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Labour’s plan for Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, September 19th, 2011 - 109 comments
Categories: disaster, election 2011, labour, leadership - Tags: ,

We already knew that voters prefer Labour’s policies to the Nats.  Capital gains tax vs. asset sales.  A focus on children and poverty vs. an abdication of responsibility.  A real youth training program vs. ineffectual bootcamps.  In short, policies that help us to Own Our Future.

Today Labour released another substantial policy, a plan for recovery in Christchurch.  The summary is here, with a full pdf document here (hey Labour, how about featuring press releases a bit more prominently on the front page?).  The summary is also up on Scoop:

Leadership needed to rebuild Canterbury

The next Labour Government will intervene to give Cantabrians affordable choices to help rebuild their homes, businesses and lives after the devastating earthquakes, says Labour Leader Phil Goff. … “Labour is not prepared to sit back and leave the recovery to market forces We will act decisively.”

Labour will:

* Acquire 1500 sections and on-sell them at cost to Red Zone residents

* Ring-fence a maximum of $100 million from the Canterbury Earthquake Fund to ensure home improvements to houses in the Red Zone are reimbursed up to a maximum of $50,000

* Resolve the insurance standoff and, as a last resort, be prepared to intervene in the insurance market on a short-term basis to get the market functioning again

* Establish an independent insurance commissioner to protect consumers and resolve disputes

* Immediately release all geotechnical information with a plain English guide

* Take action to fill critical skilled worker shortages, firstly from within Christchurch and New Zealand, and provide training – including converting dole payments to apprenticeship subsidies

“Recovery comes at a cost. Government spending is ballooning but progress has stalled. Canterbury is too important to let this happen. Our policy gives people affordable choices and ownership of their future, said Phil Goff.

“This isn’t about writing blank cheques. Our plan is realistic and necessary. We can’t fix every problem but we can improve the outcomes for Cantabrians because we’ll get involved and make things happen.” …

Labour is tackling the major flaw in the current government’s plan head on.

Access to affordable land is critical if displaced residents are to rebuild their lives. National’s RV deal only addresses one side of the problem. They have put an extra 6,000 new home buyers into the market but done nothing to ensure there are affordable options available. The resulting increases in property prices are leaving many buyers priced out of the market. In effect, the Government’s offer has left many people with no place to go. Labour will work to protect these displaced residents:

“Under Labour’s plan to acquire 1500 sections, the cost of buying and readying the land for rebuilding will be recovered when it is on-sold to Red Zone residents who have been paid out from the Canterbury Recovery Fund.

“We will do this at cost to keep the price low so as many residents as possible can make a fresh start without suffering extreme financial hardship.

“It is expected our plan will act as a signal to the market and help keep property prices reasonable in other areas.

“We will not rule out using the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to purchase land in the face of any evidence of price gouging by developers if that is needed to ensure a fair price is sought and paid.”

In short, Labour will move to stop profiteering by developers. They will buy up land, get it ready for development, then sell it to red-zoners at cost. This introduces into the market a big supplier of sections at a fair price. Yet another Labour policy that works for ordinary people, and a helping hand for displaced red-zone residents – who are sorely in need of some good news for a change.

109 comments on “Labour’s plan for Christchurch ”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    I like these. I browsed through them quickly.

    Some good proposals and initiatives there to help get the so-called invisible hand of the market to work to assist with the rebuilding for the folks affected.

    And well balanced in advancing the various interests involved in terms of public policy.

  2. Rijab 2

    If anyone wants to support the policy on facebook, they’ve just set up a page for people to visit,

    http://www.facebook.com/answersforcanterbury

  3. Rich 3

    It seems to have a big gap. What about accountability?

    I’d like to see them lose the Henry VIII provisions (which are mostly symbolic) and bring CERA under democratic control.

  4. big bruv 4

    ““This isn’t about writing blank cheques.”

    Which in Labour speak means that it is entirely about writing blank cheques.

    Once again Labour have no shame when it comes to bribing the electorate, it does not matter how much they destroy the economy (Cullen led NZ into recession before any other country in the world) just as long as they gain votes.

    • marsman 4.1

      Yawn.

    • Mac1 4.2

      Big bruv, according to Treasury in 2010, NZ was first in the OECD to enter recession in 2008 and was one of the first to come out of it because of the soundness of the economy left by Cullen and recognised by English as fact. It also experienced a shallow recession because of the economy’s soundness.

      The recession actually began in December 2007 and this interesting quote (from a contemporaneous report) from John Key emerged. “National Party leader John Key says the Treasury report confirms the importance of the cautious view National is taking in putting together its tax cut programme, and that it will not be borrowing for tax cuts. He says it also shows why New Zealand needs a plan to grow.”

      Key told a large lie about not borrowing for tax cuts, and after three long years still hasn’t come up with much of a plan apart from the 1000 year (at current building rates) Cycle Way.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      More lies and misdirection from Big Bruv.

      BB, It’s this government that’s been borrowing far more than it needs to cover the extra cost that it’s incurred. If there’s any party that likes and uses blank cheques of taxpayer money it’s the National and Act parties.

    • bbfloyd 4.4

      telling obvious lies isn’t a good way to influence intelligent people little bruv…… you sound like you are getting your bullets supplied by the pm’s dept… he’s another famous liar…..

      i can’t believe you think you’re saying anything worth addressing….. i do believe you have emotional imbalances that preclude you from being able to actually think rationally… just like a certain congenital liar who likes to masquerade as pm in front of his mirror…. when we all know he’s nothing but a hand puppet…

    • mik e 4.5

      Big BS he didn’t borrow $76 billion to bribe everyone . like your master

  5. tsmithfield 5

    “Under Labour’s plan to acquire 1500 sections, the cost of buying and readying the land for rebuilding will be recovered when it is on-sold to Red Zone residents who have been paid out from the Canterbury Recovery Fund.”

    So, it looks like these sections need to be found, RMA requirements met, the land “readied”, which might be a lengthily expensive process if the land has to be raised to meet building requirements for instance, and subdivision roading etc put in.

    So people might be building on these sections in five years or so?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      What happens if they buy 1,500 sections but ultimately, because of the sections they’ve chosen, only 1,200 are actually purchased by red-zoners?

      Do they just end up with all this land stuck on their books until people eventually buy it? They like to say this essentially has 0 cost, but since we’re running a deficit there will be interest servicing costs in the interim between purchase and re-sale.

      • bbfloyd 5.1.1

        nit picking based on supposition is probably the weakest, and least useful form of debate lanth… have you got any kind of basis to assume 1500 sections is the number that would be bought? or is this just another one of those times when ignorant assumption is acceptable, as long as it’s labour the assumptions are made ?

        • Chris 5.1.1.1

          It says in the policy they will buy 1,500 sections.

          • bbfloyd 5.1.1.1.1

            oops… silly me.. got carried away.. it doesn’t change the fact that if (assuming)300 sections are still available after red zoners have bought all they will, then what’s to stop other christchurch folk, from zones bordering the red to zone purchase? or people who would live in christchurch that don’t have that option at present? how many tradesmen and skilled people could be attracted to the city if there was a place they could take root?

            the point i made so badly was that having a surfiet of properties would actually be a golden opportunity for city planners and govt alike to create an environment that would be attractive to potential migrants or expat cantabs to re-establish back home….

            this is only one of the many uses for the land i can think of, but i’m sure ideas for many more uses would’nt take long to develop….

            it’s about the people, remember? numbers are just numbers…it’s people who count….you can make a sick, and failing society look good if your facility with numbers is strong…and your scruples weak…. it doesn’t mean squat to the victims within that society…they live the reality..

      • marco 5.1.2

        The primary and secondary industries in Canterbury are virtually untouched, meaning there are jobs.

        Opening up land and creating a new city that works and attractive to live in will bring more people into the city. Any surplus sections won’t last long and due to Christchurch’s unlimited potential for size it could become New Zealand’s biggest city within the next 100 years.

        We need to think long term. Wellington and Auckland have limited potential and they are almost at capacity. Christchurch is where the future is. If we build it they will come.

        • davidc 5.1.2.1

          Its the South Island, nice to look at but its cold and the fishing is crap.

          I mean that in a loving kinda way tho.

          • RobertM 5.1.2.1.1

            Cold certainly in an average or bad winter. More of a problem is that the intelligent, beautiful and qualified have been leaving Christchurch in droves for the last 15 years. The arts and law departments at Canterbury university have long ceased to be able to recruit top talent, ( partly because of low rates of pay for academics but also because Christchurch was less cosmopolitan than Wellington or Auckland. My assessment was that Christchurch was a more interesting place in l999-2000 than 2007-8 because earlier it had a more varied an interesting population. As Bernard Hickey says you can talk all you want about producing so much percentage of world dairy and agriculture about being the slow food capital of the world but if you are losing good people and that is not what is going to lure and maintain intelligent people you’ve got nothing.
            Anybody with half a clue and an iota of youth and health want’s to move where the action is, and the South Island ceased to be it outside Queenstown despite Dave Hendersons efforts and despite some attempt to create big city feel thru Melbournisation. In Chrisitchurch there was never the foot traffic of Q street, High Street, Lambton Quay or Willis st. Following the damaging shakes recovery will be difficult but best if leaving the maximum scope for private enterprise and minimal central planning.
            I have always felt the old left in Christchurch the Bagshaws, the Daziels, the Susan Taits etc are greatest barriers to progress. The model should be half way between LA and frisco.

          • mik e 5.1.2.1.2

            dc It keeps idiots like you away as well as the flies although it hard to distinguish whats worse

      • Puddleglum 5.1.3

        Lanthanide, land is not a bad long-term investment (if you want to look at it that way) and governments are good long-term, intergenerational investors. Also, 1,500 sections is not a lot. There are many subdivisions in Christchurch that, collectively, dwarf that figure. Aidanfield has sold over 500 sections alone.

        I suppose you could say it would be funded by borrowing but what is or isn’t funded by borrowing is a rhetorical question. The earthquake recovery fund put aside by the government, in any case, has been deliberately ‘open’ because no-one knows what the cost would be. As I read the pdf, this could easily be funded within that. And, remember, that those who might take up this offer wouldn’t be taking up the other options already on the table.

        If you’re still concerned, look at it as a superannuation scheme (as many New Zealanders continue to look at property!). Better still, any remaining sections could be used for state housing – and correct the shenanigans that led to Hyde Park being developed.

    • bbfloyd 5.2

      coming from you ts, that is a glowing endorsement for the plan…. if the tory twits hate it, then it must be a good one… if the best you can do is impersonate a fortune teller and make half arsed predictions, then it’s a winner….

  6. Anthony 6

    Good policy in a political sense because it is kind of vague, sounds good, looks like it is doing something, and would take a bit of research to see if it actually does help.

    Seems right from the Nat’s playbook tbh.

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      so you would rather leave gerry brownnose to flounder around untill the unrest threatens to become too well known and then suddenly throw up the first thing that sounds plausible…? so having an actual framework to use as a guideline is too airyfairy for you?

      i despair for the people of christchurch if this is how we approach the issues they have to deal with every day,…. and will have to continue to handle until they get tired of the futility of looking to this govt for leadership, and leave permanently…..

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    be prepared to intervene in the insurance market on a short-term basis to get the market functioning again

    The market doesn’t function – ever. As should be obvious from 3 decades of neo-liberalism resulting in the collapse of the market – yet again.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Funny, because I can go to the supermarket and buy food whenever I want. I don’t have to farm my own little plot of land and hope I get a good harvest otherwise I starve.

      Seems like markets function quite well.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        Just because marekets function well for some things does not mean they function well for all things.

        All swans are white sort of thinking Lanth…

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Direct your comment to Draco, not me.

          He’s the one that said “The market doesn’t function – ever”. Seems pretty final and absolute.

          • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1

            umm fair enough… I guess I’m more of a ‘mixed model’ type than Draco.

          • bbfloyd 7.1.1.1.2

            you miss the point…. there has always been a “market”…. how well it functions is a direct result of what societies “leaders” decide is what is in their best interest…. the fact that the “market” is failing to actually bring sensible resolutions in christchurch is rather obvious. mainly because our “leaders” have determined that their best interests lie in avoiding making any real commitment to resolving the problem, so have knowingly allowed the “market” to sort it as it will….

            the fact that the “market” is no more than the manifestation of commercial and political actions leads to the obvious conclusion that if the govt chooses to sit on it’s haunches and let the “market” work for them, then the market will reflect that lack of direction….

            hence the tug of war between the insurers and the govt leading to large scale economic and political stagnation… ask the sub contractors who are being starved of wages because of the govts decision to let the “market” solutions dictate…. they will tell you what a total shemozzle the rebuild has become… thanks to the “market”

            • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually I think it was you who missed my point.

              • bbfloyd

                sorry, have to disagree…. you didn’t make any point as such…. it was what i would describe as a meaningless throwaway line… an oversimplification in reaction to what was a in itself an oversimplification… although it was obviously driven by frustration, and therefore, should probably have been recognised as that rather than using it to indulge in meaningless nit picking…

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Did you miss the discussion about milk prices? See, that’s another example of the market failing.

        • infused 7.1.2.1

          How is it failing? I don’t get this shit about milk prices. Maybe it’s because I hardly drink any… a 1l a week. Mostly for coffee.

    • insider 7.2

      How can the payout of hundreds of millions if not billions following an emergency be a failure? Hasn’t it been the govt intervention declaring some areas off limits for building that has mucked things up?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        How can the payout of hundreds of millions if not billions following an emergency be a failure?

        Because it hasn’t been enough and a lot of people haven’t been paid out at all.

        • insider 7.2.1.1

          Isn;t the lack of payouts mainly due to govt intervention by creating an unbuildable ‘red zone’? Hardly the insurance industry’s fault if so.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.1

            Yes, the government screwed around. In fact, they seem to have created the Red Zone to help the insurance companies avoid paying out.

            But even before the government screwed the populace the insurance companies weren’t exactly forthcoming with their contracted assistance.

      • bbfloyd 7.2.2

        who has the govt payed out so far insider? i know for a fact that the govt is busy playing footsie with insurers, and both teams are blaming the other for the lack of movement on paying anyone…

        the rebuild is going to take three to four time longer than it needed to because so far, all we have had is govt propaganda spread by a complicit news media…. hundreds of workers that went to christchurch have had to leave for auckland, or, more often, to australia because they aren’t getting paid, let alone getting a reasonable pay rate when for the few that do get paid…

        and that is only one example of where the real failure lies….. you really have to stop believing everything the tories say just because they are your childhood heroes…

  8. insider 8

    Wouldn’t it be much much cheaper and bureaucratically simpler to just rezone land in Chch to allow adequate sections to be developed and give people choice about where to live?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Nope as the price gougers will buy up the land in an effort to make as much profit as possible causing a massive dead-weight loss to the economy.

      • insider 8.1.1

        That’s a huge assumption which doesn’t take into account a few factors – there would be quite a high risk of land not being bought if priced too high given lots of people have left Chch already and that remains an option for many; urban fringe values are higher anyway would rise anyway so the opportunity to speculate is a lot lower, if insurance issues are as you say then there won’t be the money to buy for some time which increases the risks for speculation.

        Chch is hardly going to be a boom property market for sections. The biggest ‘gouging’ option I’d have thought is people with intact houses who are willing to sell now. Are you going to control that too?

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          That’s a huge assumption…

          No it isn’t as that’s how capitalism works. Sure, there’s some limiting factors but that doesn’t mean that the price gouging won’t happen.

          • insider 8.1.1.1.1

            There might be attempts by people to push the market just there have been with world cup accomodation, but see how successful those have been as a lesson.

            Looking at trade me, section prices seem fairly standard for an urban area – a big range of prices and locations. No sign of ‘gouging’ based on the historic market prices either. Wonder why the market hasn’t been following your prescription?

        • bbfloyd 8.1.1.2

          now you’re just getting silly insider…. that whole comment relies utterly on assumption…. and even then it doesn’t actually mean anything….

          i know it’s emotionally debilitating to have to actually think past the bigotries you obviously inherited, but sooner or later, you will have to try…. you aren’t going to be so amusing for very long if you don’t make any effort to elucidate a coherent viewpoint.

  9. Anthony (Robins) – shouldn’t you be including an authorisation statement with electioneering posts?

    • felix 9.1

      Could be wrong but I don’t think the law covers blogs. Which is a good thing for you or you’d be copypasting your authorisation all day.

    • The Voice of Reason 9.2

      Is Anthony standing for election? If not, why would he need an authorisation statement? And, speaking of electioneering, did Key read out an authorisation statement during the national anthem at the rugby?
       
      Edit: Perhaps he did, he clearly didn’t know the actual words to the song.

    • r0b 9.3

      I thought you’d be better informed than that Peter.  Catch up on some background reading here.

      • Pete George 9.3.1

        Maybe you haven’t seen this:

        Personal political views online

        There is an exemption for the publication of personal political views by an individual on the Internet or other electronic medium, provided the individual does not make or receive payment for publishing those views. Individuals expressing personal political views on social media such as Facebook and Twitter are covered by this exemption and will not need to include a promoter statement.

        This exception does not extend to political views expressed on behalf of a party because the exemption is restricted to the publication of personal views by an individual.

        Promoting party policy is not opinion.

        • The Voice of Reason 9.3.1.1

          Again, this applies to candidates. I accept you are probably breaking the law with your posts, Pete, but as far as I know, Anthony is not standing for Labour, so none of this applies to him. I stand to be corrected though, I don’t know every Labour candidate by name.
           
          Just had a thought about your position, Pete. Despite being a candidate, as you aren’t going to vote for either yourself or United Future, you’re probably not in any danger of prosecution. Or relevancy.

          [lprent: …you are probably breaking the law with your posts…
          It is unlikely. ]
           
           

          • r0b 9.3.1.1.1

            I am not a candidate for any political party.

            I’m flattered that you think my opinions are so significant Peter.  But the law does not and was never intended to inhibit ordinary free speech.

          • Pete George 9.3.1.1.2

            All a candidate needs to do is use another party member (or a pseudonym) and they can post what they like? And Don Brash could get someone like, say, the Exclusive Brethren, to do as much online promotion as he wanted to? That makes a bit of a mockery of the regulations doesn’t it?

            I have included the promoter statement in blogs when I’ve posted policy rather than my own opinion.

            From R0b’s’s link:

            What is an ‘election advertisement’ under the new electoral finance regime?

            An election advertisement is an advertisement in any form (including newspaper, television, radio, internet and pamphlets) that encourages or persuades voters to vote or not to vote for a candidate or political party (whether or not the name of the candidate or political party is stated in the advertisement).

            An election advertisement does not include:

            personal political views published on the internet by an individual who does not make or receive a payment in respect of the publication of those views.

            What authorisation is required for an election advertisement encouraging voters to vote for a political party?

            If someone other than the party secretary promotes a party advertisement they must get written authorisation in advance from the party secretary for the political party promoted in the advertisement.

            No mention of candidate only.

            R0b – this post is obviously not just your personal opinion.

            [lprent: Actually it is. Both because I have heard him express exactly the same sentiments privately (he has family in ChCh just like I do) and because it is site policy. Go and read the about where it clearly states that each author write their own opinions. We always try to clearly separate our opinion from that of other people by quotes, links, etc.

            The relevant part from the FAQ linked above is (I can’t be arsed digging out the act)

            Why is there an exemption for publishing personal political views on the internet?
            The exchange of personal political views on the internet, such as through blog websites, is now part of the way that New Zealanders converse and debate political ideas. The Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Act 2010 treats conversations over the internet in the same way as face to face personal conversations.

            Ben is putting a disclaimer on his posts because as a candidate he is covering all his bets (as I guess you are as well). It is unlikely that he needs to do so. However that is own personal arse covering, just as yours is as well.

            But I think that this is a simple personal attack on an author by someone who should know better. You have read our policy on how I view that tactic haven’t you? But even if you were being legitimate (which I doubt), it isn’t the forum to make such accusations. You can always lay a complaint with the electoral commission if you need the law clarified. I think that you’ll get a relatively fast response because the legislation is pretty clear.

            Around here of course I make the local law and it is has little ambiguity. I am uninterested in having an boring argument about something that is as clear cut as this. You just gained a ban for stupidly wasting my time explaining what should be obvious to anyone interested in local politics let alone a candidate who should have read the electoral acts.

            I realize that Anthony is probably (he usually is) heavily involved in the Labours Dunedin North campaign where you happen to be standing as a candidate for another party and this has you all wound up. That is the only reason I have kept the sentence down to two weeks.

            I’d also point out that most of the people who write posts and comments here are involved in politics somewhere at some level (including me). That is why there is a specific exclusion in the Act for people writing their opinion on blogs. Having you try to re litigate it on the basis of nothing more than your opinion is something I find pretty pathetic. You could have at least just asked the electoral commission. ]

            • felix 9.3.1.1.2.1

              Are you saying that Anthony is writing on behalf of Labour, Pete?

              • Ari

                Please note the difference between “agreeing with” and “on behalf of.” It’s not like he’s obliged or paid by the party to do so.

            • felix 9.3.1.1.2.2

              Hahahahahaha!

              (Cue indignant self-righteous posting on Pete’s blog and KB about how he was “banned just for having a different opinion”.

              Lolz.

            • Janice 9.3.1.1.2.3

              P.S. Just a note Pete – the Exclusive Brethren are not allowe to use the Internet or computers, I presume that is becasue they are not mentioned in the Bible.

    • kriswgtn 9.4

      But everything you post is exactly what you’re complaining about hahaha
      fool

      You are under the impression we are going to suddenly switch to United Future

      Your party is irrelevant and word is that Donthehairpiece Dunne is in danger of losing his seat hence the deal with Key & Co

      Totally honest politics isnt this>NOT

  10. vto 10

    Hmmmm, it will be interesting to see whether all those currently running around scrambling to buy a section will now stop and await the election outcome. Volatile times.

    The current government’s offer to red zone people was flawed in such a simple way. It should have offered a land swap with the red zoners instead of just a land purchase and a hanging out to dry.

    Good effort though from Goff et al. Should get the nats nervous given the typically close voting patterns in Chch.

  11. prism 11

    Labour policy that is positive and provides assistance where there is need, sounds good for Christchurch.
    In addition to the housing ideas, I would like to see more state housing in an area that is well planned for community living and has two storey homes architecturally designed for their purpose of medium-priced housing.

    Also start off a housing trust that would have a system of selling properties at a reasonable price under licence or shares and the trust would buy them back again when relinquished which would ensure a pool of affordable housing like state housing but at less cost than Housing NZ rentals.

    • Anthony 11.1

      I’d like to see it too, but the people who need state housing aren’t middle-class swing voters.

      • Rich 11.1.1

        State housing should be for anyone who doesn’t want to be saddled by a mortgage or living at the whim of a landlord.

      • prism 11.1.2

        @Anthony – They probably do need state housing but they just don’t realised it yet. M-c swing voters in Christchurch have probably lost a fair bit of their affluence one way and another as we can gauge by the anguished cries of people kissing those extra thousands that the market value of their homes would have reached.

  12. In Vino Veritas 12

    A substantial policy? What colour is the sky in your world Anthony? Its just more wafer thin policy with more holes in it than a sieve. As Big Bruv says, its buy those votes at whatever cost it may be. This lot of Labour politicians must have the collective lowest IQ that any group of Labour parliamentarians have ever had.

    Dont panic Rich, Labour dont do accountibility, so you won’t ever find that word mentioned (unless they are blaming someone else – Pike River access tunnel 2km long and unescapable anyone?). They leave it for whomever comes afterward to pick up the pieces.

  13. In Vino Veritas 13

    jeez Draco, you never heard of Auckland City Council? ATEED? And funnily enough, I heard McCully on the radio justifying taking over the whole thing, saying he was ultimately accountable and therefore if his head was going to roll, he would at least have done it himself. The intimation was that he wouldnt have to rely on inept morons in the ACC.

    Labour would have legistlated their accountablity away – remember Draco? Wasnt it $800k of accountability or something like that?

    • Craig Glen Eden 13.1

      So if McCully was ultimately responsible why didnt he take responsibility instead of doing what you just did and try to blame ACC. The truth is National don’t take responsibility they always blame someone else. After all the ACC structure was their creation we the voter lost our right to vote as it was taken away by National and ACT. Did you forget IVV about Nationals dirty little hand in that process!

    • kriswgtn 13.3

      “in wine [there is the] truth”

      Sciocco bevente di conservazione ed ingannarsi. Ci non è molta materia del cervello lasciata in modo da andare di conservazione

    • Puddleglum 13.4

      The intimation was that he wouldnt have to rely on inept morons in the ACC.

      Yes, that is the intimation – it is an intimation he wishes us to take from his action but it is a misleading intimation. It was his bag all along. 

  14. tsmithfield 14

    The insurance problem is being way overstated. Insurers are re-insuring existing customers but not taking on new ones.

    For instance my Dad, is rebuilding on a new section after his house was written off in the red zone. His insurance company (state) have written to him to advise they are re-insuring existing customers, but not taking on new ones. So he is able to build his new house.

    This stance taken by State is consistent with other information in news bulletins I have seen with respect to insurance companies generally. So, so long as someone can maintain a relationship with their existing insurer, and they are rebuilding or buying a property in the green zone, they shouldn’t have a problem.

    • drx 14.1

      TS-The insurance problem is being way overstated. Insurers are re-insuring existing customers but not taking on new ones.

      So Gerry is having a holiday in Europe.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Erm, that’s not my understanding of the situation at all.

      House insurance is about insuring the particular house, not the owner.

      If you buy a new (to you) house, you need to transfer the insurance policy from the existing insurer over to yourself. If the house you are buying is covered by State, you need to take up a new contract for that same house with State, and your existing insurer Tower aren’t likely to offer insurance on that house (whoever buys your house will in turn have to take up the insurance with Tower).

      In the case of building a new house, your father must be in the distinct minority, as most insurers will not insure new property in CHCH whatsoever.

      Source: insurance council guy on the radio last week on Nine to Noon (the guy was a crook, defending the indefensible, but there you go).

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Lanth: “Erm, that’s not my understanding of the situation at all”.

    Here is an extract from the standardised letter my dad received from State:

    We’ve had a lot of calls from customers wanting to know whether we’ll insure new or additional homes, and their contents, in the Canterbury region.

    For existing customers, the short answer is ‘yes’, but there are a few conditions.

    The conditions are that they won’t (re)insure homes in the red or orange zones, but green zone ones are fine.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      That’s one insurer, and of no use to you if they aren’t your insurer (since they only cover existing customers).

  16. tsmithfield 16

    And to be fair, on a closer reading of the document, they are taking new business on a case by case basis. So, if the land you want to build on is green zoned, but needs further remediation they won’t reinsure that. In my parents case, they are rebuilding at Wigram Skies which is probably the most stable land in Christchurch.

      • Puddleglum 16.1.1

        Aaah! I see. Now that National (as slow followers) are considering the government as a “last resort” insurer it’s ok and reason for an “Anyway …” kind of dismissiveness of the proposals released today?

        But, if just Labour had suggested it …??

        Also, how come the government couldn’t see this insurance problem coming given that people have been talking about if for months? Is it just that they are now worried that Labour might steal a march in the PR stakes? 

  17. davidc 17

    When they say….

    * Acquire 1500 sections and on-sell them at cost to Red Zone residents

    Do they mean use the acquire existing or develop new land? If as I suspect they mean to break new ground and bring a new supply to market do they really expect people to wait till 2016 to start building?

  18. Mac1 18

    What will the threatened intervention of the State by putting 1500 sections at cost onto the market do to the price offered by non-State developers? Will that force the price down sooner than when the sections are ready?

    davidc, where do you get the 2016 figure from? Surely with the powers that Brownlee invested in himself, section development can be sped up?

    • davidc 18.1

      Well.. 1500 sections is 140 – 150 ha of land and getting 1.5 sq kms of land adjacent to town/roads and services will mean buying out upward of 20 landowners because most of the land close to town is in small allotments. If willing buyer willing seller was not the method used and instead they were to seize land thru a method like the Public Works Act then that process will take a couple of years for all the valuation work to be done and repeatedly appealed. Probably $50 million of land and improvements to change hands and the public screaming of pissed off land owners forced off family land. Then a buch of engineers settle down and design 25 kms of new roads and the 100’s of kms of new pipework and services needed all of which will need to have very solid peer reviewed science behind it to withstand the next earthquake (better than 1 in 100 year event and maybe 1 in a 30 year event) and along with this there will be things like rail etc to work out and plan for. Then after you have a few 1000 pages of application into Council for what will be a full publiclly notified plan change and the appeal which will come and then subdivision consent (I am getting sick of typing so its gonna get cut down) so after say 3 1/2 years you start to break ground.
      Then at the height of a market boom when every contractor is already flat out rebuilding Ch Ch you try and get reasonable tenders to do something like $60 million of roading and services assuming of course you dont need a onramp to a motorway which could add another 20 mil. So that takes 2 -5 more years.
      And of course the govt will require all sorts of tendering rules around everything that will take wayy longer and cost a lot more than if a private Joe did it.

      • davidc 18.1.1

        In fact it woud take Govt a year just to draw a circle on a map picking where they were going to do this so probably more like 2018.

      • vto 18.1.2

        there is more than one way to skin a pussy cat davidc. what other ways do you think there might be to accommodate such a number?

        • davidc 18.1.2.1

          I think that if there was a need for 1500 setions and it could be done quick and cheap then a developer would have already done it.

          The LP will never get support of partners like Greens to bypass owners rights of appeal to enviro court.

          So in short I think its a bunch of empty words from Goff.

          • vto 18.1.2.1.1

            They can already bypass appeals to the enviro court under the CERA legislation. And secondly, of course no developer has done this already because, if you re-listen to their policy announcement, it is to be done at cost. Do you know any developers who would do such a thing at cost?

            • davidc 18.1.2.1.1.1

              and you are telling me the Greens would support bypassing the appeals process?

              also..and this almost goes without saying…a developer worth ‘his’ salt can work far faster and cheaper than govt.. and there is a HUGE amount of frustrated money down that way at the ‘mo looking for something to do.
              If there was a market gap it would have been filled already.

              But to spell it out again. The idea of the Labour coalition Govt spending 100 – 150 mil $$ in spec land development, and bypassing all property rights is pure bollocks.

              • Chris

                It’s more like $230 million according to Labour.

                • davidc

                  well shit.. so they are saying that today the sections are $150K

                  given that when I just did a trademe search there were 1702 sections at 150$K or less listed. tell me again why are they doing this?

                  • vto

                    silly dingbat..

                    Some of the red zone people are getting a land component payout of $60-80,000. How do they afford to pay more for new land somewhere? Get a loan from scumbag financiers? What if they are 70 years old and on superann? What if a scumbag financier won’t make such a loan? What do you expect those people to do davidc? They have efectively been turfed off their land with nowhere to go. Where do they go davidc? A specific answer with address would suffice – if you can come up with one.

                    Why did the nats not propose a land swap instead? That is what the red zoners should hang out for.

                    150k for land…. pffftt. A bit of minor civil disruption is a better alternative for these people.

                  • kriswgtn

                    tell me again why are they doing this?

                    They’re doin this cos ur dumbass cockmasters havent 🙂
                    simple as that bitch troll

              • vto

                davidc, let me say it again … the legislation allowing this sort of development to happen and bypass all appeals processes has already been passed and is in place. It is called the CERA legislation. So the Greens quite frankly have nothing to do with it.

                Further $100-150 million being spent on housing some of our more vulnerable citizens is less than, hmmmm, let me see,,, $400 million on speculative irrigation projects, or $1,500 million on South Canterbury Finance, or $500 million on speculating on ETS speculation. It aint much this money and the benefit is enormous. The government does similar in other disasters e.g. tax assistance to farmers in drought, Napier loans in 1930s. It aint nothing new.

                And further again, there may well be frustrated money down here, but there is a reason it is frustrated and not doing anything. You argue against yourself proposing that argument. The reason that a zero-profit margin development has not been undertaken by developers is ….. um …. let me think …. that’s it makes no money! Regarding such a market gap – there is a market gap but it is for land at a price that cannot be provided by the private market. For a whole bunch of reasons.

                And as for a private developer working faster and cheaper – have you thought that perhaps a ppp or similar may be considered? Not sure how close you are to things on the ground here but such things are already underway at early stages. This policy is effectively being undertaken right now very quietly.

                • davidc

                  If Goof were to score an improbably win and get 50 % holding hands with 4 other parties inc the Greens would they be happy to use the CERA laws to fulfil a election bribe?

                  • vto

                    My estimate is yes. Think about the backlash if the greens started disrupting such a policy. I don’t think the greens would be much at all liked down these parts.

                    Your estimate is obviously no and you are welcome to your opinion.

                • davidc

                  and things are underway already? what total utter bullshit.

                  The Lp have spent $500,000 of money that dont have hiring consultants to isolate areas of land that IF they to get into power they might be able to develope IF they were not getting wing but fucked by the Greens.

                  I needed a laugh, thanks 🙂

                  • vto

                    davidc, there is first hand knowledge of such things being underway so stick it where the sun don’t shine sunshine.

  19. Herodotus 19

    http://labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/Canterbury%20Earthquake%20Recovery%20Plan.pdf
    “However, the offer will benefit all residents by taking excessive developers‟ margins out of the equation and directly moderating property prices across the market.”- Funny thing is many developers are selling land currently at best marginally costed or below replacement – and are able to maintain low selling prices due to extremely low construction costs. As a rule of thumb in the North Is. regrading Earth movements it takes 1l of diesel to cut and place 1m3 of fill, the cost increases should the cut go to stockpile. Given that diesel was $1.10l last year and $1.50+ . This ontop of increasing costs from the likes of concrete works, roading, fibre, council costs and contributions, extensive geotech requirements the rates that developers/govt received are not likely to be seen this year, that have compensating for low land prices. Also what is to stop building suppliers from taking excessive profits it is not just the Land developer that we have to lookout for here !!
    And there was no dates given for when the land would be available or housing available? Can we expect that these poor suffering residents just to sit it out until 4+ years down the track?
    I hope no matter who wins this year tha the answer to sufferring Chch people is NO !! http://www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz/Earthquake/RuWhenua/update201108.php
    Re Insurance- It is a no brainer that I hear the current govt have plans underway to return to a Govt backed insurance- the only point of difference between what Nat has and Labs plans is what to do with the insurance coy once the storm has past. One party may sell the coy !!!

  20. I think this is good policy. I’ve had a chance to read the pdf.

    It’s an additional option (not the sole option); it includes making the process bi-partisan; it intrudes a board in-between the Minister and CERA to improve the chances of it being non-political; it basically guarantees that any Christchurch resident who wishes to stay in the Christchurch area can do so at minimal extra cost, if any; it includes an insurance ‘ombudsman’ dedicated to insurance problems cropping up from this; it includes provision of short-term government insurance of ‘last resort'(I don’t see why it can’t be permanent, personally).

    Overall, it is a reasonable set of proposals that responds to numerous issues that are holding back rebuilding and undermining people’s sense of assurance that they can stay here.

    The desperate attempts at criticism reveal only the fact that the critics have little concern for the people who have been put between the earthquake, a rock (insurers, EQC, etc.) and a hard place (the, in effect, coercive options currently on the table that could see them significantly financially disadvantaged on top of everything else they’ve put up with for the past 6 months to a year!). 

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