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Key prepares to backflip on Auckland housing

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, April 26th, 2016 - 126 comments
Categories: capital gains, flip-flop, housing, john key, tax, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

John Key at the end of the day

It would save a lot of time and anguish for New Zealand if National just assimilated Labour policies and ideas as and when they are announced, rather than waiting until problems that needs to be addressed are out of control.

The latest example involves Auckland housing. From Radio New Zealand:

The government will consider a land tax on foreigners buying residential homes if data due out soon reveals overseas investors are a problem – but opposition parties say it’s already too late.

Prime Minister John Key told TVNZ’s Q+A programme the government was not trying to stop the investment coming in, but it would take into account new data on the number of foreigners buying houses in New Zealand.

“We’ve always said look, if the thing became a runaway train on us and we were really concerned about it, that’s always an option available.

“And to be blunt, land taxes are far more likely to deter people than a stamp duty…you only pay a stamp duty once on the way through, a land tax is an annual thing. Lots of countries have land taxes.”

Of course the report in two weeks time will show there is a problem.  Key is just preparing the ground for yet another backflip.  And if you needed any confirmation, Auckland’s housing is now more expensive than Sydney’s.

Labour’s policy platform has this passage concerning housing:

As a priority, Labour will act to ensure that housing market speculation does not create financial instability and drive property prices out of the reach of ordinary New Zealanders. We will implement a fair tax system in which damaging property speculation is discouraged through a mix of tax policy and targeted buyer restrictions.

If National needs any other policy the full document is here.

Key was talking about the issue last year.  Why it has taken him so long to act is incredible.

Good to see that National is finally getting around to doing something.  But they will have to contend with TPPA issues, presuming that the United States agrees to sign up to the treaty.  And their pro free market anti tax brigade are not going to be pleased.

126 comments on “Key prepares to backflip on Auckland housing”

  1. dv 1

    I really wish that there could/would/should be a joined up plan instead of SHTF planning.

    Now the Hearld is

    In a dramatic shift in position, John Key is threatening to apply a land tax to foreign-based house buyers if there is evidence they are pushing up New Zealand house prices – and it could apply to Kiwis abroad.

    Note the could apply to kiwis abroad!!!


    Oh looky

    The evidence on foreign buyers could be just two weeks away.

  2. Visubversa 2

    How do you know when the Resource Consent you are processing is for a foreign based applicant?
    1) Their overseas address is on the application.
    2) Their address is given as c/o the agent.
    3) The address for the applicant is the student flat their son or daughter are living in because they have the NZ residency.
    4) The address for the applicant is given as the subject site and it is vacant – nothing on it but grass.
    5) The address for the applicant is given as the subject site but the occupants of the existing dwelling are tenants of an entirely diferent ethnicity.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Since September’s reforms IRD information is being collected on all purchasers of land. The list is not complete but over time more and more information will be collected.

  3. jcuknz 3

    I see he problem as a mental block at the top of National regarding state housing. With plenty of state housing the market forces so loved by the right would do the job without taxes etc.

    • jcuknz 3.1

      If they was ample state housing to rent at reasonable rentals there would be good argument against enslaving oneself to the banks for most of your working life if you are lucky.

      • jcuknz 3.1.1

        It makes sense in today’s uncertain job market not to tie yourself to a lifelong debt which could mean losing all your equity if you loose your job. But of course few expect disaster to hit them, always of other person, particularly when they are young.

  4. Sabine 4

    too little too late

    i don’t think that National can stop this housing boat from drowning, no matter how many u-turns.

    the housing crisis has hit those that do everything rigth, have a job, pay taxes, have no children out of wedlock and only eat tunafish (or grift of Nana and others for a decent feed), oh and don’t forget NO SKY!!.

    And there is nothing he will be doing that would change this scenario in the next 12 month. Even if he instates a tax and the likes, i would assume that would take some time a. to get through parliament (it is nothing like offering booze at 5 am in the morning to watch rugby…..or something like that 🙂 ) , b. it will take time until some funds are actually collected, and c. the big question of course is what would a National led government due with that tax? I just simply can’t see them re-investing it into Houses, but it may pay for a tax cut for the faithful and monied.

    • Keith 4.1

      You are so right its far too little far too late now the horse has bolted. The pissing about is infuriating because National do not know what to do and or care.

      Another bit of tinkering by self centred rich men designed to look like they are doing something knowing this will do nothing of any use to your average non home owning Kiwi but at the same time benefitting themselves. All Key is doing is buying time and it appears motivated by a yet to seen report that will expose what National have been trying to hide. Typical ad hoc poll driven government fighting fires all over the place of their own making. What kind of way is this to run a country?

  5. RedLogix 5

    Because of flight capital out of Asia there are a number of housing markets in the Western world that have now become pure Ponzi schemes. No ifs, no buts, no rhetorical weasels.

    As mentioned last night, it’s now become economically rational for a cashed up investor to leave a house empty. The capital gain is much higher than the relatively paltry 2-3% return from a tenant, and the risk is a lot lower.

    To put this in perspective, the historic stable return on a rental was around 10%. That implies median rentals in Auckland should be charging around $1500 pw. That’s right … the median. Desirable suburbs should be up to twice that. Obviously this is completely out of whack with incomes.

    But your typical Epsom villa is ‘earning’ around $1000 pw or more just from capital gains. Risk free, tax free. No brainer … leave it empty.

    Unfortunately because of the size disparity between Auckland and China, there really is no sign of an end point to this Ponzi Scheme. Nor do I think any NZ govt will find itself free to act in this matter.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Unfortunately because of the size disparity between Auckland and China, there really is no sign of an end point to this Ponzi Scheme.

      And that really is the point. There’s far more rich people outside of NZ than there are people in NZ. We don’t have the money nor the numbers to compete. This will end up driving NZers out of NZ.

      Nor do I think any NZ govt will find itself free to act in this matter.

      Yep. I’m pretty sure that they’ll wring their hands about FTAs and other agreements and do nothing rather than drop the FTA and fix the problem.

      • Sabin/ 5.1.1

        One lady customer complained that she only made 921.000$ for her property that she bought some 15 years ago for 200.000. IF ‘she’ would have painted the walls she could have gotten some 30.000$ more.

        Priceless her realization that her 921.000$ will not buy her anything in town, but that she too must now move outta town to somewhere else and start the 2 – 4 a day commute to work.

      • vto 5.1.2

        There is no good reason for non-residents to own land in NZ.


        So ban non-resident ownership of land.


        • Stuart Munro

          If that was the only regulation, Gnats would sell housing & citizenship packages next time they got into power. You could say they’re doing it already.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Non resident would, I assume, also apply to NZ citizens living outside of NZ. It certainly would apply if wrote the law. As VTO says: There is no good reason for non-residents to own land in NZ.

            In fact, There is no good reason for non-residents to own anything in NZ.

            • Henry Filth

              And presumably no reason for residents to own anything outside New Zealand?

              • Draco T Bastard

                You mean that people living in NZ have no reason to own anything outside of NZ?

                If so, then you are correct. There is absolutely no good reason for international ownership.

        • weka

          “There is no good reason for non-residents to own land in NZ.”

          Do you mean people without NZ residency/citizenship, or do you mean people with NZ residency/citizenship who live overseas?

          I can see a good reason for the latter. People own a home, go overseas for various reasons and rent their house out. What is wrong with that? If they are forced to sell because they live overseas for a year or 3, then (a) that inflates the market, and (b) those people lose their home and have to buy another house when they return (which inflates the market. Worse, it says that house ownership is not about having a home, and that’s the ethos that got us in this situation in the first place.

          • miravox

            + 1
            We moved overseas and kept our home in NZ. We only have work permits overseas, not residency. We are NZ citizens and will move back to NZ when the overseas job ends. I think that is a good enough reason to retain a property in NZ.

            A second reason is that for many NZers temporarily living overseas NZ is also their tax ‘home’. And for many, the NZ property a home for other family members while away.

            … it says that house ownership is not about having a home, and that’s the ethos that got us in this situation in the first place.

            ^^ this

            • weka

              Yes, the idea that home ownership is individual rather than whānau based is a problem too.

              What is the relationship between the tax country and home ownership?

              • Henry Filth

                Having an “available dwelling” is often one of the tests for tax residency, irrespective of where you actually live.

              • miravox

                I don’t think there is one really, all the tax and tax benefits of home ownership are based in the country of tax residency.

                The host government does like to have evidence of intention to return to the home country and home ownership (not used as a rental) demonstrates that.

                I think that diplomatic and other staff in international posts would be seriously thinking about taking on overseas posts under Draco’s proposal.

          • Draco T Bastard

            People own a home, go overseas for various reasons and rent their house out. What is wrong with that?

            Rentier capitalism – people bludging off of the work of others.

            If they are forced to sell because they live overseas for a year or 3, then (a) that inflates the market, and (b) those people lose their home and have to buy another house when they return (which inflates the market.

            a) No it won’t – it’ll deflate the market.
            b) By the approximate amount of the deflation when they left

            Worse, it says that house ownership is not about having a home, and that’s the ethos that got us in this situation in the first place.

            Actually, keeping houses to rent is what got us into this mess. As many people who have rented the same place for many years will tell you: A home isn’t defined by ownership.

            All that said, resident status would be an average. When you spend, say, 80% of your time living here over a five year period then going offshore for a year wouldn’t be a problem.

            • b waghorn

              “”People own a home, go overseas for various reasons and rent their house out. What is wrong with that?

              “Rentier capitalism – people bludging off of the work of others.”

              Just interested to know your view on a shepherd renting his house due to having to live on the job.

              • greywarshark

                I think DracoTB is a purist. It is surely practical if you want to keep your house and intend to return to it, to rent it out until then with someone else having that home to live in while you aren’t needing it. That would be the normal flexibility of having two homes but doesn’t match the huge rort of people buying homes on minimum deposits renting them out to pay for the mortgage and receiving a direct subsidy from government through the accommodation allowance.

                Or people using a home as a place to dump their excess money to ensure it is in something with a value that keeps pace with inflation. That is the poison cherry on the cake.

                • b waghorn

                  Just checking dtb s crazy level out, but while I’m at it I know a few lovely people who own several houses, as I’ve said before housing is easy to understand and houses are far harder for dodgy shit bags , inept traders or greedy governments to take away.

                • RedLogix

                  DtB makes a common mistake; tossing baby with bathwater.

                  Steven Keen took much of his inspiration from Hyman Minsky because it was Minsky who first explained how unregulated financial capitalism is inherently unstable.

                  At the beginning of a business cycle (just after the prior crash) everyone is very cautious and only invests in activities that will both repay the interest AND the capital out of cash flow. This is the stable and legitimate investment phase of capitalism.

                  But the problem with unregulated capitalism is that the financiers make too much profit and eventually run out of sound investments, so they begin to speculate on capital value always increasing. Now the cash flow from typical investments is just sufficient to repay interest only; the capital will never be repaid and the rational is that the profit is only made on resale. NZ has been in this phase one way or another since the 80’s.

                  Then finally a threshold is reached where all pretence at the asset or business ever returning a profit off cash flow is abandoned and the market enters it’s terminal Ponzi phase; the market is only sustained by ever increasing prices. The Auckland housing market has firmly entered this space. No Ponzi scheme can last forever, but this one maybe remarkably sustained. I predict the median house price in Auckland will eventually exceed $2m.

                  The reason I suggest this is that there are at least several million Asian super wealthy who can quite readily pay cash for all of Auckland’s real-estate. The iron-clad law of all Ponzi schemes however is that the first in will make immense profits, and the last out will lose everything.

                  Of course this could have all been prevented with some intelligent govt intervention, but it’s too late now. But neither does it mean that the housing/rental market should be dismantled altogether.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    DtB makes a common mistake; tossing baby with bathwater.

                    In what way?

                    • RedLogix

                      Think of the rental market as an economic tool. It serves a real purpose to provide housing for people who for one reason or another cannot or should not buy.

                      And like all tools it can also be abused, run out of control and cause damage.

                      But that is reason to learn how to use the tool skilfully; not to insist it’s rubbish and toss it out.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      1. I think that the tool being abused is home ownership* and we have to limit that abuse. The first step would be in stopping offshore ownership
                      2. Why does any one need to own a house?

                      * Actually, private ownership as a whole is being abused

      • greywarshark 5.1.3

        Draco TB
        Good point.

        And that really is the point. There’s far more rich people outside of NZ than there are people in NZ. We don’t have the money nor the numbers to compete. This will end up driving NZers out of NZ.

        There is such an imbalance of money in the world and people who have a lot don’t want to put it into maintaining a good level of business in their own country, put it into useful but not profitable home companies, invest in new business that their countrypeople can work at, they want to go round the world and cherrypick. They aren’t wealth creators then, they are just hawks looking for rabbits to swoop down on. And we are funny bunnies to them!

        I think that your comment is one we should repeat like a mantra every day. We feel like a big country with lots going on and large enterprises and infrastructure but we are small in the vast economic world scale. That is why we must put all our efforts into supporting and conserving NZ business and enterprise, and overseas stuff is an extra, a luxury.

        Foreigners especially Chinese people who come here, live here, enjoy being part of the country, run businesses, bring expertise, and keep their money here will benefit the country. If they employ at least half of their staff from NZs and bring in another half, that would still be of benefit.

        But if all money flows out, if NZs aren’t employed then it’s a drain.

        • Visubversa

          Yes, but often that is not what happens. They come here on a business residency, buy a $2 Shop or similar and put low paid part time workers into it. They don’t much care how well it does because the houses they buy or build make much more money. They buy 2 or 3 vacant sections and put up big houses, they sign off the internal infringements (too close, no privacy etc) and the houses are built by teams of builders from China. Half the time the parents are back in China making $$$ from running sweatshops and the kids are in school here with a grandparent or two looking after them. Otherwise, the $$$ is funnelled through a family member who is sent to study here and gets residency that way.

          • greywarshark

            Gosh Visubversa
            That is sad. Do you know of this personally, or from a reliable source? How common would that be? Are the houses properly inspected, good speccies, and reliable materials? Wasn’t there some problem about stuff from China?
            Questions – I hope someone else is thinking about.

      • greywarshark 5.1.4

        Sabine gave an example of the horrid state of housing prices. And finished by giving another example which illustrates why we can’t decry the woman who said she should have painted something and then got more.

        She probably very much realises that the apparently high price she received will not go far. She has to buy quickly now before the price goes up further for a similar type of house in Auckland. She will probably make no profit! And she has costs relating to the sale and future housing.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Good to see that National is finally getting around to doing something.

    Oh, they’ll do something – it’ll just be the wrong thing. Same as the Zero Hour contracts that they promised to make illegal which they then turned around and tried to entrench.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    This Prick is a canny and quite simply a brilliant politician.

    His biggest threat right now is people who are locked out of the property market deserting him. The focus groups are obviously telling him that this is becoming a problem. Therefore he will deal with the problem with a half policy that will be spun as his doing something.

    It will kick in after the next election so he will go to the polls bullshitting everyone that he has the solution.

    • Sabin/ 7.1

      he would have to call for a very early election, preferable before winter starts.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1

        This election is John Keys to lose. As long as nothing like secret deals with the Brethren pop up or god awful cups of tea happen then it’ll be another comfortable win for National

        Interest rates are low, unemployment is steady and low, the economy is chugging along nicely, good news for trade keeps popping up, Kiwis are returning in droves so theres no reason for the majority of Kiwis to change their vote

        Sorry I know its not what you want to hear but that’s the way it is

        • Sabine

          mate i don’t care about cup of tea’s and bethrens.

          but housing is something people need. The latest political scandal that just gets those up and in arms that are politically minded means nothing to the average person that only reads the sport section of any newspaper.
          But housing is something altogether different.
          And if you have those that do everything right, if your first responsder – the firefighters, the cops, the amublance drivers, the nurses and even doctors can’t find employment in the city they are supposedly serving you have an issue.
          there are already areas in Auckland where the local ‘rural’ volontary firefighters are not able anymore to raise a full crew, mainly due to lack of people – empty houses for capital gains don’t volonteer you see, and neither do absentee landlords or tenants that move every 6 month.

          you are right that the election is John Key’s to loose, and if he does not come up with a plan to house those that work, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t eat, don’t watch sky, don’t have children and reckless sex leading to children out of wedlock (and out of WFF) then he will loose. And no sexual harassment in the form of ponytail pulling young waitresses at their place of work will get him out of it. No matter how low the interest rates – cause they will go up again, no matter how rocky the rock star economy – for the ones still having a job, and those Kiwis returning in droves all need houses and jobs. None of this is gonna save dear leader if he is unable to provide the most basic need to his citizens – shelter.

          If he as the PM of the nation can’t house his people and citizens, the one that pay his wage and perks, then maybe he should not be PM. 🙂

          Nothing do to with me at all. Just an observation.

          • dv

            And if you have those that do everything right, if your first responsder – the firefighters, the cops, the amublance drivers, the nurses and even doctors can’t find employment in the city they are supposedly serving you have an issue.

            OR be able to buy a home.

        • reason

          John key would be annihilated northland styles if the opposition block can act half cohesively.

          Interest rates are at the lowest they have ever been due to the ongoing effects of the GFC, which was caused by people the fraud of people like John Key.

          Many People have levered themselves into our speculative housing market on the basis of these low interest rates and are vulnerable, Don Brash reserve bank governor 17.5%. What would 10% interest rates do to the non productive speculative housing bubble?.

          Unemployment has been statistically manipulated down like Judith Collins crime stats. There is high and wasteful unemployment for our youth, maori, pacific island and older workers.

          The news about trade is showing more and more corporate and rich pricks tax evasion…….and have you ever Heard of Global warming?.

          John Key has made us into a tax haven, he has appointed a man who spearheaded an attempted 2.2 BILLION dollar tax fraud by our Aussie banks to say whether this is ‘legal’.

          Lets repeat this ……… John Key has shoulder tapped an individual who attempted a 2.2 BILLION dollar tax scam to write a report and give an opinion telling us if John Keys tax Haven is o.k.

          We should have a ‘hotline’ to report rich pricks we suspect of using tax havens ….

          Kiwis are returning in droves and we just can’t stop the Aussies deporting them. Some of the students we will not let leave again …………….

          Polluted rivers full of shit, un-affordable housing locking out our young and other honest hard working people.

          National have delivered us Plummeting standards in everything from education, inequality, Bio-security, corruption etc etc etc.

          Thats how it really is and would someone please wipe the big dribble of bullshit of Puckishs chin 😉 ……..We should buy him a bib.

          At least fizziana was shorter although International Idiot seems to have taken his spot.

          • Colonial Viper

            John key would be annihilated northland styles if the opposition block can act half cohesively.

            You put the main point on your top line.

            But the Opposition block cannot seem to capitalise on the huge pile of ammo you referred to.

          • Draco T Bastard


          • Puckish Rogue

            Well you can see it however you want to see it but I’m seeing it from the point of view of the average NZ voter which is the crux of the problem IMHO for the left in NZ

            The left (Labour mostly) in NZ are out of touch with what the majority of voters are thinking and voting on

            National, under John Key, is more in touch and that’s a big reason why hes going to be re-elected

            • Gristle

              I don’t think that Key will do any backing down.

              IMO the foreign ownership of residential property data will at best be inconclusive and at worst point to it being a domestic lead problem.

              In the meantime Mr Key has shown himself to be a “pragmatist.” The dialogue with the media will go:
              – “we didn’t have data so I set a system to collect data.”
              – “I said that if there was a problem, then we would deal to those foreigners.”
              -“Who cares if this was Labour’s policy: if it makes sense we will do it, because we are pragmatic, not doctriner.”
              -“The data (or my interpretation of the data) doesn’t justify a land tax for foreigners, therefore the Labour Part has again shown itself going off half-cocked with anti-foreigner theory.”
              -“At the end of the day there is always a cold saveloy and a bit of tomato sauce.”

              However, my interpretation is that this effort has nothing to do with National versus Labour. This is National versus NZ First, but it will be dressed as a Labour problem. Labour (and the Greens) are not the party that National has to marginalize in the up coming election, its NZ First.

              Oh, and by the way, is the opening of the election campaign?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Interest rates are low, unemployment is steady and low, the economy is chugging along nicely, good news for trade keeps popping up

          Except that that’s all wrong.

          Interest rates are high, unemployment is steady at a high rate and the economy’s going down the gurgler due to housing bubbles. Haven’t seen any good news for trade recently either unless your calling record low prices for dairy good news.

          • Colonial Viper

            Interest rates are high if you are on the wrong side of the interest rate apartheid.

            If you are a member of the in crowd you can access money at 2% to 3% or less.

        • Bearded Git

          45% and Key is history.

        • Liberal Realist

          This election is John Keys to lose. As long as nothing like secret deals with the Brethren pop up or god awful cups of tea happen then it’ll be another comfortable win for National

          Elections where the incumbent is at the end of it’s 3rd term are always the incumbents to lose… Pretty sure you know that PR.

          With regard to secret deals, do you mean ‘not get caught’ rather than ‘pop up’? 3rd term governments will almost always do whatever they can to remain in power including shady deals and secret arrangements. Oh to be a fly on the wall during a few caucus meetings pre election 2017.

          Interest rates are low, unemployment is steady and low, the economy is chugging along nicely, good news for trade keeps popping up, Kiwis are returning in droves so theres no reason for the majority of Kiwis to change their vote

          Interest rates are low because our economy is a shambles. National have done their best to drag NZ down to the lowest common denominator. Zero value add export economy.

          Unemployment statistics are way way off kilter. When National hacks are counting anyone who has worked several hours in a week for a few weeks as ’employed’.

          What is this good news for trade? You’re not talking about the TPPA are you? If so, then you’re way off. The TPPA is not a trade deal, more a geopolitical / IP / Corporate rights deal – nothing in it but loss for 99.99% of NZers.

          Kiwis may be returning in droves but it’s not because of where National are taking NZ, it’s primarily (IMO) due to the fact that Australia is tanking and the UK are tightening up visa regs. Beyond that most of the world has not recovered from 08′ and likely never will, hence Kiwi’s coming home en masse.

    • Thom Pietersen 7.2

      This will make no difference – the market in Auckland is overflowing with proxy buyers already – residential ownership has to have , as a minimum, permanent residents (or NZ based and taxed companies) only on the property title, and they must be obliged to declare any foreign interests and if caught acting as a proxy be the entity liable for all tax on 100% of the land value regardless of their share.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 8.1

      Quote from first link in response to the comment from a realtor who says “at that price it makes sense to rebuild” after a home sold for around $9 million CAD

      “Anyone who can make sense out of this is crazy.

      That said, I can explain what’s going on: capital flight and desperation to get money out of China, regardless of price.

      Mike “Mish” Shedlock”

    • Macro 8.2

      Yep I was thinking of the Vancouver examples too. I’ve walked down streets of houses (many very fine houses) in Vancouver – all empty and boarded up, and belonging to overseas owners, simply bought for Capital gain, as Red detailed above. It’s happening all around the Pacific Rim, and Auckland is just another example.

      • Henry Filth 8.2.1

        I think you might find that a potential capital gain is only one of many reasons for a Chinese citizen to own property outside China.

        Do not let your obsession with money cloud your thinking.

        • Macro

          Do not let your obsession with money cloud your thinking.

          It certainly doesn’t cloud my thinking, but it appears to cloud yours.

  8. stunnedmullet 9

    The focus group results must be in.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      John Key knows which issues to back track on and which issues to stay firm on ie back track on housing but stay firm on the partial sell down of state assetts

      • adam 9.1.1

        Selling assets, like that has worked for the last 30 odd years. A national government out of ideas, doing the same things over and over, then expecting a different result…

        So much for government for all the people.

        • Puckish Rogue

          The result they’re expecting is winning another term and it looks like its going to happen because Labour and the Greens are talking but the general voting population isn’t listening

          • Macro

            Gezz – is that all they are there for? Sitting their fat arses on the treasury benches!
            And you vote for these pricks?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Who would you suggest I vote for?

              Labour with a leader so awe inspiring he makes The Cunliffe, Shearer and Goff all look positively statesmen like?

              National under john Key and the best of the worst

              • Puckish Rogue

                National under john Key are the best of the worst…*sigh*

                • Macro

                  the most corrupt bunch of thieves and vandals this country has had the misfortune to suffer – and that includes Holyoake!
                  At least you might actually admit that most other Parties have policy statements that mean something rather than the waffle (and sick joke) of National’s “Brighter Future”.
                  But oh no! you would rather vote for a prick with whom you think you might have a beer with if your lucky one day, and who toadies up to Lord Richie and the boys. Well good for you.
                  Doesn’t say much about your thought processes though.

                  • Draco T Bastard


                  • Puckish Rogue

                    the most corrupt bunch of thieves and vandals this country has had the misfortune to suffer

                    – I think you’ll find the fourth Labour government of NZ were worse (using your own set of standards)

                    But oh no! you would rather vote for a prick with whom you think you might have a beer with if your lucky one day, and who toadies up to Lord Richie and the boys. Well good for you.

                    – The country is heading in the right direction, that’s why I vote National, National could be doing more but I understand why they stick to the centre

                    Doesn’t say much about your thought processes though

                    – This was posted on the weekend, I think it bears reposting


                    • Macro

                      do you actually understand what corruption is?
                      yes the 4th labour govt were a pack of arseholes who made this country a poorer place – but corrupt? list me the instances of self serving miss-use of power and bribery committed under Lange.

                      As for “this country is heading in the right direction” I suppose if you mean its well on the way to hell in a hand basket then yes.

                • Stuart Munro

                  National under John Key are the worst government I’ve ever lived under – uniformly greedy stupid corrupt treacherous and non-performing – and I remember Muldoon.

                  Housing crisis? Happened on Key’s watch – watch him not fix it & rotate housing ministers to take them blame.

                  Stupid, stupid bunch of arseholes. And their supporters are no better.

                  • Liberal Realist

                    Stupid, stupid bunch of arseholes. And their supporters are no better.

                    The left needs to win over some of their supporters, we shouldn’t forget that…

                    My take is that the vast majority of National supporters know forwell that the government they support is corrupt, deceitful, treacherous and treasonous. The trouble is they can’t admit it to themselves. The other major issue is that they cannot believe that the media would lie with the aim of manipulating them.

                    IMO we have a situation where the National electorate can’t or won’t admit that they’ve made a grave mistake and voted against their own interests. Nor can they accept that they are and have been manipulated by MSM. No one likes to be duped and their stupidity exposed.

                • Thom Pietersen

                  And that is the problem… why is a lying scumbag bankster the best of the worst? What because he looks good in a awkward threeway handshake? Or pushing decent taste getting tactile satisfaction from young ladies silky hair?


              • Hanswurst

                Labour with a leader so awe inspiring he makes The Cunliffe, Shearer and Goff all look positively statesmen like?

                I don’t think that’s relevant to the swing- or National-voting public. John Key makes all of the above – along with any prime minister or prime-ministerial candidate from living memory – look statesmanlike, but he’s still there.

        • reason

          John Keys New Zealand tax haven helps his right wing mate Dave Cameron screw over the british people.

          Our Tax Haven NZ Inc, allows the British rich to hide their money and pay no tax in england……….. this means less tax revenue for them and less money for them to spend on education, health etc.

          Cameron being a right wing prick wants to sell his countrys state assets and cut social services for the poor and society…. But he needs an excuse or some cover.

          Tax Havens and the huge amount of hidden money in them provide the excuse and conditions of “not enough money/revenue” for Cameron to implement Asset sales/stripping and Austerity for the poor………….

          I’m going to create some obviously New Zealand accounts in the Guardian, Observer etc and apologize on behalf of New Zealand for participating in this theft from their people……

          • Colonial Viper

            Our Tax Haven NZ Inc, allows the British rich to hide their money and pay no tax in england……….. this means less tax revenue for them and less money for them to spend on education, health etc.

            Don’t they already have the Isle of Mann? The British Virgin Islands? The Channel Islands?

            • reason

              Of course the Brits already have their tax havens CV. …..

              But what seems to be lacking is the social consciousness that the rich are looting stealing and speculating which is why our kids everywhere now get $50,000-$150,000 dollars of student debt on what was once free and will be locked out of home ownership because of speculators greed.

              I’m just helping spread the word ……besides Apologizing costs nothing and tax Havens are something to be ashamed off ……………… New Zealanders do not like being shamed in front of an international audience.

              Regarding Housing: A good Government would have the housing of its citizens in healthy affordable conditions as a fundamental core policy.

              Instead The National party receives large donations and funding from real estate company owners who are worth hundreds and hundreds of millions…. They have gotten rich by selling the same properties for ever increasing money to greedy speculators who may or may not have ‘dirty money’, live overseas etc etc.

              Speculation is Nats the policy ( just like tax havens ) and it hurts our society

              2 Billion dollars of Government welfare money called ‘accommodation benefit’ is paid directly to landlords participating in this speculation and helps sustain it……. that is on top of what they get directly from the beneficiary themselves so they get heaps of welfare money from the state as the poor pay for their property portfolios.

              Housing speculation should be regulated out of existence and the $2billion dollars of ‘accommodation benefit should be put back to into building modern state housing from where it was originally stolen by ruth richardson or some other right wing flake.

              National have moved from their recent position of denying that there is a housing problem to now acknowledging one …. they will move into their ‘pretend to fix it’ mode.

              Even the National hanger-on s who believe that they are ok because they are on the property ladder and will be able to leverage their kids into owning their homes are short sighted morons …….. Their kids will have a fun life with mortgages and debt levels of 1 million and more…..indentured slaves springs to mind.

          • Henry Filth

            I suspect that you’d find very few of the British Kleptocracy interested in New Zealand for the reasons you espouse.

            Monaco, BVI, Caymans beat NZ hollow for climate, and the Channel Islands and IOM win on proximity.

            Sorry. . .

        • Draco T Bastard

          A national government out of ideas, doing the same things over and over, then expecting a different result…

          They’re not expecting a different result. They’re actually after the result that’s going to happen – the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. This means that the rich will be able to force people to work for them for next to nothing.

          Of course, they’re probably not after the result that comes after that but they’ll get that one to. It’s what always happens to capitalistic societies.

      • Macro 9.1.2

        Crosby Textor and focus groups know which issues to back track on

  9. NZJester 10

    If it is anything like he has previously done, he is just preparing the ground to make it look like he is doing a lot and then doing the least he can with a lot of loopholes for his friends!

  10. Ad 11

    Key should read Marx’s Das Capital on land and figure out why land ownership is the thing that bites you on the arse and doesn’t let go.

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    How silly to collect evidence to determine the nature of the problem before creating a policy.

    • adam 12.1

      Some would have thought no one had said or done any before now.

      Damn those pesky government departments who no longer do there job.

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      “How silly to deny there is a problem and refuse to collect any evidence for 3 years, until finally it becomes obvious to all that there is a problem and so you sheepishly have to start collecting evidence so that it looks like you’re doing something.”


  12. Colonial Viper 13

    National are actively positioning for election year.

    The Kiwi top 10% have been increasingly pissed off that these Chinese and other foreigners have been pushing them (and their kids) out of the market.

    And the top 10% are dedicated voters that National knows to listen to.

    (Bear in mind that the median full time worker/ordinary Kiwi earner has not been able to afford an ordinary home in Auckland for more than 10 years without having to move out to the outer fringes. And that pre-dates the Key Govt).

  13. Nick 14

    Why is the Government suddenly talking about a land tax on foreign-based property buyers?

    It wants a Plan B in case data due soon shows a large number of overseas-based buyers in the New Zealand market.

    Hahaha….Plan B…..more like NO plan, just forced politically so needs to look like shonkey will do something

  14. Ralf Crown 15

    The problem is not overseas buyers, the real problem is that one – people, overseas and in New Zealand – are buying up property and rent it so the tenants pay the mortgage and the owner collect the profit tax free, and two – Key is hanging out to fleece more tax out of anyone. Greed – Greed – Greed – Greed – Greed – all around. Tax income from rentals with 50% instead.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      More BS from the libertarian

      The problem is not overseas buyers

      Yes, actually it is a major part of the problem.

      the real problem is that one – people, overseas and in New Zealand – are buying up property and rent it so the tenants pay the mortgage and the owner collect the profit tax free

      Yes, rentiers (also known as capitalists) are a major part of the problem as well.

      and two – Key is hanging out to fleece more tax out of anyone.

      No, Key works very diligently to only tax the poor. That was the basis of the tax switch that saw taxes on rich people decrease while taxes on poor people increased.

      Greed – Greed – Greed – Greed – Greed – all around.

      That is the basis of capitalism and so, while we’re a capitalist country, there’s getting away from it.

  15. Pedant 17

    Forget the free trade agreements S21(1)(g) of the Human Rights Act may be interesting here if the land tax is based in any way on nationality and not applied to everyone owning land.
    But then Key has never been that keen on the Act has he?

    • Craig H 17.1

      The land tax being offered up for public consideration would apply to all properties owned by people not living in NZ – anything else would breach our FTAs.

  16. greywarshark 18

    Land Tax payable annually or accumulated and dumped on your estate when you die. Great idea from the Gnats! I wonder what smiling economic assassin at the political help desk dreamed that one up. Actually this is Don Brash thinking, he may not be in power but his economic poison drips on.

    Guyon said on Radionz won’t that hurt pensioners, on top of the rates (hat we do get a rebate on to assist us), ‘oh they can put if off and pay later’. What about the young people and not just the pensioners I think. And what about savings that this mendacious government is always saying sorrowfully that we don’t do. Our houses are our savings you s.ds.

    A Land Tax on everyone is just another flat tax forcing everyone to be equal yeah right. It is a wicked idea and totally unfair on ordinary people who have tried to be good citizens and do everything right as a good citizen should do, not gamble all away, not drink all away, not cost the gummint millions by driving drunk and causing accidents, not costing the country through neglect of their children’s welfare, their health, their social values, their self-control and respect for others.

    All the people suffer, but particularly it is sad for those who have tried to be good citizens because it reveals the flimsy nasty reality of gummint’s attitude to the citizen. Beneficiaries are supposed to be bad, and not deserving, not like really good citizens. Well actually gummint doesn’t care two hoots about any but the wealthy. Those are the people who can keep them in their relative sinecure. Those are part of the inner circle of the superior ones, who know how to make money and keep it. which is the most important trait known to man.

    Those greedy, blinkered aspirational go forward with their hands out like the hated tax collectors in Jesus’ time. He was forgiving of them, but he was something special, I can’t respect the rich and twisted who come up with tax ideas like this. We are just dishrags or toerags to these people, and they regard us as wet and are willing to squeeze us till we are completely dry of the will to protest.

    • Wayne 18.1


      It is pretty difficult to be for a CGT and against a land tax. Just because it is the current government that is proposing a land tax does not automatically make it bad. Though I appreciate that is the general approach of many commentators on this site.

      As someone who studies politics, it is my view that if you start to hate your opponents, who after all are actually your fellow citizens, you will no longer have any objective sense of how to effectively deal with them.

      Simply raging against your opponents will convince no-one.

      • dv 18.1.1

        Just because it is the current government that is proposing a land tax does not automatically make it bad. Though I appreciate that is the general approach of many commentators on this site.

        Grey is the only one I can see that is agin.
        Hardly many Wayne!!!!

        • greywarshark

          Is dv short for diverticulitis? Just wondering.

        • reason

          Waynes a wanker and a shabby troll ……. any respect granted to him is misappropriated.

          People like him are why I taught my children the colloquialism of “going for a right honorable” to describe having a shit.

          He apparently was a willing player in the ugly divisive race baiting politics which Ansell the ad man used to almost elect Don Brash.

          He has used the KDS tag numerous times which is a bullying deflecting meme of mental illness on anyone who dislikes JK and his dirty politics standards.

          Finally Run the baloney detection kit over his posts and its very revealing of him. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/03/baloney-detection-kit-carl-sagan/……….. sometimes I’ve scored him at 7 out of 20 and more.

          P.s like NoRightTurn I think he should resign from his crony appointment to some board …..although I can not remember which one 🙂 .

          • greywarshark

            Thanks for the Carl Sagan link. Great. I’ll take his words on and try and brush up my reasoning where it is needed. There is a youtube presentation of his lectures.

      • Sabine 18.1.2

        no its not that what National proposes is bad,

        its the fact that after eight years of continuously fucking up and not achieving anything even remotely inspirational and brighter for the country that they have to be dragged kicking and screaming in doing something/anything because their internal polling si showing that even the kids of National voters can’t afford to rent a dog kennel in certain places in NZ.

        and that to tell people that if they want to rent or own a home that they should give up eating (unless Nana feeds you on her dime), heating, drinking, smoking, sky tv, flash cars over 4000, medication, trips and holidays, school outings, flash dinners out, movies, no having children they can’t afford, no o.e., no studies if you can’t afford it is maybe just maybe not going down well with the people that pay the wage of some where well fed Politicians that are constantly on the side of doing nothing.

        Not just only would i want a Land Tax, and a Capital Gains Tax, i want a Tax on people like Gareth Morgan who is on record for not paying taxes and now is on record for having property empty on purpose cause that makes money without having to work for it. I want his empty properties taxed so much that keeping them empty would never ever be even considered by upstanding man like him and other.

        Seriously after 8 years of this current National led Government Team can any of the resident National Party apologists point to something that this government has done that has benefited the COUNTRY (and no Judith Collins Husband, and Jenny Shipley are NOT the County). Please start listing up the amazing achievements.

        • Nick

          +100 Sabine….. They can’t even get a flag sorted for $27,000,000…….. Indefensible incompetence

      • adam 18.1.3

        Silly question Wayne

        If we have a government that does not represent the people, then lies, cheats and goes up in the polls for it. Is not rage an appropriate response?

        And I was under the false belief that when elected, a government works for all of the people. Which this government obviously does not. It is quite a divisive government.

        And convincing, this is why I like you Wayne. The notion that a logical or a well constructed argument will win people over – has been right royally washed down the toilet. And you still hold on to it. When people like Whale oil and the other Muppet just out and out lie. Or use focus groups and polls to win!

        Because winning has become the end game for many, and it is quite ugly when that is the only game in town.

        • Chuck

          Problem is this adam, “The notion that a logical or a well constructed argument will win people over”.

          The current opposition is NOT capable of a well constructed argument…don’t agree?? just count how many leaders Labour has had since Miss. Clarke.

      • greywarshark 18.1.4

        As someone who studies politics Wayne your reading seems focussed on finding comment that matches your preconceived notions. You refer to the CGT as if anyone who comments here must have been in favour of that. But some of us like to think around each idea and suggestion, and there may be a need to balance advantages against disadvantages. Will the policy do the job required, and what exactly is that job, that problem?

        I don’t know that CGT would measure up, but Labour thought it looked promising and if taken further I would have studied its likely outcomes. I know there was debate about its value for limiting house price buying and so reducing the bubble somewhat. I have looked at the likely outcomes of a Land Tax and they look as if they will be an immediate burden on many with limited incomes whereas the CGT I thought was only going to apply on the sale of a property.

        People who have managed to afford a house will have to pay land tax each year, which may be varied upwards as GST was, yet it is their place of residence, their home, their refuge, their security, the place where they live their life and come and go to as they interact with the world. Those ideas about a house don’t seem to be universal, and the wealthy apparently don’t consider a home and security of tenure to be of much importance. Though, on the other hand, being homeless is regarded as definitely lower class.

        I don’t think that ordinary homeowners should have to put up with the gummint doing a sort of home invasion and pinching funds that are needed to maintain their property and pay the costs involved with ownership. Government says that they need this tax to fix the multiple ownership problem plus the foreign ownership problem plus the housing bubble inflation problem that is leading to capital accretion exceeding rental monies. I remember that in the 70’s a huge tower in London city was kept empty, without tenants, as the property bubble rose so fast that having tenants would limit the rising valuations each month for each floor of the multi storey building. It was a prominent landmark and monument to the perverse nature of capitalism out of control. Can your people rein in the perverse effects on NZ housing prices please without punishing ordinary people for your, and Labour’s, inept policies over the last decades?

        The mere fact that I disdain your colleagues and yourself does not mean that I don’t look at the policies suggested, and usually you don’t fail me by producing something I have to grudgingly accept. But then if you did, I would still be wary, wondering why you at last came forward with something worthwhile, on the basis of ‘Does a leopard change its spots’? Raging against you and your fellow Gnats might not convince many, because many NZs have become apathetic, your fellow travellers, or given up hope of anything good coming out of Wellington. But some of us are still thinking. Only the Khmer Rouge solution would prevent that.

        • Incognito

          Hi greywarshark,

          I don’t want to further inflame the discussion but the issue of flat universal tax including on people’s family homes did also come recently in the discussion thread on The terrifying cost of Labour’s UBI.

          I support such a tax, in conjunction with a UBI, which is quite separate to problems raised in this current OP.

          Interestingly, there was an article today by Rob Stock covering the exact topic of asset-rich but cash-poor elderly: Grey Power to lobby for Government-run reverse mortgage scheme. I think these ideas have merit.

          • greywarshark

            Thanks incognito for links. Everything should be discussed widely and people given the chance to indicate the mix of responses that could be implemented so that the most useful with the best outcomes for each sector group, the aged, the young, the poor singles and married, the poor families. It is everyone’s problem but I have noticed huge apathy from those comfortably housed. Time to pull finger and do your democratic duty as could be expected of educated, thinking citizens folks.

            The middle class would be able to work for something better, and the wealthy not allowed to scoop up everything that is affordable, gentrify it, make a good profit because of inner city or striking views advantages, and raise local prices unaffordably and so erase communities that had built up supporting and tolerant neighbourhoods.

      • b waghorn 18.1.5

        Pretty hard not to hate a government that condones using whale oil to win elections, has ministers with the morals of mcully and collins and has done worse than nothing about climate change FFS

  17. whispering kate 19

    Interesting this morning on RNZ news hearing the Treasury has been giving the Government some advice about Auckland’s budget restraints with infrastructure, Apparently the Council has exhausted ways to get funds up and doesn’t want to elevate rates and is held back with its own suggestions to raise the funds by road tolls etc into the city by the Government. Government has always maintained the Council should be asset selling as that is their usual mantra because of their lack of imagination to find funds any other way. Well well well Treasury has said that selling assets such as the Airport or the Port would not bode well for future funding because of the lack of dividends they would receive and surprise surprise, has said that the Government should allow Auckland to find the funds in other ways – in other words stop hindering the Auckland Council’s efforts to get their roading, housing subdivisions, rail projects underway etc by derailing their funding methods/ideas.

    Government has never liked this Labour-led council and it has always looked like it has held them back by petty actions such as refusing road tolls, which has hogtied them making it difficult for them to do their job without political interference

    So Treasury it seems in this circumstance does not agree with asset stripping – wonder how the Government are going to accept that advice. Sack the Department?


    • Ad 19.1

      If funding Auckland isn’t possible through rates, central government could take over the collection and setting of rates.

      Treasury’s advice that nothing in local gov’t can bridge the infrastructure funding gap is the evidence base Cabinet would need.

      At that point Auckland Council can shut up shop. And gov’t would take it over as a Department.

      • whispering kate 19.1.1

        Can’t see that happening here in Auckland and anyway what is wrong with road tolls, other advanced cities overseas have them, just because this Government doesn’t want to unsettle the road users up here doesn’t mean that it isn’t a viable method of raising money for our rail routes and subdivisions needed for much needed housing.

        Don’t even go there, look what the Government has done to Christchurch by taking over the council – major cock up of this century – it should have left the city to sort its own problems out. The Government are incompetent at everything they do, let them and Gerry stay out of local Government please.

        • jcuknz

          I agree with you Kate but is the alternative likely to be any better … I simply cannot see any worthwhile alternative to National. Which makes me very sad as a socialist at heart.

  18. slumbergod 20

    I wonder how more backflips that prick can make before the sheeple of NZ finally see him for the sociapathic con artist that he is. Everyone struggling at the bottoms sees him for who he truly is but it seems like most people still think the sun shines out of his ass. I just don’t get it.

    • Puckish Rogue 20.1

      You’ve fallen into the same trap the right fell into when Helen Clark was in power.

      • reason 20.1.1

        I think BM and others suffered Erectile dysfunction when Helen was the boss …..the hatred seemed really personal 😉

        BM and others also offer the trolls advice that pointing out John Key is a serial and almost compulsive liar is a bad counter-productive tactic ………… I would suggest Keys very low honesty ratings would not have come about otherwise.

        His self earned and accurate low honesty ratings will bite him hard when he tries to sell that one lie to many and the middle class are the ones being done over……………… it could be to do with the non-solution he will inevitably come up with for housing………. but who can tell what the tipping point will be.

        Personally I think John Key is the type of person who would rather have 10,000 families in a poor country pick through rubbish in a garbage dump to survive and have their children die from no sanitation or medication rather than him give up $1.00 of his wealth ……or to give him his dues 1 million dollars. http://johnpilger.com/videos/war-by-other-means.

        But even though I see Key as a somewhat terrible, greedy, shallow, dishonest & bullying person I don’t hate him ….. it would be a waste of energy plus I see his greed as a mental illness …….

        Far better to point out the real effects that money grubbing greedy planet fuckers like him always bring about.

        Have a drink of johns river water and feel the wealth of your poisoning …….

        Tax Haven = good …………. caring for environment=bad…. Serco=good …. early child education=bad ……greed=good …… fair=bad

        Mr safe hands=barking mad 😉

  19. Nick 21

    Herald article …… the SHONKEY words….saying a lot but saying nothing

    John Key is threatening to…
    if there is evidence….
    it could apply….
    just two weeks away….
    could also….
    perhaps three years….
    could potentially….
    Subject to our capacity….
    could do it…
    they might have…
    if we continued…
    in principle…
    whether it breached….
    subject to design…
    no evidence yet…
    waiting on data ….
    I don’t know ….
    I just intuitively think….
    I may well prove to be wrong….
    ducking and diving….
    started looking at options….
    so many ways…
    don’t work very well….
    looked at other options…..
    If you want….
    raising the idea….
    could also….

  20. dave 22

    coming to a town near you

  21. alwyn 23

    Oh dear. Whoever wrote this post will have to do a rapid revision.
    The post says –
    “It would save a lot of time and anguish for New Zealand if National just assimilated Labour policies and ideas as and when they are announced”.

    The Labour Party has just performed the same back flip as they did over the flag debate.
    The second National announce something the Labour Party immediately drop it out of their own policy.
    Before the last election Mallard released the party’s Internal Affairs policy with the claim that it was Labour policy to change the flag. Key announces it and they ran for the hills.

    Now Labour have dumped their own policy. Won’t work they say.
    Look at Twyford’s masterpiece of a press release.

    Can’t Labour do anything right?

  22. linda 24

    this will be NZ sooner or latter thanks Dave

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  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
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  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
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  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
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  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
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  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
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  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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    4 days ago
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  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
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    6 days ago
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