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China Crisis

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, July 12th, 2015 - 199 comments
Categories: China, class war, Economy, greens, housing, labour, nz first, overseas investment, tenants' rights - Tags: , ,

Rob Salmond at Polity has explained the process and the science behind yesterday’s revelation that massive numbers of Auckland houses are being sold to overseas speculators. Both blog posts are worth reading as they explain in detail how the conclusion that speculatory money from China is distorting our domestic housing market is entirely reasonable. The polity posts are covered in more detail on this TS post.

It’s not racism to point out a demonstrable fact. Conflating China with Chinese might be though. One’s a country with a new bourgeoisie who have money to burn, the other’s an ethnicity.

It doesn’t really matter where the housing parasites come from. It’s against our interests whether it’s Asia, Europe or America. We shouldn’t be a country that can be gleefully looted from a distance. We shouldn’t have adverts about us proclaiming that property investors can get New Zealanders to “go to work for you and give you hundreds of dollars a week” in rent.

The advert, played on Singaporean radio station 90.5 Gold, claims Auckland is “an investors’ dream” with no land tax, stamp duty or capital gains tax. And with the clincher that Kiwis will be paying half their week’s wages into an investor’s pocket.

Telling a foreign market that Kiwis are stupid? Maybe that’s racist, ae?

I thought it might be worth having a look at the opposition party’s positions on overseas ownership. Most of the info comes from last year’s election material  and as far as I know these policies are still in place.

Labour wants to restrict foreign ownership. They say:

New Zealanders have a natural desire to control our own country for the benefit of New Zealanders.

It is the right of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents to purchase and own New Zealand land and assets. Reserving significant New Zealand land and assets for New Zealanders is in the interests of us all.

A major part of our current account deficit is already comprised of interest and dividends paid to overseas investors. New Zealand’s poor savings record means we are reliant on imported capital to fund our current account deficit. Most of this comes via increased lending to home owners, but our deficit is used by some as a misplaced justification for the sale of
our productive assets to overseas buyers.

Labour will:

  • clamp down on the sale of rural land to foreign buyers by limiting the discretion of the Minister to approve sales,
  • restrict the purchase of residential property by non-residents, so that they will only be granted permission to purchase a residential property if they intend to live here permanently or that purchase adds to our existing housing stock, e.g. building a new house,
  • not allow infrastructure with monopoly characteristics to be sold to overseas interest.

The full policy is here.

The Greens say nothing on overseas speculation, but tackle the issue from a different angle:

  • Reduce speculative investment in the housing market by tightening the rules around loss attributing qualifying companies and introducing a capital gains tax on all but the family home.
  • Increase peoples ability to save for a deposit and service a mortgage by increasing the minimum wage to no less than 66% of the average wage.
  • Introduce a Universal Child Benefit that can be capitalised towards the child’s first home.
  • Increase provision of low interest financing for low-income households seeking home ownership
  • Shift the standard tenancy conditions towards more secure and predictable tenure arrangements.

More here.

NZ First’s speculation policy is similar to Labour’s:
  • Ensure that New Zealand’s housing stock is restricted to New Zealanders.
  • Non-residents who are not New Zealand citizens would be ineligible for home ownership except if a genuine need to do so can be demonstrated.
  • The terms and conditions upon which existing approvals by the Overseas Investment Commission for the ownership of land by non-residents would be fully monitored and enforced.

Full NZF housing policy here.

All three parties recognise that there is a significant problem. Most New Zealand residents cannot afford to buy homes. Increasingly, we are becoming tenants in our own land. Now that’s not an issue in Europe, where tenancy is normal in countries similar to our own. However, in, for example, the Netherlands, social housing is cheap, well maintained and close to public transport. Tenancies are long term and tenants have well defined rights.

That’s not the situation in NZ. Tenants have no certainty, our housing stock is run down, our landlords are mostly speculators, whether domestically or overseas based, and the next generation of urban New Zealanders will have no control over their futures. They will not have access to the many benefits of home ownership.

Something has to change.

Good on NZ Labour for pointing out the bleeding obvious. Good on them for being willing to challenge the neo-lib orthodoxy. The invisible hand of the market won’t sort this out, but the next Government just might.

Anyhoo, on a lighter note, the debate about surnames reminded me of an episode of Seinfeld. George Costanza’s mother is contemplating divorce and takes some advice over the phone from one of Jerry’s girlfriends. Mrs Costanza is convinced the advice is Confucian wisdom and decides against the divorce. Until ….

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsKpShq2X6s]

 

199 comments on “China Crisis ”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100 …Good Post….just a pity Labour did not twig to this and concentrate on this before the last election….they would have WON in coalition with the Greens and NZF !….(and Mana/Int!)

    • Saarbo 1.1

      Agree 100% Chooky. Good post TRP. Twyford/Labour are spot on the mark with this one.

      This excellent article on RNZ this morning is also relevant to this argument (Future Financial Stability).

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201761887/insight-for-12-july-2015-future-financial-stability

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      This is something that they should have twigged to when they were last in government. It’s been a concern for that long. Hell, it’s been a concern ever since the 4th Labour government sold out to neo-liberalism.

    • Redbaiter 1.3

      Really, what idiots NZ Labour are.

      Chinese cash is flowing like water into Western cities all over the globe and its a problem that needs dealing with. A problem that National have completely failed to handle. A problem that Labour could really get some traction on if they wanted to.

      Instead we now have the spectacle of Labour tearing itself apart over pissant and false allegations of racism while it simultaneously helps the Nats build a smokescreen over their gross incompetence.

      Something so utterly absurd could only be happening in a country so totally submerged in the toxic brew of socialism.

      What is more, when the Auckland property bubble inevitably bursts it will be very very bad and a lot of people are going to suffer. Not just in Auckland but right across the country.

      An outcome that will be so immensely damaging it will show current pissant concerns with “racism” to be completely off target.

      Where will the buck stop when the Auckland bubble bursts?

      • Chooky 1.3.1

        The real Labour Party is not tearing itself apart over this issue …quite the contrary!

        ….a pity though it didnt take the stand before the last Election…it would have won!

        • Redbaiter 1.3.1.1

          Well, whatever, Labour are all torn up over allegations of racism that are of course being used by National to detract from their own abject failure.

          Is it smart of Labour to be allowing National to manipulate them this way?

          • Clean_power 1.3.1.1.1

            Twyford’s started it. He presented the data quite poorly and got bad publicity and a backlash against Labour. And yes, National will try to make the most of it.

  2. adam 2

    But, the racist card is being played te reo putake, like it or not, and the person who played it – is Twyford himself.

    He could have talk about, like you have, transnational investors. But, rather, he played the Yellow Peril card. I for one, am sick of this style of politics. How many white Australian investors are there in Auckland, quite a few if my last few land lords are anything to go by. English, American, Irish? But, no it comes back to simple blaming the Asians again. This is simply the politics of divide and rule.

    The issue is housing for people. And I agree the market can’t organise a do, in a brewery, over this issue. But to use race, ethnicity or any other power differential the elites love to slam working people with to score points. It is just Tory politics with a smile, and I find it repulsive.

    • Raf 2.1

      Oh for goodness sake, he did NOT play ‘the yellow peril card’! Watch The Nation interview again, and listen this time!

    • I don’t know how he could do it without being specific, adam. If he just said “transnational investors” and the evidence provided showed it was likely to be primarily Chinese, that would pretty much be a dog whistle. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s not racist to deal in the facts. And it’s quite literally the fact of the matter. Right now, the middle and upper classes of China are investing heavily in property world wide. We’re mugs for not having any significant regulation to moderate the downsides of such investment.

      • joe90 2.2.1

        I don’t know how he could do it without being specific, adam.

        Easy, are house purchases in Auckland financed by illicit cash outflow and if so, is housing affordability compromised by illicit cash looking for a home?.

        http://www.gfintegrity.org/issues/data-by-country/

      • adam 2.2.2

        But the facts, as I see them is transnational investors have been buying up property in Auckland and the rest of Aotearoa for quite some time. The facts, as I see them, is the Chinese are latest in a long list of transnational investors. The facts, as I see them, is that were not talking about those other transnational investors – we’re squarely transfixed on Asian buyers. See the problem I have?

        We bemoaning Chinese capital, but not the rest of the capitalist scum. I like your post te reo putake, and agree we have a problem of Tenancy in our own land. But to point the finger at this last group of investors and go – look it’s the Asians fault – is just racism, plus it reeks of the politics of divide and rule.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1

          See the problem I have?

          Yep, you’re a fucken idiot trying to racialise an issue that isn’t racist.

          • adam 2.2.2.1.1

            I did not play the racism card, your mate Twyford did that already. I’m just pointing out he did – and that he is a racist to do so.

            • Bill 2.2.2.1.1.1

              I’m guessing you’re wasting your breath Adam.

              ‘Noble’ defense of the indefensible by some who arguably overly identify with Labour, is going to be oozing around the internet for a wee while.

              In the end, I suspect those mounting a defense for Twyford and Labour will satisfy themselves that everyone who recognises and is repulsed by this latest nonsense is racist: that there was no dog-whistle: that Labour and Twyford are being both bold and brave.

              S’cuse me while I away and throw up again…

              • Aaron

                I’m not a member of Labour and have never voted for them but it’s plain to see some people here are very excited at the opportunity to shout, “Racist!”.

                So; as an exercise, why don’t we just assume that Phil Twyford and Labour ARE racist to the core? We can mentally stick big RACIST stickers on their foreheads and feel satisfied that justice has been done – and then we can go back and look at the issue – which is that the NZ real estate market is being distorted by foreign capital.

                Based on this data is seems pretty likely that is, so, now that Phil Twyford has been called out for his devious behaviour does anyone have any ideas about what to about this housing problem?

                • Bill

                  I already gave my tuppence worth on that front.

                  The problem is that property can be used to make money.

                  Limit max rents so that a renter doesn’t wind up paying off another persons mortgage – easily done.

                  Scrap accommodation allowances – that are essentially a landlord subsidy – and introduce very strong tenant protections.

                  Housing market crashes. End of problem.

                  And anyone who squeals as their investment becomes….a home. Well…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I already gave my tuppence worth on that front.

                    And it wasn’t worth that much.

                    • Bill

                      Not worth tuppence? Oh well.

                      The only real argument you put up was that drawing up some formula linked to GV couldn’t mean that a renter wouldn’t pay a mortgage…eventually.

                      What time scale you think is reasonable (that rent wouldn’t equate with a purchase price)? 20 years? 40 years?

                      No problem with very robust tenancy rights and abolishing rent subsidies though, right?

                      (sigh) And till not worth tuppence…

                • adam

                  Feel free to attack me directly Aaron, I asked for solutions – look at my posts across this day.

                  The only person I’m calling a racist is the twit who should have know better. Quite frankly, no I not happy about calling a so called left wing MP a racist. As a matter of fact, it sickens me – that in the 21st century a labour MP thinks its’ OK to play the race card.

                  As for solutions – We just take the houses – any empty house we occupy. Stop paying rent, and stop paying mortgages.

                  But that’s to simple – ask a policy wonk – they will come up a convoluted solution that take years to implement, and won’t work anyway.

                  • dukeofurl

                    “As for solutions – We just take the houses – any empty house we occupy. Stop paying rent, and stop paying mortgages.

                    Ah , the Greek policy- thats certain to work isnt it

              • Draco T Bastard

                ‘Noble’ defense of the indefensible by some who arguably overly identify with Labour, is going to be oozing around the internet for a wee while.

                Since when I have ever identified with Labour?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.1.2

              I did not play the racism card, your mate Twyford did that already.

              1. Yes you did as soon as the limited data available became known you accused someone using that data to highlight the problem of being racist
              2. Twyford is not my mate

              • Colonial Viper

                I go with Lanth’s opinion that Twyford deliberately pushed and emphasised the Chinese angle on the issue. That’s the racism card.

            • Thom Pietersen 2.2.2.1.1.3

              Ideology before rationalism eh Adam?

              • adam

                Specifically? I’m confused by your assertion

                • Thom Pietersen

                  Calling a spade a spade – and yes this is a very racist term from my Grandfathers generation, some people, however, now consider it OK?

                  The comments by the MP were based on reasonable data analysis. Cigarette companies argued for years to obfuscate correlation.

        • mickysavage 2.2.2.2

          Not at all. The policy is race neutral and applies to all non residents. Currently because of the huge amounts of surplus money the Chinese banks have the vast majority of the investment is coming from one particular country. But it does not matter who is actually creating the problem the problem must be addressed. And while we are on the subject I would love to see decreased reliance on Australian banks for our mortgages. Pointing this out is no anti Australian.

          • adam 2.2.2.2.1

            I don’t have any problem with the policy mickysavage, indeed as far as policy goes labour and the greens is well thought out. And I think I’ve been quite clear I’m not having a go at labour for it’s policy.

            What I have a problem with, is people who have rushed to defend an MP who used race, and peoples racism to push an agenda. Especially, when that MP had more than one opportunity to extended the debate and chose not to. It’s not about Chinese’s, Koreans, or Malaysians. It’s about a whole slue of Transnational investment, which keeps us locked down, and fighting amongst each other.

            • Thom Pietersen 2.2.2.2.1.1

              Adam, this just does not help. It was one way to attempt a measure for a long suspected issue. It can appear unsavoury, but you have to put it in context. Do we really have evidence that this MP is a bigot? And in turn those that defend him?

              • adam

                Indeed, look at what he said and how he said it. and what he chose not to say. And the fact is off shore speculation is spread across the globe. But, he chose to stick with Chinese as the target, rather than broaden it out.

                • Thom Pietersen

                  It’s a start Adam, and it is the elephant in the room, we have to be honest with ourselves, it is not unreasonable to use Chinese surnames to base a analysis on considering New Zealand’s known demographics.

                  It’s bloody easy to be offended, not so to work towards telling, or attempt to tell, the truth.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.2.3

          But the facts, as I see them is transnational investors have been buying up property in Auckland and the rest of Aotearoa for quite some time.

          Yes, and the “issues of the day” change over time, for many reasons. In the 70’s it was all “dancing cossacks”. Such a concern would be quaint these days. The current housing problem in Auckland was built up over decades of mal-investment into Auckland housing and infrastructure by both the private and public sectors. Similarly, the Auckland housing market concerns truly kicked into high gear 2-3 years ago, when the Australian economy started circling the drain and immigration inflows, largely going to Auckland, picked up.

          The facts, as I see them, is that were not talking about those other transnational investors – we’re squarely transfixed on Asian buyers. See the problem I have?

          If you have some evidence that shows British people are buying up 40% of houses in Auckland despite making up 9% of the resident population, please present it and we’ll talk about that.

          I suspect you’ll have difficulty in getting such evidence, because the government has refused to collect it in any official capacity, and if you were to try and do an ethnicity analysis based on the information the Labour party got leaked, you wouldn’t be able to draw any conclusions, due to the fact that people of European descent with European surnames make up the largest part of the Auckland resident population.

          We bemoaning Chinese capital, but not the rest of the capitalist scum. I like your post te reo putake, and agree we have a problem of Tenancy in our own land. But to point the finger at this last group of investors and go – look it’s the Asians fault – is just racism, plus it reeks of the politics of divide and rule.

          I agree pointing the finger at only one group is racist. Stating facts about one group – because they’re the only facts that are available – is not in itself racist.

          • adam 2.2.2.3.1

            “I agree pointing the finger at only one group is racist. Stating facts about one group – because they’re the only facts that are available – is not in itself racist.”

            But the way this has played out is. The MP chose not to widen the debate to all international investors, but chose to stay on target with one community.

            “If you have some evidence that shows British people are buying up 40% of houses in Auckland despite making up 9% of the resident population, please present it and we’ll talk about that.”

            Again stuck with anecdotal evidence.Most of my friends and me having asked, (very nicely may I add), the real estate agents who are running the property, who actually owns the property. It’s mainly Australians, then English, plus some Irish. This is over moving around a bit and having quite a few landlords and different rental companies.

        • marty mars 2.2.2.4

          Good stuff adam – well explained.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3

        It’s uncomfortable, but it’s not racist to deal in the facts. And it’s quite literally the fact of the matter.

        QFT

  3. tinfoilhat 3

    I’ve always quite liked Phil Twford have even voted for him as local MP.

    However, this quite overt dogwhistle is yet another reason why I will never vote for the Labour party.

    the whole sorry episode has been beautifully dissected a number of times now at public address.

    http://publicaddress.net/speaker/identification-strategy-now-its-personal/

    “Guys, this is not what I meant. Thanks for listening but, to employ an ancient saying of my culture, UR DOING IT RONG. And thank you Keith Ng , for so forcefully explaining many of the reasons why it is wrong, in the manner of a genteel professor tearing your face off and shoving it down your throat in a white-hot stats rage. ”

    ” Since I stopped being the shouty Asian girl on Public Address, I moved to London, studied quantitative research methodologies, and became better at maths than Keith. So I have stats rage/race rage confusion on a daily basis.”

    LOL

    • Raf 3.1

      And same to you, only I hope it doesn’t mysteriously print twice this time (not that I mind the emphasis)

      [Fixed! TRP]

  4. Paul 4

    Thanks for this post.
    Needs to be said.

  5. Lara 5

    Even New Zealand First won’t go so far as promoting an end to ALL sales of land to foreigners.

    If you don’t live here, there’s zero need for you to own land here. In terms of housing in NZ, New Zealand owes nothing to foreigners, we have no responsibility to look after them at all.

    Our government does however have a responsibility to govern in the best interests of New Zealanders.

    We need a political party to have the guts to come up with a policy of ZERO land sales to foreigners. Any loopholes will be exploited. No loopholes. No exceptions.

    And it wouldn’t actually be hard to do. Simply require a NZ passport, NZ birth certificate or permanent residency stamp in a foreign passport for a sale to go through. Every time. And that would allow NZers who go overseas for however long they like to still own property to come home to.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      For residential land, I pretty much agree.

      But for industrial / farm land there could still be cases where foreign ownership, balancing up all considerations, is acceptable. So I support Labour’s policy to make it essentially at the minister’s discretion.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        But for industrial / farm land there could still be cases where foreign ownership, balancing up all considerations, is acceptable.

        Why? It brings absolutely no benefit to NZ but lots of detriment as NZers get priced out of their own home.

        • Thom Pietersen 5.1.1.1

          I think commercial investment should be allowed – that been said, farmland should be leasehold only – if at all – preferable for the land ownership to remain in NZ hands with the business usage in a commercial partnership a la China. What’s wrong with that for a useful business venture? – If a commercial potential partners didn’t like those terms you might think that they were more interested capital gains on the land.

        • Wayne 5.1.1.2

          Draco,

          Are you promoting a new Left policy to ban all international investment?

          After all in many specialist industrial processes the industrial owner has to buy the land in order to build the building being used for the relevant process.

          At least even Labour is not that daft. They know a policy of compulsory leasehold is tantamount to saying to international long term investors that New Zealand is closed for business.

          • Paul 5.1.1.2.1

            Globalisation and neo-liberalism has really benefited most NZers, hasn’t it, Wayne?
            Or are you only aware of the nouveau riche in NZ who have gained from the looting of Aotoeroa?

            • Amanda Atkinson 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Yip, let’s have the Government own all the houses, land, factories and businesses. That will work, Paul.

              • Colonial Viper

                If its a foreign operator, then the land can be leased by them for a 50 year term, but it would stay NZ owned land.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’d probably work better than private ownership which is now returning to outright plutocracy and feudalism and bringing the inevitable poverty and collapse of society that such systems always bring.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.2

            After all in many specialist industrial processes the industrial owner has to buy the land in order to build the building being used for the relevant process.

            50 year lease is fine, Wayne.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2.3

            After all in many specialist industrial processes the industrial owner has to buy the land in order to build the building being used for the relevant process.

            That doesn’t mean that the industrial owner needs to be foreign.

            At least even Labour is not that daft.

            They appear to be as daft as you and National on this one. Foreign ownership and investment is bad for NZ.

            They know a policy of compulsory leasehold is tantamount to saying to international long term investors that New Zealand is closed for business.

            China uses compulsory leasehold and seems to be doing quite well.

            Of course, all we should be open for is trade. Selling off our land and businesses brings us no benefit.

      • Lara 5.1.2

        The problem with that is it creates an exception. The simplest, cleanest way (and less bureaucratic way) to solve the problem of foreign ownership is to have NO exceptions. Otherwise the loopholes will be exploited and it won’t work.

        If a foreign company must operate here they can lease land. And we don’t need to sell our farm land to foreigners, it just means that the profits flow overseas.

        Farm land is about as important as homes to live in. Its land we grow food on to feed ourselves, and land from which we produce products for export.

        And at a ministers discretion? I guess you have more faith in our leaders than I. Because I don’t trust them. Not one. There’s too much money in NZ politics, and it’s only getting worse.

    • Kevin 5.2

      Ok, so more regulations and bureaucracy. And for what? So some slanty-eyes can’t own property here? How about South Africans, Yanks, Poms, Indians, Hollywood movie stars and obese internet crooks? Can’t have them buying land.

      • red-blooded 5.2.1

        Nothing in the policy suggests it would just bee targeted at people from China, Kevin. Oh, and just by the way, Kim Dot Com didn’t get permission to buy his mansion – it’s a rental. This doesn’t really matter in terms of the flow of argument, but does perhaps suggest that you should calm down and do just a little bit of research before spewing your bile down the wire.

      • Thom Pietersen 5.2.2

        Shut up Kevin – it’s not like you have to have a government department solely to check IRD and residency or company domicile status – it’s in place already.

        I prefer the terms chingalings, yarpies, sepo’s, coonass, and curry munchers. Just personally, as a racist. Oh and fetter Mann for the lard-arse German.

  6. Kevin 6

    What a load of tosh. On average Auckland properties are not selling for outrageous prices – on average they’re selling for a fair price. What happens is that some run down old hovel sells for a few million for whatever crazy reason and the newspapers put it on the front page as evidence that the property market is out of control. Yes, there are Chinese buyers out there but their influence is far less than what this xenophobic scare job by Labour makes out.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The only load of tosh around here seems to be the BS that you’re spewing.

    • leftie 6.2

      @Kevin
      I gather you don’t live in Auckland then? Because if you did, you would know that everything you wrote was utter bullshit.

    • Thom Pietersen 6.3

      Yeah nah, 10 x income? It’s not New York, or London… Stuff the National History Museum… it’s happening at Motat!

      Arse end of the world with these prices? I worry about when one of these buyers comes for a visit and realises Barfoot and Crooksons or Harcrooks advertising was… well, shonkey to say the least.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    National do not plan for us to be tenants in our own country. They were thinking more along the lines of serfs.

  8. fisiani 8

    If this is the start of trying to get the redneck vote has no one in Labour realised that there are far more Asians living and voting in NZ than rednecks. Also no matter how much Labour tries to play the despicable race card they will always be outbid by Winston.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      As a Green voter, I’d be pretty pissed off if Labour were playing the race card. All you have to do is convince me that ethnicity has something to do with it.

    • Thom Pietersen 8.2

      Many more rednecks than Asians I’m afraid – but you miss the point.

  9. ORAVIDA 9

    This was a calculated risk from Labour. Looking at the Stuff comments yesterday, it might have actually paid off.

  10. Fraser Newman 10

    I’ve never commented here before but this outburst made me so mad I had to say something.

    There are two things here and people are missing the point. One is the policy itself. The other is the method of delivery.

    The policy of limiting property sales to foreign investors is possibly correct. I would probably vote for it under certain conditions. Not because of racism. But because it takes some pressure off the local housing market.

    The method of delivery on the other hand was definitely racists. It used shoddy statistics to rise up anti-Chinese sentiment to push a political policy. Why single them out? Why just push the Chinese mantra?

    Seems judging from social media plenty of people have jumped on the racist bandwagon. I’ve seen people talk about their Chinese landlords like they’re scum – but not realize with all these interactions they’re probably New Zealand residents like you or I.

    The Labour Party and many on here supported civil rights in recent years. You’ve stood up for the rights of minorities and shamed those who have been bigoted, racist or homophobic. But now people are jumping to Twyford’s defense. They’re justifying the racism. This is disgusting and it makes me glad I quit the Labour Party.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Te Reo Putake, the author, is not the Labour Party.

      It doesn’t really matter where the housing parasites come from. It’s against our interests whether it’s Asia, Europe or America. We shouldn’t be a country that can be gleefully looted from a distance.

      So the argument isn’t based on ethnicity, is it.

      That’s both your assertions looking shaky.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Twyford pointed the finger at Chinese during his interview, and missed many chances to take the focus off Chinese and generalise the case.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    thanks for your post TRP – you set out the matters correctly. Labour is NOT playing the race card on this matter. Auckland housing prices have gone thru the roof, and most Aucklanders know that the majority players at house auctions are people coming in from China. And it is more than time that the Government acknowledged this and took some real action to prevent it continuing. That is why Labour is bringing this issue to the foreground : to try and get some real action on it.

    • fisiani 11.1

      Explaining or excusing is losing. Politics 101

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        So if you need to have things explained to you you’re a winner. That explains a lot.

    • Anne 11.2

      Agree Jenny Kirk and my thanks also to trp for this post.

      I first heard about this issue some two years ago from a real estate agent I knew at a personal level. I concluded this person was a racist. Then I had a brain fart and put my home on the market. Fortunately common sense prevailed and I removed it from the market after only a few weeks. But not before I witnessed with my own eyes what was happening. The only people who showed any real interest were Asian – most from mainland China or Hong Kong and one from Korea. I found them unfriendly and aloof – nothing like the permanent residents from China I had come to know and socialised with on occasion. It dawned on me later they were almost certainly agents or proxies for off-shore clients. That was the point I realised my estate agent friend was right. There was a real problem in Auckland and it was likely to get worse.

      I venture to suggest that some of the people shouting racism on this site – and elsewhere – are at the point I was at two years ago.

      • Chooky 11.2.1

        +100 Anne

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.2

        I venture to suggest that some of the people shouting racism on this site – and elsewhere – are at the point I was at two years ago.

        Uh, no. No one is suggesting that hot money pouring in from China is not causing major distortions in the Auckland property market.

        It has been, for years.

        What I am suggesting is that Labour has tactlessly, provocatively and ineptly created a racist wolf whistle based on what is a very real problem.

        I also think that Labour has caused itself some serious damage with a major part of NZ’s resident ethnic population. But it seems quite OK with that.

        • te reo putake 11.2.2.1

          It’s not a dog whistle CV! That’s when something is implied and we’re left to connect the dots. cf Orewa. At least Twyford had the guts to be specific and show his workings. He has identified a really significant problem that is causing resident New Zealanders to no longer be able to afford to buy a house. That’s not dog whistling, it’s being upfront, even if it’s uncomfortable.

          • Crashcart 11.2.2.1.1

            Can you just clarify how he got his info for me please TRP. All I can find is what is in the MSM and have trouble just accepting that.

            They are saying that he got a list of buyer names from one real estate company and counted the number of Chinese sounding names and used that to determine the percentage of Chinese buyers.

            I know of course that this wouldn’t be the case as that would simply be the most shoddy method of looking at the data as it doesn’t take into account resident NZers whoe have Chinese names. To just assume someone was a Chinese buyer based upon their name would be silly and racist.

            Thanks in advance.

            • te reo putake 11.2.2.1.1.1

              There’s a couple of links in the first sentence of the post, crashcart. The second goes into the methodology, but this is how I understand it (bear in mind, I’m not a statistician):

              Leaked data shows that a large real estate company has sold 4000 houses in Ak in a 3 month period. 40% went to people with surnames that appear to be ethnic Chinese. The top twenty most common of those names are ethnic Chinese. 10% of Aucklanders have Chinese ethnicity. It follows that either that 10% bought, on average, 4 houses each in that 3 month period or, more likely, the vast majority of those sales were from non resident people with ethnic Chinese surnames.

              The methodology seems pretty sound and was externally reviewed, and amended as a result, before the announcement was made.

              • J Bloggs

                If I recall my maths correctly, 40% of 4000 is 1600. Now, the 2013 census states that there are 118,230 chinese persons living in the Auckland region. Even if all those properties were being sold to NZ based chinese, that is still only 1 house per 73 Auckland based chinese residents.

                This is not to say there isn’t a problem with overseas money pouring in, but making unsound arguments doesn’t help the cause.

                • You need to finish the equation. Assuming you’re correct so far, 1 in 73 bought a house in that 3 month period. Or, 1 in 18 on a yearly basis. And all from the one real estate firm. Does that sound realistic to you?

      • Nessalt 11.2.3

        I love it how you always come up with some anecdote that strangely perfectly aligns with the labour party spin du jour. It’s so eery how uncannily your experiences always tally with labours needs for support on almost any issue.

  12. Lynda Brown 12

    Perhaps the answer is to ban all non-Chinese NZers from selling their houses to Chinese buyers – at supposedly inflated prices. Shouldn’t we be blaming the greedy sellers?
    I can’t understand how houses are described as unaffordable when they are being snapped up and buyers are lining up.

    • The point is that they are unaffordable for New Zealanders. Home ownership used to be the NZ dream. Not so much these days.

    • les 12.2

      duh..they are unaffordable for the average ,aspirational employed NZ citizen.Try going to ..say China and becoming an absentee landlord…why..do you think ..they don’t allow it?racism”..or

  13. weka 13

    “The Greens say nothing on overseas speculation”

    Actually, they say this in the introduction to their Trade and Foreign Ownership policy,

    Ownership of land in Aotearoa/ New Zealand is a privilege that should be for citizens and permanent residents only

    We welcome new investment that creates jobs in sustainable enterprises.

    We propose that all foreign investment proposals undergo aa National Interest Analysis.

    Foreign investment must meet sustainability criteria, and needs to be closely monitored to avoid the expatriation of profits from our productive asset base.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/trade

    and this from the full policy,

    A. Investment safeguards

    Foreign investment must meet justice and sustainability criteria, and not be merely speculative, or lead to the expatriation of profits from a country’s productive assets, or the alienation of a country’s land from its citizens. Foreign investment in Aotearoa New Zealand has increased dramatically in the last decade. Despite controlling nearly 50% of the sharemarket, foreign investors employ less than one quarter of the labour force, and reinvest in Aotearoa New Zealand less than one quarter of the profits made here.

    The Green Party will:

    Ensure that international and bilateral agreements put the rights of peoples and governments before those of multinational company investors.

    Support stronger controls on foreign investment in New Zealand to minimise the negative effects of speculative and other non-productive foreign investment.

    Ensure any overseas investment in New Zealand meets much more stringent conditions in order to be approved by the appropriate government authority and the Minister by:

    Reserving land ownership for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents; and

    Distinguishing between new investment in sustainable enterprises and the simple purchase of existing businesses and resources with a view to exporting profits when prioritising foreign investment approvals.

    Applying the National Interest Analysis required under the Overseas Investment Act to all foreign investment proposals i.e. buildings, businesses, land and marine farms, and where the purchasing entity is 10% or more foreign owned reduce the threshold for scrutiny to 10 million.

    Amending the Overseas Investment Act to restrict the sale of high country property to New Zealand citizens or residents who reside in New Zealand for at least 185 days a year for three years before purchase.

    Require international businesses with significant operations within New Zealand to:

    Establish local subsidiaries that are incorporated within New Zealand, and encourage the development of joint ventures and other mechanisms to create a local ownership stake in activities.

    Meet the same conditions for sustainable practises that we expect of New Zealand companies.

    Support the international initiative for a charter of responsibilities for overseas investors.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/trade

  14. Colonial Rawshark 14

    Labour has fucked up on this one, in a dozen small and big ways. I think this will become clear in the polls and in other ways over the next month or two.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    It’s not racism to point out a demonstrable fact.

    Really? How about this “demonstrable fact” – Blacks do worse than whites in intelligence tests. And that is very easily a racist statement in many contexts.

    Conflating China with Chinese might be though. One’s a country with a new bourgeoisie who have money to burn, the other’s an ethnicity.

    This statement expresses utterly no understanding about the Chinese community, Chinese culture or the Chinese identity. Perhaps its time that Labour bothers to get some Asians into its caucus and its senior party ranks so it has some idea.

    And why call this post the “China Crisis”?: if Chinese money flooding into Auckland is a “crisis” then it has been going on for over a decade. And the situation has far more to do with the decisions made by the ruling elite of NZ, and very little to do with the decisions made by the ruling elite of China.

    • marty mars 15.1

      Very good comment cv. The demonstrable fact is that it is racism.

      “This statement expresses utterly no understanding about the Chinese community, Chinese culture or the Chinese identity.”

      why bother with that stuff – they look different, sound different, are different – end of. /sarc

      • te reo putake 15.1.1

        “The demonstrable fact is that it is racism.”

        Except that it doesn’t seem to meet the definition of racism, mm. And I haven’t read a decent argument that puts the case that it does, so far. I included a link to the definition in the post hoping that someone would try and do exactly that and it would be great if someone could go beyond ‘the vibe’ or ‘it just is’ to explain why it is racist.

        • Saarbo 15.1.1.1

          +1

          Its not even close to racism. Large groups of right wingers who don’t give a shit for the poor and vulnerable who cant afford houses in Auckland will think that foreign nationals who purchase up Auckland housing stock are deserving, industrious hard workers. These people will actually look up to this group. That’s why it isn’t racism.

          In my view, Twyford/Labour are doing this for the people who cant afford housing in Auckland, which is absolutely the right thing for Labour to do.

          • Charles 15.1.1.1.1

            “Large groups of right wingers who don’t give a shit for the poor and vulnerable who cant afford houses in Auckland will think that foreign nationals who purchase up Auckland housing stock are deserving, industrious hard workers. These people will actually look up to this group. That’s why it isn’t racism.”

            If I let you into the world I once lived in, what you’ve just described is a version of the racism that lives there. Unless your description is incomplete.
            You know what will enrage victims of racism the most? That the goodwill sometimes extended to them, that the hope they’re “allowed” to dream the pakeha dream and participate in a certain way, well that’s the smiling happy face of racism. Want to test it? Just do something culturally correct (to your culture, or co-incidentally negatively stereotypical) and see. Stereotyping someone as a ne’er do well on one hand, then an industrious go-getter on the other, all because of racial indentity… it’s all racism – just the thinner less-arguable end of the wedge. They aren’t looking up to those people – they’re using them as props in their own ideology, examples of how if even the “natives” can do it (at extreme cost to their own values/ethnicity/identity), it must be true and right. Letting people be people whoever they are, that’s the only neutral position. Thinking better or worse, as measured by an opposing cultural perspective (that perspective as central by right) … racism. It’s not much of a fall from industrious to lazy. Sorry to tell you that. If it’s any consolation, when I found out I used to do it, the result was that my world got colder and smaller – less hopeful. No one likes sudden dips into reality much.

        • marty mars 15.1.1.2

          I have called it racism because the call out from Twyford (privileged) identified a group (chinese) based upon their last name (racial profiling) and this group was blamed (othering) for the problems other people (not the identified race/ethnic group) were/are experiencing. They were blamed when the problem is known to have deep, complex, historic and systemic origins (scapegoating).

          • Saarbo 15.1.1.2.1

            You’ve become stuck in the detail and have lost sight of the big picture MM. This is a case of very wealthy foreigners buying up Auckland real estate increasing the rental costs and housing costs of Aucklanders. Any half arsed analyst would have drawn the same conclusions from the Barfoot and Thompson data as Twyford did.

            Ive experienced racism and I can assure you, this aint it.

            • marty mars 15.1.1.2.1.1

              I just can’t stand the ineptitude and foolishness of presenting the information in the way it was presented when it didn’t need to be done that way UNLESS it was deliberate, and I can believe that it was, not just because it has worked for some in the past.

              • Thom Pietersen

                How else could it have been done? Is there an issue with Chinese sounding last names buying a disproportionate number of central Auckland residential properties gauged against known Chinese residents/citizens and referenced against Indian, European, etc. last names/resident status.

                This really does put the average NZer off left leaning intelligentsia, and that is why it is being marginalised by the media. It’s plain, and open fodder.

                • left leaning intelligentsia? – I’d be offended if I wasn’t feeling so chuffed.

                  “Chinese sounding last names” lol – come on even you must be embarrassed by that precise description.

                  • Thom Pietersen

                    Ok Marty, I understand, black and white it is, maybe I should just fall into my usual milky face cheese armpit ice monkey and chingaling routine. You win.

          • les 15.1.1.2.2

            what a load of subjective rubbish!Even Chinese immigrants that are now NZ citizens acknowledge that chinese ‘investors’ are ramping Auckland property prices.Since the GFC ,caused by western financial machinations the Q.E of western nations has lead to the excess of printed’ money seeking hard assets ,as interest rates are almost negative.Couple this with ‘hot money’ and money laundering and you get what we’ve got in the most regulation free property market in the world.The Chinese premier supplied 450 names of chinese fraudsters supposedly active in donating to National,oops I mean resident in NZ…what action has been taken to identify them and hold them to account?

            • marty mars 15.1.1.2.2.1

              ‘chinese ‘investors’ ramping Auckland property prices’ are a symptom of the problem not the cause – getting rid of every fucking single one of them will not FIX the problem – it is systemic, cyclic and caused by GREED, capitalism, western excess and idiotic lifestyles and behaviour. Focusing the issue on these ‘chinese ‘investors’ ramping Auckland property prices’ is an almost guaranteed way to ensure the REAL problems and issues don’t get addressed – why should they when those ‘others’ have caused it all.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. And I also can’t wait for the next idiot to lecture me on what is anti-Chinese racism and what isn’t.

                • weka

                  I’ve been thinking that.

                  The whole “it’s not racism” thing completely obscures the many forms and ways that racism exists and is practiced in NZ, consciously and unconsciously.

                  Massive missed opportunity for the lefties here to take a step back and learn something from the people in this thread who have politics that are informed directly by their own experiences of race and racism.

          • te reo putake 15.1.1.2.3

            Cheers, marty. I disagree, because he was pretty specific that the problem was money from China, not Chinese people.

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2.4

            Thanks for that careful analysis MM of why yes, it pretty much is racism – or at least a racist dog whistle – that Labour has provided the MSM with.

        • adam 15.1.1.3

          So te reo putake do you think Twyford knows that non-Asian transnational investors buy properties across Auckland? And do you think he understands the power dynamics within Aotearoa? Do you also think that he works in a state free form structural and institutionalised, lets say, short comings? Now do you also think the only form of racism is the overt kind – you know the baiting/slurs and outright bigotry we see from the likes of skin heads and the members of rigorous right wing? And finally does MP Twyford hold a position of privileged?

          • te reo putake 15.1.1.3.1

            Mostly yes’s, adam. What’s your point?

            • adam 15.1.1.3.1.1

              My point, then by your own wiki definition Twyford used his position to play, the race card. Now I’m not say you have, or anyone else has, I’m not saying the labour party has – all I’m saying is Twyford did. He played the card, when he did not have too. It’s also in what he did not say, when he had the chance. He could have change tack, he chose not to.

              I’ve had enough, really, if people want to support Twyford – go for it. Just realise, some of us think he’s a racist twit.

              He’s lucky he gets to wake up Hwite every day.

              My final word on this, as you can only puck so many times in one day.

      • Chooky 15.2.1

        +100 Saarbo

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.2

        Saarbo, I am absolutely for the concept that there is hot money from China and other money printing jurisdictions, distorting our housing market esp in AKL.

        I am against the clumsy inept dog whistling way Labour has raised the issue.

        • Saarbo 15.2.2.1

          Fair enough CV, but the Nat’s aren’t concerned about house prices in Auckland/or land prices anywhere for that matter…in fact they are encouraging it. Someone has presented this data to Twyford, its not perfect but it is compelling and unfortunately there is going to be some collateral damage…if it leads to laws against foreign ownership of NZ land…then in my view, its worth it.

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.2.1.1

            No doubt Labour thinks from its internal polling that this was the tact to take on this issue.

            I think it will backfire in their faces over the next few polls, personally.

        • Thom Pietersen 15.2.2.2

          It’s a start Mr CV, we can idealise away to our hearts content… there IS an issue, it’s about Sovereignty above all else, and welfare of all NZ’ers. How else do you get the message across? A Mike Hoskins investigation?

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.2.2.1

            I’m waiting to see if Labour has an actual plan to follow on from what I regard as Twyford’s inept and badly judged issue launch.

            • Sabine 15.2.2.2.1.1

              maybe after being polite for the last year and then some, Mr Twyford just thought fuck it, i’m gonna be clumsy, inept and badly judge an issue launch…….but I fucking launch the issue. This is more than a lot have done in the last years of housing madness that is leaving up to 60 % of the population as tenants of rotting housing stock (private and state), or worse living rough.
              There are many many instances of Phil Twyford on Q&A and in articles in our esteemed Fishwrap Papers where he calls for more transparency and data on how many houses have been consented too, have been build, have been opened to tenants/owners and how many houses have been sold to overseas interest. Guess what, the answer…….Crickets.

              So yes, if he manages to force National in a. acknowledging that the market is not working for Joe and Jane Sixpack, and b. that maybe all that foreign investment into our residential and commercial real estate does make us in the long term tenants with no benefits to the country, then that is a good thing.

              But in the meantime lets sing Kumbaya and complain that someone raised an issue that has been rumored and discussed for at least a few years, and that will raise tensions in the community if not addressed.

              Well to the chorus of “labour” is not doing enough, too much, too polite, not angry enough, add racism. Well done, and you guys still wonder why we are getting screwed over by the highest bidder.

              Gosh, this country is fucked, truly and utterly fucked.

              • Weepus beard

                and that will raise tensions in the community if not addressed.

                You make a good point here Sabine, which is that left unchecked, this policy of see no evil, hear no evil will damaged race relations in this country 100 fold in the years to come.

    • Karen 15.3

      + 1 CV
      Perhaps if all those defending this racial profiling research by Rob Salmond and the press release from Twyford read the following they may get a hint of the effect on a New Zealander with a Chinese name.
      https://nzcoop.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/a-chen-by-any-other-name/

      My Māori and Pacific Island friends get stopped by the police far more often than my white friends and they have to pay before filling up at petrol stations when I do not have to. Chinese and Korean friends get abused in the street and told to go back home. Why? Because they do not look caucasian.

      By all means ban non-resident ownership of houses and farming land, but don’t target the Chinese because their names make it easy to do so.

    • AmaKiwi 15.4

      CV, see 19 (below)

      We are the top money laundering site in the South Pacific.

      Criminal money does not have a nationality, but once our country is drowning in it it is extraordinarily difficult to get rid of. These thugs have no qualms about making politicians and judges “an offer they can’t refuse.”

      God defend New Zealand, because we’ve done a shit job of doing it ourselves.

      • Colonial Viper 15.4.1

        Indeed

        NZ is a top site of both legal and illegal international money laundering/asset hiding

        • Thom Pietersen 15.4.1.1

          Absolutely – but don’t burst our non-corruption bubble. Our clean image and lax regulation means we are deliberately targeted.

  16. johnm 16

    I know some rich Chinese (Let me say they are very nice people, doesn’t sound racist eh?). They have bought some investment properties here and hubby works in China their son drives a Lamborghini I kid you not! My humble opinion this country is stuffed. Why? our young people can’t afford to buy house because prop speculating was never stopped and they’re fucked by student loans and low wages.

    Stupid fuckwit governments have been told over and over again,NZ first for new zealanders not,not foreigners, and they do nothing they just suck on the poisonous teat of neoliberalism.

    • Thom Pietersen 16.1

      Johnm – it’s New Zealand for rich New Zealanders/Globalist Elites – times have changed, stuff your sense of fairness, justice and down right commie socialist utopia… stop complaining scum… just work harder (and hide your societal moral compass) you loser, oh, and don’t be racist (unless you talk about Maori bludgers).

      What’s that on the bottom of my shoe?

    • johnm 16.2

      John Minto:

      ” What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand, a tough capital gains tax to drive local speculators and investors out of the housing market and a massive state house building programme to meet the housing quality and affordability crisis where it’s having its most devastating impact – on low income New Zealand tenants and families. ” – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/07/13/national-playing-the-reverse-race-card-on-housing/#sthash.4uDzdYa2.dpuf

      • Thom Pietersen 16.2.1

        Thanks Johnm, this was a salient point:

        “National knows this is happening but is so desperate to keep house prices artificially large (the growth of house prices makes home-owning middle class families feel wealthier and more supportive towards National) that it refuses to collect the data that would reveal the extent of the problem”.

        It is a bubble – but people want to think their retirement years are going to be well financed, or they are mortgaged to the hilt and have a hell of a lot to lose.

        Bullshit way to win votes. And a bit of a fuck the kids scenario. To be honest though, Labour should and could have done something about this. Globally I reckon they’ll try to push this for another 30 years to stack up fiat currencies, just think about the amount of monies created out of family homes.

        You know the other thing is wages/salaries? Why are NZ’s so low?

      • Clemgeopin 16.2.2

        +1

  17. The lost sheep 17

    A friend of mine is a property investor and a landlord, has a very Chinese name, and by gosh he even looks Chinese.
    I believe he has significantly expanded his Auckland portfolio over the last few years.
    His family have been here since 1858.
    Can’t see this current tactic convincing him to vote Labour.

    • Anne 17.1

      Can’t see this current tactic convincing him to vote Labour.

      Course not. He’s a greedy tory through and through and the only time he would ever vote Labour is if he was offered a million bucks to do so.

      • Saarbo 17.1.1

        +100 Anne.

      • Wayne 17.1.2

        The real point is that Labour has pretty much guaranteed that East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese) will not be voting for Labour for quite some time to come.

        National knows about this only too well. Quite a few Pacific Islanders still raise the dawn raids, which are now nearly 40 years ago. National now has a number of Pacific Island MP’s, but it took a long time to rebuild trust among the Pacifica community.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.2.1

          Wayne, Labour has no idea how deeply it has screwed itself here, all in search of a very temporary bump in the polls.

          What will be interesting is what National’s internal Auckland polling tells them over the coming week.

        • Anne 17.1.2.2

          The real point is that Labour has pretty much guaranteed that East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese) will not be voting for Labour for quite some time to come.

          As you would know Wayne most East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese) are politically conservative or they don’t participate in the electoral process at all. Therefore it is fair to say that the majority who do vote are more likely to be National voters. Add to that, the propensity of many Chinese to vote for incumbent governments (because they assume it will be of personal benefit to themselves in the same way it tended to be in their country of origin) then I’m picking this was not of paramount importance for Phil Twyford and Labour.

          As a resident of the North Shore (and former MP for the electorate) you would also be aware that the issue has been of paramount concern on the Shore for some considerable time. In light of that, are you big enough to accept that Twyford has shown much courage in highlighting the problem, knowing he would be trampled underfoot by those who – for whatever reason – don’t want the matter to be brought to the public’s attention?

          • Clemgeopin 17.1.2.2.1

            Actually, I think many ordinary resident ‘East Asians’ may/will actually agree and support Twyford’s view as they themselves are finding it too hard to buy a house. It is the overseas investors that are pushing up the demand and hence the fast accelerating prices due to pathetic supply. To know this for sure, this present useless government should open an overseas owners register immediately (and even give retrospective information for the last six years too). I fail to understand see why this clueless government has announced the very bare minimum and that too from next OCTOBER onwards ! Why not at least from now on immediately? What are Key, Smith and the government scared of?

        • Paul 17.1.2.3

          Non-doms can’t vote, Wayne.

        • Thom Pietersen 17.1.2.4

          Truth is, they probably don’t care – you’re not going to win from the “he’s good with numbers” cult key.

    • les 17.2

      so what!

    • The lost sheep 17.3

      Or he could be a highly respected community leader from a longstanding hard working family that has made an enormous contribution to the community they have been in continuously for 157 years ?

      Perhaps you’d like to come down to Otago and start bad mouthing him and his family in the manner you have just done Anne, and see what reaction you get?

    • Weepus beard 17.4

      Fine if he’s borrowing his money from local institutions under the same conditions as other Kiwis.

      Is he?

      Like the other Nat-lite ladder-kickers, and lost people you have been sucked into the dumbed down framing of the problem.

      There are plenty who will be listening to see where Phil Twyford’s courageous action leads.

    • Saarbo 17.5

      Does he care for the 1000’s of Aucklanders sleeping in cold un-insulated garages in south Auckland because they cant afford ever increasing rents??? That is the issue here.

    • Thom Pietersen 17.6

      Baaa…

    • North 17.7

      Of course he won’t vote Labour……..like he ever would ? More mileage to be had out of membership of the Cabinet Club and the corruption inherent in it. Ever sat down with your friend and canvassed his honest feelings about Maori and Polynesian ? I suspect that’d knock your studied “I hate racism !” fleece off your lost back. Or maybe not for the reason that these racism charges are but snotty construct.

  18. The lost sheep 18

    Fine if he’s borrowing his money from local institutions under the same conditions as other Kiwis.

    Is he?

    Yes.

    There are plenty who will be listening to see where Phil Twyford’s courageous action leads.

    It leads to Winston Peters.

    • Weepus beard 18.1

      No problem then. “Your friend” is a local speculator rather than a foreign one. His activity will be addressed in the fullness of time.

      Meanwhile, the pressing point, in case you missed it, is foreign capital distorting the Auckland residential market.

      You did miss it, but the looks.

      • The lost sheep 18.1.1

        I take it you consider anything not Auckland based to be ‘foreign’?

  19. AmaKiwi 19

    New Zealand is a huge money laundering site. Dirty money doesn’t have a nationality.

    1. Anyone from anywhere can buy real estate here: drug lords, arms dealers, tax evaders, scam artists.
    2. One of John Key’s first actions was to remove the limit on how much money can be put into a NZ trust in any year. (Used to be $23,000 a year.)
    3. Profits in a NZ trusts that does not have a NZ beneficiary are free from any NZ taxes.

    Have you got the picture yet? Example: Bring $100 million of dirty money from overseas. Set up a trust. Buy and sell real estate with no taxes owed. No taxes owed means no IRD checks on who you are, where the money came from, and where you send it from here.

    We are the money laundering capital of the South Pacific. It’s not the Chinese, it’s the criminal underworld driving up real estate prices.

    Nice work, John Key. Probably a little trick you learned at Merrill Lynch. Nice work Labour and MSM for not exposing it. Ask Cactus Kate for further details.

    • Thom Pietersen 19.2

      No banks have ever laundered money – HSBC no?

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        the entire list of them…Citi, Deutsche Bank, Wachovia, a list of Swiss banks for the Nazis, etc.

        Business as usual in that industry

    • Colonial Viper 19.3

      Thanks for those details AmaKiwi. It sounds rotten to the core. I guess this is what is meant by NZ as a ‘world financial centre.’

  20. vto 20

    foreign ownership of new Zealand is absolutely a problem.

    but TRP claiming no racism in this circumstance …… and asking for a wee definition of ‘racism’ ….. ha ha what a frikkin laugh…. still like this after so many years ………

    self-justification is truly a sight to behold

    • I didn’t ask for a definition, I provided one. It’s in the post. And, weird as it may seem to you, what Twyford has done doesn’t meet the definition of racism. Though, marty mars has come as close as anyone to showing why it could be seen that way, so kudos to him.

  21. RedBaronCV 21

    The housing bubble in auckland is also affecting other parts of the economy – no matter how tempting that job in Auckland looks who can afford to move there to do it. And frankly companies who are beset with hiring problems in Auckland have been very slow to shift staff away to other locations.

  22. vto 22

    just think though folks, when this wave of Chinese money stops (which it absolutely will) property prices will tank and you can all feast again…

    … until the next lot arrive from the next boom-bust place

    • les 22.1

      if property prices ‘tank’ the private banks would become insolvent….with their rapacious ,one track lending practices reliant on created ‘money’ a 25-30% adjustment could spell disaster!;)except of course they would be bailed out ..AGAIN…and the hoi polloi would take a hit..AGAIN!

    • AmaKiwi 22.2

      @ vto “property prices will tank and you can all feast again”

      Yeah right, a Greek feast.

      1. A lot of locals will get badly burned because they bought at the market top. The value of their properties will nosedive. But they’ll still owe the mortgage, which they could never afford in the first place.

      2. When the borrower can’t pay off the debt, the lender has to eat it. Our banks are drowning in property loans. Will the NZ taxpayers agree to bail out Aussie owned banks who suck billions a year out of us? Not me, thank you.

  23. infused 23

    Funny how this isn’t racist yet pointing out some prison and crime stats suddenly is.

    I love the lefts way of thinking.

  24. North 24

    Depends to what purpose it’s sought to put those stats. If it’s to lambast brown and poor and to gloss over racism/classism/poverty and contrive oneself as the victim, it clearly is racist.

    If it’s to speak to the palpable reality that racism/classism/poverty is a major contributor to those stats, it’s clearly not.

    Sticks out like dogs’ balls that your purpose is the former. Infused…….the ‘New Nelson Mandela’…….give us a Tui’s break mate.

  25. Adele 25

    Kiaora koutou

    Twyford has been called courageous because he did a Winnie – used race to conjure up nationalist fervour.

    The only people who are tenants in their own country are Maori. Maori home ownership rates hover about 28%

    A new study published earlier this year concluded that if you looked or sounded overtly Maori or Pasifika you were less likely to get a mortgage.

    I personally think we should ban Europeans from owning property in this country – they are too racist by far.

    • vto 25.1

      Well of course Maori are not the only ones who are tenants in their own country… but I see the point you make and it is a good one.

      Just like all peoples everywhere, the community is stronger and better if the people who live on the land own the land.

      Absent landlordism is simply shit and I have no idea why people do not acknowledge this base facet of human existence (to do with greed probably).

  26. Sable 26

    Big deal. The really vicious issue they are all resoundingly silent on is the TPPA. Once this treasonous deal is in place we will all be servants/slaves/tenants on multiple levels but any noise on this issue? Don’t hold your breath.

    • vto 26.1

      Exactly.

      Come on Labour.

      If you can cry and stomp your feet on this then in order to keep any credibility you need to do the same with the TPPA.

      ……. waiting

      • North 26.1.1

        ‘Hear Hear !!!’ at 26.1 VTO.

        And to Adele……it sickens me that long term practitioners both subliminally and consciously of base racism against Maori are suddenly the ones clutching their pearls and screeching “Racist !” at those daring to alert to wells of cheap foreign investment money. Money which in the broad picture simply cements the picture of Maori as long, long, long term victims of racism.

        Underlines their bastard contempt for Maori.

        This cheap foreign investment money and the TPPA are peas in the same pod, the object being to create within these shores a wildly profitable financial playground for the rich, from wherever they come !

        • Chooky 26.1.1.1

          +100 North

        • Chooky 26.1.1.2

          @ North and Adele…a “contempt for Maori” which is very much misplaced and shows up the arrogance of many other so called advanced races

          ….because the Old traditional Maori (like the Tibetans and American Indians and Aborigines )

          …. were/are very ecologically aware

          …. and did not overpopulate

          …..and women had standing

          …. and this applies to the TPPA…we need to think local and support local and live within our means and national country ecology…

          …as Naomi Klein points out in her book on the crisis of climate change ‘This Changes Everything’….”market fundamentalism has, from the very first moments, systematically sabotaged our collective response to climate change…The truth is that if we want to live within ecological limits, we would need to return to a lifestyle similar to the one we had in the 1970s, before consumption levels went crazy in the 1980s.”..”a healthy and moderate lifestyle”…”selective degrowth”…

  27. Jenny Kirk 27

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11479754

    “For many people, the leaked property sale figures reported in the Weekend Herald …… They concluded some time ago that overseas Chinese buyers were behind the boom in the Auckland property market…….”

    Interesting editorial in today’s Herald. Maybe its because its based in Auckland that it hasn’t gone “shock, horror, racism” at Phil Twyford raising the tempo on whether or not Chinese out-of-towners are buying up big on Auckland property, but is instead calling for a proper investigation into this matter : just as Phil T, and Labour have been doing for the past couple of years.

  28. Chooky 28

    TPPA is bad as we all know….and USA foreign policy and corporates tyranny have been dissected at length on this site ( including by me)….but also by some here shouting racism the loudest

    ….however China also has its problems and those people shouting racism the loudest just about invariably choose to ignore China’s problems…China’s problems could dwarf New Zealand if we let them.

    China has a massive overpopulation problem ( 1.4 billion):

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-07/04/content_10055250.htm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alon-tal/overpopulation-is-still-t_b_3990646.html

    China has a massive population imbalance between males and females (approx 55 million males more than females by 2020):

    http://hir.harvard.edu/archives/8272

    China has massive environmental and resource problems:

    http://www.livescience.com/27862-china-environmental-problems.html

    http://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/china/environmental_problems_china/
    http://thediplomat.com/2014/11/chinas-looming-water-shortage/

    China has spread these problems to Tibet and other countries:
    http://freetibet.org/about/tibets-environment

    http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/05/the-silence-around-tibets-ecological-crisis/275617/

    http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/4399-china-says-to-increase-urban-population-in-tibet-30-by-2020

    http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-gets-involved-south-china-sea-territorial-dispute-tokyo-offers-maritime-support-1844102

  29. Amanda Atkinson 29

    Just been looking back through some of Labour’s narrative back in the 90’s when Winston was on the Asian Invasion bandwagon. What bunch of hypocrites. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. Laughable. This race card by Labour is a disgrace. Shame on you. That said, the main nub of the issue is correct. We should not be letting any foreigners buy our existing houses. If they want to build new houses here, fine. But using racism as the strategic “edge of the wedge”, to get this issue out there, is totally un-Kiwi. It’s quite disgusting actually.

    • Paul 29.1

      Not a race card to question non-dom ownership of NZ property.
      Interesting that you agree with the ACT Party, representatives for the international global corporate elite.

      • Amanda Atkinson 29.1.1

        Foreigners buying existing houses is a very bad idea, Chinese or not. Foreigners building new houses is effectively, the same as them investing in a business here. Completely different. Turning some demand off (by stopping foreigners buying existing houses), and turning up supply, by encouraging the building of more new houses is quite a sensible approach. That’s Twyford policy, and it’s a good one. Not sure how the ACT party fits in. If they agree with Twyford’s idea, then good on them, the more the better. It is the race card. Blaming the Chinese is just stupid and racist. He just wanted to give the issue more oxygen, and he knew this would do it. Edit: just mentioning foreigners may have been enough, it did not need the vilification of another minority group in our country to shine a light on this issue.

  30. Clean_power 30

    Leave racism to Winston Peters, Mr Twiford. Mr Little should be telling him just that.

    • Paul 30.1

      It’s funny how all our friendly trolls are so keen to shut down discussion of non-dom ownership of NZ housing.

    • Yep. And it appears Twyford has taken that advice right from the start. Nice attempted troll though.

      • Paul 30.2.1

        Talking of spin merchants, no doubt Matthew Hooton has prepared his spin on the Auckland housing crisis for 9 to Noon.
        Wonder if Mike Williams will rebut his nonsense this time.

        • te reo putake 30.2.1.1

          Yeah, the spinner for the party that bought us Orewa and Kiwi, not iwi should have some valuable insights, ho ho.

          • Paul 30.2.1.1.1

            One of the quickest ways of shutting down debate is to accuse your opponent of being sexist or racist.
            That is the ACT Party’s plan.

            • marty mars 30.2.1.1.1.1

              and calling those you disagree with ACT people – pot-black poitics

              • Paul

                No there are more than just ACT supporters who are questioning this.
                I mentioned the ACT party to remind people who they are lying down in bed with. The extreme right are on your side.

              • Amanda Atkinson

                Yeah I have noticed a trail of “ACT” comebacks from Paul over the place. It’s sort of like a dog pissing on lamp post to mark territory, but ends up like sheep droppings, just mindlessly excreted all over The Standard adding no value. Most of the time irrelevant at best, and don’t even make sense at worst. One word. Troll.

                • Paul

                  Not the best bedfellows to have, Amanda.

                  • Amanda Atkinson

                    Well, as I said, Paul … Twyford’s racist edge to give oxygen to this issue does not change that fact the he is right, and he has a good policy. Reduce demand by stopping foreigners buying existing houses, and increasing supply by encouraging all investors, foreigners and domestic, to build, instead of buy homes makes sense to me. A good idea, is a good idea. I really don’t see how ACT agreeing with Twyford, makes his policy less plausible. ACT are irrelevant anyway. Obviously you take them seriously, but I wouldn’t get to hung up on what they think.

            • Colonial Viper 30.2.1.1.1.2

              One of the quickest ways of shutting down debate is to accuse your opponent of being sexist or racist.

              Didn’t use to be the case, but the Left made it a thing which could be used that way.

              • Ergo Robertina

                How’s that CV? Can you point to specific examples of where people on the Left ”made it a thing” by standing up for the wrong groups or causes?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Supporting a culture of political correctness means that the charges you use against others in arguments can now also be used on you, fairly or unfairly.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    No, it’s not about a culture of political correctness.
                    This is an issue where two concerns of the Left – economic sovereignty and personal identity – collide and have been put in stark relief by Labour’s actions, rightly or wrongly.

                    ”Supporting a culture of political correctness means that the charges you use against others in arguments can now also be used on you, fairly or unfairly.”

                    Are you saying that if the Left hadn’t supported a culture of political correctness, it would have been able to run an economic sovereignty line without accusations of racism? That doesn’t make sense.

  31. Brillo 31

    If National have data that rebuts the Barfoot data, let’s see it. New Zealanders need to know, and the Barfoot data are the only data we have. Imperfect though the data may be at present – the picture it paints is clearly indicative.

    If it has no data whatsoever, the government is just flying blind, and should get cracking on establishing exactly who is buying our land and property New Zealand-wide – NOT just in Auckland, where it appears mainland Chinese money is flowing. But they should give us the whole picture, or they are simply not doing their job and why are we paying them?

    Of course we can see why they would rather we didn’t know who our landlords are. (And somebody must be clipping the ticket on all that money laundering and it sure isn’t me or Mrs Brillo.)

  32. Brian Smith 32

    Congratulations!! You’ve all fallen for the Nick Smith diversion- throw out the racism comment and the feeding frenzy for the sheeple begins-fantastic! Funny how the media aren’t that shy about calling out Maori for negative stats, but when it’s middle/wealthy class Asians-oohhhhh!! We don’t want to lose their money now, do we! And then we spend all this time letting ‘racism’ get in the way of the facts. Get over it, and call it for what it is- money laundering and cheap money, predominantly from Asia (particularly China) has been, and is, flooding the Auckland property market, propping up the NZ economy.

  33. yip 33

    Mr Little told Radio NZ today that the average income of ethnic Chinese living in Auckland was below the average income overall, so it would be “madness” to say they were buying so many top-end houses.

    One thing i see all the time as my wife is chinese , they use skykiwi for tradesmen, they mostly pay cash with no gst or tax.
    There is a whole Chinese black market of tradesmen who can’t speak English, don’t pay tax and live like they are still in China.
    As a contractor myself i have a ad in Chinese papers and skykiwi put up by my wife, when a Chinese person contacts me about getting work done they never want to pay the going rate or gst, so i turn the job down.
    So on paper some of these people may seem like they are on a low income, but they have a million buck home and two flash cars.

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