Housing policy shambles

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, November 5th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: housing, national - Tags: , , , , ,

Like most of their policy, the Nats’ sudden decision to sell off a significant chunk of our state housing asset is a poorly thought out shambles. Two great pieces on this yesterday. Tim Watkins at Pundit:

When is an asset sale not an asset sale? & other questions about the Social Housing shambles

National is trying to the ‘nothing to see here’ line when it comes to its social housing policy, but the truth is it’s in a tangle and has no mandate for sale

But of course it’s an asset sale (as I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, knowing this issue was a tar pit waiting for National to stumble into), and it reveals an old-fashioned Rogernomic free-market push by a government that likes to sell itself as non-ideological. In many cases that’s a fair pitch, but not in its social housing policy.

Only the Nats don’t seem to have thought this through properly and are now on the defensive and, frankly, in a bit of a muddle. Let’s look at some of the contradictions.

First and foremost, it’s a question of scale. There are over 5500 families on the urgent waiting list for a state house, so to make any tangible difference to that the government needs to sell quite a few houses and open up quite a few large, neighbouring sections to redevelopment. Yet a large sell-off on the scale English wants is politically dangerous – it’s another asset sale. So is it big and bold and significant (ie an asset sale) or just a few houses (ie ideological but pointless)? National’s in a bind.

Then there’s a matter of who they’re selling to. All the spin is of community housing providers. Most often the Salvation Army and Presbyterian Support are mentioned. But then Bennett goes and admits iwi are in the front of the queue for some (where treaty settlements require it). And they want developers involved, who may or may not be required to build a percentage of social houses and could go ahead and build whatever they want on those sites. Oh, and some first home-buyers.

Suddenly this push to help the most vulnerable is looking like a way to also ease the middle class crisis of an over-heated housing market. …

Read on at Pundit for further contradictions. Then see Russell Brown at Public Address, examining the way that other aspects of housing policy repeat the mistakes of the 90’s:

Housing, hope and ideology

The thrust of it is that the government believes subsidising rents will be a more effective way of bringing people out of poverty than providing conventional public housing. This may sound like a familiar idea to mature readers – because it’s not unlike the National government’s housing policy in the 1990s.

This time around, the government’s exit from public housing provision is being sold on cost-benefit grounds. It’s a matter, says the Prime Minister, of bang for buck

When the Bolger government reformed housing policy in 1993, the change came with similar promises. As this 1999 paper by David Thorns of the University of Canterbury explained, the cost of the expanded accommodation supplement was forecast to increase to $476 million by 1996, then stabilise around that level. In the real world, the cost in 1996 was already $560 million annually – and it exceeded $800 million by 1999. By that point, the government was arguing that its own scheme was too generous and needed more targeting

In the absence of an accompanying state building programme – again, the government aims to do the opposite – it seems extremely optimistic to suppose that third parties will step up and build at the necessary scale. And that the expansion of subsidies to landlords won’t simply drive up house prices even further.

National’s housing policy is stupid at all levels. Which is probably why they’re in such confusion themselves about it:

Key, English at odds on State housing

Before Parliament sat today, Mr English was asked whether profits from the sale of State houses would be reinvested in social housing. “Certainly for the foreseeable future as much as we can. In the longer run, if there’s other people providing houses then the Government wouldn’t be giving them money for social houses,” he said.

But moments later in Parliament, Mr Key said no decision had been made about where the money would go.

They are making this nonsense up on the hoof. Strong stable government – hurrah!

30 comments on “Housing policy shambles”

  1. fisiani 1

    If the National plan to reform state housing and get people out of garages and overcrowded accommodation into houses that suit their needs fails to deliver I could then understand the concern expressed in the post. This constant naysaying “It’ll never work” is just so negative. Must surely be a Green or Internet Mana (have they divorced yet- the romance is now six weeks after the impotent limp performance?) perspective as Labour apparently are still the positive party.
    If a Labour government announced that it would massively increase rent subsidies the plan would be lauded here to to the heavens I’m sure. I suspect the angst and obvious frustration at being outflanked is because yet again John Key has come up with a plan to win the hearts and minds and votes of the poor and disadvantaged.
    National’s plan to reduce poverty is slammed. National’s plan to improve the quality of life of the poorest is slammed. National’s innovative collaboration with housing charities is slammed.
    Just be honest. If National propose it, then it must be bad.
    That approach might cheer up the troops and vindicate their minority opinion but not the voters. The time for judgement of the housing reforms is in the future.

    • Craig Glen Eden 1.1

      Your comment is so stupid on so many different levels fisiani .
      One the Government isn’t moving people out of Garages into more suitable housing they are selling the housing. Two the subsidising of private Landlords has already been done the in the 90’s it failed. Labour wouldn’t suggest massive increases in rent subsidies because its plan was to build more housing. So are you stupid fisiani or deliberately misrepresenting both National and Labours position on the issue of the housing of NZe’rs in need of decent housing.
      Lastly you claim National have a plan to reduce poverty, really says who? Just how long has this plan been in operation and what have the results been so far?

    • Stephen Dickson 1.2

      ficiani, If it was such a good idea and the nats were so happy about it why didn’t they mention it before the election? WHY???
      That’s right, cause if they had they would have lost the election on this one issue.

      I will assume next election john key won’t be telling us all every five seconds how he was raised in a state house now will he.

      • Aerobubble 1.2.1

        When a company sells assets in the course of business its for profit. When the state does its politics. National are gambling that given the very low level of state housing and the poor quality, that they can get away with discharging their duty to NZ by shuffling existing tenants around while off loading bad stock in poor areas to charities and harvesting a huge bonus from over priced stock in well of areas. Its cynical, its greedy since the money won’t go into new housing, and e few good news stories will paper over the ongoing crisis in housing. Also potentially leaving a mess for Labour to have to clean up when charaties walk away. Another nz rail

    • Murray Rawshark 1.3

      A rent subsidy is a wealth transfer to landlords whichever party does it. Everything else you say is wrong too.

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    You think that’s bad. I hear Air New Zealand are selling sets on their planes. Fucking asset sales.

    • Tracey 2.1

      you just can’t help living up to your name can you?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      Air NZ doesnt sell the seats on its flights ( you dont get to keep it afterwards!) but rather they RENT the seats.

      Which is exactly what state houses do, they are RENTED to their tenants.

      Which tells us Gormless has zero economic understanding

  3. Tracey 3

    Is Bill English the new Liar in Chief…

    or is he telling the truth and Key is the unmatched Liar in Chief?

    Following who is th ebiggest liar in national has only been made marginally easier by the banishing to papakura of the less than honourable Ms Collins.

    “Finance Minister Bill English says the proceeds from selling state houses are unlikely to be spent on new state houses and may go into the Consolidated Account.

    “I mean, if we want less stock, there’s not much point in rebuilding stock with it” … “

  4. Shaz 4

    I think it is possible that NZ is once again being played again by the National Party and the media. Remember this scenario playing out over the past six years? We are simply here again. Worst case scenario presented (massive private sales are forecast)- This is often a massive over-reach by the government on previously stated policy to test the temperature, followed by inconsequential public musings, obfuscation and contradictions

    Then a clarification and ‘ back track’, to a position which in the light of the spectre raised seems less extreme but is nonetheless solid neoliberal fare.

    Eventually a house will be found where there is no one on the waiting list. (Housing NZ staff will be crunching data to see if such homes exist. (I recall Nick Smith found 3 or 4 such homes in the last term and they were sold to private owners)
    Expect the clarification to be something like ex-state and new housing being managed by property developers and property managers who will be the owners and social housing providers the tenants who then sub-contract to people in housing need . This will all be supported and wrapped around by a PPP because I anticipate we will be told ‘social housing providers don’t have the capacity and skills’ to do this alone.

    The final nail is when the media portrays those who have spoken out at this stage- progressives, social housing providers as hysterical and alarmist. Property developers and property businesses meanwhile are just biding their time and waiting for the contracts to fall like ripe plums into outstretched hands.

    For Nationa this a it. Business as usual. A rough game that they play very well with capital and the media at their left and right elbows should they falter.

  5. Chooky 5

    It makes sense if you look at the Neolib self interested economics of the present John Key Nact govt politicians who see opportunities for developers monetary interests…hence …..an artificially created need for NZ housing and monster motorways and infrastructure ( Money , Money Money opportunities!)

    1.) first sell off all existing NZ State housing to overseas investors and new immigrants who can afford them at artificially created high prices

    2.) thereby creating a huge housing need for a large underclass of the New Zealanders.

    …hence the existing NZ poor and NZ youth , the under- thirties saddled down with huge tertiary education debt and /or jobs which can not fund them into high price NZ home ownership,

    3) ….add to this Housing need a mass influx of new immigrants and refugees from Boris’s bankrupt bankers’ London and elsewhere

    4) Bingo! …new huge wealth creation opportunities for John Key Nact govt friendly developers

  6. millsy 6

    Ironically, if we put all this aside, I think we need to give credit to John Key for admitting/accepting, in a roundabout way, is that people get out of poverty faster when they have to pay less of their income in rent (ie an income related rent). Though it could very well be a ploy to ‘sell’ this plan. I have noticed both Key and Bennett emphasising the expansion of income related rents in the past few weeks whereas, before the election, Smith was talking about these NGO’s giving ‘wrap around support’, and that is why we need to give all these state houses away to them — and here is the kicker: The NGO’s will be go to the banks and burrow money against the state houses to be able to buy/build more housing — so, in a round about way, the banks will end up in effective control of our state/social housing portfolio.

    • Nic the NZer 6.1

      The governments also been producing evidence that giving more money to beneficiaries results in them being able to get off the benefit.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10696074/Minister-says-3k-job-scheme-a-clear-winner

      Not that the facts have gotten in the way of the rhetoric that, ‘giving more money to beneficiaries is not the answer’.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      Dont be fooled by the NGO window dressing. They are used as a front to run the service, it will be a private financial group that own the houses. May even be a bank thats the provider of the money and who will the own the houses for long term untaxed capital gain.

      In the US private equity/hedge funds have been big buyers ( 1000 per month) of houses that have been sold as mortgagee sales. They arent in a social housing role but will flick the houses on when the market improves.

      One of the worst things about Englishs scheme is that the houses will be sold for below market value as a ‘trade sale’
      Much like the power generators were, with all sorts of gimmicks to make the optics look good ( and thus get airhead Mike Hosking raving how good is this)

  7. Tom Gould 7

    The big question they are studiously avoiding is what will they do with the $5 billion? Someone suggested another free irrigation scheme for hard-up dairy farmers. The real problem is there simply are not enough affordable houses to either rent or buy, and the obvious solution is simply to build some more of them.

  8. Jay 8

    The success of a scheme that pays a 3K subsidy to keen and resourceful people in return for taking up work doesn’t therefore prove that increasing benefits will somehow have a long term benefit. That conclusion makes no sense at all. Why even say stuff like that.

    • Nic the NZer 8.1

      Oh, boo hoo for you, the economy doesn’t work according to National party rhetoric.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.2

      I suppose that’s progress. You’ve accepted that beneficiaries can be keen and resourceful people. What about giving them all a $3K lump sum, so they can afford to move, buy a car, or fix whatever else is holding them back?

  9. Ad 9

    This is just cruel.

    The housing policy area is still the combined Oppositions’ best hope for National’s substantial undoing.

    But Key is pulling strong and thick nationalist ropes across his theatre: will the great foreground veil of militarised security be enough to camouflage the background of housing, homelessness, and middle-class housing shut-out? To pull this off, Key is rolling out policy guns into the wings that have not been fired since WWII.

    in short: the Great Game is security v poverty.

  10. Atiawa 10

    State ownership of houses for those for whom all else fails offers stability.
    Under the first Labour government and just about every government since, it wasn’t just about the government providing the housing. The reason why the state is best placed to do so is because it also provides continuity. With the government as your landlord, you won’t find your home taken from you in a mortgage sale, or sold up because the owner has just decided they’ve had enough.
    Just like its change’s to Industrial Relations law, this government wants us to go back to the 1920’s. Placing state housing under the ownership of private landlords destroys the basic principle of continuity and stability.
    Give us a break!

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      Never mind the 1920s, this government is headed for the 1820s – before all those pesky things like the universal franchise and the Truck act.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: We must do more
    Like many people, my submission on the Zero Carbon Bill urged more ambitious targets. And if the select committee was in any doubt, they're needed:An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled and increased by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    27 mins ago
  • Cracking down on mining
    NZ Energy and Environment Business Week reports (in Scoop) that the government is finally moving on reforming the Crown Minerals Act, including banning mining on conservation land and repealing the hated Anadarko Amendment:The Government is planning to change the Crown Minerals Act’s purpose from “promoting” mining in light of changing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 hour ago
  • Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
    Anti-fluoride campaigners think a new Canadian fluoride IQ study is the best thing since sliced bread but the scientific critiques warn they are wrong. Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty The new Canadian ...
    2 hours ago
  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    17 hours ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.