Labour plans to crack down on negative gearing

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, August 5th, 2016 - 130 comments
Categories: labour, national, phil twyford - Tags:

Twyford Labour

Labour has upped the ante on the homeless crisis by announcing plans to remove some tax exemptions for landlords. From the Herald:

Labour has confirmed it will introduce a policy to remove tax breaks on investment properties but aims to target speculators rather than small-time landlords.

Labour’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford has released Inland Revenue figures which showed property investors claimed $650 million in tax write-offs on residential rental properties in the year to March 2015.

His party now plans to crack down on negative gearing, which allows landlords to claim tax deductions on their rental properties.

Labour will consult on its policy to remove negative gearing over the next few months and was aiming for a design to capture speculators rather than longer term, small investors such as those using a rental as a retirement investment.

That included considering options such a cap on the number of houses negative gearing could apply to and grandfathering the policy so it did not apply to current landlords.

When you add this figure to the $1.2 billion being paid out in accommodation supplements that is significant taxpayer assistance to the private landlord sector paid or surrendered each year.

Labour’s figures about the growth of ownership of multiple properties by landlords are eye watering.

New data on residential property investment shows a hefty increase over the last two years in investors with multiple properties. Since 2014 the number of investors with four or more properties is 29 per cent, up from 22 per cent. Those with five or more properties is 17 per cent, up from 15 per cent in 2014, and those with eight or more is 9 per cent, up from 6 per cent.

Of course the landlords will claim they are providing a civic service and without them where will tenants live?  If they actually constructed any houses they may have a point.  But I am not sure if they ever have.  Buying existing houses and then profiting by receiving a government handout and a tax benefit should not count.

There is no quick fix to the homeless crisis.  It has developed for a number of reasons.  One is because National is relying on immigration to bolster the economy.  Another is because of the doctrinaire reduction of Housing Corporation’s stock at a time when need is peaking.  A third is the attacks on beneficiaries a number of who are giving up seeking benefits.  But clearly favourable tax treatment for landlords has increased demand for the purchase of residential properties and this has increased house prices.

No doubt National will be running the figures to see if it can water it down and announce its own version.  Meanwhile tens of thousands of kiwis are homeless every night.

130 comments on “Labour plans to crack down on negative gearing”

  1. Murray Simmonds 1

    “Of course the landlords will claim they are providing a civic service and without them where will tenants live?”

    Its not rocket science; “Without them” property prices would not be so high and many of their “tenants” would not be tenants at all, because they would be able to afford their own home.

    • Indeed.
      Or of course, they could be taxed fairly on their investment, deflating the artificially high prices in Auckland and Wellington, and people might actually be able to afford dry and warm houses if they want or need to rent.

      It is a little bit precious of the investor class to want to write off their losses against tax. Tell me, if I’m unemployed, can I get exempted for income tax later until I make up my losses? No, I get a stand-down period before our safety net kicks in, in fact.

  2. locus 2

    i worked out it was possible to get the NZ taxpayer to pay us for renting out our property…. incredible

    this is a really important step towards discouraging wealthy NZers from buying second or third homes – having tenants pay for the mortgage and the government pay for the maintenance costs

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Of course the landlords will claim they are providing a civic service and without them where will tenants live?

    In their own homes.

    Generally speaking landlords don’t provide a civic service – they’re just bludgers looking to get rich upon others work.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      No-one said landlords were providing a ‘civic’ service. It’s a business like any other. The biggest cost for any rental business is usually mortgage interest, and if Labour eliminates the ability to claim that against other income, then all that is going to happen is that the losses will accumulate in the rental business to be claimed back against future profits.

      In essence the total tax paid will remain pretty much the same over time. The entire LAQC/LTC regime was only ever justified as a cash flow smoothing mechanism, it doesn’t reduce the total tax paid.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Thanks RL.

        There will be an immediate benefit through increased tax revenues and a good argument for a capital gains tax. That way those losses can be realised but tax on the profit paid.

        Part of the benefit is in making private rentals less attractive. WIth a yearly cost in the vicinity of $2 billion there are potentially some significant savings.

      • Ad 3.1.2

        Will Labour’s policy eliminate the capacity for the salaried income of one spouse to be used to pay for a couple’s rental property mortgages?

        • Lanthanide

          It’s unclear what Labour’s policy is.

          The part excerpted in this post doesn’t mention the magic word “ring-fencing”, it talks about “removing” negative gearing.

          But, ring-fencing of losses does mean that you can’t attribute it to other sources of income.

          • Ad

            If “ring fencing” such income from any other source of income were well policed by IRD, I think that would send a real shock through the small-to-medium scale landlords who have relied on it.

            Most of them over the last 15 years have relied on capital gain to get from their first to their second to get to where they are now. Great turnover, tiny if anything yield.

          • mikesh

            At the risk of sounding pedantic, I would point out that there is no such thing as “negative gearing”. Gearing is actually a ratio of two positive values (either debt/ historical cost, or debt/equity, depending on how one wishes to express it) and can never really be negative. I think the term to use should probably be something like “loss generating excess gearing”.

            • Lanthanide

              Words and phrases mean what the majority of the speaking population who use those words/phrases think they mean.

              Negative gearing is an established financial term.


              • mikesh

                Nevertheless the meaning of the term “negative gearing” is inconsistent with the meaning of the term “gearing” as used by accountants and financial analysts, and can therefore lead to confusion.

      • DH 3.1.3

        I think you’re mistaken there RedLogix. Most of the tax write-offs from negative gearing is by individuals who claim it against their income. AFAIK they can’t claim losses on future profits if the negative gearing was canned because they’re not making a loss.

        • RedLogix

          Most of the tax write-offs from negative gearing is by individuals who claim it against their income.

          Yes this is correct. But you don’t get to claim the loss twice. In other words at some time in the future when the rental company makes a profit, you get to pay full tax on the income then.

          If however the losses have been ring-fenced into the company, then over time they accumulate and can then be claimed against future tax.

          Not a lot of people realise this. And certainly it will give any govt that makes this move a short-term tax windfall, but over the long-term the end result is pretty much nil.

          • Peter Ch Ch

            Unless you keep the rent low and massage a loss into the financial statements each year and take your profit on capital gain. This way you would be able to never pay any tax as all the profit will be on tax free capital gains.

            For all the slagging off of National, remember that it was National government that scrapped the depreciation tax deduction on buildings. This was always a bit of gift as it guaranteed a tax loss even if making a cash profit.

          • Lanthanide

            Again Red, you’re assuming that Labour are talking about ring-fencing, when the part that has been excerpted here doesn’t mention that magic word at all. It says “removing” negative gearing.

            As in, if you get a $10,000 dollar loss one year, suck it up, too bad, you won’t be able to offset future gains by that loss.

          • DH

            It said $400 million of the tax write-offs were by individuals RedLogix. They’re not companies, there’s no ring-fencing there.

            I think the point was that many people rely on the tax refund to fully fund their property purchase. If they lose that refund many will be squeezed out of the market which I daresay is the objective.

      • Muttonbird 3.1.4

        No-one said landlords were providing a ‘civic’ service.

        Andrew King and others with property investors’ interests constantly imply just that.

      • Kevin 3.1.5

        Why SHOULD you be allowed to claim interest mortgage? I can’t on my home I live in, landlords shouldn’t be any different. Interest is just a cost of being in that business, no different to any other cost of being in business.

        • RedLogix

          The problem is that all other types of business claim interest costs against tax. This is perfectly normal; so what is the rationale for making the rule different for a rental company?

          In fact it would make more sense to allow home-owners to claim the interest against taxable income. After all if the opposite applies and you are earning interest income from a bank deposit you get to pay tax on it, so why not an exemption for interest costs?

          This is perfectly normal in other parts of the world.

          • mikesh

            Except that in the case of homeowners the interest doesn’t actually contribute to the acquisition of taxable income, an important qualifier, in the Income Tax Act, for deductibility. Of course it doesn’t contribute in the case of landlords either, but that’s another story.

            • RedLogix

              A very good point mikesh.

              Gareth Morgan’s response is that owning a home (or any other asset) is indeed a ‘benefit’ … and while it may not be in the form of cash income … it is the equivalent, and this is the basis of his Big Kahuna Comprehensive Capital Tax.

              • mikesh

                But it’s not, at present, a taxable benefit, and that’s what’s important when it comes to deductibility.

        • Peter Ch Ch

          Exactly! So like any other business you should be able to claim a tax deduction for any business expense, including interest.

          You cannot do this with the home you live in as younare not running itbas a business.

          • RedLogix

            Well many people are indeed running their home as a ‘business’, and making very good money from the capital gains.

            Here’s an idea; why not give people the option of either declaring their home to be personal and not subject to tax, or a business in which case they can claim costs like any other business AND pay the same capital gains and stock taxes that all other businesses are subject to.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.6

        No-one said landlords were providing a ‘civic’ service.

        I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard either a landlord or a representative body of landlords say exactly that.

        And I’ll point you back to this post:

        Secondly you have to wonder what contribution the individual concerned is making. Renting out existing houses to desperate tenants and playing World of Warcraft every day contributes nothing whatsoever to the society, apart from eleven families having to work harder just to pay the rent.

        And finally but most importantly this activity ensures that the rich become richer and the rest become poorer. If you accept the market is always right and this is an inevitable occurrence then you are probably fine with this. Of course the contrary argument is that everyone is free to engage in this behaviour but not all of us will own eleven tenanted Auckland residential properties. Just like a ponzi scheme it is a system where most people will inevitably fail and pay for the success of the few.

      • mikesh 3.1.7

        I think I would make interest non deductible for tax purposes; deductibility of interest is actually an anomaly in the Income Tax Act. ( It’s a capital cost lying outside the income generating process, and only those expenses which contribute to the generation of taxable income should be deductible.) If interest were not deductible then highly geared landlords would very likely find themselves facing a large tax bill at the end of each year, which would have to be paid out of other income.

        • Henry Filth

          Nothing should be deductible.

          It’s not deductible for me as an individual, why should it be deductible for a business?

          Time to level the playing field.

          • mikesh

            An expense should be deductible if it contributes to the production of taxable income. Investing in a property and letting it to a tenant produces taxable income so rates, insurance and R&M, expenses which are incurred as a result of such investment, are deductible. Interest, however, lies outside the business process and therefore should not be deductible.

            Presumably your own expenses are not producing taxable income.

  4. Michelle 4

    Labour also need to look at the accommodation funding paid to elderly people homes as the foreign providers are making millions out of housing our elderly many who are wealthy and have benefitted from a time when our country was prosperous and handouts and generous benefits and assistance was the norm during times of hardship.

    • Venezia 4.1

      Michelle……….Can you explain what you mean here? Are you referring to the Rest Home industry or Residential villages industry? If so, are you aware that in order to qualify for a Government residential care subsidy there is a limit on the value of TOTAL assets an elderly person can hold – $215,000 last time I checked. This includes the value of the unit that person lives in as well as assets held in a trust. My understanding is that most people who qualify for this subsidy have very few or any such assets. Whats more, the Residential villages separate out the care of subsidised residents operation, from their profit making arm (sale of Real Estate in the form of Occupational Rights Agreements), which is totally privately funded.

    • save nz 4.2

      Exactly Michelle. Not only that former council members seem to be selling off council land across the country to overseas groups to develop retirement homes. One of the biggest rip offs!

      Why not campaign on helping end the rip offs in retirement homes.

      And questionable sales of public land.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    If they go any further than ring-fencing of losses to future income from the same investment property, then this is directly going to flow through to increased rents.

    Also if they have a grandfathering provision, it will incentivise landlords to hold on to their existing properties and not sell them. There are some few landlords who do actually build new properties. But if any new built property cannot be negatively geared (as in, the losses simply evaporate forever), then there’s no incentive at all for them to be built.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Again … all that happens is those losses are accumulated over time and the ultimately reduce future tax liability when the company eventually returns a profit or sells for capital gain.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        Red, you’re assuming that Labour is talking about ring-fencing. But the excerpt doesn’t use the magic word “ring-fencing”, it says “removing”.

        If we take it on face value, it would mean a loss in one year could never be reclaimed against future profits. This would have unexpected negative outcomes IMO, as I say in my comment #5.

        If they just mean ring-fencing, then I support that policy.

  6. save nz 6

    While this might be a completely valid idea, especially if it is designed to catch people with multiple rental properties, I’m just concerned that Labour does not want to talk about the elephant in the room, immigration and overseas speculation which is the reason for the huge increase in prices of houses in NZ. If they don’t want to talk about that, why bring up property at all? National’s strategy is to hide out all issues of property, so in the minds of the public Labour are the face of the problem.

    Sky rocketing house prices, is worldwide issue under globalism, nothing to do with NZ tax treatments at all because many western countries that have open property sales to international buyers, have capital gains and stamp duties (UK and Canada for example) have all had the same issues of prices escalating outside of the incomes of locals. The tax treatments is not stopping this. People want to get their money out of Asia, middle East and Russia in particular or migrate out of their home countries are contributing to global high house prices that do not reflect the incomes of the area.

    I think that many Kiwis actually like the high property prices. My concern is that like last election (that Labour should have won,) the idea of going towards a theoretical economy plan which is more of a 20th century plan than taking into account 21st century issues is just attacking the current middle class tax payers, who traditionally put all their eggs in the property basket and are most affected by any tax change. But the middle class are not the ones implementing the main driver to prices, immigration and foreign investment. So a free ride to newbies and more taxes to current tax payers as well as the prospect of homeowners paying $125,000 per house in infrastructure via their rates, to help house all the new arrivals.

    Those rich listers, globally based and those with tax havens earning 50 million plus get a free ride, while Labour ‘appears’ to put the boot into those on $70k – $300k paying tax in the country – while not receiving any benefits that help the working poor such as working for families, accommodation supplement and community services card.

    Labour needs to woo back those teachers, policeman, public servants, home owners, women and so forth to get above 25% in the polls.

    Labour’s current war on property, plays into the Natz hands, as they like to push the middle class against the poor and use that to blame for the countries woes.

    • weka 6.1

      Labour already have policies around overseas ownership and immigration, perhaps you could read them?

      • Sigh 6.1.1

        Yep. So many lazy, ill-informed but somehow angry people.

      • Ch-ch Chiquita 6.1.2

        But these policies are not highlighted enough. Labour needs to talk again and again about ending foreign ownership and stop low-skill-low-pay working visa and investment visas as it is hurting our econmy. Talking endlessly about the affordability of houses without also talking about immigration and our low wage economy is futile.

      • save nz 6.1.3

        Yes but why don’t they make it easy and put all their complicated policies into an easy policy together. Funny, people don’t have time to read ever changing policy especially when I last looked at the Labour website is said they want capital gains taxes, but Little said they didn’t?

        I’m going on recent media statements in interviews by Labour and sites like this one.

        The closest I have heard is the words ‘we need to address the demand side’ on their immigration policy. They talk about foreign speculators being banned but what about migrants and residents?

        In interviews they talk about building more homes. Something that homeowners don’t seem to want they way the unitary plan describes it and without any public transport in place, and does not really address the issues especially if you know anything about building and the costs associated with it. What’s the point building homes that local people can’t afford and then taxing them to drive to work as there is no usable public transport?

        • Hanswurst

          By “recent”, I can only assume that you mean something to the tune of this week or so, since they have talked about immigration a lot (whether you see that or Labour’s framing as a good thing is up to you, of course).

          In terms of “putting all their complicated policies into an easy policy together”, that seems rather counter-intuitive, since putting lots of things together usually involves making things more complicated, rather than less. That is precisely why parties release simple, individual policies, rather than trying to present the entire package at once.

    • xanthe 6.2

      You missed the really really bllody big elephant in the room which is that banks lend on the “value” of the property which is set by the historical lend on the “value” of property which is a closed loop “market forces” dont even get a look in , Its a scam by which large amounts of money is created as interest bearing debt which makes GDP look great but otherwise is all bad

  7. Siobhan 7

    I’m wondering if this also relates to commercial property?

    In small towns and cities, such as Hastings, Rororua, I can only conclude that there is some sort of ‘advantage’ to having empty properties. The main road is half empty, well maybe more like 20%, yet landlords seem happy to put up rent forcing, in some cases, long term tenants out. The shop then sits there empty, apart from the occasional pop up.

    This sort of thing makes rural towns an increasingly unattractive proposition, with no one wanting to move to them, and the locals fleeing. Yet, if the towns could ‘perk up, maybe it would help encourage businesses to move to the provinces…flow on effect…ease the Auckland housing situation.

    Why is no political party pushing for this?Why does everyone and everything need to be in Auckland??

    • save nz 7.1

      How will it affect negative gearing on farms. Farms often run at a loss, will that drive farmers more broke, and out of Kiwi control, or at the same time by leaving tax treatment alone are offshore residents and corporations buying up farms and then benefiting from losses?

      Globalism is making things a lot more complicated.

      They need to have different measures for local tax payers vs offshore avoiders or loss makers.

    • save nz 7.2

      I think empty shops is similar to empty houses. As the economy goes more global and into a corporate structure and as these get larger, individual properties become less and less important and decisions on these take longer and longer to make.

      An owner operator of a shop would probably be keen to get it rented asap, including dropping price, but a corporation owning a lot of properties would be interested in making sure prices did not fall and so holding on to their asking price.

      There are empty shops all around Auckland too, some in top streets – a lot of commercial property is Australian owned. But who know what the hell is going on?

      Internet has taken over a lot of retail, but my feeling is, that wages are now so out of kilter to cost of living that people actually can’t afford to start a business or even have disposable spending. So the only thing keeping everything going is new migrants who to get residency are buying a franchise business out of a shop. But with few locals able to buy and too many franchises/shops operating they are going bust.

    • Ch-ch Chiquita 7.3

      The same here in Christchurch. The cost of rent is killing us, trying to buy a property is next to impossible with lanlords asking out of the blue price and banks giving a hard time to small businesses when it comes to loans even though we are usually the ones to pay everything on time and to the last $.
      There are already too many office buildings with many standng empty and yet they keep on building more and more.

      • save nz 7.3.1

        I heard CHCH CBD developers have good friends in government in Chch, which is why some many things don’t make sense happening there.

        • save nz

          The other side to the coin is also wages are too low. How about Labour campaigning on increasing wages to a living wage and increasing wages in general.

          One reason that Kiwis are not productive at work is because they can’t really rely on work to pay enough for them to get ahead or keep up with the bills.

          So they go home and paint their own house, panel beat their own car and catch their own food. This all takes jobs out of the economy. So we have workers not very engaged at work, because they have to worry about job security and multitasking to stay ahead.

          In NZ everyone is measured on some weird standard of what others in that industry get paid. So if your job is minimum wage, you never get a pay rise. If you are the best barista in the world you may get a few dollars more, if you are the best at your job, in general there is very little extra renumeration for your troubles. The whole trickle down has meant that workers no matter how talented will not be paid much more than some arbitrary standard that is kept artificially down.

          However if you are a CEO people are paid to increase your remuneration internationally to keep us competitive so you get that $50k increase per month or year but the workers in the company get very little no matter what they do.

          It’s kinda anti trickle down.

    • NZJester 7.4

      The main reason some of the shops in the center of Hasting are becoming empty is due to council policy that seems to be shifting some of the CBD over into what used to be a sports grounds but is now the new location of The Warehouse and Mitre10 Mega. I’m told some of the older building in the CBD are a little dilapidated with leaks in their roofs. The fronts on most look all nice and shiny, but you walk down behind a lot of those shops and see some have peeling paint and rusty roofs and you will see why some that can afford to are moving to newer building out of the old CBD. There are some shops in the Hasting CBD however that the rot is now showing in the covers over footpaths in public view also and not just hidden behind the public-facing facade.

    • DH 7.5

      I couldn’t agree more Siobhan. I’ve looked frequently at moving the business out of Auckland but commercial rents & rates etc are way too high in the provinces. Residential property is cheaper but the business costs work out much the same as, if not higher than, Auckland and there’s little to be gained from moving

      • mikesh 7.5.1

        The introduction of a land tax might help since the burden of such a tax would be lower in the provinces where land is less valuable.

  8. Tom 8

    What sort of financial benefit will the government provide for renters who now get rent subsidies when they have to pay a mortgage.. In Nelson a typical rent on a $400k place woud be about $300 a week The mortgage on a $350K loan about the same plus of course you have rates, and maintenance to consider too

  9. srylands 9

    So labour just lost the votes of every owner of a rental property and everyone who aspires to own one.

    The NZPC has already concluded that no changes to the tax treatment of mortgage interest is warranted in New Zealand.

    It is like Labour is unaware that they actually need to win an election to be able to do anything.

    If any Labour policy announcement has the Nats laughing or cheering then it is bad. How about that for a test? And I can report that they are fucking laughing like drains.

    • BM 9.1

      It is like Labour is unaware that they actually need to win an election to be able to do anything.

      I have noticed that, it’s that complete disconnect with reality that I find disturbing.

    • Siobhan 9.2

      “It is like Labour is unaware that they actually need to win an election to be able to do anything.”
      But if Labour get into power on the basis of promises of doing nothing to dent landlord and property speculator expectations…then what is the point of changing the Government?

      It is often hard for Labour Centrists to understand, but Labour, like National, is a meant to be a party of ideology. And ‘principal’. For some reason considered dirty words in this day and age. Ironically so, given that we have a Government that is all about ideology even if it means letting the economy of the people flounder away to nothing.

      • srylands 9.2.1

        There is no point changing the government. You nailed it.

        Which is a pity because no opposition means that the current Government will become complacent. There are so many policy fronts where progress has stalled. Why on earth are labour strategists incapable of exploiting those failings?

        OH sorry last time I made that obvious point I was accused of “concern trolling”. As you were then.

        • Muttonbird

          Please list a few of these ‘policy fronts where progress has stalled’. I’ll be interested to know where you think the government is not doing a good job.

      • save nz 9.2.2

        Siobhan – you are aware that 65% of Kiwis still own homes? It is renters that are the minority.

        Labour in the post war years, built houses and gave loans so that Kiwis could own their own homes and also provided social housing to those that for whatever reason would probably not be able to own their own home.

        No one will have a problem with that policy – but once Labour start adding more taxes that could affect homeowners then complexity rises, messaging gets tricky and National pull out their tax cuts vs Labour’s tax increases.

        I want a change of government so just always point out the cold hard facts here, as people seem constantly mystified why people have stopped voting Labour.

        A case is the unitary plan debate.

        Unhappy home owner hates unitary plan because it is their community and they want a stake in it.

        Government rams through unitary plan by threatening Auckland council who were so incompetent in planning that their recommendations were thrown out. Luckily the ‘independent commissioners” who are not independent and appointed by the Council and government then put it back in again.

        Then Labour via Phil Twyford spends a considerable amount of time and media space saying what is wrong with the unitary plan but in the end says Labour supports it.

        Unhappy homeowner looking for someone to support them realises that nobody is in their corner either National or Labour and gets disenfranchised about the process and does not change their vote to Labour.

        National lead with Labour does it too.

        And they are right. Labour does support their bad policy an awful lot.

        And voters hate them for it.

        And next election, Labour will campaign to change the government and bring in a whole range of measures for additional taxing. National will campaign on not changing a thing and giving out a tax break.

        Who will the voters, vote for?

    • Ad 9.3

      Labour never had many votes from landlords. The great majority of New Zealanders loathe landlords. It’s a vote winner.

      The NZPC would conclude that paying for the rent from the extracted blood of the tenants’ firstborn raised above a burning fire to Baal, would need no changes, to maintain yield.

      • srylands 9.3.1

        You clearly have no idea about the mandate of the NZPC.

        • Ad

          Oh the Humanity! The mandate! The violins!

          Read their select committee submissions and weep.

        • tricledrown

          spurious claim srylands considering this government pulled its funding when its findings showed this govt was wrong on house price affordability being the main cause of economic stagnation in our largest city.

      • save nz 9.3.2

        AD, Yes but how quickly is that conveyed in a sound byte?? Or does it all sound very complicated. What happens to accidental landlords who go overseas and need to rent their place out? Do people really hate landlords and how many landlords or former landlords are there? Will the TV programs like renters (which shows how appalling some tenants are), the constant MSM about P in rental properties and the constant MSM articles about tenants trashing properties affect popular opinion?

        I actually think the negative gearing rule is a good idea for landlords that have more than 3 properties so that they do not get too big BUT in a post truth media landscape is it worth the risk? I don’t think any additional taxes accept to maybe overseas investors should be added.

        Labour should try more positive things to campaign on like ending pollution, poverty and diversifying the green economy to create jobs OR negative things about the government like corruption in NZ rising etc.

        Instead of campaigning on some Kiwi ‘speculators’ are the problem. Stop blaming the voters!!

        • Ad

          Nope, Labour is on just the right course here.

          The speculators are almost always landlords.

          Plenty more Labour could and should do, sure.

      • James 9.3.3

        “The great majority of New Zealanders loathe landlords.” – anything to back that up ?

        yeah – thought not.

    • Gabby 9.4

      Or, they’re happy to let the nastianals own their mess.

  10. mosa 10

    About feckin time.
    Don’t stop there Labour what about corporate welfare

    • srylands 10.1

      You mean the corporate welfare that the last government championed wasting hundreds of millions in subsidies to big corporates?

      I think you will find it has now been stopped.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        Would you like a list of the corporates this government has thrown my tax dollars at?

        Landlords are a drain on the productivity of our economy because it’s the wrong place to put scarce capital. They need every disincentive to sell up and put their money into the export economy.

        • save nz

          AD, you are not targeting corporates here, you are telling Kiwis where to put their money. In Auckland I have heard for 20 years about how property prices will fall – people want to put their money into something that works and they can control.

          Economists like Shamubeel have lectured Kiwis for years about what a bad investment property is, and he is wrong, wrong, wrong. And at the same time, I’ve had friends who went through divorces and took his advice and never bought waiting for the drop, friends who put off buying their first home, because of these so called experts, and now they are stuck and can’t afford to buy. Funny enough those that listened to the experts are more the National voters and those that are more liberal just went with their gut and bought anyway because they couldn’t stand renting. They vote more left.

          So nope I think if Labour goes with telling everyone what to do with their money and not to buy a house or pretend that Kiwis are the problem, they are going to get zero tick on polling day.

          Globally people have had a guts full of ‘independent’ experts who are not independent and not experts.

          And politicians who are stuck in last century.

          You may think people can work out the nuances in Labour’s property policy that is designed to protect home owners but I really think most people just get very emotional when they hear that issue in NZ. And Labour need the homeowner vote to win.

          • Ad

            Putting your money into property is right for those who have done so over the last few decades.

            It is precisely wrong for the country. And yes if I ruled the world I would re-weight NZ tax policy further and further away from property and towards products and businesses and services that make the whole of the economy rich.

            New Zealand is in this hole of being reliant on bulk commodities, property booms, and low-wage industries like tourism, precisely because of tax policy.

            • save nz

              Ad you can be right in theory but Rogernomics told everyone to look after themselves remember.

              There is no growth in jobs in this country. People are trying to save enough money because they can’t do it by working.

              Property may be wrong for the country but immigration without jobs and houses is wrong for the country too and why have property investment as an immigration criteria under National. Wouldn’t that be more of a soundbite?

              National sells off state houses while working Kiwis live out of cars!
              National lowers immigration criteria while giving residency to foreign property investors as working Kiwis live out of cars!

              Yep, I know that Labour is scared to play the immigration card and I understand why, but the irony is not lost on middle NZ when Labour are calling out Kiwis for a thrashing.

          • mikesh

            “Economists like Shamubeel have lectured Kiwis for years about what a bad investment property is, and he is wrong, wrong, wrong.”

            The purpose of investing is make profits or to save costs. At today’s prices Shamubeel is probably right,

            The seller of a property does nothing to earn any “capital gain” he receives so that gain would not count as “profit”; it is merely what economists would call a “transfer payment”, in other words it s a transfer of income, on which tax has already been paid, from one person (the buyer) to another (the seller). The world is no better off from the transaction so there is no “profit”.

  11. fisiani 11

    Labour can make all the announcements it wants to “soak the rich” but no one is listening. Only a government makes changes, oppositions just bleat so when most (56%) believe that we are heading in the right direction we will probably retain the current government perhaps for another decade.

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Can’t work it out. RWNJs criticise the opposition for not announcing policy, then criticise the opposition for announcing policy.

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.1

        Trolls just criticise the opposition on ‘principle’. If Twyford personally built 100 000 houses Fisi would still bitch about it.

        [Note to all: the word bitch is a trigger for auto-moderation. That means comments that use it are held in limbo until released or trashed. Can I suggest ‘moan’ as a better alternative in comments such as this one. Cheers. TRP]

        • Muttonbird

          Auto-moderation. Colouring the English language beige since ages ago.

          Perhaps you could code for the use of such a word as a verb as opposed to a noun. Maybe that would help. 🙂

          In fisty’s case I think ‘blub’ is the best fit.

        • mikesh

          Perhaps he should have said that Fisiani would “female dog” about it.

      • marty mars 11.1.2

        Lol right-wing fools think no one notices but we do thanks for highlighting that Muttonbird.

  12. weka 12

    What’s negative gearing? (if we want people to engage politically, then political concepts need to be made explicit not assumed)

    • save nz 12.1

      exactly Weka, most votes won’t have a clue, but National will let them know it is another tax.

      • weka 12.2.1

        I know how to use google thanks joe. I was hoping for an explanation in context.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I always thought it was borrowing more then the house is worth, at the time of sale, based on raising house prices making a profit

          But I’ve known to be wrong before

          • tricledrown

            paying more in mortgage payments than rental return.
            or overseas companies lending artificial loans that that give the perception that the NZ company makes no profit so pays no tax.

        • joe90

          In context – buy a $500k rental by loading the deposit, say 40% of the purchase price, onto an existing asset, in most cases a mortgage on the purchasers own home and financing the remaining 60% through a mortgage.

          Although the rental doesn’t cover total costs the purchaser makes up any shortfall from their own pocket but two years down the track the home is valued at say $700K and bingo, they’re $200K better off.

    • Lanthanide 12.3

      Owning a rental is just like a business. You only pay tax on a profit that you make. If you make 0 profit, there is no tax to pay. If you make a loss, then (for a traditional business), the loss can be “saved up” to be offset against future profits, reducing the tax paid.

      Eg, in year 1 your company makes $100,000 loss. In year 2 your company makes $10,000 loss. In Year 3 your company makes $150,000 profit. Instead of paying tax on the full $150,000 profit, you can bring forward the losses from years 1 and 2, reducing your *taxable* profit from $150,000 to only $40,000, and so you would only pay tax on $40,000.

      For rental properties, a loss in a given year can be offset against other income streams. So if I own a rental property, and after mortgage interest, rates and insurance, I made a loss of $10,000 this year, and my personal salary from my full-time employment was $80,000, then I can offset the $10,000 loss from my $80,000 salary. Throughout the year I would have paid PAYE tax on my $80,000 salary, but at the end of the year I can file a tax return and claim the $10,000 loss against my salary.

      This would bring my taxable income down from $80,000 to $70,000, and I’d be due a tax refund on the tax I paid on that $10,000, which at the 33% rate means I’m entitled to a $3,300 tax refund from the government.

      Negative gearing only exists for as long as the rental property is making a loss. Rental properties stop making losses when the rental return coves the outgoing expenses of mortgage interest, rates, maintenance, insurance etc.

      People use negative gearing to “buy a house now” where the rental returns do not provide a profit, offsetting the loss generated by the rental against their personal income. People purposefully buying a property with negative gearing are generally relying on capital gains to make the investment worthwhile (eg, the rental generates a loss of $10,000 for 5 years, but at the end of 5 years, the house is now worth $300,000 more than when you bought it). Claiming the rental losses against your personal income eases the costs involved in the negatively geared house and improves cashflow.

      Note, in all cases, it is better to have a rental that returns $10,000 profit than one that is break-even, or one that generates a $10,000 loss. But if it DOES generate a loss, then you can ameliorate some of the pain by offsetting it against your other income.

      Note 2, another way that a rental property can be negatively geared, as if it does not have any rental returns at all. Eg you buy a house and deliberately keep it vacant with no tenants at all. As Gareth Morgan said, “tenants just mess the place up”. This means your rates, insurance and mortgage interest are all costs, and there is no rental income to offset the costs. So the house is and will always be negatively geared, until such time as it has tenants.

      For the record, I own a rental property (through a series of unfortunate accidents) that returns a profit of ~$10,000 a year.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.3.1

        Good explanation although owning a rental property makes you evil, just so you know 🙂

        • Lanthanide

          Yeah, I know.

          I would prefer not to own this property, and saying “just sell it” isn’t the answer for me either, for reasons I am not going into on a public forum. If I could go back in time, then I would have made different choices such that I didn’t own this house.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Sometimes things happen and you just have to make the best of it (and I don’t think you’re evil for owning a rental)

          • save nz

            Yep, if it is leaky building, another National disaster they have somehow got off scot free over. Know property owners trapped with that one too.

        • tricledrown

          Bad PR how can it make you Evil if you are already.
          but I do agree but you left out the miserable factor as well.

      • corokia 12.3.2

        But can’t you also make improvements to the rental property and claim those as expenses?
        As I understand it you can. So even if the property market wasn’t going nuts, if you double glaze etc, you can claim a loss, reduce the tax on your main income and then, because there is no capital gains tax, you win again when you sell the property.

        Labour needs to get some nice clear sound bites to explain negative gearing and ring fencing.
        Make it clear- someone who owns one house that they live in can’t get a tax break from that house. Landlords can.

        • Lanthanide


          Improvements to a rental property are classed as capital expenditure. They are not tax deductible.

          So adding double glazing to a house with single glazing counts as an improvement, so is not tax deductible. It would need to be added to the capital value of the house, and depreciated as part of the house. Because the IRD changed the rules in ~2010 to prevent depreciation of houses, you can’t get any tax benefit from improvements / renovations to houses.

          If the house already had double-glazed windows, and a particular window was broken and had to be replaced with a new one, then that would be an operational expense, as you aren’t improving the asset, you’re returning it back to it’s previous condition.

          • corokia

            thanks for that Lanthanide

          • Graeme

            Yeah, it’s a bit arse about face that double glazing, or insulation, is a capital expense, which has to be depreciated, but the interest on the borrowed capital to buy the place is an operating expense that can be deducted 100%.

            Making the interest non-deductable would be a de-facto capital gains tax and remove the incentive for highly geared property speculation.

            • Graeme

              Removing the deductibility of interest would follow the same logic that makes financial services, which includes interest, one of the few things that are exempt from GST

            • Lanthanide

              If you take out a loan to pay for the insulation or double glazing, the interest on that lending is also tax deductible.

      • Ad 12.3.3

        For the record I’m a landlord as well.
        It’s a neurosis I’ve nursed into a pathology for years.

        • save nz

          That might be Labour’s problem – they overcompensate.

          They hate landlords because they are landlords. They hate Pakeha because they are Pakeha, they hate middle NZ because they are middle NZ.

          Labour need to own who they are – maybe there is nothing wrong with being Pakeha, middle class, property owners and shock, landlord.

          In my experience National voters love shares more, because they don’t have to deal with messy people, it would not surprise me one bit, if many landlords were Labour and Green supporters and the share traders were National voters.

          In fact it explains why Labour since they started attacking property in the last 4 years has not managed to get ahead in the polls.

          Stop the self loathing. We live in a country that seems to just have two main ways to invest, property and cows. If you don’t want to invest, then you are even worse off, relying on the state.

          • srylands

            Properties are left vacant for many reasons. It is the business of nobody except the owner of the property.

            I own a vacant property in Wellington. I stay in it about 2 days each month. Do you think I should be forced to make it available to others for the other 28 days of the month?

            There are places in New Zealand like Taupo that are full of people ‘s second houses. They are vacant most of the time.

            Again any policy like this will make a party unelectable. Is that what you want?

            • save nz

              The other issue about vacant properties is that people now often commute to work so they own a place close to work and have family home elsewhere. Aka Waiheke dwellers. That is due to costs, lifestyle and commuting issues.

              Or with so much work insecurity they are made redundant and have to move cities to work but can’t sell their old place which is either empty or rented. (Accidental landlord syndrome).

              So while trying to get rid of ghost houses you might just be taxing someone who is owns multiple houses, not for speculation but due to misfortune or just crap public transport or not being able to afford a big enough family house closer in.

    • mikesh 12.4

      In terms of the original meaning of the term “gearing”, the term “negative gearing” makes no sense. However the latter seems to have been coined to mean investing in something which runs at, or is expected to run at, a loss as result of relying on excessive borrowing with its attendant high interest costs. I prefer to call it “loss inducing excess gearing”.

      • Rocco Siffredi 12.4.1

        The term negative gearing means you borrow more money than would otherwise be economic and make a cashflow loss on the investment. That is then offset against other income to generate a tax deduction. This is done in the expectation that the capital gains long term will outweigh this loss over time.

        It is perfectly sensible as a term.

        • mikesh

          “Gearing” refers to the ratio of borrowings to equity, and therefore can, in itself, never be negative. An excessively high ratio may on some occasions contribute to a loss since it usually entails unaffordable interest payments; this is what seems to have given rise to the term “negative gearing”. However that term is a misnomer.

          If an investor borrows too much, why not simply refer to it “excess borrowing”?

  13. john 13

    Consequences are obvious:
    Either rents will rise. ( After all this is a business and profits are made or they go broke) At the moment the only profit is the risk of capital gain over a long period.
    Or properties will be left empty, as happened in London a few decades ago, when this kind of attack on landlords was done. It became cheaper to leave properties empty and unmaintained than to rent them out. personally saw 100’s if not 1000’s of rentable properties empty for years around the Elephant and Castle area.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      John, that doesn’t make sense.

      The reason landlords can keep houses empty right now, is because they CAN use negative gearing to gain a tax advantage.

      Labour are proposing to stop people from doing that. That would mean landlords would not want to leave houses empty.

      • Gangnam Style 13.1.1

        “Attacking landlords” – cheers for the laugh!

      • john 13.1.2

        not the reason in London. At the time.
        Still, attack landlords ability to make money and the negative consequences will be severe.

        • Lanthanide

          I know that’s not the reason in London at the time, because what you’ve said doesn’t make any sense.

          You’re attacking a policy by Labour which has strong disincentives for landlords to leave houses empty, and saying it will instead encourage landlords to leave houses empty.

          It shows you don’t actually understand what you’re talking about.

      • Rocco Siffredi 13.1.3

        “The reason landlords can keep houses empty right now, is because they CAN use negative gearing to gain a tax advantage.”

        Would you care to show the maths on that? If a landlord leaves a property empty, on the average Auckland house they forgo $25-30k per year in income. How does that tax advantage outweigh that loss?

        If this practice continued for more than a very short time they would also have a very hard time avoiding paying income tax on any capital gains. That is a serious tax DISadvantage.

        • RedLogix

          And IRD would probably then ask whether the business was intended to earn a ‘taxable income’ and then start looking at the deductability of costs such as interest and maintenance. You are quite right; a domestic NZ based investor would have no reason to leave a rental empty; indeed it could be quite risky to do so from a tax perspective.

          However an overseas based investor, who paid for the property with several suitcases full of cash, might well have quite different motivations.

        • RedLogix

          And IRD would probably then ask whether the business was intended to earn a ‘taxable income’ and then start looking at the deductability of costs such as interest and maintenance. You are quite right; a domestic NZ based investor would have no reason to leave a rental empty; indeed it could be quite risky to do so from a tax perspective.

          However an overseas based investor, who paid for the property with several suitcases full of cash, might well have quite different motivations.

        • Lanthanide

          Read my other comment on negative gearing.

          It is always better for a rental to make a profit, or be neutral, than for it to make a loss – all else being equal.

          But, all else is not equal – renting a house out means you have increased maintenance to account for, and the risk of tenants trashing the place etc.

          Negative gearing allows you to recoup (normally) 33% of any loss that would have been generated from the activity. When Auckland house prices are going up $1,000 per day, the loss of $500-700 in week rental, of which you recoup 33%, is small beans.

          Ring-fencing or removal of rental losses makes this a less tenable proposition.

    • Ad 13.2

      A landlord who deliberately leaves their property vacant during this scale of housing crisis should have it compulsorily managed for the homeless by the local Council. I’m pretty confident a future Auckland Council would look at this seriously.

      • save nz 13.2.1

        I’m sure you’re right AD, but again vote killer!! Can just see some Kiwi, goes off on holiday and comes back to find council has seized house. Not sure homeowners will like it.

        Property rights for Kiwis are like Gun rights for Americans.

        • save nz

          Also AD, in case you may not live in Auckland, our National government appointed, Supercity council could not manage it’s way out of a paper bag, let alone a crisis.

          I can guarantee you in 5 years there will be complications and litigation aka leaky building from their crappy planning with the unitary plan and poor consents that have been rushed through and are too complicated and poorly designed for purpose.

          Metro water and other assets will be part privatised in some weasel words deal that will be a PPP or some such way to describe the same thing.

          Many liberal Aucklanders will leave the city (already happening) voluntarily or be priced out, and push up prices else where while migrants will fill the gap and vote National.

          Auckland will not attract talent or create jobs, it will be the migrant women, children, students and elderly that live in Auckland. Main breadwinners will be offshore. So economically NZ will be worse off as state services struggles with the additional population growth.

          The National Auckland strategy completed, to be started in other cities.

      • srylands 13.2.2

        Properties are left vacant for many reasons. It is the business of nobody except the owner of the property.

        I own a vacant property in Wellington. I stay in it about 2 days each month. Do you think I should be forced to make it available to others for the other 28 days of the month?

        There are places in New Zealand like Taupo that are full of people ‘s second houses. They are vacant most of the time.

        Again any policy like this will make a party unelectable. Is that what you want?

  14. b waghorn 14

    “Labour has confirmed it will introduce a policy to remove tax breaks on investment properties but aims to target speculators rather than small-time landlords.£

    And just like Labours failed cgt policy they will over complicate the policy so key can take it and smack them around the head with it.

    • Lanthanide 14.1


      They just need to go with ring-fencing. Everyone understands it, it won’t have too much in the way of negative consequences, it will discourage the practices that are most abhorrent (deliberately keeping a house vacant).

  15. James 15

    Whilst at first glance I thinks its a good idea – I can see the following happening.

    The cost goes up for landlords – as such they increase rents.

    Grand-fathered rental properties – the owners see rising rents for “new rentals” going up and raise their rent for increased profits.

    • Lanthanide 15.1


      Grand-fathering also means people who own the houses, will be much less inclined to sell them because once they lose that benefit they won’t be able to get it back again.

      That means first home-buyers will be permanently shut out of a greater share of houses, the ones that tend to be older and therefore cheaper / more affordable.

  16. srylands 16

    Here is a question for the Labour caucus. Some of them own rental properties. How many of them don’t claim mortgage interest as a business expense? After all it is not compulsory!

    I expect the answer would be embarrassed shuffling of feet.

    I wonder what Helen thinks of this policy? Wealthy landlord extraordinaire!

    • James 16.1

      Its OK – they are suggesting grandfathering their own investments in – so they will be OK.

    • b waghorn 16.2

      Why stop at labour , do you structure your affairs to avoid as much tax as possible.
      ye who is with out sin, and all that

  17. Leftie 17

    Weren’t people calling for a crack down on negative gearing?

  18. AKL85 18

    Most comments make no sense people buying rental property use equity from their own home. I have done this myself and I have bought a rental property for the long term investment in my retirement. People like myself actually keep prices down as we also want to make rents affordable and are not using it as a main income stream. We also therefore now priced out of the Auckland market as equity would not be able to cover the deposit so we have gone outside of Auckland in order to purchase something affordable with a rental income to cover our costs. If negative gearing was removed rents would rise to offset costs and taxes paid on the rental income. Small landlords like myself have had this opportunity due to our hard work and good fiscal management to buy a first home and then make use of equity. Most people complaining now that they can’t afford to buy are just cry babies and no matter who is in government or who we vote for people need to change their habits and have better fiscal management, go have a look at the shopping centers in Auckland on an average weekend they are packed lots of people buying useless junk they don’t need. Most people are really just blaming the government for their own mistakes. Good example early this year there had been a news paper article about a couple with a very good 6 figure income crying out saying they can’t afford to save the deposit for a home but can afford the expensive rental in Freemans Bay etc. etc. have a look at Ponsonby Road on a Sunday morning how many young people are having breakfast at eye watering prices. People fix your spending habits and start making better decisions and you will be able to get there one day. Also important to mention is most people are very picky with where they wish to live. Buy something affordable you can move up from in future, property is after all a stepping ladder.

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    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    6 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    7 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    16 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    17 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    19 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    23 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago