web analytics

Building Nations

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, August 16th, 2018 - 72 comments
Categories: economy, Economy, employment, infrastructure, labour, overseas investment, phil twyford - Tags:

The Building Nations event hosted by Infrastructure New Zealand, held in Auckland is happening on Thursday and Friday this week. Here’s the agenda.

It was sold out months ago, at $2,000+ per head. It’s the peak event for construction and infrastructure funders including banks, global top-twenty constructors and utilities, top consultancies and construction lawyers and other service industries, officials galore from Ministries and public commercial entities, and of course politicians major and minor.

Phil Twyford is the keynote this morning. Sure, it’s one conference among many in a calendar. But it’s quite a gathering.

He laid out the challenge to them all: this government will wrestle with transport and real estate as one, towards rebuilding large parts of cities, at scale, on behalf of whole percentages of New Zealand’s deprived population. Has has specific governance machineries in mind to do it.

It is ambitious, organized, and about as risky as the state’s interventions get. The big question is how to spend the $28b effectively, efficiently, gaining as many policy multipliers as can be got.

There are implied rebukes in there of the “business confidence” foolishness.

No more than perhaps five Australasian firms can take this set of challenges on. It will need the Spanish, the Chinese, the Germans and the French to contest – as well as any local who can still lift a spade.

To give a sense of the challenges, at the NZTA light rail briefing last week, the room was packed with over 200 people representing the biggest and the best the world has to offer. But NZTA had little fresh to add, and are nowhere near a procurement process. Nor any sign yet of the mechanisms to integrate light rail with housing redevelopment into attractive deals. Ripe for an impatient interventionist Minister.

HLC (Housing Land Community) and HNZ (Housing New Zealand) are rocketing away with their redevelopment challenges. They will be coming out with a preferred decade-long alliance for civil works in the next few weeks.

Every era is different, every context needs fresh instruments and policies. It’s not the same as Michael Joesph Savage’s time.

But as ever in this country, the left succeeds for people when it corrals and teams the largest businesses to common ends. It’s now.

With these people around me here.

This government knows it will stand or fall on whether citizens get real dividends within one term from all this expenditure, all these deals. Once elected, that’s what you rise to.

Most in this conference room today will make fast money, and slow money, through boomtime and downturn. From what I see here, they can see it will be worth their while – if their risk machinery is sufficiently tuned, their capacity-engines gunned, their commercial partnerships trusting and profitable for many years. And … and … if this government lasts.

Phil Twyford is the Minister confronting, engaging and tilting the whole of NZ real estate capitalism. Apart from real estate brokers, that is the sum of what is here. Row upon row, this is the core of the useful business-government relationship.

Beyond redistribution, what this sixth Labour-led government can do is build.

To be honest it’s exciting as government gets.

72 comments on “Building Nations”

  1. Gosman 1

    And it is a recipe for being a complete flop. Already there is resistance building to what is required.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/106252851/550-lettuces-if-fertile-pukekohe-land-turned-into-houses

    Given the Greens are anti-development on Green field sites the Government will be massively constrained in what it can effectively do

    • Ad 1.1

      The cabbages are revolting.

      And your kind are just not in the room.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Do you think rural land in Pukekohe should be protected from Urban development?

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Are their cabbage leaves enough shelter for the homeless under bridges?

          Three years of highest homelessness in the OECD.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1

            Do you think that farmland near Pukekohe should be protected – yes or no?

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That depends on whether it is better to protect the homeless under bridges more.

              In my view that is the more pressing problem for New Zealand.

              At the moment the Unitary Plan has specific provisions about sensitive land. So of course, that issue is not binary and the regulatory framework is sensitive to it.

              • Gosman

                And I agree with you. However the problem for Phil Twyford is that a lot of people support the idea of protecting the farmland. That is why this is a recipe for a cluster f##k

                • Ad

                  Bill Cashmore the Auckland Deputy Mayor whose family have been farming inthe south of Auckland since the 1870s, was also speaking this morning and had a completely different view to you.

                  The Unitary Plan and the Auckland Plan hearings heard all these complaints ad nauseum.

                  But when it came to making money, the Winstones and all the others in the Franklin area sold out and fucking ran.

                  All the way to the fucking bank.

                  All that matters in the end is the right amount of money at the right time. I’m expecting a grand paen to the history of the Pukekohe Onion in a minute.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Winstones ? Dont you mean Stephensons and wasnt the sellout in Drury not Pukekohe

                  • Molly

                    Since I live here, it would may be of interest to note that many of those primary producers out here actively sought landzone changes.

                    I know of some longtime growers who have participated in subdivision for residential purposes, now complaining that their son cannot easily find leasehold land for continuing the family business. Also, they are against further conversion, but not necessarily when it is friends or business associates. Therein lies the problem.

                    Bill Cashmore may talk well, but I’ve noted that his conversation and conviction can seem to relate a different perspective depending on the audience. Advocated quite passionately for a fencing fund for farmers to be provided by Auckland Council though, which it was, without requirement for any standards compliance.

            • Kevin 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Are you saying farmers should not be allowed to realise on the one major asset they own?

              Supply and demand, that IS the market Gos.

              • Gosman

                Of course I’m not. Hence why I oppose protecting farmland from being converted to urban housing.

                • left_forward

                  Yeah good one Gos, let’s build our houses on our most fertile land!
                  Meh – who needs planning?

              • Jilly Bee

                As a relative newcomer to the Matamata area, one of the first things I noticed was farmland which is now leased out or purchased by Willcox (potatoes) and whichever firm grows and harvests onions – many hectares are now market gardening as has been in the Pukekohe area for yonks. Actually we were cautioned against purchasing on the north side of Matamata as it becomes a continuous dust bowl during the onion harvest.

          • Stunned Mullet 1.1.1.1.2

            ‘Australia, the Czech Republic and New Zealand report a relatively large incidence of homelessness, and this is partly explained by the fact that these countries adopt a broad definition of homelessness.

            In Australia people are considered as homeless if they have “no other options to acquire safe and secure housing are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household or living in uninhabitable housing”.

            In the Czech Republic the term homeless covers “persons sleeping rough
            (roofless), people who are not able to procure any dwelling and hence live in accommodation for the homeless, and people living in insecure accommodation and people staying in conditions which do not fulfil the minimum standards of living […]”.

            In New Zealand homelessness is defined as “living situations where people with no other options to acquire safe and secure housing: are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household or living in uninhabitable housing.” ‘

            • andrew murray 1.1.1.1.2.1

              you do see what’s implicit in your comment?

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.2.2

              You can read those definitions out to the families in cars in the park.
              It’ll be sure to warm them up.

              • dukeofurl

                Would those people living in cars be suprised to hear they are classified the same as ‘sharing accommodation with a household’, ie roof over their head , beds to sleep in, washing facilities.

            • Gabby 1.1.1.1.2.3

              You have a problem with those definitions stunted munter?

          • Siobhan 1.1.1.1.3

            Access to cheap vegetables is an issue for all people on benefits and low wages, having cabbages flown in from Aussie or grown hydroponically would be a disaster for people on limited/no budgets. Feeding programs and food banks are also fairly centralised, and those few lost and lonely carrots and onions you get in the average food bank parcel would completely disappear if we relied even more on imported veggies.
            We need an inspired team of architects and urban planners to design human friendly housing that goes upwards…not outwards.

            Not to mention, shoving the poor to the fringes of a city creates even more issues around transport and air pollution.

            Surely, living poor in the city, when you can walk to centralised health and welfare services beats trying to scramble together the bus fare.

            Building future slums on prime fertile soil is something a Government looking for permanent positive change should absolutely put an end to.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Don’t bother falling for complaints from the usual suspects.

              Those same usual suspects have held on to their land and sold it to housing developers when they felt the price was right. You can see it all through Karaka and Pukekohe now. They took their cheque and ran.

              At the moment we subsidise the housing market through social welfare to the tune of $3 billion per year. We should expect every single city in New Zealand to have fresh developments around it.

              Just to put your mind at rest however, the new Urban Development Agency will be primarily concentrating on brownfield and inner city developments.

              • Siobhan

                Those new housing developments will for the most part still eventually end up in the hands of landlords. The Bill for propping up the profit of private businesses ie landlords, will keep growing. I personally do not see any policies that will reverse the trend of landlordism.
                the Market is King. We are a long long way from a Government willing to end that particular bubble once and for all.

                Even the houses aimed at the first home buyer through kiwibuild, seem to be designed to prop up and encourage ‘The Market, hence there is only a requirement to own them for 3 years before you can sell them for a nice increase in capital gains..

                Turning AK into LA is a crappy future for us all.
                Those fresh developments tend not to stay fresh very long, especially given we insist on houses that have a “minimum lifespan requirements of just 50 years for the building’s structure and 15 years for the durability of the exterior cladding.” . And we wonder why we end up with Global warming.

                ***Really, that is an issue that should be key in this conference. Stop building McMansions, or McApartments (?). Lets go crazy and build houses that don’t start falling to bits and looking crap before the mortgage gets paid off.***

                My mind is not at rest at the thought of the UDA given this Government’s commitment to historically low spending and debt.

                No one is suggesting we pay money to people who ‘took the cheque and ran’. I’m not even sure how that would work. They’ve gone, and they are probably dead keen to invest that cash in the sprawl of Auckland.

              • Molly

                Better planning documents were not provided by the Unitary Plan, that would have considerably helped with housing Aucklanders. Not provision of housing for investors – either here or overseas.

                I have little confidence that unless the essentials are tackled ie. changes to planning, social housing provided as a long term tenancy, improved taxation and rates policies etc. that the housing crisis for many Aucklanders will be solved.

    • lprent 1.2

      Gosman…

      Is it my imagination, or have I started noticing you getting first comment on a lot of posts recently? And in arguably these seem to just be diversion comments largely unrelated to the posts.

      Get the same in Open Mike with the early morning birds..

      I may have to write a diversion of the diverters routine. Easy enough to do. Just add a random number of seconds between 0 and 2600 seconds to the time stamp of any top ‘first’ comment on a post.

      I’d be amused by people gaming that.

  2. adam 2

    Wow two threads your trying to derail with your hard core ideological puffry gosman.

    Funny if that half baked ideology you keep pushing actually worked, there would be no housing crisis, because the hand of the market would have fixed it. There are faires at the end of the garden too mate.

    • Gosman 2.1

      The problem with housing is due to over regulation not with a failure of the market. In fact the market is acting exactly as you would expect in such a situation.

      • millsy 2.1.1

        So how are you going to force all these landowners to build houses then?

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          Make it easy for them to turn non-residential land in to residential land and allow builders to build without too much red tape.

          • Kevin 2.1.1.1.1

            And we all know what happened last time that builders had free reign. Leaky building anyone?

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Then you need to ensure builders take responsibility for doing a good job. A decent insurance scheme should enable that. All house builders should be required to purchase insurance around the build quality of a house that will last beyond the lifetime of their company. This will also reduce the need for building inspectors from the council as the Insurers themselves are going to want to make sure the work is of a good quality.

      • Bill 2.1.2

        So new builds and current housing stock are both up to a standard required to withstand the climatic effects of climate change? And if they aren’t, then that’s because there has been too much regulation preventing “the market” from providing suitably insulated and configured housing with, of course, requisite shade factored in (architectural design and suitable tree plantings) alongside the ubiquitous roll out of autonomous power generation (solar panels etc)?

        You’re right enough that “the market” is acting exactly as expected – “fuck it all and gimme the cash”.

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          Allow developers to build both Climate change friendly and unfriendly options and advertise the resulting properties to people. Then they can decide if they want a cheaper house that won’t cope with Climate change or a more expensive one that will.

          • dukeofurl 2.1.2.1.1

            Do you have an air conditioned car Gosman ?

            of course you do , as there is no other kind. Driver comfort in all climatic conditions is seen as essential. Why not houses.

      • adam 2.1.3

        Sheesh Gossy straight to the ideological talking point you lot have been running with for months.

        Calling BS. Utter and complete BS. You lot are greedy, and therein lies the problem. Regulation so people don’t die in newly built houses is needed exactly because of muppets like you, who did build houses which killed people.

        You know the worst part of your ideology Gossy, you worse than a Stalinist in your blind faith, and let’s face it, Stalinists are a collective of very sick puppies.

        • Gosman 2.1.3.1

          Except the regulations protecting people from “dying” (how many deaths were occurring by the way?) have meant that houses aren’t being built quickly enough and now we have people being forced to live in even worse conditions than before. I believe it is called the law of unintended consequences.

          • adam 2.1.3.1.1

            Now your just an ideological hack at’s it’s vuluge worse. You say people should live in bad condition, because that what the market produces, and it’s better than being homeless. Which by the way, is what the market (as you lot have constructed it) produces.

            But thanks for proving my point of you having ideological blinkers on.

          • Bill 2.1.3.1.2

            how many deaths were occurring by the way?

            Paris. Heatwave of a few years back. Numbered in the thousands if my memory serves me correctly.

            Hundreds in the uk over the past few months.

            Back to thousands in India and Pakistan over the past few years.

            And all of the above just the official figures attributed to excess heat…

          • KJT 2.1.3.1.3

            How many people left with horrendous repair costs, due to the last ideological, deregulation and privatisation burp?
            Christchurch. The effects of cheap labour cowboys coming home to roost, as we speak.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.4

        Ah yes – the housing problem is due to too much (governmental, public service and local body) regulation and red tape. Leaky homes, anyone? No worries, the ‘market’ will fix it!

        To market, to market to buy a fat pig

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    @Gosman,
    NZ Household debt is out of control, NZ is becoming a nation of debt slaves, which I know sit’s in fine within National Party ideology, but then National have always left NZ with more debt and/or decrepit and unmaintained public services/infrastructure along with all sorts huge social problems to fix when they leave the beehive.

    Fair weather friends would be the kindest way to describe National…

  4. bruce 4

    Why look at farmland far from jobs and existing infrastructure, why not look at all the car yards and other underutilised space, Station Rd in Penrose or between New North Rd and the Railway line from Mt Albert shops to Pak n Save for a couple, low rise and terrace houses . Whatever the current owners want for the land would be cheaper than developing green fields miles from anywhere.

    • Ad 4.1

      And indeed they are doing exactly that.

      The Minister bought 30 hectares from Unitec in April, and has his eyes on bunches more areas within Auckland.

      HLC is also in process of redeveloping large parts of Northcote, Mt Roskill, Oranga, and Mangere. It’s by far the biggest urban redevelopment programme we’ve ever seen.

      Anyone who’s a member of an inner city golf club should also expect plans to start being drawn up.

      And all of that before a single lettuce leaf gets pulled from the ground in Auckland’s deepest rural south.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        Pukekohe is undergoing immense greenfields development, with more on the cards. I don’t know where you are getting your information from.

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          Not by the state. Which is what was supposed.

          • Molly 4.1.1.1.1

            Until I became disillusioned, I went to a few of these public housing forums. There is a failure of the national government to direct councils to address the housing crisis in an effective manner – not more of the same.

            The state and council (via Panuku Developments) are selling off public lands, that could be developed to provide social housing by themselves. Instead they are entering into PPP agreements, which assume some form of private profit must be made in order to deliver housing, instead of looking at it from the perspective of housing our own.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.2

            The State is not building many houses that I am aware of. Most of the extra housing is being provided by the private sector as most housing has always been in NZ.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Another great OP Ad. Hope the conference goes well for you; it really does sound inspiring; at least as much as these things ever get 🙂

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    I see the problem as partly one of industry experience and culture. Our construction sector is relatively volatile, and characterized by broken promises and bankruptcies that never reach the perpetrators, who frequently decamp with the money.

    Were I to try to commission a four story apartment building – the height of ordinariness in many countries, I could not approach many NZ companies with confidence. Twyford has his work cut out. Doing an infinitely better job than Nick Smith isn’t particularly taxing, but resolving the housing crisis will take decades – it took decades to stuff everything up.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Yes ever since the RMA was passed.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        I think even you will remember cowboy firms before then.

        If it were just the RMA the Gnats would’ve fixed everything by non-enforcement – same as they did for any number of other inconvenient laws.

        The RMA didn’t create the leaky homes for example.

        You need a better example to validate your prejudices. More than one really.

      • dukeofurl 6.1.2

        RMA ?

        We had the Town and Country Planning Act before that…. we werent Cambodia you know

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    It was sold out months ago, at $2,000+ per head.

    Because having obviously poor people having a say is obviously not what they want.

    This is not how we build a democracy/functioning society. Great way to build a dictatorship/plutocracy though.

    No more than perhaps five Australasian firms can take this set of challenges on.

    Our government could do it all – just need the MoW reinstituted. Even the big foreign firms will just be using local resources and so aren’t needed and just become another siphon of money from the country.

    Most in this conference room today will make fast money, and slow money, through boomtime and downturn.

    So, they’re bludgers.

    • Ad 7.1

      Its a for-profit event. No, it’s not free. But it is the most powerful intersection of politicians, policy, and infrastructure policy around.

      The MoW will never be reinstated. Each historical context is different. Instead NZTA and HLC and the upcoming UDA will do a similar set of tasks.

      This wasn’t the entrepreneurial set today. This was the people who join stuff up, fund it, and make it happen.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Yeah, fully anti-democratic.

        Quoting Why we can’t afford the rich:

        Yet challenging big business is the last thing neoliberal governments want to do, for they are its servant and defender. One of the features of the neoliberal era is the attempt by governments to make individuals responsible for providing for themselves where previously the state did this. It’s clearest in attempts to reduce state provision of education and health and to blame the unemployed for job shortages. Some sociologists, never afraid of coining an ugly word, call this ‘responsibilisation’. Treating our response to global warming as one of individuals becoming more responsible in their choices is entirely consistent with this. In this way, governments can avoid blame if things don’t work out at the same time as they not only avoid challenging big business but deliver new customers to them through privatisation. Focusing purely on individual consumers depoliticises things.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          The conference participants are all there for public sector clients. Representing public expenditure and public assets. $28b of transport funding, $24b of Ak Council family funding, about $12b of housing land and funding.

          There was also discussion about taxing property owners in a variety of instruments.

          I know you love your little book. You like quoting verses out of it ike a Sunday School teacher. Avert your eyes, there’s actual money being spent.

          You’re really bad at understanding the intersection of public policy with the world, and you make no effort to do so.

          This was not a conference you would understand.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            The conference participants are all there for public sector clients.

            Proving that the government has the necessary scale to do this in house. That being the case we could do a better job or save 10% or possibly more if profit taking.

            You’re really bad at understanding the intersection of public policy with the world, and you make no effort to do so.

            I understand it fully including how the rich steal from the rest of us and take away our ability to govern ourselves.

            I know you love your little book.

            And that’s just you refusing to even think about how things could be different and better.

      • RedLogix 7.1.2

        Exactly. It’s a mistake to underestimate the personal energy, skills and competency that it takes to get things done at this scale. I know it sounds a bit Randian, but us despised engineers really do make the modern world tick. Not on our own of course, but without us it would be a very primitive place indeed.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          I would be surprised if there was an engineer at that meeting. They would all have been bureaucrats.

          And I even accept the need for them as well – to a limited degree.

  8. Brutus Iscariot 8

    The issue of the Pukekohe soils is a national security as well as an environmental issue. These factors should override any other concerns or considerations, legitimate though they may be.

  9. CHCOff 9

    The foreign buyers ban is a good start.

    Essentially the thing is, ultimately, in principle and practise, that living in a house is ownership of that home. That’s the standard which all the wonky political haggling needs to be subservient to when it comes to economics.

    Then New Zealand can be a real progressive world leader showcasing the benefits of market supply and demand, as society moves away from the rorting lobbying model to that of added value lobbying calling the shots via the great and efficient power of capitalistic democracy.

    NZ1st!

  10. coodale 10

    If the lifespan of these houses is truely a laughable 50 years, why not a 49 year lease on the land, govt holds land ownership in a transition title, ear-marked for return to agriculture. They could also impose garden as major part of housing development.

    Let me guess, we’ve signed a deal with Oz, to say we cant use that form of ownership law? Time to bypass the country and go to the sate govts? They trying to trick us into joining Oz?

    49 year leases for agriculture, the right can call it the t-pee camp policy.

  11. eco maori 11

    This Government will be in for more than one term enough said

  12. Jenny 12

    Busting Nations

    It was sold out months ago, at $2,000+ per head. It’s the peak event for construction and infrastructure funders including banks, global top-twenty constructors and utilities, top consultancies and construction lawyers….*

    *And all the other bottom feeders gathering at the smell of government largess. J.

    One thing is for sure. At $2,000+ per head, all the orphan volunteer agencies struggling to deal with homelessness at the grass roots level, will not be getting a seat at this glittering table.

    It is ambitious, organized, and about as risky as the state’s interventions get. The big question is how to spend the $28b effectively……

    risky as it gets“, is right. As the Ebert’s collapse shows. Not to mention how similar large housing infrastructure schemes ended up in Ireland and Spain

    Largely because, yes, while there is a housing crisis, there is no housing shortage.

    So hang on a minute, before we go spending $28b on corporate welfare for the faltering building sector.

    We need to ask ourselves; Do we really want our politicians sucking up to the private sector, or do we want Courageous and Creative independent thinking Civic Leaders that dare to challenge the market driven housing crisis?

    If our Central and Local Government Politicians were truly serious about addressing the housing crisis….,

    Maybe the the first thing they should do, (before putting huge social effort and resources into building lots more private dwellings, which first off, lines the pockets of the developers and land speculators, and in the case of Pukekohe and Paerata developments, eats up irreplaceable agricultural land, while adding to the Southern motorway congestion woes) – Our political leaders could be doing what Vancouver’s Courageous Civic Leaders are doing to deal with the housing crisis.

    No Right Turn: Dealing with ghost homes
    Notices and Features – The Standard, August 4th, 2017

    How to persuade the world’s wealthiest people not to leave properties empty is a conundrum that is not confined to London – other major cities around the globe have also been grappling with the problem of buy-to-leave.

    Higher rates of tax for owners and buyers seem to be the preferred choice. In Vancouver, where an estimated 20,000 properties were lying empty all or much of the year, a new tax on empty homes was introduced at the start of this year. The city is now charging 1% of the value of any property left empty for at least six months a year. Owners must declare that this is the case, or face fines of up to $10,000 a day if they do not and are found out. On a property worth £500,000 the annual bill is £5,000 and as the property rises in value, so does the penalty for leaving it unused.

    In the days running up to the first taxes kicking in, six months into the year, local media reported that homeowners were caught in a “scramble to rent”, or considering selling up to avoid the tax. The response suggests that the threat of taxation was having the desired effect.

    Which is what we want: we want houses to be homes for people to live in, not gold bars for the rich. If they want to stockpile wealth, they can do it in a way which doesn’t fuck up the rest of our lives, thanks.

    The ghost house epidemic and the invisible hand
    Anthony Robins – The Standard, June 13th, 2016

    ‘Ghost houses’ hit Auckland renting market

    Ghost houses aren’t haunted, but could prove to be the stuff of nightmares for would-be renters in Auckland’s overheating housing market.

    A ONE News investigation has revealed houses across our largest city are being bought and deliberately left empty by investors who refuse to rent them out, instead looking to sell them for huge profits without the hassle of finding tenants in the interim.

    Building and Housing MinisterNick Smith doesn’t think the number of ghost houses is rising, and there is no way of knowing how many of Auckland’s 22,000 unoccupied properties are being deliberately left empty [my emphasis].

    However census figures show the percentage of unoccupied dwellings in some desirable Auckland suburbs has surged in the past 10 years, with more than one in 10 Takapuna homes empty. …

    One year later:

    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. …

    I don’t know whether the methods used to calculate the 2015 figure (22,000 unoccupied properties) and the 2016 figure (33,000 officially classified as empty) are directly comparable, but on the face of it that looks like a 50% increase in one year. At the very least I think it’s safe to say that the problem is getting worse, not better (and that Nick Smith, as usual, is utterly wrong).

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    47 mins ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 hour ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    3 hours ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 day ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    3 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    3 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    4 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    5 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    5 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    5 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    6 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the 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. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 day ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    7 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    59 mins ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago