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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.

    REF: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid..

    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.
    REF: http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand

    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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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
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    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago