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Is Vic Crone racist?

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, September 22nd, 2016 - 198 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, local body elections, phil goff - Tags: ,

Vic Crone is trying to make a story out of the fact that Phil Goff is against foreign ownership of our housing stock, but accepted $250,000 from the NZ Chinese community at a fundraiser.

Does she not see a difference between NZ Chinese and foreigners?

$150,000 was for one auction item and was bought by someone who happened to be in China at the time.  Your current location does not determine your citizenship…  If I go on an overseas holiday I don’t consider myself any less a New Zealander…

Vic, like Guy Espiner this morning, was no doubt trying to link to the Labour ‘Chinese-sounding names’ story.  That story was statistically sound (it is highly improbable that Auckland Chinese with the same average incomes and lower average wealth than Aucklanders as a whole are buying houses at >6.5 times the rate of non-ethnically Chinese Aucklanders – therefore a lot of the houses must be being bought by non-NZ Chinese), but didn’t fit nicely into a news soundbite, so turned sour for Labour.  It was always going to be easy to find NZ Chinese who were purchasing houses to ‘refute’ the study, as the whole point was that the data isn’t separated out, and needed to be.  The government responded with a new skewed register that included student and other temporary visa holders as ‘New Zealanders’ as well as foreigners who bought through an NZ trust (and thus were registered for paying NZ tax).  The government’s 3% foreign house purchasing is more likely somewhere between 13 and 29%.

Back to Crone – Goff was easily able to assert that he thought NZ residents should be treated the same, regardless of their ethnicity, that this was consistent with Labour policy, and indeed his constant reaching out to ethnic communities during his 3 decades in parliament.  Vic’s smear just makes her look bad as she is the one who can’t see that NZ Chinese are as Auckland as everybody else who lives here.


198 comments on “Is Vic Crone racist? ”

  1. Michelle 1

    She is desperate ( Crone ) just like the people that put her there when are the tories gonna learn our big cities don’t want a tory mayor when we already have a tory government that is destroying our country and our people and busy selling our assets to there rich and greedy powerful mates

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    As I recall, more than a few Chinese NZers were absolutely FUCKED OFF with Labour over their Chinese sounding last names stunt.

    Still I guess their cheap political tactic really paid off for Labour in the polls.

    • Sabine 2.1

      well, just anecdotally – like my own observation but there are an equal number of Chinese Kiwis that are also pissed of that their children can not afford a home anymore and that were happy that the issue was raised by Laobur.

      No one disputes that it could have been handled differently, but no one disputes the fact that it could not be handled differently either considering that at the time we had no data other then people going to auctions and we in Auckland were watching whole neighborhoods go to bidders from predominantly mainland china and we watched houses being sold three times in a week or a day.
      Granted, i only speak for Auckland, in the South Island the overseas buyers might be from somewhere else.

      But in a nutshell, Auckland was pawned of to Mainland Chinese and no one other but Phil Twyford and the Labour Party ever said anything about it. If we have this crappy register that we have now it is thanks to Phil Twyford and the Labour Party.

      And that in my book took guts. Something very few have had for fear of pissing of the ‘politically correct brigade”.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        Yup – some of the racist hunting we see nowadays is fighting the last war. Crone, as a RWNJ is probably more of a sociopath – treats everyone unfairly.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        And that in my book took guts. Something very few have had for fear of pissing of the ‘politically correct brigade”.

        You’re positioning Labour’s “guts” as standing up against the same “politically correct brigade” which they have always been the champions of?

        Me, I think it was Winston style race baiting opportunism, but Winston knows how to pull it off and Labour doesn’t.

        By the way, did Labour follow this mess up with any actual “gutsy” policy like banning the ownership of NZ homes by non-citizens?

        Or did their “courage” fall short of that?

        • Sabine

          oh for fuck sake, news flash
          a. they are still in oppostion
          b. yes, they have very clearly outlined their ideas in regards to foreign ownership, You can read up on their housing policies on their webpage and you can also read up on the housing policies of the green party on their website. Considering that the two parties are working together i believe that something decent can be worked out and be implemented.

          but then i guess you can’t read what these party will do and have planned cause that would go counter to your believes and your believes are the only thing that matter.

        • rhinocrates

          Odd that you are so (rightfully) offended at Twyford and Little’s racism and yet respond to Trump’s far more blatant form of it with a shrug.

          • Colonial Viper

            The Republican Party is just being itself, whereas the Zero Asian caucus of Labour the self styled party of diversity and ethnic minorities speaks volumes.

            • Leftie

              Bull Colonial Viper.

            • rhinocrates

              The Republican Party was also the party of Lincoln, and of Eisenhower who was crucial to desegregation. You may not like Colin Powell, but he felt that he had a home there as a black man and people were taking him seriously as Presidential material. It’s not “being itself”, it’s allowed itself to be overcome by racists. It is not essentially racist.

              That glib little slogan reads as if you’re trying very weakly to convince yourself, or if it’s honest, you don’t think racism really matters if it affects someone else.

              Since you like cherry-picking polls and dismissing those you don’t like, I suppose you haven’t seen Trump’s ratings with African Americans or Hispanics.

          • Leftie


      • Leftie 2.1.3

        Yes, thoroughly agree with everything you wrote Sabine. Seen it with my own 2 eyes as well, Auckland went on the market and it was terrifying, watching the buy/sell frenzy.

        Phil Twyford and the Labour Party deserve kudos for sticking to their guns and speaking out despite the onslaught of the rabid msm and the lying National government that hides behind willful denial.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      I don’t know why Labour themselves chose to present it as “Chinese-sounding names”.

      They should have gone with “statistically likely to be residents of mainland China” or something else using the word “statistically”.

      Saying “Chinese-sounding” might enable it to better become lunchtime conversation in the breakroom at work, but it also sounds racist and really undermines the statistical rigour that was involved in their investigation.

      • Sabine 2.2.1

        honestly and this is my believe,

        i think Phil Twyford had been told by many people inclusive me btw that something does not add up. Houses were going up on the market, people were going to auctions ready to spend money and ever single time they got out bid by Chinese. Again I am talking Auckland, and in my case I am talking West Auckland.
        Or that very expensive houses were bought by very young Chinese with very little english.
        Or that houses were bought by overseas interests, and went back on the market a week later again. Btw. this is still ongoing here in West Auckland – houses being sold up to three times a day, and every single time literally it is an overseas based buyer.
        Or that houses were bought by overseas interest and then got left empty for a few month before going back on the market.

        Nothing more then anecdotally but more and more. Not having anything to go by he took the risk of coming across as a bit of a bigot and he pulled his stunt when provided with the Sales Data from a Barfoot n Thompson Agent.

        Was it wrong? I actually don’t think so, considering where we are now barely three years later.

        I think by now we can all agree that money from Mainland China is distorting our Housing Market and now even our farming / commercial property market, to the expense of the Kiwi that can’t compete with Cash rich buyers.
        I think buy now we can to an extend even agree that the move by Phil Twyford got the ball rolling on the ‘registry’, the new tax requirements, and even the scrutiny in regards to large land / farm / company sales that this current National led Government would rather not talk about.

        But hey, a little bit of Labour bashing is always fun. Ey? Cause someone must do it, and then it may as well be the Labour Party.

        • Chuck

          Sabine, you are trying to defend the indefensible…what Twyford and Labour did by using such a crude measure (does this person’s name sound Chinese?) was wrong.

          Vic Crone is reminding Auckland voters of Twyfords / Labours Chinese sounding name stunt, in the context of Goff’s fund rasing.

          • reason

            Chuck do you think ……………… that the reason National will not move to fix and close the money laundering loophole …… that they created in 2009 …..is because without the foreign buyers and fraud the property speculation bubble will go POP ? ….

            “Police research concludes a loophole is seeing lawyers, accountants and real estate agents being increasingly used to launder $1.6 billion in dirty money annually”

            “a contentious exemption of professional services firms – mostly lawyers, accountants and real estate agents – from being covered by anti-money laundering laws passed in 2009.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11706741

            And if it is corruption underpinning our economy …… do you think its best we continue with it ?.

            “assisted in money laundering and various property associated with them was restrained, including three Auckland properties,” http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/83450345/Court-orders-forfeiture-of-42-85-million-in-alleged-money-laundering-case

            • Chuck

              “Chuck do you think ……………… that the reason National will not move to fix and close the money laundering loophole”

              The link you have provided does not support what you have written above. National are moving to introduce the required policy to capture all professional services firms.

              “Police research concludes a loophole is seeing lawyers, accountants and real estate agents being increasingly used to launder $1.6 billion in dirty money annually”

              The above paragraph does not reference “Chinese (foreign) buyers of real estate”. Rather…locally generated money form drug dealers, fraudsters, and tax evaders.

              “And if it is corruption underpinning our economy …… do you think its best we continue with it ?.”

              As the $1.6 billion is locally generated, it is already in the economy. Just that it is in the hands of drug dealers etc. So yep…lets take it off those scum bags and back into the hands of the people they took it off.

              However, you have brought up an interesting case in the last link you provided. Dover Samuels,defending Yan!

              • reason

                National ‘contentiously’ changed the law to exempt lawyers, accountants and real estate agents from being covered by anti-money laundering laws passed in 2009. ……. It is now 2016 ……….. This Nact Govt has twice used the powers of urgency to change laws and make it easier to sell booze …. but when it comes to stopping corruption they drag the chain for eight years or more.

                So I can’t really agree with your statement “National are moving to introduce the required policy… ” unless we amend it and stick in the words ‘really fucken slowly and after mounting criticism ….

                So the accurate statement is “National are moving really fucken slowly and after mounting criticism to introduce the required policy ….”

                Your right about the link I provided being about money laundering from local crime rings ……… but we should also note that all the big meth rings have Asian criminal gang links http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10667659

                Its hard to know how much international money is washed in our real estate because John Keys tax haven rules are all about secrecy for the criminal rich ,,,,,

                “But the OECD report also pointedly exposed gaps in our foreign trusts and companies regime, such as allowing nominees and not maintaining beneficial owner details…… Another OECD report found “serious deficiencies” and criticised the ease with which shell companies can be and were being “established in New Zealand … as fronts for international laundering of drug money, fraud and terrorism”. http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/10-panama-papers-myths-busted/

                THE HIDDEN BILLIONS

                Tax havens are jurisdictions or territories which have
                intentionally adopted fiscal and legal frameworks that allow
                non-residents to minimise the amount of taxes they should pay
                where they perform substantial economic activity. Tax havens
                tend to specialise. While most of them do not tick all the boxes,
                they usually fulfil several of the following criteria:

                • They grant fiscal advantages to non-resident individuals
                or legal entities without requiring that substantial
                economic activity be carried out in the country or

                • They provide a significantly lower effective level of
                taxation, including zero taxation
                • They have adopted laws or administrative practices that
                prevent or limit the automatic exchange of information for
                tax purposes with other governments.

                • They have adopted legislative, legal or administrative
                provisions that allow the non-disclosure of the corporate
                structure of legal entities (including companies, trusts,
                and foundations) or the ownership of assets or rights.

                • Jan Rivers

                  Yes – meanwhile numerous well-run NZ firms have been driven out of business by the over-zealous restrictions to prevent money laundering. Prometheus Finance was a victim of these new rules, the Independent Retirement Plan – a scheme used by some public sector and other organisations before KiwiSaver to provide a superannuation option was transferred into new ownership. I-predict had to stop trading because over the onerous requirements and some of the Friendly Societies had to amalgamate. These are just the examples I am personally aware of. Meanwhile stable doors were left open in property and the horses have bolted.

                  It beggars belief that creating a regime that sends more NZ money offshore and invite more dirty money into NZ is an acceptable approach.

                  And FWIW I’d far rather that there was more analysis of this kind of issue than the tired refrains about “Chinese Sounding Names”. Now that we are well aware that AT THE VERY LEAST 3 in 100 Auckland homes (and likely a much higher proportion) are being sold to overseas speculators surely it is now perfectly clear the intent of Phil Twyford’s research was perfectly valid in the face of a complete data vacuum.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Valid in intent, but clumsy and inept in execution and politics.

                  • Leftie

                    Many +1’s Jan and Reason, thoroughly enjoyed reading your informative posts.

                    • reason

                      Thanks leftie …..its all stuff I have learned recently and anyone can have their own ‘merrill hole’ on the internet experience ….by googling things like “merrill lynch+fraud+GFC …or …. “tax havens+merrill lynch+Ireland”

                      Alwyn was the one who inspired me to go looking at merrills shocking Enron of a history ……

                      I had thought Key was a Goldmans bankster …. but they are another level up than the merrill boozy hustlers …

                      “”Capital Offense,” Goldman Sachs became the biggest earner and most prestigious firm on Wall Street in part because it had no scruples about simultaneously betting against products it was selling. Goldman justified this by saying that it had more sophisticated customers, like big institutional and professional investors, who didn’t mind if Goldman placed hedges against the very investments it was touting to other clients.” http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/why-greg-smith-is-dead-right-about-goldman-sachs/254609/

                      But back in Nz and regarding keys Merrill shares …..

                      Our own Parliament records show when the citizens of the u.s.a…… who suffered huge job losses and lost wealth in the GFC gave millions ( how many ? ), to John Key as they bailed out his worthless bankrupt Merrill ones ………….

                      It all makes John keys boasts of giving to charity look a bit sick.

                      He took food stamp money and pension funds from poor people in the u.s.a.

                      I wonder why no newspapers back at the time thought it interesting or worth asking how much bail out money John Key had received from American citizens ………. $5 million ??? 10 million ? … more ?.

                      Its strange how they missed and did not report on such easy things to see in sub prime johns amazingly lucky story of wealth transfer from poor to rich and forced bailouts ….

                      It kind of reminds of how they tell us Mossack Fosenca is the fourth biggest in the worlds money laundering operations ………. but not tell us who the three biggest ones are …….or estimates on market share….


                      JK’s PR ‘official’ story about reckless Merrill and how they went bad after honest john left is incomplete if we are not told about his actual actions in his shareholdings of them …. ….. they had tripled in value in about 7 years

                      ….. Imagine the greed, gloating and superiority this was giving Key as he missed the inevitable approaching collapse from all the systemic fraud…..

                      it all just leads to more questions when I find something out or gain an understanding …..:)

                      Now I’m interested to know if ……..

                      Did any other person in Nz personally receive more bail out money from the u.s.a than Key ??? …..

                      Key now owes the u.s.a Govt many favors …………….I wonder if he’s found lots of ways to say thank you to them ?????

                      Pretend to be an Impartial judge in a UN case perhaps ?????

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Get on YouTube and look at some of the episodes of the Keiser Report from 2011/2012 to really see what was going on with the Banksters of the day

                    • Jan Rivers

                      🙂 thanks Leftie

                    • Leftie

                      You can see why crooks like John Key want control over the internet, what a disgusting individual. NZ’s msm are instructed to keep any damaging material out of public view, and if anything surfaces, whitewash it and sweep it under the carpet as quickly as possible. Prior to NZ electing this shark into power, (he’d made Ireland a tax haven and collapsed the economy and you can see what’s coming for NZ), he was accused of insider trading with Transrail shares, that’s how money traders like John Key make their money. A leopard never changes his spots and being a PM of a country wouldn’t have changed that either. John key lied and it went away like it never happened. The red flags were there, but they were ignored.

                      Lovin your posts Reason!!

                  • reason

                    Thanks for your good post Jan Rivers ….. your information puts further detail into the sad and sick picture of corruption that john key and his government have painted us into ….

                    I had a quick search and look at Prometheus …. it was such a change to read about ethics in finance and such a change from the muck and filth from tax haven johns old firm ….

                    When the cheats like Key set the rules honest outfits suffer …” The company entered into voluntary receivership with all savers being repaid in full (including interest) in a timely manner.

                    We fully embrace our Prometheus origins and bring our experience in values-based banking and investment to the growth of The Gift Trust.” http://www.thegifttrust.org.nz/our-history/

                    No bailouts for them ……… while merrill received Billions and Key got millions

            • Leftie

              +1 Reason.

          • Sabine

            you know what, i just told dear Vic Crone that i voted against her. 🙂 and it felt good.

            as an Aucklander, with a family full of Aucklanders i don’t wish on any City in NZ what was done to Auckland over the last few years.

            I and many others in Auckland are very very pleased with Phil Twyford, his record on housing, his many many times in Parliament were he did show this current National Government to be the buffoons they are….remember the Nick Smith Bus tours to available Crown land inclusive a Grave yard and an Electricity Station 🙂 – we do remember.
            We do remember Paula Bennetts Stunt – People from the ministry knocking on the doors of cars full of homeless in Parks.
            We do remember Paula Bennetts needing to have an interview in a Cafe in Mt. Eden or some nice area cause going to the Marae that effectively was doing her job would made her look even worse than she does on any given day.
            We do remember John Key, PM of Keyland, telling our homeless to go to Winz for emergency housing.
            We do remember the debt that people accrued just to get out of the cold for a week or two.

            So you know what, i and many others are proud of Phil Twyford for showing guts to go puplic with what he knew would back fire.
            But thanks to that, we know have a registry of foreign purchases, which before hand we did not and which John Key, PM of Keyland, did not want.
            We know have requirements were people actually have to get IRD numbers so that they can pay takes in this country. Something that before hand we had not.

            So yeah, i can see why a National bot thinks this is deplorable. Accountability, Transparency is nothing you and your team like. You abhor sunshine. It makes you look all dirty. But the only way to get rid of the toxic mold and stench left behind by this current lot of National Party MP’s and stooges the only thing that works is sunshine. It disinfects everything.

            So well done Mr. Twyford.

        • Jenny Kirk

          Good on you, Sabine. like you, I’m fed up with CV’s Labour bashing all the time …. along with the trolls of course but you expect that from rightwing trolls.

          • Leftie

            Agreed, I’m fed up with the constant bashing too. It’s senseless. Often times it derails the threads, and it becomes all about them.

        • Leftie

          Yep true that. Another excellent response. And being a Westie myself I can attest to everything Sabine wrote as being true. No buts about it, you live in Auckland, you see it happening.

          And Phil Twyford has been vindicated.

        • Bob

          “Houses were going up on the market, people were going to auctions ready to spend money and ever single time they got out bid by Chinese”
          My wife and I were going to auctions looking to buy our first home in Auckland while this was all going on. We lost 6 auctions before giving up on spending $1,000 on due diligence just to lose out to European baby-boomers every time.
          We didn’t lose a single auction to an Asian buyer and based on our anecdotal evidence, felt that this was a complete beat-up by Labour.
          We were looking in South Auckland though, so perhaps the Asian buyers “people” were witnessing were looking to move out west to be close to their friend/family networks as they were still struggling with the English language? Of course, we could support this transition, or put out a list of Chinese sounding names blaming these people for Auckland’s housing market boom.

          FYI – If Colonial Viper had bought a house in Auckland during this period, he would likely have been one of these evil Chinese offshore buyers that Labour singled out. Do you think that is fair?

          • Leftie

            Maybe that was your experience Bob, but it’s certainly not for many. Open your other eye, it will help with your intentional blindness. Many of these speculators taking advantage of tax haven NZ’s open market don’t even reside in the country and have no intention of doing so.

    • Muttonbird 2.3

      Which Chinese New Zealander donated that book to the Phil Goff auction? They can’t have been too annoyed by Phil Twyford’s call for transparency on the house data issue.

      An issue which is still to be resolved…

      • Chuck 2.3.1

        “They can’t have been too annoyed by Phil Twyford’s call for transparency on the house data issue.”

        As Phil Goff is running as an “independent” and for local Government maybe they don’t see Goff as labour anymore?

        Will be interesting to see if a Labour party fundraiser dinner could achieve a similar $ result…

  3. I don’t think this is the best argument to hang your hat on. The problem with Labour’s “Chinese surnames” debacle is precisely that it wasn’t statistically sound and it, like Victoria Crone, made no distinction between resident Chinese folk and overseas Chinese buyers.

    Keith Ng and Tze Ming Mok at Public Address did excellent posts outlining these issues at the time, and they’re still worth a read:


    And on the argument about whether Labour’s intention was good, or whether the overall argument was “really” about foreign ownership, not ethnicity, Keith did a follow-up:


    The “Chinese surname” story remains an exceptionally poor decision on Labour’s part. It damaged Labour’s reputation as a party which doesn’t employ racist dogwhistles and made it impossible to address the serious issue of speculation in the housing market without rightwingers like Farrar and Hooton derailing the conversation by crying “but you hate people with Chinese surnames”.

    It’s no surprise Crone is going to do the exact same thing, and probably have some success doing so.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Labour could at least have had one of their Asian MPs put forward the case, they would have been able to explain the points with a bit more subtlety than Twyford.

      Except for the small detail that Labour, the party of ethnic diversity, has zero Asian or South Asian/Indian MPs, because they were all put too low on the Labour list.

      • BM 3.2.1

        Labour looks like it has always been a bit of a white boys party.

        Out of curiosity I had a look back over the last 4 Labour governments to see what sort of ethnic diversity the Labour cabinet consisted of.

        With out really going into the personal details of previous Labour ministers, outside of the Minister of Maori Affairs there looks like there’s only ever been two non white people who have been cabinet ministers in the last 4 Labour governments.

        Those been Peter Tapsell and Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan

        I’ve probably missed some out, but if this is the case, for all the support Maori and Pacific Islanders give the Labour party it’s a rather poor return.

        • mpledger

          All parties have been white boys parties until relatively recently.

          And until MMP, Labour had a grip on the Maori seats and more women so they were the least of the white boys parties.

        • Muttonbird

          Did you come to that conclusion with your tried and true browness test?

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      Keith Ng’s rebuttal actually misses the point. He says: “What Phil Twyford has done is just a sleight-of-hand with percentages” and actually that is NOT what was done, at all.

      Have you read Rob Salmond’s description of the stats? http://polity.co.nz/content/how-labour-estimated-ethnicity-surnames

      Labour did a very poor job of explaining the underlying stats of their analysis.

      • As Keith’s follow-up and Tze Ming’s posts illustrate, the rigour of the statistics is actually irrelevant. Chinese people were scapegoated for the housing crisis on the basis of their surnames. If anything, the continued insistence that it’s all OK because The Statistics Are Rigorous makes it worse – it says Labour doesn’t care that it reinforced racist antagonism towards Chinese people or scapegoated New Zealand residents and citizens who just happen to have ~weird~ surnames, for the sake of a headline.

        • Lanthanide

          So for you, the ends never justifies the means?

          Labour handled it poorly, and should have focussed on the statistics more.

          Effectively you’re saying, even if they did, and the media somehow managed to have a grown-up conversation about it, it still would have fueled racism amongst the wider public, and so Labour shouldn’t have gone there?

          Even though they’re talking about an issue that affects many people – home ownership being thwarted by overseas investors?

          Btw I’m not attacking with this, I’m genuinely interested in your answer.

          For me, I would have been ok with it, if they’d focussed more on the statistics and managed to have a grown-up debate in the media about the issue.

          • Draco T Bastard


          • Stephanie Rodgers

            Well, you leave the question begging. What were the ends? What did this move achieve, beyond pissing off a lot of people?

            I can somewhat see what the strategy was meant to be – establish that the key issue in Auckland housing is foreign money, using leaked data (always makes things sexier) from within the real estate industry itself. Challenge National’s insistence that there’s no problem.

            Except that data doesn’t win arguments. More than enough people – look at Sabine upthread – already firmly believe that the problem in the Auckland housing market is those darned Chinese with their Chinese money buying all the houses.

            And Labour’s data was always immensely challengeable. People like Rob Salmond can write as many thousand-word posts about Bayesian analysis as they like, but you take *three months* of data from *one* real estate agent and then say “well we didn’t know how many buyers were foreign but a lot of them have Chinese surnames” and you are always, ALWAYS going to be laughed at.

            It was literally *always* going to be interpreted as racebaiting.

            So … who won? Whose vote shifted to Labour as a result of this? From the polls, apparently no one’s. Or not enough to counterbalance the number of people who felt so disillusioned and angry about Labour using racebait to get headlines that they switched away.

            Maybe sometimes the ends justify the means. But the Chinese surnames debacle delivered no measureable good end for Labour, and the means employed were so counter to good policy, good politics, and good progressive values that it would have had to have an Orewa-like level of impact to be worth the sacrifice.

            Meanwhile, the housing crisis is now unavoidably in the media. Not because “we found a bunch of Asians buying all the houses”, but because families are living in cars, agencies like the Sallies and City Mission are unabashedly drawing attention to their stories, and organisations like Te Puea Marae are making a huge impact opening their doors and showing solidarity with their neighbours.

            Using *those* issues would have centered Labour as the party with a solution, not just a scapegoat, and built on Labour’s democratic socialist principles instead of burning them down.

            I’m genuinely interested in your answer too: what was achieved by the Chinese surnames story, except for embedding the phrase “Chinese-sounding surnames” in NZ political discourse?

            • Macro

              Sorry Stephaine – but this is happening right around the Pacific Rim. People who for what ever reason – political correctness, or head in the sand – simply do not want to see the truth that is there for of all to see. It does not have to be a great hoard, but simply enough people with enough money to make a difference. And they have. In Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Vancouver, and in China. A country with 21 Trillion dollars in liquid assets sitting idly in Shanghai bank accounts needs something to play with.
              In the 1637 the Dutch discovered tulips. At the beginning of this Century, the elite mainland Chinese discovered houses. NZ foolishly signed a FTA with China which allowed their citizens the rights and privileges of resident NZers to buy and sell property in NZ with hardy a question asked. NZ citizens btw do not have reciprocal rights. We now have up to 30,000 homes in Auckland unoccupied. 23,000 foreigners with New Zealand properties reaped $100 million net rental income for the March 31, 2015 year, yet paid only $17 million tax. Putting those 2 figures together, and allowing that some of the unoccupied homes may be between tenants, and some could be owned by NZers , that’s still around 40,000+ properties mostly in Auckland now owned by overseas investors – my last property in Auckland is one of them – it was bought in 2010 from a google visit by a Chinese businessman and his celebrity TV wife through a NZ resident proxy. They have never lived in, nor visited the property. There is a bach across the road from mine, which is again on the market for the 3rd time this year. It is vacant. None of the “owners” have stayed in it, or visited it.
              As I wrote above, Auckland is not unique, in this housing fetish currently being pursued by a group of wealthily foreigners with too much money in China. Vancouver was also suffering a similar crisis. Canadians however seem to be a bit smarter than Kiwis and they recently put in place in BC regulations that discouraged foreign investment in housing. The result has been a smart reduction in the absurd prices that were existing there and the “smart” money is now moving onto Toronto.

              • Leftie

                Awesome post Macro!

              • Anne

                … this is happening right around the Pacific Rim. People who for what ever reason – political correctness, or head in the sand – simply do not want to see the truth that is there for of all to see.

                So true Macro. I have a theory that most of the people who cry foul do not live in Auckland. But when you see houses all around you that are owned by non-resident Chinese and which are more often than not sitting empty… when you put your house on the market (as I did [briefly] a few years ago) and all the people interested were of Asian origin… when you have Auckland based relatives and acquaintances who have recently sold their homes to non resident Asians of Chinese descent… when you attend an auction and find 75% plus of the potential bidders are Chinese… then guess what: you sorta know there is a big problem and we better do something about it because a whole generation of young NZers – including young Chinese NZers – are going to be cut out of ever owning their own home.

                Whoever advised Vic Crone to go down that path is a dingbat . She might have got away with it in some other parts of NZ but not Auckland. The irony is: numerous well known and influential NZers/organisations have vindicated Twyford’s claim in recent weeks/months. Some have gone further than he did but nobody has accused them of “hypocrisy” or”racism”.

                • It’s a tough call – sell your house and contribute to the problem or don’t and lose hard earned, often deserved, financial gain. I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland anymore.

                  The housing crisis is a boil filled with nasty consequences. My brothers live there. Friends live there. My mother died there. I fell in love twice there. I love Auckland and i wish only the best for everyone there.

                  This IS a real crisis – good luck everybody. I will continue to do what I can to change this government.

                  I also have to say that I didn’t agree with the way the issue was raised. It was clumsy and distracted from the housing crisis point

                  • Anne

                    I didn’t agree with the way the issue was raised. It was clumsy and distracted from the housing crisis point.

                    I remember you saying it at the time marty mars and you were right. Twyford has since gone on record conceding the way he initially raised the subject was ham-fisted.

              • Jan Rivers

                Also to paraphrase Dickens about money. 100 houses 101 house- seekers – house misery. 100 houses 99 house seekers happiness. Just like a game of musical chairs a small percentage of additional people chasing an insufficient number of houses causes endless price inflation. The current regime of non-resident ownership and empty houses is far more serious in extent.

            • Jenny Kirk

              Without getting caught up in racist arguments, can’t any of you accept what Sabine has been saying above . 2.2.1 as what is really happening in NZ – our land and properties are being sold to overseas interests – a large number of whom are from Mainland China.
              They’re also being sold to nationals from other countries – you only have to drive around the coastal areas of Northland to see that happening – gated communities everywhere ! and locals say these communities are overseas people, occasionally here in the summer, closed up houses at other times.

            • Lanthanide

              “People like Rob Salmond can write as many thousand-word posts about Bayesian analysis as they like, but you take *three months* of data from *one* real estate agent and then say “well we didn’t know how many buyers were foreign but a lot of them have Chinese surnames” and you are always, ALWAYS going to be laughed at.”

              By people who don’t understand statistics, perhaps.

              The real estate company I believe accounts for something like 3/4ths of all Auckland sales, which is enough to draw inferences from, particularly the number of sales that took place in the given period. Similarly, 3 months data is sufficient to draw inferences from. To object to these points, requires you to actually present some sort of sensible argument as to why Chinese sales would differ between these data sets and the whole data set – is there something about this particular company that attracts or repels Chinese people? Or not? Is there something about those 3 months of the year that would have higher or lower sales of houses to Chinese people, or not? I haven’t seen any one even attempt to make cogent arguments on those points.

              So yes, those points introduce doubt into the inferences that can be made, but it’s not enough to invalidate the inferences that can be made.

              “It was literally *always* going to be interpreted as racebaiting.”

              By some, yes. Like I said, if they hadn’t gone with that dopey “chinese-sounding names” line, we could have had a much more grown-up discussion.

              Certain people are always going to deliberately mis-interpret any political statement made by people they don’t agree with. On some subjects such misinterpretation is going to have more traction in the media than other topics, but by the same token, some topics are simply much more important than other topics. I don’t think being afraid to speak the truth about uncomfortable subjects is a particularly honourable way for a political party to operate.

              “Maybe sometimes the ends justify the means. But the Chinese surnames debacle delivered no measureable good end for Labour”

              You seem to be using the outcome to judge whether the attempt should have been made. Hindsight is 20/20. Certainly if Labour would do it again, they’d do it differently, but I do think they would do it again because it is an important topic that needs to be discussed.

              “I’m genuinely interested in your answer too: what was achieved by the Chinese surnames story, except for embedding the phrase “Chinese-sounding surnames” in NZ political discourse?”

              As others have said, it is likely the reason why National created the register (such as it is) to try and track foreign buyers.

        • dukeofurl

          How can you use the statistical method as the foundation for dismissing the claim and then next minute saying it doesnt matter. ?

          Foreign buyers were the problem, so we say it doesnt exist because of the fear they might be scapegoated – without any evidence mind you

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            And there you go, conflating “has Chinese surnames” with “being foreign”.

            Here’s the racism: we keep acting like the only foreign money which is bad in the housing market is Chinese money. Nobody ever complains “I went to an auction and all the white people bidding had English/South African accents”.

            • weka

              Um actually they do. Down south it’s the English and US Americans that have spiked the market, and you do definitely hear people complaining about it. There’s a big overlap with immigration there so it’s not a straight forward issue, but overseas capital gets identified by nationality. For obvious reasons that’s not going to play out as racism in the same way though.

              The other thing that annoys me about what Labour did is that they focussed on Auckland as if that’s the only place with a housing crisis. Had they looked at NZ as a whole they could have focussed on overseas money rather than Chinese, but then they’d also have had to look at immigration and round and round we go.

              • Sabine

                Weka, could it be that Phil Twyford focused on Auckland because a. he is the elected representative of Te Atatu South – and what happened here is not nice. not funny anymore.
                b. the largest part of the homeless are in Auckland do to the sheer population size.

                and c. We in Auckland – and you can go back two years or more on my comments – have warned people on the Standard and elsewhere that eventually this will affect any and all parts of NZ. I still remember being told to ‘just move away’, ‘just leave if you don’t like it’, ‘ just go rural if you can’t afford it’. That is what we have been hearing a lot.

                In Auckland it is mainly mainland Chinese. Elsewhere it is other groups, but i doubt that someone from CHCH or Blenheim would have called Phil Twyford to talk to him about it. In West Auckland he got told till his ears were red.

                We have been made homeless in the City that we have worked for decades, that we volunteer for the emergency services, that we teach in, that we nurse in, that we police in, and we in Auckland are all two weeks away from abject homelessness. And really it seems that no one cared and it still seems that no one cares.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  And you were so right, Sabine about the warning that what was happening in Auckland would happen elsewhere.
                  Its happened here in Whangarei – frightening to see – an ordinary little house goes on the market, and within 2 weeks at the most its sold – at an inflated price – just like in Auckland time and time again – and the younger generation – the young couples with children are all renting because they cannot afford to buy a house. Just like in Auckland.
                  Our country is being taken away from us, right under our feet.

                  • Gangnam Style

                    Friends of mine in Whangarei can’t find a rental, they say it really tight, been looking for a couple months now. I was up just a few weeks ago & loved the new waterfront & bike track into Onerahi! Really well done, bloody impressive.

              • Lanthanide

                “The other thing that annoys me about what Labour did is that they focussed on Auckland as if that’s the only place with a housing crisis.”

                Well it’s the only data set they had. They got enough bollocking over how they communicated the data they did have. I don’t see what would be gained by talking about other centres for which they had no data at all.

            • Lanthanide

              “Here’s the racism: we keep acting like the only foreign money which is bad in the housing market is Chinese money. ”

              No, “we” don’t.

              Yeah, it just so happens that Chinese foreigners buying up houses is a very obvious pattern seen by many in Auckland, AND they have surnames that are very strongly statistically different from those of other ethnicities.

              I very much doubt that you could take the data Labour had and find any signal for any other foreign nationality in it – the quantity of sales to other nationalities would be too low, or the certainty around surnames just wouldn’t be robust enough. But the Chinese buyers are at such a quantity, and with such distinct names, that their signal could be seen within the small data set.

              “Nobody ever complains “I went to an auction and all the white people bidding had English/South African accents”.”

              Is that because people are only racist with Chinese people? Or because what you’re talking about generally doesn’t happen? If people comment on something that they regularly see, and don’t comment on something that is never seen, it hardly makes them racist for commenting on what they see.

            • mikes

              “Nobody ever complains “I went to an auction and all the white people bidding had English/South African accents”.”

              That’s because what you’ve stated is not observable reality. In fact if you go to the weekly Barfoot and Thompson auctions at the Manukau sports bowl on Tuesdays, you’d be lucky to see a white person (who isn’t a rel estate agent) there at all, let alone bidding. That is simply an observable fact. I’d estimate 90% of the buyers there are of Chinese ethnicity. That is an observable fact. The percentage of the population of Auckland who have Chinese ethnicity is a lot less than 90%

              People aren’t racist because they tell it like it is. I know what I see with my own two eyes as does everybody else who is saying the same thing.

              I live in East Auckland and I’ve had to move to new rentals 5 times in the last 4 years. All 5 of my landlords have been Chinese, 4 of them non resident. Reality doesn’t change just because you choose not to believe it.

              • Colonial Viper

                The main problem is that the pakeha top 5% has been locked out of the Auckland investment property market. So Labour has to act.

                • Leftie

                  Why does Labour have to act? NATIONAL is the current GOVERNMENT Colonial Viper.

                • Sabine

                  if by pakeha you mean all who are not of Maori Decent you are right. And Maori also has a hard time buying.

                  In fact anyone in Auckland now has stopped buying. And those that still have houses are stopping to sell if the noise from the real estate market is to be judged.

                  Why? Because no matter how much money one gets for their house it won’t be enough to buy something new.

                  But hey, here have a shovel. Dig.

              • Leftie

                Great comment Mikes, that’s telling it like it really is.

    • Karen 3.4

      I agree with all of this except the last line – I don’t think this will help (or hinder) Crone’s campaign. She is increasingly seen as a very poor candidate for the Auckland mayoralty – even by the right. Her campaign has been a disaster and nothing she says now will improve her chances IMO.

      • Crone’s campaign was doomed from the start. Goff was anointed Mayor of Auckland years ago, and having three incoherent candidates run on the right in an FPP system was never going to help. My only point is … she has a point, kind of.

      • mpledger 3.4.2

        The tone with which Crone made her comments put me right off and I am sure I am not the only one. It was such gleeful game playing – happy in her “gotcha” moment – all the worst of the dirty politics brigade are rubbing off on people.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      The problem with Labour’s “Chinese surnames” debacle is precisely that it wasn’t statistically sound

      Except for the fact that it actually was.

      made no distinction between resident Chinese folk and overseas Chinese buyers.

      Actually, it did – by inference.

    • Ben Clark 3.6

      I’m a great admirer of Keith Ng’s work, but his post on this I think greatly misrepresents Labour’s argument and is statistically very flawed. 126,000 people aren’t going to go out and buy a house every quarter, Chinese NZers aren’t wealthier, etc. And it’s statistics, it’s always probabilities, not provable fact, and doesn’t claim more than that (although something can be incredibly unlikely…).

      But as you’ve said in other comments the statistics and the representation of them are separate issues. Whether it was possible to present the info without inferences against Chinese New Zealanders is a moot point – it certainly wasn’t presented in a way that didn’t offend the Chinese community.

      • Labour used surnames to assess foreignness. It was never going to be presented in any other way. And as I’ve commented above, the number of Labour folk who insist on making this about “but the statistical probability” or “well maybe they could have explained the modelling better” is only reinforcing the belief that no one gives a damn about invoking age-old racist hostility against Chinese New Zealanders.

        • Ben Clark

          The use of surnames to assess ethnicity (not foreignness – and making the difference is vital) actually has a high degree of accuracy.

          It’s somewhat pointless to re-litigate, it wasn’t presented in a way that didn’t invoke age-old racist hostility as you put it, and that’s what really matters, as you say. The temptation is because one wants to excuse Labour people who wouldn’t have intended to cause racist enmity, and having a non-racist point (that the data is there to show foreign purchasing, not denying NZ Chinese rights to property) at the heart of the matter is somewhat vital to that.

          But your point that the undesirable outcome of encouraged racism against Chinese NZers is more important, I absolutely agree with.

        • Sabine

          Labor used a Sales list with Surnames provided by a sales person for Barfoot and Thompson.

          that would be most correct to say. As per that list ‘ chinese sounding names ‘ were apparently the largest group of people.

          It simply was an excell spreadsheet with Customers Names of Barfoot and Thompson who bought houses. And it seem to corroborate the ‘anecdotal accounts’ from people in West Auckland and elsewhere that eventually just stopped going to open homes cause they were outbid by what appeared to be Mainland Chinese.

          Maybe that actually needs to be acknowledged in the first place. But i am sure we could have waited for the National Party led Government to provide us with some Data instead of doing nothing?

          As for encouraged racism agianst Chinese Kiwis in Auckland, i can’t attest for that. We are a big City – We are Pasifica. I have not seen it, i have not heard of it. Despite it all, West Auckland is still West Auckland a rainbow community of many races, languages and colours, and a large amount of empty houses or very very over crowded houses. And the pawning of of Auckland has also resulted in making the resident Chinese Community poorer. Their children too will find it very hard to buy anything to live in Auckland or soon enough anywhere else in NZ.

          • Anne

            And the pawning of of Auckland has also resulted in making the resident Chinese Community poorer. Their children too will find it very hard to buy anything to live in Auckland or soon enough anywhere else in NZ.

            Exactly. They come here to have a better life for themselves and their children.
            Most of them are exemplary citizens and have integrated well into their local communities. Then along comes a bunch of their wealthy kinsmen/women who don’t live here – never plan to live here – and buy up the houses leaving them in the same boat as other struggling Aucklanders. Up the creek without a home to call their own.

            • Chris

              You seem to be blaming non-New Zealanders, who’re buying the properties, for the problem we’re facing. I’m guessing, that in fact, you mightn’t be. But therein lies the problem. You talk about “these” people and “them” and so on, and of course you’re not alone. But by using language like that it’s very easy for the message to be received as extremely racist, albeit covertly. So yes, you too, queenie, like all of us, are never beyond reproach!

              The proper focus needs to be on what’s causing all of this. Not on people who act on a good deal when they see it.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Well said Chris.

                Who opened our domestic housing market to the world? Who keeps that door jammed tightly open?

                • Leftie

                  National, the key National government, OAB. Chris doesn’t want to acknowledge that so avoids responding to those kinds of realities, to him it’s all Labour’s fault anyway. That’s his out.

              • Anne

                You seem to be blaming non-New Zealanders, who’re buying the properties, for the problem we’re facing.

                No. Non resident foreign nationals.

                The proper focus needs to be on what’s causing all of this.

                NAct government.

                But of course you know this. TROLL.

                • Chris

                  “No. Non resident foreign nationals.”

                  What about New Zealanders living in New Zealand who own 50, 100 or more houses? The increasing number of NZ based investors who’re madly buying up in the regions site unseen?

                  My original comment was (if you read what I said properly) about use of language and how this can easily be perceived as attacking the property buyers personally and that given there are a lot people from overseas buying those properties, racist as well.

                  I gave you the benefit of the doubt when I said that I don’t think you were blaming those buying the properties and that it was merely your use of language that had the potential to skew what you were saying into sounding like a racist attack.

                  Now that you’re even bothering to clarify which group you were referring to (“Non resident foreign nationals” and not “non-New Zealanders”) I take that back.

                  • Leftie

                    Seriously? You have the audacity to have another go at Anne with all that egg smothered all over your face? You’re pathetic Chris.

                    • Chris

                      Oh no, I’ve talked back to the queen! It’s off to the guillotine for me! You’re such a funny sausage.

          • Chris

            So by saying that Chinese who live in New Zealand are also getting done over by Chinese non-residents who’re buying the land, that means that somehow the analysis isn’t racist? How the fuck does that work?

      • Colonial Viper 3.6.2

        We need more pakeha explaining to coloured people what racism is and what it isn’t. Keep it up mate, Labour are doing well.

        • Sabine

          oh you poor poor sod.

          some of us are white if that is what you mean.

          and that means we can not say what we see with out own eyes every day?

          No one here is faulting the ‘overseas interest’ in buying up cheap land, farms, houses, and the likes.
          We are faulting our current Government for letting it happen in the first place, encouraging it in the second place by not collecting data , and thirdly by putting un -achievable milestones in the place for first home buyers.

          but yeah, go on tell us more. mate.

    • dukeofurl 3.7

      “Wasnt statistically sound”

      Thats an impossible aim. How do I put this?

      Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet
      Im sure he was saying from his own experience regarding the medical field.

      And again with the NME
      Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal
      ““It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”

      There is a clutch or reasons, but dodgy statistics are at the core of them.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    Labour has always been about mixing up New Zealand Asian’s with foreign investors. This is the central theme to their Auckland housing policy.

    Why would Goff or you Ben Clark be upset with that?

    • Ben Clark 4.1

      I completely disagree with your premise.

      Labour, Phil Goff and I would all agree that NZ residents/citizens should be treated equally and should NOT be mixed up with foreign investors.

      Whether it was ever possible to present their data of ethnically Chinese buyers to present the point of a need for a foreign buyer register (and a proper one, not National’s skewed one) in a way that didn’t give the perception of mixing the 2 is another matter.

      But back to desperate Vic Crone…

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        Yet none of the Labour Party, Phil Goff or Ben Clark thought to stop Twyford, or tell him he may confuse the issue and offend a lot of Asian New Zealanders by issuing racist data.

        Yeah Vic Crone indeed

        • Colonial Viper

          Twyford’s media strategy was run past and given the green light by Little and Robertson amongst others.

        • marty mars

          Exactly EiE – if their lines had of worked they’d all be saying it was their idea. It didn’t work thank goodness.

        • Ben Clark

          Yes, like I was involved in any way in this story EIE, and had any input into it. You’re dangerously close to attacking an author, you may wish to check the policy section.

          *data isn’t racist, only interpretation of it can be.

          • Enough is Enough

            I’ll take your word for it Ben that you were not involved in anyway and I retract any untoward inferences about you

            You are correct that data isn’t racist. It can be used as an almighty strong dog whistle though. The sort that Don Brash, Donald Trump and Winston Peters would all be proud of.

            This is something that the left should be condemning on a consistent basis. Whether it is Crone, Trump or Twyford we should be loudly calling them out for their ignorant and populist bullshit.

          • Muttonbird

            Even the call for data is racist in some people’s minds.

      • Whether it was ever possible to present their data of ethnically Chinese buyers to present the point of a need for a foreign buyer register (and a proper one, not National’s skewed one) in a way that didn’t give the perception of mixing the 2 is another matter.

        It wasn’t.

        • Muttonbird

          How would it have been possible to get the the government to produce the required data?

          Most agree this data is important but all that’s been shown to New Zealander’s so far is a light scratching of the surface.

          If it was that hard to get a scratching of the surface out of the current government with what has been described as Phil Twyford’s racist, dog-whistling bombshell, imagine how easily a request with lesser impact would have been dismissed.

  5. Takere 5

    It was probably because she was wearing her “Tin Foil Hat”. It has an effect on her ability to think clearly and rationally? Or maybe her team of highly regarded political strategists have devised a cunning plan? Pullah Benefit & M Borg, Dementia Sue Wood?

  6. srylands 6

    The entire story is based on a false premise. There should be no restrictions on any foreign investment in New Zealand. The owners of residential property can sell to whoever they like. The role of Government is to protect private property rights.

    The left wing think tank, the New Zealand Initiative outlines the problems with such restrictions here:


    The last think we need is more restrictions in FDI.

    Anyway – it is not the role of local Government to set such policies. Rules on FDI – including on housing – are none of Phil Goff’s business as a Mayoral candidate.

    • “The role of Government is to protect private property rights.”

      That’s one opinion.

      “The left wing think tank, the New Zealand Initiative”

      aka The Business Roundtable. Pull the other one, mate.

    • Sabine 6.2

      but what about the free market?

      or is the free market just something for those that don’t own property
      while government socialism is to benefit the ones that have property.

      really i am confused now.

    • framu 6.3

      next you’ll be claiming that rodger kerr is a commie

  7. Sanctuary 7

    It is all pretty desperate stuff from Crone, who sounds like she is slinging mud in a desperate attempt to be relevant.

  8. Observer Tokoroa 8

    The Facts according to Colonial Viper

    . There are no Chinese in New Zealand. The National and Maori party said there are no foreign Chinese who have bought or will buy expensive houses here.

    Neither are any English people buying houses here (their Pound is worth twice our dollar. So they get the houses here at half price. But as CV says, they don’t buy houses here. Foreigners don’t buy houses here.

    There are no Americans. No Indians other than school children buying houses here for Adults back in India. Which they don’t do because CV says they don’t.

    No Germans. None. Bugger all South Africans (with or without slaves).

    Barfoot and Thompson sell houses to Asians but not to Chinese Asians or any other Asian Asians.

    The Maori Party happen to support selling property to Foreigners which is why they join the Nationals. It pleases the Maori Party because it makes sure New Zealand has more Asians than Maori.

    . You know it makes sense.
    .As for me, I favour forming a Treaty with the Chinese to make work for our National and Maori parties.

    . But not with Chinese Chinese. With Barfoot Chinese.

    . Okay?

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Yep. I believe CV thinks just 3% of Auckland house sales are to Chinese people, like the Nats do.

    • RedLogix 8.2


      My fathers next door neighbour sold her house in Akl a month ago. The entire auction was conducted in Mandarin.

      But not to anyone with a Chinese sounding name I dare say.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      I advocate for no foreign ownership of NZ real estate.

      More than the soft ass Labour party is willing to propose.

      • FIFY, CV: More than the soft ass Labour party I am proud to be a member of is willing to propose.

        btw, you do realise you’ve spelt arse the American way? Amazing how easily we can be corrupted by Johnny Foreigner.

        • Colonial Viper

          I know, I know, membership of the soft-arse Labour Party is a mark of shame these days

          By the way, when is free market neoliberal free trade Labour going to come out against foreign ownership of NZ land?

          • te reo putake

            That’s unlikely as no such party exists. That may be a disappointment to a right wing businessman such as yourself, competing as you do on the front line of the neo liberal free market.

            • Colonial Viper

              I have Labour to thank for introducing neoliberalism to NZ and hobbling unions in every work place, and what a thorough and long lasting job they did of it too.

              So, when is Labour going to apologise for their actions?

              • Who cares? Apart from a small and diminishing pool of of old timers who haven’t moved on and a tiny minority of political tragics born post 1984, its not an issue for the voting public. Certainly, it has no impact on elections.

                But still, you may be right that an apology is due. Specifically, I’m waiting for Labour to apologise for the sandwiches provided to election day helpers in the West Auckland electorate in 1984. The tomatoes were cut too thickly and that made the bread soggy and consequently difficult to hold. This led to at least one incident of drippage on a Vote Elder T shirt that would now, but for the stain, be a priceless artefact, worth perhaps millions on TradeMe.

                I know this is a live issue for many, many people who have sworn to never vote Labour again until a fulsome, heartfelt apology is made.

                I imagine it’ll look something like this:

                • Colonial Viper

                  Who cares? Apart from a small and diminishing pool of of old timers who haven’t moved on and a tiny minority of political tragics born post 1984, its not an issue for the voting public. Certainly, it has no impact on elections.

                  Oh dear oh dear. This attitude explains a lot.

                  • It’s not an attitude, it’s a fact. Get with the times, CV, you’re starting to sound like an old man complaining about bloody kids and their new fangled pop music. It were all fields round here when I was a lad, summers were longer, you could leave the house unlocked and, ah, dangit, were was I? Did I mention the summers were longer? Bloody kids, what’s that racket, call that music, yeah, yeah, yeah, what’s it all mean, eh? Eh?

                • Jenny Kirk

                  oh dear – apologies te reo putake – I always like to make sure my sandwich fillings are thick and tasty – didn’t think about tomatoes dripping out !!

          • BM

            That’s what I like about National, you always know where you stand.

            Compare that to Labour, they say this and rant about that, yet nothing ever concrete, you always get the feeling that they’re not being very honest and just say what they think people want to hear.

            • Colonial Viper

              Except they are so culturally disconnected from what ordinary Kiwis are thinking that half the time they make a total mash of it.

              Like Chinese sounding last names. Every Aucklander knows that Chinese have been driving up the prices on everyone for years. Chowick got taken over in the 2000s by the Chinese.

              And yet when Labour makes a play into that space it comes across as insincere and they turn it into a total cock up.

              What should have been a vote winner for them ended up as egg on their face.

      • Takere 8.3.2

        Here’s probably a few good reasons why foreign ownership of investment properties needs dealing too …. Who owns NZ rental properties?
        • 214,000 NZ tax residents
        • 23,000 non-NZ tax residents, including Kiwis living offshore
        • 700 residency not identifiable
        Who claims tax losses? *
        • 98,100 or 41% of landlords with NZ properties declared tax losses in 2015
        • 90,000 of those were NZ tax residents
        • 8000 (35% of the 23,000 non-residents) were non-NZ tax residents. So more than a third of offshore landlords got tax breaks
        • 100 were non-identifiable
        How much tax do landlords pay?
        • The Government’s rental property net tax was $188m in 2015
        • $175m came from NZ tax residents and $11m came from non-residents (offshore)
        • The remaining $2m came from taxpayers of unknown residence
        Source: Phil Twyford after Parliamentary written questions to Michael Woodhouse
        *Declared overall tax losses (i.e. paid no tax on those rental properties or claimed a tax credit)
        … ” 23,000 foreigners with New Zealand properties reaped $100 million net rental income for the March 31, 2015 year, yet paid only $17 million tax.
        “These speculators have no problem with negative gearing.
        “These investors are pocketing hefty tax breaks to subsidise property speculation,”. The claims as well for losses on properties from foreign owners should be retained here in NZ.
        “10,000 offshore investors have reported total losses of $300 million on rental properties. Depending on what tax rate they are paying, that could mean a tax write-off of up to $100 million,”.
        Of the 23,000 non-New Zealand tax residents with properties here, 8000 or 35 per cent declared overall tax losses.
        Woodhouse(Min) confirmed the data came from his office and the numbers were correct ….”

        • Brendon Harre

          Landlords paid the government $188m in taxes. How much did they receive in accommodation supplements? $1 billion or so? What is this subsidy achieving?

    • srylands 8.4

      And you are not xenophobic either right?

      I assume that next time you put your house on the market, you won’t sell to a foreigner? That is your right.

      All those New Zealanders who oppose foreign investment in residential property can just not sell their houses to foreigners. Many of those people seem to be commenting on this thread.

      It is just that out there in the real world, I never see such people. I simply see people getting the most they can for their property when they sell it. That includes Green Party members who live in Oriental Bay. It then becomes do as a I say, but don’t watch what I do.

      My challenge is for anyone reading this – have you in the last 5 years not accepted the highest bid for your owner occupied property, or a rental you own, because the highest bidder was a foreigner?

      • Muttonbird 8.4.1

        John Key warned us yesterday that some un-named country would ‘fill the vacuum’ in the Asia/Pacific region left when and if the US didn’t ratify the TPPA.

        Which country was he speaking of? A country with no democracy. A country with a vicious justice system and jails filled with torture. A country with no worker rights. A country which has progressed not one inch politically since Tiananmen Square.

        The greedy right might be thrilled with taking corrupt monies from these people. The socially responsible left is not.

        • Garibaldi

          Let me have a guess Muttonbird. Sounds very much like what the good old US of A has become!

          • Chuck

            Ha good one Garibaldi!

            “The greedy right might be thrilled with taking corrupt monies from these people. The socially responsible left is not.”

            Just to point out an inconvenient truth to Muttonbird…Who signed off on a certain Free Trade Agreement with China?? oh that’s right it was a Labour Government.

            In fact the FTA was signed in April 2008 by New Zealand’s Minister of Trade Phil Goff.

            By the way, Labour did the right thing in doing so.

            • In Vino

              Bollocks. That Labour Government was not Left Wing. You are into cheap, superficial, political point-scoring trolling. Boring.
              Poison praise for Garibaldi because in your eyes he undermined Muttonbird, then your attempt to undermine Muttonbird in turn..
              Chuck is full of it, and no mate of any Lefty.

    • Leftie 8.5

      Good one Observer Tokoroa!! Well said.

  9. AB 9

    Like all business-based candidates at local elections, Crone offers us the anodyne group-think of a management team meeting, plus the occasional piece of outright battiness. This is the latter.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    . I think there is one Portugese in New Zealand. Has decided to live underground beneath Colonial Viper.

    You will note that land is more expensive beneath than it is above.

    Being only one, it is unlikely he will breed. Which won’t affect the Maori Party one way or the other.



  11. Scott 11

    I doubt she is racist. I think the attack was trying to point out what she perceived as hypocrisy from Goff (and maybe it was a bit but he is a politician so no shock there).

    I’d call it a combination of political naivety and a strong whiff of desperation.

    The Auckland Mayoral campaign was over a long time ago – the minute that National refused to get directly involved and left several candidates on the right fighting it out with one high profile well organised choice on the left who has the support of Labour. At that point it was end of.

    Crone should just take it on the chin and finish it off with her dignity in tact. She seems like a nice enough person. Her day will come in some context or another, if she doesn’t ruin it now.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    It’s a curiosity that immigration is reduced so often to a racist/not racist dichotomy when there are clearly other important issues at stake, like housing affordability and homelessness.

    The big issue is really corruption. The form is profiteering. Instead of protecting the rights and needs of New Zealanders to secure housing, the governments (both local and central) are selling them out. For profit. The result will be racism and racist violence, but make no mistake, the malefactors are the profiteers. Paid and sworn to represent NZ interests, and not doing so.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The Left pioneered the use of the racism/sexism/ageism/abelism/multi-ism’s sneer calls so I’m not surprised that the Right went with it and adapted the momentum for their own uses.

      • Stuart Munro 12.1.1

        Yes, I think this is the aspect of the Brexit the liberal class cannot admit – that they have allowed the erosion of working class living standards to the point that immigration is an existential threat. They can then play the racism card instead of addressing fundamental issues like housing. Won’t win them any votes though.

        • Colonial Viper

          Trump’s tapped into it. So have other right wing parties across Europe. And its a massive vote winner, because so many families have been adversely affected by the neoliberal changes of the last 30-40 years.

          The well educated white collar salaried political elite who did very well out of these changes studiously refuse to look at the picture that they themselves help to create.

          • Stuart Munro

            I guess it is the inevitable outcome of neoliberalism – the supplanting of public interest by private and corporate interest. It will be interesting to see how it plays out – but although I think Trump and probably more thoroughly Farage correctly identified a genuine wedge issue neither have shown any signs thus far of a reform that would resolve it.

            • Colonial Viper

              Sheldon Wolin developed the concept of “inverted totalitarianism” – which is not the tyranny of a single charismatic dictator, but the faceless dictatorship of an entrenched institutionalised system run by a tiny class of elites: the 0.1% or the 0.01%.

              No single political leader has a chance of meaningfully changing this set up, although a strong influential one may be able to make minor changes to ameliorate the very worst aspects of it here and there.

  13. Sacha 13

    It’s mainly that Crone’s backers like Boag aren’t as good at fundraising this time as Goff’s campaign has been. Nothing like that right-wing sense of entitlement to the lion’s share being disrupted to promote petulance..

    • s y d 13.1

      Surely it’s that Goff, while entirely politically acceptable, does not posess the correct background.
      I’m suprised Ms Boag didn’t put up Gilbert Myles instead of VC

  14. Observer Tokoroa 14

    . Hi Muttonbird

    .”The greedy right might be thrilled with taking corrupt monies from these people. The socially responsible left is not.”

    . I agree with you. Vacuums are always filled. The Arabs have the well publicised goal of taking Mohamed to every square inch of the civilised world. They will be among the biggest murderers and conquerors.

    So will the Chinese with their mix of dictatorship and capitalism and primitive Justice. They are huge breeders too. As are the Indians. Both those races will leave standing room only.

    But the ones I fear most are the Greed Seekers who suck the wealth and the enterprise out of the common man. They are inherently evil, because of their total self centred interest. Rogue biomass. A Virus without conscience or care. Destroying everything they can get their hands on. Like plagues of Locusts. Rats and all things vermin. They do not stand for anything other than themselves.

    They must go – if ordinary decent people are to be saved.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      . I agree with you. Vacuums are always filled. The Arabs have the well publicised goal of taking Mohamed to every square inch of the civilised world. They will be among the biggest murderers and conquerors.

      The West has killed around 2M Muslims in the last ~2 decades. Including around 500,000 Iraqi children. Just saying.

  15. Observer Tokoroa 15

    Oh Yes ? Colonial Viper

    Please break down that number into Arab on Arab atrocity for me.

    You may think otherwise CV but Mohammedans allow nil freedom of choice. Their ruthlessness is a total insane cowardice.

    Please add on the Arabs of Africa. Don’t forget the little girls they take.

    Nice People. They arrange mayhem wherever and against whomever they want. Ask Egypt. If you like them so much and admire their ways – why not go and lead them into more futility CV.

    Good Friend. I know you blame Hilary Clinton for each and every evil on the planet. . But that is just one of your delightful stupidities.



    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      ” Please break down that number into Arab on Arab atrocity for me.”

      These are deaths caused by the actions of the West, including western sanctions, western destruction of civil infrastructure, and western support and encouragement of factional/civil/regime change warfare.

      You need to read up on the history of US and UK and European pals fucking up the middle east and north africa over the last 100 years, as you seem like a pig ignorant colonial barbarian keen to wash your hands of the resulting miasma.

  16. Garibaldi 16

    OT ….
    14) The muslims ” will be among the biggest murderers and conquerors”. History shows us they learnt that from the Christian Crusaders. Since WW1 the West (ie the Christians) has been responsible for totally cocking up the Middle East and not only butchering them but supplying them arms and encouraging them to butcher each other.

    It strikes me that the “Greed Seekers” you refer to are the very ones running our Western world currently.

    15) You don’t realize why these people hate us so much do you? See my paragraph above ‘ since WW1….’

    We don’t blame Hilary for ‘each and every evil on the planet’, we are just pointing out time and again that she is working for the Greed Seekers that you so despise.

    • Chuck 16.1

      “The muslims ” will be among the biggest murderers and conquerors”. History shows us they learnt that from the Christian Crusaders.”

      Study up on a little history Garibaldi…

      “The Muslim wars of imperialist conquest have been launched for almost 1,500 years against hundreds of nations, over millions of square miles (significantly larger than the British Empire at its peak). The lust for Muslim imperialist conquest stretched from southern France to the Philippines, from Austria to Nigeria, and from central Asia to New Guinea. This is the classic definition of imperialism — “the policy and practice of seeking to dominate the economic and political affairs of weaker countries.”


      • In Vino 16.1.1

        Chuck, don’t talk about studying History, and then quote biased propaganda from a rabidly anti-Islamic website.
        You would not know real historical analysis if it bit you in your highly productive backside.

        • Chuck

          Denial is not what I would of expected from such a well educated person like yourself In Vino.

          Here is a time line on Islam and Europe. You will note the first Christian Crusade started in 1095, Islamic Crusades had started approx. 400 years earlier.


          Garibaldi is under the impression that Islam learned from the Christian Crusades, when in fact Islam were the aggressors and had been for centuries before the Christians. You could argue the Christian Crusades were defensive in nature.

          • In Vino

            Wrong. You fail to acknowledge (or refuse to admit) that the Christian Crusaders brought an entirely new level of barbarity to the conflicts. They even sacked Constantinople – not because it was Islamic, but because it was Greek Orthodox Christian – not good enough for them. The Islamic armies then responded with similar increased savagery. Your simple timeline fails to explain this.

            • Chuck

              “You fail to acknowledge (or refuse to admit) that the Christian Crusaders brought an entirely new level of barbarity to the conflicts.”

              It may pay for you to do a little research In Vino. Barbarity was well entrenched long before the Christian Crusaders came along.

              For example: Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted almost a century and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.

              However it was a nice diversion, as my reply was about how the Islamic Crusades started centuries before the Christian Crusades.

              • In Vino

                Of course there were acts of savagery beforehand. The Romans slaughtered everyone in Carthage years before Christians and Muslims existed. This point still stands: “The Christian Crusaders brought an entirely new level of barbarity to the conflicts.” Quoting a few earlier atrocities does not refute it. I think you need to look more deeply into what you have researched, but I suspect you are of a mind to see this from a preconceived viewpoint that will help you to present Islam as an evil.

              • Colonial Viper

                Systematic white man genocide of native Americans.

                Then there’s the Belgium congo. Bring in some black kids severed hands to get paid your finders fee. And that’s not that long ago.

  17. Paul 17

    Let’s say it plainly.

    Wealthy foreigners are buying up our country.
    Some of those rich foreigners happen to come from mainland China.
    Some of those foreigners are using hot money.

    The issue is our lack of rules ( as per usual with neoliberalism ) with capital inflows and with our country’s assets.

    It has all to do with wealth.
    It has nothing to do with racism.

    • Stuart Munro 17.1

      Absolutely – but if our supposedly enlightened classes fail to address these issues they will be solved ad hoc by less considerate persons.

      Housing is not a failure people can just shrug off – no secure housing means little chance of family or community. Angry deculturised people do bad things.

      The irresponsibility of this government is breathtaking.

      • Muttonbird 17.1.1

        ^ Two good summations.

        The relaxation of rules around immigration and residency of purchaser is doing the damage despite Chuck claiming yet again that it was Labour what signed the China FTA so therefore Labour must agree with, and is responsible for, what is happening today.

        And, there are tools available to the government of the day to protect the country against social damage, in the form of community-less and angry people, caused by total deregulation of ‘trade’ in residential housing. The current government refuses to use those tools.

        Which begs the question: since when is housing considered a tradable item between countries?

      • I Feel Love 17.1.2

        Kids moving schools because of housing shortages. http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11702329

  18. Observer Toke 18

    . Hi Chuck

    . Bashing Christians is the current rage among the uneducated.

    . For that reason your words are very important. No matter what the uneducated say, the fact is that Muslims are determined to remove every “infidel”. That is, every non Muslim.

    ‘ “The Muslim wars of imperialist conquest have been launched for almost 1,500 years against hundreds of nations, over millions of square miles (significantly larger than the British Empire at its peak).

    The lust for Muslim imperialist conquest stretched from southern France to the Philippines, from Austria to Nigeria, and from central Asia to New Guinea.

    This is the classic definition of imperialism — “the policy and practice of seeking to dominate the economic and political affairs of weaker countries.”

    • In Vino 18.1

      You also need to look into this a lot more deeply, Observer Tok. You and Chuck are showing immense symptoms of paranoia – fundamentalist Christian, maybe.
      Or just the normal right-wing Fox News style crap. Your ignorance shines forth.

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      . For that reason your words are very important. No matter what the uneducated say, the fact is that Muslims are determined to remove every “infidel”. That is, every non Muslim.

      This is only a small part of the current state of Islam and it is mainly thanks to the west supporting Wahhabi salafist Islam through Saudi Arabia for the last hundred years.

  19. Observer Toke 19

    Hi In Vino

    . Are you suggesting that Mohammedans are not committed to the destruction of Infidels?

    You are on the wrong plonk. Have you lived in Muslim territory? You better toss away your Vino (wine).

    Were your girls allowed to go to school? Or go to the doctor alone. Or drive a motor car. Or stand for Parliament.

    Wish you well. Get real when you dry out.


    • Stuart Munro 19.1

      I’ve lived in Saudi.

      Muslims come in as many different kinds and flavours as Christians. Most of them are pretty good people. Mind, if you bomb them often enough they’ll get pretty upset.

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      the West has insisted on fucking around with Middle Eastern borders and killing moderate secular politicians for years.

      So you get what you deserve.

      • Stuart Munro 19.2.1

        I should mention that one of the oddities of Saudi at the moment is that it’s full of progressive Egyptians avoiding the return of military rule.

        • Colonial Viper

          ahhhh weird…why have they gone to Saudi Arabia and not say, Lebanon or Jordan?

          • Stuart Munro

            The pay’s better – and Saudi’s are pretty laid back outside security protocols. Not much work in Jordan either – I was working for a Jordanian 😉 Saudi is the Oz of the ME.

            There’s no booze, but in the north Bahrain is 40 minutes drive away. Mind, I was in the Jubail/Dammam area – it is governed by the royal commission so there’s less corruption, and the religious police are virtually absent.

    • In Vino 19.3

      Ob Tok
      Like Garibaldi, I would point out that it was the savage Christian Crusaders who taught to the Muslims that extremism you now describe, and foolishly ascribe to all Muslims.

      • Chuck 19.3.1

        “Like Garibaldi, I would point out that it was the savage Christian Crusaders who taught to the Muslims that extremism you now describe”

        That is utter rubbish In Vino, I could detail over 500 battles waged by Muslim Crusaders…and if by savage you mean – wholesale slaughter, executions, rape, torture, enslavement… that was carried over a time period that far exceeds the Christian Crusades.

        Luckily a good portion of Muslims don’t interpret the Koran literally…and are in the main model citizens of this planet.

        • In Vino

          Furious back-peddling at the end there?
          Wikipedia notes that crusades had 2 effects – behaviour of especially the 4th Crusade ensured that the East-West split in the Christian Church would never be healed, and, secondly, the enmity between the Western Christian Church and Islam was increased permanently. As Garibaldi said, the West’s behaviour in the middle East ever since World War 1 has served only to increase this enmity and encourage the rise of militant extremism. Historically sound.

          • Chuck

            “Furious back-peddling at the end there?”

            I thought a little balance was required…as I am saying the Christian Crusades pale compared to the 400+ years of brutal Muslim ones.

            In more modern times, since WW1 I agree. The West (and East) have failed to bring any sort of stability to the region.

        • Colonial Viper

          you forgotten the western Inquisition so quickly?

          The iron maiden and the rack, amongst many tools of the western trade.

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