Dodging the big decisions

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, December 10th, 2014 - 18 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, national, sustainability, unemployment - Tags:

Auckland and Christchurch especially need a big increase in affordable housing.  A Kiwibuild if you like.  But National only tinkers.  It leaves people with young children to rent in a market that forces them to move often.  This affects our kids – our next generation – as their relationships are regularly interrupted when they could do with continuity.

The consultants McKinsey in their major study of worldwide housing shortages made special mention of NZ.  We need a massive increase in supply, using industrial techniques to make that supply affordable.

National are giving us housing accords that are delivering a few houses, mostly not that affordable, when we need thousands of reasonably priced homes.

But the housing market isn’t their only can they’re kicking down the road.

There’s been coverage of their lack of any meaningful climate change policy.  Gutting the Emissions Trading Scheme while making meaningless targets that we make no effort to fulfil isn’t really a policy at all.  As our emissions have increased 20% under National, we’re falling behind even the likes of US and China.

They’re ignoring the Maui dolphin heading towards extinction in the PM’s own electorate, so the biodiversity crisis obviously isn’t on their radar.

In addition to the environment, the income and wealth inequality holding our society and economy back meet nothing but pleasantries and faux concern – no pre-distribution solutions, no wealth or even capital gains taxes, just tax breaks for the wealthy.

As dairy prices plummet, so does our economy, as the government’s lack of any plan to diversify our economy is laid our starkly.  More irrigation to have more cows and dirtier rivers seems the government’s only way forward.  When pushed on other ideas, they come up with tourism, where every additional job lowers our national average income.  Not the smart, green economy we need.

I could go on – health is hitting fiscal constraints after years of Ryall’s pin-striped straight-jacket; superannuation needs thought as not too far into the horizon it becomes by far the government’s biggest expense, and that’s being actively ignored; there’s no way they’re going to look at big long term issues like mass-automation meaning mass-unemployment as major industries like transport no longer need people.  A commission into the changing nature of work?  Leave that to the opposition.

This is a short-term government with a PM there for the ride, not to rock the boat.  Their main focus has always been media-management – although that may now finally come back to bite them.

How long can they keep avoiding the big decisions?  They’re going to start smacking into reality sometime, but before there’s rioting in the streets don’t expect any forward planning, just drastic authoritarian action when absolutely unavoidable.



18 comments on “Dodging the big decisions”

  1. Paul 1

    Dodging what to do about the falling milk solid prices and our over dependence on the intensification of dairy.

  2. mac1 2

    It seems I’ve been lucky. I lived in two houses until I left home and went to two schools from age 5-17. This means I kept friendships formed from those times and at age 65 I still have a school friend after 60 years. I taught at two schools returning to the first College and retired after 43 years connection with the two schools in the same town as the ‘oldest member’. This has built up a huge range of people I know and connect with. On Thursday I celebrate 38 years of marriage having lived in five houses two of which were lived in as a result of a total house fire.

    There just might be a connection between all of this, if the post is correct- that there is a stability afforded to people by stability of housing. I think of all those foreigners that I have met in Italy and France who all still live in the same areas, even the same houses after generations, who have maintained huge connections to family, friends and area.

    Now we have a new generation of ‘travellers’ uprooted from birth place, family and old friends who live in the poverty of zero contracts, flash houses with 43″ TVs and no style or culture, art bought in garden and warehouse shops, without connection to place, parents and grandparents, having fleeting friendships and not even enough land owned for a time long enough to make it worth while to cultivate a vegetable garden.

    I guess the word that is lost for those people is ‘cultivation’- of family, friends, a home place, a garden, and a local culture.

  3. Peter 3

    If you believe in the free market, globalisation, the need for an international city, big bank credit creation, overseas ownership and investment, economic growth etc we do not have a housing problem in Auckland. Its property prices will go the way of London, Sydney and New York and any other major world city.

    Get with the game plan or leave town.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Indeed. Start as you mean to go on, that we must comply to the economic order rather than order the economy. That only the perfection of free market theories, that means its priesthood who serve the great god profit can have a say on governance. Sure its important to have resources transformed into goods and services, and a understanding of ecomonics is essential. But thats not whats happening.

      Banks are not allowed to fail. Bonuses are used to insure ag ainst fraud of CEOs rather than shaking out bad CEOs. We have created a class of super beings who hide behind the veil of corporate secrets like the catholic preisthood of dark age fame.
      So much for the free market of ideas, the one faith to rule them all, God is great, great profit.

      Service God and yea will inherit the Earth. Sad. There is no heaven, no afterlife, you die just like a corporation, a memory in the archive of human history.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Key is a manager. Quite a good one. But I doubt he has had an original thought about anything in his life. After 6 years he has nothing to point to and is facing the prospect of leaving no positive legacy by 2017, beyond the flag thing. 9 wasted years. Just like Bolger’s 9 wasted years and no positive legacy. And Muldoon’s 9 wasted years and no positive legacy. But the media still love them, and want to be them. So the big problems are kicked down the road. And the big Tories and the big chooks laugh and lie to each other.

    • BM 4.1

      What is it with lefties and a need for a legacy?

      Christ, the last thing NZ needs is a government run by egotistical wankers.

      You govern for the people of NZ, not your own glory.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        Oh the IRONY!!!!

      • mac1 4.1.2

        “What is it with lefties and a need for a legacy?”

        This is why this right-wing government is allowing to be sold the family silver- the land, houses, businesses, assets, the ‘clean green’ environment, freedom from the spy state?

        Nothing to leave, no legacy.

        Legacies are only for succeeding generations, after all, not for us.

      • framu 4.1.3

        “What is it with lefties and a need for a legacy?”

        well if you want to do more than lie to your grandkids you need one

        i dont think you quite realise the gigantic gaping hole in your view of the world you just exposed for us to see. (or maybe its just a woeful grasp on english – who knows)

        also – is this an admission that your now going to never ever refer to the downstream/historical impacts of previous govt policy?

      • BassGuy 4.1.4

        Remind me, was it a government MP or someone from opposition who was so egotistical as to instruct someone who dared to be critical of them to “zip it, sweetie”?

      • Sabine 4.1.5

        yes its true
        Legacies are only for rich people, houses to be left to their children, trustfunds for the little ones, legacy admission to the expensive university in the us / uk, and a big dowry for the daughter when she is finished with her home decor studies.

        the poor ones, pfft….let them eat cake, err mac donalds, let them eat a mac do.

    • aerobubble 4.2

      Key manages the message, the problem is its always short term and carrying baggage that we as a society dont need, want, or worse can not afford. He is no Churchill. He’s a mediocre leader.

    • Brendon Harre 4.3

      The Emperor has no clothes…. When will the crowd listen to the little boy telling them the Emperor isn’t wearing fine clothes, that it is all a con, that actually reality looks quite different….

  5. aerobubble 5

    Slater has no ego?

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