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Goodbye shitty landlords

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, November 18th, 2019 - 97 comments
Categories: housing, tenants' rights - Tags: ,

The government announced new tenancy protection regulations yesterday. From RNZ,

The proposed changes include:

  • Limiting rent increases to once every 12 months
  • Banning rental bidding
  • Ending no-cause evictions
  • An increase to financial penalties
  • Tenants will be able to add minor fittings and improvements, such as baby proofing or hanging pictures.

A bill setting out the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the first half of next year.

Some snips from twitter this morning,

I definitely feel this is a situation where Labour need to be encouraged to keep doing the right things. Each step that gives renters more security (of tenancy, a healthy home, affordable rent) takes us to a culture where housing is for providing NZ citizens with a home and away from the culture that says homelessness and poverty are collateral damage in the middle class quest for investment income. When we centre homes as a human right the solutions to the housing crisis become clearer.

97 comments on “Goodbye shitty landlords ”

  1. Kevin 1

    40,000 Unoccupied dwellings in Auckland.

    With the housing shortage this is obscene and there should be penalties for this.

    • A 1.2

      Hate to point this out but the new legislation won't do anything but make this worse. Much needed is something that will encourage utilisation of empty homes.

      In the meantime I look forward to the flood of homes for sale from LL’s exiting the business.

      Looking forward to hanging pictures.

      • weka 1.2.1

        how will it make things worse?

        • A 1.2.1.1

          I would think that because they are afraid of getting a bad tenant they can't get rid of, they might decide not to have any at all. But who knows? Property takes time to move so they might realise that the changes are actually more supportive of long term relationships with tenants which seems to me to make business easier.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            right, in which case the govt will need to follow up these regs with regs and incentives to not let properties remain empty in areas where there is a housing shortage. This is what I mean about putting home rights in the centre. We can't hold off on the things that will improve housing because there are a range of issues that need to be resolved, nor because the investor class is holding us to ransom.

      • Ed1 1.2.2

        I am sure that in the current market landlords wishing to find better returns elsewhere will have no difficulty in selling their property. Most find short term tenants more trouble than longer term tenants anyway. Where do you think they will invest their capital for better returns, "A"?

        I agree that something is needed to encourage utilisation of empty homes – here is one possibility:

        https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/empty-homes-tax-frequently-asked-questions.aspx

        • A 1.2.2.1

          Vancouver empty home tax has been around for awhile so should be easy to see if this is a good idea or not. Will check out later…

          Where to invest other than real estate?

          I like https://www.royaltyexchange.com/ and peer to peer lending mainly due to the simplicity. Peer to peer is particularly appealing because it doesn't require much to start so a kid can do it, but still can scale up to larger amounts.

          Sprott for resource investing, Sovereign Man 4th pillar for finding large gains with the smallest risk possible, possibly EuroPacific Capital might be great, and various crypto assets. Of course all of these are more international type investments but I think that might would be better in the current environment.

          I did email Martin North (DFA blog) to ask if he had any financial advisors to refer me to in NZ who think like he does. He didn't but said he would let me know if he came across anyone. Obviously this type of person wouldn't be into real estate.

          In any case renters would be better off investing rather than borrowing for an overpriced shackle that will likely fall by 30% or more in the next two years.

      • Sabine 1.2.3

        great let them sell, people will be buying.

        they are still not loosing the poor dears.

    • Blazer 1.3

      A levy on residences left empty without a compelling reason ,and one on unutilised land,needs to be introduced.

      • weka 1.3.1

        I'm in favour of that except I'd put the levy on when the empty land gets sold. Many NZers build a house on land that they've owned for years, because they can afford the land but not the house build at the same time, so there is a lag in between. What we want is to stop people speculating on land sales, which is different than land being empty. This applies to individual titles, not developer land.

      • KJT 1.3.2

        As a lot of people get the land some time before they build, because they cannot afford both, I agree with Weka.

    • gsays 1.4

      cough… squatter's rights …cough.

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    The sentiments are certainly sound – whether enough seeps through the cracks in the redoubts of vested interest and neoliberal inanity to make a positive difference remains to be seen.

  3. ianmac 3

    The aim must be to give tenants longterm security of tenure. In I think Germany, there are heaps of tenants who live in the same rental for lifetimes. Rent increases are limited, and good tenants and landlords get along respectfully.

    The rhetoric against changes announced yesterday seem to miss the point.

  4. UncookedSelachimorpha 4

    One additional change I would like to see – if a tenant wins a dispute at the tenancy tribunal, the tenant should have the right to have their identity suppressed and the right to keep their use of the tribunal private (i.e. not disclosed to future prospective landlords).

    At present a tenant can take a shitty landlord to the tribunal, win….and then have trouble getting another rental for the rest of their lives.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    These are small steps in the right direction, far, far short of a full German-style rental regime. The reported objections from landlords are pathetic and should be ignored.

    I doubt you can have affordable rents without property prices significantly falling (one way or the other). But NZ is addicted to the idea that owning a property should entitle you to large capital gains year on year (with no thought as to where all that money is actually coming from!). Breaking out of the current property price madness is politically difficult.

    • weka 5.1

      crunch time for the liberal middle classes who want a solution to the housing crisis on compassionate grounds but can't quite make the connection with their own decisions. I see few people saying they're will for their house GV or market value to drop.

    • Rrm 5.2

      ???

      There are capital gains because prices are rising.

      Prices are rising because the pool of buyers is growing faster than the pool of houses is growing, and buyers can get cheap credit.

      Phil Twyford just discovered that it's not easy to build houses in New Zealand.

      There's a lesson in that, if Labour and the wider left are smart enough to take it…

      • A 5.2.1

        The expectation that tenants or the government will continue paying ever increasing rents is the real issue.

        • Gosman 5.2.1.1

          It is called the market. Demand is outstripping supply. In that case the price goes up. It ain't rocket science.

          • Blazer 5.2.1.1.1

            If this market you speak of, is so efficient why does the Govt pay around 2.5billion in accommodation supplements per an.?

  6. Gosman 6

    This is so funny. Perhaps you can solve Climate change by mandating the weather not to get too hot. Marama Davidson's calls are especially hilarious. There is only one outcome of setting price controls below the market rate and that is shortages of supply. Marama Davidson is essentially advocating for more homelessness. Congrats on that Marama

    • Stuart Munro. 6.1

      only one outcome of setting price controls below the market rate and that is shortages of supply

      Poppycock.

      Since little or no housing is being built for rental that effect would negligible. There might be an increase in slumlords leaving the market, returning their properties to possible occupier ownership, which would be a net positive.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        Not if supply fails to meet demand even further than it is at the moment. Then you get more HOMELESSNESS.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          Because dwellings just disappear if landlords don't rent them out?

          Just how many slumlords can wear the rates on a property that has no tenant while they wait for the value to increase and give them a capital gain?

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            Oh there will be a short term impact on the housing market as landlords unwilling to take on the extra costs and risks offload their properties. However it will soon be swallowed up by the massive under supply of new house builds. On top Renters who still won't be able to afford to buy a place will now have even less properties to choose from and rents will skyrocket. These are unfortunately the poorest section of society.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              That is a profession of faith.

              You sad devotion to theoretical demand and supply curves is merely a distraction from reality, and your concern for the poor would be touching if it were honestly-held.

              There are many wider factors at play in the property market than banning rental bidding and slowing rent increases. Let the leeches suck the blood more slowly, it won't do them any harm and it will be better for their prey.

              • Gosman

                You keep believing you can beat the market McFlock. It will only be the little people that will get hurt after all.

                • McFlock

                  The only difference between you and Israel Folau is the flavour of magical entity you believe in.

                  • Gosman

                    And I can physically see the results of mine 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      Wishful thinking and blinkers are shared by you both. He literally just gave a speech where he claimed to see the results of his.

                    • Gosman

                      Except his was done AFTER the event. I am making the prediction BEFORE.

                    • McFlock

                      Regardless of how the economic entrails fall, you'll interpret them to suit your "prediction".

                      Just like you always do.

                    • Gosman

                      No, no. I'm quite happy to make the prediction now. The rental property market will get worse for renters if any of these politcies become a reality UNLESS demand suddenly drops off (unlikely) or there is some stimulus applied to the supply side outside these policies.

                    • McFlock

                      See? Both ways, no specifics on magnitude. And given that the govt has spent the last two years also trying to affect the "supply side" of the housing market in a variety of ways (with good success in state housing, not so hot on kiwibuild, dunno how the prefab plant is working up, there's also moves on consents processes I think), there is literally no way your comment is falsifiable. If rents go up, you'll say "yay me". If rents go down you'll say "supply-side efforts like I said, yay me".

                      You made a religious proclamation, not a prediction.

                    • Gosman

                      My position is definitely falsifiable. If all other elements I mention remain constant then I predict the policy proposals being touted will lead to increased rents and/or homelessness. I would expect it to take significantly more houses (above the long term average increase) and/or significantly less demand (below the recent increases) to affect this. These are easily identifiable.

                    • McFlock

                      If all other elements I mention remain constant

                      lols
                      meanwhile, in the real world

                    • Gosman

                      And then I stated you could quantify the scale of the impact of the changes IF they DID occur. If there is only a modest increase in supply such as we have at the moment then the changes to the Rental laws will drive up rental prices.

                    • Gosman

                      BTW the Dashborad you linked to looks REALLY sad for people looking to get a home. The government is failing miserably on this front.

                    • McFlock

                      No, you just opened your way to an argument about the meaning of "significantly" in order to defend your catechism.

                      How many landlords will fail to meet the grade? How many of them will neither sell nor let out their derelict buildings, so the houses are truly removed from the market?

        • Stuart Munro. 6.1.1.2

          It's not a convincing kite to fly Gosman. Have you got any rational criticisms?

        • weka 6.1.1.3

          "Not if supply fails to meet demand even further than it is at the moment. Then you get more HOMELESSNESS."

          This is the situation we are in already. So your argument just sounds like let's accept there will always be homelessness and housing crisis driven poverty, because TINA and at least it's not worse. Poppycock. This is just the investor class saying their right to profit trumps people's right to a home and now lecturing the left that the housing crisis the investor class created in the first place and serves them really fucking well can't be changed.

          Build some more houses, stop being greedy, let the govt pass some laws that shift existing houses out of capital gains capture and back into providing homes.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Cars have to be registered and have wofs. They are an important asset for people and useful to the citizens of the country. Why not houses, just keeping a check on problems and if they get fixed. At present I wouldn't pass but if that was noted, and I get the process of painting etc on a time and payment schedule, it would not be onerous. The wof would only relate to practical maintenance and not involve snooping for misdemeanours against Council planning requirements.

    There seems a tendency to dream up champagne requirements for those with beer incomes, and not bothering wealthy businesspeople too much with regs is now disavowed, and the regs descend like a stormburst after drought.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Does not take much talk of “rights for renters” to get the neo rentiers and property flickers squealing. More professional landlords are often in it for the longer haul. The Govt. has done well already by abolishing letting fees and putting in minimum dwelling standards.

    Young NZers in particular deserve much more than paying off some one else’s mortgage, when they do not have secure tenure and decent rights as some recompense for their extortionate rents.

    10 years going hard out building public housing would be a start. When supply is squared up a bit, time for rent control! Private developers prefer to cherry pick the McMansion market and Building/construction Co.s and suppliers seem to just want their profits. So…if they won’t acquire some public spirit, import flat packs and build modular. A nice kick in the nuts for them too.

    • Gosman 8.1

      Fair enough. Why do you think that Labour hasn't advocated for this and The Greens haven't costed a plan for it?

      • bwaghorn 8.1.1

        The first thing that needs to be done is wipe out rent subsidies and make landlords wear the difference between what the tenant is paying out of their own pocket and what is being charged .

        As long as landlords have a government gaurentee on the rental income the housing market will always be skewed and screwed.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          Or there will be even less people willing to rent out properties.

          Do ANY of your proposals involve actually increasing supply?

          • bwaghorn 8.1.1.1.1

            More state houses ,lots and lots of them .

            Can you not see how rent subsidies are just making it worse .

          • KJT 8.1.1.1.2

            We've been proposing increasing supply, here for a long time.

            Building state houses in the scale we managed in the 50's.

            Successfully, and with "printed money" by the way.

            Of course right wingers only believe in printing money, if banks charge interest for it. Or it is free money to bail bankers out of their fuckups.

            Of course cutting the demand from 350 000 “guest workers”, 70 000 new people, capital gains farming ,and foreign money launderers, is also required.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.2.1

              You may have advocated for it but for some reason the actual parties you support aren't delivering massive amounts of new State houses.

              • weka

                Do you want lots more state houses or not Gosman. It's hard to tell.

                • Gosman

                  I'm not terribly fussed where the extra houses will come from. I just doubt the capacity of the State sector to do it. I'm willing to be surprised but the market is not going to be satisfied by an extra 1000 or so State houses every year. Do you know what the deficit is between the demand for housing versus the supply at the moment?

                  • weka

                    Nope. Do you know what the difference is between supply and numbers of existing houses? The problem with not caring where the extra houses come from is that we don't have a shortage of houses in NZ, there are plenty. We have a shortage of houses available at affordable cost for people to live in. If the state doesn't control house building across the board, then the costs will just keep increasing. We can already see that simply having more houses doesn't create more supply.

                    • Gosman

                      You are wrong. There is a shortage of houses in NZ. That's the cause of all the woes.

                    • Sacha

                      Unless we address the demand factors that make housing an attractive 'investment' more supply will not fix the problem, Gos.

                    • weka

                      Gosman, you do understand that there are more empty houses in NZ right now than there are people to live in them, right?

                    • weka

                      My thinking atm is around how we can shift the stalemate where the middle classes won't support a strong left wing govt because of how it would impact on their housing capital.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                National's policy on "old, run down state houses" – replace 'em! Who needs 'em anyway? Some were salivating at the 'opportunities' attached to such 'replacement.' There is, however, a clear alternative re state houses.

                "Our new build and renewal programme will see us invest $5.6 billion in our state houses from 2018 to 2022 – the largest investment in our houses for decades providing better quality homes for people and their families."
                https://www.hnzc.co.nz/housing-developments-and-programmes/our-new-state-homes/

                "The previous Labour Government had torn down state houses on one block of land with the intention of rebuilding them, but the following National Government did not rebuild them and tore down houses on the other two blocks."
                https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/116120326/palmerston-north-housing-crisis-aided-by-105-new-state-houses-within-three-years

  9. lprent 9

    Good legislation. I'm (almost inadvertently) a landlord and sort of a tenant myself at present.

    I rented out my apartment for a few years when we rented a bigger place for doing the video edit on one of my partners docos. Then we moved back in 2012

    My partner decided that she was going to buy an apartment a couple of years ago, and that she was going to do it on her own. All she could afford with any certainty about location and integrety about quality was another one bedroom apartment in the same block. So she scraped up her assets to get a deposit, and brought it for just about 2.5x times the value I brought mine for back in 1998.

    Then she dragged me upstairs to help pay for it as a semi-tenant 🙂 I couldn't see any reason to sell my apartment just in case we did something weird like break up. That doesn't seem too likely as she moved into my apartment in 2008 – which seems like a lifetime ago. But shit happens…

    Ran my apartment as a airbnb for about a year because my sister was doing that to a room in her house, and when she was fixing up their bach and launch. She was willing to do the most of the work for a substantial cut. When she started to look at purchasing and running a business, I rented it out as a furnished one bedroom. Initially using a property manager while I was doing a lot of work in Singapore. More recently myself.

    "Okay, cool. None of that changes anything for me, all sounds sensible."

    That pretty much describes me as well. Of course it helps that my tenants are in the same block.

    I’d have to look up the tenancy agreement, but I think that I already have a 90 day notice (and 30 days the other way). Rent changes only happen yearly – but I’ve never raised rents except if tenants change (good tenants are pure gold). We do the tenancy yearly. I fix things that I can, but it is pretty modern so that happens seldom.

  10. UncookedSelachimorpha 10

    RNZ have republished a long article from 2018 on the Tenancy Tribunal and predicaments renters can find themselves in, it is an interesting read:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/365295/why-renters-won-t-complain-about-landlords

    • ianmac 10.1

      Thanks Uncooked. Illuminating. System clearly needs revision.

      Maybe there should be a star rating for Landlords so that Tenants can get fair warning of bad landlords. I bet landlords have done bad stuff previously.

  11. Ian 11

    I have a very nice house that I have spent $60000 on lately ,that could be a rental but I don't need the hassle . Getting good tenants is like finding opals. A worker on the farm who has been here for 9 years and is waiting for his residents visa will be hopefully moving in after the slow coaches at immigration NZ finally process his application. He will then bring his wife and son out to NZ . God willing.

    • weka 11.1

      Oh cool, you're going to let them live in it for free.

      • Ian 11.1.1

        No, it won't be free but will be at a minimal rental to satisfy IRD. Will bump his salary up to cover the shortfall. Good employees are like gold and need to be treated accordingly. Good tenants no doubt exist but I am much happier having an empty home in the meantime.

    • David Mac 11.2

      I believe finding dependable tenants to pay astronomical sums is becoming easier in the Far North. Contacting the 128 unsuccessful applicants with their bad news has become the hard bit.

      Last one being let that I'm familiar with went to a near retiring couple who will spend 12 days of every fortnight at their Auckland home and every 2nd weekend at this coastal place they're renting.

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    I have looked at election polling for last four elections and have noticed a concerning pattern. The Green Party's polling leading up to each election is stronger than what they actually achieve, then the poll immediately afterwards is always considerably higher. For most parties the opposite is generally the case. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Planning to fail
    Last year, the government passed the Zero Carbon Act, setting short-term and long-term goals for carbon reduction. And they're already saying that they will fail to meet them: Environment Minister David Parker​ appears to have already given up on the country’s ability to meet the 2030 methane goal set ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Another issue Labour is ignoring its voters over
    Jacinda Ardern is trying to rule out even discussing a wealth tax if she gets re-elected. But if she gets re-elected, it will be by voters who support one. A Newshub poll shows that nearly half of all voters - and 60% of labour supporters - support a wealth tax: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship Physics
    It’s that time of year when school students become seriously focused on exams. This year has been messy for student learning, and has affected some students more than others, but the NCEA external assessments and the Scholarship exams are going ahead pretty-much as normal. I’ve taken some interest in the ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • “Fitz” On Cannabis.
    "I Like It!" “Shall I tell you the real reason to legalise cannabis? Because all the stuff I’ve told you, while true, isn’t enough. You should legalise cannabis because you’d like it. No, actually, you’d love it! Cannabis makes food taste better. It turns music into magic. It suppresses pain and nausea ...
    4 days ago
  • Crusher fails to resonate
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderYou can tell the National Party is in damage control mode most of the time these days. Instead of being able to provide any valid alternative to a Labour led Government, Judith Collins is going out of her way to be controversial just to get ...
    5 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II
    Last month, we learned there was a flaw in our electoral transparency regime, with the New Zealand Public Party receiving a quarter of a million dollars in donations which will never have to be decalred. And now its got worse,as it turns out they're also explicitly soliciting donations from rich ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Entirely separate”
    When two people whose identities we all know but cannot say publicly due to name suppression were charged with "Obtaining by Deception" over routing donations to NZ First through the NZ First Foundation, Winston Peters claimed his party had been exonerated because "The Foundation is an entirely separate entity from ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Judith Collins' little green lies
    New Zealand is not the United States, thank goodness. We don't have the same level of political partisanship nor public media outlets that blatantly display political bias. However, during the closing weeks of this campaign I do feel an infection of trumpism is evident. Judith Collins and her National Party ...
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Psychology of Ardernism
    Jacinda Ardern has made New Zealanders feel safe. Josh Van Veen looks at psychological understandings of leadership to help explain the ongoing success of Labour in this election campaign.   Simon Bridges could have been the Prime Minister. Opinion polls in February suggested a close election, with Colmar Brunton giving the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Let's Make Jacinda Break Her Promises.
    Make Her An Offer She Can't Refuse: Expecting Jacinda and her colleagues to break their promise not to introduce a Wealth Tax is not only unfair it is unwise. A consensus for change has never arisen out of a series of polite discussions - or base betrayals. A better New ...
    5 days ago
  • Two days to go, 12 questions still worth asking
    One last lap. One last crack. One last chance to boost your own policies or knock down your opponents. Tonight TVNZ hosts the final leaders’ debate and although over a million New Zealanders have voted and much of the policy debate seems to have stagnated around negative attacks, there are ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Possible inter-satellite collision on Friday
    Two objects in low-Earth orbit may collide with each other on Friday, in a hyper-velocity impact which would lead to millions of fragments being left on-orbit, each potentially-lethal to functioning satellites. Fingers crossed (not that I am superstitious) that it is a miss, rather than a hit. One local ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Do Elections Deliver What We Want?
    MMP may deliver a parliament which reflects us, but frequently the government does not. At the heart of my recent history of New Zealand, Not in Narrow Seas, is the interaction between economic and social change. I could measure economic change via the – far from comprehensive – ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Flailing last grasps bring lasting gasps in the NZ General Election…
    The last week of the 2020 election here in New Zealand has been an increasingly torrid and venal affair has it not? Many expect the last week of any Election campaign to get considerably more tetchy, everyone is hurrying to nail the last voter down after all. But this ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2020
    Zika follows climate Sadie Ryan and coauthors combine what we know about the Zika virus and its preferred regime with modeling to show the pathogen will greatly expand its range during the next few decades. We do have some remaining control over the situation. From the abstract: "In the ...
    5 days ago
  • Does a delay in COP26 climate talks hit our efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
    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 Will the delay of the COP26 UN climate negotiations impact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Where do the parties stand on open government?
    The election is in less than a week, so I thought I'd take a quick look at where the parties stand on open government, freedom of information, and the OIA. The short answer is that most of them don't. While Andrew Little has "promised" to rewrite the OIA, there's no ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Second Time As Farce: National's Election Campaign Falls Apart.
    The Mask Of Civility Is Removed: According to Politik’s editor, Richard Harman, Collins has become her own campaign manager. Now, as a lawyer, you might think that the Leader of the Opposition would be familiar with the old saying: “The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.” ...
    6 days ago
  • National's Little Helpers have A Cunning Plan.
    Keep Your hands Off Of My Stash: Viewed from the perspective of the 2020 General Election as a whole, the intervention of the Taxpayers’ Union against the Greens' Wealth Tax confirms the Right’s growing sense of desperation that the campaign is slipping away from them. With hundreds of thousands of ...
    6 days ago
  • Covid-19: A planetary disease
    Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: How to make your mind up
    If you’re still on the fence about how to vote, Liam Hehir says it’s probably more important for you to vote on the basis of your principles, and he offers a way to think about how these principles might align with the main party options.   Still undecided? Here’s how ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • What else apart from a Wealth Tax? The shape of a Labour-Greens coalition
    If you haven’t heard, the Green Party supports a Wealth Tax. Yeah, I thought you might have heard of it. Everyone’s been talking about it on the campaign trail these past few days. It would force the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders to pay a one percent tax each ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Time is slipping by for the fruit industry to improve wages
    The covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of changes for New Zealand. Lockdowns, social distancing, a massive shift to working from home and the death of tourism for a start. But the sensible and necessary border closure has also completely cut off the supply of cheap, migrant labour - and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new low in American “democracy”
    Every US election, we're used to seeing long lines of voters, and reading stories of widespread gerrymandering and voter suppression (including things like flyers falsely telling people their assigned polling place (!) has moved or that voting will be on a different day, and robocalls threatening that people will be ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A suggestion for Biden’s foreign policy.
    I have been thinking about US foreign policy after the upcoming election. My working assumption is that try as he might, Trump will lose the election and be forced from office. There will be much litigating of the results and likely civil unrest, but on Jan 21, 2021 the Orange ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bleak views of melting Antarctic ice, from above and below
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Images from satellites high above the Earth have helped a research team put together a stark visual chronicle of decades of glacier disintegration in Antarctica. Meanwhile, a separate international research team has taken the opposite perspective – studying the ice ...
    7 days ago
  • Five reasons I am voting for National (and why you should too)
    Centre right voters have three realistic options this year.
      The National Party, which is currently at something of a low ebb but which remains the primary vehicle for conservative and moderate liberal voters; orThe libertarian ACT Party, which is undergoing a temporary boom as National struggles; orThe centre-left Labour ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Graeme Edgeler: How to vote, and how to think about voting
    Your choice of who to vote for could make a real difference. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler suggests you make an informed choice, and he goes through a variety of different ways to think about your voting options.   The New Zealand general election is being held next Saturday, the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • That School Debate: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Anti-Stratfordianism
    Today, I am responding to one Philip Lowe, who back in August 2019 produced an interesting but flawed piece, looking at the way in which Tolkien viewed Shakespeare: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Counterparts ...
    1 week ago
  • Marching to the ballot boxes
    Today's advance voting statistics are out, showing that 450,000 people voted over the weekend, bringing the total advance vote to 1.15 million - just 90,000 shy of the 2017 total. So its likely that by the end of today, more people will have advance voted than did in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The long road to “Yes”
    One day in 1985, I came down from the loft where I was working as deputy editor of Rip It Up magazine, looking for lunch, and walked into a scene. There, on the corner of Queen and Darby Streets, a man was in the process of getting two kids to ...
    1 week ago
  • A funny thing for Labour to die in a ditch over
    Over the weekend, National unveiled its latest desperate effort to try and gain some attention: campaigning hard against a wealth tax. Its a Green Party policy, so its a funny thing for national to campaign against (alternatively, I guess it shows who their true opponents are). But even funnier is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The comforting myth of the referendum ‘soft option’
    Assuming we don’t count Bird of the Year, last week was my first time voting in a New Zealand election. I’ve been here a while, but for reasons too dull to recount, I didn’t have permanent residence in time for any of the others. Anyway, it’s hardly up there with 1893, ...
    PunditBy Colin Gavaghan
    1 week ago
  • Election: Equality Network’s Policy Matrix
    How will you vote this Election? We suggest comparing the Party policies on addressing inequality: The Equality Network identifies Ten Key Policy Areas that will make a difference: ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network: Party Policy Star Chart
    ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Elections
    AS 2020 draws to a close, two very different countries, in different hemispheres and time zones, are holding elections that are of great importance, not only for their own futures but for the future of the world as well. The USA and New Zealand differ greatly in physical and economic ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... How Joe Biden could reorient foreign policy around climate change A new report lays out ...
    1 week ago
  • Potential attack lines in the campaign's final week
    In the final week of the election campaign, parties large and small will want to make clear to voters why they are more deserving of your vote than the other guys. It doesn’t mean going negative… oh alright, it does a little bit. But it doesn’t mean playing dirty. It ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 4, 2020 through Sat, Oct 10, 2020 Editor's Choice What Have We Learned in Thirty Years of Covering Climate Change? A climate scientist who has studied the Exxon Valdez ...
    1 week ago
  • Economic Resilience or Policy Brilliance?
    The economy has been through a traumatic experience. Prospects look sobering. Preliminary official estimates suggest that market production (GDP) fell 12.2 percent in the June Quarter 2020 – a huge, and probably unprecedented, contraction. In mid-April the Treasury had expected a fall of 23.5 percent (published in the 2020 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The SMC Video Competition: The Tītipounamu Project
    Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of runner-up, PhD candidate ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Interview with Nicky Lee
    Fellow New Zealand writer, Nicky Lee, has been doing some Q&A with other local speculative fiction authors: https://www.nikkythewriter.com/blog Each fortnight is a different author, answering ten questions about their Writing Process. I think it’s an excellent way of helping build the profile of the New Zealand speculative fiction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Capital Vol. 3 lectures: converting surplus-value into the rate of profit
    This is the third in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation.Here he looks at the problem of converting surplus-value into the rate of profit.(Part one of the lecture series is here, and part two is here) ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Another call for OIA reform
    A collection of top-level environmental and human rights NGOs is calling for reform of the Official Information Act: The Child Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, JustSpeak, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International are calling for a comprehensive, independent review of the Official Information Act ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The advice on moving the election date
    When the Prime Minister moved the election date back in August, I immediately lodged OIA requests with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice for any advice they'd given. Both refused, on the basis that the information would be proactively released. That's finally happened, a mere three weeks after the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Pre-election craziness in the US.
    This week in our “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and I reflect on Trump’s increasingly erratic behaviour in wake of contracting Covid-19 and the domestic and foreign implications it has in the run-up to the November 3 national elections. You can find it here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
    Round two of the Community Languages Fund (CLF) will provide even more support for Pacific grassroots community and family language projects with the introduction of a second funding tier of $10,000, in addition to the $2,500 tier, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  During the first round of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government puts teacher wellbeing at the centre
    The Government is committing nearly $9 million to ensure educators in early learning services and schools get the wellbeing support they need. Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, which includes providing frontline counselling and advice services for educators, during his address at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) annual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago