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Housing needs a builder not a crusher

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, March 12th, 2018 - 82 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, Economy, housing, Judith Collins, national, phil twyford, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The take away line National wanted the media to take from yesterday’s reshuffle announcement was that Crusher Collins was going to make a mess of the Government’s housing policies and Phil Twyford was not going to be able to sleep at night.

My first response was somewhat incredulous because National has had made a mess of the housing market for the past nine years.  Never in the land of plenty did I think I would ever see so many kiwis sleeping rough and begging.  Or families with parents who have jobs sleeping in cars.  Or Marae opening their doors to do what the Government seemed to be incapable of doing, making sure ordinary people had a roof over their heads.

My second response was to marvel at the hypocrisy of National claiming that Labour was making a mess of housing when the Government is so new and was having to deal with National’s mess.  Let’s get real here.  It will take years for Labour to rebuild the numbers of housing corp stock sold by National.  Criticising Labour for not solving National’s mess quickly enough relies on a special level of stupidity.

Twyford’s response to Bridges was perfect.  First on Twitter:

Collins response to Twyford suggested that comprehension is not one of her strengths:

The media picked up on Twyford’s response.  From Claire Trevett at the Herald:

… Twyford said he would sleep fine and he was more worried about those who’d had to sleep in cars under National’s reign.

He referred to Collins’ nickname of ‘Crusher’.

“I think you need a builder not a crusher in the housing portfolio.”

“If there’s one thing National should have learned after nine years, it’s that Kiwis want more compassion. But Judith Collins is the epitome of the old-school, hard-hearted Nat. Housing is National’s Achilles heel. I wonder whether this is Simon Bridges setting her up for failure.”

If anyone should not be sleeping well it should be Simon Bridges. Because already his number 3 and number 4 have contradicted him on policy.

The background is that on the weekend Grant Robertson raised the prospect about a value capture tax, where landowners who benefit from infrastructure such as new rail lines are taxed on the increase in the value of their land holdings. Bridges has in the past spoken positively about the concept. But both Adams and Collins decided to attack the proposal.

From Henry Cook at Stuff:

National leader Simon Bridges says there is no difference between his views on a land value capture tax and the views of his MPs.

Bridges on Sunday said it was “pleasing” the Government are looking at a land value capture tax, despite his finance and housing spokeswoman criticising it.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson signalled the Government is interested in such a tax, which would fund infrastructure by taxing the people who benefit the most from it. This involves a special tax being levied on property owners deemed to have benefited from new infrastructure: for example, a row of shops, the value of which increased thanks to a new rail link.

The National Party explored the idea while in government but did not implement anything.

Then-transport spokeswoman Judith Collins tweeted on Saturday it was an “envy tax”, asking if NZ First was going to support it.

Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams tweeted on Friday: “Another day, another new tax being proposed by the coalition Government. Yet another attempt from Grant Robertson to make everyone else pay for all his promises.”

But former transport minister Bridges himself appeared to have quite a different take.

Speaking on Sunday after announcing his caucus reshuffle, Bridges said it was “pleasing” to see the Government looking at innovative ways to fund things instead of using broad-brush strategies like a petrol tax.

“I think it’s good. I think it’s pleasing to hear from Grant Robertson today that finally he has come round to the need for innovation in this area. This is like so many areas where we I think did quite a bit, we were moving in that direction, I was certainly excited about doing more,” Bridges said.

And here is the twitter evidence.

Good luck to Bridges keeping control of his caucus.  Already they look messy and disorganised.

 

82 comments on “Housing needs a builder not a crusher”

  1. Incognito 1

    I wonder whether this is Simon Bridges setting her [JC] up for failure.

    I believe I read somewhere that JC had asked for Housing to be hers.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Bridges knows how to keep his enemies close.
    If Bridges fails to gain any inroads Collins will be waiting in the wings.

    • tracey 2.1

      He studied under John Key, he knows the value of having someone else running the lies and behind the scenes dirt

  3. Ad 3

    National’s leader Simon Bridges couldn’t survivi the weekend without being contradicted on the fundamental policy area of tax:

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/new-nats-leadership-contradicts-one-another

    Minister Robertson is exploring value-capture for capital increases around new infrastructure.

    Simon Bridges loved the idea in government, and still supports it.

    Completely contradicted within hours by Amy Adams and Judith Collins.

    Pathetic.

    • tracey 3.1

      Up there with him wanting some prisoners to vote, thinking that is what he voted for last year, and upon finding out he hadn’t and they can’t, decided he doesn’t want some prisoners to vote afterall.

  4. dv 4

    SO Amy and Jude how would you pay for the infrastructure then?

    • patricia bremner 4.1

      Amy and Jude (LOL) are too busy “Lookin’ good” to run ideas past their new boss.
      Guess the rowing team are out of sync? Catching crabs, making airshots or own goals. Luv it!!!

    • tracey 4.2

      If it can be concreted or drained Adams and Collins will find the money

  5. “I think you need a builder not a crusher in the housing portfolio.”

    If anyone should not be sleeping well it should be Simon Bridges. Because already his number 3 and number 4 have contradicted him on policy.

    L0L !

    National Party Ad – fixed it – YouTube
    Video for National party 2017 electoral ad you tube▶ 0:35

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      Very funny voice-over, especially the ponytail reference. “That’s how we roll.”

  6. mikesh 6

    The idea of a land value capture tax has some merit, though I think a straightforward land tax would be better. The latter would be taxing increased land values more or less forever, albeit at a lower rate, while the land value tax would apply only once.

    • Graeme 6.1

      Value capture is pretty much how local authority rates work. A property’s value goes up in relation to other property in the rating district and the rates go up. The property value is influenced by both private (owner) and public sector investment that benefits the property. That’s why RWNJs hate rates, they have to pay for their handouts.

      • Andrea 6.1.1

        This I cannot understand.

        The property’s value goes up. So?
        It’s still the same property and the amenities provided by the council haven’t suddenly improved or expanded – though their pay packets might have.

        Why should anyone be taxed on something they may never actually receive or benefit from? (Without all the patronising stuff about ‘benefitting all Kiwis’ – because it doesn’t.) More people pay off their mortgages, stay in the same house, than the smaller numbers of people borrowing and flipping.

        Any excuse to raise taxes instead of looking under the bonnet at what’s actually happening to rates and income tax monies. It feels like we’re not getting value for our dollars at all.

        • Molly 6.1.1.1

          If the land value tax is similar to an “equity uplift tax” this means that the increase of a property due to the rezoning by a local authority, which can be considerable and due to no investment or improvement by the property owner – can then be assessed and taxed.

          Overseas this tax is paid either when the property is onsold, or developed.

          A reasonable response to an increase in equity due completely to rezoning.

          This tax was discussed briefly during the Unitary Plan for Auckland, but for political reasons was dismissed. So, landbankers and many Aucklanders had unearned equity lift in their properties that they did not pay any tax on.

        • Graeme 6.1.1.2

          The value capture aspect of rating only happens when value is added to the property, either internally by the owner, any consented activity will increase the value by the cost of the works, or externally by council works, say streetworks or transport upgrades. Zoning changes are another way property values can increase dramatically. BUT, it’s an increase relative to other properties in the rating district, rather than an absolute value increase that puts the rates up.

      • mikesh 6.1.2

        I am assuming that a land value capture tax is an accruals based CGT, but levied on land rather than on the whole property.

        • Graeme 6.1.2.1

          It would be interesting to see what this, and the previous, government where / are looking at, and how it would be collected. Also how “value capture” would relate to the increases in local authority rates, GST and company and income tax that are levied on the increases in economic activity / profit resulting from government funded infrastructure development. I have seen economic analysis considering these issues done before the development as part of cost / benefit but haven’t seen anything assessing effect after development, other than rating valuations, which are pretty coarse and long term.

  7. Sacha 7

    The Nats are running a line already that the reason for housing problems is because Labour and other parties refused to gut the RMA. Unfortunately Twyford has gone a long way even before the election to agree with their stance that land usage rules are a more central problem than financial regulations have been.

  8. AsleepWhileWalking 8

    The housing crisis is severe enough to warrant cross party cooperation – best solutions, delivered at speed.

    Collins request and attack vibe has that offensive smell already.

    • alwyn 8.1

      Out of curiosity can you explain just when you decided that cross party cooperation would be a good thing?
      It wouldn’t be when Winston the First chose to go for the huge bucket of benefits and anointed Ardern would it? Can you show us where you called for such cooperation from the Labour Party when they were in Opposition. Reform of the RMA for example to make more land available perhaps.

  9. Anne 9

    Natonal’s longer term strategy is becoming clearer by the day. Sow the meme in people’s minds that Labour is the ‘waste and spend party’. That is why we saw on this site and elsewhere the other day… the right wing acolytes accusing Jacinda Ardern of “throwing money around like confetti” over aid money to the islands to help them rebuild after the devastating cyclones.

    It’s a meme that can be easily modified to suit any portfolio, so you can expect Collins to be accusing Twyford of… throwing tax payers money at the housing market wily-nily with a lot being wasted because he has no proper accounting procedures in place.

    It’s a pack of lies but easy to accomplish with the short memory span of the average voter. Also it worked with the Clark govt., so they’re hoping it will work again.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Labour would be best to front up to this meme and ‘own’ it – yes we are going to spend some money on the things that people desperately need, and also on policies that will assist a better economy and improving standards of living which have dropped under National’s penny pinching for you and hyped hundreds for them.
      Don’t deny it, go with it, luge down their slippery slope and have a good time.

      • patricia bremner 9.1.1

        I believe Robertson and Ardern have both said they will be sensible with expenditure, but will borrow or slow the repayment programme if required.

        .

    • patricia bremner 9.2

      Well if memory serves… Jude (I like that) massaged the stats when she wanted to look good so ….
      she’d best be careful throwing accusations about. some night boomerang back to her.

    • tracey 9.3

      They are in campaign mode for sure. and they have the coffers to campaign for 3 years unlike any other party.

  10. Delia 10

    Just keep reminding them of their disastrous record, especially on health and housing.

  11. james 11

    The ‘beauty’ of course is that Labour promised all sorts of things – but with Housing gave numbers.

    “Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland. Standalone houses in Auckland will cost $500,000 to $600,000, with apartments and townhouses under $500,000. Outside Auckland, houses will range from $300,000 to $500,000.”

    So all Labour have to do is deliver 5000 stand alone houses in Auckland a year costing between 500-600k

    Easy!

    As soon as they do that then Crusher will have nothing to beat him up on.

    IF however they don’t then they have every right to call them to account for it.

    • chris73 11.1

      https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/

      The running total needed this so far is 3760 built

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        I like this counter.

        As the process ramps up, they’ll have hits for a year or two.

        Then Collins will try to replicate the Jacinda Effect by knifing Simon Says (Loudly) two months out from the election, and discover that she’s not Jacinda.

        Then the next term the counter will disappear from the Penguin’s lair as the housing targets are blown out of the water, and it will be left to the minister for housing to announce the final totals.

      • dukeofurl 11.1.2

        labour never said it was 10K ‘each and every year’

        They have said it was a ramp up process and would be ‘something like’ 3-4K in the firts 3 years

        • Psycho Milt 11.1.2.1

          DPF knows that very well, but many dumbasses reading his blog don’t, which makes his counter excellent propaganda. Either Chris73 is one of the dumbasses, or he thinks we are.

    • tracey 11.2

      Thanks matthew

  12. chris73 12

    I would have thought the perfect response would to build some houses

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Shame Judith and National did not understand that years ago. And insisted in selling more state houses than it built.

      • chris73 12.1.1

        I know I mean the way National said they’d build a million homes over ten years and then didn’t, you’d think they’d know better than to over promise and under deliver

        Thanks goodness Labours not going to fall into that trap

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    It makes a lot of sense for the Gnats to put Collins in an attack role – those slavering jaws are safest directed away from the weak leadership team.

    Such a shame she’ll have Nick’s myth busting her bubble as a constant reminder of how few fucks the Gnats ever gave about housing.

    • chris73 13.1

      “It makes a lot of sense for the Gnats to put Collins in an attack role – those slavering jaws are safest directed away from the weak leadership team.”

      Unfortunately I agree with you on this, imagine what she’d do to Kelvin Davis (is he allowed to answer questions yet?)

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.1

        She can’t do much to him in his areas of responsibility.

        She’s in danger of irrelevance however – Labour’s greatest wounds – the TPP for example, are self-inflicted.

        • chris73 13.1.1.1

          Well I think signing the TPP is whats going to sustain this government, National can’t exactly accuse the government of being anti-trade

          • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.1.1

            So you haven’t done the math. Explains your consistent rightwingery.

            • chris73 13.1.1.1.1.1

              This far from out from the election any maths is pointless but I will say this will mean that Labour will bleed some votes to the Greens so they’ll be safe but if I had to put money on it (I’d rather not) I’d say NZFirst are goneburgers

              • Stuart Munro

                I refer to the TPP – doesn’t break even until 2030 and even that makes the Pollyanna assumption that tariffs removed appear in the black side of our ledger – so there’s half a billion per annum that won’t be happening.

                • chris73

                  Ok so far the sake of argument why did Labour sign it, I mean I wanted it signed but a lot of their supporters really didn’t want it signed so why sign it?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Mental laziness – it’s more common than is generally supposed – same reason Nick Smith did nothing on housing or rivers. They get the ministerial perks and spend their term in a comfortable alcoholic stupor – occasionally punctuated by paint stripper.

                    • chris73

                      So not happy about Labour signing it I take it

                    • red-blooded

                      Stuart, that answer is a great example of mental laziness. Just pick a trope and throw it about, don’t bother thinking through the other point of view…

                      I’m somewhat ambivalent about TPPA – it is a better deal than it was, and I do agree that it would have harmed Labour in the wider community (not with the people who regularly visit this site) if they had backed away. But more than that, there are issues of international engagement and interconnectedness to consider, and they will have been weighed up pretty damn carefully.

                      You don’t have to agree with the conc;usion reached, but it’s just too easy (and too ironic) to dismiss it as “mental laziness”.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Red Blooded

                      The onus lies with Labour to explain supporting a deal that is manifestly against the public interest, not with me.

                      I’m being pretty generous attributing it to booze really – where representatives act against the interests of their constituents the principle reagent involved is what Ambrose Bierce called ‘solicitate of gold’. They sold us out. It’s hardly the first time, but it’s no less shameful for that.

                    • McFlock

                      Option B: with the US out of the picture and their influence suspended, and with ISDS issues largely ameliorated, the margin-of-error economic benefits under the old TPP are now likely to be more significant, with few (if any) of the drawbacks. And it’s pretty much what they campaigned on.

                      Actually campaigned on, not the ‘they promised to eliminate all ISDS’ fantasy some folks have.

                      Any Labour voter who wanted the TPP completely torn up by NZ should have read the damned policies and voted Green.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Their weasely legalisms fall considerably short of anything that could be mistaken for good governance. Time will tell, and an ISDS action won’t do much for Labour longevity. The DP team will no doubt be trying to set one up even now.

                    • McFlock

                      I think there’s a line somewhere between “I read what I wanted, not what they wrote” and “weasely legalisms”

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @McFlock The “I read what I wanted” seems to lie with Parker.

                    • McFlock

                      I already knew it seems like that to you.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ McFlock Oh you knew did you.
                      If that were so you wouldn’t have run the spurious line about confusing what they say with what I wanted them to say.

                      The TPP doesn’t meet the public interest standard – rendering any excuses Labour might choose to make moot.

                      You might have wanted to suggest I was overstating saying they sold us out, but I have not. Selling us out is explicitly what neo-liberalism does. Signing up for a trade deal with few or no benefits to the mass of New Zealanders is indeed a sell out – of democracy if not of pre-election promises. And pre-election promises don’t get them off the hook – they are paid and sworn to govern in the public interest, and on this matter they have chosen to fall short.

                    • McFlock

                      You’d previously made it very clear what your beliefs on the CPTPP were, so it was a logical extension that you view those people who disagree with you as being faulty in their interpretation of the data, be it through mental laziness, intoxication, or whatever else you’d put in place of considering the possibility that they’re rational and merely disagree with you.

                      So it’s obvious that it would seem to you that they read what they wanted to read rather than what was written on the paper.

                      Which they couldn’t do if they were “selling out”, by the way. Selling out requires a conscious abrogation of responsibility in favour of personal advantage, rather than than simply being wrong about the likely benefits and drawbacks of their actions.

                      Did they abandon their responsibilities, or did they try to do the good thing but were wrong?

                      So on the one hand I have Labour, who have been pretty much consistent between their promises and their actions. On the other hand, I have folks like you, who claim Labour lazily believe they’re doing good while at the same time selling out.

                      Consistency wins, IMO. Anti-TPP folk who voted for Labour are idiots.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I think we can safely discount your suggestion of rational disagreement. Had they had rational grounds they’d have been able – and willing to make the case. Indeed we’d have heard little else.

                      “Did they abandon their responsibilities, or did they try to do the good thing but were wrong?”

                      Both in fact. The original sans US trade deal was not in a major sense objectionable, it didn’t include 6000 pages of corporate derogations of the powers of states. This was the conceivably good thing they once set out to do. Inheriting the negligent mess left by National they compromised too much and too often. They were too sensitive to NZ’s role in cobbling together that shambles to step away from it altogether and rebuild it on a state by state and equitable basis as they should have done. They were irresponsible not to do so.

                    • McFlock

                      Perhaps they’ve made a rational case, even put it against their five bottom lines point by point (maybe in the speech where they tabled the text), but you just didn’t see it as such.

  14. Michelle 14

    We know the gnats don’t care about NZers by choosing coal-man as their health person and now we have maggie the gardener as associate health when she didn’t even look after our environment how the f…k can she look after our health she is nicer to her plants than she is to people

  15. mike appleby 15

    Interesting to note the language in Bridges announcing this – picking someone who can ‘attack the government…’ where they are weak’…nothing positive or aspirational about doing a better job, just ‘attack’.

    Same language I heard from English, about the opposition is to ‘attack the government’, to do them ‘no favours’.

    Speaks clearly that are not in it for making nz a better place for all,, just good old narrow minded, bereft of idea attack politics.

    I can just hear them grating their teeth…this should have been yours….

    • chris73 15.1

      Labour should be able to bat anything National throws their way, if they’re prepared, so it shouldn’t be a big deal

      • Incognito 15.1.1

        Do you know how many fatal car accidents are caused by insects each year? The little suckers are harmless enough but they can distract drivers with fatal consequences. National plays a game of blue ass fly hoping that they can crush crash this Government.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 15.1.1.1

          Lol the blue ass…

          That’s about all they can do with housing which gives the Collins apptmt a Hegelian feel.

      • tracey 15.1.2

        The past has shown us that batting away lies once voiced is not as easy as some glibly suggest; hence national hang on to that particular strategy.

        Note this 2007 speech. The word crisis appears about 14 times.

        From 2008 to late 2017 the use of that label was denied by the same speaker and his acolytes.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm

    • Michelle 15.2

      yes Mike your right but is it their teeth or a they false like them ( the teeth)

  16. timeforacupoftea 16

    The beautiful Joan Collins is just positioning herself for promotion 3 months out from the next election to give Jacinda a lesson, when Simple Simon has no traction for a National win.

    (My husband calls her the beautiful Joan, I think he fancies her, mind you he is 70.)

  17. R.P. Mcmurphy 17

    mr exceltium aka mathew hooton said on RNZ this morning that Phil Twyford will not build one house in the next three years. i think hooton needs his head read.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 17.1

      Why on earth would you believe a word coming out of Matthew wormtongue Hootons mouth? He’s a paid mouthpiece, he’s establishing a narrative, truth is irrelevant. he is a fascinating creature but don’t ever mistake his wisdom for reality.

    • patricia bremner 17.2

      No. Phil won’t personally build them. That’s just silly Hoot.

    • tracey 17.3

      HootOn is also in campaign mode. He is right that setting up KiwiBuild will take time.

      Presumably labour factored this in when making the promise

  18. peterlepaysan 18

    Interesting that there was never any housing crisis under the last nine years of national government.

    Presumably the shadow housing minister will use her extensive massive prison building and “double bunking” expertise to bear.

    Interesting to see what the nats corporate backers do with this.

    Bridges was on natrad saying that the governments housing plan was headed for disaster.

    Interesting that pre election there was no problem and now, post election, there is a housing disaster looming. Now it is Collins on Twyford, bugger the homeless.

    The boardrooms of the corporates will be vexed.

  19. Pat 19

    There is a continuing housing crisis in Christchurch although its causes and presentation differ from other regions. With the 3 billion regional development fund (correctly) unavailable to major centres there is a further opportunity for the government to do the right thing and ensure that all those who have had their homes under-scoped/ill repaired thanks to the incompetence of EQC/Fletchers are fully compensated and without further delay.

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