web analytics

It’s not fair, get over it, get it right

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, July 22nd, 2009 - 83 comments
Categories: Media, phil goff, unemployment, welfare - Tags:

The ludicrous attacks by the media on Goff over the dole scheme show that this is not an even playing field.

Key is allowed to lie again and again. Ministers are allowed to shirk their responsibilities. The fact that 1300 more people on the dole each week barely gets a look in. The journos are all smitten by Key’s personality (did you see Oliver Driver on Sunrise? painful), so of course they decide it’s more important that Goff didn’t articulate his alternative policy well at first than that the Government has rejected that policy and has no policy of its own.

It must be tempting for Goff to back off now and lick his wounds. That would be entirely the wrong thing to do.

Keep attacking the Government. Keep standing up as an alternative. Just stop shooting yourself in the foot by not getting the obvious stuff in order before you go public.

It’s great if you come out attacking in the first round but it’s undone if you spend the next news-cycle chasing your tail because you weren’t prepared when you should be getting in the next bites. That lesson should have been learnt with the Worth affair. It better bloody well be learnt this time or history will repeat, again.

And for God’s sake, play it more aggressively in the House. The Prime Minister who is standing by while the worst increase in unemployment on record occurs is the person shown on TV mocking you for coming up with an idea and you’re not hitting back harder from the moral high ground? That’s a fucken disgrace.

[Update: Goff does much better on Breakfast this morning. Using real examples focused on the actual issue, not allowing yourself to get distracted into correcting yourself. Shouldn’t have needed to be on the defensive though]

83 comments on “It’s not fair, get over it, get it right”

  1. Lew 1

    Good advice, Eddie.

    Since the election (and before) there’s been altogether too much whining of the ‘not fair!’, ‘voters wuz duped!’, ‘waah!’ sort. Tough. People win who change their actions to meet reality, rather than trying to deny it or complain about the absence of some mystical set of rules which don’t really exist under which they would have won.

    L

  2. Good point Lew, and good post Eddie. Labour does need to do better.

  3. Jono 3

    Oh my God, Binglish got a full ten minutes on Morning Report this morning, interupted only by patsy questions, and clarifications of his own talking points by Geoff. R. Why bother even having an interviewer?

  4. Zaphod Beeblebrox 4

    Stick to the script. Unemployment or underemployment is the issue- if Goff keeps hammering away about the effects on individuals, the blowtorch will quickly be turned back on English.
    He seems to be doing pretty well on that- the contrast with Australia sticks out like dogs balls.

  5. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    Stick to the script. Unemployment or underemployment is the issue- if Goff keeps hammering away about the effects on individuals, the blowtorch will quickly be turned back on English.
    He seems to be doing pretty well on that- the contrast with Australia is obvious and timely.

    • Ron 5.1

      I was really disappointed by the NatRad coverage of all this. English got away with lying while apparently Labouir had an “embarrassing u-turn” when they clarified their position.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    Sorry repeat entry

  7. Unfortunately, Kiwis seem destined to do this recession harder than in many other countries. While there are many deep-seated problems with the New Zealand economy, in part related to the post-2000 boom, the fundamental reason why we will do it tougher is the National-led government.

    It’s reluctance to intervene in all but the most trifling of ways (i.e. Jobs Summit, 9-day fortnight, short-term assistance) demonstrates its traditional indifference to those who will have to bear the greatest burden in the global financial crisis.

    The United States, Britain, and Australia, have all implemented fiscal stimuli packages, targeting increasing consumer spending, which have somewhat softened the impact, but National acts as if it were the proverbial ostrich, oblivious with its head in the sand, only with its own thoughts to keep it company.

    • infused 7.1

      It has done very little actually, and looks likely to cripple those countries in the future.

    • gingercrush 7.2

      The United States, Britain, and Australia, have all implemented fiscal stimuli packages, targeting increasing consumer spending, which have somewhat softened the impact, but National acts as if it were the proverbial ostrich, oblivious with its head in the sand, only with its own thoughts to keep it company.

      The US is at 9.5% unemployment and its still rising. Britain has over 7% unemployment. Even Australia is set to have unemployment about the same as New Zealand. Considering they didn’t have an induced recession (whereas NZ was in recession when the world-wide recession hit) and are spending billions . Stop talking shit.

      Anyway, New Zealand is providing stimulus. Our unemployment rate will not reach the height of others. The US is in a lot of trouble. States are basically bankrupt. The stimulus was in all the wrong places. There’s even talk of a further stimulus package. Their debt levels are at sprialling heights. Their dollar is in trouble. Risk of big inflation in the coming years.

      • mickysavage 7.2.1

        So we have been in recession fow a while but still had low unemployment.

        Boy was Helen good …

      • snoozer 7.2.2

        yeah, lucky we were coming off such a low unemployment.

        Not an excuse to just sit round and do nothign though, eh

    • Swampy 7.3

      The US Britian and Australia all have far bigger economies than us.

  8. Yeti 8

    Oliver Driver used to be a Labour Party activist. He was the guest of honour at Phil Twyford’s campaign launch in 2005 and has a long record of left-leaning or anti-National comments. You might want to ponder why he has stopped supporting the Labour Party, along with hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders since 2005.

    • snoozer 8.1

      Driver’s still a leftie, he has had some strong interviews against Key. But he gets sucked in by the showpony personality like the rest of them.

  9. Come on Eddie – you’re now trying to cover your own butt for trumpetting Goff’s killer jab which actually turned out to be an air swing.

    Given that the Standard has patented the flip flop brand, you’ve now got to laugh at Goff getting caught out in similar territory.

    Actually, I’ll give you credit (I scanned the first time) because I think you’re right that Labour blew a winning hand with Worth. Which again shows the issue is not how the media is portraying Goff or Labour but their own strategies.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the “Goff gaffe” angle.

    The small minority babble away on the blogs. The great majority watch TV and hear/see “unemployment … dole … jobs … Goff … jobs … jobs …”.

    Good.

    Sure, it should have been better presented by Goff, but this is the turf Labour want to be fighting on. People care about what’s happening to people like them. Not the lastest self-absorbed “it’s all a game” talk from the courtiers in Wellington.

    The more unemployment gets in the headlines, the harder it is for the government to pretend it has nothing to do with politics. Keep at it, Labour.

  11. burt 11

    He’s not really leadership material is he. He should stick to dreaming about how he would spend rich pricks money if he had the levers rather than spilling his mindless fantasies of kicking rich folk for votes in the media.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    We know that Goff is leadership material, because the Right spent the last nine years telling us so, in their futile attempts to undermine Clark.

    Now they’re doing the same, and the only reason they might get traction is if people in Labour have no spine, no attention span, and no memory.

    Far too many headless chooks in politics, I reckon. See National’s four leaders in six years as evidence.

    • Swampy 12.1

      You mean after Labour had three prime ministers in three years, that was just about a political record for NZ wasn’t it? Four leaders in six years (1987-93).

      Goff has been in politics too long, he is yesterday’s man, along with all the other remnants from the Fourth Labour government.

  13. vidiot 13

    “The fact that 1300 more people on the dole each week barely gets a look in. ”

    So was Goff lying this AM on Breakfast when he said ‘2000-3000 people were losing there jobs every week’ ? Talk about not getting it right.

    • Derek 13.1

      You might have to remove the ‘v’ from your handle, mate. There are 1300 more people on the dole each week. There’s also 2000-3000 losing their jobs.

      Pretty simple really. Not everyone who loses their job is eligible for the dole. That’s why this whole issue is up for discussion in the first place.

      Talk about not getting it right.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        Here’s one of those missing from the dole figure.

        • Swampy 13.1.1.1

          He owns two houses, apparently he doesn’t live in either of them. If he is in danger of losing his property he must be in net debt even allowing for the value of the two other properties – which appear to be worth at least $600,000.

          Whilst I have no doubt that losing his lifestyle block would be heart wrenching the Labour Party must well know that there are a lot more people around who face financial hardship who don’t even own a house, let alone own two that they don’t even live in.

          If he is at risk of losing the lifestyle block he must have taken out a mortgage to buy it, whereas it seems to me he could have traded the other two properties for it and have much less debt.

          I choose to live a modest lifestyle which involves virtually no debt. Far too many people these days take unnecessary financial risks, overcomitting themselves with borrowing, they leave themselves wide open for situations they have not thought about. Supposing the guy got sick, he could end up on a benefit or some other circumstance and the same would have happened.

          Maybe there is something about his case that isn’t so obvious from the newspaper article, but it does seem to me he has missed an obvious opportunity to be free of net debt, as many people who just focused on owning the house they live in would be at his age.

    • snoozer 13.2

      you just made a munter of yourself, vidiot. Pure and simple. You obviously don’t have the slightest clue what the debate is.

  14. RedLogix 14

    Keep in mind that only 32% of people who loose their job actually get the unemployment benefit. That means that if benefit numbers are increasing by 1300 pw, there are 1300/0.32 = 4000 odd people actually loosing their jobs…16,000 per month, or about 200,000 per year.

    BTW the comparable number in Australia is 96% because they have a much higher qualifying partner income. I guess this is another comparison with Australia that we won’t be hearing from that nice Mr Key anytime soon either.

    • jarbury 14.1

      That’s an issue I think Labour should highlight in this debate. If Key’s so keen on emulating Australia’s economic performance he should look at how Australia also supports its workers so much better.

      Perhaps that’s why their income levels are so good?

  15. Zaphod Beeblebrox 15

    Yeah Australia are really suffering from their overspending profligate government. The Reserve Bank are now predicting uemployment will only peak at 7.5%. Will NZ be able to revise their figure down?

    I’m sure they will be able to reverse some of Howard’s middle class welfare and tax cuts if they need to, with a strong economy they will be in a position to pay down their debt and get everybody saving again. And they will have some decent infrastructure.

    Thanks to our gutless, myopic leadership, we will be in no such position next year.

  16. jarbury 16

    Hmmm… John Key seems quite downcast and serious today in answering the questions. Quite a change to his usual demeanour.

    • Ianmac 16.1

      John actually tried to answer questions without getting hysterical about 1987. Perhaps there has been a shift in the polls? Na. Too soon.

  17. gingercrush 17

    Just stop shooting yourself in the foot by not getting the obvious stuff in order before you go public.

    Did it again today with Bruce Burgess. Goff is just not helping himself. Started well with the dole proposal (good policy for Labour) but he just messes up. Instead of Goff landing punches its been National this week. That really shouldn’t be happening in troubling economic times. It seems with both Goff and Key, their support behind the scenes aren’t as strong as they should be. Thus both are prone to mistakes. For Key its less critical because he’s in government. For Goff who needs momentum its critical he starts getting it right.

  18. mike 18

    Oh dear Mr Goff you are having a terrible few days..

    TV3 – “Bruce Burgess also owns two other rental properties on top of his lifestyle block. Burgess appears to have never told the Herald this.

    But he did tell Goff. Oh yes. He told the Labour Party about his financial situation alright.

    He told Labour he owned three properties. It’s just that Labour never told the media. Phil Goff never told the full story in Parliament about Burgess.

    It was the Government who went away and checked out Burgess’ story.”
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Video/Goffs-second-cock-up—opinion/tabid/209/articleID/113560/cat/772/Default.aspx

  19. RedLogix 19

    Yeah play that line out mike… and see how well it resonates with tens of thousands of other hard working kiwis just like Burgess who have worked damm hard for the modest investments they have managed to scrape together over the years.

    • mike 19.1

      Burgess has property worth over a million bucks! – hardly the battler from struggle St Goff made him out to be.

      Key even gave him great advice in the house about checking his facts but he still blustered on – someone put this poor bugger out of his misery

      • RedLogix 19.1.1

        So what. You have no idea what the equity or cash flow is. Being forced to sell up in the current market may well create an even bigger loss.

        A million dollars on paper is nothing extraordinary, its pretty typical of many middle class folk his age… and that was the point Goff was making.

        • gingercrush 19.1.1.1

          Then don’t overexpose yourself Redlogix. You know full well as an investor that you don’t expose yourself into a situation where you have more debt than asset value. The idea that we’re meant to have sympathy for this guy is beyond the take.

          The real point of course is that Goff and the Herald painted this as the sole property being at risk when it is likely the house is at risk because he overleveraged on his lifestyle property. The idea such a person deserves welfare is absurd.

          • RedLogix 19.1.1.1.1

            All investment implies risk and exposure, but the point is that this guy who has worked all his life is now faced with loosing everything. At the age of 61 he will not be able to stage a recovery and will likely be a state dependent all the rest of his life.

            I have a colleague at work who will loose his home (and about $100k of equity) next month, because his partner lost her job six months ago. Slowly but surely since then they have sunk deeper and deeper into debt. He’s tried everything. He got a letter from the bank Monday giving him a deadline. You may not have any sympathy, but it’s different when it gets personal.

            As it is for thousands of kiwis in just this position; liabilities that they, and the banks who lent to them, thought perfectly reasonable just a year ago, have now become lethal due to circumstances wholly beyond their control.

            But as you say if Key wants to attack a man who is unemployed, go for it.

            • gingercrush 19.1.1.1.1.1

              You may not have any sympathy, but it’s different when it gets personal.

              Did you play this line when Labour and Pharmac wouldn’t fund Herceptin for women with breast cancer? I don’t think so.

              As you clearly don’t listen. Read the transcripts of question time. Did John Key attack Burgess?

            • Swampy 19.1.1.1.1.2

              Not lethal. Tough, yes.

        • Lew 19.1.1.2

          Yeah, what the hell? Nobody with a lifestyle block and two investment properties is entitled to cry poverty. I speak as someone just about to enter the property market – it’s people like that who are making it bloody near impossible for me to do so on reasonable terms.

          Sell one, bank the cash or shore it up into the mortgage of one of the others. That’ll at least buy time to find another job.

          L

          • RedLogix 19.1.1.2.1

            As I said above Lew, you have no idea what his equity position is. Logically if the bank thought it worth his while to sell up and recover enough cash then that would likely have been done by now.

            All young people have to work hard to enter the property market. My first house was a $55,000 Keith Hay box in Kawerau, circa 1985. Within a year or so of purchasing it the mortgage hit 23%, and was gobbling up almost half my income. (With two young children and only one earning partner.)

            Sorry but you seem to want it handed to you easy street; well it never was.

            • Lew 19.1.1.2.1.1

              RL,

              It’s bloody stupid of you to claim I don’t know his equity position and then assume that I expect to have things easy, pal.

              If they have two rental properties and a lifestyle block, and are able to service the debt on them with a combined income of $75,000, that makes them a damned sight better off than plenty of the people who supposedly form Labour’s core constituency.

              I feel sorry for them. They’ve been used as political currency by Phil Goff, and it’s ugly.

              L

        • Swampy 19.1.1.3

          Middle class own a million dollars? You have got to be kidding. We all hear all the time about how New Zealand is falling behind in standard of living, doesn’t sound like it.

          My parents are retired and their house (with a small mortgage) is worth at most $300,000, Dad’s super scheme wouldn’t be worth much, yet definitely middle class in their day

    • Swampy 19.2

      Assuming they are investment properties, he should have paid off the mortgage on the lifestyle block and put the other two properties into a company or trust so they wouldn’t expose his residential property to risk. Maybe the lifestyle block was really expensive and he overcommitted himself. Maybe when he was on ACC he should have thought about the risks that he might not be able to pay off the mortgage if he got sick and ACC didn’t cover it.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    I doubt Phil Goff is bothered if John Key wants to start attacking somebody who’s unemployed.

    And it looks like National may have much bigger problems:

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/07/22/update-on-brash-email-investigation-english-worried/

    Interesting …

    • gingercrush 20.1

      Actually John Key didn’t attack Burgess. What he did was put Goff firmly in place and explained what this guy would get. The fact Goff decided to hide things is the real issue. As Garner rightly points out if Key tried to what Goff did. Clark and Cullen would be quickly on him about it.

      I’m not sure why you are acting like these things won’t impact Labour. When if it was National you along with all the other patsies would say how terrible National is being. But perhaps you’re right. Perhaps for the wider public this isn’t a matter they’re concerned about. But you don’t get the media off-side. Both Tuesday and now today the media have criticised Goff. That has to be a concern. One only has to look at English’s leadership of the National Party and the constant criticism the media gave him to see how much damage that can cause. That is the critical problem Goff has.

      • gingercrush 20.1.1

        As for the Brash emails. Funny how the police said just a month or so ago that the case was pretty much closed. Yet with some pressure the police are now investigating the thing properly. But if there is damage to National, no doubt it’ll be interesting to see how they handle things.

        —-

        Lprent if you’re reading this. Why couldn’t I edit the post above because Lew replied to another comment upthread.

        [lprent: probably because I’ve been fiddling with the server tonight tightening up the firewall boundary rules to prevent the shutdowns. I have reset apache web server at least 10 times tonight. That would prevent ajax links (like the edit) from working ]

  21. felix 21

    I don’t like agreeing with ginger but this was a terrible example for Goff to use.

    I feel sorry for anyone who loses their job and even more their home, but when you’ve got two more… well there are other people with bigger problems who I feel for more.

    I’m not really interested in the specifics of how much he owes on the properties etc, the point is it doesn’t exactly look like desperation, does it?

    The problem I have with this is that Goff could have easily found genuine examples of genuine cases of genuine need. Why didn’t he? Why the hell did he go with “Guy who’s in danger of losing one of his houses”?

    Also ginge the reason you can’t use edit is because you touch yourself at night.

    [lprent: I’m sure that you touch yourself as well. Bloody hard not to if you are wearing the body. I suppose that there are certain conditions that may prevent you from noticing….
    In other words – don’t try to start flamewars especially in such an unsubtle way. Thought that crude approach disappeared with the ‘sod.. ]

  22. RedLogix 22

    It’s bloody stupid of you to claim I don’t know his equity position and then assume that I expect to have things easy, pal.

    It’s not usual for you to conflate two wildly different things like this.

    1. Do you or do you not know his Burgess’s equity position? Given that it does not appear to be in the public domain at present, I assumed that like me, you do not know either. But logically anyone can make a reasonable guess that in the current depressed market it is not good. If he is forced to sell now he may well loose a lot of hard earned savings. Through no real fault of his own.

    2. Like many people your age you have bought into the dumb idea that the ‘baby boomers’ are evil incarnate. When I was your age, I too looked at older people who have accumulated some assets and savings and thought that “it’s people like that who are making it bloody near impossible for me to do so on reasonable terms.” You will disagree with me for now, but one day in 20-30 years time you will think differently.

    • Lew 22.1

      RL,

      Do you or do you not know his Burgess’s equity position?

      I don’t. it’s irrelevant. He owns a bunch of properties. How much of them he owns is between him and the bank.

      Do you know my position or my expectations for the real estate market? No? Didn’t think so.

      Like many people your age you have bought into the dumb idea that the ‘baby boomers’ are evil incarnate.

      No, I haven’t. Baby boomers are fine, it’s property speculators I can’t abide.

      The housing boom which has almost priced people like me out of the market has been driven by demand – by people buying additional investment properties instead of other forms of investment, largely because there’s no incentive to do otherwise. That’s fine, it’s peoples’ right to do so, and to keep the private profits for themselves. But then when it all comes tumbling down, why should they get to socialise the losses? If it’s bad for the big bad capitalists, why is it any less bad for the smaller capitalists? Capitalists all the same, and not creating all that much economic value with their investments beyond what the bubble creates. Call it an incentive.

      RL, you presume to criticise me on the basis that I’m responding from a position of self-interest. You’re no better – you have a bunch of property. It’s only natural that you should be defending those who want a safety net under their investment failures – and only natural that I shouldn’t want to subsidise them. Or you.

      L

  23. RedLogix 23

    felix,

    You miss the point entirely. Regardless of how many properties this guy owns on paper, the chances are he will loose the lot. That’s a lifetime of savings down the gurgler, and at his age little chance of recovery.

    • J Mex 23.1

      Without too much problem, I could rustle together a room full of property developers in exactly the same position. I trust you would will extend them the same sympathy, Redlogix?

      Sad, yes. A situation for the New Zealand taxpayer to fix? Hardly.

    • felix 23.2

      Not really RL.

      My point was that this was a poor example for Goff to choose.

      You may well be right (although you’re only guessing too, there are many possible scenarios) about the details of his situation – I’m talking about the perception.

      I just think Goff could have found a better example. But then again, it’s struck a chord with you, so….

      • burt 23.2.1

        Goff should retrospectively validate his media statements.

        Otherwise I agree with you felix, shabby choice of example and the battle is lost. Did Goff even consider his core constituents when he choose that example?

  24. burt 24

    mike

    Key even gave him great advice in the house about checking his facts but he still blustered on someone put this poor bugger out of his misery

    Here here.

  25. burt 25

    RedLogix

    You miss the point entirely. Regardless of how many properties this guy owns on paper, the chances are he will loose the lot. That’s a lifetime of savings down the gurgler, and at his age little chance of recovery.

    I won’t argue about loosing it all because that might be true however is it the state’s responsibility? Arguably anybody in possession of circa $1m of property should not be so exposed to a few months of unemployment. Sure I won’t argue that many are and that is a big problem, but once again is it the state’s responsibility to insure them against poor financial planning?

    • RedLogix 25.1

      As I guessed, the ‘million dollars’ worth of property is now loosing money and is a liability. Even selling them won’t help.

      There are a LOT of people in this position who because of a relatively short-term crisis wholly beyond their control, could be totally wiped out. Then many will become state dependents for the rest of their lives anyway. Whereas with a little support (the same as they might get in Australia) might them through this period, bloodied but not broken. The last great Depression broke millions of ordinary people, not because their long -term position was bad, but because of a short-term cash flow crisis.

      Burgess is a perfectly good example. This Depresssion is hitting thousands ordinary middle class people, many of whom WILL have assets of some sort or another. Ignoring them, allowing them to go under, just because ‘its not the taxpayer’s problem to fix everything’ will create a political and economic firestorm.

      • J Mex 25.1.1

        Like I said, Red, without too much problem, I could rustle together a room full of property developers in exactly the same position. I trust you would will extend them the same sympathy,and expect that the government should bail them out?

        Seriously?

        I think you are out on your own on this one. Not even the rabid right wingers think that people with three properties should be able to get the dole.

        Can’t wait for next week – Goff: “The Stig is a perfect example of someone who we should be trying to help. He owns 27 luxury cars, but since being made redundant from Top Gear he cannot afford his interest payments on his supercars”. The recession has only compounded the Stigs problem, with his Aston worth $50,000 less than what he paid for it two years ago. “The cars are not economic” Goff said and then issued a challenge to John Key as to what he was going to do for the Stig.

        • RedLogix 25.1.1.1

          I could rustle together a room full of property developers in exactly the same position.

          Your strawman is on fire.

          No-one is asking that property developers get bailed out of their business losses (although farmers and bankers seem to have few qualms about queuing up for govt hand outs), all I am arguing for is that NZ’s partner qualifying income for the unemployment benefit is pathetically low.

          With the same sort of social safety net that is available in Australia, ordinary middle class people like Burgess may well be able to struggle through the crisis; without it they may well loose everything. If you think that is a good thing, you should say so.

          I think you are out on your own on this one. Not even the rabid right wingers think that people with three properties should be able to get the dole

          Effectively he doesn’t own them; the bank does. Burgess will likely loose a lifetime of savings for the want of being able to pay a mortgage for a few months. But fine, if National wants to eat it’s core constituency, who am I to stop you.

          • Lew 25.1.1.1.1

            RL, Bruce Burgess, owning two rental properties and a lifestyle block, is by definition a property investor, one step back from a developer. It’s not a difference of kind, it’s a difference of degree.

            L

          • burt 25.1.1.1.2

            Effectively he doesn’t own them; the bank does. Burgess will likely loose a lifetime of savings for the want of being able to pay a mortgage for a few months.

            Then the guy should have stopped at two properties and kept some cash in the bank. It’s not rocket science is it. If you have no liquidity in your investments then you have exposed yourself to the whim of the market. Sorry but IMHO he is an Idiot for stretching himself so thin that a few months of no income wipes him out.

      • burt 25.1.2

        RedLogix

        Perhaps you could explain why anyone would be prudent about their investments when the state will just mop up for them when they spew their guts because they did not follow age old methods of spreading risk and maintaining capital ratios that prevent short term cash flow problems from wiping them out?

        • RedLogix 25.1.2.1

          It is really very simple. Whether Burgess owned one or a dozen properties, his position is pretty much the same as tens of thousands of other ordinary middle class kiwis.

          It is all very well to prattle on about being prudent, but the crisis we are now facing is beyond the horizon of any normal ‘risk management’. Even the banks when they where funding Burgess thought the risk was acceptable.

          • burt 25.1.2.1.1

            Interesting, you normally have a lot to say about the foolishness of high debt levels but now you seem to have changed your position. Is there a reason for this?

            • RedLogix 25.1.2.1.1.1

              Interesting, you normally have a lot to say about the foolishness of high debt levels but now you seem to have changed your position.

              Where? All I am saying is that high debt levels are a feature of middle class life the world over. This creates a huge economic and political risk.

              And while it seems ok to bail out (or in the case of NZ, guarantee) the banks who were profiting from these high debt levels, why is ok to walk away from the middle classes who will be broken by them?

              After all it’s people like Burgess who have paid tax all their lives, but the banks who rorted IRD to the tune of $2.5b … enough cash to pay an unemployment benefit to 200,000 people like Burgess for over a year.

            • burt 25.1.2.1.1.2

              I spent 6 months without income 3 years ago. I’m still here. I didn’t buy much during that time but I also wasn’t required to sell anything. My capital/debt ratio changed a little during that time.

              I also don’t have $1m worth of property eventhough I could easily support it on “good times” cash flow. I just know that I couldn’t in “bad times” cash flow so I didn’t get that exposed.

  26. dave 26

    Key even gave him great advice in the house about checking his facts but he still blustered on someone put this poor bugger out of his misery

    Yep. Hon Phil Goff: Why did the Prime Minister answer in the House yesterday that a person who has been made redundant and who has a spouse earning $26,000 a year is eligible for financial support for job search or retraining when he or she is not?

    Hon JOHN KEY: Because it is correct.

    Key is correct. Anyone like to find out why Goff asked that question – and after Key told him to make sure he has all the information. What a prize idiot.

  27. RedLogix 27

    I spent 6 months without income 3 years ago. I’m still here. I didn’t buy much during that time but I also wasn’t required to sell anything.

    That is how long Burgess has been out of work; how long my colleague’s partner has been out of work… they have survived as long as you have without selling anything either.

  28. burt 28

    RedLogix

    You are not making much sense over all of this. I get the bit about a little bit of money spent by the state can save people from severe reorganisation of their affairs. However as long as we still have people struggling and requiring benefits for day to day expense, renting shitty properties while on state housing waiting lists – I don’t get how anyone can suggest that we bail out people who have over exposed themselves investing in multiple properties. But hey drop me a line if you ever become finance minister I’ll mortgage myself to the limit and stop working so that your new policy can keep me in the lifestyle that I would like to become accustomed to.

  29. RedLogix 29

    I’ll mortgage myself to the limit and stop working so that your new policy can keep me in the lifestyle that I would like to become accustomed to.

    Please extinguish your own flaming strawmen.

    • burt 29.1

      So property speculators should be entitled to state support when they hit hard times… You and I will need to agree to disagree on this. I think there are much higher priorities for state support than people who have over extended themselves with multiple investment properties, but I accept that is just my opinion.

      • RedLogix 29.1.1

        I cannot help it if you persist in thinking in cliches.

        If you read the article correctly you will discover that Burgess’s problem is not his investment properties. The rents are more or less paying the mortgage. The problem is the mortgage on his own home. And that is an issue tens of thousands of kiwis are facing right now.

        And before you go off half-arsed about selling up the other property to reduce his debt; the current value of them is less than the principle owed on the mortgages, that doesn’t help either.

        I’m not arguing for state funded bail-outs of business failure, simply that the qualifying partner income for the unemployment benefit is too low. Still if Burgess and his wife divorce and live separately he would be eligible for the state support you would deny him. Do you think that’s a good idea too?

        • stormspiral 29.1.1.1

          How come nobody seems to have noticed that this is not about Mr Burgess? It’s about what are the needs…or am I living in another universe?

          Yay! Let’s go for more prisons, while the tax system morphs into a savings scheme for the middle class. These things were meant to be safety nets, as in food, clothing and shelter. That’s what the benefit scheme was desighned to do. It’s failing badly because of neorightist policies.

          One big gap that does matter is the gap between rich and poor. Never mind medians and averages.

          • Ari 29.1.1.1.1

            Yep. If anything we need to be looking at if the lowest levels of benefits are enough right now. But that’s not sexy enough for either wing of the free market party. 😉

        • J Mex 29.1.1.2

          “If you read the article correctly you will discover that Burgess’s problem is not his investment properties. The rents are more or less paying the mortgage. The problem is the mortgage on his own home. And that is an issue tens of thousands of kiwis are facing right now.”

          Redlogix, Burgess owned the lifestyle property for 20 years. That means his property was probably debt free or nearly debt free. I assume that he used the equity in that property to buy two more which is why he now has the big problem.

          If that is the case, he must be able to sell the other two properties to recoup “most/much” of that equity. Sure, they may have decreased in value, but the drop can be nowhere near sufficient to destroy all the original built up equity

          For your version to be correct, He paid off a mortgage for 20 years and didnt make any headway, Then bought two properties. That doesn’t stack.

          • RedLogix 29.1.1.2.1

            As I have said elsewhere, the unemployment benefit is means tested on income, not assets. Unless you want to argue for that (and by all means let’s hear that nice Mr Key argue for it too) then your argument has no legs whatsoever.

            • J Mex 29.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s not the issue and you know it. The issue is that Phil Goff held this guy up as a very public poster child as to why the rules should be changed to allow him welfare. It would seem that pretty much every one (except you and Phil) acknowledge the absurdness of that.

      • burt 29.1.2

        RedLogix

        Perhaps you are a little too close to this or perhaps I’m a little too far from it for us to see eye to eye. If some twit wants to ignore centuries of investment wisdom and ignore the potential for property values to go down and over mortgage their family home – then why the hell should the state bail them out. Arguably you are arguing that we should get into another sub-prime mortgage crisis because the state should insulate people from property market fluctuations and enable them to have properties worth less than the mortgages on them. Owning property is not a god given right and additionally property investors have made first home buyers suffer.

        IF the guy had kept a reasonable (perhaps 20%) equity share in his family home when he was using it for leverage to take advantage of tax incentives available through being a landlord, then none of this would be an issue right now.

        When this guy over extended his mortgage on his family home he could have taken insurance to cover loss of earnings do you really think we should socialise that cost so more people can make stupid investment decisions risking everything on nothing changing in the short term ?

      • burt 29.1.3

        RedLogix

        A few years ago a young guy asked me for some advice on buying his first home. I talked to him about the costs, the benefits and the long term picture. He was determined to get a 95% mortgage with the repayments being as much as he could possibly afford at that time (to buy the best possible house he could afford at that time). I told him I had suffered much higher interest rates than today (as at that time circa 7.5%) and that he should plan on being able to continue meeting his mortgage repayments if the interest rate rose above 12%. He said he couldn’t see it happening again and that 9% would be about as high as he expected interest rates to go, oh to be young and know everything eh. My ‘old head’ advice of maximum 80% mortgage and planning for interest rate increases were standing in the way of what he wanted to do. Income protection insurance would have also reduced his ability to repay a mortgage so he was not interested in that. Hope he is OK these days, I haven’t talked to him for a while but all that aside, I would be pretty pissed if my tax dollars were helping him keep his house when he understood the risks even if he didn’t want to accept them.

  30. felix 30

    burt I do wish we could stop agreeing on things. I’m starting to worry about you.

  31. omygod 31

    LOL!

    “The ludicrous attacks by the media on Goff”

    a.k.a the inevitable turning of the press on Goff after they have been lied to by his incompetent media and PR advisors one too many times!

    Those turkies better have income protection insurance cause no-one will be hiring them any time soon!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Milestones marked with 2,000+ new cops
    A milestone has been reached with the graduation of more than 2,000 new Police officers since the Coalition Government took office in October 2017. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation today of Wing 335 marks a surge of 2,023 new officers, and coincides with some significant breakthroughs against organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Celebrating 20 years of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
    Government Ministers today celebrated 20 years of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park/ Ko te Pataka kai o Tikapa Moana/ Te Moananui a Toi, and recognise there is much to celebrate and so much more to do to give nature a helping hand.   Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said “New Zealanders care deeply about nature.I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ economy in strong position to respond to coronavirus
    Prepared remarks on coronavirus by Finance Minister Grant Robertson to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Massey University. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, The topic of this speech is the Budget 2020 priorities. But, given the considerable interest that I imagine is in the room about COVID-19 coronavirus, I do ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Speech at opening of Nadi Women’s Crisis Centre
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Ni sa bula vinaka. Namaste Thank you Shamima, Hon. Minister Vuniwaqa, community leaders and Women’s Crisis Centre staff for your warm welcome. It’s an honour and privilege to officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Govt acts on fuel market competition
    The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market study which found motorists were paying more than they should for petrol and includes: Fuel Market Bill drafting, to pass mid-year Industry consultation in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Speech at Lautoka Mosque
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma Tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula vinaka As-salaam alaikum It is a privilege to be here today. Thank you for welcoming us to your house of prayer. Thank you for your warmth. Thank you for greeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Taupō Airport upgrade takes off
    Taupō Airport is to be upgraded and expanded through a $5.9 million Government funding boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Taupō Airport is the gateway to the Central North Island. It is essential for both keeping local people and businesses connected, but also to bring more people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Place-based assessment confirmed for Rotorua
    The Minister of Housing Megan Woods has confirmed the Government is working with Rotorua Lakes District Council and Te Arawa for the second place-based assessment to better understand the housing and urban issues affecting the city. “Every New Zealander has a right to a warm, safe and secure place to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • More houses opened for New Zealanders
    19 new community homes (in addition to 14 opened in December) delivered in Takanini, Auckland 500 people housed by CORT Housing Trust by end of March 2,290 new public housing homes delivered in Auckland (November 2017 – December 2019). Another nineteen new public housing homes are being delivered in Auckland, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand and India to strengthen ties
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker met today with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to discuss ways to strengthen ties between New Zealand and India.   “India is a priority relationship for New Zealand. We share common democratic traditions, growing two-way trade, extensive people-to-people links, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships
    Speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) Delhi, India Wednesday 26 February 2020 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships Distinguished guests, good afternoon and thank you for your invitation.  It is good to be here at a time where New Zealand needs less of an introduction than ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to University of the South Pacific students
    Tihei mauri ora Te Whare e tu nei Te Papa e takoto Tēnā korua  No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula Vinaka It is a real pleasure to be here today, and to have the honour of addressing you all. If you’ll indulge me I’m ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality
      Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  “Although our air quality is good in most places, during winter certain places have spikes in air pollution, mainly from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Water investment in Raukokore
    The remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokere will receive a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $10.6 million for a water storage facility, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “This is great news for the rural community. The landowner, Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust, will use ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Lake Ōkaro lakebed transferred to Te Arawa as final piece of Settlement Act
    The Lake Ōkaro lakebed has transferred to Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis joined Te Arawa at Te Papaiōuru Marae in Rotorua to celebrate the reinstatement of Te Arawa Lakes Trust as a key decision maker over the bed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago