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International investment in Auckland housing

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, July 12th, 2015 - 174 comments
Categories: housing, labour, phil twyford, racism - Tags:

Auckland

I must admit it does not feel the best watching Labour being accused of engaging in dog whistle politics.  Is it true?

The social media response is mixed with many pouring scorn on the Auckland Housing analysis methodology used without, it appears, even understanding what the methodology is.  Others think that the issue concerning the flow of overseas money is a significant issue that needs to be discussed and addressed.  Of course if the Government was measuring important data such as non residential purchases of houses and inflow of capital and what it is being used for this sort of guesstimate would not be required.

Rob Salmond has written a calm explanation on what the analysis entailed and in my view the analysis clearly backs up a strong local impression that there is a problem.  He makes it clear that the modelling used did not automatically assume that a foreign surname depicts a foreign purchaser.  For instance the surname “Lee” triggered a 40% possibility that the purchaser was ethnically Chinese.  The analysis is more nuanced than Keith Ng suggests.

Some non Labour commentators have been careful in their response.  Daniel Mclaughlin says this:

On the other hand, I do find the logic of what Labour are trying to say fairly convincing. In his post Keith converts the percentages in Labour’s analysis into raw numbers and seems to think that demolishes Twyford’s argument, but I think he’s wrong. I haven’t done a big fancy regression analysis to figure out the likelihood that the sales in Labour’s dataset can be accounted for by Auckland’s resident ethnically Chinese population, but I think the chance is very small. Maybe Labour’s right? Maybe a lot of the buyers in their data are foreign based Chinese investors?

Unfortunately we can’t tell based on what we’ve got. But we do need to figure out a way to talk about the ongoing impact of China on New Zealand without (a) the entire conversation being written off as racist or (b) offending Chinese New Zealanders. Feels like Labour’s just set us back aways there.

I could not agree more with his second to last sentence although I do not necessarily agree with his last sentence.

Russel Brown said:

Focusing on non-resident Chinese investors isn’t necessarily racist either. There actually aren’t any other countries with trillions of dollars of capital looking for places to go, and the Chinese credit and investment environment is very weird, as evidenced by the recent drama on the Chinese stock markets. It is entirely possible that Chinese capital (and credit) is distorting our badly-regulated residential property market.

But this just isn’t good enough data to go out and say so with, especially when you’ve dragged residents into it.

And Bernard Hickey’s tweet summed things up well.

The basic problem is there is $21 trillion US in Chinese Banks looking for a return, any return.  Some overseas residential property, such as Auckland’s, is attractive because it is in a stable jurisdiction and is a bolthole in case of disruption at home. And with suggestions that current restrictions on the export of capital could be relaxed the potential for overseas purchasing of local real estate will only get worse.

Different Western nations have felt the effect.  For instance in the United States last year Chinese topped Canadians to rank as the biggest foreign purchasers of U.S. homes by sales and dollar volume.   In London Chinese buyers accounted for 11 per cent of all property transactions worth above £1m in 2014, up from 4 per cent in 2012.  In Canada inflation real estate inflation through Chinese investment resulted in the hashtag #donthave1million taking off amongst young Canadians who were increasingly being priced out of the possibility of home ownership.  And in Australia there has been talk about a “Wall of Chinese Capital” hitting the property markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

A recent Sydney Morning article contained this comment from an ethnic Chinese Property developer James Tee:

“We have been tracking this for two years,” says Tee. Those outflows from China are compounded by the flight of capital out of Canada which is now “bursting” to find a home in Australia.

“There is a mountain of liquidity. China is bursting with flight capital,” says James Tee. 
Due to the bubble in Canadian house prices and ensuing concerns over social dislocation, Canada’s government shut down its investor visa program last year. Some 40,000 Chinese visa applicants with a minimum loan to governments of $C800,000 were handed back their capital.

“That’s roughly $32 billion,” says Tee. “The Canadian government said: ‘We don’t want your money anymore’ and that capital is now hitting the Sydney market.”

“There is a mountain of liquidity. China is bursting with flight capital. They can’t go to the US, they can’t get it into Singapore anymore, or Hong Kong.”

Australia has more restrictions than New Zealand in that there is some measurement of capital inflows its use and residential investment is directed to the construction of new houses.  But there are predictions of a possible $60 billion investment in Australian houses by Chinese interests over the next six years.

There is a complaint about why Labour made this about Chinese.  The problem lies with the Chinese Banking System and the threat it poses to our economic stability and to the aspirations of our young and poor.  Attacks on the accuracy of the methodology ignore what is happening on the ground in Auckland although I agree that the presentation of the data should have concentrated on the money and not on the people.

The foreign money is certainly the issue.  Perhaps Labour should have concentrated on this to the exclusion of everything else.

 

174 comments on “International investment in Auckland housing”

  1. sabine 1

    fact is that without the comments of Phil Twyford we would actually not having this discussion at all.
    fact is, that Labour has asked on more then one occasion that National should create a register that tracks who buys what in NZ. As always National politly declined.
    fact is, that more and more people are saying the same thing, namely that their neigbourhoods are being bought up by what appears to be ethnic chinese, they may be kiwi born chinese, or chinese with a PR, but in more and more cases it seems that they are not living here, nor speaking the language etc.

    making these observations is initself not racist, and if it is, let’s please never ever mention race as a factor in smoking, crime statistics, obesity, low level participation in education etc etc etc.

    was the attempt to shine light on a phenomen that has been discussed for a while now a bit clumsy? maybe, but in abscense of facts what is labour to do? Wait until Nick Smith does his job, or for our National Party Overlords to finally provide us with data in regards to the sale of ths Country?

    Fwiw, i would also like to know who much acres of farm land have been sold to non resident/citizens of NZ, how many businesses have been sold to non resident/citizens of NZ, and how many private properties have been sold to non resident/citizens.

    So, no don’t feel uncomfortable about what was said, instead simply ask for the information to made available to the public as fast as possible.

  2. BM 2

    It was ham fisted and amateurish, but more importantly demonstrated in spades that labour hasn’t got a clue, the people or the ability to successfully run a modern export driven country.

    Labour is so bad it makes SYRIZA look professional and competent.

    • sabine 2.1

      so you are going to ask National to provide the country with the information about foreign nationals buying up slices of NZ?

      crickets?

    • Keith 2.2

      What utter Bullshit BM. It was on money and anyone who has half a brain knows it. As said in this blog it is all about foreign money flooding our housing market and quite simply pricing out New Zealanders. What the hell is good about that!

      And the fact is National are totally to blame for sitting on the arses and watching this mess explode.

      And where did you come up with “the ability to run a modern export driven country”. Not only has that nothing to do with housing but ironically its all National have ever had insofar as exports go, to allow our property/assets to be sold off to the highest overseas bidder!

      • BM 2.2.1

        Auckland is a international city, comparable to Sydney, Melbourne etc.
        It’s not Pigsknuckle, Otago.

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.1.1

          Auckl;and comparable to Sydney and Melbourne haha

        • red-blooded 2.2.1.2

          Hey mate, leave your put-down comments about Otago out of this. My province suffers under monetary policy aimed at controlling your city’s house prices, but I haven’t been making anti-Auckland comments, because:
          a) I’m an adult, and
          b) it’s not relevant or helpful.

          Maybe you have something to learn from us down here in the South.

        • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.3

          No, its education level is lower.
          Like Sydney and Melbourne, but smaller, poorer, and dumber.

        • keyman 2.2.1.4

          Auckland is a international city what a joke its traffic jamb at the bottom of the world

        • James 2.2.1.5

          Yes, it is; everybody is welcome to exploit us, so long as they have the money. Perhaps they’ll have second thoughts when the market inevitably corrects itself.

        • sirpat 2.2.1.6

          yeah right good one…….its all about the money for you isn’t it!!!……don’t worry about anyone else….you’d make a great butt plug for shonkey or hotchins or hoskings…….unbelievable

    • dv 2.3

      How are bridges in northland going?

      Found all that public land for housing in auckland yet?

      Key read the advice from IRD yet?

      Mcully and the Sheep deal – competent?

      And current debt 100 billion

    • Naked rightwing ideological posturing is an unedifying spectacle so you’ll forgive me if I avert my eyes.

  3. Facetious 3

    PHIL Twyford’s reputation has suffered a big blow. Labour needs to speak on this issue through a more adequate spokesperson. Are there a few votes in xenophobia? Yes. Ask Winston about it, but they are not worth pursuing.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Go look at the comments on stuff or other websites. I think you’ll find the vast majority are in support of Labour, and they also recognise that this is not a racist attack.

      • Realblue 3.1.1

        Profiling by last name to apportion blame on a perceived economic problem has been done before. But they lost WW2. I guess Labour don’t want the Asian vote. Twyford is indulging in hamfisted nonsense that Winston indulges in. Is this a strategy. Does he have proof that all those people with scary foreign sounding names aren’t NZ residents or citizens buying through the one real estate company he obtained date from ( let’s assume it exists as he won’t name it).

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          “Does he have proof that all those people with scary foreign sounding names aren’t NZ residents or citizens buying through the one real estate company he obtained date from ( let’s assume it exists as he won’t name it).”

          No, and he’s not claiming he has proof.

          He’s simply saying the 40% vs 9% proportions of buyers vs permanent residents needs to be explained.

          The most likely explanation is off-shore investors are making up the numbers. This fits with the average house-buying Aucklander’s perception that open homes and auctions are full of Chinese buyers, especially with auction bids “by phone”.

          • Realblue 3.1.1.1.1

            “He’s not claiming he has proof”. Bullshit that’s exactly what he’s claiming but won’t back it up with evidence. The reason he used this data was to prove what Labour are claiming. FFS why else would he wank on about it. Jesus wept, you’re dim.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1.1

              “…and I believe on the strength of these numbers, that off-shore, Chinese investors, are a very significant part of what’s going on.” @ 1:57, Phil Twyford, The Nation

              “we believe that it’s about 95% accurate, and it certainly points to a very strong conclusion.” 2:46

              “but if this data shows, and I believe it strongly suggests, that off-shore Chinese investors have a major presence, possibly as high as 30% of the houses sold by this real estate firm over a 3 month period, then that is very significant” 4:05

              Phil is *not* claiming this is proof, he is clearly saying that the reasonable inference to draw from this data is that they are off-shore.

            • Frank Macskasy 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Realblue – so, you have actual data you can provide to us? After all, if you want to win this debate, just… “Give us the facts, ma’m/sir”.

              That’s all.

              Give us the facts.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.2

          @realblue

          Go demand your ‘proof’ from the Tory govt you support.

        • red-blooded 3.1.1.3

          “Profiling by last name to apportion blame on a perceived economic problem has been done before. But they lost WW2.”

          Truly? You’re making Nazi references?… So, presumably asking for a register of foreign owners and/or restricting sales of properties to offshore buyers is somehow synonymous with The Final Solution. You’ve convinced me! Why didn’t I see it before?

        • Thom Pietersen 3.1.1.4

          Perceived? I would argue apparent. You know an interesting thing that came up in pre-election surveys is how many people had Labour/Green NZ First cross-over leanings. A lot of Nazis in NZ then, we should start making cars, economic problem solved.

          Mind you, the average Kiwi does look like a complete dumbarse when viewed from below the sand where my head is.

  4. adam 4

    I wonder how many times today I’m going to here the variation of the theme ………….”I’m not racist, but…”

    Seriously folks, Twyford screwed the pooch on this one. Any number of ways he could have presented this, and he went for the race card. He did not have to, he chose to.

    One way or another you can get over your racism, and work with working people for a better society. Or you can hide behind your white angst, at being called on your racism.

    The topic is housing, getting people into houses which are not over crowded, warm, safe, and liveable.

    The reality is, the market can not provide solutions. Never could and never will, when there is a buck on the line.

    So offer solutions rather than play the blame bloody game – I’m sick of the blame bloody game.

    The Tory scum, made this mess – use your brain to get us out!

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.1

      The reality is, the market can not provide solutions. Never could and never will, when there is a buck on the line.

      Yep, and I will add that as long as we allow tens of thousands of people to keep flooding into Auckland yearly, and allow hot money to keep pushing into Auckland, Auckland house prices will keep climbing.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Having just watched the clip, yes, I agree that Twyford definitely slanted this towards the buyers being Chinese far more than was warranted, and he should have couched it in more general terms of foreign buyers, and he had plenty of opportunities to do so. It did come across as a racist dog-whistle.

      So I agree on that.

      Hopefully however, Labour’s messaging over the next week will pivot towards the core of the issue, and acknowledge the limitations of the data they have available.

      It’s quite possible, for example, for a further 20% of houses are being sold to off-shore Australians. But the methodology that was used (because the only data they have to go on is surnames) simply cannot distinguish that as a signal amongst the data set. The methodology can clearly highlight the ~40% Chinese buyers, and so the argument on foreign ownership necessarily has to mention that they are Chinese, because if it doesn’t then there’s no basis for a discussion:
      Person 1: “It seems that one nationality has bought up many more houses in Auckland that would be expected based on their proportion of residents, according to the census”
      Person 2: “Oh yeah? What nationality is that?”
      Person 1: “Can’t say, it’s a secret.”
      Person 2: “So you don’t really have any evidence, at all, then?”
      Person 1: “If I said the nationality, everyone would accuse me of being racist.”

      • The idea that “we had to throw Chinese people under the bus or we couldn’t say anything at all” is a diversion. Lamia Imam (make assumptions about her surname at your own peril) has a few other suggestions:
        http://cornerpolitics.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/these-arent-xenophobes-you-are-looking.html

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1

          Both 1 and 2 are far weaker than the approach that was taken.

          #1 is easily rebutted with “so you have secret information that you’re not publishing; why exactly are we giving you special air time on The Nation, again?”.

          #2 is actually racist, by focussing on Māori and Pasifika names and proposing the government do something to specifically help those groups. By implication this is saying that NZers of other ethnicities, regardless of their financial circumstances, don’t deserve help. Tariana Turia tried to get Whanau Ora restricted to Maori only; this was scotched outright by National has being racist and unacceptable. A lot of feeling of racism amongst lower-class white NZers is that they see themselves as poor and hard-done by, but see brown-skinned people getting special treatment. #2 is just more of the same of this failed approach.

          They’ve already been doing 3 for years – since before the last election. Phil did number 4 already when he presented Labour’s policy on The Nation.

          • marty mars 4.2.1.1.1

            “#2 We are concerned about the lack of representation of Māori and Pasifika names on the list which suggests to us that any policy needs to include ways we can increase Māori and Pasifika home ownership given housing poverty among these groups are the highest in the nation. The government has continuously failed address this problem.”

            That isn’t racist – it is a counter to racism.

            But using surnames as a proxy is not something I’d agree with or the results give credence to.

    • Chooky 4.3

      @ adam …re “Twyford screwed the pooch”… somewhat distasteful

      ….and you are one who morally defends the Catholic Church?

  5. whateva next? 5

    Gawd, it’s like a Jeremy Kyle show, all this drama and squawking.

    There is a SERIOUS absence of data and planning around Auckland Housing.
    Very rich are the only ones to benefit, and getting richer by the day, and the damage to heart and soul of Auckland is irreversible.

    Labour have made AN ATTEMPT to raise concerns about foreign ownership, and as usual, huge distraction from the right (and even some on the left joining in).

    Keep it real New Zealand, it’s not a reality TV show, where commentators/journo’s are voted on or off the show by how many “likes” you get.

    • Weepus beard 5.1

      Agreed. It’s distressing to see some on the left being as ignorant and dismissive of Phil Twyford’s message as they are. It’s like Phil Quin and Josie Pagani have procreated little Labour critics all over the place.

      It’s great to see this finally being discussed in earnest and it just goes to show that New Zealand is so, so dumb that Phil Twyford had to present it in the way he did for anyone to sit up and take notice.

      The government won’t take notice; their whole economic policy depends upon Chinese capital, but nor will they wade into Twyford on this as they know the best way forward for them is to hope the conversation goes away once again. It’s not election time and to attack Labour on this will only draw more attention to the lack of data which is what Nazional is trying to hide in the first place.

      Be brave, and keep it up, Phil Twyford!

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    There is a complaint about why Labour made this about Chinese. The problem lies with the Chinese Banking System and the threat it poses to our economic stability and to the aspirations of our young and poor.

    When Lehman Bros and AIG detonated the GFC, there weren’t any subsequent calls to isolate NZ from the western banking system.

    NZ fully opened itself up to foreign capital flows in the 80’s and 90’s. Successive Labour and National governments promoted freedom for international capital and hot money to move in and out of this country, stuff our exchange rate, etc. A problem which we have known about for many many years.

    Is Labour seriously proposing clamp downs on international capital flows (also known as capital controls)? Personally, I don’t believe it.

    If Labour wants to make Auckland housing affordable, by international standards of affordability Auckland housing has to be priced within 4 or 5 multiples of the typical Auckland income. And that’s not happening, is it.

  7. Bill 7

    The problem isn’t China, or Chinese people, or China’s banking system; or ( a ludicrous suggestion) that Chinese people might be looking to flee China – the problem is that buying up properties as investments which can then be rented out or sold on, is profitable.

    So. Limit allowable rent (link it to GV in a way that a rent can never pay a mortgage). Remove housing supplements.
    Introduce solid tenancy/ squatter rights.

    Then Chinese or Kiwi or German people can be welcome to buy all the properties they want.

  8. There’s a problem with foreign investment. Some of that problem comes from China. It’s an important discussion to have and we need to find ways to press the government to take action.

    Here’s the problem: we’re never going to, now. Because from every time we raise the issue the Nats will cry “you just hate people with the surname Lee”. And the only people to blame for that are the ones who went to the NZ Herald – a paper notorious for beating up race issues – and told them “look, our data shows foreign Chinese people are buying all the houses!!!!”

    Labour was doing really good work highlighting the Auckland housing crisis, the lack of a government plan, Nick Smith’s woeful incompetence, the dangers of speculation, and now it’s trash. Because either someone really just wanted to blow the dogwhistle, or someone took a blow to the head and forgot how this issue plays out every single time it’s canvassed.

    I’m sorry, micky, but the horse has bolted. Trying to salvage Labour’s credibility with long-winded explanations about how “this isn’t really about judging people based on their surnames” is a fool’s errand.

    • Brendon Harre 8.1

      Sorry that is bullshit Stephanie. Labour needs to harden up, not apologise when the truth hurts some peoples feelings.

      Better a few people get hurt feelings and we make progress on the social/economic devastation of the housing crisis. Than being all prim and proper and not being able to discuss or do anything to fix our society for all.

      • But it’s not “the truth”. The methodology, assumptions and conclusions have been thoroughly criticised by people far more expert than me at statistics.
        http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/my-last-name-sounds-chinese/
        http://www.statschat.org.nz/2015/07/11/whats-in-a-name/

        Making this about “hurt feelings” is another diversion. The point is even if not a single person were harmed by this assertion, it would still be wrong for Labour to make racial assumptions about property investors for the sake of a few panic-sowing headlines.

        • marty mars 8.1.1.1

          + 1 Agree entirely

        • Brendon Harre 8.1.1.2

          Stephanie what Phil Twyford presented is called evidence. And here is respected statistician Rob Salmond discussing his workings to produce this evidence.

          http://www.interest.co.nz/property/76477/rob-salmond-did-quantitative-analysis-phil-twyford-and-labour-ethnicity-auckland

          When this evidence is added to the international context and what we see on the ground then I think the evidence is compelling and we get close to “truth”, being there is significant number of foreign buyers in the Auckland property market who are contributing to the housing crisis -many of whom are from China. This is the same judgement of the “truth” that Canada, Singapore and Australia have made -all of whom have tightened rules on foreign purchasers of property in recent years.

          Of course if we had a government who cared about housing affordability we would have had irrefutable data years ago as the following link makes clear. We would not have needed to use the Salmond /Twyford name based methodology. http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/76476/david-hargreaves-says-government-has-run-out-excuses-not-collecting-detailed

          Stephanie I note you only reply to your favoured theme of racism -dog whistle politics. You do not discuss posts about the housing crisis. Do you care about the housing crisis? Do you think it is important? Have you made a judgement that Phil Twyford and any who support him do not really care about housing affordability? That they are using the issue to abuse a minority group and gain from the majorities approval?

          I believe most kiwis, including Phil Twyford are genuinely concerned about housing affordability and that is what motivates this debate.

          Do you have a more cynical view?

          • keyman 8.1.1.2.1

            Phil Twyford shouldn’t worry one little bit about the PC brigade we all know its the bloody truth bleeding over sensitive intellectuals be damned labour needs more of this ordinary people don’t give flying hoot about the PC band wagon they want a roof over there heads

          • Stephanie Rodgers 8.1.1.2.2

            Stephanie what Phil Twyford presented is called evidence.

            Yes, I’ve read Rob Salmond’s posts. Did you bother to read the ones I linked to which criticised that “evidence”?

            I have to ask because you apparently didn’t read the very first paragraph of my comment which you replied to, in which I did, indeed, acknowledge the housing crisis.

            • Brendon Harre 8.1.1.2.2.1

              Stephanie maybe Labour could have waited until a better way to gather the data was found, but the Natzi’s were always going to make that difficult. I think Phil Twyford had to play the cards he was dealt with, not the cards he wished he had.

              I think Phil Twyford has made a compelling case to support his call to ban foreign investment in the residential housing market and I disagree strongly that the way he has gone about it has spoilt his message.

              You of course are free to disagree. We all come to democracy from different angles and we are probably the better if we respect that…..

        • Stuart Munro 8.1.1.3

          Except that Labour weren’t just looking for a few headlines, but looking at an actual problem ie what we pay them for.

          There is good reason to believe that the name data contains some valid information – however much you might prefer that it did not.

          The Gnats are scum and do not give a monkey’s about racism, sexism, graft, fraud, necrophilia or nerdlingering – but you’ll buy their faux outrage.
          Fine – just don’t try to sell it to us.

        • Thom Pietersen 8.1.1.4

          And countered on the same website Stephanie,

          It’s not about ‘hurt feelings’ it about the possible truth. Cloud it with racism if you like, but that gives you a retarded investigative approach.

          A single person? Really… the world just does not work like this, and never will. Sh*t this winds me up. Death of the left.

      • It’s easy for this government and it’s misguided supporters to undermine the debate. Just throw a few allegations of “racism” around, and that (National hopes) will close down the debate.

        Though that didn’t stop Don Brash with his now infamous Orewa speech in January 2004.

        Of course the Nats are spitting tacks on this matter. They don’t like one of their core knee-jerk strategies being hijacked by it’s opponants.

    • mickysavage 8.2

      I think we can agree Steph that if there is the faintest chance in the future that something Labour does can be interpreted as dog whistling they should not do it …

      • whateva next? 8.2.1

        oh c’mon, David Cunliffe went skiing for 3 days in NZ, whilst Key was in Hawaii for 10 days, and look at the drama then, so don’t tell Labour to keep their head down, that’s exactly what National want

      • There wasn’t a faint chance, micky. This *is* dogwhistling. It’s silly to pretend this backlash wasn’t a completely predictable consequence of using racial assumptions about people’s surnames to stir up xenophobic panic.

        • mickysavage 8.2.2.1

          Reread what I wrote. I am not arguing that this particular instance involved only the faintest of chances that dog whistling was involved.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 8.2.2.1.1

            Then I don’t really know what the point of your comment was, micky. You’re defending this issue – in which it was 100% guaranteed Labour would be accused of racist dogwhistling – then saying dogwhistling should be avoided.

    • Weepus beard 8.3

      Rubbish, Stephanie. Phil Twyford might have been working hard on this issue but it’s wrong to say he was making much headway outside of Parliament.

      It’s the softly, softly approach you advocate which has lead the left precisely nowhere.

      The issue simply must be brought into the open, kicking and screaming if necessary.

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.1

        Yeah, even at the cost of targetting some groups of NZers as collateral damage. Thanks buddy.

        • Weepus beard 8.3.1.1

          It’s quite clear that Twyford’s story concerned speculatory behaviour from overseas, something which you deliberately minimise in favour of the dumbed down line proffered by those not affected by the problem and those that would be affected if the problem were addressed.
          Thanks buddy.

          • Colonial Viper 8.3.1.1.1

            As a Chinese NZer, I’d just like to say, fuck you. I’ve never minimised the negative impact of “speculative behaviour” in the NZ property market whether it is from overseas or local speculators.

            • Weepus beard 8.3.1.1.1.1

              Settle, petal.

              There’s been a lot of throwing out the baby with the bathwater on the topic of the Twyford story. You and others have mistakenly become obsessed with the delivery, rather than the intent.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

                And are helping National to another term because of that mistake.

                • bullshit – it is the mistake of those who cannot see what a gift the gnats have been given, deliberately. If both the bathwater and the person being bathed was thrown out (and I find that analogy distasteful personally) look to Phil for the reason why, cos he did it.

                  • Weepus beard

                    What do you find distasteful? The analogy, or the expression itself? It’s an old and well used expression in English in case you didn’t know and it is perfectly descriptive of the way certain punters are crying racism while ignoring a very real problem for this country.

                    • sorry – I have felt emotionally affected by the recent deaths of small children at the hands of their caregivers and somehow this analogy connected with that. Yes it is a well used analogy and yes you (and me as well) can use it whenever we want. Not trying to stop you.

              • Colonial Viper

                “You and others have mistakenly become obsessed with the delivery, rather than the intent.”

                I wonder why that would be? Maybe its because Labour has gone and painted a big fat target on my forehead, and the foreheads of a lot of people that I care about, due to their badly judged dog whistling “delivery.”

                • Weepus beard

                  Cry me a river, mate.

                  Twyford has done a courageous thing for the benefit of all low-income and young New Zealanders but you want to make it all about you and your friends.

                  Nice.

                  • Chooky

                    +100 Weepus beard

                  • Psst: even Asian people can be “low-income and young New Zealanders”. That’s why it’s a serious problem to imply all Asian people are evil foreign property speculators, and if you think that’s not what Labour did here, I have a swamp kauri tabletop to sell you.

                    • Weepus beard

                      Way to wilfully miss the point for the 100th time, Stephanie.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Weepus beard you clearly have no idea what is driving up Auckland house prices and what it will take to make houses there affordable for median workers again, but you enjoy your empty posturing and backing of dumb counter productive politics.

                    • Brendon Harre

                      Stephanie what is your problem? The issue is and has been from the start with Phil and Rob’s announcement been about foreign investors making our property boom worse -not kiwis of whatever discription trying to get on with their day to day lives of -home, work, family, whatever ….

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Calling a tactic of anti-Chinese racism “a courageous thing.” LOL

                    Sorry mate, but as vile as this tactic is, its not going to do a fucking thing to bring Auckland houses back to 3x or 4x household income.

                    • Thom Pietersen

                      Why the fuck not? Let us find out the facts – if we’re being driven locally by foreign speculators, whats the harm in reasonable internationally accepted restraints?

                      What is there to lose unless you over egged the basket? If so bl**dy tough, houses are like the stock market now a la Havard – free up that personal capital.

                      Nobody cried for me ’cause I bought a car with a bad gearbox.

                    • RedLogix

                      @CV

                      And this is exactly how the left excludes itself from almost any sensible debate on global affairs. The moment we attempt to address any issue which involves unconstrained, unregulated global power hurting the sovereign and legitimate interests of a nation or peoples – we start throwing the ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobe’ label at each other.

                      And shut the debate down.

                      I appreciate you have, literally, some skin in this game. I get where you are coming from. But equally you have been vocal about many issues around the American empire wielding its power in ugly, stupid and damaging ways. Many, many examples from the TPPA onwards. Do you feel that all these things you have said about the USA makes you ‘xenophobic’?

                      Ask yourself; where does the real locus of power reside in this matter? With ordinary New Zealanders, or with a very narrow segment of already wealthy people speculating at our expense?

                    • mickysavage

                      Spot on RL. This is class verses possibly racial discrimination.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL the main point i am making is that Labour had a hundred ways to use this data to force a real discussion on foreign money buying Kiwi land and Labour (assuming Twyford got approval to do what he did from Andrew Little’s office) decided on the cheapest one.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      MS if Labour was making a point about class versus race then Twyford would also have been pointing out many wealthy resident investors buying up portfolios of 20, 50, 100 Auckland houses. He didn’t.

                      edit – I’ll add that NZ Labour clearly doesn’t understand the history of race tensions around anti-Chinese sentiment around South East Asia and the Pacific. How every decade or so race riots in Fiji mean that Chinese store owners have their businesses burnt down etc.

                    • RedLogix

                      @CV

                      Yup – you have said this quite a few times already, although you remain vague on suggesting any alternatives. Because I think you know that no matter how you sugar coat it; the facts remain.

                      But any chance on addressing the questions I did ask?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      CV – Can you suggest how else the buyer info could have been used to highlight the influence of foreign money?
                      Because it seems to me the info is what it is, and they either had to run with it, or refuse to touch it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL:

                      you asked the following –

                      Do you feel that all these things you have said about the USA makes you ‘xenophobic’?

                      The things I have said point to an elite class in the USA, the 0.1% or 0.01% who are making life miserable for ordinary Americans as well. So no, I don’t think my comments are “xenophobic.” Further, this wasn’t merely Winston acting to form making these claims on TV. This was the NZ Labour Party.

                      Ask yourself; where does the real locus of power reside in this matter? With ordinary New Zealanders, or with a very narrow segment of already wealthy people speculating at our expense?

                      The latter of course. Of which Labour decided to pick out Chinese people.

                      Like I said, I am waiting for Labour this week to broaden this case for stopping hot money from overseas flowing into NZ and to stop local speculators cornering housing stock and driving up prices.

                      It doesn’t help that Labour did not spend any time or effort in the last month leading up to Twyfords little episode on TV building up a full context for his revelations. Its political amateur hour.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ER – you build a political case over a month or two months where Twyford’s revelations fit into the picture of a problem caused by big money flowing into the Auckland property market, where both local and foreign speculators are playing a strong role to jack up prices, and what Labour’s policies around sorting this out are.

                      Then when Twyford announces his data it makes sense, especially when he further underlines that the problem is hot cheap money from overseas from all sources, and that there is also a problem with local speculators accessing cheap easy credit to leverage up and get in to build massive portfolios, using interest only mortgages etc.

                      In other words, build a full case up and contextualise it over some time.

                      Or, just go for the cheap easy shot and point at Chinese names on a list.

                    • So, dogwhistle over a few months, then make the big reveal?

                    • RedLogix

                      The things I have said point to an elite class in the USA, the 0.1% or 0.01% who are making life miserable for ordinary Americans as well.

                      And how does this relate to Chinese ‘hot money’?

                      Given that the average workers annual wage in China is about U$4700 – I’m guessing that the kind of person who can invest a million dollars in foreign real-estate is not your typical Chinese ‘mum and dad’ either.

                      http://qz.com/170363/the-average-chinese-private-sector-worker-earns-about-the-same-as-a-cleaner-in-thailand/

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TRP – I’m waiting this week to see if Twyford’s revelations are part of a plan by Labour to broaden the issue beyond a crisis being caused by Chinese to what the real issue is – hot foreign money flows fukcing with our economy and our property market. And of course, what Labour plans to do about it.

                      Or will we see that Labour has no such comprehensive plan and that pointing fingers at Chinese people (or their Chinese business agents) is as far as it goes.

                    • We already know that Labour have a plan. It’s Labour party policy to limit offshore speculation in housing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And how does this relate to Chinese ‘hot money’?

                      And that’s the issue right there – the problem is ‘hot money’ bubbling up NZ asset prices and taking over NZ land. Not ‘Chinese hot money.’

                      Chinese rich seek shelter from stockmarket storm

                      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/12/chinas-rich-seek-shelter-from-stock-market-storm-in-foreign-property

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      you build a political case over a month or two months where Twyford’s revelations fit into the picture of a problem caused by big money flowing into the Auckland property market, where both local and foreign speculators are playing a strong role to jack up prices, and what Labour’s policies around sorting this out are.

                      They’ve been doing that for some time now. Now they have some limited information to show that they’re correct.

                      And that’s the issue right there – the problem is ‘hot money’ bubbling up NZ asset prices and taking over NZ land. Not ‘Chinese hot money.’

                      But they’ve only got the information that confirms Chinese hot money. Should they continue to hide that information because you think it’s racist?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      DTB

                      sorry mate, you’ll have to point out to me where I said that Twyford should have hidden that name information – pretty sure I have said throughout that it should have been used, just not ineptly

                      Also Labour should have played the game smarter and had a Chinese member of the caucus release the name info, and to help deflect claims of racism

                      whoops there isn’t one.

                    • Huh? Are you saying NZ voters are racist?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      CV – Seriously? You don’t think there’s not a political case now for highlighting factors inflating the housing bubble?
                      Isn’t the housing crisis in the news every single day in some form?
                      Doesn’t Twyford appear regularly in the media over this issue?
                      This data was always going to be shaky and prone to claims of racism, no matter how well the build up was handled (and it’s quite unrealistic to suggest Labour could manage the media coverage building up to your big reveal).

            • keyman 8.3.1.1.1.2

              softly softly never works was Hitler and the Nazis defeated by softly softly NO! no!

    • Karen 8.4

      + 1 Stephanie
      Phil Twyford has made a balls up of this. There were much better ways to use this information .

      • Ergo Robertina 8.4.1

        ”There were much better ways to use this information ”

        Do you mean putting it out via a third party and not being connected with it?

        • Karen 8.4.1.1

          No, I don’t think Labour should be releasing data like this and pretending it wasn’t them that did it. That is dishonest.

          I quite like this post about alternatives to the way it could have been done.
          http://cornerpolitics.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/these-arent-xenophobes-you-are-looking.html

          Where I would disagree is that I strongly believe that only residents of NZ should be buying residential or agricultural land, and I think Labour need to come out and say this clearly. However, they also need to say this isn’t the only, or even the major, problem making housing unaffordable in Auckland.

          My concern with what Labour has done here is that ethnically Chinese people are going to become scapegoats for the fact Auckland house prices are out of control, and this will mean New Zealanders who look like they are of Chinese descent are going to be the subject of even more racism than they already have to put up with.

          • RedLogix 8.4.1.1.1

            Short memory there Karen. Over the years the left has expressed concern about overseas speculators and non-residents buying up chunks of this country – for little to no positive benefit to the nation as a whole.

            It has surfaced at various points when the purchase of large pieces of farmland, high-country stations, businesses and real-estate has become public. From all sorts of countries.

            For a very recent example – Bill English’s proposed sale of State housing to an Australian charity provider provoked considerable response from the left.

            And on each occasion we predictably see unthinking labels of racist or xenophobe thrown at us in order to shut the debate down. (Although I admit they struggled when it came to Australia.)

            • Colonial Viper 8.4.1.1.1.1

              Well, I am guessing that Twyford was allowed to go on to TV and state the case in the way he did because Labour’s internal polling said that it would be a popular sentiment to use.

              Do you actually think that Labour has enhanced the debate around hot foreign money buying up NZ land and what to do about it, using this approach? It has made a media splash yes – but has joe public’s understanding of the issue and what Labour is going to do about it been enhanced?

              • RedLogix

                Joe Public also has no time for egg-headed leftie intellectuals who refuse to stand up for his/her interests because it might be seen a ‘xenophobic’.

                • Stuart Munro

                  +100

                • Colonial Viper

                  RL – let’s see if Labour’s red meat appeal to Waitakere Man and Woman helps it over the next few polls. Because that is what this is. From your comment you reckon it will? I am much less certain.

            • Karen 8.4.1.1.1.2

              RL – Labour have not come out as strongly as I would like about agricultural land; they have indicated it shouldn’t be sold to an overseas buyer unless it is to the benefit of NZ. I don’t believe selling agricultural (or any other land) to overseas interests is ever in NZ’s interest.

              There is also a problem with Labour’s policy of allowing overseas purchase of new builds as there is no incentive to actually rent the property out. I’d like to see a tax on anybody who leaves a property empty.

              I am not worried about the cries of Xenophobia when ALL overseas purchases are included. My problem is with the idea that if you have a Chinese name you probably live overseas, and the implication that Chinese people are making housing unaffordable in NZ. Very hard to defend that as anything other than racist IMO, and I have yet to read any credible defence of this charge.

              • RedLogix

                Simple to defend.

                Facts are not racist.

                1. Twyford’s survey while not academically robust, is strongly suggestive and should at the very least provoke the govt into releasing some proper data. It is also consistent with the experience of many Aucklanders.

                2. It is also consistent with experience in Canada, Australia, the UK and other nations.

                3. Due to the sheer scale of China (the top 1% of China’s population exceeds the entire population of NZ by a factor of about 3) what up until recently was a concern, is now escalated into a major issue.

                4. If the issue had been dealt with years ago and the door closed on this kind of speculation – we would not be talking about it. But door remains wide open and it is impossible to talk about the issue without acknowledging that it is Chinese wealth walking through it.

                5. And with this wealth comes power. And this power is being wielded to the considerable detriment of ordinary kiwis. The other name for this is economic colonisation, and in that analysis the onus always lies with the more powerful party to be responsible for and accountable for how they use that power.

                • Paul

                  Yes the ACT Party realises this power.

                • Karen

                  RL – I agree with your points 2, 3, and 4.
                  I have an issue with 1 because when you are dealing with an issue like this you do need your figures to be irrefutable. This research is somewhat better than it appeared to be in the Herald, but most people will not read Salmond’s justification for the figures he used.

                  The message out there is that Labour think if you have a Chinese name you are probably an overseas buyer and are the reason that New Zealanders can’t buy a house. As a result, it becomes very easy for the Nacts to divert the argument.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Facts are not racist.

                  Blacks score lower than Whites in intelligence tests.

                  That’s a fact. It’s also easily racist when used carelessly in many different contexts.

                  RL, I think that local impacts from the rise of China (and the relative decline of the USA) needs to be carefully, thoughtfully and actively managed by NZ. And some decisive actions need to be taken re: how the NZ economy relates to the rest of the world.

                  If this weekend demonstrates the best that Labour can do to advance that discussion, I am less than optimistic.

                  • RedLogix

                    Well if you want to use that fact to figure out why Blacks score lower, or what might be done to close the gap with Whites … then what possible objection can there be to the fact of the scores being different?

                    Or would you make more progress by pretending that the difference in scores did not exist and should not be talked about?

                    In this case Labour is looking to stand up for the interests of ordinary New Zealanders here … so exactly what objection do you have?

                    But otherwise I am more optmistic that the conversation is converging on some common understanding

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In this case Labour is looking to stand up for the interests of ordinary New Zealanders here … so exactly what objection do you have?

                      And this is really the best approach that they could have come up with? I mean in terms of execution, do Twyford and Little really receive a pass mark on this? And how “ordinary” are these Auckland first home seeking New Zealanders that Labour is standing up for, anyway?

                      Seems to me that Labour is standing up for the professional kids of the comfortable middle class frustrated at being outbid by the Chinese on $600K to $900K Auckland homes.

                      A two worker household on $35K each is not going to be able to afford anything like that. Maybe if they were both on $70K they might.

                • Thom Pietersen

                  1, It *is* academically robust and declared – be careful not to fall into the divine creator bullshit.

          • Ergo Robertina 8.4.1.1.2

            Twyford either had to run with the buyers’ info and what he thinks it shows, or not go near it.
            By choosing to highlight the existence of this buyers’ list, he had to be upfront about why it’s relevant to the housing crisis.
            That’s not just because of how the media works – needing a clear angle – but more importantly for ethical reasons.
            Just saying ‘we have a list of buyers’ names which highlights issues in the Auckland housing crisis’ without being upfront would actually be a dog-whistle.
            Be vague and you end up in a passive aggressive half-house, like this, from the blog you linked:
            ”We have been given a list of Auckland home buyers from a specific realtor and we are deeply concerned at the suggestion that somehow Chinese people are to blame for the current housing crisis.”

            • Karen 8.4.1.1.2.1

              ”We have been given a list of Auckland home buyers from a specific realtor and we are deeply concerned at the suggestion that somehow Chinese people are to blame for the current housing crisis.”

              I agree this suggestion wasn’t the best. However, I’d rather Twyford just kept on pointing out that there is nothing stopping non-residents buying properties and that unless the government began a foreign ownership register the actual figure were unknown.

              I’d then like him to say that there was a widespread feeling in Auckland that investors from China were responsible for a lot of the housing purchases, and if the government did not show evidence that this is untrue then there was likely to be as increase in racism against anyone of Asian descent.

              For the record, I don’t think Phil Twyford is racist, but I am hugely disappointed that he used this ‘research’ in this way.

              • Colonial Viper

                And considering how big this media reveal was, I presume that Andrew Little’s office OK’d the line he used.

              • Thom Pietersen

                Karen, lowest common denominator gets into the media, otherwise it is just people blowing the froth of their coffees in angry debates.

          • Thom Pietersen 8.4.1.1.3

            But it is the major reason Karen. Should we just just dumbarse this down to keep everyone unoffended?

            Fodder for the right – for one, my hearts bled out.

  9. Brendon Harre 9

    I think this article with the international evidence and Labour’s evidence that there are more people with chinese names buying property than their resident population warrants even in comparison to similar young immigrant communities -such as the Indian community is proof that a flood of money is hitting an unprotected Auckland.

    The question is not whether the person who points this out is a racist or not. He is the person pointing out what we all know is true but are haven’t been able to say -“The Emperor has no clothes”.

    The question is what is the Natz government going to do about it?

    Continue their Emperor in denial policy of doing too little too late. There are many contributors to the housing crisis and foreign buying is one important factor. All the Natz’s are planning to do is wait for October to collect foreign property purchase data that can easily be circumvented. Meanwhile they are saying ‘crisis what crisis -aren’t my clothes lovely’.

    Or do something that will actually work -like outlawing foreign purchasers of property like Canada did and Phil Twyford is calling for, or a hefty stamp duty for foreign buyers -20% like Singapore does.

    • Tracey 9.1

      like MANY countries do. I posted about this and an analysis of our fellow Western nation as foreign ownership practices/taxes.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      The question is what is the Natz government going to do about it?

      Nothing even if they pass legislation that apparently addresses it it will be legislation that actually doesn’t.

  10. Tracey 10

    ” if the Government was measuring important data such as non residential purchases of houses and inflow of capital and what it is being used for…”

    Nick says the information he sees indicates that foreign investment is not a “major factor” in Auckland’s Housing problems.. that suggests they must be measuring something? Or is he lying?

    • Macro 10.1

      I have it on very good authority – from someone who knows and was an MP for a number of years – that the person to whom you refer is an even worse teller of the truth than some other very senior politician whose name rhymes with donkey.

  11. Visubversaviper 11

    All I know is that where I work in Auckland if people with those sort of names were not doing small scale subdivisions and/or building enormous houses, I – and a whole bunch of my fellow workers would not have a job.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Jobs are a poor excuse for selling out the country. We’d be better off paying you minimum wage to do nothing.

    • Thom Pietersen 11.2

      I work in construction, and I couldn’t give a fuck about a name. This is about being pushed to the lowest common denominator, plenty of people willing to do the work in a reasonable local fee structure – unless undercut. Watch out or we’ll have what’s happening in Papua New Guinea, whole foreign prison labour gangs being brought over. And don’t think we’re so 1st world – this is the slippery slope. They were keen for it in Christchurch – pushing for the Irish, remember?

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    The data argument is a sidetrack really.

    It is perfectly proper to regulate speculative inflow whether it is occurring at problematic levels or not – to prevent it causing problems.

    For my part I want to see foreign speculation prevented, and domestic speculation constrained to a small handful of properties. House + batch + 1 seems generous to me, people owning more are clearly volunteering to contribute a great deal more to Les Brown’s transport plans.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    Where there is HEAT – there often is LIGHT?

    If this debate results in more accurate data being compiled on this Auckland ‘housing crisis’ – particularly the extent to which it is being used for speculative capital gain and money-laundering by foreign investors, then, in my view, that will have been a good thing – not a bad thing.

    How can you have genuine transparency and accountability – without proper written records?

    In my view – that’s the issue.

    Isn’t it now more politically ‘common sense’ to FOCUS on this – rather than on who and how this issue has been raised and ‘headlined’?

    Penny Bright

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      How can you have genuine transparency and accountability – without proper written records?

      QFT

  14. Tautoko Mangō Mata 14

    At least Phil Twyford grasped the nettle of foreign ownership of land.
    National deny there is a problem and will not collect data, knowing it will prove them wrong. Of course, National is lining up our state houses (and land) for Australians.

  15. Thom Pietersen 15

    Why is this racist? It was an attempt to gauge the level of potential foreign national ownership on limited information available. You only have to go to auctions to get a feel, but we’re being put in an ’emperors clothes’ situation for fear of upsetting people. However, his seems not to apply when we generalise about, for example, Maori and Pasifika people over smoking, gambling, etc. and the potential burden to the state.

    It’s not wrong to say certain rights in the land belong to Citizens – in fact land ownership is stated in the preamble when immigrants take the oath.

    We will slowly lose our independence in this current global free-for-all. It’s time to be pragmatic about our future.

  16. Penny Bright 16

    To be fair to Phil Twyford – here’s what he said in the Metro ‘Running on Empty’ article, 16 April 2015:

    “…Labour’s housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, describes Auckland’s real estate market as “speculation on steroids” and says the number of unoccupied houses is part of the rot.

    “Take out the holiday homes and my suspicion is that a very significant proportion of those 22,000 empty houses are owned by speculators farming capital gains who are going to sell and make a killing down the track. They’re not interested in rental income or mucking around with being a landlord and all that entails,” he says.

    “What’s frustrating is that the government refuses to even collect the data on this. Particularly in Auckland, people resent being told they’re racist and xenophobic, because they know from their own experience and their family’s and their neighbours’ experience what’s going on. And it makes them wild to see their kids really struggling to get a first home because a speculator is bidding up the prices.”

    Keith Rankin agrees we need more than anecdotes to find out the real story behind Auckland’s empty houses and who owns them. “To a large extent we’re in an information vacuum,” he says. “The answers may be quite complex. But not enough people are asking the right questions.”

    How about we now put our minds to the information that we need to gather, in order to get the required FACTS on the extent to which the Auckland ‘housing crisis’ is being used for speculative capital gain, and money-laundering?

    Including to what extent are the 22,000 EMPTY private sector houses (2013 Census) a result of speculative capital gain, and the Auckland real estate market being used for money-laundering?

    While families are crammed in caravans and garages, and the homeless are living in cars, or sleeping on cardboard in Queen Street, in this freezing winter?

    Penny Bright

  17. Liam 17

    With any luck those who feel stung by accusations of dog whistle politics will gain the empathy to show more circumspection when it comes to accusing their opponents of the same thing.

  18. Tanz 18

    What kind of a govt sells out its own people? It’s totally traitourous of National, and they don’t seem to care one bit. Didn’t this mess all start with Labour’s FTA agreement with China though? Before that, house prices were reasonable and Chinese did not spec buy our housing stock. Seems to me this was the catalyst moment, but National have allowed it to grow into a huge problem, and one they don’t even acknowledge.
    Tenants in our own land? Yep, for our kids especially!

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    One other point which makes me laugh – for the average Auckland family an “affordable” house would be one which is certainly less than $500K. And probably less than $400K.

    Getting rid of overseas buyers may slow down the rate of house price increases, but it will do precisely zero to make Auckland houses affordable.

    • les 19.1

      ‘Getting rid of overseas buyers may slow down the rate of house price increases, but it will do precisely zero to make Auckland houses affordable.’…b/s …where is your crystal ball from…China I guess..from the $2 shop.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        right, a smart arse eh. Whats your definition of an “affordable” house? then explain how you see house prices in AKL dropping to affordable levels simply by stopping foreign investors

        • les 19.1.1.1

          well Auck house prices used to be 3x ave wages and are now 9x.Seeing as foreign investors account for over 50% of buyers in the Auck mkt,preventing them from buyinbg existing housing stock would quite clearly impact on affordability.

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1

            well Auck house prices used to be 3x ave wages and are now 9x

            3x, even 4x median household income would be considered “affordable” housing I agree.

            But stopping foreign buyers – which needs to be done – is not going to cut Auckland house prices back from 9x to 3x or 4x. That’s what I meant.

            • Brendon Harre 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Agreed Colonial V Labour needs a whole package of reforms to go with banning foreign buyers from the residential property market.

              Tax reform -LVT or CGT, Kiwibuild, local government/planning, infrastructure provision reform -particulary regarding public transport for high population growth areas, reforms to improve competition and productivity in the construction/materials industry…… A whole package of demand and supply reforms -not just focusing on one measure -foreign buyers.

              Labour cannot repeat National’s cynical approach to the housing crisis of being dragged kicking and screaming to implement small ineffective incremental change that is always ‘too little too late’.

            • Karen 19.1.1.1.1.2

              +1 CV

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      or the average Auckland family an “affordable” house would be one which is certainly less than $500K. And probably less than $400K.

      An ‘affordable house’ in NZ is between $120k and $160k.

      Getting rid of overseas buyers may slow down the rate of house price increases, but it will do precisely zero to make Auckland houses affordable.

      Actually, it’s entirely possible that it will crash the market and all those people who believed that they were getting rich buying houses will suddenly find themselves completely, totally and utterly broke. That’s what happens when demand drops by several thousand millionaires.

      • Thom Pietersen 19.2.1

        And don’t feel sorry for people – they are playing the market. Probably have to bail them out with my savings I’ve put aside while renting. Yah!

        We should never bail people out – tough – that is why we need to maintain a social security net as a fair society.

  20. keyman 20

    we need a crash (reset) whole lot to blow up

  21. Southern Man 21

    Could those criticising the key message in Twyford’s analysis explain why New Zealand is unlike the other countries reported in the following article….

    http://gu.com/p/4at4m?

    • Thom Pietersen 21.1

      Of course we know our Australian cousins are racist?… well… OK, they are, but it doesn’t seem to halt the flow of cash from those wanting to escape (avoid/evade) a totalitarian regime, stock market instability, and maximum 70 year lease on land.

      What is wrong with playing hardball to defend our patch? We should welcome those who want to invest in our business, but not our land. Or are we that sh*t/dumb.

      “The Australian government has moved to look tough on the issue, introducing new fees and jail terms for those found flouting foreign investment rules. The Chinese owner of a A$39m Sydney mansion was forced to sell up earlier this year after it was revealed the property had been bought illegally through a string of shell companies.”

  22. Clean_power 22

    Why wouldn’t Mr Twyford and Mr Little disclose the source of the information, the name of the real estate company? The stakes are high for both.

    • Because they’re not as naive as you appear to be?

    • Realblue 22.2

      “Why wouldn’t Mr Twyford and Mr Little disclose the source of the information, the name of the real estate company? The stakes are high for both.”

      Because they dont have to if they choose not to. It makes proving whether Twyfords claims are actually true impossible, but also disproving it equally difficult. Also because it was stolen private data including peoples names, and one assumes addresses, it opens up another can of worms. I’m pretty sure the clients dont want their details in the hands of a political party, regardless of their political persuasion.

      • Thom Pietersen 22.2.1

        Boring counter argument Realblue – fling in legality, prove it, political interests etc. It will work for a while longer – until the sheep realise. Racism, rabble, racism, rabble, theft, rabble… Truth? No – you’re to stupid to understand Mum and Dad Kiwi. Don’t get in the way of my easy money.

  23. Jenny Kirk 23

    Even the Herald this morning is backing up Phil Twyford and Labour ….. maybe it, too, being an Auckland-based paper – is getting a bit fed-up with the rampant Auckland housing market !

    See today’s Herald editorial.

  24. Lorraine 24

    Why are some of the chinese community so up in arms about labour wanting to stop foreign offshore investors speculating in Auckland housing market. If they are truly genuine NZ citizens/residents then wouldn’t they be concerned about the rising prices too. That chinese guy on the tv tonight saying we should be happy the prices are so high. Yeah right. The rates have gone up sky high by the inflated prices and many kiwis are exposed to negative equity in their homes if the prices fall and the banks recall the loans. This would put us in the position of what happened in the US.

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    . . 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
    5 hours 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
    5 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    9 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    22 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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, ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    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 ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks 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
    2 hours 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
    2 hours 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
    2 hours 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
    2 hours 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
    5 hours 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
    24 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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, ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    6 days 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. ...
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    6 days 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 ...
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    6 days 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 ...
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    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, ...
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    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 ...
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    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. ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago