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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    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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