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Garner – government “missing in action”

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, May 1st, 2016 - 47 comments
Categories: accountability, housing, national - Tags: , , , ,

A good piece from Duncan Garner yesterday:

Some home truths for a Government missing in action

How committed is the Government to putting the brakes on the house price crisis? Simple – they’re not.

Too many people are doing very nicely thanks very much (and they probably all vote National).

It is, as financial commentator Bernard Hickey said recently, the dirty little secret of the housing boom. Truth is National has to look after these people. Collapsing the market, prices and their equity is not an option. Which means torment for house hunters in some parts of the country where prices have gone nuts.

There are 59 Auckland suburbs with an average price of over $1 million. Dozens more are knocking on the door of that exclusive club. So we have a problem for people trying to get into the market. And what has the Government done? Not much, if anything at all. They believe in the market.

The previous government also stood by as prices soared and the working poor were squeezed. But this lot have fuelled the fire by overseeing record immigration. Latest figures show 67,600 new migrants called New Zealand home over the last year. … We have poured fuel on the flames. We have stoked demand and done little to resolve supply. Now people are missing out.

The horse has bolted. People are suffering. The time for action was years ago. Any major move now looks belated and driven by the polls.

Similar pieces could be written about the government’s inaction on poverty, pollution, the rising debt, carbon emissions, the use of NZ as a tax haven, etc. 8 years of neglect and the cracks are showing.

47 comments on “Garner – government “missing in action” ”

  1. ianmac 1

    “Too many people are doing very nicely thanks very much (and they probably all vote National).”
    Yep. Nailed it for once Duncan.

    • gsays 1.1

      I dunno ianmac, I reckon there are plenty of property portfolio types that vote labour/green.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Probably considering that many of the Labour/Green MPs have property portfolios.

        • AmaKiwi

          + 1

          I counted the number a while ago. It’s more than half of Labour MPs. But neither Little nor Cunliffe own two or more properties.

        • The Greens have a suprisingly low amount held in property compared to what you’d expect for people who are economically secure enough to be high on the party list.

  2. dv 2

    Water quality.

  3. johnm 3

    For Key’s NeoLiberal Government:

    The above list of social evils is just part of BAU where the deserving get richer and the no hopers have only themselves to blame, the market has sent them a signal to up their game. It’s the market,chaps, get used to it meaning government intervention is just another form of sneaking in the back door communism!

    • Keith 3.1

      Why did the taxpayer bail out South Canterbury Finance, or Mediaworks or why create tax havens, or raise GST to name but a few if market forces rule?

      • johnm 3.1.1

        Hi Keith

        It’s the market for the poor but socialism for the rich especially the investor class. Tax havens are for the rich to keep greedy left wing governments’ hands off their loot thankyou, no tax and ill gotten gains no questions. GST hits predominantly the poor % wise of income and is the opposite of a progressive tax.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Because government works to protect the rich from their own actions. If they didn’t the rich wouldn’t be rich for long.

  4. Keith 4

    Trouble with Garner is that leading up to the 2014 election he put the boot into Labour every chance he could even whilst they offered a raft of alternatives in this area. Dunky was very much a true blue, firmly on Nationals side. He’s right about housing now, you’d have to be thick or Nick Smith to think otherwise, but crocodile tears are what I’m seeing from Duncan and when push comes to shove he’ll be back in Keys corner next election! He is part of Mediaworks after all.

    • leftie 4.1

      Spot on Keith +1000

    • tc 4.2

      Yup, the customary mediawonks ‘balance’ which will shill its arse off for team shonky once CT and penguins polls shape some rhetoric to cover the continued inaction.

      • amirite 4.2.1

        Also, no use to cry over housing, Duncan, when you support the TPPA which will make the housing situation even worse. You even called us opponents of the TPPA ‘boofheads’.
        Who’s the true boofhead then?

    • ianmac 4.3

      And during the lead up to the 2008 election Duncan was obsessed with Winston and worked very hard to support the National attack lines. In my view Duncan crossed over into a pretty vicious and unbalanced attack mode then.
      So in 2014? Watching you Duncan.

    • North 4.4

      Yeah true about Garner in recent past but wouldn’t discount it as a contributor to a developing unspoken sense that says this – “Key don’t care about me…….busting his arse for the rich though…….he’s a dodgy prick.” Maybe Garner’s on to that.

      • tc 4.4.1

        If he’s only just caught on to that then he really is a fool, most saw straight through it by the time pike river played out if they weren’t sure already.

    • Mosa 4.5

      Dead right Keith.
      Garner is a drongo pretending to be a commentator,he was instrumental in accusing the last Labour govt of “stealing our money” when they would not cut taxes in 2004 and put money into public services instead.
      He doesn’t care about the housing market or any other serious issue and there are plenty in John’s world
      He is just another attention seeker we can do without.

  5. Incognito 5

    This Government and particularly Key’s ‘pragmatism’ are entirely driven to suit the polls and vice versa – a Politician-Pollster-Partnership or PPP, which lives as a nasty parasite on our Democracy and which is slowly sucking the society so that it has no will or energy left to move forward. When there are signs that the electorate might be waking up from its induced slumber and euphoria a distraction will be quickly pulled out of the hat or a carefully crafted ‘policy announcement’ will be announced to soothe the people. Most Government’s actions vary between cynical white wash and window dressing mixed with a healthy dose of undemocratic decisions pushed down our throats under urgency, of course. Key’s image and public persona is ideal to pull this off, time and time again.

    The precariat is too stuffed to even pay much attention to what’s going on; the middle class largely remains relaxed & comfortable; the upper class is well-looked after behind the scenes and they make sure they keep the means & power to keep it this way.

    Against this backdrop we have an Opposition that is struggling to get traction. It’s a shame that it seems to take a crisis of sorts to get rid of this Government and one that this ‘safe pair of hands’ and ‘astute manager of the economy’ can clearly not handle better than the Opposition. Meanwhile, many people are silently suffering, often without even realising it!

    This Government is not missing in action; it’s working very hard to keep things the way they are!

    • The lost sheep 5.1

      “many people are silently suffering, often without even realising it!”

      Deep. Does it follow then that many people may also be silently content without even realising it?

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        Not really “deep”; for example, one’s health may suffer from chronic malnutrition (bad diet), poor working conditions, chronic stress, chronic tiredness, poor lifestyle such as smoking & drinking habits that are partly aimed at helping to cope with life, poor living conditions such as damp & mouldy housing, etc. These are a few examples that affect physical health in the first instance but body & mind are inextricably linked – mens sana, in corpore sano. I hope you do get the gist.

        I don’t think it follows from this that people may be content without realising. However, I do think that contentment is largely passive, something that you’ll miss once it’s gone but typically goes undetected (unrealised), rather than an active mental state of satisfaction or happiness, which require conscious recognition & acceptance and awareness (realisation).

        Makes sense?

        • The lost sheep

          It may make sense that a person may not have ‘active realisation’ of a subtle state of being, but on what grounds could you contend that this can be true of ‘suffering’ but not of ‘contentment’?

          If anything suffering implies a more noticeable set of stimuli, and so it would be less likely to go undetected than a more ‘passive’ state than mild contentment?
          How can you suffer without being aware of it? Surely ‘suffering’ does require an active recognition, or it is not suffering?

          More importantly though, I don’t see how it is possible to validate an argument about the state of society with a claim about what people may be feeling, without them knowing it, and without any evidence to substantiate it?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Oh, there’s plenty of evidence, as you well know, because every time anyone mentions any you concoct some weasel trash denial. Child poverty is a case in point, so is the GINI.

            On Planet Sheep, a rise in infectious diseases has no effect on the mood of a nation.

            I have no interest in your worthless feeble opinion of this matter.

          • Doogs

            Incognito has nailed it. Great argument, makes sense, excellent line of thinking. You are just fucking with words. Does it make you feel better to sound intellectual? Use your brains to argue for something rather than against it. Of course it is possible to suffer and not be aware of the extent of it. People who are brought up in poor conditions or even poverty have no benchmarks for where they should or could be. They don’t understand what is an acceptable level of living. Your smart-arse little diatribe has no link to reality. Have a think before you post again.

  6. Paul 6

    Nothing to admire about Garner.

    • Richard Christie 6.1


      Now people are missing out…People are suffering. .

      By ‘people’ Garner means the ‘ I’m comforfortable’ middle-class, the neolibtards who always vote in the cause of pecuniary self-interest. Boo hoo for them.

      Garner has no concern for the institutionalised reservoir of unemployed, or for those who have suffered under zero hour contracts, neverending degradation in wages, social services etc – the general results of 30 year neoliberal nightmare he enthusiastically cheers for.

    • Jack Ramaka 6.2

      Nothing to admire about Key either.

  7. Sabine 7

    hmmm, wonder if his maid can’t afford to work for him any more and if she left Auckland.

    It’s funny, or maybe his own can’t afford a house in Akl any more.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    This kind of ongoing negative media commentary on the National Government should keep draining their popularity.But which party will benefit?

    Is there any political party willing to take measures which will hurt Auckland home owners in the pocket by actually reducing house prices?

    • Craig H 8.1

      Building 100,000 houses over 10 years might drop prices a bit, but who really knows…

      Land tax which is offset against income tax (avoids double taxation and keeps the middle class onside), and measures included to ensure genuine low-income people aren’t shafted, and we’ve got something.

      Also, get IRD to take yield into account when assessing whether or not income tax should be paid on any capital gains made when selling – if you bought a rental property with an expected yield of 2%, you probably didn’t do it for the sake of the rental income alone…

  9. ianmac 9

    Since in 2014 Key’s lot only just scraped in by 1 or 2%, then a fall in numbers by 2-4% would open up the door. But for whom tolls the bell? Of course Winston will one last time be the one to swing the clapper.

    • Sabine 9.1

      why is it actually is so important which party will benefit?

      Seriously Winston is not the scary man under our beds, newsflash, we currently are living with the scary men under our beds and its not working for us – and frankly he can’t be possible worse. And he has done so much better then that current lot.

      If all of the opposition parties gain and together form a working coalition that boots the current national government to siberia without a return ticket, then we have won and may stand a fighting chance to go back to tackling/fighting the issues we have. Climate Change, Over crowding, Droughts/Floods, Food Production, Housing, etc etc etc. These will be the big issues of the next twenty years, and during those next twenty years a lot of Property Investors/Owners in Auckland and elsewhere will see the value of their properties diminish simply because they are coastal properties or otherwise affected by Global Warming.

      None of our other parties can go it alone, and they don’t have too – that is what the left will have to repeat over and over again. We don’t have to go it alone, we can form a Coalition, and frankly we should. The opposition parties have to talk to each other, work out how they can work and be productive together while still maintaining credibility among their voters, and get shit done. That is what we need now, and i am quite sure that that is what quite a few people would vote for.

      • Smilin 9.1.1

        The needs of this country are far bigger than Keys ego thats why we need a democracy not a dictatorship and you are quite right

  10. Smilin 10

    Key just wants to Party like its 1999 and that’s cost 120 billion
    After paying off this freeloader Key we will have to start all over again
    I wish there was a real financial crash and Keys arse really got burnt

  11. dave 11

    time action was years ago he got that right now there is such a debt bomb it could take out the whole economy what i fear is national will bailout the speculators (there voters) with our money.
    our market cant be much different to Australasia’s

    • Smilin 11.1

      Ive just got to do this
      John Key and how he heard Winston Churchill – on the economy /debt
      How could so much be owed to so many by so few ? Ask yourself John you were one of the creators of it

  12. gnomic 12

    Hard to take Guncan Darner seriously. Another legend in his own lunchtime type. What’s with these radio plus TV people? Anyone recall former greatest living journalist Holmesy? Sinking into the depths Hosking and Henry. One or the other please. TV, or radio while that still exists. Media celebrity pretty well equates with inconsequence. And the mistaken belief that sitting behind a microphone actually means spouting anything other than twaddle if you happen to be a goof.

    But maybe on this occasion Guncan has got it right, just as a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    I think I heard him say recently he has a big mortgage on a shack somewhere in the outer suburbs of the Orcland.

    As for house prices, this can’t possibly end well. $700-800k for dumps in provincial towns? Utterly insane.

    It may work out for the 1%, but Ewen Mee will have a hard time. Tent cities for the sprogs.

  13. Michael 13

    Labour is missing in action, too, which is why I think the Nats will win a fourth term (unless the Panama tax papers reveal Key’s involvement to have been greater than he disclosed). As for Garner, he targets the same demographic that political strategists in all parties calculate are the key to winning or keeping power: the lower-middle to middle-middle classes – comfortable but anxious, with mortgages to repay and kids’ educations to pay for (taxpayer-funded primary and secondary education is a thing of the past, while affordable tertiary education vanished a long time ago). I think the number of voters that might shift from Team A to Team B (party brand names are no longer accurate guides to their likely policies if elected) is quite small, probably no more than 200,000, but these are the people the brands need to tick their boxes next year. Of course, if enough of the million or so New Zealanders who have given up on electoral politics could be enticed back into the polling booths, all bets are off. But no one seriously imagines that.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      he targets the same demographic that political strategists in all parties calculate are the key to winning or keeping power: the lower-middle to middle-middle classes – comfortable but anxious

      No, Labour and Garner only raised concerns when the Upper Middle Class started finding Auckland housing seriously unaffordable.

      When Chinese buyers were snapping up all the houses in the $800K $900K $1M range.

      These were never houses that the “Lower Middle Class” – which is by no means “comfortable” in Auckland- could afford to buy into.

      Unless we start classifying the Auckland “Lower Middle Class” as households firmly over $100K pa.

      • Michael 13.1.1

        You might be right there, CV: perhaps the target group for National and “Labour” is retricted to people with incomes above 100K. That explains Labour’s recent actions, for sure.

  14. NZJester 14

    8 years of neglect and the cracks are showing.

    Cracks? I can’t see any cracks in the rubble of our economy!

  15. Paul 15

    Usually Garner writes this sort of garbage, an ill-informed rant about the TPP.


  16. Paul 16

    And more evidence he’s a biased political hack with a hatchet job on Goff in 2011.

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    The government is “missing in action” because the voters have no method for recalling them.

    How many of you have three year contracts in which no matter how badly you stuff up you cannot be fired?

    Hey, John Key, how about following a business model for firing our employees (MPs) who don’t perform?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Yep recall elections for individual MPs and also fixed term parliaments.

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