Let it Be

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, December 12th, 2018 - 56 comments
Categories: class war, Economy, housing, infrastructure, labour, phil twyford, poverty, tenants' rights, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Rejoice! The Labour led Government has just removed a completely unfair tax on accommodation renters, ending the practice of rental firms ripping off tenants by charging a bogus upfront ‘letting’ fee. No doubt the Taxpayers Onion will be overjoyed.

Until today, most property management firms charged new tenants a fee for, er, doing nothing. The letting fee, usually equivalent to a weeks rent, was simply a tax on the vulnerable and powerless, levied out of greed.

Tenants already struggling to find bond in advance, usually before any previous bond was returned, will be relieved that the financial burden has been lessened. It is possible that some rents will increase to cover the supposed loss to the agents, however that is still preferable to paying upfront for a non existent service.

Renters United spokesperson Robert Whitaker is in favour:

“The first thing is, they can actually compare apples with apples in the rental market and not have to worry about letting fees being piled on top of all of their other moving costs.”.

Barfoot and Thompson director Kiri Barfoot says they run a business and provide a service, and it doesn’t worry them who pays for it.

“There are costs to find tenants for a property and someone has to pay for it, so if we can’t charge the tenants, landlords will be looking to pay.”

Which raises an interesting legal question. If the tenants pay for this service, doesn’t that establish a commercial relationship between the agent and the tenant? Doesn’t it follow that the agent has an immediate conflict of interest, because they are clipping the ticket both ways?

Minister Phil Twyford’s is upbeat about the change:

“The previous way that these letting fees were handled was totally unfair to tenants. They were hit with one week’s rent plus GST at the very time they could least afford it. When they were having to pay rent in advance and bond and all the costs of moving.”

Minister Twyford doesn’t think tenants will end up paying more.

“Landlords are already charging as much as they can within supply and demand. So it’s not at all clear that because the small minority of landlords who use property managers want to pass on those fees through rent, it’s not at all clear that they’ll be able to.”

The Misery Party’s Judith Collins cheerfully lied about the dropping of the charge, with a bizarre claim about CGT:

“Now that this government is coming in with even more things like a capital gains tax, there’s not a lot of money in it – so that’s why they have to pass it on.”

In the real world, there are no plans to extend CGT, though it is part of the Tax Working Group’s discussions.

All in all, this is a small, but welcome step in the Government’s overall housing plan. Bringing fairness to the rental market by removing a significant financial hurdle for tenants shows that Labour is taking a global view of our accommodation needs and not just relying on the market to self regulate.

With Kiwibuild underway, house prices rises steadying and Housing NZ revitalised, this is the first Government in 40 years to seriously tackle our housing crisis. In fact, this may be the first Government in a generation that does not actively make the problem worse.

 

56 comments on “Let it Be ”

  1. Andre 1

    The cost of attracting customers is usually borne by whomever is selling and is part of being in business. Would petrol stations be able to charge a “forecourt fee” just to pull up to the pump, or could a supermarket charge a “door fee” to cover their various expenses?

    I’m having trouble coming up with other examples of private businesses being able to charge a fee before you even start using any of their service or product. Mostly it’s former or current government monopolies that can get away with “lines charges” or similar.

    And if it costs landlords to lose their existing tenants and get new ones, maybe they will become more interested in longer tenancies.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      +1 on the last one para.

      There were instances in Christchurch where the agent was charging a new letting fee for rolling over the lease. That’s the stuff of Satan.

      I don’t think rents will rise across the board. Rental owners don’t raise the rent every time they fix a tap.

    • Blazer 1.2

      Auckland airport charges taxi drivers a $2 fee for dropping passengers off!!

    • KJT 1.3

      Banks do it all the time.

  2. Ankerrawshark 2

    I know this will likely incur the Roth of puckish but Judith is becoming more trump Like by the day, with lies, quoting fake news and personal attacks (young KiwiBuild buyers)

    • Clive Macann 2.1

      Trump like? The opposition there is just as bad or worse. Are you suggesting it’s the same here in NZ?

      • ankerawshark 2.1.1

        Clive, what I meant was Judith’s tactics are beginning to look Trump like. eg quoting a fake news website about the age of consent in France and asking Jacinda to comment on it. Implying that a CGT was already a done deal, criticizing the young Kiwibuild couple on their social media (or her social media)………

    • Puckish Rogue 2.2

      Blasphemy! You bad, evil doer. Get down on your knees, repent and ask our lord for her forgiveness!

      Our Jude, who art in heaven,
      hallowed be thy Name,
      thy government come,
      thy will be done,
      on earth as it is in caucus.

      Give us this day our daily postings.
      And forgive us our trespasses,
      as we forgive those
      who trespass against us. (That’s reference to you)

      And lead us not into socialism,
      but deliver us from communism.

      For thine is the kingdom,
      and the power, and the glory,
      for ever and ever. Amen.

      • ankerawshark 2.2.1

        Pukish, I am glad you feel able to forgive me. But I realized in posting what I did could cause some upset for you. That was not my intent. And I almost hate to say this but stand by my statements.

        I also have to say I admire your tenacity and devotion to your cause.

        • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1.1

          “I also have to say I admire your tenacity and devotion to your cause.”

          Its not hard, I mean when you meet a goddess its as natural as breathing to worship them

    • Cinny 2.3

      trump like judith…. nek minute she’ll be endorsing mike hosking for the UN.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Pucky’s Roth?
    David Lee?

  4. Siobhan 4

    Personally I always found the only “significant financial hurdle” I faced as a tenant was paying ever increasing rents.

    But sure, its some nice optics I guess. Give National voting landlords another excuse to feel like the commies are at the door and up the rent (as if they need one), and allow Labour supporting landlords to feel they are nobly taking a presumably ‘significant financial’ hit for the greater good (and upping the rent, but for entirely unrelated reasons I’m sure).

    (On my fb this article appears with the classic photograph of Savage delivering the breakfast table to a new State House.
    That would have to be the most misused photo in the History of New Zealand Labour Party.
    Why on earth do people insist on matching current Labour policy around housing, especially rental stories, with a picture of a family, a single income, tram drivers family, no less, moving into their own home?
    If there is a connection between renting and State houses then It would be more relevant to match these articles with something more current…like a picture of Jacinda delivering a mandarin tree to the nice professional couple moving into their kiwibuild. I wonder if that image will ever become iconic in the struggle of the working classes?)

    • Re: the photo of the Blessed Mickey, the last paragraph of the post explains all:

      With Kiwibuild underway, house prices rises steadying and Housing NZ revitalised, this is the first Government in 40 years to seriously tackle our housing crisis. In fact, this may be the first Government in a generation that does not actively make the problem worse.

      • Antoine 4.1.1

        What we really need is City Councils to seriously tackle our housing crisis

        It’s largely their problem to solve

        A.

      • Siobhan 4.1.2

        No, it doesn’t.

        “In fact, this may be the first Government in a generation that does not actively make the problem worse”.

        ..for life time renters that statement may seem a touch…lackluster. And its certainly not the sort of sentiment that got Savage voted in.

        “Vote for us…we’re better than that bunch of psychos and at least we won’t make things worse, at least not actively, though we will keep to their genius financial constraints” jeez, that’s not really getting me fired up

      • Infused 4.1.3

        None of that is doing anything. Prices are steadying because Auckland been booming for the last 7 years.nits dipping now Wellington is still cranking and rents are getti g higher.

  5. Antoine 5

    All I can say is that if my property manager ups their %, it’s going straight to the tenant, who will pay.

    A.

    • Cinny 5.1

      Why do you use a property manager please Antoine?

      We ditched ours and it’s worked out so much better for all. Highly recommend it if you’ve got good long term tenants.

      • David Mac 5.1.1

        If an owner is out of the country longer than 3 months it is illegal for the owner to manage their own property.

        We have lots of overseas owners.

        If a comfortable drive away and a strong working understanding of the residential tenancy act I think there is a strong case for an owner to mange their own rental.

        If my deceased Grandma left me a house in Kaitaia and I lived in Christchurch, I think I would be foolish not to appoint a manager.

        • Antoine 5.1.1.1

          Some good points there David

          A.

        • Brigid 5.1.1.2

          “If an owner is out of the country longer than 3 months it is illegal for the owner to manage their own property.”
          I don’t think there is any legislation that governs property management. If I’m wrong, could you provide a link that shows there is?

        • Cinny 5.1.1.3

          Thanks David, I didn’t know that re overseas for 3mths rule.

          Our rental is in Welly, so it’s pretty easy to get there from Motueka/Nelson.

          Good point re location.

          We had a bad experience with Quinovic, so ditched them, it’s worked out better for us all. For example, tenants advise if they are going on holiday, and we head over there and do improvements. Mum has always said, if we don’t want to live in the rental, why should we expect anyone else to. As a result have always kept the property in good condition and updated it regularly.

          Are lucky enough to have primo tenants that have been there for years now. They look after the place and we look after them, the rent is low compared to market rates and we give them a week rent free at Christmas.

          Good communication is key.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.2

        No profit if you pay a property manager and most of them just take the money and do nothing not even regular check ups.

        • Antoine 5.1.2.1

          All false there tricldrown, there is still profit and at least some of them demonstrably do stuff

          • Tricledrown 5.1.2.1.1

            If you are an investor you want 6% return on capital minimum if you are landlord paying a mortgage /rates /insurance/maintenance/upgrades to meet new regulations. There is no profit or return on capital if you have to pay a property manager most are just ticket clippers. Antione I work in the building industry and know what happens. Most landlords don’t do regular maintenance they just do patch up jobs to placate tenants that’s the only way they can make a profit.

            • Antoine 5.1.2.1.1.1

              I have a rental property, use a property manager, make a profit, and they do regular checkups and provide photographic evidence among other things.

              A.

    • ankerawshark 5.2

      Antoine are your profit margins so tight on your rental that you have to do this???? I know that is a personal question and I respect that you may not want to answer it.

      I just don’t believe that profit margins are tight at all for landlords. I was one myself a few years back. Unless landlords have over extended themselves in which case my advice is get out of the business.

      • indiana 5.2.1

        There was a time when a Labour government introduced LAQC – Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies. Property investors used this legally and government encouraged avenue to negatively gear themselves so that they could reduce their taxable income. Effectively, the idea was not to be making a profit, but a loss.

      • Antoine 5.2.2

        >Antoine are your profit margins so tight on your rental that you have to do this?

        I’m honestly not sure what my profit margin is, but I’m not inclined to reduce it!

        A.

  6. Mr Marshy 6

    Lol, this reporter really has zero economic nous if he thinks its worth rejoicing. A landlord fee is coming and that will simply be passed on to the tenant. Its called business. You dim socialists really shouldn’t comment on anything business related as your clouded ideology just shows your ineptitude. Report back in a years time when rental stock has shrunk as landlords sell up, and rents rise. See if you are rejoicing then …

    • ankerawshark 6.1

      Actually Mr Marshy, you are making grave assumptions here. I am a business owner and have been a landlord. I have always factored in fairness to tennant customers, and I am doing very well thank you very much. I feel more than entitled to comment on such thing. So actually, and I don’t usually say this sort of thing, shut up.

    • Red Blooded One 6.2

      Wow, so angry with your dim socialists comment Mr Marshy. My property managers have advised that I will be paying a weeks rent if they secure me a tenant in the future. It is not going to be a regular charge (hopefully) as I would much rather my tenants are happy enough to stay long term. The charge will only transfer through to tenants if/when market rent rises occur. If you see a one week charge once in a blue moon as an excuse for you or other landlords to wail, moan and sell up, I suggest you do. The rental market is obviously not conducive to your ethics or lack of.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      If a person is paid by both the landlord and the tenant then who’s he working for?

      • David Mac 6.3.1

        The house.

        Property managers represent the house. Good ones are in the business of creating lovely places to live. Their meagre income comes in from all over the place. Some of the GST on that packet of long grain rice you bought this morning is in a PM’s pocket.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1

          If that is true then we don’t need the landlord. The landlord just represents an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.

          • David Mac 6.3.1.1.1

            Yep, we get how it would work in the Dracosphere.

            The fact remains, there is a layer of landlords because their rental house is a little business and history hurts landlords that don’t approach ownership as a little business.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Yep, we get how it would work in the Dracosphere.

              It’d be cheaper, less expensive and have better results.

              The fact remains, there is a layer of landlords because their rental house is a little business

              That’s not actually a fact. It’s a misunderstanding of history and capitalism.

              If housing was provided by the state then there wouldn’t be any capitalist business available. It is only through the changing of laws (such as the Inclosure Laws etcetera) that allowed rentier capitalism to bloom. Of course, the feudalism that came before was worse but not by much.

  7. David Mac 7

    Property Management is a crap vocation for the greedy. The margins are tiny in that business. They’ve become dependent on letting fees to keep their mouths above the water line.

    Property management income is generally split 50/50 between the franchise holder and the ‘in the field’ property managers. They generally charge about 8% of the rental income. So if a house is returning rent of $300 per week, there’s $24 income for the office. Split 50/50, the property manager is making $12.

    An average roll of 50 rentals x $12 = $600 per week for the manager. Often contractors, they have to pay for their extensive car and phone usage from their $600 per week, then their taxes. Even if managing 100 rentals, that would be a 65 hours a week job to do properly, after overheads, the money is still pretty ordinary.

    For the greed inclined, begging outside a shop pays better than residential Property Management. I don’t think PM’s are looking for letting fee replacements because they’re greedy, I think they’re doing it so that they don’t starve to death.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      For the greed inclined, begging outside a shop pays better than residential Property Management. I don’t think PM’s are looking for letting fee replacements because they’re greedy, I think they’re doing it so that they don’t starve to death.

      I was doing better as a contract pizza delivery driver.

      If your figures are correct then PMs shouldn’t actually exist as they’re not getting enough income to cover their expenses.

      • David Mac 7.1.1

        Ha, yeah exactly, as business models go, the margins are super model skinny.

        • Wensleydale 7.1.1.1

          If it’s such a shit gig, why does anyone do it? Genuine question. What do they get out of it other than stress and a meagre income?

    • Infused 7.2

      My fee is 3%. Landlords need to learn how to negotiate

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Minister Twyford doesn’t think tenants will end up paying more.

    “Landlords are already charging as much as they can within supply and demand. So it’s not at all clear that because the small minority of landlords who use property managers want to pass on those fees through rent, it’s not at all clear that they’ll be able to.”

    I think the Minister needs to be appraised of Steve Keen’s work on supply and demand. This short article at Unlearning Economics is probably a good place to start:

    The second reason is to show that, despite economist’s assertions to the contrary, it cannot be proved that a market economy will necessarily maximise social welfare, as, even on their own terms, it is logically possible to have multiple equilibria, some of which are more socially desirable.

    All in all, this is a small, but welcome step in the Government’s overall housing plan. Bringing fairness to the rental market by removing a significant financial hurdle for tenants shows that Labour is taking a global view of our accommodation needs and not just relying on the market to self regulate.

    The market has never self-regulated. When left to their own devices the capitalists become Robber Barons.

    IMO, it is the regulations that define the market and make it fair and even workable. It is only through proper regulation that all costs can be properly accounted for.

    • David Mac 8.1

      Unfortunately I don’t think rents are as high as the market will absorb.

      Any rental anywhere, 1000’s of Trademe views, 100’s of email enquiries, scores of application forms presented.

      Rental listings don’t stick around long, up one week, gone the next. Any rental listing that is up longer than a month is a white elephant.

      I think rental asks are about 25-35% cheaper than what the market is currently dictating. Demand is stomping all over Supply.

      Additional forces come into play: In times of abundant rentals, a $25 rent rise notice might prompt a search for a new place. In these times of rental scarcity we’re more likely to cop a $50 rise on the chin.

      I wouldn’t be holding your breath if you’re waiting for regulators to enforce how much someone can make from their private legitimate business Draco.

      Damn, I’d love to visualise a happy ending to ‘The next decade of rental housing in NZ’ but I struggle.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        I wouldn’t be holding your breath if you’re waiting for regulators to enforce how much someone can make from their private legitimate business Draco.

        I’m not.

        Regulations are there to cover fairness, health and safety and to ensure costs are properly accounted for and that the right person is paying them.

        It’s supposedly competition that will reduce profit to zero and that’s never going to work as there simply isn’t enough resources or competition.

      • Antoine 8.1.2

        > Unfortunately I don’t think rents are as high as the market will absorb.

        Clearly not.

        We cannot really fix the rental situation until we improve the supply demand balance. All the power is on the supply side (landlords) and little tweaks like the letting fees thing will not really change anything.

        A.

  9. Pete 9

    I heard various grizzlers yesterday on about how the rental market would collapse because of the change. And that renters will see their rents go soaring. And I’m sure I heard someone intimate the world would end.

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      I heard Hades himself was to ride forth from the underworld on a chariot of babies’ skulls upon the passing of this law.

      I’ve been checking outside but still nothing.

      • Antoine 9.1.1

        I don’t think anyone is saying that this law is a disaster or will make things much worse. What we are saying is that it will not improve the situation substantially for renters, in some cases may make them worse off. We are rejecting TRP’s spin that this is something to ‘rejoice’ over.

        A.

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    Up until 1989, you could attend a New Zealand University, and never need to pay a cent for your education. That then changed, of course. The sadists of the Fourth Labour Government introduced substantial fees for study, never having had to pay a cent for their own education. The even ...
    2 days ago
  • Putting children first
    Ele Ludemann writes –  Minister for Children Karen Chhour is putting children first: Hon KAREN CHHOUR: I move, That the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the bill. It’s a privilege ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Te Pati Maori go personal
    David Farrar writes –  Newshub reports:    Applause and cheers erupted in the House on Wednesday afternoon as Children’s Minister Karen Chhour condemned Te Pāti Māori’s insults about her upbringing. Chhour, who grew up in state care, is repealing section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act – sparking uproar from ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Threads of Corruption
    I could corrupt youIt would be uglyThey could sedate youBut what good would drugs be?Good Morning all,Today there’s a guest newsletter from Gerard Otto (G). By which I mean I read his post this morning and he has kindly allowed me to share it with you.If you don’t already I ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The days fly by
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa, you’re being dismantled… so take the blinkers off and start talking honestly about it.
    Is the solution to any of the serious, long term issues we all have to face as a nation, because many governments of all stripes we can probably all admit if we’re deeply truthful with ourselves haven’t done near enough work at the very times they should have, to basically ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Has Labour Abandoned the Welfare State They Created in 1938?
    The 2018 Social Security Act suggests that Labour may have retreated to the minimalist (neo-liberal) welfare state which has developed out of the Richardson-Shipley ‘redesign’. One wonders what Michael Joseph Savage, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash would have thought of the Social Security Act passed by the Ardern Labour Government ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs’ financial interests under scrutiny
    MPs are supposed to serve the public interest, not their own self-interest. And according to the New Zealand Parliament’s website, democracy and integrity are tarnished whenever politicians seek to enrich themselves or the people they are connected with. For this reason, the Parliament has a “Register of Pecuniary Interests” in ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    5 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    6 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago

  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • District Court Judges appointed
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