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Key hopping on Hobsonville

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 pm, February 13th, 2008 - 40 comments
Categories: housing, john key - Tags: ,

Just spotted this statement from Maryan Street up on Scoop which suggests at least one reason why Mr Key would like the issue of housing afforability to go away. Hobsonville is turning into an embarassment for him:

In June 2006 he said on National Radio:

So you’re talking about very expensive land. I mean, I would describe it as economic vandalism, frankly, to be doing what Housing New Zealand are proposing.

To Scoop in June 2006:

“Absolutely it’s economic vandalism, and for the reasons I pointed out.”

He has also said:

“National are committed to cancelling it, once we get back into Government.”

Yet this morning he told National Radio:

“But if you look at Government land, well, Hobsonville is in my electorate, they’ve identified that as a place where affordable housing could be built. I agree with them ‘

I know we should be getting used to Mr Key saying different things to different people at different times, but I guess I was expecting him to be lifting his game now he’s seriously trying to convince us he can make the step up.

40 comments on “Key hopping on Hobsonville”

  1. lemsip 1

    Can we please have the full quote Dancer

  2. Dancer 2

    to which quote? i’ve just got what was in the press release (as linked) but see no reason not to ask for them!

  3. The Double Standard 3

    Key goes on to discuss how long Hobsonville has been on the go, with little progress. You can get the whole thing here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mnr/housing_affordability

    Hobsonville? Somewhere near Taupo isn’t it?

    Anyway, good to see that Teh Standard is keeping up with the latest press releases from Teh Party. How about this apparent policy reversal?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00162.htm

  4. lemsip 4

    “I agree with them ‘ is not a complete sentence. I sense a big BUT such “I agree with them BUT I think involving the private sector in developing affordable housing is better than using government intervention via the Housing Corporation.”

  5. pete 5

    Have to agree with lemsip here, the partial quote is unfair to Key. Are you trying to be a mirror image of kiwiblog, or do you hold yourself to higher standards?

    I don’t think this is a flip-flop. He’s reframed his position from anti–HousingNZ-development to pro–private-development; same position, different spin. I think Key’s trying to hide the fact that his party would do less for housing affordability.

  6. The bigger story here is John Key’s plans to privatise the Hobsonville development, as stated on Three News tonight.

    Details here:

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/02/nationals-answer-to-housing.html

  7. Chemist Peter 7

    Nearly all of the locals at Hobsonville are against ‘affordable’ housing there as it will just turn into a shithole ghetto. At a meeting on this issue in 2006 3-400 people turned up to hear JK, Chris Carter talk about this. I can still remember the laughter when Carter said ‘trust us’ when it came to who will be in the affordable houses. It is prime land, not cheap land. People in the area do not want the likes of the (Chris) Kahui’s live there was another statement. South Auckland is the place for affordable housing I am afraid. I know, this will be a contensious issue but that’s where the poor live. (As a generalisation). There are areas for poor, there are areas for rich, thats how it is. West Harbour/North Shore is a middle-upper class area. (Why do you think South Africans live in the North Shore)? I moved from Papakura to the North Shore as Papakura was turning into a suburb that could have developed well into a shithole from the time I was there, (1996-2003).

    BTW, slagging off JK is a real turn off. Clark is a big bat lier, ask her about the BNZ in 1990.

  8. The Double Standard 8

    Sadly, Teh Party’s affordable housing development isn’t affordable. I guess they will need to tip more taxpayer funds into it, so that ‘the poor’ can get in amongst the rich pricks.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4399688a6000.html

    IS: Is your traffic dropping or something?

  9. Whoa,

    Chemist Mate, that post is really asking for it!?

    While obvious rich-poor differentials may exist, it is in no one’s interest to over emphasise it on a political blog. Freeman’s Bay was once a poor man’s area. Now look at it. Maybe Hobsonville could become a rich/poor area. You know, things aren’t that cut and dried.

    I do agree though that suburbs do tend towards a certain socio-economic level, sometimes defined by school zones (esp. the US), sometimes by geography, and that it is not realistic to expect rich and poor on the same block. If Hobsonville is a ‘rich’ area, then the ‘poor’ who are first established there, will simply sell up to rich folk and leave.

  10. Chemist Peter 10

    Which is what has happened in Hobsonville. Even the old airforce houses are worth a lot as that area has gone up in value. Apparently Upper Harbour (Hobsonville, Greenhithe) property values 19% last year, making the building of State/low priced housing more rediculous. Point taken on Freemans Bay, also Kingsland, Ponsomby etc. But the market sorted that out. The Islanders saw the money and took off and brought cheaper houses in palm lined Otara. (This was also close to the heavy industrial employment).

  11. burt 11

    There are many areas in NZ where real estate prices are dominated by school zones. The school zoning system which is solely to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators has completely skewed the housing market.

    I guess it’s easier to restrict access to a popular school forcing people to use an unpopular school than it is to “fix” an unpopular school. God forbid we allow schools to pay for better teachers in undesirable schools – why would we do such a stupid thing like try and solve the problem when all we need to do is scratch a few lines on a map and send kids to schools that suit the administrators.

  12. r0b 12

    The school zoning system which is solely to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators

    Burt strikes again, with another masterful analysis. Actually Burt, it’s a wee bit more complicated than that.

    There was a piece in The Listener a while back that covered a range of issues around this topic.

    http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3430/features/5446/school_wars.html

    Here’s an extract:

    Labour’s reintroduction of zoning, after it came to power in 1999, was designed to ensure that students had the opportunity to go to their local school. In 2000, then Education Minister Trevor Mallard told Parliament that nearly half the Maori parents who had tried to get their children into schools with enrolment schemes under the previous system were turned away compared to just 10% of Pakeha parents.

  13. burt 13

    rOb

    That’s a very selective quote you have used, as you have read the article you will know it’s not really representative of the picture.

    Primary school principals say that their students are being pushed into independent or integrated education at intermediate level because parents cannot afford to buy homes in the school zone of their choice, and other state secondary schools are not keeping up with the type of education on offer in the independent market.

    So how many of the “Maori” you quote above are able to afford to get their kids into the ‘affluent’ school zones?

    This next quote states an alarming statistic, also along racial lines like the one you provided.

    “At Auckland Grammar, for instance, there were a significant number of Maori and Pacific Island students, but now it’s gone right down [the number has dropped to 1.5% Maori and 2% Pacific Island from a high of 8% each, according to head John Morris]. That’s a sad thing. One student who had worked really hard to get into [Wellington College] and missed out on the ballot said all it had taught him was that life is just a lottery.

    Which way is delivering the best outcome?

    Independent Schools of New Zealand executive director Joy Quigley agrees the reintroduction of zoning has helped the growth of independent schools’ rolls. In the first two years of the new enrolment scheme, independent schools noticed a significant growth though this has dwindled slightly in successive years.

    Zoning sure helps the rich pricks eh?

    And, according to Wellington College principal Roger Moses, the ballot has only served to make it harder for the very target groups that the system was intended to help.

    Zoning has many consequences, intended and unintended.

  14. Pablo 14

    “South Auckland is the place for affordable housing I am afraid. I know, this will be a contensious issue but that’s where the poor live.”

    So you want to condemn “poor” people to live with other “poor” people, and give them no opportunity to experience better quality of life? You can fuck off if that’s your attitude, frankly. You have no right to determine where people live on thebasis of their lack of wealth than their skin colour and the market allows this discrimination to happen, it is up to the government to regulate it the market to achieve certain outcomes, as it does in other markets.

    Prior to the 1980s what you now think of as the “quality” areas of Auckland were slums. Parnell, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Freeman’s Bay. (Why do you think the Harbour Bridge is where it is? If Freeman’s Bay had been a rich area then it would never have gone ahead). When they became desirable places for more wealthy people the Maori & Pacific Island populations were driven out, Maori out West and PI down South.

    Saying Driven out is going to raise some hackles, so as an example, property values go up as developers move in, rates go up, police harrassment, harrassment at the local schools (my wife went to Seddon/Western Springs College, which had a far worse rep than it does now) all number of subtle and not so subtle measures that gentrify an area.

  15. burt 15

    IMHO this is the money quote:

    The changing rolls of schools will almost certainly impact on real estate trends. Massey University property group professor Bob Hargreaves reports that buying in or out of high-profile zones such as Auckland’s Grammar zone can mean a six-figure price differential. “Two houses on exactly the same street one on one side in-zone and the other across the road out-of-zone could have a difference of $100,000 between them.’ Hargreaves says that buying in the sought-after areas and zones is not an option for most New Zealanders. “It’s symptomatic of society changes. Society is becoming more of an hour-glass shape there’s less in the middle and more at the top and at the bottom.’

    Which end of the hourglass are the target group we set out to help in?

  16. r0b 16

    Pay attention Burt. I didn’t defend school zoning. I linked to an article that I said discussed a range of issues. I was simply pointing out that your claim (repeated below) was totally fatuous.

    Burt: The school zoning system which is solely to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators

  17. Billy 17

    “You have no right to determine where people live on thebasis of their lack of wealth…”

    What an utterly remarkable thing to say. What next: stand up for the right to drive an Aston Martin?

  18. burt 18

    rOb

    Sorry about that, I’ll take that back.

    The school zoning system which, among other things, was to make life easier for the Dept. of Ed. administrators.

    However do we agree that Labour’s school zoning system has had a substantial impact on house prices. Inflating house prices around desirable schools. Desirable schools are usually desirable because of their good results and therefore zoning further restricts good education to affluent people?

  19. r0b 19

    However do we agree that Labour’s school zoning system has had a substantial impact on house prices. Inflating house prices around desirable schools.

    Agreed.

    Desirable schools are usually desirable because of their good results and therefore zoning further restricts good education to affluent people?

    There must certainly be an element of that effect. It has to be balanced with positive effects of zoning that increase access. As per The Listener article it’s a very complicated issue – it needs to be approached openly and rationally, not with shoot from the hip one-liners.

  20. burt 20

    rOb

    People renting out houses in good school zones have made a killing in rental income and capital gains sine 1999 🙂

  21. r0b 21

    People renting out houses in good school zones have made a killing in rental income and capital gains sine 1999

    Is that supposed to annoy me Burt? Fine, good for them. But I thought the issue was how best to provide equitable access to education.

  22. burt 22

    rOb

    Kent Parker thew the school zoning bone into the debate so I chewed on it. Sorry if my drooling has offended you.

    Equitable access to education is a fine topic, one I like to discuss. As we agree the zoning system has produced so quite significant unexpected consequences and possibly made access less equal in many areas the Labour party will surely have something about it in the election run up?

    The chaps here at the standard could post a thread about Labour’s policies and National’s policies for education and we could debate the relative merits of each. It would completely take over this thread if we continued the debate past housing affordabilty.

  23. r0b 23

    The chaps here at the standard could post a thread about Labour’s policies and National’s policies for education and we could debate the relative merits of each.

    Well Burt, here at least we are in complete agreement. I do hope The Standard and many other media outlets and blogs can post full and detailed policy positions from Labour and National (and other parties). We voters need to know what we are voting for.

    Of course, that would require National to release full and detailed policy. Which is difficult for them, because their policies are anathema to most Kiwis.

    Why don’t you get on to Kiwiblog, write letters to the editor, email National MPs, and demand that they release policy, so that we can have the kind of important discussion that you describe?

  24. The Double Standard 24

    Rob – when is the election going to be? And by what law do the Nats have to conform to your imaginary timetable?

    No doubt H1 will be announcing the election date so that the other parties have plenty of time to promote their policies.

  25. r0b 25

    Rob – when is the election going to be?

    I think from memory the latest legal date is by November 15th, but don’t quote me.

    And by what law do the Nats have to conform to your imaginary timetable?

    I don’t have an imaginary timetable TDS. It was young Burt who was hoping that we could discuss National’s education policy. So there’s no law at all. National are quite free to head into the next election counting on John Key’s pretty face, and without releasing policy at all. In fact, that’s rather what I expect them to do.

  26. burt 26

    Yes I would like to discuss National’s education policy, especially against an open and honest back drop of the current system Labour have delivered us over the last 9 years.

  27. burt 27

    Oh, Labour’s plans to address the unintended consequences would also be nice to consider in the mix. Any idea where I can find these rOb?

  28. Dancer 28

    Finally fully transcribed the section and it reads:

    Key: But if you look at Government land well Hobsonville is in my electorate, they’ve identified that as a place where affordable housing could be built. I agree with them but I’ve been the member of Parliament there for six years. I think it was underway for three years before that. It’s still got no infrastructure in the form of roading or sewerage. It’s years away from that.

    and i see there’s a section in Maryan Street’s statement that reponds to that assertion:

    Street: “Earthworks to develop that infrastructure are set to begin later this year, subject to consents being approved. Houses in the first precinct are set to be built and on the market by the end of next year.” http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00182.htm

    I should also like to highlight this section from Duncan Garner’s piece on TV3 (posted above) where Garner says:

    “So Key’s position on Hobsonville is at its best much weaker than a year ago and at its worst, Labour can rightly argue that he’s flip-flopped. He once said he’d cancel the
    development, now he says he’ll keep it going, but under the eyes of the private sector. That’s gold for Helen Clark, she will exploit that, the mere mention of privatisation usually backfires for National. (TV3 News, 13 Feb 2008).

    All confirms for me that Key and National would really like Hobsonville to drop off the political radar!

  29. burt 29

    Dancer

    Should Hobsonville be on the political radar, it’s an example of how fricken hard it is to make progress against any goal, from any level, when the RMA is involved.

    Why the “F” is it taking so long and what’s the deal when the affordable houses won’t be affordable? Whats going on?

  30. r0b 30

    Any idea where I can find these rOb?

    Certainly Burt, if such policy appears I imagine it will appear on an updated version of this page:

    http://text.labour.org.nz/policy/education/2005policy/Pol05-570681v/index.html

    You might want to compare and contrast that page with the National equivalent:

    http://www.national.org.nz/PolicyAreas.aspx?S=6

  31. burt 32

    rOb

    One of them is gonna take some time to read! Cheers.

    PS: Any idea where the missing chapter ’13’ is for the outcomes of equality of access to public education?

  32. burt 33

    rOb

    In the Labour party one, under achievements.

    The new Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (AsTTLe) are helping to give teachers more information about the learning needs of pupils, and therefore making teaching more effective.

    There is no mention of the fact that the new supa dupa tool (AsTTLe) is optional and many schools don’t use it.

    It goes on under ‘training and learning outcomes’

    Initiatives like the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (AsTTle) programme, that provides teachers with more information about the learning needs of their students at primary school level, are also bearing fruit and have recently been expanded to cover years 9 and 10.

    Still no mention of it being optionally expanded. IE: If schools want to take it on.

    Now things get a little tricky, under ‘Rigorous Standards – During our next term in government, Labour will’ we see.

    Encourage more assessment in the early years on problem solving and teamwork, in addition to assessment of literacy and numeracy.

    So is literacy and numeracy testing going to become mandatory?

    National make it pretty clear on their site.

    Introduce literacy and numeracy standards.
    Improving basic literacy and numeracy standards should be a national mission. Every illiterate school leaver is an indictment on our education system. National will set national standards in numeracy and literacy, so that no child arrives at high school unable to read and write, or unable to understand basic arithmetical functions. We will also make schools accountable for ensuring pupils reach those standards.

    Brevity can be fine thing!

  33. r0b 34

    Sorry Burt, I’m not on the policy committee, so I don’t know the status of the most recent education remits. However, I happy to be a member of a party that develops and discusses policy openly at regional and annual conferences. Unlike National, which gave up such trivia long ago. How does the National Party develop its policy Burt? By auction :-)?

  34. Historian 35

    Audrey Young in the Herald on Key’s latest flip-flop:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10492460

  35. Dancer 36

    thanks historian. i liked this bit:
    “He used to sound like a rich man holding his nose at the thought of the poor getting too close to the rich. He hasn’t dropped his opposition to having state houses in the mix (up to 15 per cent) but now he is very positive about the moves to offer “affordable housing” (up to another 15 per cent) in the project and is complaining that it is taking so long.”

  36. Chemist Peter 37

    Pablo

    I am sure if you did a survey Sth Auck is the poorest area, it’s a fact.

    I don’t want to condem poor to live with poor but how the fuck could they afford to live in my suburb, Upper Harbour where house prices are $500K plus? I can have any attitude I like, it’s not up to you to tell me. You say I have no right to tell people where to live but this fuckarse govt. we have says they have.
    Do I have the right to experience a better quality of life like Bill Gates when I earn $75K PA when he earns that in an hour? No, it is not about rights, but maybe desire. Who is paying for this better quality of life, why it’s me and my taxes. Hence I can have the attitude I have.

    And lastly Pablo, you are the one who should fuck off, back to Mexico my boy.

  37. toms 38

    One of the easiest ways of dealing with school zoning affecting house prices is to a) abolish all private schools and b) insist all schools strive to achieve an average decile rating of 5. even that means bussing in poor kids to rich schools and vice versa.

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