John Key’s housing announcement

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, January 29th, 2015 - 119 comments
Categories: housing, john key, national, national/act government, same old national - Tags:

John Key Delivers Public Services Speech


And in the second leg of the state of the nation double John Key has delivered his speech on housing policy.  You can tell that the focus groups are screaming about housing affordability especially in Auckland.  National knows this is a significant issue and it has to create the illusion that it is doing something.

Twelve months ago I witnessed the media onslaught on Labour’s Best Start policy.  Some slightly sloppy language led to a media condemnation of the policy because the claimed benefits may not have been quite as good as intended.  There was a significant amount of background material but a few imperfections caused a massive response.  Some would say it was an over response.

I hope the media subject National’s announcement to the same scrutiny.  Because the details look shoddy.  And this is not new policy, the framework has been put in place over the past couple of years and this is just advancement and development of National’s big housing sell off using assistance to charity to make the policy slightly more palatable.

I had a look for background material for National’s announcement.  I found John Key’s speech.  I found some really basic numbers about social housing.  I found this Social Housing website and references to the Community Housing Regulatory Authority.  And I learned that a Community Housing Provider is a housing provider that applies for registration and has as one of its goals the provision of either social rental housing or affordable rental housing or both.  The other goals could be anything.  It does not seem to be difficult to become a Community House Provider and becoming the potential purchaser of state houses sold cheaply.

Some more detail has subsequently been released.  On morning report this morning legendary ladder destroyer Paula Bennett was interviewed by Guyon Espiner.  All credit to Guyon for asking tough questions that Bennett struggled to answer.

Further information that emerged:

  • The policy is to create a thousand houses available for social housing each year for the next three years.
  • Three thousand state housing tenants who can afford market rentals will be moved out.  I do not know why.  I am happy for the state to continue to house people if they are prepared to pay market rental.  It appears that National’s policy is to let private landlords benefit from market rentals and the State only provide for tenants unable to afford market rentals.
  • Housing Corporation owns about $18 billion of housing stock and using average values $500 million worth of houses (at an average value of $250,000 each) will be sold off.  I suspect that the most likely houses to be sold are in the Auckland and Christchurch areas where need is greatest and I would not be surprised if the figure per house sold was double the figure mentioned.
  • Bennett was not able to say how private housing providers would be able to grow and provide further housing, nor how they could afford to purchase existing houses.
  • The sale proceeds will be used for new subsidies ($40 million pa) and to cover the loss of rental (estimated at $130 million pa).  Other money will go into the consolidated fund.  As Key himself said some of the proceeds would go into “other capital projects needed across government.”  The subsidies are not new money, in fact it looks like the overall contribution to social housing will go down at a time of intense need.
  • Key and Bennett disagree on what the sale price for each house will be.  Bennett says that houses would be sold by competitive tender, with separate contracts for social services to keep sales contracts clean but the Government may accept less than the highest-priced bid to get better support for tenants.  Key was reported as saying that sale prices would be below open market values because buyers would have to keep properties in social housing.  Which is it?  Market value or below market value?  And if there are going to be sales why not let Housing Corporation sell high value properties and construct new homes itself?

The biggest question for me is why does the Government think that private charitable entities are better placed to provide state housing than the Government?  New Zealand is full of good quality state houses which have provided stability and a home for Kiwi families for generations.  There are still myriads of state houses constructed in the 1940s and 1950s throughout the country.

The talk this morning on the radio is all about “capacity building”.  The community housing sector is obviously keen on the policy and is dedicated.  But the problem is massive.  And the state has a historic role in providing reasonable quality accommodation for many New Zealanders, needs no capacity building, and can just get on with the job.

This policy is badly targeted, it may result in reduced state provision for housing at a time of intense need, all it may do is increase rental inflation and it will not necessarily result in one new house being constructed.

The Labour Party and Phil Twyford have a petition opposing the sale of state houses.  If you have not already done so sign up.


119 comments on “John Key’s housing announcement”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “Three thousand state housing tenants who can afford market rentals will be moved out. I do not know why. I am happy for the state to continue to house people if they are prepared to pay market rental. It appears that National’s policy is to let private landlords benefit from market rentals and the State only provide for tenants unable to afford market rentals.”

    Clearly private landlords are not going to provide below-market rents. In fact, the IRD can actually penalise you if you set rents to low – they say that you’re trying to avoid paying tax on income by setting rents too low, and so charge you tax as if you were charging market rent.

    So it makes sense that *some* people who are able to pay market rents, and look to be in a stable situation where that will continue into the foreseeable future, should be moved into private rentals.

    There was an interview with someone who is involved in social housing in Australia. The government there (federal, and state) have moved social housing to private/charity providers. Crucially however, the transfers were done at no cost to the providers. This allowed them to use the equity to get loans to build additional housing. Now if that were National’s policy it might make sense. But of course this is nothing more than a cynical ploy to edge the budget back into the black.

    Someone needs to ask in Parliament why they are selling state assets, after promising they wouldn’t sell any more. I’d like to see them dance on the head of the pin to explain why housing assets, owned by the state, that are being sold, don’t constitute asset sales.

    • Skinny 1.1

      “Someone needs to ask in Parliament why they are selling state assets, after promising they wouldn’t sell any more. I’d like to see them dance on the head of the pin to explain why housing assets, owned by the state, that are being sold, don’t constitute asset sales.”

      I agree totally, It really is a full of crap moment by bullshit artist Key. I recall him standing in front of the press gallery categorically telling the gullible fools that asset sales were complete and there would be no further sales if re-elected.

      Over, done, complete, finished. I sat watching the news item thinking here comes another yeah right moment!

      The camera man panned to the ‘so called journalists’ not one of these adoring media puppets pinned him down. You could see slippery John chuckling to himself “I’m so full of crap, but hey these media mugs let me getting away with it.”

    • disturbed 1.2

      1000% More real aversion and return of more austerity.
      Someone needs to ask in Parliament why they continuing with austerity and are selling state assets, after promising they wouldn’t sell any more.

      • disturbed 1.2.1

        Yes NZ has a proud history of a labour Government providing state housing to those who need it, not National.

        heather is right. It is a cynical ploy to sell more assets as a further commitment by this evil administration to exact yet more pain on the defenceless with more painful AUSTERITY just after Europe discarded austerity as unworkable, and destructive.

        John Key is a liar. a carpetbagger, and a Judas Priest.

    • Incognito 1.3

      Selling state houses doesn’t constitute an asset sale for the simple reason that they are not an “asset” but a “liability” to this Government. If allowed this Government will, over time, rid itself of all “liabilities” and absolve itself from all responsibilities. That is, after the Great Heist has been pulled off and after the thieves and robbers have been knighted for their services to their country. Judging by the polls sleepy New Zealand seems to be relaxed and comfortable with it all, at the end of the day.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        Selling state houses doesn’t constitute an asset sale for the simple reason that they are not an “asset” but a “liability” to this Government.

        [citation needed]

        I think you’ll find that even the minimal rent that they get from below market cost housing covers the actual costs and probably turns a profit. Those houses were paid for a loooong time ago.

        EDIT: After reading your comment again I think you were being sarcastic but this comment still stands.

        • Incognito

          Yes, I was partly sarcastic; “liability” can mean something like a (legal) responsibility with obligations or it can mean something that causes a loss, financial or otherwise. Often, the different meanings are conflated into the more colloquial meaning “a pain in the arse”. I think it pretty obvious that state housing is a pain in the arse for this Government, much of which is self-inflicted because it has had its head stuck up its orifice for more than six years.

          I am not so sure that the rents will turn a profit as this will depend on many factors such as occupancy rate, for example, and market rates, whatever these are. It is irrelevant that these houses were paid for a long time ago, by the taxpayer, because what matters is what they are worth now on the current market. The Government will reap a healthy profit from the Asset Sale and off-load part of its “liability” to community providers and the likes. Or so we are told by National’s spin machine.

      • Foreign waka 1.3.2

        By definition, this will mean that the government, having distanced itself and being separate from its “liabilities” or commitment to the people of this country has set themselves apart and hence NZ ceases to be a democracy but has become a dictatorship and a bloodless coup – is this what you mean?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Clearly private landlords are not going to provide below-market rents. In fact, the IRD can actually penalise you if you set rents to low – they say that you’re trying to avoid paying tax on income by setting rents too low, and so charge you tax as if you were charging market rent.

      That’s actually amusing as it’s declaring the market a failure.

      So it makes sense that *some* people who are able to pay market rents, and look to be in a stable situation where that will continue into the foreseeable future, should be moved into private rentals.

      No it doesn’t because then you would be shifting them out of the community that they’ve built ties with which may result in them not being able to pay market rents and so they end up back on the waiting list for a state house.

      • Lanthanide 1.4.1

        “No it doesn’t because then you would be shifting them out of the community that they’ve built ties with which may result in them not being able to pay market rents and so they end up back on the waiting list for a state house.”

        Depends where the private house is that they end up renting, eh? Could be just round the corner…

    • Andrea 1.5

      “should be moved into private rentals.”

      Would you like to qualify this?

      Someone in a stable situation – you know, access to work, friends, basic human ecology, has to up sticks, shift from a fair housing provider who is less likely to be gaming the market to someone who has other agendas to complete…

      So – be a valuable tenant and be flipped on your ear. Be a ratbag and get housed by the State (one way or another).

      Whatever happened to ‘fair’? How about ‘If we the Corp can find you a comparable rental in this area, and ensure that your conditions of renting are never worse than you’d get from the State, then we ask that you leave this State housing, so we can help someone else achieve security, with our written commendation that you are a valued tenant.’? At least!

      These are PEOPLE, dammit. Not little counters on the Monopoly board.

      • Lanthanide 1.5.1

        “Whatever happened to ‘fair’? How about ‘If we the Corp can find you a comparable rental in this area, and ensure that your conditions of renting are never worse than you’d get from the State, then we ask that you leave this State housing, so we can help someone else achieve security, with our written commendation that you are a valued tenant.’? At least!”

        Note that I did put emphasis on *some* people. This is the sort of thing I had in mind.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.6

      “So it makes sense that *some* people who are able to pay market rents, and look to be in a stable situation where that will continue into the foreseeable future, should be moved into private rentals.”

      No it doesn’t. It just means that more money goes to landlords rather than to HNZ. How many houses do you own?

  2. heather 2

    New Zealand has had a proud history of providing state housing for those who need it. There will always be people who need assistance. New Zealand has been the role model for other countries who have looked at our model with admiration.
    This is an asset sale, there is no way to call it anything else.
    Playing with words and calling it ‘Social Housing’ is just a game.
    The term of ‘Capacity Buliding’ is also a game to try and disguise the selling off of assets.
    When Housing New Zealand was funded to provide Tenancy Officers working in the community with tenants, this was people working on the ground identifying problems that needed to be addressed and doing something about it. I have worked with Tenancy Officers in communities in the past who had a genuine concern for the families they were working with.
    We lived in a State house in Porirua, it was a good solid house and hopefully is still there today.
    Over the years I have visited hundreds of people living in state houses, raising their families and calling the house their home. When they were able they moved on and someone else moved it, to start the cycle again.
    I am opposed to the sale of these houses, I am cynical enough to know that as a result someone will be making money from the sale and it will not be the poor and vunerable desperate for a place to call home.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    I dont see any charities lining up with any sort of real money.

    I guess they will look for a financial ‘partner’ like private equity or the big australian banks who will have economic control.

    Its a sell off to private interests dressed up in a bit tinsel from social providers.

    Remember too this wasnt mentioned in their election policy ( apart from a sneaky bit from English a few days after the voting)

  4. Treetop 4

    I was also going to make the point that Lanthanide made about Australian government housing being turned into social housing, working in some states because the housing was given away for FREE.

    About 6 months ago I made the comment that the government give HNZ homes away for free and for the social housing provider to pay the government a dividend.

    HNZ properties are good enough to sell to be re rented out, but they are not good enough for the government to rent out to the 5000 on the waiting list. Of the 5000 number about 1500 are waiting to be transferred. Being in the wrong location or the wrong size is an excuse for 80% of these properties. Until a HNZ house of the wrong size or in the wrong location is advertised for market rent and not tenanted, then I deem it a SURPLUS property.

    Sifting landlords is not the answer as this is likely to increase rent in the private market.

    Improving social housing at the expense of weakening HNZ housing is a no brainer and has costs attached to restructuring housing for the most needy.

    It is clear that the government do not want low cost housing to be their core business.

    Sue Henry (a housing spokesperson in Auckland) got it right, when she said that, community groups cannot afford a can of bake beans.

    Mickey, another Mickey Savage will be required just after the 2017 election to restructure the failed social housing experiment, which will only exacerbate social problems for those already stressed out with accommodation.

    Why is the government only flogging off 1000 – 2000 HNZ properties by 2017?

    They know that this is unpopular.
    They know that social housing providers do not have the finance to purchase.
    They know that this experiment could be a total flop.

    I want to know what the cost to date for this experiment has cost and what the cost annually will be?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The biggest question for me is why does the Government think that private charitable entities are better placed to provide state housing than the Government?

    What makes you think that they think that or even that they care about that?

    IMO, what they care about is profit going to landlords especially if that happens to be government money that the landlords are getting.

    • Treetop 5.1

      Not sure if you are replying to me.

      “What makes you think that they think that or even that they care about that?”

      I think that they think that an increase of social housing, is some how going to house the 5000 on the waiting HNZ list.

      DREAMERS and they don’t care.

      I see that you have asked the author.

  6. sir pat 6

    i agree with everything said here……but wait…..we can sign a petition!!!….that will fix it!!!…..we really really do need to get out on the streets.

  7. millsy 7

    If the government wants more NGO’s in the business of social housing, fair enough.

    But what it should be doing is giving them low interest loans to build their own, rather then just give them a few rundown houses in Gisborne to burrow against.

    That has the potential to have things go really ugly really quickly.

    • framu 7.1

      and – give these tennants *who can afford it* the same loans to buy the state house they are in

      from a PR perspective those together are a win –

  8. Jamie 8

    Talk about a Band-Aid solution

    Why are they flogging state assets???

    Maybe that’s why

    Better sell the kitchen sink while they’re at it – that’ll help[sarc]

    Even if they legalized drugs that won’t even come close to covering the mess we’re in

    Greece here we come

  9. fisiani 9

    Such negativity just because it’s a National idea. You all know that the current state housing system is not perfect and could be improved. The National reforms may not be the complete solution but at least they are in the right direction. There will not be any less homes and by year’s end there will be a lot more houses. The old policy whereby a pensioner could live alone in a four bedroom state house where they had raised a family whilst another family live in a garage is unacceptable. Thank goodness National are not hidebound by ideology and are prepared to innovate.

    • framu 9.1

      “there will be a lot more houses.”


      cmon fisti – do what even JK cant and explain how the policy achieves such a goal

      • fisiani 9.1.1

        Are you seriously suggesting that house builders are sitting on their backsides and not building houses? All over the country thousands of builders are working a 40 hour week constructing houses. Duh. That means by year’s end there WILL be a lot more houses.

        • Lanthanide

          So this policy does nothing to create more houses, then.

          So why did you even say “and by year’s end there will be a lot more houses”?

          We could just throw that line into discussion of absolutely any policy at all.

          Fluoride in water? By years end there will be a lot more houses!
          Legalizing gay marriage? By years end there will be a lot more houses!
          Sky-city convention centre? By years end there will be a lot more houses!


          • fisiani

            There will certainly be a lot more houses and even more when Auckland council allows more homes to be built. Supply is not meeting demand and when land is freed up in Auckland the building market has the opportunity to build even more houses. Do not be bothered about the size or affordability of the houses being built. If for instance 1,000 extra houses were built each costing 500,000 they would be occupied by people who could afford those houses. Those 1000 families would thus vacate houses costing say 400,000 and 1000 families in houses worth 300,000 would fill those better houses. That would leave 1,000 houses valued at 300,000 which is affordable for most. You do not have to build 1,000 houses at 300,000 in order to house 1,000 families in 300,000 homes.

            • mickysavage

              Who is going to build the houses and how are they going to afford them Fisi?

            • framu

              which has nothing to do with the nats soical housing policy

              also – claiming that just because a new house is built, thousands of people will take on more debt when they already own a house, is retarded

              • fisiani

                When did I make such a claim? Try reading again. Do you not understand the real estate market? Thousands of sales and purchases are made each week. People in general buy what they can afford. If they cannot afford a better house why should they move?
                It’s called a market for a reason. Markets work as long as supply is not artificially restrained as happens currently in Auckland which needs to grow up and out.
                Face the facts, more people will be housed next month than last month and this will continue every month.

                • framu

                  “If for instance 1,000 extra houses were built each costing 500,000 they would be occupied by people who could afford those houses. Those 1000 families would thus vacate houses costing say 400,000”

                  right there you moron – “would thus vacate houses costing say 400,000″”

                  now – theres variables around debt levels and equity of course – but your to lazy and sloppy to make such a nuanced argument so your not getting a nuanced reply

                  but you still havent answered the question

                  in a thread about the nats housing policy you claimed that more houses would be built

                  so how about you stop talking about the housing market and get back onto explaining exactly how the nats social policy = more houses?

                  “cmon fisti – do what even JK cant and explain how the policy achieves such a goal’

            • Lanthanide

              So you acknowledge this policy does nothing to build new houses, thanks.

              Also your example is flawed: if 1000 houses are built that cost $500,000, and 1000 immigrants from overseas come and buy them, then the 1000 families sitting in houses costing $400,000 stay where they are and nothing changes.

              Similarly, if 1000 houses costing $500,000 are built, and landlords buy all of them, then the 1000 families in $400,000 houses stay where they are, and anyone who wanted to buy $300,000 houses now has to rent the $500k houses off the landlords instead.

              • fisiani

                Now immigrant and landlord bashing. Why not go the whole hog and claim 1000 immigrant landlords? Have faith. All will be well by this time next year. The state does not have to control everything. Trust Honest John to deliver on his promises as always.

            • tracey

              more houses selling for 600k or more Fisi…

              Developers tend to build middle to high end houses cos their profit margin is bigger, but you know this, you are just parroting the lines like bait.

              • fisiani

                The name is fisiani. It’s a noble African name, Please do not abbreviate.
                So what if a builder builds a profitable house costing 600+. Someone who currently owns a house moves into it, thus vacating their home which someone else purchases. That home is then purchased and after 10 or so sales in the chain a cheap house is available. Do you really not understand the real estate market?

                • framu

                  everyone else is talking about the nats social housing policy

                  why arent you?

                • McFlock

                  And that assumes that all purchasers in the chain are buying a house as their only home, sell their previous home rather than renting it out, and that everybody in the chain “buys up” moving to more expensive houses, rather than equivalent or even moving down in house value. A failued link in that chain and no cheap house is made available.

                  But if two $300k homes were built rather than one $600k home, then that’s two dwellings to help solve the housing crisis, rather than one.

                  • fisiani

                    What is the obsession about owning a home? That’s a bit strange coming from the Left. What’s so awful about renting? Surely it’s better than camping.

                    • framu

                      your the one who brought buying houses into this fisti

                    • Lanthanide

                      “What is the obsession about owning a home? That’s a bit strange coming from the Left.”

                      Why don’t you ask middle NZ why they are “obsessed” with owning a home?

                      “What’s so awful about renting? Surely it’s better than camping.”

                      Renting equates to paying someone elses mortgage, not your own, allowing that person to build up capital, while you have none.

                    • McFlock

                      What’s your obsession with insisting that your name is never abbreviated? Surely it’s better than being called a fucking moronic lying piece of shit…

                    • Tracey

                      same obsession slylands had

                    • felix

                      Fizzylylands operates a lot of different handles across many blogs.

                      It gets hard to keep track of them all if people vary the spelling.

                  • fisiani

                    What is the obsession about owning a home? That’s a bit strange coming from the Left. What’s so awful about renting? Surely it’s better than camping.

                    • tracey

                      Dr Mapp says you can’t advocate non home ownership, New Zealanders will deride you. A major party won’t suggest it, he says. He seems to be saying if it has always been a particular way, you must not change it… until someone braver does it, and that is not, apparently, he or a major party.

                      “Wayne 5.1
                      4 November 2014 at 7:06 am


                      A political party that advocates the German way of housing will not be a major party. New Zealander’s are committed to home ownership. Telling them they should not be will be treated with derision.

                      This seems to be one of the differences between NZ, Aus, Can, UK and US compared to European nations. Typically the first group have lower size of government on average, lower taxes, more personal reliance, higher home and asset ownership.

                      Obviously there is a range. The US has the smallest govt size, the UK the highest, with Aus, Can and NZ a bit below the UK, but substantially higher than the US.

                    • Chch_Chiquita

                      Well, there is nothing wrong with renting and never owning a house. I would love to have a house I could rent all my life, at reasonable cost that I can also afford when I retire.
                      Problem is – there is no such house! There are absolutely zero rules regarding rent rise and condition of the house.

                  • tracey

                    and no need for the convoluted scenario Fisi is imagining to achieve a solution to the problem… but therein lies the rub… people like Fisi and his PM don’t see there is a problem because they are n the housing market, one way or another and their equity is rising at least 10% a year if they own in Auckland… unlike wages

                • tracey

                  Fisi, your Pm is saying that more consents will make houses more affordable but that only follows if the homes being brought into supply are, well, affordable (which to everyone but you and your Pm seems to be accepted as meaning, affordable to first home buyers). Your system of freeing up cheap houses hasn’t worked for over a decade in Auckland.

                  So, that’s “so what”.

                  • framu

                    and it also only works if new homes are bought onto the market at a rate that not only catches up to rising demand but over takes it – all in one hit

        • framu

          christ your thick

          OK – making it super easy for thicko here – how does the policy create more houses?

        • tracey

          BUT net more houses? If the “new” houses get taken up by some of the new immigrants or ex pats returning that doesn’t provide a net increase.

          • fisiani

            I agree that the influx of immigrants and ex pats returning adds to the demand for housing. In fact we have one new immigrant every 8.5 minutes.
            The population is approx. 4,563,000 and rising by one person every 5.5 minutes. People really want to live in a John Key National led country because they can see it is booming and has great potential. Our popularity in the last 6 years means that we have to keep building more and more houses and since house building is booming we seem to be well on track. The social housing reforms are part of the process of housing people according to their current and not historical needs. Have faith. National is working for all.

            • framu

              “The social housing reforms are part of the process of housing people according to their current and not historical needs.”

              so how does the policy = more houses?

              you still havent answered your very first claim

            • tracey

              Thanks for the chuckle, you continue to deliver 😉

            • tricledrown

              Fishyanal o those living rough in garages, cars,under bridges,tarps,cardboard boxes,many families to a house,garden sheds are having their needs met according to your aloof arrogant and naive comments.
              Fishyanal you have been sucked into a cult of greed and superiority,a narcissistic National Party.Bully those in need so you feel good about your greed!

    • Jamie 9.2

      You goddamm right I’m negative – that’s my future in hock

      I’ve been sold into debt by my elders, meanwhile my country is being flogged off bit by bit as if that’s a solution

      All the while no one has the guts to talk about the elephant in the room
      -let alone the intelligence, will power, and leadership skills to solve this crisis

      Just keep kicking the can down the road people


    • tricledrown 9.3

      Fishy anal selling state houses during the 1990’s was a policy failure.
      Now its being dressed up like lamb its still mutton!
      No extra houses are going to be built as National do not under any circumstances upset their financial backers ie landlords and loansharks!
      Taxdodging capital gainsgters’
      Read Gareth Morgans summation.
      The bubble will burst when is the question.
      This is just Corporate Welfare!

    • Lanthanide 9.4

      “Such negativity just because it’s a National idea”

      No fisi, not at all.

      Negativity because:
      1. It’s a stupid idea that does nothing to actually solve the problem
      2. Only National would present such an idea

    • Treetop 9.5

      5,000 one bedroom homes per year are required to house the elderly. With councils opting out of housing the elderly, this figure is reasonable.

      The need for housing needs to be assessed and a building programme to keep up with the demand. In the short term, some houses could be converted.

      • tracey 9.5.1

        developers will be queuing up to build those Tree, according to Fisi.

        • Treetop

          I notice that developers are not lining up to convert, not enough money in it for them.

          • Tracey

            they are not lining up to house the poor or low wage earners but the pm and fisi dont care cos the status quo works for them.

            bear in mind on planet fisi, fisiani is a noble African name which, even if true (which it isnt) , wouldnt explain him adopting it.

            he is a playful troll baiting the good people of TS with sound bites on behalf of the nats and his leader john key.

          • Draco T Bastard

            My family who are in the building industry refuse to do renovations unless it’s on an hourly rate plus materials because there’s always more work to be done than what was in the original specification. Houses have a tendency to start falling down the moment they’re put up so things aren’t straight. A small amount of water somewhere and you’re replacing walls and floors as well. These little things add time and materials and thus renovations end up getting really expensive. Basically, it will always be way outside what was originally estimated.

            Thing is, none of the developers out there will only do stuff like that done on fixed rates and then expect the subcontractors to carry the extra costs while they pocket the profits. There aren’t that many builders willing to take on such contracts.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.6

      Such negativity just because it’s a National idea.

      It’s not because it’s a National idea but because it’s a bloody stupid idea. Selling state assets always makes the country poorer.

    • Clemgeopin 9.7

      Such negativity just because it’s a National idea.

      No, it is because it is a very stupid idea.

      This is NOT the way to solve a massive housing problem. Key’s solution is the solution of a wealthy capitalist to benefit the ‘developers’ to make a killing at the expense of the poor, the government and the helpless.

      The charity aspect is a smokescreen for their real agenda. If you don’t see that, then you too are a fool just like the 47% that were taken in hook line and sinker by a smiling spinner and his lying public relations outfit.

      Think things through.

    • Andrea 9.8

      “The old policy whereby a pensioner could live alone in a four bedroom state house where they had raised a family whilst another family live in a garage is unacceptable. ”

      So…why hasn’t there also been a policy of creating affordable pensioner housing of just the right size near to amenities and within the old communities?

      Someone dropped the ball, is my guess – somewhere between state, regional, and local government – and hoped that ‘the market’ that failed to provide said pensioner or spouse with a decent and steady wage over their working years would ‘provide’.

      That ‘market’ does, sort of, but not all that many need ‘retirement homes’ or ‘nursing homes’. Just their own little home, with space enough for guests and stay-overs if desired. And that’s a big, growing bigger, gap in the ‘market’.

      The usual people miss out: singles on low incomes of all ages, and disabled of all ages – even if they and WINZ can pay the ridiculous rents.

    • Foreign Waka 9.9

      You are so far away from reality that it is spell bounding. Really. Selling State Houses will not increase housing stock. Speculators do not increase stock as it will become cheaper and this is not the aim of a market driven provision.
      If it is really such a great idea, why not pay the subsidy directly to the families mortgage account with the aim that they owe the property outright? Would it be great having families owing homes instead of being dependent? Talking about catching two flies with one swat. Why use a middle man? Or is there more then meets the eye?

  10. tricledrown 10

    During the 1990’s National did exactly the same thing.
    Sold off state houses most of them are owned by landlords now charging high rent.
    Now the govt is subsidizing capital gain of landlords.
    And the massive profits of Australian banking Cartels.

  11. DH 11

    This bit looks to give their game away….

    “Key was reported as saying that sale prices would be below open market values because buyers would have to keep properties in social housing”

    If I understand this correctly the rents won’t be below open market values, the provider will be receiving a topup from the Govt which will always take the rent received up to the full market rate. That makes it a straight commercial deal.

    So that would make the houses a bargain, they can be flicked on for a quick capital gain or used to boost the balance sheet. I think it’s safe to assume the National party has already picked who they’ll be selling the housing stock to. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a SkyCity Community Housing.

    • Wayne 11.1

      I know the Left is looking for the bogey man in the announcement in order to discredit it.

      But seriously there is no prospect that a social housing provider would be able to just flick these houses off. There will be provisions in the contract that will prevent that.

      We are after all largely talking about Presbyterian Social Services, Salvation Army, Habitat NZ, and iwi such as Ngati Whatua and Tainui – not some sharp suited property developers.

      • framu 11.1.1

        yes – lets ignore everything that history and ideology tells us about what might be going on.

        Lets take the words of a known and documented compulsive liar as gospel truth

        Lets ignore that for this policy there isnt a housing crisis yet for RMA reform there is

        we dont need to *look* for any bogeyman wayne – history, context, given reasons and analysis says its the same shit idea from the last time you lot were in and that its got nothing to do with the stated claims

        shallow effort as usual wayne

      • DH 11.1.2

        “But seriously there is no prospect that a social housing provider would be able to just flick these houses off. There will be provisions in the contract that will prevent that.”

        And you know that… how? Who made you the Govt and when did you start writing the contract?

        “We are after all largely talking about Presbyterian Social Services, Salvation Army, Habitat NZ, and iwi such as Ngati Whatua and Tainui…..”

        Right, in your world charitable organisations have got $500 million sitting in the bank just waiting for something to spend it on.

        This modern day mafia is consistent & predictable. They’ll make a whole bunch of appeasing promises they have no intention of keeping and when people become inured to the idea of selling off state houses they’ll continue plundering this nation’s wealth.

        • Sacha

          “There will be provisions in the contract that will prevent that.”

          Sorry to burst Wayne’s bubble, but the wriggle-room is already there in the PM’s statements:

          “Mr Key said properties would have to stay in social housing unless the Government agreed otherwise…”

          They will first sell off the couple of thousand houses deemed wrong place and size to fit need – to private developers, not community agencies (who would logically be serving the same need). We can bet many of those will be in wealthy neighbourhoods, like last time the Nats had a state house firesale.

          And the rest will go to consortiums of banks and suchlike (which Bennett has now admitted, the linked story points out) with community orgs to provide a pleasant face for the transfer of more public wealth into private pockets. Some will also fund property developments where a proportion of houses will be sold into private hands with this government’s full approval.

        • Wayne

          Well, I know how the govt actually works on issues like this, and the sorts of provisions that will be put into the various contracts with the providers.

          Put it down to my experience with Ministers and senior public servants.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Does that mean you knew about the US torture program before or after your time as defence minister? Truth and reconciliation, Dr. Mapp, not plausible deniability.

          • McFlock

            that sort of diligent oversight is why Novapay went so well. /sarc

          • DH

            “Well, I know how the govt actually works on issues like this, and the sorts of provisions that will be put into the various contracts with the providers.

            Put it down to my experience with Ministers and senior public servants.”

            Oh come now stop treating us like idiots it only reinforces why we despise you politicians so much.

            The scenario being created is the same as the retirement village operations. The big private operators there make most of their profits from revaluing their property, they rely on the state for a guaranteed cash flow and reap the capital gains to push their share price up.

            We know commercial profit-driven operators can be social housing providers because there already are some.

            IMO this is just another rort by venal thieves looting the public purse.

      • Incognito 11.1.3

        What contract? If it is a sale and transfer of ownership then it has to come with a covenant, which will affect the “book value” and thus the transaction value. If you’re referring to some kind of contract between community providers and the Government to provide social housing then that is an altogether separate issue. The lack of detail and the specifics in this “policy” announcement is so typical of National; it leaves Key & cronies enough wriggle room and the spin doctors sufficient semantic sludge to twist the truth 180 degrees. In any case, contracts can be ‘renegotiated’ or broken, and laws can be changed, under urgency if necessary, as National has repeatedly shown us. I don’t know who you are, Wayne, but you sound disingenuous to me.

      • freedom 11.1.4

        yeah, ok, the Salvation Army know nothing about property investment 🙄

        from their report to June 2013:
        Total Assets of the Salvation Army was NZD $498,510,000.
        Just really slick bucket collectors huh?

        bottom of page 21

  12. I recently went for a walk in the back blocks of strathmore park in wellington and was pretty shocked to see most the state housing units are boarded up and empty. I imagine you will see the same thing in other cities around NZ. JK says that he can’t rent them out. This makes no sense unless it has been govt policy over the last 2 terms to run the stock down on purpose in order to turn a quick buck.

    I can’t get my head around JK saying that he can’t rent these houses but is happy to sell them to ngo’s at a ‘discounted’ rate so they can rent them out? or am I just confused?

    • Richard Christie 12.1

      You’re not confused

    • Treetop 12.2

      “or am I just confused?”

      You are not confused, I made a similar remark @4.

    • Sacha 12.3

      That’s a separate couple of thousand houses which will be flogged to private developers, and has been amassed quietly over the last couple of years.

      Key saying “1-2000” sales for the *next* year is a simple figleaf for his actual target of 8000 gone by 2017. It’s the opposite of what spindoctors do with Budget announcements where they multiply the spend across 4 years and use that figure, which is dutifully regurgitated by our churnalists.

      There’s already an official HNZ waiting list of 5000. If they are kicking out 3000 current HNZ tenants, selling 8000 houses, increasing govt-funded new house builds from 500 per year to 1000 per year and funding only another 3000 full subsidies, where do enough actual new houses come from? Ones that our neediest people can afford to live in?

  13. saveNZ 13

    I’m sickened.

  14. peterh 14

    A Masterton gaming trust, in to buy 1500 houses, not doing it for profit, and like Fisi whatever we all dream on

  15. kiwigunner 15

    I support the Salvation Army each year – donating a small amount because they do very good work in the main. But a Salvation Army that becomes a landlord for the poor changes things somehow for me I haven’t quite worked out how and in what way but I’m not sure that my support will continue. Anyone else feel this way?

    • framu 15.1

      i think the sallies (or maybe it was city mission) even said that religious groups running housing was a bad idea

  16. seeker 16

    After yesterday’s ‘detailed’ anti housing speech ,key demonstrates just why he is a perfect choice for president, or whatever, of the repellent right wing International Democratic Union or IDU.

    I think it should have an extra U….. I DU U………… key’s raison d’etre

  17. I agree with you about the sallies being landlords. ‘Shall we help the young Christian couple or the young atheist couple’ what to do? Pray?

    • Molly 17.1

      There is also the reality, that non-Christian people in need of housing, will avoid even contacting the Salvation Army because of that perspective, making solutions less accessible to all.

  18. Herodotus 18

    Unless I missed something. In yesterday’s announcement there was a piece about reinvesting some of the proceeds to build new state housing as well. If that is the case and we have 68k state houses and that the number could fall to 60k and we are building to add to the stock then to me that means that there will be more than 8k houses to be sold, more like 10-12k state houses.

  19. linda 19

    what a mess new Zealand is just becoming awful did anyone pick up on increasing the rental supplement . that will push rents higher we who pay taxes paying private landlords who are after tax free capital gains who are not paying taxes. if national really be leaves in free market there should be no subsidy house would reflect NZ income levels and there would be balance to income not bullshit bubble crap prices. the top 10 percent want access to tax payer money there the welfare bums just like sky city sitting on there fat lazy arises sucking tax payer money for nothing.
    we don’t pay taxes for this crap. there nothing wrong with state homes the whole thing is just financialization and securitisation proble end part some derivative somewhere more banker bullshit that does nothing for families that just want a bloody roof they can afford.
    they are the disease the cure is revolution

  20. geoff 20

    I hope the media subject National’s announcement to the same scrutiny. Because the details look shoddy.

    Hate to say it but that is wishful thinking. National can make shoddy plans because the idea that Key’s government is a ‘safe pair of hands’ is well and truly entrenched in the minds of the political journalists.

  21. Reddelusion 21

    I would have thought the left would be all for grass root control of community based housing, I see prominent lefties like willie Jackson and respected NGOs social organisations are not tearing it to pieces. They know very well that they can often do a better job for their customers or their people than faceless, salary beuracrats, only if they had the resources of which this policy provides for, as does charter schools, Whane ora etc

  22. Reddelusion 22

    Success is in execution not explaining to the last detail. National is not seeking your vote on this idea, they have a mandate and just need to get on with it, if you don’t like it, or execution and outcomes are poor, vote them out in 2017.Over the last nine years people in the majority have been happy with nationals and John key stewardship ( I know the vast majority of kiwi lack the insight and are just plain stupid to the enlightened who frequent this site) and see no reason why it should be differnt now. Labour are on a looser ignoring any morale arguements politically trying to be the defender of statehouse tenants, especially if they are seeking the middle ground, just plain dumb and never learn

    • McFlock 22.1

      Over the last nine years people in the majority have been happy with nationals and John key stewardship ( I know the vast majority of kiwi lack the insight and are just plain stupid to the enlightened who frequent this site)

      Six years, not nine. It will be nine in election 2017.

      Say what you want about lefties, but at least we can count.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2

      😆 Abusive negative person articulates negativity.


    • Foreign Waka 22.3

      One flaw, NZ is not yet a Corp but a democracy and Mr Key run his last election by saying no more asset sales. State houses are assets. He did not have a mandate, he has lied and you just find an excuse to make this all look good.

      • Clemgeopin 22.3.1

        Mr Key run his last election by saying no more asset sales. State houses are assets. He did not have a mandate

        Wonder if someone with a lot of time and money could test this by taking Key to court to disqualify him from parliament because he seems to have won his seat on blatant FALSEHOOD.

  23. Reddelusion 23

    It’s late, thank you for correction, point stands however

    You lost me OAB

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      That’s because I’m inciting discussion of your desperate resort to mendacious drivel.

      You’re not invited.

  24. Reddelusion 24

    What about free speech OAB I quite like reading your drivel, always astounded how a brain can be wired to a complete opposite views , however unlike you I don’t feel threatened by it

    Now let’s be nice

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1

      What a lovely shiny self-serving new meaning of “nice” you’ve concocted. Does it itch?

  25. Reddelusion 25

    Always enjoy our chats OAB, got to go,

  26. Observer (Tokoroa) 26

    Hi there

    Lets hear it for John Key and Bill English! Legends in their own life time – doing what seems to come naturally to them. Namely, wasting New Zealand away.

    There were warnings. The New Zealand Herald ran an article on May 13, 2011 flagging the horrific rise in National Debt run up by Key & English.

    “For 15 straight years until the recession of 2008-09, the New Zealand Government ran surpluses and paid down debt.”, said the Herald.


    AT the end of 2008, When John Key and Bill English took over, New Zealand’s National Debt was $!0 Billion. In January of this year 2015, Key and English have racked the Debt up to an inglorious $98 billion.

    These two flounderers show no sign of stopping their bizarre behaviour. Watch for yet another big sale of Assets and big windfalls for their wealthy friends, coupled with Tax reductions for the same wealthy acquaintances.

    • Plan B 26.1

      The debt was most probably completely intentional, NZ never really had a real GFC, National said we did but we didn’t. The countries that did have a GFC are still having it.
      The debt we have now is because National want us to have it. Debt limits choices, debt controls, debt hamstrings, This debt that they are busy growing is designed to take power away from government and increase the power of corporations. That is what the debt is for.

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  • Barbaric
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago