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Fifty year mortgages

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, November 9th, 2014 - 79 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, housing - Tags: , ,

I once read a SF short story where the protagonist was wrestling with a moral dilemma. There was some expensive new toy he wanted, but he was already mortgaged for the rest of his live, and he had mortgaged his son’s life earnings too. The only way to get his toy was to mortgage any potential grandchildren for life. Which, after quelling some vestigial twitching of conscience, he duly did. Interesting story, I thought at the time, and wondered if such things would ever happen for real.

Fast forward a few decades and we seem to be well on the way. On Stuff this morning:

Interest-only mortgage ‘irresponsible’

Westpac’s new 30-year, interest-only mortgage has been decried as irresponsible and likely to fuel property investor speculation. Details of the new loan product were discreetly fed to mortgage broker channels in recent weeks. The offering is a major shake-up to the market, with the term three to six times as long as the maximum allowed by rival banks.

Once the term is up, borrowers can either repay the loan in full or switch to a standard mortgage, implying a total length of 50 years. “You can get 50-year mortgages in America which mean you pretty much have a mortgage for life, which is not responsible at all,” said Rule.

With property prices as insane as they are, I predict that this form of mortgage will grow increasingly popular in NZ. Mortgaged for life. And of course, it’s worse than that, because as usual the game is rigged:

Westpac’s chief product officer Shane Howell said owner-occupiers were eligible, but not the target market. “It’s really specifically geared towards investors . . . to give them the best opportunity to take advantage of the tax benefits,” he said.

Property investors typically use interest-only loans to maximise cashflow, as interest is fully tax-deductible while principal repayments are not.

Australian regulators are keeping a wary eye on interest-only loans, which are fuelling a property investment boom and have triggered cautions from ratings agencies. However, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has only just started collecting information from the industry, which it will begin publishing next year.

So here we have a product designed for investors, taking advantage of a tax dodge, which will further fuel a property boom, and the only way for ordinary buyers to compete is to mortgage themselves for life. What a world.

79 comments on “Fifty year mortgages”

  1. Ad 1

    Hope you caught Minister English on National Radio this morning on why the big state house sell off is happening.

    • hoom 1.1

      I took the rare step of switching the radio off because I couldn’t stand to hear his absolute bullshit any longer or my head would have exploded.

      Seriously, does he really believe anyone is actually buying his line?

      • felix 1.1.1

        English knows that everyone sees through the bullshit.

        But he also knows that part of the population are aware it’s all bullshit and are delighted, and that the rest have no-one to speak for them.

  2. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 2

    Literally, from the Anglo Norman, a death pledge.
    Till death is one (and one’s children and descendants) in debt.

  3. dv 3

    What struck me was that Westpac had loaned 1 Billion in the last 6 mths.
    Where did that come from?

    And that is another 60m taken out of the economy for the interest payments.

    AND national debt is now
    NZ$ 94,360,060,149

    Interest is 4.5 billion

  4. Paul 4

    Debt = slavery.
    Our masters want us to be subservient.

  5. Tracey 5

    fodder for developers who by design of this government have no personal liability for the quality of their projects, unlike builders and designers. the latter being dictated to by, the developer.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The builders are being dictated to by the developers as well. The developers do not like having to pay the full costs.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        by later i meant builders and designers. sorry for lack of clarity

        • dave 5.1.1.1

          the workers and small buisness take the risk for devlopers . main contractor uses credit lines of the workers its a rotten system all the risk little reward hartners, mainzeal nz contruction industry is rotten to the core

    • Rosie 5.2

      I live on a development, in my first home. Whilst not normally one for being a defender of developers (many of whom have justly earned their rep as fly by nighters and money grabbers) I’d have to say that there is a good relationship between the developer, architects and builders and associated trades, in this particular case.

      It is a weird environment, feeling like instant suburbia in a barren tree less landscape. Like that show that used to be on “This is not my life”. The trade off for a lack of character and community was getting a house that is mega insulated, well built and double glazed – our power bills are the same all year round.

      Helped that no one wanted to buy the house from the former owners as there is ONLY one bathroom in a 3 bedroom home and a single garage – I know darls, it’s completely unacceptable when you can’t fit your ginormous SUV in the garage. We got it for approximately $30K under the expected price.

      But yeah, I think the developers are laughing all the way to bank, (they’ve opened up new land ahead of schedule at a time when a lot of folks are struggling) – they’ve just been a little more clever about the way they go about their business.

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        have their been any big problems yet, that is the test of the developer…

        • Rosie 5.2.1.1

          Not any biggies as yet Tracey. They were around in the leaky homes era at a time they were building a lot of homes with monolithic cladding and didn’t have any problems. They gained a good reputation in that time.

          I haven’t seen any problems with non compliance with the council either, and I do have my stickey beak in that area.

          My greatest concern is loss of habitat for birds such as the Spur Winged Plover and Paradise ducks. While the land is poor and rocky (it’s their own family farm land they’ve turned to development) there are those bird populations that live here and seem to be declining. You’d need a proper study done to gauge it accurately though.

          It’s the neighbouring developers who have been a problem. They illegally aerially sprayed gorse which went well out out the buffer zone and sprayed our residential area, as well as waterways that contained native fish. A bunch of us took evidence to the regional council and they did give them a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket. They also build ugly big boxes on tiny sections, but theres nothing that can done about that.

          • b waghorn 5.2.1.1.1

            So your urban sprall is OK but the neighbours is bad?

            • Rosie 5.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s not urban sprall _ I wouldn’t live in a shit environment like that. How can you judge anyway? You don’t even know where it is, you’re just making assumptions.

  6. Daveinireland 6

    People are both living and working longer, isn’t it logical that the mortgage industry reflects this?

    • BassGuy 6.1

      Many of us are going to be working longer simply because we can’t afford to retire.

      It’s very difficult to save for your retirement when your gross earnings are significantly less than the net dole.

    • b waghorn 6.2

      @ irland I have children and I would like to think there will be more to there lives than working there arse s for 30-50 years just so bank share holders can increase there profits ffs WAKE UP

      • Daveinireland 6.2.1

        Then tell them not to get a 50 year mortgage. They are not compulsory.

        • b waghorn 6.2.1.1

          Gee your a genius . Right all you people out there don’t get a 50 year mortgage good problem solved , hmmm what next

          • Tracey 6.2.1.1.1

            poor people! earn more money! next problem?

            • b waghorn 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Hay you put that smoke out . (this is easy)

            • Daveinireland 6.2.1.1.1.2

              ‘poor people! earn more money! next problem?”

              Mostly, people who are poor are not exactly in control of the situation. Choosing a 50 year mortgage is something you have complete control over. You have been able to get a 30 year mortgage for a long time, why the shock at a 50 year term?

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                There is a hell of lot of former high flyers in their middle 30s who have hit the wall by the time they are middle 40s.
                Ask Deborah Hill Cone ?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                The shock is you advocating for 50 years worth of debt slavery and guaranteed income for the banksters and life insurance companies who profit from people dying. Also your ignorance in terms of ‘using loansharks is not compulsory’ but without understanding how financial institutions take advantage of those in poor financial positions.

                But for someone like you, that probably falls into the ‘who gives a shit’ category.

                • Daveinireland

                  “The shock is you advocating for 50 years worth of debt slavery”

                  Jesus wept. I’m not advocating anything. I simply do not see how the difference between a 30y and 50y mortgage is much to get exited about.

                  “and guaranteed income for the banksters and life insurance companies who profit from people dying. Also your ignorance in terms of ‘using loansharks is not compulsory’ but without understanding how financial institutions take advantage of those in poor financial positions.”

                  So it’s the financial industry as a whole you have an issue with?

              • greywarshark

                DaveinI
                I wonder what line of business you and your family are in?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Profiting off misery.

                • Daveinireland

                  “DaveinI
                  I wonder what line of business you and your family are in?”

                  I’m a construction manager for industrial plants.

                  • greywarshark

                    @ Dave in Ireland
                    You may be one of an insulated-from-the-real-world types. Is this you? Always with a faraway look in your eyes as you remember all the things you have to do for your work which is ongoing and busy into the near future. You have a good life style and work hard and possibly play hard. And you adopt a pattern of thinking that disses others who aren’t managing to get on. Some want to reveal the real problems facing us all and the horrid reality, which is an inconvenient and unpleasant habit.

                    Yours is not a way of life that you will be able to maintain. What people are talking about are the parts of the iceberg that we know are there but that people like you prefer to ignore. If all you care about is yourself and your nearest connections plus a few others here and there then you are too self-centred to understand the world and what we as a people are doing to it and to each other.

                    Do you know the difference between cyclical and structural? Cyclical describes the tendency for statistics of business etc to go up and down in a circular way perhaps responding to seasons, but structural is when change is fixed and continuing. That is what we are thinking of, which makes ‘smart’, short and sweet advice or putdowns completely irrelevant. It’s a waste of your precious time coming here with dopey comments.

                    • Daveinireland

                      Errr, what does all that have to do with 50 years mortgages?

                    • greywarshark

                      dave in Ireland
                      Your view on anything is conditioned by what you are. That’s why you can’t understand the disadvantage to people of 50 year mortgages and the implications such as taking larger sums from people over their lifetime, paying off interest. It’s a waste of time discussing this with someone who will remain wilfully ignorant of the concerns and reasons for them.

                    • Daveinireland

                      Really? I can’t understand the disadvantages of a 50 year mortgage? Your average 8 year can see the disadvantage. That doesn’t mean there isn’t potentially a place for them. The reality is very few, if any people would hold a 50 year mortgage to term. It’s an alternative to the low start mortgages that have been around for years, and also a better option than interest only.

                      If you really want to change the mortgage market to cut the amount of interest paid to banks you should ban table mortgages in total and make everyone take out a reducing mortgage.

              • Tracey

                a thirty year interest only mortgage, really? i tried recently to get a two year interest free and was declined.

        • Tracey 6.2.1.2

          do you know the details of brokers commission for this new product?

  7. b waghorn 7

    “Its really geared towards investors” it strikes me as west pac are lining up to become giant landlords with a lot of freelance brokers hoping on a capital gains payday after 30 years.

    • dv 7.1

      ‘capital gains payday after 30 years.’

      And then they create more money and ‘loan’ that out for another 30 yrs.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        +111

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.2

        People who think that the current global asset price bubble is going to last another 3 years, let alone 30, are in a dream world. Our global civilisation peaked years ago and the downhill slide is steepening. Those in the global top 0.1% ruling elite will be amongst the last to notice it as they are the most insulated from its negative effects, but it’s well underway. Many in the top 10% (i.e. the western middle class and working class) are already well aware of it.

        • Jones 7.1.2.1

          The numbers are all there… it depends now on how good the propaganda is. They can spin this out as long as the people remain wilfully oblivious to it. Could be next year… could another 5 years… even if they are aware of it, I imagine many have too much of themselves invested in a way of life to be able to proactively make any change.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2

          Why do you think the 1% have had governments selling off state assets? When the global economy collapses the rich want to be able to control people and preventing them from accessing the necessary resources to maintain life is a means of control.

        • Tracey 7.1.2.3

          bailing out banks and financial institutions masked the problem. most of the bailed out banks are back in profit. fanny mae are back with a new version of the sub prime mortgage, this time using motor cars.

          the bailout meant no consequences, so no learning.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Been away for a really nice weekend. Long overdue.

    Just got back. Read this. Utterly disgusted.

    Any term over 20 years for a table mortgage is usury. Should be flat-out illegal.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      Yep. Anything much over a 15 year term and the interest servicing costs become exponentially burdensome.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        You’re dead right – 13-15 years is the optimum term. Most people need to spend some quality time with a good mortgage calculator trying out the effect of various terms and rates.

        I’m quite serious about the 20 year term limit. It would have the very salubrious effect of also effectively putting an upper limit on the rates the banks could charge.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      I’m thinking mortgages should have two limits set on them:

      1. Must not be more than 15 years and
      2. Must not take up more than 30% of household income over the term

  9. Jones 9

    Right on cue… just in time for the great state housing asset sale. Westpac’s getting ready for its slice… watch the other banks follow.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      Things can always be taken away from corporations which exceed their social operating licence. Hence why they are desperate for us to sign the TPPA.

      • Jones 9.1.1

        It’s going get rapidly less subtle in the months ahead… there’s a smash and grab going on. The TPPA is an insurance policy and the commons will be underwriting it.

  10. Ovid 10

    Are our memories of 2007-08 really that sketchy? Remember when Key wanted us to become another Ireland? He may just get his wish

  11. Richard29 11

    This is totally not targetted at buyers, its for investors. The fully geared interest only loan on a large property allows annual losses that write off any income tax paid. Over time the real value of the loan relative to the property value declines through capital gain which is all tax free when realised.
    There is nothing new to see here, this has been a middle class hobby for years. Bad press for Westpac though, the other banks make a pretence of not funding the property bubble with interest only loans by setting arbitrary 5 year limits, but they are happy to roll the terms over for another 5 years as many times as you like…

    • RedLogixFormes 11.1

      Your right – it’s not targeted at owners – but the effect on the market is just the same. The bank does not care whether its a tenant or an owner paying the mortgage – it’s just a way for them to pump more money into the market thereby inflating their profits.

      Governments are not allowed to do anything about it.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        +1

        The governments of the world have been doing what they’re told by the rich about money creation and banking for the last two centuries or so. It’s time that government stopped doing that and started doing what’s needed – creating all money and spending it into the economy in such a way so as to support high living standards for all. We cannot leave it to the rich any more as what they do destroys the economy and our society with it.

  12. Most commenters seem to have missed the point. Only existing property owners are eligible for this type of mortgage – it’s not offered as debt slavery for people too poor to buy a house in NZ’s insane property market, it’s yet another scheme for property investors to dodge taxes.

    The tax system offering opportunities like this is the main reason NZers are such enthusiastic property investors. If you already own a house, the bank will cheerfully offer you a no-deposit loan for a new house. Tenants pay the morgage, insurance, rates and maintenance, so you pay only the fees involved in buying the place. If you can arrange things so you don’t pay tax on your investment, all the better – the capital gain you get at the end of it isn’t taxed either. Westpac is apparently keen to assist with arranging things so you don’t pay tax on your investment, but you can hardly blame them for that – blame the people who decide the tax system.

    • John Shears 12.1

      The fact that there is a tax incentive on a 2nd house but none on the family dwelling is the unfair advantage that allows those that choose for what ever reason the chance to start a property portfolio.

      The family home should also be allowed to claim tax rebates on interest and maintenance or nobody should be able to.

      We no longer are involved in real estate as we now live in a retirement village and have therefore released a housing unit onto the market. We were able to do that because our first house was bought with a no interest 5 year loan and a bank overdraft , banks didn’t do mortgages in those days.the late 1950’s.

      At the end of the 5 years we shifted to Auckland from Wellington having upgraded the first house which was cheap and run down and were able to buy a refurbished State House in Mt Eden amongst privately built ones.

      We never had any tax gains from the costs of our various houses or the costs of the materials we used to upgrade them but without the equity that we had in our last house we would not have been able to choose to move into our current apartment.

    • RedLogixFormes 12.2

      it’s not offered as debt slavery for people too poor to buy a house in NZ’s insane property market

      As I pointed out above though – the effect on the market is to ensure that instead of being debt slaves directly to the bank, they will remain rent slaves indirectly via their landlord.

      Another way of looking at this – go work out the total interest paid under this scheme. That’s all cash out from ordinary people into the pockets of the bank shareholders.

      • Psycho Milt 12.2.1

        Meh – it’d be a pretty odd bank that wasn’t out to make a profit. The question is why successive governments provide an environment for this to flourish in. The answer being that, for the most part they’re property investors themselves, and so are a lot of their voters. If paying interest-only for 30 years for an investment property represented the serious waste of the purchaser’s money that it would for a house you were planning to live in, no-one would be queuing up to throw their tenants’ money at Westpac’s shareholders – why it doesn’t represent a serious waste of the purchaser’s money is a matter for the government, not the banks.

        • RedLogixFormes 12.2.1.1

          Meh – it’d be a pretty odd bank that wasn’t out to make a profit.

          Profit sure – but exploiting monopoly position in market to become by far the most lucrative businesses in town may well be a different thing.

          I just did a quick and dirty calc – assuming a real interest rate of 4% the total interest payments for one of these loan would be in the order of 500% of the principle.

          In what world is that not a ‘serious waste of money’?

          • Psycho Milt 12.2.1.1.1

            In objective terms, it’s a horrendous waste of money. But what counts is whether it’s a waste of the purchaser’s money, because the purchaser chooses the mortgage. And it isn’t a waste of the purchaser’s money – in a world in which interest payments are tax-deductible and principal payments aren’t, some investment purchasers are going to say “Fuck it, I’ll just pay the interest then.” Altering that world is a job for the government, not the banks.

            • RedLogixFormes 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Well yes we agree at that point but;

              Altering that world is a job for the government, not the banks.

              What government could? The banks have decisively demonstrated they are bigger than governments. Sure the central banks tinker around with things on the margins a bit – but not in my lifetime have I seen anything seriously change.

              Note how very anxious the establishment gets about the possibility of wage inflation and how effectively they act against it – but apart from some token bleating nothing ever gets done against asset price inflation.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      Didn’t miss the point at all – it’s about helping the rich to avoid paying taxes.

  13. vto 13

    Good way for the banking sector to grab another slice of the economy…

    and for what?

    they don’t produce anything.

  14. dave 14

    there grabbing all the assets they can before the crash while they still can all that printed money has to find a home and we workers are not invited to the party.

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    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    20 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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