web analytics

Housing. Cut the Crap.

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, January 24th, 2017 - 135 comments
Categories: housing, tenants' rights - Tags: , ,

I’m not the only one a bit tired of hearing about housing policy that’s geared to satisfying buyers. And I’m not the only one who rents, who will never buy, and who wants legislation passed that would end forever the type of bullshit that’s going on in Glen Innes.

Here are three simple things that can be done, that already exist elsewhere, that end the bullshit and nonsense within the state sector.

  1. When you rent a state house, the tenancy is for life unless you commit a serious breach of the lease conditions.
  2. A house swap register, overseen by local authorities, that tenants who find themselves in a house that’s too big or too small for their needs can access and use (this can be people swapping houses or people swapping into vacant houses).
  3. If a signatory to a lease dies, but they have had a family member live in the house for the previous 12 months and the relevant authorities know that’s the situation, then the lease automatically transfers to that family member.
  4. Abolish all ‘right to buy’ schemes.

Under the above, if the government wants to redevelop the likes of Glen Innes, then they do it off the back of people dying or voluntarily making use of the house swap register.

And then simply transfer the spirit of that into the private rental sector via appropriate legislation designed to grant tenants a sense of security.

So in the private rental sector, we might have legislation that protects the right of a tenant to remain living in their home when it’s been sold on the open market. We might look to set up a Landlord Register that includes a ‘fit and proper person’ test. We might have squatting rights that put an end to speculators leaving much needed properties vacant. And rent caps! For the love of everything holy and unholy and inbetween, introduce rent caps. These could be formulaic and worked from a GV.

None of this is hard. All of it would be hugely popular. But y’know, if we judge NZ by its politicians  and political policies, it can appear as though NZ is the land where intelligence comes to die. Now, wouldn’t it be nice to see that change?

135 comments on “Housing. Cut the Crap.”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    And then simply transfer the spirit of that into the private rental sector via appropriate legislation designed to grant tenants a sense of security.

    We shouldn’t have a private rental sector and if we have good state housing then we don’t need home ownership either. And if we don’t have home ownership then we no longer have the problems that we have with home ownership which really comes down to a few people being greedy, bludging schmucks owning multiple houses, expecting capital gain on them and someone else paying the mortgage on them.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      Not to mention the over $2,000,000,000 per annum being handed out to the bludging landlord class to subsidize and float their blatantly unsustainable business model, while at the same time being subsidized for installing Insulation, smoke alarms,heating and ventilation systems into their asserts…can’t remember the last time anyone from the government,National or Labour offered to subsidize my business, oh that’s right because they never have.
      It is a absolute outrage…while on the side lines Labour does sweet FA, just some soft stuff around the edges ( don’t want to spook the middle ground do we).. where is the moral outrage, the indignation from Andrew Little, I hear they call him angry andy, well then I would like to see him get fucking angry for a change.

  2. michelle 2

    NZers need to look at who benefitted the most from state housing not Maori who benefitted the most from the state full stop, not Maori. Who has the highest state home ownership Pakeha and a quick drive around the Hutt Valley and you will see the old state housing areas occupied mostly by middle class pakeha who got all the state jobs back then hence why our people had to get Maori affairs homes . Also who allocated the State houses I say this because I was tenant for many years and if you were Maori it was damned hard to get a nice place in a nice area virtually impossible. I was discriminated against and I know many others usually we were allocated housing in the bronxs areas and theses areas are now being bulldozed for the rich. National and Labour are both responsible for these ghettos. They created them and now we are back to pepper potting sad! Also we have politicians who have had jobs for how many years sucking of the public tit and there is plenty of them in the current government who have benefited from the state in more than one way. Now these same people are putting the boot into the poor and others, hypocrites.

  3. weka 3

    I like this. Simple and not hard to do.

    I can hear all the but, but, but… already. One of the things I like about the proposal is that it positions renters as citizens who have just as much right to home stability as home owners. Unfortunately that seems radical in NZ.

  4. Siobhan 4

    As someone who has lived in rentals for the last 30 years (and thats over 30 landlords) my number one wish would bethe option of ‘life time’ tenancies.
    With landlords presumably being in the business really only for capital gains this will never happen. (that assumption being based on the constant claims that ‘they don’t make any money’ and tenants are untrustworthy ferals who can’t be trusted to put up a poster with blue tack, and the fact that every time there is a lift in the market we have to move))

    The answer is either more state housing (ideal) or, as a compromise public/private partnerships where investors buy and build large numbers of houses. If an investor ‘wants out’, they simply sell their share to others, allowing the tenant to live their life in their ‘home’ for as long as needed.
    Or the tenants themselves could ‘buy in’ as shareholders as well.
    In fact we could have tenant collective/government arrangements.

    Something has to happen here, and happen soon. There are ever growing numbers of people who will enter retirement as renters…and NO ONE is talking about how to house them with some dignity.

  5. Greg 5

    your right we needs thousand of state homes with income assessed rents because the next generation does not have the capital or job security for the ownership model
    The government is trying keep the bubble going and I thinks that’s part of reason key resigned when this bubble pops its going to be carnage 1 in five Australians are going loose there homes we can’t be far behind

    • Bill 5.1

      Current retirees are leveraging. Short sighted political parties (all of them?) don’t want to lose their votes by sorting out the housing market. Which means (as Sioban says above) a whole heap of people heading up towards retirement who will have no equity and be in quite serious shit.

  6. indiana 6

    “When you rent a state house, the tenancy is for life” Seriously! So say at the time I took on the tenancy, I met the “in need” criteria i.e. I didn’t have a job, I couldn’t afford to buy my own home or rent in the market etc…but then a year later I land a $100k a year job…but woohoo! I’ve got tenancy for life! All I have to do is be a good tenant.

    • Bill 6.1

      Yes indiana. Seriously,. So you’re arguing that it’s not right and proper to be renting and have a very well paying job? What’s that about? If I’m renting in the private sector and pick up a $100 000 a year job, should I be evicted? If so, why? And if not, then why should such a rule apply to those renting in the public sector?

      • weka 6.1.1

        The only problem I could see is if social housing rents were set low (which they should be). But that’s solvable by having them higher for higher incomes.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          I believe that’s how it operates at the moment. It certainly used to be fixed at no more than 25% of your income (or some such) if you were unemployed or earned a low wage.

          So higher income = ‘not in need’ = higher rent.

        • Sabine 6.1.1.2

          you could institute some sort of rent review every few years and increase rent if the capacity to pay more is given.
          I think both are right, just because someone may have a higher income does not mean they can find a rental – if the market is overheated or simply in an area where there might not be many private rentals, but if they have a higher income then someone on the min wage than they could also asked to pay a more ‘realistic’ rent.

          • weka 6.1.1.2.1

            Much of the argument currently seems to be based around housing as something that isn’t part of a community or that having a home isn’t a right. I think we have a human right to not just housing but a home and a community. In the other thread, the whole framing from the RWers was basically saying that people are stock units.

            So yep, I have no problem with someone being in a state house and then staying on if their income increases (and their rent gets adjusted up). The housing shortage wasn’t created by people wanting to stay in their homes, and the RWers in the other thread are disingenuous fucks for playing the selfish card.

            • Sabine 6.1.1.2.1.1

              we have a difference of opinion on ‘human rights’ but i guess that you might be more optimist then i am myself.
              I don’t believe that we have ‘human rights’ per se, but only a societal conscience that hopefully understand that if everyone is housed, clothed, fed etc it is better for all of us.

              In Germany there used to be a tv ad for a building co-operation/saving scheme. And it showed bushmen, amazonian indians, balinese, european etc etc all build houses….and then the voice over said something like, It lays in the human nature to build shelter, paying rent is not part of human nature.

              so that is were my believe comes from, we will build shelter if we need too and we have enough ‘slums’ all over the world to show that, but if as a Society we have some brains we will collectively build shelter to house not only ourselfs individually but all collectively for the grater good of that society. And this is were we have inherent issues with the Capitalists at all cost and those of us that are more community minded.

              • weka

                I like that. For me it’s about the collective too.

                Human rights are things we fight for and attain, they’re not inherent or given, but we can collectively create a set of human rights that are universal.

                • swordfish

                  ” we can collectively create a set of human rights that are universal.”

                  Thing is: the notion of basic human rights could also underpin an argument against State House tenancy for life. If, for example, the tenants are making life impossible for their next-door neighbours (perhaps on the other side of a dividing wall in a two-house or multi-house unit). Let’s say constant loud. raucous music, shouting, cars revving up throughout day and night and well into the early hours of the morning.

                  The kind of anti-social behaviour that doesn’t quite “seriously breach” lease conditions (ie no actual threats of violence, no covert P-Lab) but at the same time creates an intolerable living situation for their neighbours (major stress / sleep deprivation). In other words, precisely whose basic human rights are being abused in that (I would suggest not entirely uncommon) situation ?

                  • swordfish

                    Which is to say that: Generally, I’m sympathetic to the idea of tenancy for life, but I think there’d need to be a broadening of the criteria for what constitutes a “serious breach”.

                    State House tenants have obligations as well as rights and I wouldn’t want to see a situation where extremely anti-social tenants get to destroy neighbours lives on a semi-permanent basis, with no recourse.

                    • weka

                      as long as that gets applied across the board and not just to social housing tenants, sure. I think peace and quiet are a human right too 😉 so not going to argue against that example. But the human right to a home isn’t saying that the right is to permanent tenancy. It’s saying that we should organise society (and back that up with laws as needed) so that people on all incomes have a right to home and community stability. Part of that is addressing tenancy laws but I agree with you that the baseline is a right to a home and we need to figure out what that means.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    That sounds like too much of a right wing promoted stereotype.

                    If there is anti-social behaviour among some, that is all our failure. Treat people with contempt, don’t be surprised by the range of behaviours you get. Fail to provide decent jobs/incomes, soical support, social services, mental health services, etc, don’t be surprised if some become a bit anti-social.

                    But, my experience of living in a UK council flat, is that there was some anti-social behaviour – our flat was considered “hard to rent” because it was leaky crap on a run down estate. But the majority of people on the estate were fine – and that was before Thatcherism really kicked in.

                    II had friends living in state houses in NZ back when I was at school – as far as I could see, their neighbourhood was pretty quiet and law abiding.

                    Give people a decent environment, decent housing, a reasonable income, a positive future, adequate support when needed, and treat them with respect, then see how much anti-social behaviour you get.

                  • Olwyn

                    I don’t see how that scenario counts against “tenancy for life” in particular, since an owner can display just the same characteristics. What about the hard-partying, hedonistic strand among the rich? There are ways of discouraging people from disturbing the peace that can be applied universally. The problem is that people who want to get the state tenant out will over-interpret a sneezing fit, while the rich larrikin, pumping out Fuck Da Police at 3am, accompanied by hoots and yells, gets gudgingly accommodated.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      Actually, middle-class young people can be a pretty rowdy presence in their flats.

                      I have a flat in a fairly middle-class residential area, where most properties are owner-occupied. A group of young working people in a neighbouring house were often very noisy late into the night when I first moved in. They have quietened down in the last couple of years. I’m told the estate agent has been talking to them about the noise.

      • Chris 6.1.2

        Why abolish right to buy schemes? Can’t the facilitation of home ownership be incorporated into the policy by ensuring the housing stock’s replenished? Wasn’t that how things worked in NZ in the days of the State Advances Corporation?

        • Bill 6.1.2.1

          Aside from the housing shortage that “Right to Buy” schemes usually precipitate, the asking price is usually discounted (and strings are attached too). So, if a tenant can get a discount rate on a state house due to them having lived there for a given period of time, then why not apply the same criteria to the private sector?

          And if you’re not going to apply it to the private sector, then why allow it in the public sector?

          • Chris 6.1.2.1.1

            Firstly, the key is sufficient replenishment of the housing stock.

            Secondly, the comparison with “allowing” it in the private sector isn’t an apt one. (I assume you mean “allowing” it in the private sector means allowing tenants to buy, which necessarily means “requiring” landlords to sell?) State provided housing is different to private landlords renting houses to tenants. The objectives are different. The former is a response to deal with the unintended consequences of capitalism in the same way social welfare is. The latter is an example of capitalism in action.

            Abolishing rent to buy schemes in state housing because you can’t have it in the private sector is like saying state housing shouldn’t be about income-related rents because you can’t force income-related rents in the private sector. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

            Surely a strong and effective housing policy must also incorporate facilitation of home-ownership? If it should then, again, the key is sufficient replenishment of the housing stock.

            • Bill 6.1.2.1.1.1

              No. I’m referring to tenants getting houses at ‘knock down prices’ they can then flip in the private sector, after a due period has passed, for handsome profit.

              It’s bullshit and in every country it’s been done, the result has been the same. (Fewer state or council houses that are of an over-all poorer quality – the better ones having been snaffled)

      • jcuknz 6.1.3

        But surely Bill if the low income earner is subsidised it is only fair to the providers of the property that the rent goes up when the income does.

        • Bill 6.1.3.1

          Why you aiming that question at me when nothing in any comment I’ve made and nothing in the post itself suggests otherwise with regards state house tenants?

          As for other providers (ie private landlords) they’re getting subsidised by huge amounts via housing supplement costs and what not. I’d like to see that end.

          But that’s a separate set of issues for another post.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Hey, did you know that state housing rentals are set as a percentage of income?

      So you go from being unemployed with a $10,000 a year income to being employed. You rent would go up in line with the increase in income. If set at 25%, which is what i believe is the present state house rent, your rent would go from $2500 per year to $25000.

      You can stay there if you want. We really don’t care.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        While I see your point its also not that difficult to arrange your affairs to show you don’t earn as much as you actually do

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1

          Yes, the tax loopholes definitely need to be looked at. After all, those people are stealing from the rest of us.

        • Craig H 6.2.1.2

          Just use all the Working for Families rules for what constitutes income.

    • michelle 6.3

      Indiana you have to have a low income to be eligible for state housing you obviously no nothing about the state services and its people like you that make comments when you have no experience of dealing with the beast ( state agencies ) People on 100k get kicked out nowadays and have been for a while they are asked to move on.

  7. Pat 7

    Seems reasonable…..although I’m interested in reasoning behind scrapping right to buy…assume it is to mitigate risk of reducing available rentals?

    As to hugely popular…would suggest it would be hugely unpopular amongst landlords/speculators (and the home owner that is leveraging their equity to support lifestyle) so electorally it comes back to the numbers game….think it would be a close run thing if not for the non vote numbers.

    • Bill 7.1

      So, your suggesting that the total number of speculators and land-lords is greater than the number of renters?

      As for home owners, I can’t quite see the effect of any of the above on the majority of home owners apart from (perhaps) the heat coming out of the housing market as the few major landlord/speculators quit or down-size their portfolios…which is good for first time buyers, no?

      • Pat 7.1.1

        don’t know exact numbers but the homeowner landlord and home owner using equity growth to supplement income is a big portion ..whether greater than voting renters I couldn’t say but as said I think it would be a close run thing….sellable though(IMO)

        Will do some reading later and expand when i have a bit of time

      • Pat 7.1.2

        k. It would appear there are approx 453,000 renters (census 2013) 355,000 with private landlords and approx70,000 public sector….as best i can establish it appears around 15% of households hold investment property…which using household data equates to around 360,000 of voting age.

        https://www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc/publications/hpr-report/hpr-4

        so given the non vote statistics it would appear to be indeed close…and thats not counting other vested interests without overlap such as real estate industry etc.

        The stat that causes me the greatest concern and relates directly to your proposals is the fact that 83% of rentals are provided by private sector….state housing peaked at a little over 70,000 units when NZs population was around 3.3 million…if we had maintained that ratio we would now be providing around 100,000 state house/units…not the approaching 60,000 we currently have.
        Curiously the Auckland housing shortage number is generally accepted as being around 40,000.

        • Pat 7.1.2.1

          missed the edit time , but should clarify the renter numbers are households, not individuals so voting age numbers will be higher possibly by factor approaching 2

          “In 2013, 453,135 households rented their home (ie paid rent), up from 388,275 in 2006.
          Like households overall, households who rented their home were most likely to be one- family households (63.3 percent) or one-person households (23.5 percent).
          Other multi-person households (such as unrelated people flatting together) made up 9.3 percent of households who rented their home.
          Over three-quarters of the households renting from a local authority or city council were one-person households.”

    • weka 7.2

      If one is a landlord with a house to rent, why can that house not be sold with the sitting tenant keeping their tenancy? I can’t see why that would be a problem for landlords tbh.

      The people it wouldn’t work for are people like my landlords who have rented out their family’s house because they live in a different town. But that’s solvable by having different rules for the family home.

      • Psycho Milt 7.2.1

        If one is a landlord with a house to rent, why can that house not be sold with the sitting tenant keeping their tenancy?

        It looks bizarre at first glance – to me, existing tenants are a selling point because you don’t have to find new ones and take a punt on them not being shitheads who’ll wreck the place. However, some landlords are also shitheads and it’s easier to apply a fat rent increase if you do it between tenants.

        • weka 7.2.1.1

          All the more reason to transfer tenants with properties. The only downside I can see for a landlord is that the market is smaller if one can’t sell and empty house, but I suspect that for decent landlords it would even out whereby landlords traded in actual rentals rather than the housing market as a whole e.g. with the other protections in place, the rental market would improve all round and be better for the people who weren’t arseholes.

        • james 7.2.1.2

          Or the new owner might want to live in it themselves?

          • Bill 7.2.1.2.1

            Here we go. The poor are to be dispensable in order that the rich are catered for.

            Know that house that wasn’t suitable because of reason x,y and z? Well, now you can add ‘sitting tenants’ to the list. And the sky falls in? No.

          • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.2.2

            It would be nice if I couldn’t imagine the kind of creep who’d look at buying a house to live in, notice it had tenants living in it and think “No worries, we’ll just kick ’em out,” but unfortunately I can imagine it easily because the planet seems to have no shortage of that kind of creep – hence the need for some decent anti-creep rules applying to rental properties.

          • weka 7.2.1.2.3

            “Or the new owner might want to live in it themselves?”

            And if there are tenants in it who want to stay, they can’t. Why would you buy a house that would mean someone else lost their home?

            • james 7.2.1.2.3.1

              because its not their home. They rent it.

              If you rent a car it does not become your car.

              If you rent a dvd – it dosnt become your dvd.

              If you pay a set amount to use something for a set period of time – and the times finished – the contract is over and you return it.

              Its a pretty simply concept.

              Something is yours when you have ownership.

              • weka

                Are you say that people who rent by definition don’t have homes? Wow.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  Oh. Gee. That must make me one of the homeless. Homelessness must be far greater than the official numbers.

                • james

                  No – Im saying that they have a home for a period while they are renting it.

                  When that rent is up – they need another home.

                  So they have a home – its just not THEIR home, and there is a difference.

                  • weka

                    But why would you buy a house that was already someone’s home if that meant they would lose that home?

                    • james

                      because – using your logic – then nobody could buy a house ever.

                      If I buy a house of someone who is an owner occupier – they lose that home as well.

                    • weka

                      “because – using your logic – then nobody could buy a house ever.”

                      That’s not true. People can give up their tenancy voluntarily, and as stated, tenancies wouldn’t have to take precedence over people returning to their family home. Plus there are plenty of houses that don’t have tenants that can be sold ie ones where the owner lives in it.

                      “If I buy a house of someone who is an owner occupier – they lose that home as well.”

                      No they don’t. They (usually*) choose to move their home somewhere else. It doesn’t get taken from them.

                      *exceptions are things like mortgagee sales

  8. Skeptic 8

    The housing crisis of today began in the late 1980s and was made worse by all successive governments. As a former HCNZ employee during the 70s & 80s, it dismayed me to see an organisation that provided critical infrastructure so central to NZ lives, as well as returning a sustainable dividend to the Crown, almost totally destroyed by short-sighted ongoing restructuring all in the name of neo-liberal ideology and not one shred of concrete evidence of benefit. The ONLY way to restre housing to what it was, is a two fold strategy: (a) remove HCNZ from its current status and governance and restore its independence from political interference (especially from Treasury) with a mandate to house NZ within 5 years, and (b) introduce mandatory meaningful Housing WOF with the power of confiscation in the event of failure to comply. Do the two leading contenders have the will power to tackle this problem along the lines suggested – or indeed something similar? I’m pretty sure it would prove a very popular policy to both advocate and implement.

    • garibaldi 8.1

      Good stuff Skeptic.Why not add …..
      (c) tax any capital gain on all property (and remove all tax incentives ) thus taking away the investment aspect of property. It’s not as if a tax on profit is unheard of!
      (d) only allow full NZ residents to buy property.
      I own a mortgage free home and I want to see young people being able to buy their own homes in a viable manner such as we had.

    • Adrian Thornton 8.2

      @Skeptic+1
      I completely agree, I also think that the first party to move decisively and courageously on this housing disaster will win the hearts and minds of most New Zealanders, as most citizens are fully aware that there is a major problem heading our way fast, so will be open and willing to listen to reason and solutions , if presented well.

      Unfortunately for the country though, it seems that courage is in very short supply among our leading political figures, maybe having political courage just doesn’t sit next to a neo liberal political ideology all that well, or possibly those two things are just diametrically opposed?

  9. alwyn 9

    They had something like this crazy proposal in Britain during the days of Harold Wilson.

    I knew several people who owned houses in Britain but were working for some years in New Zealand. They would not rent their British homes to any British person. The problem was that they wouldn’t be able to get possession of their house when they returned to Britain if the tenant refused to move out. You could have a fixed term lease but the person renting the place could refuse to move out and it was you, the owner, who was stuck without a home.

    For several of them the solution was to rent their homes to a member of the US Armed Forces who was serving in Britain. US Air Force officers were preferred.
    They could also refuse to move out. However the US Air Force, not wanting the bad publicity, would simply threaten to transfer them, immediately, to a base they had at Thule, in Northern Greenland.
    I have no idea on whether they ever had to carry out the threat but it was probably a very effective club to be able to wave.

    I lived overseas for some years and retained, and rented out, our New Zealand house. I can assure you I would never have done so if the mad scheme you are proposing was brought in here. It would be far better to leave the place empty.

    • Bill 9.1

      Crap. Utter crap.

      And any more of it and a six month ban’s coming right at you. See it as an eviction.

      • red-blooded 9.1.1

        Bill, can you point out the part of TS’s policy on comments that you see alwyn as transgressing against?

        You began this discussion with your post and have a right to participate in in and moderate it, but that’s different from having the right to shut down anyone who says something you disagree with or find inconvenient to argue with. alwyn relayed some stories that added another dimension into this discussion. Maybe you don’t think these issues outweigh your ideas, but they’re not mindless, time-wasting, abusive or off-topic.

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          The stories are lies. UK tenancy law was not like that. And alwyn completely ignores the point that the post relies on current legislation in a haste to bullshit debate/discussion by suggesting the post reflects some “crazy proposal” from the 60/70s.

          In other words, the supposed issues raised are just mindless (potentially derailing) shit.

          • red-blooded 9.1.1.1.1

            Bill, I haven’t followed alwyn’s history as a commenter, so I’m not going to dispute that with you. I’ve done a bit of checking about British tenancy laws, though, and it does fit with what he was saying about tenancy rights extending on, regardless of the sale of a property.
            http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/your_home/landlord-selling-property/

            It’s not quite as extreme as alwyn may have implied – the rights (now) just continue until the end of the agreed lease, and then on a monthly basis until an eviction order is served – although the Wilson laws he was talking about may have pushed it harder, Wikipedia just says they made it mandatory to have a court order to end a tenancy.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Wilson_ministry#Housing

            Now, I’ve been a renter put out of my home by the sale of the property (twice – the third time I bought the house so that I didn’t have to move) and I agree with protecting a tenant’s rights when a property is sold. I think it’s a bit simplistic to just dismiss alwyn’s comment as bullshit, though.

            • Bill 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, so procedures exist. A bit like getting losing your job, right?

              God forbid that a landlord has to give fucking notice!

              And that link is to current legislation.

              But alwyn was claiming that in the 70s, well things were different back then, and tenants could more or less evict landlords. Which is bullshit.

              Think about it. England and Wales used to have squatting rights. Squatting required that the building being squatted had been empty for a given time and that no damage occurred during entry plus a whole pile of other stuff I can’t remember any more because it’s too long since I had to know that shit.

              Why bother with squatting rights if, as olwyn claimed, you could just rent a place and refuse to move out?

        • weka 9.1.1.2

          Bill can answer for himself [edit, I see he already has, nice and succinct), but one problem I see is the way that some commenters engage with posts. Alwyn’s comment looks inflammatory to me, because of the way he presented it. It also looks like a strawman. Alwyn also has a history of inflammatory commenting, including intentionally lying. If this were my post, I’d be wanting some citations, but that stuff gets tedious real quick and takes even more time. Sometimes it’s just easier to say fuck off when there is a recognisable pattern of behaviour.

          People don’t realise how much time and effort goes into writing for TS and then moderating. For those authors who take part in commenting, it sometimes gets to the point of what’s the point if a thread is overrun with commenters running derailment lines or trolling.

          I was feeling like that today with the Stop Niki’s Eviction thread. There was at least one RW regular there running a particular kind of line that yes is about his politics, but it’s meme reinforcing and that IMO is a deliberate tactic now i.e. TS is being used by RWers to undermine the left. I was trying to decide whether to let it run because of the robust debate principle here, or whether to set some boundaries, because I want left wing people to feel this is a useful and safe place to discuss these issues. Someone in Niki’s position isn’t going to want to comment here if they are confronted with a wall off people telling them they are selfish and bludgers. In the end enough lefties came along and made the arguments (see Lynn/lprent’s comment in today’s Open Mike about the rationale for letting people post abhorrent political commentary so that the left has to learn how to make the argument).

          But I don’t write so that people can have a space to practice their debating skills. I write because I want people to have a space to make change. At the moment it’s hard going, for a number of reasons. I’m short on patience. I don’t think I’m the only one. I think there will probably be a general consensus amongst the authors to be less tolerant as the year goes on because of the election. Expect to see more bans and for longer periods of time. There’s a simply way around that, practice respect for the people you are talking to, esp if they wrote the post that is hosting your particular comment.

          • weka 9.1.1.2.1

            And looking at Bill’s reply, I’ll add that it takes time to go and look up facts to refute lies being told. I’ve done this many times with Alwyn who used to routinely tell lies about the Green Party. He does this less now because I called him on it so many times and in the end just got to call him a liar a lot. I guess he is way more careful now that I’m a moderator too. So that time spent challenging someone’s lies, that’s time not spent on writing posts, or on creating something useful for the left. As I said, IMO much of it is deliberate and it’s done by long term regulars who know how to play the game and not get banned.

            To make it really clear that this isn’t about suppressing dissenting opinions, I have no problem with someone like Wayne Mapp commenting here, because he consistently does so from a place of adding to the conversation and he doesn’t troll. I disagree with his political philosophy almost entirely, and find his conservative politics to be of the kind that’s done some of the worst damage to NZ, but he’s not anywhere close to being on my radar as a moderator. It’s about the behaviour and impact on the site.

            • red-blooded 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Fair enough, weka. I think you’re making some reasonable points and I appreciate the difference between allowing dissent and enabling lying. As it happens, I have written a couple of pieces for TS and know that it takes a considerable amount of time to be proactive about calling out people who are misrepresenting or just stirring. I do believe that a thread of discussion is more powerful than simply cutting someone off, or threatening to do so without any explanation, though. After all, the discussion is not just with that one person, it’s with all the other readers, many of whom (like me in this case) don’t know the history of that particular commenter and do see a what looks like a valid point being raised and pushed aside.

              Thanks for the replies. They were helpful.

              • weka

                Thanks for raising it. It’s something I’m thinking about a lot at the moment so it’s helpful to try and get my thoughts clearer. I’m thinking about doing a post on moderation.

                I think it’d be fair to say that moderation on TS, esp at the moment, is a pretty blunt instrument. So while I agree with you about the problems of shutting discussions down when others don’t understand the context, we’re pretty short staffed too.

            • Brutus Iscariot 9.1.1.2.1.2

              How do you define “trolling”? Is Wayne Mapp deemed kosher simply because he’s a former politician?

              I think there’s a clear and obvious line between pure “baiting” and a simple opinion. In no universe is alwyn’s comment a troll. It’s not an offensive bait. If you pull him on that basis up for stretching facts and interpretations, half the posts on the Standard – from any side of the political spectrum – wouldn’t make the “evidential-based” cut.

              Plus, Bill is far ruder than any so called “RWNJ troll” i’ve ever seen on here.

              • weka

                “Is Wayne Mapp deemed kosher simply because he’s a former politician?”

                It’s pretty hard to take anything else you say on the matter seriously when you start with such a daft premise. You really are not paying attention if you think that some inherent respect for former MPs is in anyway part of moderation decisions. That’s a lol of massive proportions.

              • weka

                Rudeness doesn’t come into it. You can be rude if you want to make a political point. That’s the rules. But then you have to factor in whose post you are commenting on. You’ve just made this comment,

                “It’s more about manners – when you’re living in someone else’s home and/or living off someone else’s goodwill, you play by their rules and show gratitude.”

                Sit-in Occupation to Stop Niki’s Eviction Tuesday 24th January

                but you seem to not appreciate that when I or Bill or anyone writes a post, we are hosting a discussion. It’s not a free-for-all, and I’m actually not writing here so that RWers can post bullshit, attack what I write, or generally be nasty fucks in a LW space. What you can do is critique arguments. Alwyn couldn’t have done that without the nasty.
                Instead he started by attacking Bill’s post and using some dubious shit to frame that. That on top of his history of lying to undermine makes the comment a problem. I don’t care if it fits a definition of trolling or not, it’s still a problem that if it doesn’t get addressed just keeps getting worse.

                And I can tell you, because I have access to the list of people who get banned, there are plenty of LW people getting banned too. Of the ten people in the current list who I recognise and whose politics I can name, 4 are LW, 3 are RW, 1 is centrist, and 1 is CV (who the fuck knows where he sits).

            • Brutus Iscariot 9.1.1.2.1.3

              Well, we’ve seen in the US and elsewhere that part of the problem with modern political discourse is segmentation of views and the resulting “echo chambers”.

              There are plenty of views expressed here by a minority, that while you might not agree with them, are shared by sizeable chunks of NZ society – people that need to be engaged with and not just written off. Just because someone makes a post here that does not agree with progressive orthodoxy, doesn’t make them a “right wing troll”.

              There are a lot of people (like you) who will engage. However many will just heap personal attacks on that go unpoliced.

              It’s understandable, but if you’re not “of the left” you already have to be on your best behaviour around here.

              • weka

                “It’s understandable, but if you’re not “of the left” you already have to be on your best behaviour around here.”

                Of course. It’s a LW, progressive space.

                I’ll just say it again, people get banned for patterns of behaviour and their effect on the site. I suggest that if you want to understand how m moderation works, put up examples of specific moderation and then listen to what moderators are saying about it. I don’t listening to what’s been said, and instead see you wanting to project your own interpretations onto it.

    • weka 9.2

      “It would be far better to leave the place empty.”

      All good, because we can have squatters’ rights too.

      I think it would be fair to have different rules for the family home.

      • Psycho Milt 9.2.1

        It would be essential to have different rules for the family home, because Alwyn’s right. We’ve done the same thing twice – worked overseas for a few years and rented the place out while we were gone, with the tenants knowing very well that we were coming back eventually and would want our house back when we did. We wouldn’t have made it available for rent if the tenants got a lease for life, and wouldn’t have left it sitting empty for three years even without squatters’ rights. So Bill’s proposal is effectively a requirement to sell your house if you work overseas temporarily – good luck getting that past the voters.

        • Bill 9.2.1.1

          And where did I say anything about private leases having to be life-long?

          Yup. I didn’t. Not anywhere.

          See where I said about transferring “the spirit” of the public rental sector and even put “the spirit” in italic by way of emphasis and then said (in relation to security) that sitting tenants shouldn’t get evicted just because a house gets sold?

          So yeah, how’s about you read the fucking post before wanking on?

          edit. And Alwyn’s lying about the rental sector in the UK. Christ. I lived there for long enough.

          • alwyn 9.2.1.1.1

            “And Alwyn’s lying about the rental sector in the UK”.
            You did notice that I was talking about the 1960s and mid 1970s I hope.

            I did say that it was when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, and he left the job in 1976 which is 40 years ago. I never said anything about it being the situation in anything like “modern” times. I believe it was changed when Maggie was PM.

            When did you live in Britain? Was it in the era I was talking about?

            • Bill 9.2.1.1.1.1

              The four numbered points are from current legislation.

              You did notice that before banging up your dribble trying to tie it back to some “crazy proposal” from the 70’s, yes?

        • weka 9.2.1.2

          we currently have different tenancy laws around ending tenancy if the landlord wants to live in the house. I think there’d need to be some protections there (e.g. so the landlord doesn’t evict, live in the house for a month, and then sell it), but I can’t see why it couldn’t be done so it is fair for tenants too (what we have now is not fair and needs to change).

      • The Fairy Godmother 9.2.2

        I think that is exactly how it was during the time of the first Labour government. Tenants did have rights and couldn’t be kicked out easily. A family story is that my mother’s aunt and uncle bought a house in Auckland that was already tenanted. They wanted to live in it but had to prove that they didn’t have an appropriate place to live. Most of the family was living with the grandparents and a son was living with my mother’s family. It was deemed that their need was greater than the couple who was living in it so my mother’s relatives moved in.

  10. roy cartland 10

    Hell yeah DTB. I “own” my house, but couldn’t do it without someone renting a room and paying off the mortgage for me as I’ve done for so many others. I’d love not to have to own it, just use it for as long as I need.
    The only losers really would be the greedy (for extra space to store their accumulated junk, and for capital gain on the house price).

    • weka 10.1

      There’s lots of good reasons to have private ownership, so long as we can also make that equitable. If we had tenancy for life, then you could rent instead of paying a mortgage.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        There’s lots of good reasons to have private ownership

        List them.

        • Rosemary McDonald 10.1.1.1

          “There’s lots of good reasons to have private ownership”

          “List them.”

          Security.
          Security.
          Security.
          Security.

          oh, and security.

          Especially when there are children in the family.

          I’ll bet my last dollar that any person currently renting would buy their own home had they had the resources to do so.

          Imagine winning Lotto. Go on…what would be top of your shopping list?

          You own it…no bastard can evict you. (including government landlords)

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1

            You own it…no bastard can evict you.

            Wrong. The government can buy the house from you and you have no choice. It’s a somewhat restricted power that the government has but it does have it and it’s only restricted by rules that the government passed.

            Which means that security that you’re going on about doesn’t really exist and could easily be supplied with adequate rules anyway.

          • Carolyn_nth 10.1.1.1.2

            Actually, I wouldn’t. I could have bought a house when younger, but chose to rent. I have always thought that option would be there – but recently renting has become a real problem, even for someone like me on a reasonable income.

            I don’t think I would want to keep a house if I won it. I’m getting older. You still have to pay rates, do or manage maintenance. Plus. I’ve always thought the focus on home ownership is a big con job. That focus is not necessary. And ultimately, it benefits the people most at the top of the heap – the wealthy, bankers, developers, etc.

            Home owners at the bottom of the pyramid, are always somewhat insecure. I think it probably keeps them voting for the status quo, though – afraid of losing what little they have.

            And you can be evicted after an earthquake. Life is an uncertain endeavour.

          • Bill 10.1.1.1.3

            I’ll bet my last dollar that any person currently renting would buy their own home had they had the resources to do so.

            I wouldn’t. Seriously.

            • alwyn 10.1.1.1.3.1

              “I wouldn’t.”.
              You must have been listening to Don Brash.
              That is his view, too.

              • reason

                John Key was the one listening to brash ……

                Key has also implemented the policy s that the Brash National party wanted ….

                Key was the shadow finance minister under Brash https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/the-hollow-men-2008

                But with his tax haven building efforts … and merril lynch bankruptcy of ethics …. Key may well be the worse of the two.

                Although Brash used racism as a core part of his failed election campaign ,,,,,,

                it has been the ‘nice’ Mr Key who has overseen huge growth in poor and Maori being homeless …. or living in overcrowded substandard housing.

                Placing speculative greed and corruption above the human right to secure homes and housing ….. is Nationals belief backed by their policy.

                It’s also bad and wrong … and needs fixing.

            • Ad 10.1.1.1.3.2

              And you would be well supported by Shamubeel Eeaqub in that point Bill.

              Housing ownership is not the only place to put one’s very scarce and hard-fought capital.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.3.3

              how come?

              • Bill

                I’ve no interest in accruing private property is all. Never have had.

                • weka

                  what about using the private ownership to create housing owned collectively? ie. private in the sense of not owned by the govt, but not private as in owned by one person.

                  • Bill

                    As I’ve written at comment 4, I’m all for collective or cooperative structures that are set up thoughtfully.

                    • weka

                      ta, I’d missed that.

                      I’m reasonably similar, although I have to say that now I would buy land if I had the money simply so I could start planting trees that has a reasonable degree of future proofing.

              • Ad

                You would have to read Shamubeel’s book “Generation Rent” on the subject, but he simply puts a hard question on the price to New Zealanders of long-term mortgages plus interest, versus renting and saving by other means.

                There are also big policy counter-factuals:
                If a couple were going to take out a loan of $700,000 for building a business (rather than owning a house), which would be better for them and for New Zealand in the long term?

                • weka

                  Yes, those are interesting arguments too Ad. I was thinking more about if one didn’t need a mortgage e.g. one inherited a freehold house, or won lottery, what would be the reason for never wanting to own property. I think both Carolyn and Bill have given different but meaningful reasons that aren’t to do with values around the best way to invest $.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    Thanks, weka. (Good points on various issues under this post) Although, for myself, I should add, I have always had a reasonable income, and do have some savings and pension schemes. So I’m not so much a sophisticated investor, as a middle-class, well educated person, without dependents, who can live modestly but securely, without owning property.

                    I also have had to look for rentals in Auckland in the last 7 or 8 years – and I’ve seen something of the over-priced rental shit that is out there, and the competition to find something affordable and reasonable. And I have had moments of feeling housing insecurity because of the ever inflating housing bubble.

                    I suspect Bill’s situation and reasons differ somewhat from mine.

                    And I certainly can imagine being a low income renter these days must be an awful struggle.

          • DH 10.1.1.1.4

            ““There’s lots of good reasons to have private ownership”

            Another one is economics 101. There’s no inflation on borrowed money. Buy a house and you kill housing inflation stone dead. It’s a no-brainer really.

        • weka 10.1.1.2

          We’ve had this conversation before, but sure, here’s a list off the top of my head,

          – owner builders create cutting edge housing tech, esp for low cost housing.
          – owner builders can build houses much cheaper than the government will.
          – if I own a home then I want or need to go live somewhere else for a few years (e.g. study, work, look after an elderly parent), it’s a good thing for me and for the community and for the society if I can return to my land afterwards. Lots of people do this already. It helps build community stability.
          – esp so if I do something like plant out the land in a food forest that I intend to support me in my old age.
          – community land trusts rock.
          – Māori land should never be put into government ownership, for obvious reasons.
          – ditto council land.
          – the govt has already shown it can’t be trusted with public land.
          – diversity of owners and ownership models is better than monolithic ownership by one entity, because it allows for more creative responses to human needs (build ethics around that obviously).
          – I’m socialist but we cannot trust modern society to vote in govts that will manage land ownership fairly.
          – I’ve been a recipient of govt income for long enough to never want to be a recipient of govt housing (am very grateful I don’t have to). There are some things the govt can do very well, but I don’t trust them to do this well.

          None of that is incompatible with solid renter laws that treat renters as the same level of citizen as owners.

          • DH 10.1.1.2.1

            I think there’s a wider economic & social issue too weka. The DIY and home renovation market is made up almost entirely of owners, not many renters allowed to work on their rented property.

            That market must contribute a huge amount to the economy, think of all the garden centres, kitchen & bathroom outlets, appliance outlets, hardware & timber shops etc etc.

            I’d think property investors (landlords) would contribute very little there compared to owner occupiers. Investors aren’t interested in doing up their (already rented) properties and the tenants aren’t allowed to add much in the way of personal touches .

            I’d like to see some research on the relative economic benefits of renting versus ownership. Which one creates more jobs, social well-being etc. My gut feeling is maximising home ownership is very important to the economy and society.

            • weka 10.1.1.2.1.1

              hmm, maybe. If we were retrofitting housing to make it resilient in a world of CC, that’d make sense (I think too much DIY is another facet of consumerism). But either way wouldn’t that be a finite benefit once the housing stock was improved?

              Improvements in renters law would also presumably mean an increase in doing up housing.

              • DH

                I’d think renters and landlords would be bigger consumers than owners though. If they can’t spend their money and time on their property they’d be spending it on… what?

                I don’t think the benefits would be finite. An economy works by the circulation of money and home improvements help maintain that circulation. It’s possible that renters and landlords are more efficient circulators of money but I wouldn’t think so.

  11. james 11

    House for life – So I get a 5 bedroom house because I have 8 kids.

    They all leave home so just me and the wife. But I like it here so Im not moving.

    Meantime – there is another family with 8 kids desperate for a house and on low income. Tough luck for them huh.

    But Ill enjoy my big old house – and cheap rent.

    • Bill 11.1

      So you bought a 5 bedroom house and you like it and refuse to sell or downsize for the same selfish reason. Should you be forced to sell?

      • james 11.1.1

        That is a false argument.

        This is a house I paid for with my earnings.

        It is not a social house provided by the government (at a huge discount) to cater for the requirements of a person in need.

        When a persons needs change – it should be fair that they are allocated housing (if still needed) to meet their requirements of the time.

        • Bill 11.1.1.1

          The person needs a home. They have a home. End.

          If they want to shift house and set up a new home, then that’s their prerogative. And where registers exist, people do move. In their own time. As their head space allows or as costs associated with a ‘too big’ house dictate.

          • james 11.1.1.1.1

            yes – a person needs a home. But since other people are paying for it – they have to accept a few conditions on it.

            Not having the conditions and having that choice is something that comes when you pay for it yourself.

            • Bill 11.1.1.1.1.1

              In a world of free market fundamentalists, yes.

              Otherwise, it’s generally recognised that society provides; that all this delusional individualist nonsense you’re spouting is just that – delusional.

              Essentially all you’re saying James is that poor people should expect to be treated differently to rich people . That’s fine. Those are your views. They’re abhorrent, and this exchange has ended now.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.2

              But since other people are paying for it

              Are they though?

              The answer to that is no they’re not. Those people are paying for it through the rent that they pay.

            • Carolyn_nth 11.1.1.1.1.3

              they have to accept a few conditions on it.

              Why? and why are there now so many conditions in NZ? Rented all my adult life in more than one country: never before have I rented somewhere that has so many restrictions – no nails in walls to hang pictures, etc, etc. 3 monthly inspections, no rights of tenure when sold, and could be asked to move on any year; regular rent rises. And I’m not getting any younger. What happens when I’m quite elderly?

              • james

                are you asking why are there conditions when you rent something from somebody else.

                Letting them put all the capital into it – and you paying pennies on the dollar on the value of the item?

                Why do they have the right to ensure that its not damaged or used in a manner that they dont want (which you accept when you sign the rental agreement).

                FQIW – I have rented in UK and US – and had more stringent conditions on anything that I rented in NZ.

                When your elderly – well if you do not own something – you rent something appropiate for your needs.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  Actually, I am a very good tenant. I always get very good references. So why am I not trusted more?

                  I will say, the present landlord and managers are pretty good. They have always been fine at the very frequent inspections. But there are a lot worse landlords out there.

                  Being able to hang a few pictures and/or curtain fixtures shouldn’t need special permission.

                  And it’s hardly pennies in the dollar for rent these days. Landlords are price gouging in many places – getting rich by doing little. My current one raises the rent by about 5% a year. But some are raising them by much more – and by well above the average wage rise.

                  This is the first country and place I’ve rented in, where the rent rises each year. I’ve read some places get rent rises each 6 months.

                  And many people just cannot afford market rents these days on their hard earned wages.

                  Rent caps, security of tenure, basic standards, some reasonable options for organising your home environment to suit should be automatic.

                  For elderly renters, it is not a great situation being moved on frequently – especially when affordable, safe and secure rentals are in short supply in many places.

                • adam

                  Why should anyone buy into your spin james, you are a hard core ideologue who can’t even get his facts straight. Meanwhile you are in denial about the fact people are homeless and that we have system failure, but you keep pushing a failed argument. Tired t.i.n.a b.s from you, you know it’s not the 80’s – right?

                  Waiting for the web of mistruths from james, interested to see how it will be spun.

                  Any chance we can get some better trolls?

                  • james

                    as you seem to run around following me – I think it is you who is the troll.

                    • reason

                      you can not troll a troll James ….. unfortunately for you it does not work like that

                      The worse that can be said about them ….is they could be a dick whacker ……

                      with the troll being the dick.

                      Take back the internet ….. whack a dick

                    • adam

                      As always james just lies.

            • Tricledrown 11.1.1.1.1.4

              Slum landlords included.
              Don Brash’s productivity commission
              Findings unaffordable housing is the biggest hinderence to sustainable growth.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Meantime – there is another family with 8 kids desperate for a house and on low income. Tough luck for them huh.

      Nope. We’d build another house for them.

  12. Keith 12

    C’mon Bill, nothing to see here. Well maybe a just a little because the Herald, shitting itself over worse and worse reports of housing problems and the effect that can have on their National Party trotted out one of their ol’ faves…

    “The New Zealand economy is back in top gear and firing on all cylinders says HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham in the international bank’s latest report”.

    Yes there are some worries for Mr “Rockstar economy” but as a banker, keep the profits flowing our way Mr English.

    Get the feeling he’s got a just a teeny weeny bit of a conflict of interest with his cheer-leading? I do!

  13. saveNZ 13

    I think what National are doing to State houses is criminal.

    However had some migrant friends who arrived about 15 years ago in NZ, they got a state house when they arrived, then got jobs and were earning $70k+ and $45k+ each (15 years ago) and then got offered to buy it (in Mission Bay, Auckland).

    So I think that state houses should be for the vulnerable and poor not for life!

    And don’t fucking sell them! They are public assets for people who need them!

    • Bill 13.1

      Definitely don’t allow them to be sold.

      But definitely make the lease for life and transferable.

      It ends this kind of shit.

      • Observer Tokoroa 13.1.1

        Bill your “Housing. Cut The Crap” is an excellent sensible piece.

        Especially so in New Zealand where wages are so low and housing so stupidly unaffordable.

        It was pathetic to see the nervy James chasing you around saying repeatedly that State housing is for the poor. When in fact it is for citizens who are on low wages and cannot afford a house.

        He simply cannot understand that Landlords make a killing; and that landlords get lots of subsidies from the National Government. He cannot understand that commercial Landlords jack up rental rates.

        It would be great if all people who believe in Rental Housing for New Zealand Citizens put their bodies on the line – and stopped the Primer Minister and his dainty butterfly The Deputy Prime Minister, from selling any more State Houses. Those houses belong to the citizens of New Zealand.

        NOT to Bennett or English.

  14. Ad 14

    Housing has been and remains the best chance the left have to unseat this government at the polls this year.

    I’m less interest in principles now, and all about the fight.
    More headlines the better.
    So keep going.

    Bill I don’t agree with you fully, but you’re in the right place, and it makes me want to push this government out anyway.

    • weka 14.1

      Idea on the fight Ad? More housing posts on TS? Informal collaboration with what the political parties are doing?

      • BM 14.1.1

        Fake News, doesn’t matter if it’s bullshit as long as it paints the government in a bad light.


        [trolling, you’re out for a fortnight – weka]

        • gnomic 14.1.1.1

          Why not a ban for life? That way I would never have to read any of this idiot’s mendacious bullshit again. Sweet as.

  15. The Fairy Godmother 15

    I really like this idea Bill. I think that housing insecurity also effects the stability of the whole community. People move a lot. Children move schools a lot. People aren’t able to make those committments to Kindergartens, Schools, Churches or Sport Clubs because they keep on moving or are too worried about whether they will have a home next month. Mind you perhaps this suits those in power as it also makes it harder for communities to rally together and challenge them without those strong bonds.

    • weka 15.1

      I notice this as someone with a disability who is reliant on help from others. You need people you know, not just random people who happen to be there.

      I think it also suits the neolibs because it provides a more mobile workforce that can be pressured to move where the capitalist economy needs them.

  16. Macro 16

    Bill
    The kind of principles you espouse above was the original intention of the state house as conceived by Michael Savage.
    Slowly over the years those principles have been eroded mainly by conservative National Govts until such time as in the 90’s the idea of a home for life was cast aside. A very useful book on this subject is “Homes People Can Afford” Edited by Sarah Bierre, Philippa Howden-Chapman and Lisa Early.
    http://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/affordable-housing-issues-captured-in-new-book/

    It reflects an acceptance that private and community sector investors alone can’t fill the shortfalls in houses to rent or buy, and that government must move on from strategies of limited scope and sustainability to making greater investment a higher priority, if only because “any government that does not invest actively in social housing is unlikely to solve the social housing crisis”.

    I strongly recommend it, to anyone who is wanting more knowledge on this very important subject.

    • Bill 16.1

      This bit from the review jumped out for me.

      Equally refreshing is a concluding call for a change in attitudes: (…) away from assumptions that everyone is able or necessarily should aspire to home ownership.

      Amen to that.

  17. fisiani 17

    State housing is owned by the state. The crazy idea of this post that tenants who brought up a big family in a five bedroom house should be able to live till they die in that state home whilst families are forced to live in a garage due to the selfishness of the tenant should become the policy of The Left. That would ensure a 4th term for National.

    • Observer Tokoroa 17.1

      Hi Fisiani
      .
      The persons who have been forced to live in cars and sheds (and pay high rentals for them) have been forced by your friends Paula Bennett and Billy English.

      Also by your strange fetishist the former PM John Key.

      Don’t go blaming the New Zealand citizens for your National stuff ups Fisiani. I really think you should try to get away from your creepy friends mate.

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    Hi again Fisiani

    . I guess you know that Paula Bennett and Bill English have been sucking on the government teat for years now. Easy money.

    Have you been doing the same ?

    As National voters avoid paying as much tax as they can – it is New Zealand citizens who are paying for the Stuff ups of you lot.

    You should be utterly ashamed of yourself – shoving our tax paying citizens into cars and sheds and cold wet dwellings. You really are beyond redemption Fisiani. As are Bennett and English.

    I feel sick and contaminated writing to you. !

  19. Tinfoilhat 19

    good grief.

  20. Cinny 20

    Housing crisis is in full swing in Nickoffs home town.

    Last week we heard about the skyrocketing rents and house prices in Nelson, today we hear about the massive demand for State Housing.
    The number of people in Nelson in need of state housing has more than doubled in the last year.

    Not sure what the solution is but something needs to change, the government would be a good start.

    National prefers to have an accommodation supplement as a guise to help people with housing costs. The only ones that seem to benefit from it are landlords, lining their pockets with over inflated rental prices and tax payer assisted supplements.

    I would put money on it that Nick will not be happy that it is all over the front page of the Nelson Mail again. Suits me, his voters need to know the truth, am sure the paper has changed editors since last election.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 hours ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    8 hours ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    8 hours ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    9 hours ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    10 hours ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    11 hours ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    16 hours ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    20 hours ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    22 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    22 hours ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    24 hours ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 day ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 day ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago