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English “will be taken down by housing”

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, February 14th, 2017 - 67 comments
Categories: bill english, housing, national, useless - Tags: ,

The housing crisis played out in question time again today. According to Labour:

Hundreds of state houses empty during housing shortage

Despite the housing shortage, more than 250 state houses have been sitting empty for over a year as Bill English tries to sell them, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

Housing New Zealand documents obtained under the Official Information Act show that there are nearly 2,500 empty state houses, more than 500 of which have been empty for over a year. Of those long-term vacant state houses, 254 are empty pending sale. Others are in need of repairs or upgrades.

“In the middle of a housing shortage, why on Earth is Bill English leaving state houses empty why he tries to sell them? We should be building houses, not leaving the ones we do have vacant.

“There are nearly 5,000 families waiting for state houses, up by more than a third in the past year.

“We know what Bill English will say – the same old excuse that these are the ‘wrong houses, in the wrong places’. Well, any house would be welcome for kids living in tents. The truth is, most of the houses Bill English is selling are in cities with long waiting lists for state housing.

“With the housing shortage growing by over 40 houses a day, the very least Bill English could do is get those houses filled straight away.

“Labour will build thousands more state houses and end National’s policy of taking a dividend out of Housing New Zealand, as part of our comprehensive plan to end the housing crisis,” says Andrew Little.

I/S at No Right Turn:

Houses empty pending repair is one thing. But empty pending sale? It’s not just waste, its conscious neglect of HNZC’s function. But clearly National isn’t interested in making sure every kiwi has a roof over their heads – otherwise they’d be building state houses, not selling them.

https://twitter.com/Zagzigger2/status/831312244856102913

67 comments on “English “will be taken down by housing” ”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Shocking but not unsurprising.

    The whole State house saga is inept and ludicrous.

    Making poor people pay $1000 for motels when they are homeless instead of living in the thousands of empty state houses, actually selling state houses when there is a housing crisis and spending millions on ‘consultants’ to help ‘sell’ the houses in a housing boom. Complaining about freeing up land when there is so much land available to them with state housing.

    The Natz are inept village idiots.

    But I guess their sweetheart deals to billionaires like Thiel show their “competence” in business.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The Natz are inept village idiots.

      No they’re not.

      They’re actually very, very good at shifting communal wealth into the hands of the rich which is, of course, their whole purpose of being.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 1.2

      Nah just heard on the news National are going to build 69,000 houses in Avondale and New Lynn, and half of them will be State Houses, problem solved?

      Might however be another alternative fact?

      • saveNZ 1.2.1

        I’m sure a lot of things will be promised – what I notice about the Natz is their time frames are always over 4 years plus, next election….funny enough they often never get started but do enjoy announcing some lovely sounding figures and the MSM lap it up and never question it….

        The first people to question were Northland and the 8 bridges they were promised… how many bridges have been built so far I wonder???

        Like the mythical houses they count consents as though they were already built and don’t bother taking off those residences being demolished and how long (if ever) it will take to build the new ones.

  2. Ad 2

    I thought the illustration of the guy in the blindfold meant I was going to get a good saucy review of Fifty Shades of Grey 2, and all I got was more politics!
    Sad!

  3. Sacha 3

    And now the government is trying to dodge doing anything by arguing about how big the housing shortfall actually is: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/324491/govt-slashes-housing-shortfall-figure-without-explanation

  4. David C 4

    My understanding of why some of these shit houses are empty and still standing is that its just so expensive to demolish them and clean up the contaminated waste.

    • “Contaminated” is another particularly shit piece of Nat propaganda. It has no meaning beyond providing a fake justification for evicting tenants so their houses can be sold.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        That’s my understanding too.

        You have to wonder how so many people get taken in by this crap.

        Or not, as the case may be.

      • James Thrace 4.1.2

        Yes, “contaminated” by fly spray residue, and also not helped by the same swab being used at up to 5 different locales within the house which will, of course, increase the likelihood of “contamination” being found.

        Yes, fly spray residue does result in a false positive for P tests. So does bleach, ammonia and other common household items which are used in P manufacturing.

        The tests themselves are a perfect scam. The testers find “contamination” then recommend a company to do the cleanup. Who owns the cleanup company? Oh, the testing company.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.1

          A business model perfected by organised criminals… wanna buy a used testing company?

      • David C 4.1.3

        well… there is this stuff called asbestos…..

        The whole P thing is out of a demo contractors hands… if its tagged they just follow the council rules.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.3.1

          How does that address the fraudulent nature of ‘p’ “contamination”? I mean, nice sidestep, way to pass the buck, contaminants are just like lawyers.

        • mauī 4.1.3.2

          Yeah and National were all over health and safety regulations regarding asbestos during the tear down of Christchurch after the earthquake. Yeah right.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.3.3

          The whole P thing is out of a demo contractors hands…

          It’s not out of the government’s hands, but the government finds the scam very convenient for evicting tenants so it can sell the houses.

    • saveNZ 4.2

      Yes David C – what waste is that? Meth, and if so, is there any proper measurements to prove it is harmful in the quantities it is in (lead is also harmful and we all have to live in houses with that), what sort of governance did the Natz have if they let entire communities of housing get contaminated without doing anything about it? Who is bringing the meth into the country and why don’t the Natz stop it on their ‘war on meth’ they seem to have given up on?? Why get rid of MAF staff???

      Why did we not have the Meth problem under a Labour government?

      • saveNZ 4.2.1

        Asbestos is fine if you don’t touch it. Maybe they should have done some due diligence before kicking all the tenants out.

        I’m sure some crony friend of the Natz will get a bargain and the houses and land sold for a song.

  5. garibaldi 5

    English “will be taken down by housing”. That is optimistic indeed. National aren’t that stupid and I’m sure their arsenal will cope with many such hiccups.
    The Left can’t rely on National losing because of their track record. Also our job is being made all the harder because of the impression that the economy is doing well…..
    The Left will have to really have it’s act together to unseat this Govt. No real signs yet that we are up to the task.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    The National Government do not want to be involved with social housing, they just want the cash, after all State House tenants are not National Party supporters.

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Chris Trotter said a while ago that any government that ignores housing, does so at its own peril and I thought that sounded right. This is why one of the major platforms of Labour and the Greens should be BIG solutions for housing pushed at every opportunity. The government can say whatever it likes about housing but when you are one of those people who can’t buy a house, or even pay rising rents, you are not going to believe their spin.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      …you’ll be less likely to receive your voting papers too. Not that I’m suggesting the National Party or its owners would see that as a win for them or anything. No, they care so much you can taste it.

      Blech!

  8. Herodotus 8

    “Labour will build thousands more state houses …,” says Andrew
    Where will these be built?? Locations as Glen Innes are already being redeveloped. Auckland does not have sufficient capacity; be it in preparing land to be built on (earthworks and civil works) nor to construct these . Currently there are 9-10k houses being built and all large building companies cannot keep this pace up Due to the shortage of both sub trade and material supplies and council processing etc
    With the building industry at capacity there are dramatic price increases and this excludes what has happened regarding land pricing.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11577047
    Then there is the stress on our infrastructure and environment e.g. Motorway congestion, condition of our beaches. Etc.That no one is addressing with solutions
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11786380

  9. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    So why are we letting more immigrants into New Zealand when we already have a systemic problem with poor infrastructure and a housing shortage especially here in Auckland?

    There must be some underlying reason for this madness by the Natzis?

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Tamata Tautuhi
      I guess that was a rhetorical question. You know and I know why the Natzis are madly enabling a level of immigration which is against the country’s best interests. But strangely enough the flashing neon sign can’t be seen because of the brilliance of the rainbow gold that entices the upwardly mobile men and women of property.

  10. Infused 10

    The twitter comments are stupid. The houses removed in the Hutt were screwed. ‘perfectly fine’ lol. Jesus.

    • mauī 10.1

      They look in pretty good condition to me. No sign of rot on the inside and most of the homes are weatherboards which always look like they’ve been looked after on the outside.

      https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/5/3/q/w/5/image.gallery.galleryLandscape.600×400.153ruj.png/1434073759003.jpg

      You know, I hear builders saying all the time, backed up by ads on trade me stating “ex state house, bad bones and dodgy unregulated materials used throughout, avoid” /sarc

    • bwaghorn 10.2

      your economic genius mates would rather pay their motel owning mates a small fortune to house the homeless than actually maintain houses they own , most here think national are evil i just think they’re useless middle management douche bags who couldn’t sort a piss up in a brewery.

      • Sam C 10.2.1

        Yeah, cause all motel operators are loaded capitalist scum, right? More likely they are battling away to earn a living, working every hour ,god sends, in my experience.

        • bwaghorn 10.2.1.1

          arh i see so the nats are running a welfare programme for motal owners , and here’s me thinking it was the homeless they were supposed to help

  11. Anthony Rimell 11

    The sale of State Housing is a pivotal issue. Even those who have voted for National are squeamish about selling down a housing stock that was built up over almost 70 years, and was the bedrock of the welfare state.

    I agree that of itself it wont bring down anything: we of the left have to remind the people why New Zealand built them in the first place, and why they are needed more than ever now.

    Which is why both Labour and the Greens’ housing policies need to be shouted out. On this pivotal issue the electorate has a real choice.

    • Leftie 11.1

      +1000 Anthony Rimell.

      • saveNZ 11.1.1

        Agree with The sale of State Housing is a pivotal issue. Because it is not only about housing but also about asset sales and the privatisation of public assets.

        BUT – housing as an issue needs to be a uniting issue not a disuniting issue.

        Labour and Greens and their supporters need to unite renters and homeowners on housing, not dis unite them like last election and pit homeowners and renters against each other.

        If they get their housing message wrong or it is manipulated by Natz, like last election they do the opposite and send voters into Natz hands or not voting.

  12. repateet 12

    Will a housing problem and diabolical handling of it as shown by this empty state houses revelation, get people out to vote? And get them out to vote for anyone but Bill?
    How many of them?

    By election time will there be enough disenchanted with things economic to get out and vote for anyone but Bill? How many of them?

    By election time will enough be enthralled enough by Labour and Greens and see them as likely to be more effective than Bill’s mob, enthralled enough to make the effort to get out and vote for an alternative?

    There is so much about this empty house thing to get the blood of regulars on here boiling but we’re going to be voting, it’s others who have to be roused enough to get out. Many of them.

  13. Tamati Tautuhi 13

    It makes you wonder what guys like Bill English actually do in Government especially when all they want to do is sell stuff and absolve themselves of any responsibility for anything.

    Let the market resolve the problems?

    • Red 13.1

      Your faith in the state to do better contrary to 100 years of evidence is cute? if not bizarre

      • In Vino 13.1.1

        And your implicit admission that private enterprise is failing?

      • repateet 13.1.2

        You imply the “state” is useless. That’s Bill English and co. isn’t? Are you saying they’re incapable of coming up wth solutions and implementing them?

        • Red 13.1.2.1

          The state is pretty useless but we have the best of bad bunch now, a left wing national government, the alternative is horror movie stuff

          • In Vino 13.1.2.1.1

            Red, that is about as stupid as I ever want to respond to. Go away and take up a new hobby, like knitting.

            • Red 13.1.2.1.1.1

              The state interference national and labour with help of council have caused the housing crisis over a number of years and administration if you can’t see that in vino, get off the Vino,

              • McFlock

                Thanks for the alternative facts, red.

                Sorry, I meant “thanks for the bullshit”.

                The housing crisis has been caused by a lack of government intervention, because the only solid tool you tories have left the government to take the heat off the housing market also depresses an already struggling economy.

                It’s a case study in how the markets are inherently dysfunctional: an aggressive upward trend attracts speculators who make predictions largely based on previous conditions, so the commodity gets inflated in price beyond the actual equilibrium that would be established if only the demand of people who actually used the product was taken into account.

                tl-dr: bubble of hot gas.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  the markets are inherently dysfunctional

                  The way I see it, government accounts for ~33% of the domestic economy: they are one of the strongest market forces around.

                  How could a market not be dysfunctional with the signals this lot send?

  14. Antoine 14

    Is not particularly new news, see e.g. this from 2014:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10725812/76-empty-state-houses-in-South-Auckland

    It makes sense that a small fraction of the state housing stock would be unoccupied at any given point in time, for various more or less legitimate reasons (including renovation, cleaning, decontamination, awaiting a new occupant, awaiting sale… but not including sadistic ‘Natzi’ madness).

    I do however agree that there seems something fishy in the P testing regime.

    A.

  15. Tanz 15

    Labour bangs on about building more houses, but the causes are not mentioned – too many overseas investors creaming it at the local’s expense and the other problem, too many immigrants crowding in. Nothing changes, and where is the honesty, for once.

    • McFlock 15.1

      Totally. Labour’s never made an issue about overseas investors /sarc

      Speaking of which, how’s the register that was started by the government in response to Labour’s wee names-analysis exercise? Is “tax residency” still the best information they can come up with?

  16. Tanz 16

    The housing crisis started back when in Labour was in power, how come they didn’t ban overseas buyers then, when they could? How come investors offshore were ever allowed to plunder our prized housing stock? Asia blocks us from buying their houses, and for good reason. NZ govt, giving it all away.

    • McFlock 16.1

      Indeed, labour did it too, and dunnokeyo himself pointed out before the 2008 election.

      But the nats have had nine years of watching the problem get worse and worse and doing nothing about it.

    • lprent 16.2

      The housing crisis started back when in Labour was in power…

      Not really. Pretty specifically, the early signs were present from about 2002, were largely constrained by 2005/6 and they left power in 2008. However overseas buyers weren’t a noticeable portion of the Auckland (or anywhere else) market then.

      Perhaps you actually should read something on the subject rather apparently than parroting some ignorant fool that you heard last week. Try this reserve bank bulletin from early last year.

      The current driver for house prices is the demand vs supply from migration in Auckland. That shows when you look at the graph of the auckland house prices relative to the rest of the country. It suffered a severe shortage in the late 90s due to National’s limited interest in limiting migration to sustainable levels and again recently. But the current prices again indicate a government that has sat on its hands about both excess migration and using state pushes to be dwellings and infrastructure to cope with their uncontrolled influxes.
      Auckland house price indicies compared to the rest of the country

      The driving factor is what appears to be unconstrained nett migration, at least half of which winds up in Auckland. This from a recent Stats report on migration.
      NZ Nett Migration

      Now of course you can raise supply of housing to alleviate the prices. However this invariably takes a decade to get started. Whereas the government, as they have done in this case, can lose control of migration in only a few years.

      That divergence between supply and demand means that there is also lot of room for taking profit in property in Auckland. So largely useless and unproductive investment money is piling into Auckland and spilling over into the rest of the country causing massive house price inflation.

      National gained power in 2008. The overseas buyer rush started in about 2010 on the back of sustained immigration and returning kiwis. It went apeshit in about 2012-13 (4 years AFTER Labour left office) when offshore investors piled in on the goldmine and house prices started spiralling into a classic bubble. E

      very year since then the price rises and nett migration have been catastrophic..

      Basically National are clearly to blame for both parts of their failed policies. The councils have no control on migration or the controls on overseas investment or largely even on the rate with which that they can ramp up infrastructure spending (the latter is controlled by the fiscal constraints of the National government in Wellington on rate increases and debt ratios).

      Now as a word of caution. I did a science degree followed by a MBA. I’m rather picky about numbers and people bullshitting using them.

      Let me put it this way. Neither Donald Trump nor Nick Smith would be likely to last long on this site with me as a moderator without getting banned for deliberately lying using ‘numbers’.

      People make flat statements of false fact as Tanz stupidly did are liable for any tearing that I or any other commenter chooses to give them.

      And please read the graphs. Some have log scales and some use indicies. Just looking at the slope of lines tends to encourage me towards venom dripping sarcasm.

      • Antoine 16.2.1

        So here we are, demand exceeds supply and prices have risen.

        The natural result should be that people would build and sell more houses, the supply side would catch up, people would get housed and there would be downward pressure on prices.

        What’s stopping that from happening?

        A.

        • Cinny 16.2.1.1

          Ant,

          Here’s how it is where I live. Landlords are cashing up on their rentals, as properties here have increased up to $100 k in the last year. The people buying the over priced rentals are often home owners rather than investors, they often are coming from out of town with money, as it’s still cheaper here than in Auckland.

          When rentals are sold to home owners, someone has to move out of the rental and find another rental. If all the rental properties are sold to home owners/buyers there suddenly becomes a lack of rental properties. With sunshine wages and inflated house prices here, locals are unable to afford to buy a home, being forced to rent instead.

          You say people need to build more houses. Only problem with that is that it costs money and some people do not have the money to build a house.

          I suggest we take a leaf from the Aussies. Immigrants should only be allowed to build a new house rather than buy an existing house. That would help a little little bit. But it won’t help people at the moment.

          • lprent 16.2.1.1.1

            That would help a little little bit. But it won’t help people at the moment.

            Not that much. The biggest factor driving migration at present is kiwis returning here.

            We have exported a lot of kiwi passports offshore for a long time. When large numbers comes back, it always causes issues with out infrastructure.

            Look at my second graph.

            We need to drop immigration until this current peak of kiwi return diminishes. As we ramp up reducing our current deficit of housing, immigration can be ramped up again.

          • Antoine 16.2.1.1.2

            Interesting thank you

          • greywarshark 16.2.1.1.3

            The effect you talk about Cinny is the colonisation effect. A lot of the fights and wars of indigenous people was because colonisers shifted into their territory and they were driven out, or their living styles so disrupted they would have starved. So they go looking for land and a place to fish in someone else’s territory and then they are unhappy etc etc

        • lprent 16.2.1.2

          What’s stopping that from happening?

          Pretty obvious, and if you weren’t quite so lazy you’d have read the answer in my comment. Lag.

          Now of course you can raise supply of housing to alleviate the prices. However this invariably takes a decade to get started. Whereas the government, as they have done in this case, can lose control of migration in only a few years.

          The lag between implementing two different types of policy decision is the problem.

          Building houses takes a lot more time than building them. National can screw up the control of migration much faster than roads and sewerage systems can be extended.

          In fact National has delayed virtually every effort by Auckland city to improve its infrastructure to cope with the increased migration that National controls, but will not pay for.

          Tell me – are you always this thick?

          • Antoine 16.2.1.2.1

            > The lag between implementing two different types of policy decision is the problem.

            Thanks for your view. I ask the same question of various people and tend to get different answers. In Kiwiblog type circles the answer is generally that the problem lies with the Council. I asked on here a few days ago and got answers ranging from the cost of building supplies to the unitary plan to land banking. As far as I am concerned the jury’s still out.

            Here’s another question, if the problem is delays in building roads and sewerage systems, then is Kiwibuild the answer? Should central Govt not focus on getting roads and sewerage systems online, rather than trying to build houses even though the infrastructure isn’t there yet?

            > Tell me – are you always this thick?

            Yes or even thicker at times!

            A.

            • Antoine 16.2.1.2.1.1

              Self correction, I should have asked ‘is Kiwibuild _part of_ the answer’, noting that your main suggestion is around reducing immigration.

              A.

  17. Tanz 17

    Iprent, just knows everything, not. So funny. As a word of caution, I have a degree in art and design, so I know BS when I see it.

    • lprent 17.1

      Tanz. Figure it this way. Richard McGarth in his usual snearing way made a statement implying value judgement about others. Of course in his apparently sheltered existence, he probably has inadequate experience to understand the people he was denigrating (for that matter so do I for a number of the people he was sneering at). Basically it was the argument of a stupid arsehole trying to be a troll.

      So I used exactly the same argument back, but using a different set of values and specifically denigrating him by my criteria. Not that he ever stated his value – I guess he is just a bigot who doesn’t like revealing what his bigotry is. I suspect he just looks at the excess accumulation of money as some kind of counting the score. (Really why anyone of competence would bother competing with others has always made me wonder about their inadequecies…. But onwards.)

      Then another idiot decided to pop in on the same discussion, with what appeared to a similar set of foolish assumptions. Really is with these fools. So I extended the argument using his obvious biases and bigotries as a basis for the purposes of my amusement, and because I like irritating loud mouth trolls. Again I redirected it to the personal. I find that making sure people are aware that there are nastier and more experienced netizens around tends to improve the breed.

      But seriously – read the discussion. I simply took what each said, amplified it and spat it back at them. If they want to try use those kinds of arsehole thick arguments, then I’m always happy to demonstrate why it is a bad idea (one way or another).

    • lprent 17.2

      BTW: If we are comparing over-education. I have a BSc in earth sciences and a MBA in operations research. I also have a pile of papers mostly 2nd and 3rd year for a couple of unfinished BAs in history and other bits and pieces and an uncompleted post grad in computing. Working as a computer programmer seemed to always get in the way of sitting in lectures. I have also had to suffer through my mothers education in social sciences when I was a teen, and my ex-partners law degree.

      However it all pales in comparison to the experience of being a farm hand, barman, soldier, factory worker, nightclub bouncer, running factories and actually getting projects like this one done, dusted, and out of the door. This one looks almost done. Off home and away from the breadboard test PCBs and code and back into it in the morning.

  18. Tanz 18

    As for comparing backgrounds/educations, I have a handful of papers in English from Auckland Uni (too dry and boring and a very snobby department), I have papers in social practice, and I have a myriad of experience in many hands-on jobs, such as retail, office work, communications, banking, insurance, you name it. Perhaps we even crossed passed in the hallowed halls of Auckland Uni, lol.

    • lprent 18.1

      At Waikato and Otago I could get accommodation in easy walking distance. At Massey I could do distance learning. At Auckland you had to drive (and suffer the damn parking) or suffer the public transport.

      I have only did some compsci and a few odd papers at Auckland. Being around AuckUni when my mother was doing a BA in the 1970s was enough to make me want to go elsewhere.

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  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
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  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
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  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
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