web analytics

Housing affordability and urban form

Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, January 21st, 2019 - 35 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, housing, labour, national, quality of life, Simon Bridges, sustainability - Tags: ,

Reprinted from gregpresland.com.

Hugh Pavletich of Demographia has released its annual review of housing affordability. The results are not surprising. New Zealand continues to perform poorly on any matrix associated with affordable housing.

From Radio New Zealand:

The annual Demographia International Housing Affordability shows New Zealand has continued to be one of the most unaffordable countries in the world to buy a house, with the median price more than six times the median annual household income.

Of the eight New Zealand markets looked at, none were considered affordable.

Palmerston North-Manawatu was the least expensive at 5.0, then Christchurch at 5.4, Dunedin at 6.1, Wellington at 6.3, Napier-Hastings at 6.7, Hamilton-Waikato at 6.8, then Auckland at 9.0, followed by Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty as the most unaffordable at 9.1.

Anything more than three times household salary is deemed unaffordable and homes more than five times a median annual household income is considered “severely unaffordable”.

Auckland was the seventh most unaffordable major city in the world, behind Hong Kong, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, San Jose and Los Angeles.

The measurement seems to me to be somewhat arbitrary and I could not believe the statement that Tauranga was less affordable than Auckland unless wages there are really out of sync.

Report co-author Hugh Pavletich then blamed the current Government for the problem despite the long term nature of the issue. And expected that somehow it should have been solved in the last 12 months.

“Unfortunately, this has been created, in large measure, by the government just dithering through 2018 in dealing with these issues.

Mr Pavletich said housing unaffordability was “solvable”.

“They just [need to] allow affordable housing to be built. In other words, getting out of the road more than anything on this land supply issue and bringing in proper debt financing for infrastructure.”

He told Morning Report the Labour Party was in trouble at the next election if it didn’t tackle the issue and that Housing Minister Phil Twyford had been “dithering” on the issue.

“Mr Twyford and the Labour-led government know exactly what needs to be done and if they don’t do it this year, and we visibly don’t see more social housing I think they are going to be toast at the 2020 election,” he said.

He said the government’s flagship policy to tackle housing needs, KiwiBuild, needed immediate revision.

“KiwiBuild has been so badly-conceived that it’s just been a joke … and regrettably the government needs to really go right back and revamp that whole thing or continue to lose credibility promoting such rubbish,” he said.

“To be talking about affordable housing at $650,000 is just an insult to everybody’s intelligence.”

His comments about price completely misrepresent the affordability of KiwiBuild houses. $650,000 is the top price payable for stand alone houses with three or more bedrooms. Terraced houses and apartments are anticipated to cost below $500,000.

And his proposed solution, opening up land supply and letting urban sprawl happen, shows his philosophical beliefs very well.

Thankfully not all economists agree. Again from Radio New Zealand:

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the reality was there had been so many different failures around land use, infrastructure building and design.

He thinks councils need to have the power and the ability to build more houses if affordability is to be fixed.

Mr Eaqub said the government was heading in the right direction with regulations around infrastructure and local government.

“But the big fixers are very slow to move, and we won’t see the benefits of that for some time to come.”

I thought I would have a look at some of Demographia’s work. The website is, how shall I put this politely, visually challenging.

Some of the linked to sources are also fascinating.

There is this cluster fuck of text about climate change in this article:

There are at least two ways to comprehensively reduce GHG emissions — not surprisingly, a right way and a wrong way.

The wrong way is typified by the conventional wisdom among many puritanical urban planners, These social engineers have been frustrated for decades, failing to herd automobile drivers into transit and new residents into pre-War densities. All the while, their demons — the expansion of home ownership that could only have occurred by building on cheap land on the urban fringe and the greater mobility provided by the automobile — have been major contributors to the democratization of prosperity. Throughout the first world, from the United States to Western Europe and Japan, poverty levels have fallen markedly as more households take part in the quality of life mainstream. Women have been liberated to become near-equal economic players and low income households, including many that are African-American or Hispanic, have entered the middle class and beyond.

Yet, for years, much of the planning community has exhibited an inestimable contempt for the lifestyles that have been chosen by most households. The Puritan planners have identified this once-in-a-lifetime chance to force their confession of faith on everyone else.

This is evident, for example in a new Brookings Institution report (Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America purporting to demonstrate that GHG emissions are higher in the suburbs than in more dense cores. Using this debatable conclusion — directly at odds with the findings of the Australian Conservation Foundation’s far more extensive study (Australian Conservation Atlas) (Note 1) — they jump from rhetoric to their time honored litany of anti-mobility, anti-home ownership and pro-poverty commandments, skipping right over the economic analysis that any disciplined analysis of trades-off would require.

The article is painful in that it does not address what happens if we do not successfully address climate change, that is wreck the planet, and thinks that there is some mythical balance point where economic interests can “properly” be balanced with environmental interests.

There is also this paper which comments, back in 2008, on the cause of the global financial crisis. The causes were apparently profligate lending by banks and, get this, planning restrictions on land.

Not fraud and the greed of Wall Street and the Merchant Banking sector but too much lending and not enough land.

This belief, that we only have to open up land supply and all will be fine, is not the sole preserve of Pavletich.

National leader Simon Bridges thinks the same. Again from the Radio New Zealand article:

National Party leader Simon Bridges said the main driver of house prices was the lack of land for new homes.

“We’ve artificially constrained land,” he said.

“Were the government today to come up with a comprehensive RMA [Resource Management Act] reform on both planning and the environment, we would be collaborative on that.

If the RMA is such a problem I do not understand why National did not solve this problem during its last term in Parliament.

Auckland Councillor Greg Sayers has also claimed that limitations on urban spread are the problem and has written a book claiming that Auckland has to dump the ideology of a compact city and spread out and grow to make housing affordable.

Are they right? Is the restricting of land supply causing increasing house prices and worsening urban performance?

Greater Auckland has this very credible critique of an earlier report from Demographia. From its post:

This raises a quite obvious question: Why are people willing to pay so much more to live in some places? Why live in “unaffordable” San Francisco when “affordable” Houston is just down the road? Why live in Auckland when housing is relatively cheaper in Dunedin?

Urban economists have studied this phenomenon in detail, and observed that there is an omitted variable in Demographia’s equation: the differing amenities offered by different cities. If a city offers good natural amenities or consumer amenities, people will be willing to pay more to live there. Conversely, if a place isn’t particularly nice, people won’t be willing to pay much for houses there. (Common sense, really.)

And the failure to make any allowance for how unsustainable and how environmentally damaging sprawl is creates I believe a major weakness in Pavletich’s analysis.

As said by Greater Auckland:

If we wanted to accomplish that, we’d have to destroy most of the things that make great cities great. This might make housing cheaper, but it wouldn’t make us any better off in a broader sense. That’s because it would require us to:


Bulldoze the Waitakere Ranges and use the spoil to fill in the Hauraki Gulf – to ensure that Auckland didn’t have any natural advantages over a flat, inland city like Hamilton.
Dynamite the historic boulevards of Paris and replace them with American-style subdivisions and malls – to ensure that Paris didn’t offer anything that Houston doesn’t.
Ban any venture capital or startup activity in San Francisco, to ensure that it doesn’t offer any agglomeration economies that don’t exist in Detroit.
Build large screens over sunny cities like Tauranga and Brisbane – to ensure that they don’t have nicer weather than Moscow or Toronto.


But Demographia’s not aware of this. Their analysis is overly simplistic. The only thing it reveals is the authors’ grievous failure to understand the basics of urban economics. It’s no wonder that Demographia has never tried to have its studies peer reviewed or published in academic journals. Their claims aren’t supported by any valid conceptual model

Well said.  If we want to save the Ranges and we want to improve the quality of urban centres then urban sprawl, with the attendant need for motorways and infrastructure, is the last thing that we should be doing.  We should aspire to be like Paris, not Houston.

35 comments on “Housing affordability and urban form”

  1. soddenleaf 1

    Agreed. flat sprawling cities are the problem. Go up. And stop investing into a volcanic farm… …sorry… Auckland.

    • Wayne 1.1

      The main exemplar used by demographic is Houston, which does just expand out, but then it is basically flat.

      I would say Pavletich is partly right. There is a huge amount of land in Takanini and Clevedon as well in the west around Kumeu and Waimaku that could be readily developed. I suspect most of the people in the south would work in the south and in the west in the west and in Albany. The restrictions imposed by the council are too tight.

      Expansion in those areas would hardly destroy the character of Auckland, but would provide a lot more choices. Sir Bob Harvey, when he was Mayor, was advocating that kind of expansion in the North West.

      Single level houses are way faster to build than multilevel units and apartments. 350 meters to 400 meters works for a section.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I would say Pavletich is partly right.

        That’s probably because you’re as economically literate as he is.

        There is a huge amount of land in Takanini and Clevedon as well in the west around Kumeu and Waimaku that could be readily developed.

        Who’s going to pay for that development? Because it sure as hell isn’t the developers.

        Just more costs added to the council for added profits of the developers.

        Single level houses are way faster to build than multilevel units and apartments.

        Really?
        [Citation needed]

        I know, I shall use Google:
        Decision Time
        Should I Build a Single-Story or Two-Story House?

        Expect to pay more. Per square foot, a one-story house is more costly to build than a two-story home. There is a larger footprint, meaning more foundation building and more roofing materials. And because the plumbing and heating/AC systems need to extend the length of the house, you’ll need bigger (and costlier) systems.

        I know it’s not speed but cost is also important.

        Or perhaps the problem is that we’re still not making full use of the latest technologies:

        The Izodom elements are large and light. The basic “brick” has a surface area of 0.5 m² and weighs 1.8 to 4.8 kg before concreting (depending on the element width). Pouring the wall with concrete, it is possible to finish 4.5 m² of wall (raw state) in an hour. This solution is 6 times faster in comparison to traditional post and beam structure and insulation of walls.

        3D printed houses fall into this as well.

        In fact, I’d say that the governments best option is to bring in or develop the latest tech so that houses and apartments can be built a hell of a lot faster.

      • WeTheBleeple 1.1.2

        Just once say something intelligent.

      • Sacha 1.1.3

        One of Waitakere’s major problems that Harvey began to address as mayor is that workers living out West do *not* have jobs there to go to, so they stream out of the area and back each day (with inadequate transport options).

        New Lynn’s transit-oriented town centre redevelopment is a great long-term initiative that he led, though sadly single-level big box retailers are now infesting promising areas like Lincoln Rd and Westgate.

        Manukau council put more effort into fostering industrial zones under Barry Curtis so there are indeed more jobs in the south for those who live nearby and fit that sort of work.

        Fostering new high-value enterprises and jobs is a big challenge for both those parts of the region.

      • Visubversa 1.1.4

        You would be surprised at the numbrs of people who commute from the North Shore to South Auckland. The jobs are in Takanini or Manukau – the nice white suburbs are in Takkers etc, as are the hight decile schools. Same with the West, there is a huge exodus of commuters to the south and to the CBD. Single houses may be a bit faster, but they are not an efficient use of the land in many places. Where you have transit routes, you need the population density to support them. Integration of Land Use and Transit 101.

    • lprent 1.2

      Having lived in several other cities and towns around NZ, I can tell you that the Demographica analysis is that of a self-obsessed fool. Building on the outskirts of a city just costs the existing ratepayers and taxpayers far far more in producing the infrastructure for all of those new houses than increasing existing densities.

      Neither the new residents nor the property developers pay for it. The upfront costs are directly provided as a subsidy via debt from the existing tax payers and are never able to be fully recouped by those who provide them. Moreover providing those funds is in direct conflict with the need to maintain and improve the capacity of existing infrastructure.

      The reason why I view Hugh Pavletich as just being another unthinking misguided nutter is because if the full costs of the required greenfield infrastructure were loaded on to the rates and taxes of the new owners of urban sprawl, then they probably never be able to pay for their properties.

      Whereas where increased densities within existing brownfields are used instead the costs of incremental upgrades to existing infrastructure are usually (but not always) far far cheaper both for the developer and for the city and state.

      But I’m afraid that your analysis is also somewhat foolish as well.

      The reason that this volcanic farm keeps drawing the skilled into it is the same reason why other large cities worldwide keep getting larger populations and why smaller centers don’t grow nearly at the same relative speed (and are usually losing their young).

      Having skilled people and businesses clustering helps to bring the kinds of mutually supporting support structures together that produce produce much higher qualities of businesses than can be achieved in sparser civic centers.

      It means that if you (for instance) wanted to find a engineering company to develop develop and produce a chassis for a product, a Auckland company could find a source in Auckland. Rather than (for an example I’m aware of) having to go from Invercargill to Christchurch to achieve much the same quality of result. I could go on with examples that I’m aware of.

      Furthermore having more businesses of the much the same type clustered together makes it far far easier for skilled employees to find jobs elsewhere in the city, cross pollinating companies developments and processes as they move.

      This also feeds out into the wider civic economy with all of those support companies and people

      For nearly two decades I thought that computers and networks would be a game changer. And they are. However they wound up just slowing the trend rather than reversing it.

      When I was doing purely internet international software hosted on server farms close to our most profitable offshore markets. We still used a hell of a lot of local to Auckland high skill services and infrastructure that would have been nigh well impossible to achieve when I was working in Dunedin.

      When I started to move running my code on high-end hardware, the same kind of limits began to become even more obvious. While we would have to take a place in a slow queue for testing RF emissions at the local test companies, at least they were here. If a badly protected wire or a software service was an issue we could usually fix immediately with a minimal turn around within hours and retest. If we’d been in a smaller center and had to do the same thing in a different city, it’d have been impossible to hit the contracted deadlines.

      Simple employment opportunities from skill clusters is why since 2005 the urban population of Auckland has jumped from about 1,242,880 to about 1,582,028 in 2019 – roughly an increase of 340,000 people. That is a bit less than the total population of Christchurch city or more than the population of Wellington + Dunedin combined.

      I can’t see any reason why it would reduce. While we have gotten about 50% of nett immigration through that same time period, a large part of the increase is from migration from the rest of NZ seeking the type of work that they want. Among the kiwi born in Auckland or my age, I am that rarity – a native Aucklander.

      On the other hand, Auckland isn’t exactly a great place to raise farming exports or extract change from tourists. Or for that matter as a place to retire – which I may to do some day.

      It is a bloody expensive place to live, especially with the levels of tax we wind up paying on our small plots of land. Personally I think that if we could just retain more of those taxes here rather than providing them to help maintain roads for tourists and milk-trucks we wouldn’t have as many problems with growing pains.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        Hasn’t the Auckland City council attempted to get increased housing intensification through and it was vigorously opposed ?

      • soddenleaf 1.2.2

        A volcano will eventually emerge. This does not mean we should build a little further away, they can get quite big. The problem is like a Londoner I actively go round people being boring, standing in the way, it’s big city thing. Auckland should get upgraded where necessary, like public transit to get the people out fast when the volcano comes. But it’s no Sydney. Lived there also. It’s the region’s, there are enough small towns, just the intercity infrastructure is jus so poor, there still isn’t a dual carriageway between the biggest city and the capital… …there is private profit on the transport between towns… …there is no protection for small business or farmers who are forced to sell up to big corps, farmers who sell their whole supply to a big Corp and so kill any chance of competition, small shops who can not compete with global Corp subsides for oil, for big business, for big retail. Geez even council wont create center spaces, covered, for markets and push up rents that only big Corp subsidized can pay. it’s called a industrial park subsidized by council for big businesses but do the same for small holders not on your nelly.

  2. Blazer 2

    Mr Bridges-‘is like a eunuch in a harem,he knows how it’s done, he’s seen it done every day, but he’s unable to do it himself’-B.Behan.

    • soddenleaf 2.1

      bRidges needs any publicity, even will alledgely leak his own spending a few days early so he can blame everyone and sneak a peek at his mps phones. oh, and the glorious snafu with… …it’s all crap for the presence building, he’ll start behaving in a year’s time.

  3. ropata 4

    Pavletich thinks endless sprawl is going to be a silver bullet. I respect his motives, clearly he wants houses to be affordable, but his solution is wrongheaded. No doubt most advocates of infinite sprawl are financiers, land bankers and capital gain farmers. The solution is more regulation, not less.

    https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2018/10/15/1539577800000/No–the-housing-crisis-will-not-be-solved-by-building-more-homes/

    The [problem] is financialisation – and it is not an aberration, according to Ryan-Collins. The ‘housing crisis’ needs to be understood primarily as a product of the banking system.

    For starters it’s not just a British problem; this is a trend which has gripped developed economies across the world over the past three decades.

    “Two of the key ingredients of contemporary capitalist societies, private home ownership and a lightly regulated commercial banking system, are not mutually compatible,” he writes. Instead they “create a self-reinforcing feedback cycle”.

  4. Yes, lets be like Paris….

    And in another contrast between Paris and the rest of France, apartment prices in the capital have shot up by 45 percent since 2009, compared to 9.5 percent in the rest of the country.
    In less than 10 years the average price of property has gone up by 33 percent and since the year 2000 the value of apartments in Paris have tripled.”

    “Paris, with an average purchase price for an apartment of €446,982, has become an exclusive city, reserved for high earners (management and liberal professions), who now account for 46 percent of purchasers.

    “At the same time, the percentage of workers and employees buying apartments has halved, from 13.9 percent to 6.8 percent.

    https://www.citymetric.com/business/chart-why-french-government-wants-tackle-paris-s-housing-crisis

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-politics/macron-targets-french-welfare-spending-as-deficit-pressure-rises-idUSKCN1LA0S5

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20180719/rent-prices-in-paris-soar-in-six-months-since-rent-caps-binned

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    And the failure to make any allowance for how unsustainable and how environmentally damaging sprawl is creates I believe a major weakness in Pavletich’s analysis.

    Such ‘researchers’, like National, can’t go round drawing attention to the facts that prove them wrong. Sprawl, like this bunch of idiots (and National) want costs far more than a compact city:

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-true-costs-of-sprawl/article15218154/
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/suburban-sprawl-costs-billions-more-20090716-dmxj.html

    The costs fall upon councils and not just the poor people living so far away from friends, family, schools, and work. Which means that the councils will have to put up rates to cover them. These rate increases that are the result of these demands for more sprawl will, of course, have the same idiots telling us that rates are too high.

    Of course, all that extra cost also comes through in extra profit which is what they’re really after. And that shows, once again, that profit is the worst possible motive for directing an economy.

  6. greywarshark 7

    Just a thought about the sort of housing that people like Hugh Pavletich don’t erect for the middle and upper classes. But they become the housing of last resort by the low income people.

    Housing heights make a big difference to enjoyable ‘livability’ when there is an attempt to provide stacked housing units, in locations that are integrated into jobs, school, community centres, services.

    (https://www.roblightbody.com/jeely-piece-song.html

    • In Vino 7.1

      I have lived in apartment blocks in Germany (15 months) and France (18 months) in cities of a comparable population to Auckland at the time, but taking up far less area. Good lifestyle – no regrets at all. Springtime in Germany was the first time I ever appreciated a walk in a beautiful park on a fine spring day with hordes of other people who had also been cooped up in apartments all winter. (Never needed that here in NZ.) But as I say, no regrets, and here in NZ I miss many of the superior things I had back in Europe. Quality television, newspapers/magazines…

      Face it – NZ. It has already happened in most other advanced countries, and with growing population it HAS to happen here too. The evils of urban sprawl were explained to us back in the 70s. As said above, only the profiteers (developers, land bankers and capital gains farmers) gain out of current policy. We have to come into the modern world and give up the house-lawn-garden dream. If we do not go up instead of outwards, Auckland’s gridlock will worsen and spread elsewhere. along with all those other problems.
      And I agree with lprent: current ratepayers should not be paying for infrastructure for areas that current profiteers (see last paragraph) ought to be paying for.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        I commented on housing heights making a difference. In thie above link they are talking of apartments high in the air. perhaps 30 floors. I was thinking of
        perhaps six. What height are the apartment blocks you are thinking of El Vino?
        And were you there with a family, and also young children?

        • In Vino 7.1.1.1

          I was not with children , but my partner and I had a friend who was OK with a child. The blocks were 6 or 7-storey.. I agree that poorly-planned big tenement blocks as they made in parts of Britain are disastrous, but there is little need for NZ to move that far immediately. To my mind, the idea that everyone should have a house, lawn and garden is what has to go with population increase.

          • greywarshark 7.1.1.1.1

            In Vino because your last sentence can be read two ways, I take it that you mean that the house, lawn and garden has to go because population increase means that there isn’t enough land for it.

            I just throw in as an aside that where I lived in Kilburn in North London when I was there, I was in one of a line of two or three storey houses, split up into apartments of different sizes, that had a small back yard and in the back fence was a gate leading to an open area where games could be played, a public-private playground. I don’t know whether that is better than going to public playgrounds.

            From DTB quote: there are many ways to cope with not having a backyard. “You can go to the park, meet new people and socialise your child.
            As for living in an apartment with our dog, Tessa, she might not have a backyard, but she goes out every morning and afternoon and probably socialises with more dogs than most do while on her walks and trips to the park.”

            I notice how it refers to going to the park with your child, instead of having a backyard. It is definitely a step down that there is no place for a child to play close by the dwelling safely and unaccompanied. Parents who are harried and harassed by our government to do paid work and try to fulfil their parental role, don’t have time to accompany their children out to play.

            The person commenting puts more emphasis on matching her dog’s needs than children’s needs.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          How families with kids can live happily in apartments

          Edwards said there are many ways to cope with not having a backyard. “You can go to the park, meet new people and socialise your child. As for living in an apartment with our dog, Tessa, she might not have a backyard, but she goes out every morning and afternoon and probably socialises with more dogs than most do while on her walks and trips to the park.”

          IMO, apartment living is far better for the kids. More socialisation due to being around the community all the time.

          Apartment living is what councils should be designing around. Ensuring good parks that are engaging for kids and adults that ensure good socialising.

          • lprent 7.1.1.2.1

            Also good from troglodyte programmers.

            I have been living in a one bedroom apartment for most of the last 20 years (with a year house sitting in a villa and two years in townhouse renting while a documentary was being finished). It is one of 60 in a 3 story block (plus two levels of car park). It has high ceilings (> 10 ft) and a simple space. We have Western park just up the road. Over the last two decades the shops have all moved into easy walking distance. Supermarket a few blocks over and Bunnings down the road. Plus the whole of Ponsonby Rd and K Rd on the corner.

            It is a great place to live. The first decade I was on my own. For about seven years two of us have been there. And now a kitten has started to disrupt us.

            But I grew up in 3-4 bedroom suburban houses and on farms. I’d have to say that the maintenance of property and grounds was just a continual distraction. It seemed like we were always renovating or upgrading something. The lawns were a continual nuisance and often even as kids we barely used them. We used a neighborhood berm a hell of a lot more.

            I wouldn’t live any other way apart from apartments if I was living in town. Sure I’d like one with a little more space (this one is just 55 sq meters), and probably a spare bedroom / office. But that is about all I’d change. Problem is that typically those sizes aren’t built. Apartments tend to be built as 3 tiny bedrooms for rentals or as studio apartments like I have. Or they have bloody expensive crap like lifts, gyms, pools that I’d seldom want to use or pay body corp fees for.

    • ropata 7.2

      @wrathofgnon is awesome for those interested in human scale urbanism…

  7. ropata 8

    The problem with Auckland’s Unitary Plan and governance in general is that it’s captured by a noisy, well-resourced NIMBY minority

    Bernard Hickey and Tau Henare rightly criticise the Coalition Government for not attacking the housing crisis with ALL the weapons at its disposal, instead opting for neoliberal “fiscal responsibility” and halfway measures.

  8. WeTheBleeple 9

    When you go over four or five stories you have all sorts of air quality issues that I would not live with.

    Let’s not be retrospective fools like these guys

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265039674_A_risk-based_study_of_air_quality_in_high-rise_buildings_health_effects

    They suck up air off city streets to pump into your floor. Yay.

    Now the GFC.

    I think you’ll find synthetics killed the global financials, but don’t worry, the banks will talk shit about it and do it all again.

    I buy a house. You buy a house, he buys a house, she buys a house. We have four houses.

    Speculator A thinks your properties will do well and bets on this. Speculator B thinks you will default on your mortgages. So they bet on your failure. Perhaps they know the reserve bank is about to jack interest, perhaps your industry is on the rocks and you don’t know it yet. Wise speculators know these things. They grow fat off your failures.

    Here it get’s interesting. Speculator C, we’ll call him John as this is where the BS really gets spun:

    John bets that Speculator B’s bet on your failure is wrong. He believes the mortgages will get paid and so he places a bet on the bet they placed. Speculator C bets on John’s bet, so if the mortgages fail speculator B gets paid, john misses out, speculator C gets paid. And the mortgage owner…. what the fuck do they matter? Layer after layer of speculative bullshit from the men who do nothing for society.

    The mortgages are given out to people with poor credit, with no credit, with debt. It doesn’t matter the banks sell the paper derivatives of mortgages the real estate guys keep signing on deals and banks package these in piece of shit bonds. The regulators keep it all afloat by doing and saying nothing the taxpayers ultimately lose their homes, life savings, credit ratings, hope, engagement in society, tax dollars…

    The government then takes fuckloads more money off the workers and ex-mortgagees to give to the banks who have suffered terribly.

  9. Sabine 10

    Amenities are nice if you have the money to afford them. And to do that you need a job. And you wont find a job in the 80% of NZ that have not grown a single job in about 20 years.
    So people move to AKL because this is where they can get a job that is a. full time, b. not seasonal, c. pays above min wage.

    Once the highly paid members of parliament of all stripes and persuasions manage to wrap their minds around the concept that people need wages to buy anything, they can start fixing the problem.

    Create jobs in places not called Auckland and watch people move to these places. Do nothing much as was done for the last twenty years and you will be writing the same screed again and again.

  10. Heather Grimwood 11

    I see little reference to urban sprawl and its aggressive takeover of agricultural land. Decades ago I watched in disbelief as strawberry fields and market gardens on outskirts of Auckland disappeared. Latterly I grieve at same fate of lush farmland adjoining Mosgiel, and this will be going on in many areas of New Zealand.
    Expansion in form of sprawl is the result of greed and only sensible imaginative town planning can solve the problems of providing housing and recreational areas for a growing population.

  11. cleangreen 12

    Yes Micky In this issue there is much more to the story than it appears and we have been part of the truth and reasdon why the issue is very complex.

    My Son is engaged to a german ladty 31 yrs old and she and him were forced to leave NZ although he is a Napier born skilled Electrician in short suppply and asked immigration if his fiancee could owork when she came here and married my son but ommigration told him not to apply for her work permit.

    He got his Electrical company employer to meet with the Hastings National Party MP who covers Hastings/Tuki tuki region and he said he could not help.

    So we went to Stuart Nash (Napioer Labour MP) with a ‘parental letter asking Labour for ‘compassion consideration’ on grounds we elderly couple are needing him here to assist in our affairs and let his fiancee work please!!!!

    Stuart Nash came back saying he could not help.

    See this video on this to show labour fucked up here now after the ‘Czech criminal’ was let in to stay and deal drugs when my son was on the “skilled tradesmans liist” could not be allowed to have his fiancee come here to work??????

    We are loosing our best youmng now and labour need to get rid of “their advisors” as they are national cling-ons and will destroy labour here too.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/10/it-s-disgusting-napier-electrician-fumes-at-czech-drug-lord-karel-sroubek-s-nz-residency.html?fbclid=IwAR0jbUfhltztKXQ1QT7ZRRYt-dF7k-vrU6fpI8q9mHz6s3F7f48UBdgbIPg

  12. rata 13

    Why are New Zealanders obsessed with home ownership?
    Too much stress.
    Not wort it.

  13. Philj 14

    Hugh Pavletich is the perfect example of why NZ is in the mess that it is. I can’t take his argument seriously. … And when the last tree is cut down…? you go and sharpen your axe ? Really…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    2 hours ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    4 hours ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 hours ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    21 hours ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    4 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    5 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago