuel added to the bonfire and best of all done jack shit to fix anything.

    Another spectacular fail from the National Party’s whose base instinct is to appeal to the terminally stupid!

    • Sabine 9.1

      actually you just mentioned why it is a win for National and those that vote National.

      Any cent spend on housing will be for speculators be they domestic or international, as clearly the last few years have shown that very few of any houses build are actually in the ‘affordable’ range and non in the ‘social/state house’ range.

      So essentially National is offering councils to get into further debt so as to build something that a National voter/National Business interest can then buy. Whats not to like about that.

      IF you are a national supporter who does not care about country nor citizens and who is happy to in-debt the lot of the country for their short term gain.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        So essentially National is offering councils to get into further debt so as to build something that a National voter/National Business interest can then buy. Whats not to like about that.

        John Key’s whole career. It’s all he really knows.

  10. Stephen Doyle 10

    Unless I heard wrong, yesterday on The Nation, Key said that the state had no interest in building houses itself.

    • Gangnam Style 10.1

      Indeed he did, basically he would rather hand the money over to speculators/developers, and people have the gall to call him ‘centre-right’.

      In the same interview he said he won’t make rules against land banking either, after he promised to in 2008, just free up more land to land bank seemed to be the message.

  11. Pat 11

    there is currently a glut of houses in Christchurch….what is lacking is a supply of affordable housing in relation to incomes.

  12. rod 12

    I think Hosking will give it the thumbs up.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      He’ll cream himself repeating “1 billion dollars” over and over.

  13. Sookie 13

    Everyday I thank the lord I don’t have to work for Auckland Council. Councils can borrow money cheap through a special LGNZ fund. They don’t borrow money to build infrastructure to help scumbag property developers as most are indebted anyway, ratepayers are not fond of debt and most Councils don’t believe their role is to give developers a free ride, but to serve the community and fulfill their statutory obligations. This is the most worthless, useless pack of wankers we have ever had in govt. They’re not even honest about not giving a toss like Bolger and Richardson and that lot, but hide their disdain for the peasants and love for their rich mates behind a tissue of lies and crap policies.
    But never mind, the house I just bought will probably go up 100K in a year due to desperate Auckland refugees so I can take the money and go move somewhere cheaper. Wayhey! Might as well get on the its all about me bandwagon. Everyone else is.

  14. Incognito 14

    Audrey Young has written an update on this in the NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11667990

    But why was Auckland mayoral candidate Victoria Crone given a platform in this piece? Was it because she was acting like a true National cheerleader and trying to talk and sound tough?

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Government which doesn’t believe in throwing money at a problem now throwing money at a problem.

    Policy on the hoof, they’re knackered.

    Peters accurate, as is Seymour…

    Here after, this government will seek to blame local government for the housing crisis on the pretence that they, and not central government, are responsible for the massive demand that now exists.

    – Peters

    Act Party leader David Seymour was critical of the announcement, saying it was designed to generate positive “$1 billion” headlines.

  16. feijoa 16

    Jeepers, these Nats just love to stick it to councils dont they?

    So does this mean we are going to have houses all over Pukekohe (for example), our most valuable horticultural land, which working people can’t afford to buy, the commute is a killer, and rates go up and up as the council struggles to repay the debt?
    Oh, and food will go up in price as we pave all the vege gardens
    They are going to pave paradise, and we dont know what we’ve got til it’s gone..

    Labour and the Greens should be hammering the Nats on this

    • Sabine 16.1

      and don’t forget teh future toll roads 🙂 40 cnt a kilometer or something like that. Surely it must be good for someone.

    • Stuart Munro 16.2

      When the music stops whoever is holding the bag is going to face the ire of NZ like never before. Key is counting on the whoever being someone else. Councils are easy targets cos they can’t regulate uphill.

  17. dv 17

    So 1Billion to guid the infrastructure to build 10s of thousands of houses

    10,000 is 100k per house

    Or a repayment of 10k per house per year.

  18. Richardrawshark 18

    If you can’t get the builders to build them fast enough what is a billion dollars spent on infrastructure going to do.

    It’s just a big number to fool the masses, more bullshit.

  19. OldTimer 19

    Could have a Housing Corporation to loan to families so they can pay off a house at less than renting.
    Once upon a time developers built the roads and drains now the Government is lending money to councils will the developers reduce the sale prices so families can buy instead of LandLords

  20. Sabine 20

    “The policy will require the Government to temporarily ditch its plans to pay down debt, adding $1 billion to the net borrowings”

    so is the government admitting that its budget is just a useless piece of crap and Bill English still can’t math for the life of him?

  21. Nick 21

    Exactly….just a big number for the media (and Hosking) in a really big Font….key simply doesnt know any other way to communicate other than lie….it just flows like a sewer….hes superb at the 10% ‘good news’ sentence, telling you part truth, but conveniently blurring and leaving out the 90% reality effect.

  22. ropata 22

    FJK is attempting to turn the Government into a shonky investment bank holding councils and the powerless to ransom. Forcing average kiwis to load up on debt in order to live.

    Yeah Bill English is great at slashing services and pillaging SOE’s and Kiwisaver but when it comes to helping house the vulnerable he forgets what the Pope said and becomes a disciple of Ayn Rand.

    A pathetic half arsed gesture from a lame government that’s out of ideas.

    • Stuart Munro 22.1

      The thing that strikes me about this one, and Bennett’s $5000 ‘get-out-of-Auckland-free’ scheme, is that these are the kind of policies not very bright folk draw up in lager foam on a bar fairly well into the night.

      They are not informed by Treasury or the relevant ministry officials, they are nothing more concrete than the semi-barbaric whims that Gnats exhibit in those brief interludes between stealing assets and molesting children.

  23. Greg 23

    This is just really, ‘TV news, sound bite’ policy, ONE BILLION DOLLARS,

    The hidden catch in this interest free loan is liens on councils assets.

    They are talking about taking land of land bankers. =theft,
    So will the Treaty of Waitangi protect these non Maori landowners,
    its suppose to be our founding document.

    How many SOE’s are land bankers,

  24. Greg 24

    Auckland city council, owns what something like 12 golf courses, it leases well below market rates.
    So why threaten private owners?

  25. whispering kate 25

    What about all the pony clubs around Auckland, acres and acres of land which could be bought and filled with housing. Their land rates must be very minimal as they are vast. Doesn’t it seem a bit odd to have a pony club smack in the middle of residential areas, it does to me. Who owns these holdings and why are they allowed to exist in residential zoning areas. Sports fields are fine as they are not as huge and definitely serve a purpose but ponies are for rural areas and there they should be located. Land banking should really be looked at as well, there are heaps of parcels of land which, in my own personal knowledge have been vacant for almost 20 years locally where I live.

    • save nz 25.1

      Don’t forget all the state houses that need bowling for car parks. sarc.

      Rather than taking out green space and making our city even worse, lets look at what the real problems and solutions should be…

      • mauī 25.1.1

        Privatised green space by the rich is a problem, just look at golf clubs, assets in often prime locations serving little public good.

        • Draco T Bastard 25.1.1.1

          The golf clubs are mostly council land and, no, I don’t think that the council should be building on them as cities need the green space for social well being. Of course, I do think it would be better if the council turned them into parks/playgrounds that everyone could enjoy rather than leaving them as golf clubs.

  26. fisiani 26

    National put up $1,000,000,000 of infrastructure money and incredibly still the Left whinge. Hard to believe.

    • Incognito 26.1

      I didn’t know that David Seymour, Peter Dunne, and Winston Peters, to name just a few, were on the Left. You learn something new every day.

      A tip for next time: add the decimal zeroes for maximum effect.

    • joe90 26.2

      Oh do fuck off – all national and bludger Bill have done is put the nation deeper into hock.

    • Herodotus 26.3

      Any large scale land developer already pays for and constructs extensions to Watercare for waste water, stormwater and water supply & gas and fibre to Chorus from existing infrastructure, and for all of these digs the trenches pays for materials & hard infrastructure. So what do these providers get ? Additional customers and no cash outlay in expanding their customer base.
      What is lacking is enlarged infrastructure. Look at Aukland in regard to the motorway & arterial networks which are at breaking point during peak traffic flows, with additional 43k new cars pa on Ak roads.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78241308/43-000-more-cars-on-Aucklands-roads-leads-to-increased-congestion
      Schools not coping with the demands that infill housing creates.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/71075879/auckland-schools-bursting-with-too-many-students
      For Auckland we have 4 large hospitals, the pop. is increasing by over 40k p.a. and these hospitals are expected to cope with an increasing pop. but with static resources.
      How about the govt provide adequate funding to support its pop. growth policies ? No that will be the problem for a govt in 5-years time to solve and then take another 5 years to implement, all due to problems that are currently being created. 🙁

    • ropata 26.4

      John Key farts; fisiani declares that it has a delicious scent of wild flowers and Nz should inhale deeply

  27. Graeme 27

    And then they come out with this, “Government look at hardline measure to seize property for development” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11668057

    So, combine this with Urban Development Authorities and we’re back to the days when councils (and Ministry of Works) could actually plan and control development. Probably don’t need new legislation, just get the UDAs right and give Public Works Act some teeth again. Could be a good thing.

    The resulting melt-down in the National party from this assault on private property rights will be entertaining.

    More popcorn.

  28. Jenny 28

    Another big hand out to developers and speculators to build lots more unaffordable houses.

    Half the way to bulldozing them before they are ever inhabited.

    • s y d 28.1

      There is also the big hint that JK dropped last week (IIRC) about getting Chinese State Construction companies to build the ‘horizontal infrastructure’. This is a huge joke, I can just see the talk about hundreds of new ‘jobs’ – most likely the same ‘jobs’ as those taking the asbestos out of Kiwirail locomtoives….

  29. Jenny 29

    The problem is that houses are too expensive to rent or buy due to a huge speculative bubble, that the government refuses to see, or admit to.

    Building more expensive houses that people can’t afford will not solve the problem.

    I mean, does anyone really expect families living in cars existing on the minimum wage or a benefit to be able to afford an “affordable $300.000 house”.

    Forget about the homeless, the only people whose interests the government are really interested in serving, are the developers and speculators, and the banks, who are being gifted all the infrastructure they need for their large new speculative housing subdivisions, all paid for by us.

    In Ireland and California following similar stupidity they had to bulldoze whole newly built housing estates because these new homes couldn’t be sold at the speculative prices that were being asked.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2531852/Exorcising-Irelands-ghost-estates-Demolition-begins-housing-projects-built-economic-boom-left-country-300-000-homes.html

    • Incognito 29.1

      Apparently, there’s a spike in interest from people in the US and UK to emigrate to NZ. I reckon housing affordability won’t be a problem for the next wave of immigrants into NZ.

    • ropata 30.1

      This is exactly what National is doing by stealth in AKL and CHC.

      It’s utterly immoral, greedy crony capitalism. The “free market” model is broken. Maybe it was a lie from the start.

      • Draco T Bastard 30.1.1

        Capitalism has always been all about enriching a few at the expense of everyone else. The economists can’t see this and still hold on to their perfect competition hypothesis which just justifies the continued theft and exploitation.

        • Stuart Munro 30.1.1.1

          Yes – but this government combines capitalism with rampant corruption and dishonesty. There is a kind of fairness within honest conservative capitalism that favours the lucky and the talented as well as the rich, though the processes of crude accumulation are somewhat uneven. But the addition of dishonesty and corruption destroys any pretence of systemic fairness as well as crushing any adventitious shreds of meritocracy – destroying rather than building productivity and wealth. Not many economists will endorse the kind of kleptocracy we have here – (unless their salary depends upon it) once they understand what’s going on.

          • Draco T Bastard 30.1.1.1.1

            …honest conservative capitalism…

            There is no such thing. Capitalism is inherently corrupt. A few people operating in it may be honest people but the system itself is corrupt and so those people still act corruptly while believing that they act rightly.

            • Stuart Munro 30.1.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps – but the attempt to be honest even within the limits of the system is nevertheless important. A parallel might be journalistic objectivity – this is never perfectly attainable, but trying to pursue it makes a real difference to the product, as illustrated by useless non-journalists like Hosko & Henry, who don’t even try.

              Rightwing governments did not always steal public assets and fritter away revenue on the scale of John Key – or we would have grown up in a howling wasteland instead of being now poised on the brink of one.

      • NZJester 30.1.2

        The free market theory has always had those two big flaws that it is unable to cope with. Those flaws are greed and dishonesty. There is no real free market as the greedy and dishonest have found it so easy to manipulate the market in their favor.
        The average worker needs to have unions to try to negotiate a true market wage for them and give them equal power as the employer. The greedy employers go about union busting and ignoring rules that have no teeth in order to keep the wages artificially low below true market price.

  30. Jenny 31

    “The Ghost House Epidemic”

    Rise of the ghost homes – More than 33,000 Auckland dwellings officially classified empty

    More than 33,000 Auckland dwellings are officially classified empty as the city grapples with a crisis of affordable housing and homelessness.

    Auckland’s 6.6 per cent vacancy rate is higher than either Sydney (5.2 per cent) or Melbourne (4.8 per cent), where there has been an uproar over “ghost houses” deliberately left empty by speculators trading on a soaring market. …

    Compare this above figure to the number of homeless families in Auckland, or nationally (up to 20,000), and you would see that the housing problem is not one of lack of supply but of affordability.

    So what does Phil Goof say when one of the other Mayoral candidates suggests putting punitive charges on those who deliberately keep houses empty.
    Instead of stealing this policy and making it an issue for the Left, Phil Goof opposes this measure on the grounds that it will penalise people with baches.

    • ropata 31.1

      What else do you expect from an old school Rogernome and the architect of the tppa. Goof is a munter, but probably the ‘least bad’ option for mayor

      • Jenny 31.1.1

        Phil Goff the Ken Barlow of New Zealand politics.

        If Phil Goff is the answer, what was the question again?

        Oh yes, that’s right…

        Who else, (apart from David Cunliffe, too left) can we get to replace Len Brown.

  31. Peter 32

    So National sell off state houses and then get local bodies to borrow to set up infrastructure so that others might build houses available on the open market? Is there any specific provision for social housing? Have the Nats shifted the housing problem from central government to local authorities?

  32. Adrian 33

    Look at the city you want in how ever many years.
    Golf courses, pony paddocks and ” useless” parks are essential urban open land, it should not be all houses.
    London is, to my surprise, 40% parkland, God only knows what it would be like if all built out.

  33. save nz 34

    Love the way the ‘capital gains road tax’ being introduced is really going to work (sarc). Lets think about it, you are a first home buyer or property owner who is forced to live further out of the city to buy a cheaper house, low and behold the council/government decided to put on a $4-$40 charge per day to drive to work. After telling everyone the housing crisis was about not having enough land and there needs to be more houses outside of the city, they then decide to tax those people to discourage them from living there!

    Or you are a developer and looking to spend millions on developing houses in green field areas. However you then realise that there is a lot of uncertainties as the council/government is deciding to tax people for living further out with a new road tax (against having rail and park/rides servicing the area). So you may not make a profit or have anyone want to live there. You then decide to not develop the land and wait to see what happens as you do not want to go bankrupt.

    And we all know that those who decided this ludicrous road tax idea lives in Herne Bay, Remora and the like, and not likely to be hit by any of the road taxes themselves.

    Unlike if they had put a petrol tax on, which is much fairer as everyone who is driving around Auckland would have been hit by the tax including Herne Bay owners and the Ports of Auckland who do not use rail to shift their cargo but polluting and congesting trucks.

  34. dv 35

    The 1B deal is a bit like Mum and Dad loaning junior $25,000 to buy a $500,000 house.

  35. s y d 36

    Gotta keep the donations rolling in eh fellas!

    “Timothy Yang, or Yang Xiangtai, is China Construction New Zealand’s managing director.
    Yang questioned PM John Key a Chinese Chamber of Commerce event held last month, where he criticised the length of time it took to get infrastructure built – referring to the Penlink project.
    On the weekend at the National Party conference in Christchurch, Key announced a new $1 billion fund to fast-track infrastructure development by councils with high new housing demands.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11668296

    • Pasupial 36.1

      It does seem that property developers are one of the few groups enthused by this announcement. Of course, the real money is in the high-cost high-return luxury end of the market; and there is no guarantee that, once completed, those won’t remain empty most of the time – especially in a “destination”.

      A prominent Queenstown property developer… Alastair Porter commended the Government last night for “thinking outside the square” about ways to overcome obstacles to building new homes…
      The Government is also considering establishing Urban Development Authorities (UDAs) to help speed up the supply of new housing.

      UDAs have streamlined powers to override barriers to large-scale development, including potentially taking responsibility for planning and consenting…

      Mr Porter said… “I know councils don’t intend to be a hindrance, but their interpretation of the RMA is very cautious and results in enormous hold-ups to development.”

      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/389088/developer-praises-new-housing-fund

      • save nz 36.1.1

        The RMA gets 99% of resource consents through apparently…. does not sound cautious to me! Sounds like it needs reform in the opposite direction!!

        As for developers, most of them have been bankrupt more than once so their level of risk seems high… In Auckland we have the legendary Mark Lyon, an heir to the wealthy Goodman Fielder Wattie empire, property developer and convicted sex offender to multiple bankrupt David Henderson… Truly men of character and ethics… developing our cities…

  36. leftie 37

    But on the 20th of June 2016, John key wanted to change our laws to by pass the councils for Chinese government owned companies.

    “Key said he had been approached by Chinese state-owned infrastructure companies and others willing to build both residential developments and the water and roading infrastructure needed to support those developments. But to do this, the Government would need to change the laws to allow the creation of these UDAs, which would then pass on development contributions directly to developers, instead of the Auckland Council.”

    <a href="http://www.interest.co.nz/news/82186/pm-says-govt-looking-creating-urban-development-authorities-allow-developers-build-both

    You can see why liar John key never uttered a word of this yesterday.

    • save nz 37.1

      Sounds like a way to make a whole lot of money for National and Chinese business out of the tax payers to prop up immigration – win win.

      • leftie 37.1.1

        Spot on Save NZ

      • leftie 37.1.2

        On the Daily Review 20 June 2016 I posted that :
        As usual John key wants to give the finger to Kiwis in favour of the Chinese government’s requests to employ it’s workers. It’s nothing new that John key has favoured giving NZ government contracts to China over Kiwis, (some NZ companies have closed down because of it), but never on this massive scale though, its like John key wants to screw New Zealand over for the final time before he gets kicked out next year. The yes man puppet has once again shown that he works for his foreign interests, and doesn’t work for New Zealand and its people. I suppose this is the payback for all the foreign money flowing into the country for property speculation that’s propping up key’s fake economy.

        “PM says Govt looking at creating urban development authorities to allow developers to build both horizontal infrastructure and buildings and then recover money through development contributions; Chinese developers interested, he says
        Posted in News June 20, 2016 – 10:35am, Bernard Hickey”

        <a href="https://www.interest.co.nz/news/82186/pm-says-govt-looking-creating-urban-development-authorities-allow-developers-build-both

    • Greg 37.2

      In addition, a maximum of 1000 skilled Chinese workers at any one time may be granted temporary employment for up to three years, in specified occupations where New Zealand has a skills shortage. Entry is limited to no more than 100 workers in each occupation at any one time.

      http://queencitylaw.co.nz/changes-for-skilled-workers-employment-entry-under-the-new-zealand-china-fta/

      where are they going to be accommodated, ex cruise ship?

      • leftie 37.2.1

        Spot on Greg.

        World’s biggest builder arrives in NZ for $375m in contracts

        <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11668296

        It appears John key already set it up long before anything was spoken or published. Interesting that this giant Chinese government owned company “quietly’ slipped into the country.

        • TheBlackKitten 37.2.1.2

          I seen that too. This is of a very real concern. Why are we letting all these overseas companies come in and suck up the work? Do we not have any NZ construction companies capable of doing this? If not then should we not be working on why not instead of opening ourselves to let the Chinese do as they please. I hope they will be following NZ health and safety rules and our employment laws. They leave a lot to be desired with how they carry on at home in these areas.
          Key lacks any imagination or passion for NZ and governs like an administrator who follows the leader. We need better than that, we need a PM who has passion, desire and vision for NZ to do well and who will have the courage to take the direction that is needed to achieve that. Opening ourselves up for foreign companies to do work we should be doing is not beneficial to NZ.

          • Colonial Viper 37.2.1.2.1

            And when the work done turns out to be inevitable shite, are NZ workers going to have to do all the fixing up.

            • Sabine 37.2.1.2.1.1

              nah, it will be another foreign owned company that will do the labour.

              question, is this company allowed to bring in its own workers? will the min. wage of NZ apply or the min. wage of china? will they be paying taxes in NZ or China? Will ACC help them if they fall of the scaffolding? Will they be subject to OSH? If the company brings its own workers where will they be housed? Will they get working permits or Residence Permits? Will NZ workers have to be employed? Or can a ‘skill shortage’ be made up to import workers?

              ahhhh, who the fuck cares.

              • Colonial Viper

                Seeing all those Chinese workers come in to fix up those shitty asbestos filled trains from China, these are all the right questions to ask. If only the MSM cared.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

              • ropata

                Will the building consents be clogged up in Council red tape? Will the plans require approval from NZ based architects or engineers? Will they be subject to NZ building standards? Will they use NZ manufactured materials? Will the government do anything to stop cartel behaviour and price fixing in the supply chain? Will these foreign companies also train up NZ apprentices? Will the government accept liability for shonky work as a result of the inevitable debacle? (per leaky homes fiasco, CTV tragedy)

                Will NZ new home buyers get a chance or are these developments going to be snapped up by the (foreign & domestic) investor class?

          • Draco T Bastard 37.2.1.2.2

            Why are we letting all these overseas companies come in and suck up the work? Do we not have any NZ construction companies capable of doing this?

            All the offshore companies do is come in and use our people. They almost never bring in their own people to do the job as that would be too expensive.

            What this means in practical terms is that the offshore company coming in and doing the job does absolutely nothing for NZ (obviously we could have done the job without the offshore company) but the company gets to siphon money out of NZ.

            The reason why it’s being done is pure ideology which is not related to reality at all.

  37. Smilin 38

    First opening salvo to secure the next election for the Nat sheep voters to go “Wow the poor should be grateful” as the rich suck a another ton of champers
    How dumb, Key needs to put his priorities in order 20 Billion need in housing instead of defence

  38. This is sticking plaster stuff. Not addressing the real issue and rolling out some simplistic policy to make it look like you are doing something reeks of sheer utter incompetence. The real issue with housing is that this government is just too darn incompetent to handle it and they lack any ability of having any guts to do what is really needed.
    If they or any other political party were really serious about housing affordability then they would do:
    a. Stop immigration until our infrastructure, public transport and roading was up to coping with more people.
    b. Demand that business get out of Auckland and into the regions which would spread employment opportunities throughout NZ rather than it been concentrated to one place that in turn creates high demand for housing etc.
    c. Ban overseas student visas. This attracts more people to Auckland and is currently rife with abuse with employers not paying a fair wage to frightened migrants.
    d. Tax the shit out of investors. Currently due to such a high demand for housing, investors see renting out property as a form of guaranteed money that is creating ridiculous situations where people have portfolios of 164 houses. They are outbidding the first home buyer who is then forced to rent of them. This needs to be stopped.
    e. Drench Auckland with supply. Go up and out. And how about getting all these corporates that make millions and insist on doing business in Auckland to pay for any urban sprawl and updates on infrastructure needed. Why is this cost being palmed back to the tax payer/ratepayer when is it is these businesses refusal to move to the regions that is creating demand pressure in the cities in the first place.
    Auckland is choking at the neck with too many people and not having enough infrastructure to cope with all of these migrants. The pressure and hurt that it is putting on people in Auckland is a huge issue for me and it will be how I direct my vote if I do decide to vote next year.

  39. ropata 40

    Shame that TS & TDB do not cross-post, because Bomber wrote an incisive short piece on this billion dollar bribe

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/07/04/a-1billion-dollar-bribe-to-developers-using-borrowed-money-isnt-a-solution/

    A $1billion dollar bribe to developers using borrowed money isn’t a solution! Pop up housing isn’t a solution! The Government getting off its bum building houses IS the solution!

    This Government do not want to pop the property bubble they have built because it’s the only thing propping up the economy and the inflated sense of wealth the middle classes have derived from property speculation keeps them voting National.

    The self interest to do nothing while pretending to do something is despicable. The solution is for the Government to take an active role, not leave it to the bloody free market!

    The only thing this Government can build are tax havens!

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    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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