web analytics

Looking for a new left direction: more than just one housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, November 14th, 2012 - 216 comments
Categories: Annette King, david shearer, greens, housing, labour, Politics, vision - Tags:

A policy focusing on increasing state housing and affordable rents would be a good start. However, my criticism of the current Labour leadership focuses more on the policy direction of the leadership team, rather than solely being on the leader.  The neoliberal scam is falling apart, the global economy is struggling, and the global environmental and resource base is under threat, while those with least power, resources and income are being scapegoated.  A bold new left wing plan is needed to deal with the difficult challenges ahead.

So it looks like David Shearer is aiming to win over left wing critics by taking the opportunity at the Labour conference to announce a policy on affordable housing.  This is a welcome plan, but is it just a one-off bone thrown to the nay-sayers?  Some of us on the left, would like Labour to decisively move away from the soft-neoliberalism of the past.  That means not just one isolated policy, nor one that provides a bit  more government intervention, but one designed to tackle the vast challenges of the early 21st century.  This requires a new narrative and framework: one that works for all kiwis, not just the well-off middleclasses, bankers and property speculators.

The good thing about the pre-announced policy is that it just doesn’t focus on home-buying.  There is also mention of increasing state housing and improving private rentals.

Details of the policy, seen as appealing to core Labour voters, are closely guarded to ensure maximum impact by Mr Shearer in his keynote speech in Auckland on Sunday.

But sources suggest it will see a big push on affordable housing as well as more cash to upgrade state housing stock.

Annette King is reported to have said:

“It’s time for a long-term housing policy, which includes a real partnership with local government, starting by including housing as part of their core services.

“We need to have more houses in the $350,000 to $450,000 range built, have quality and efficiency standards in rentals, have more social housing and introduce a capital gains tax to deter property speculation.”

I will be looking at the small print to see if the policy lives up to such promises, and doesn’t still prioritise house buying and speculation.

I am hoping for some bold moves from the oldest left wing party in NZ, but it is not just their policies, framework and narrative that I will be watching closely.  I am also critical of the shift towards the centre recently from the Green Party.  I am looking for the Greens to move away from soft-neoliberalism, as, for instance expressed in the focus on endless growth.

Update:  and a new left direction, doesn’t involve these moves suggested by Josie Pagani:

“If we don’t win the debate about responsibility, the responsibility when you are on a benefit to make yourself work-ready as much as possible, then we’re not going to win the debate on increasing benefit levels – and there are people out there living on a benefit in absolute poverty.” ..

But he needs to be bolder, she says, such as condemning those in the party resisting moves by former Cabinet minister John Tamihere to rejoin Labour.

She still doesn’t understand that bennie-bashing dog whistles play to the neoliberal agenda.

On Tamihere: becoming a party member is about conforming to the Labour Party rules; but becoming a Labour candidate is a step too far.  It’s an insult to women, especially feminists and lesbians/gays.  Labour does need to reconnect with people struggling on low incomes, but not by embracing bigotry.

216 comments on “Looking for a new left direction: more than just one housing policy”

  1. Mary 1

    And it needs to include having the guts to restore the welfare benefit system by reversing the nasty right-wing changes Labour introduced between 1999 and 2008. An apology saying they got it wrong wouldn’t go amiss, either.

    • Bill 1.1

      Hear, hear. And why not the ability to sign into life long lease arrangements with landlords? Or giving house building standards a thorough going over and have two sets of legislation. Commercial building outfits adhering to stringent standards. Self build and such like allowed to innovate on design and materials on an ‘at your own risk’ basis….kind of like in France (as I understand it).

      I read recently of a guy who built a house in the SW of Scotland for 5000 pounds. Now, lets assume that he can sell it but wouldn’t get whatever reports would go with a ‘standard and to spec’ dwelling/house that offer a sense of guarantee and ‘come back’ should anything go awry? I can’t see anything too wrong with that – and somewhat ironically, would probably trust his standards of building more than I do NZ’s regulated standards that seem more concerned with cost cutting and protecting monopolies.

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    “I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.”

    Warren Buffet.

    “…introduce a capital gains tax to deter property speculation.”

    Annette King.

    The notion that taxation deters investment is simply yet another false frame. Is it too much to ask that the Labour Party stops spreading right-wing myths?

    Of course there should be a capital gains tax: income is being earned (or un-earned if you prefer).

    • Stephen 2.1

      You’re aware that Buffet, as a disciple of Benjamin Graham, uses “investor” in a narrow sense that is distinguished from “speculator?” Buffet is frequently quoted on this point because so many people DON’T behave like sensible investors.

      • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1

        Yeah, I read the whole article “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich” – and it’s clear that he thinks there are a whole group of people who don’t have the first clue about it. He calls them “a billionaire friendly Congress” and calls for “shared sacrifice”.

        Note that the take-home message has got nothing to do with quibbling over narrow definitions of “investor”.

        The “speculators” make money? Tax that too.

        • Stephen 2.1.1.1

          I think we’re arguing at cross purposes and actually agree because we have different definitions of investor and speculator. I may have misunderstood the thrust of your original comment.

          I think that investors will still invest for a reasonable return, even if there is a tax, but that marginal deals and speculative deals will be deterred. Yes?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            No it wont work that way. If people think that property prices will go up 20% in the next year, but they have to pay 1/7 of that gain in CGT, they still get to keep 6/7.

            So, money will still pile in to property speculation.

            • Bunji 2.1.1.1.1.1

              It won’t stop property speculation. The Productivity Commission I think said in 2009 a capital gains tax would have taken out half of the noughties property bubble. It’s probably noticeably less than that, but it would have some effect. It boils down to:

              Say I can get x profit out of housing speculation and x profit out of investing in the productive economy (factories, jobs etc). But the second will be taxed and the first won’t. If I’m only interested in money I go for the housing option.

              More often it won’t be the same number either way, so we’re not suddenly going to go from all housing speculation to all productive economy investment, but it will make a difference at the margin. And then the less housing speculation there is the less profit there is from rising house prices, so you establish a feedback loop…

              So it’s more about pushing in the right direction instead of the wrong one than a silver bullet.

              Of course a good housing policy that gets lots of houses built will ruin housing speculation if there’s no longer a shortage, so that’ll probably help get investment in the right place too…

              • Stephen

                Yeah, that’s my take on it too. CGT isn’t THE answer, it’s part of a set of responses.

                • Dem Young Sconies

                  A part of the “set of responses” to stop a further housing boom, and tax the wealthy should be a 4% per year tax on land. This would put a strong downwards pressure on the price of land, and would deter speculation. It would also stop farming for capital gain in it’s tracks.

              • Colonial Viper

                Unless you directly include the role of banks and banking debt in your rationale, you will have missed a big chunk of the equation.

                For instance:

                Say I can get x profit out of housing speculation and x profit out of investing in the productive economy (factories, jobs etc). But the second will be taxed and the first won’t. If I’m only interested in money I go for the housing option.

                If you have a good income, the banks are happy to extend a large amount of credit to you (say $500,000) in the form of a mortgage on an investment property; all you need is a $100,000 deposit, maybe not even that.

                You won’t get that $500K of finance to start a factory and create jobs on the same basis. Further, ma and pa investor can get into the property game pretty easy, but who is to say ma and pa investor have the skills necessary to start up and run a factory with plant and equipment?

                Which means for most people, regardless of any CGT, investing their money in a productive way is not a realistic option at all.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I think CV has it right: why would “speculators” be any more deterred than “investors”?

              The current tax-free status of capital gains distorts the economy and starves the public purse. The whole notion of taxation as deterrence is a false frame, a right-wing fantasy.

              Remember how if we lower taxes we’ll get trickle down? How’s that working out?

              PS: When the next Labour government increases the top tax rate and some lying Tory shill claims it will deter investment, Annette King has already conceded the point.

              • David C

                Any personal tax rate above trust or company rate is a utter waste of time, unless your an accountant of course.

                • Dem Young Sconies

                  Agreed. That’s why the corporate and trust tax rates should always be aligned with the top marginal tax rate.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Any personal tax rate above trust or company rate is a utter waste of time, unless your an accountant of course.

                  You simply increase the penalties for evasion until its not worth trying it on.

            • David C 2.1.1.1.1.3

              1/7? a 14% CGT rate?

  3. Pete 3

    One thing I do fear is us becoming Labour’s equivalent of the Republican Tea Party. An activist base so narrowly focused on ideological purity that any potential voters who might swing from National to Labour will be repulsed. By all means, cease the bennie-bashing and have a more human-centred approach to government, introduce a CGT too, but it’s a long road to Scandinavia.

    • karol 3.1

      Pete, I agree on the shifting towards a more humanity-valuing approach that doesn’t get into bennie-bashing.

      However,you are making a false equation between “Tea Party” misinformation, and Scandinavia social democracy.  Social democracy is hardly “ideological purity” but a compromise between socialism and capitalism.

      The dominant discourse has moved pretty far to the right over the last few decades.  And the “left” have colluded by making small steps and appealing to the centrist middle-classes.  Left wing parties need to re-engage with people who have stopped voting, not try to win over people who would as easily support National policies.

      • kiwicommie 3.1.1

        Well the National party is mostly the party of angry white men/women [correction: and homophobic religious nuts], and a lot of their economic policies match up with the Tea Party, especially the returning to surplus rhetoric through cuts to welfare and social services i.e. ‘making the government smaller and more efficent’. The problem is that center-left parties tried to woe center-right voters, which ends up making half-measures that try to make both sides happy. Partisianship isn’t always needed in politics, but when it comes to the current National government and the Republican party in the United States; there is no option but to be partisan and push what you believe in.

        • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1.1

          “…what you believe in…”

          aka “reality-based policy”.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          The problem is that center-left parties tried to woe center-right voters, which ends up making half-measures that try to make both sides happy.

          http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/centrist.jpg

          And, yeah, it just doesn’t work because it’s basically trying to compromise with the delusional that, as soon as the compromise is in, will become even more delusional and demand another compromise. It just keeps shifting the ‘centre’ further to the right which fucks up society.

          PS, someone be nice and embed the image.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      One thing I do fear is us becoming Labour’s equivalent of the Republican Tea Party.

      What would the Standard do with $50M worth of funding from a rich Lefty billionaire or two?

      More seriously: your analysis of the situation goes off track in one crucial way – Tea party candidates WON elections, not lost them. yes, they lost the Presidential election, but they won numerous State and Federal House of Representative races over the last couple of years, and re-energised the Republican Party.

      when you analyse it the power of the right wing Tea Party is that they brought onboard huge numbers of supporters passionate about their values, and got those people selected as public officials proudly espousing the causes they believed in, and they GOT RID OF elected Republicans who didn’t suit their tastes.

      Republican congressmen who weren’t Tea Party supporters had to start moving to the extreme Right in order to placate them.

      Imaging forcing the Right Wing of the Labour caucus to the Left, because if they don’t, their electorates will not select them again.

      • kiwicommie 3.2.1

        “Imaging forcing the Right Wing of the Labour caucus to the Left, because if they don’t, their electorates will not select them again.”
        Pretty much, though at the same time do we really want the Right Wing of the Labour caucus, a small re-alignment to the left in those electorates won’t hurt too much; especially as anyone that isn’t brainwashed by National propaganda can see a weak economy, shit jobs and people leaving overseas in droves.

  4. One Tāne Huna 4

    Pagani “…the debate about responsibility…”

    What “debate”? Is that the “debate” where the National Party produces another fantasy-based argument and Labour goes along with it instead of hammering the lie over and over and over again?

    Is this some attempt to win over the “personal responsibility” cretins? A momentary lapse of concentration? An inability to articulate a left wing position even though one just fell on you?

    Get with the program.

    • QoT 4.1

      Is that the “debate” where the National Party produces another fantasy-based argument and Labour goes along with it instead of hammering the lie over and over and over again?

      Yep, I’m pretty sure she means that debate. Besides, it can’t be beneficiary-bashing if Labour does it.

      • karol 4.1.1

        And anyway, no argument holds up if it’s posted using a pseudonym, because that is behaving like the KKK with hoods.

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          EXACTLY.

          • David C 4.1.1.1.1

            Should we use full birth names and email addys as handles on here?

            • QoT 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you may have missed that karol was sarcastically alluding to Fran O’Sullivan’s whinging about bloggers.

              • karol

                Actually, QOT, that was from Josie Pagani at the FB page you linked to. Pagani begins:

                There’s been a bit of comment about me on the Standard blog. I’m not going to reply there because the people who make the most defamatory comments do it anonymously, like the KKK putting on their white hoods. At least on Facebook, they have to identify themselves. 

                And I don’t like the way the Standard deals out lifetime bans to anyone who disagrees with them.  

                • QoT

                  My apologies – I was getting confused with this eerily similar comment from O’Sullivan. I guess conflating critics with extremist hate groups was in some kind of memo they both got.

                • lprent

                  I think Josie was referring to the way I treat people who abuse authors on this site. In this case probably John Pagani for lying about what an author had said so he could claim it was defamatory. Mostly we disagreed on who ran this site and who could tell authors off. He seemed to think that he did. I disagreed.

                  Mythbustin’: Waitakere Man

                  But as QoT points out, it is surprising how closely a right wing business columnist and a left wing nonentity politician sound in their choice of language and phrasing.

                  Reminds me of the 80’s when I saw the same kinds of transitions in politicians like Richard Prebble and Rob Campbell from left firebrands to the favorites of the non-productive business community.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Now tell me a bit about this. Someone was saying to me the other day how a red flag wouldn’t have looked out of place being waved by Prebble or Douglas…until they transformed.

            • karol 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Heh.  And JP’s faith in people always using their real names on FB is quite quaint – not to mention her lack of issues with the way FB makes use of our identities and “privacy”.

  5. Uturn 5

    Labour cannot exercise “bold moves”, which is basically restricted to buying existing houses for state housing, and think they are going to get support from the type of people they currently address. The type of people they want to vote for them are currently building houses, quite happy with the neo-liberalism that is making them rich. What could they say? “Vote Labour, we’ll end your gravy train and raise your taxes.” There might be a few that think, yeah ok, that sounds fair, always wanted to work for the nation instead of for myself – but probably not many. If soft NeoLib is just as bad, apart from necessity induced by total economic collapse, how will Labour or anyone else entice these people to share skills for not much personal monetary gain? Big job ahead, really big job. Labour can’t do it. Wrong mindspace.

    Greens or Mana could do it, by starting at the beginning with attitudes in apprenticeships. Use whoever we already have that wants to help, but otherwise import the necessary tutors/tradesmen to grow a new bunch of apprentices who know what they’re getting into and why. The workers won’t be hard to convince, since many won’t be working right now. Core base of tradesmen, directing new apprentices formally unemployed, build new state housing. Hit several birds with one stone: attitudes, skills, social need, new political direction. The money has to come from somewhere, but that shouldn’t be difficult since government wastes so much already.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    I will be looking at the small print to see if the policy lives up to such promises, and doesn’t still prioritise house buying and speculation.

    From what you quoted of Annette King, you’re going to be disappointed.

  7. prism 7

    Some people have been researching housing practices, availability and affordability for more than a generation. I feel sure of this but I don’t know who they are. Whatever ideas they have come up with, they will have not been listened to in entirety. (The NZ way is to cherry pick ideas from any inclusive report, and half-do these then the pollies praise their small achievements when applying for the next election). And they know that good housing stocks and controls that will prevent speculation in this necessary human need are not what excite voters. So thumbs down for continuing innovative plans to meet the ordinary family’s and single people’s needs.

    Innovative plans would allow for groups of units and houses where extended family can live.
    This would be enjoyed by the Pacificas. Duplex housing on an individual property. Well-built three storey units not built to boundaries. etc.

    Other countries have methods of provision, and passing on housing and mortgages to new owners which would include families or pre-ownership agreements with elderly people. Housing trusts and committees to have training and more ability to create housing clusters. In London I lived in a part of Kilburn with close packed two-storey houses with small private back gardens and with a portion of their section amalgamated into a small grassy park for the residents. There is a sterility of thinking in NZ.

    • Uturn 7.1

      These are all excellent ideas. You are right that design of “state housing” does not need to be defined by the large square brick and tile of the past or the apartments centred around a carpark. An approach to state housing encompasses more than just building houses.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        If Savage could design a solution for the times in the 1930’s with next to no money, maybe all these vaunted PhD types around could do so now, for us.

  8. Olwyn 8

    The difficulty is that Labour under Shearer seems happy to be complicit in these conditions as opposed to seeking ways to contend with them. And given that their conception of middle class seems to be “avid reader of Jane Clifton’s column” and that these people having been given management plus a housing bubble to compensate for the lack of alternative investments, I will be startled if his housing policy comes anywhere near meeting housing need.

    What I would like to see it the bottom line for negotiating with our lords and masters raised to include genuinely widespread affordable housing, employment opportunities and living wages. It is possible, since no one else in the OECD seems to have lowered the bar to our extent.

  9. Chris 9

    Agree that Tamihere should be left in the past where he belongs.

  10. prism 10

    That being work ready as being the main goal of a beneficiary sounds as if Josie Pagani has absorbed the 1984 stuff. Time to open a window of the mind, perhaps someone could find a portal in to Josies a la film Being John Malkovich.

    With housing in general one of the main problems is the inflation in housing, which everyone acknowledges when talking about the housing bubble. One thing that could be done is to have housing trusts set up with different options for people so they could afford to buy a house or unit. It would be revalued each year by the trust in light of the term deposit rates applying that year and would have to be sold back to the trust for their accumulated valuation. The QV valuation would apply for only Council rates etc. Then the Trust would onsell the property once redecorated, for perhaps a 10% rise in valuation. There would need to be control on the Trust onselling price to ensure prices didn’t inflate unreasonably. Also the housing would only be for homeowners not for rental properties or investments.

  11. fatty 11

    In addition to housing in Auckland, the same problem exists in Christchurch…I hope there will be something done there too.
    I fear that there is a perception that Chch Central will shift towards Labour without much of a challenge, and that Wigram and the Port Hills will stay with Labour. But those 3 electorates have experienced major population shifts and I’m not sure how they will play out. Many Labour voters have left for Australia.

    “This requires a new narrative and framework: one that works for all kiwis, not just the well-off middleclasses, bankers and property speculators.”

    Yes…the number of students who vote National astounds me, those votes could be gained easily if Labour’s policies represented their principles…the problem is that Labour are hardly any different than National regarding student loans etc. At least they got rid of Goff, its a bit much to expect students to vote for very the same person that introduced the student loan scam.

  12. pete 12

    Pagani is correct. Handing even more more to people who have no intention of working is not going to hunt.

    For the simple reason that most voters will not vote for it. That should be obvious to all but the most out-of-touch party ideologues.

    • One Tāne Huna 12.1

      Pagani is wrong.

      That is not the focus of the public provision of welfare. Your second sentence is utter nonsense. Of course no-one will vote for it: that is why only a complete moron would characterise it thus.

      So you bought into a bunch of complete fabrications about beneficiaries? More fool you. Have a little cry then try a reality based argument next time.

      • pete 12.1.1

        Pagani is right.

        If the last two elections haven’t convinced you that you’re on the wrong side of the debate, I guess nothing will.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.1.1.1

          Reality check. Pagani is wrong.

          If the outcome of three out of the last five elections and the track records on employment during that period doesn’t register with you, perhaps you simply lack the cognitive ability to recognise the gaping hole in your “argument”.

          • pete 12.1.1.1.1

            Pagani is right.

            The electorate has moved on since Clark. People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession. They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries.

            You lack the ability to see what is patently obvious. You are out-of-touch and very likely surrounded by hardline Labour supporters.

            Will it take yet another election loss before you see it?

            • fatty 12.1.1.1.1.1

              If Labour get in as National lite…then what is the point? If Shearer continues with Pagani’s third way logic then NZ would be better off if National won.

              Will it take yet another 30 years of neoliberalism before you see it?

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.2

              People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession. They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries.

              So…tax an extra $1B from the bankers and distribute it to the people (from which it was taken from originally).

            • One Tāne Huna 12.1.1.1.1.3

              “The electorate has…”

              Says who?

              Your assertions don’t actually constitute a coherent argument – you do get that, don’t you? Have you ever heard of the analogy for politics that “the pendulum swings back and forth”?

              I’m so out-of-touch? That no doubt explains the opinion poll trend.

              Can you please stop eye-balling your haemorrhoids and try a reality based argument?

              • pete

                So, let’s say a left wing government is elected. It lasts three terms. It’s a return to the golden weather policies of the 50s.

                And everything is going great.

                But after three terms, you’re very bored with everything going great, so vote in ACT. Just for a change.

                What kind of half-wit believes Labour lost because people were “bored and wanted a change”?

                Labour lost because people were sick of their double-talking politicians and their policies.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  What kind of half-wit thinks your feeble, shifting, strawman argument is going to be met with anything other than derision? Why, you, I guess.

                  But not me.

                  • pete

                    Because you’re so one-eyed, you can’t react any other way. I’m the enemy. You’re surrounded by people who think exactly as you do, and they all know they own the truth.

                    Will National lose because they have failed to deliver? Yes. I’m sure you agree.
                    Not “National will lose because they’re doing alright, but people have just got bored with them”.

                    Yet you’d have us believe that when Labour lose, it’s only due to the “electoral cycle”.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Hello, Earth to Pete – one minor detail – the notion that “National/Labour will lose because they’re doing alright, but people have just got bored with them” is yours and yours alone.

                      Why are you arguing with yourself?

                      Because you’re not just one-eyed, you’re actually no-eyed? Because all you’ve got is moving goal posts and strawmen?

                      You: “The electorate has moved on since Clark”

                      Me – “Not according to the opinion polls which predict a left led government if an election were held now, let alone in 2014”

                      You – “bluster mumblefuck a load of irrelevant crap”.

                      Care to address the point I made or will you argue with your own drivel some more?

                      PS: “The electorate has moved on since Clark”? That explains the rise in union membership. Oops, reality comes crashing in again!

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1.4

              There’s not even any logic in there never mind an argument.

              People know the good economic times have passed and the world is in recession.

              And people know that this recession was caused by the policies that National are following.

              They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight.

              Yeah, and that would be why the CEOs and banksters getting massive pay rises while the majority of people are getting pay cuts is pissing people off. Also, the very low level of unemployment before the GFC shows that most people are willing to pull their weight and so the only reason those people are out of work is because of the people at the top not employing people – even though they got massive tax cuts.

              You lack the ability to see what is patently obvious.

              Psychological Projection.

              It’s the RWNJs, such as yourself, that deny reality.

              • pete

                You are very dishonest. Why did you edit my sentence:

                “They will not tolerate what they perceive to be hand-outs to people not prepared to pull their weight. That includes everyone from bankers to welfare beneficiaries”

                Then respond as if I never said bankers?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I didn’t edit your sentence – I left off the one I wasn’t responding to. The point is, of course, that people on welfare are willing to pull their weight as the recent high levels of employment showed and that the massive tax cuts given to the rich didn’t create any jobs as promised by this government.

                  It’s the rich that aren’t pulling their weight but that’s been true for 5000 years.

  13. lefty 13

    Too many politicians have investment properties for them to ever do anything meaningful about housing.

    This applies to MPs across the parties.

    As long as there is a shortage of housing it will remain a great investment regardless of whether there is a capital gains tax, or any other form of taxation of it.

    Investors got used to getting lots of free money from their savings but this changed with the GFC.

    But it remains possible to manipulate housing to get superdividends from it as long as the politicians play the game.

    All you need is an artificial shortage of housing and big state subsidies for low income people who have to pay rent.

    Thats why so many red herrings are presented in the debate over housing.

    Its quite simple to solve the housing crisis really.

    Go out and build a shitload of suitable housing and get people living in it.

    There’s plenty of materials, plenty of land, the jobs are needed and the money could easily be found.

    We were able to do it way back in the 1930s when things were much tougher than they are now.

    Once the rent (or mortgage payments) starts coming in it pays for itself.

    But if you build enough to meet the need then rents start falling, the need for the state to pay rental subsidies to private landlords decreases, rents drop even further and so on.

    There’s plenty of houses around to buy and the price drops.

    Lots of people, including many – if not most – of our MPs, lose a lot of money.

    Over the years our politicians have created a situation where the middle class will punish them severely if they solved the housing crisis because their biggest asset would lose value.

    Thats why Mana is the only party that is honest about housing – because the middle class is not its constituency (yet).

    And its why we will continue to be given all sorts of complicated bullshit reasons why we cannot house all the people who live in this land of plenty.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      +1

      Well said.

      And its why we will continue to be given all sorts of complicated bullshit reasons why we cannot house, feed, clothe, employ, and generally provide a decent living standard to all the people who live in this land of plenty.

      FIFY

      The capitalist system is about restricting the nations resources in such a way so that only the few benefit from them.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.2

      lefty, you summarise well!
      (DTB, just saw Max Keiser touting the OWS Jubilee debt buying programme)

  14. Ron 14

    I think we are getting off track here. The task is to provide housing. We have a perfectly good vehicle for doing this in Housing NZ. We just have to give them proper direction and provide the finance to invest in housing.
    Apart from the CGT which is a given how about providing houses where the state owns the land. That would remove a big incentive to speculate on housing.
    Put people in to good quality housing whether rent or purchased. Let them rent to own if that helps
    Thing big. Imagine the cost savings if Housing NZ was to build several thousand houses in Auckland alone. OK so it may well depress the market but since when has that been a good reason for not providing a basic need. Pharmac no doubt drepresses the market for medicine thank goodness we have them otherwise only the rich would get affordable medicine.
    We keep going around in circles. We know what a Labour government needs to do for New Zealanders so how about doing it and stop worrying about a few wealthy individuals who might not make as much.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      OK so it may well depress the market but since when has that been a good reason for not providing a basic need.

      Depressing the “market” in housing is exactly what needs to be done. If the upper middle class and the speculators/rentiers will allow it…

      Markets, as you imply, aren’t interested in ensuring that basic needs are provided for.

  15. Ron 15

    I agree but why are we not planning in this direction. I will bet that Sundays speech will not even touch the real problem instead it will skirt around things by talking about cooperation between council and state which is a real waste of time. We want a party to state the problems and then present firm policies to deal with problem. Once upon a time we had that kind of grit but it is sadly lacking. So what if its two years out from election if its a good policy it will still be a good policy in two years,

  16. pete 16

    Even you do find the magic money, where will you build these slums? I guess Len wants you to build vertical slums.

    They’ll be nice! I’m not sure it will affect the housing market, except at the slum level.

    • Ron 16.1

      Pete
      We are not short of money either. Did i not read in paper yeaterday that NZ wants its own satellite system for the military. From memory it was costed at $82 million. WTF. What the ehck do we need a military satellite for. And I wonder how many houses we could build for $82 million. I would imagine 300-400 houses.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Plus money for a satellite would leave the country and go to foregin firms, whereas spent in NZ on housing it would generate a lot of NZ jobs.

        Our defence and intelligence establishment are dreaming.

        • Ron 16.1.1.1

          Defence have called tenders. IIthin it is aaway of sucking up to USA
          Reading the article again it sounds like 82 mil it’s only the start

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.1

            Defence have called tenders. IIthin it is aaway of sucking up to USA

            That would be some of it same as when National sought to buy the F16s which are absolutely useless for NZ (At least the satellites will be useful).

            • Ron 16.1.1.1.1.1

              No satellites are not useful. They are military use only. Why cannot the military send emails like everyone else

              • Draco T Bastard

                Really? So you don’t find the weather forecasts useful?

                And, as I said, we do need to defend ourselves. We may be the most peaceful people ever but there really are psychopaths out there and they really do get to be dictators of countries with weapons.

                So, yes, the satellites will be useful.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2

          The answer to which is to have our own space program and weapons development.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        What the ehck do we need a military satellite for.

        Because we need to defend ourselves.

        And I wonder how many houses we could build for $82 million.

        None, completely different set of resources used.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Because we need to defend ourselves.

          Wrong way to go about it.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1.1

            You got a better way to watch several million square kilometres of empty sea and air?

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1.1.1

              yeah, fucking buy commercial satellite time twice a week at a cost of $200K pa.

              In addition, you don’t have to monitor several million square kilometres of empty sea, what are you looking for, dolphins???

              Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs etc could also do all this work for much less.

              A fucking military satellite. More like for spying on our pacific neighbours.

              • Draco T Bastard

                yeah, fucking buy commercial satellite time twice a week at a cost of $200K pa.

                And what’s the ongoing costs of maintaining a satellite?

                Considering that we’re talking military here it’s unlikely that a commercial satellite will have the required capabilities anyway.

                In addition, you don’t have to monitor several million square kilometres of empty sea, what are you looking for, dolphins???

                Need to monitor all approaches out to two or three thousand kilometres (effective attack range of missiles).

                Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs etc could also do all this work for much less.

                Again that comes down to ongoing costs. At a guess, I suspect Maritime surveillance aircraft, UAVs haven’t got a snow balls chance in hell of being able to do the required surveillance for anything like the cost of satellites.

                A fucking military satellite. More like for spying on our pacific neighbours.

                I’m going to have to point out that some of our Pacific neighbours are the psychopaths that I mentioned.

        • prism 16.1.2.2

          The houses come a while after we get attacked, areas area flattened and we have had a chance to use our defence weapons. First things first.

    • fatty 16.2

      nah…most of the top rated cities in the world have dense housing and it allows for a nice lifestyle, rather than prevents a nice lifestyle. Most people I know do not want to live in the suburbs and have to maintain gardens, have high cost of transport, live in a boring neighborhood etc. This ain’t the 1950s, it time we put our outdated ideals behind us eh?
      The slums you are talking about are the result of greedy economic policies, not dense housing.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1

        +1

        Much prefer living in an apartment.

      • Ron 16.2.2

        I dead recently that we are already pretty far up the scale of housing density.Now you must want to make it worse. You can live in an apartment but what happens when children come along

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.2.1

          You can live in an apartment but what happens when children come along

          They get to live there to and play in the local parks – just like normal.

      • When you have kids you might feel differently.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.1

          Most adults don’t have kids.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.2

          Move out of the apartment

          • fatty 16.2.3.2.1

            yes, and then move back into an apartment when the kids have gone.
            We really don’t need that many stand alone houses. But to make smaller places livable, we need livable cities… and the problem is that more sprawl and suburbs makes boring cities, whereas we need decent cities to make high-rise living enjoyable.
            We don’t need big living spaces, just creates the ‘need’ to full it with stuff that we don’t want. Many people could live in places half their size if their cities were worth venturing into.

        • millsy 16.2.3.3

          Youre a pretty nasty person Monique. Piss off.

          • Monique Watson 16.2.3.3.1

            How exactly am I nasty Millsy. Is it because I call a spade a fucking spade? Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision? Is it because I have five children myself? Is it because I spend every spare moment volunteering for community organisations because my basic creed is to give back more than you receive?
            I suspect you think I’m nasty because I have no time for fuckwits.
            In which case I’m okay with your judgement.
            I probably won’t piss off either BTW.

            • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.3.1.1

              well, you could do the country a lot more good by staying out of politics. Or at least, to stop shilling for the wealthy asset owning class.

            • millsy 16.2.3.3.1.2

              You hate your tenants
              You want the poor thrown on the streets
              You want wages slashed
              You support American style heath care
              You want to destroy state housing
              You want to ban trade unions

            • fatty 16.2.3.3.1.3

              “I suspect you think I’m nasty because I have no time for fuckwits”

              To be honest I think you are nasty because of your posts. I also have no time for fuckwits.

              “Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision? Is it because I have five children myself?”

              When you put it like that, yes

            • millsy 16.2.3.3.1.4

              Plus you hate rail and you think youre better than everyone else.

              I deal with ladies like that every day.

              I just make it more or less clear to them that they are not.

            • QoT 16.2.3.3.1.5

              Is it because I sponsor five children through World Vision?

              No, but it might be because you’re willing to use that sponsorship and those children as a way to bolster your apparent “niceness”.

              • Colonial Viper

                African children poverty is real poverty; NZ children poverty – well, it just doesn’t exist.

  17. Ron 17

    We are not short of Land. We need the will to build and to provide the infrastructure around that land. You are correct that Len would prefer to have so called vertical housing but that is becasue the love the idea of getting rates of all the occupants but not having to provide infrastructure to a newighbourhood. Instead we just run it upwards. There is a wealth of information out there about what happens to peoples health when you start storing the vertically but heck why shoudl we worry about that

  18. pete 18

    I think this is the wrong question.

    We’re not short of land. We’re not even short of cheap houses. We are short of regional taxes.
    Simply attract business to the regions by way of a differential tax. If you want to live and operate out of Auckland, it costs you a lot. Less so if you want to do so out of Dunedin, Nelson or Palmerston North.

    • One Tāne Huna 18.1

      I can imagine why no-one has thought of this before. Sorry, I can imagine why no-one has seriously proposed this before.

      Are you a tax accountant, by any chance?

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      If you want to live and operate out of Auckland, it costs you a lot. Less so if you want to do so out of Dunedin, Nelson or Palmerston North.

      That’s already true – businesses are still moving to Auckland.

      • pete 18.2.1

        Yeeeess….so make it worth their while to head in the other direction. You’ll save a lot of money not building new roads and silly trains, for starters.

        • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1

          Citations needed.

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.1.1.1

            Only commonsense needed, OTH. Studies won’t show jack shit.

            Or maybe you think having 30% of the population of the country in just 0.3% of the space is somehow going to be sustainable?

            On second thoughts, keep the Aucklanders where they are, we don’t want them moving to rest of the country.

            • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, I just think the conflation of “new roads” and “silly trains” may indicate underlying bias.

              Other than that I think the science of determining where people “ought” to live may well be insufficiently developed to inform policy

              • Colonial Viper

                Other than that I think the science of determining where people “ought” to live may well be insufficiently developed to inform policy

                I really don’t mean to be short with you good sir, but…FORGET THE FUCKING SCIENCE

                The first question to ask is: what kind of society and environment do we want to live in, in terms of housing options and lifestyle.

                THEN set science and policy to work to achieve it.

                Frankly the idea that people would “want” 100-120 minutes of commute per day is laughable. Live in Wanganui, Napier or New Plymouth and your commute each way is probably 8-12 minutes. So much more time with the family, practicing the piano, spending time with mates.

                And did I mention that the cost of housing is probably 30% to 40% less???

              • pete

                I thought the bias was quite balanced, actually. An unnecessary road and an unnecessary train are both silly when we can simply encourage people to live anywhere but Auckland.

                Plenty of underused infrastructure around the country.

                I agree with Mr Viper here….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I thought the bias was quite balanced, actually. An unnecessary road and an unnecessary train are both silly when we can simply encourage people to live anywhere but Auckland.

                  /facepalm

                  If people move out of Auckland then the new places will need roads and/or trains so that they can move about.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Why? Just walk or cycle 10 minutes to work. You can actually do that outside of the big centres!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      My point was that the small centres wouldn’t remain small if Auckland moved into them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m not saying add 10,000 population to Otaki.

                      But you could share 150,000 people out of AKL without blinking. To Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua, Dunedin, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Napier, Hastings, New Plymouth, Invercargill, Timaru, Nelson, Whangarei, Gisborne.

                      10K people each, no probs.

                    • pete

                      Perhaps Draco is a home owner in Auckland, Viper? Worried about his house price if pressure is taken off Auckland?

                      He might like capitalism a bit more than he lets on…..

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m not against the idea, in fact I like it, just don’t think it can be done for free as you suggest.

                    • pete

                      “I’m not against the idea, in fact I like it, just don’t think it can be done for free as you suggest.”

                      I think it can, Draco.

                      What was it someone said before – which I also kinda liked. You decide what you want first, then you let the science work out how to do it.

                      It’s not hard. We simply attract business out of Auckland and spread it around the country. There are various mechanisms to do this, and one is differential tax.

                  • pete

                    Dunedin, Palmerston North, Nelson, etc could absorb a few thousand extra each year with little strain on existing/planned infrastructure.

                    It’s under used.

                    • David C

                      Palmy cant take another 1000 let alone 10,000. Fucking useless council cant sort out residential land zoning for future building.

        • prism 18.2.1.2

          Having built infrastructure for trains is going to be much appreciated over the years as oil gets more expensive. They aren’t silly. We just have to do sufficient scoping to ensure trains are running where they will be used.

      • insider 18.2.2

        That’s because the golf and sailing are much better, and teh CEOs like golf and sailing.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.2.1

          Actually, it’s because the business is more likely to find suitable people to work for them in 1.3m+ people as well as have a larger market to sell to meaning that, even though it costs more, they’re going to be better off.

          • David C 18.2.2.1.1

            Nah, build it and they will come.
            unless you put a depot/wharehouse/factory in a utterly toxic town and you have good stable work people will move to you.
            good solid jobs are hard to find.
            annnndddd…. if you put it in a “low rent” place your employees are likely to be $100’s a week better off than living in Dorkland.

  19. pete 19

    Whilst you incentivise Auckland, you’re going to get high land prices, which leads to high housing costs. Aucklands plan is up, not out, so your state housing is going to be cheap high rise apartments, tenements and terraces.

    Nice.

    There are many ways to incentivise the regions, regional taxes being just one option. Unless you want Auckland extending to Hamilton, then it’s pretty obvious building tens of thousands of state houses is a bad idea.

    • Ron 19.1

      I disagree disagree can purchase land and if they remain the land and lease it for homes it will not cause high land prices

      • pete 19.1.1

        Sooo……you’ll rewrite the district plan in Auckland? Or should I say. Auckamilton? Where are all these tens of thousands of state houses going to go?

  20. Penalising investors with a more stringent CGT is not the way to go. The solution is to increase the supply and make it easier to consent houses that the buyers are asking for. And for those who have short memories, I’ve blogged on the background to the housing “bubble”.

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/11/or-we-could-build-our-own-houses-part-1.html

    • It is only “penalising” investors if they chose to continue property speculation; this is the whole point of a CGT type tax. To “encourage” investors to do something more productive and useful with their money.

      Some of those who are buying, building and doing up and selling houses, may continue to do so. Those who are in for a quick buck and fuck off and try elsewhere and stop causing basic needs to become un-affordable for increasing numbers of people.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Property speculators need to be severely penalised.

      Those wanting to make a steady month by month income by being professional landlords should be assisted.

      And of course, the Government should immediately build 50,000 new houses itself. Don’t leave it up to the private sector or the market.

      • pete 20.2.1

        A CGT won’t stop property speculation. All it will do is drive up rents.

        Why?

        Your problem is lack of supply. You can’t build tens of thousands of state houses in Auckland, there’s nowhere for them to go under the district plan. You’ll end up building slum tenements.

        That problem is solved by encouraging people not to place demand pressure all in the same two/three cities. Doesn’t cost as much, and boosts the regions.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.2.1.1

          You can’t build tens of thousands of state houses in Auckland, there’s nowhere for them to go under the district plan. You’ll end up building slum tenements.

          Yes we can, yes there is, no we won’t as we won’t be leaving them to the private sector to own and operate.

          • Ron 20.2.1.1.1

            exactly

          • pete 20.2.1.1.2

            So you’ll have to change the district plan, then. Len wants out, not up. Britain tried vertical state housing. Truly horrible.

            Doesn’t matter if it’s private sector or public, you’ve still got a sprawl problem.

            • karol 20.2.1.1.2.1

              Britain went into high rise state housing.  interestingly, high rise apartments work fine in many central cities, including London.  It’s just that they have so far worked better when they are expansive privately owned ones.  It’s all in HOW it’s done.

              Also, it doesn’t need to be high rise – just more low level: e.g. 2 storey apartment blocks.  And in the middle of community facilities, not the wastelands of Pepys Estate  – which I have visited more than once.  Was quite grim inside, lifts not working, smelling of pee.

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.1.2

          Pretty sure that District Plans get rewritten every few years.

          Also I’m not just talking about a CGT. I;m talking about a raft of measures to make property asset speculation something which no longer happens.

          • David C 20.2.1.2.1

            District plans must be looked at every 10 years, usually 15 years between finished versions.

            “the market” usually leads the district plan with private plan changes which are hugley costly to both developer and councils and in the end just get ticked onto the price of the house.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      Catering to the investors/speculators is what’s led to the problem. Time to start catering to the people rather than the rich.

      • pete 20.3.1

        Zero sum. If you nationalised every house in Auckland, you’ve still got exactly the same problem. A lot of people chasing few houses.

        So, you build a lot more. Where? The plan for Auckland doesn’t want any more sprawl, so you’ll have to go up.

        Doesn’t it make more sense to spread people around the county a bit more? Use the wealth of infrastructure we’ve already got, rather than overloading Auckland, or sprawling it ever further?

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.1.1

          Zero sum. If you nationalised every house in Auckland, you’ve still got exactly the same problem. A lot of people chasing few houses.

          You missed a really big factor.

          Profiteering. The state would not need to make big profits off these properties, in fact the statem doesn’t need to make any profit off these properties.

          So will there still be too few houses…yes. But rent will also be cheap.

          This is what happens when you tell the market and the privateers to go get fucked.

          • pete 20.3.1.1.1

            I didn’t “miss” it. It’s not relevant to my point.

            You could eliminate profiteering, and it still doesn’t solve the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is you have more demand than there is supply.

            So, the question remains: WHERE are you going to build the supply? If you stay within Len’s plan, then you must build up. If you ignore Len’s plan, then you must sprawl.

            My point is that there is no need to do this. Simply redistribute demand to other centers, which solves a number of problems, not least of which is affordability.

      • Weeel. If you actooally read my fucking blog post, you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”. It’s someone who invested rationally under the fifth Labour government.
        If you were to “get rid of them”, the state has to pay employees to manage the properties and pay for the repairs and maintenance. It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.2.1

          There’s no problem with the state creating jobs and a housing service to look after those properties.

          We want more jobs after all, and this kind of thing has been done by NZ governments for many years.

          you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”

          Not my fault if they negatively geared and have a massive negative net worth. Silly them.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2.2

          It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.

          Nope, it won’t or, to be more precise, it would cost each taxpayer significantly less than what it’s presently costing individual renters through private development which comes with the dead weight loss of profit. Either way, you need those property managers.

          • kiwicommie 20.3.2.2.1

            Yep, I wouldn’t say that the USSR was true ‘communism’, but certainly even back then (despite the police state apparatus and hardship) it was proven that state ownership of housing lowers housing costs and allows everyone to get a home. Plenty of people in East Germany fondly remember the free education, free health-care and the community spirit back then. I am not trying to suggest the USSR and it’s satellites were a wonderland, it was not. But public housing is achievable, and is a lot fairer on people than the ‘private developer’ crowd, that build high cost housing that barely anyone can afford to live in.

            • pete 20.3.2.2.1.1

              Tenament living. You can have that tomorrow.

              Strangely, Kiwis don’t want to live in them.

          • pete 20.3.2.2.2

            You really are living in a fantasy world.

            What profit? Most landlords are either negatively geared or breaking even, making money on the equity. All you’re doing is leaving that equity with the tenant-as-owner, so it’s zero sum. The house isn’t any cheaper.

            You still haven’t solved your supply problem. Where are you going to build all these new state houses?

            • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2.2.2.1

              What profit? Most landlords are either negatively geared or breaking even, making money on the equity.

              The landlords may not be making a profit (which I find hard to believe) but the banks certainly are.

              Where are you going to build all these new state houses?

              It’s been mentioned, you’re just ignoring it.

              • pete

                “It’s been mentioned, you’re just ignoring it.”

                Can you point it out?

                • Colonial Viper

                  The same places that the private sector would build them. Plus a few others, since the State has the power to appropriate land it sees as important. The private sector is weak and can’t do that.

                  • pete

                    The places the private sector and public sector can build them, in Auckland, must conform with the district plan. The plan for the future of Auckland is up, not out. Public or private, that means towers, townhouses and tenements.

                    As I say, it makes more sense to spread business around the regions. This solves a number of problems. It creates enormous social benefits. It’s just a lot nicer that cramming everyone into one place, no?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No doubt. I agree its insane to cram 30% of NZ into 0.3% of the space.

                      But essentially, the public sector will do a better job of building affordable housing because they don’t have to add an extra ticket clip for making profit, and they can get financing way cheaper than the private sector.

                    • pete

                      I’d argue that what you gain in margin you lose in added production cost. Financing, I agree.

                      We’re getting sidetracked with the public/private debate.

                      It shouldn’t matter who builds them, so long as the end result is what people want i.e. an affordable, warm place to live.

                      Yah?

                      If the state can do that better than private, great, but I don’t see it happening, for reasons outlined.

                      One role the state could play well is the establishment of factory built modular houses. Industrial scale. I dare say it could also be PPP.

                      The problem still remains as to where you’re going to put them. I say adopt a regional approach. Boost the regions, take the pressure off Auckland.

        • Ron 20.3.2.3

          Good God what in the world are we arguing about. I find it hard to imagine why anyone would want to make money out supplying people a basic need such as housing. Lets all speculate on medicine and food supplies and hospitals. Why draw a line at anything. Affordable good quality Housing is a basic human right. It is the purpose of a good government to make sure that its citizens are adequately housed. It should not be left to the whims of so called investors.
          Bring in CGT and also stop landlords from deducting costs of their mortgages from profits accrued elsewhere.
          Then we might see how many good citizens are keen on buying and renting property.

          • Colonial Viper 20.3.2.3.1

            Ron – the entrepreneurial capitalists of free market lore have actually become nothing more than risk averse rentier ticket clippers.

            So of course, they want to profit off the provision of necessary basics such as housing, power, phone and internet, water, schools, prisons, ….

            • Ron 20.3.2.3.1.1

              I have no problem with private enterprise as long as we have proper controls to ensure they play fair.
              When we have a properly developed Commerce Commission and have proper laws for protecting and safeguarding our people then private enterprise will be welcome to operate.
              And with that goes proper laws to protect workers who always seem to be the forgotten lot these days.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The problem, of course, is that under those conditions private enterprise can’t. That’s why the free-market delusion was brought back in.

            • pete 20.3.2.3.1.2

              Being a landlord is work.

              The tenant calls you up at 2.00 is the morning wanting a leak fixed. Is that not work? The house needs maintenance. Is that not work? Tenants sometimes destroy property. Is that not work? The tenant sometimes doesn’t pay the rent? Is that not work/risk? The area may decline in value? Is that not financial risk?

              It’s all work. The return is modest. It’s the short-medium term accommodation business.

              • QoT

                It’s all work

                Be honest, pete. It’s work if you choose to give a shit about your tenants. Plenty don’t.

                • David C

                  Its work either way. if you were a moron you could choose to utterly ignore your tennants wishes but you still need to look after your building. A happy tenant is a good tenant, vacancy is what kills good returns. A tenant that stays for 15 years is the perfect tenant.

                  • QoT

                    but you still need to look after your building.

                    I assure you this will come as shocking news to 3/4 of the landlords I have ever rented from.

                • pete

                  It’s work. It’s risk. You could love your tenants, or loathe them, and the work remains the same.

                  In return, you might may some money. Not guaranteed, as many have found out.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Safer to have the government do it through Housing NZ.

                    Private landlords who can’t make it worth their while need to exit the market.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yep, there’s work involved but not as much as people like to make out. Somebody working a 40 hour per week job does more and doesn’t get their house paid for out of other peoples work.

              • fatty

                “The tenant calls you up at 2.00 is the morning wanting a leak fixed”

                You could own 50 house for 50 years and I doubt that would happen more than once. If there was a leak then they would ring the next day, not in the middle of the night. Stop making up stories

                • pete

                  Just an example, Fatty. The tenant has a problem – they ring you up, you deal with it.
                  That’s your job. In return for them not having to deal with such problems, they pay you a fee – rent.

                  Anyone who thinks it’s lucrative clearly hasn’t done it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If it’s not lucrative then private landlords should get out of the market and let the Government take over.

                    • pete

                      Then the cost transfers to you – that taxpayer, or to the homeowner.

                      The landlord is swapping time for equity. The public servant must be paid directly. If you get the public servant up at 2.30 in the morning to deal with a flood from a burst pipe, that costs you. It doesn’t at the moment. It’s a cost borne by private landlords. Or directly by you, if you own the property.

                      Many people don’t like such headaches and maintenance, which is one reason they rent. Landlords do provide a service. Like in all occupations, there are good and bad operators, but it doesn’t change the fact being a landlord is work.

                      Should they not be paid for their work?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The public service will get it done without having to charge an additional profit margin.

                      If this kind of work is not financially rewarding for private landlords, they really should just get out of it.

                    • fatty

                      “The public service will get it done without having to charge an additional profit margin.”

                      that’s the way I see it too. We have the option of paying rent so the profit sits in a rich person’s bank account, or we could pay rent to the government which creates more jobs and the profit gets redistributed throughout society. I’d love to rent off the government if I could. I’d call that a no brainer

                • lprent

                  Ah no. The leaks that that they ring about are when a pipe cracks or a dishwasher valve jams and they come home to find water inches deep on the floor (or leaking into an apartment two floors down).

                  There are 60 apartments in my block. I wasn’t a landlord, but when I was the goto person here for years I called them quite a lot at all hours. Not a lot for any particular landlord, but a lot of landlords fo various reasons.

                  • fatty

                    well that’s news to me, I’ve flatted for a long time in some very average properties and never had a leak

                    • lprent

                      It is the luck of the draw. In 60 apartments over about 10 years we had probably 5-6 significant immediate attention leaks. I’m not counting the couple of days after a water main cracked outside the house and we had a flood of high pressure water sprouting (and I do mean sprouting) out of the walls of the two underground garage levels.

              • Colonial Viper

                I think there should be a reasonable return for professional landlords generating an income stream from rent.

                But an end to property speculators seeking to make a quick buck on asset appreciation.

                By the way its far more efficient to have Housing NZ be the landlord for tens of thousands of properties, they can have full time staff handling those problems 24/7.

          • PlanetOrphan 20.3.2.3.2

            No need bud, Just sell / rent state housing at a reasonable rate.

            Everyone thinks those home owners are speculating, they’re not, they just want a solid asset.

            If the inflated prices come down then CGT is superfluous.

            It’ll hurt on the current mortgage front (owing a lot more than the house is worth),
            But state houses wont have the same developments a longer standing house will have so there would be balance as well.
            The Government could even cover the difference in mortgage value from the Float, What’s the difference between South Canterbury Finance and the housing bubble afterall ?

          • David C 20.3.2.3.3

            Sure stop all deductions for landlords and the cash freturn of the rent needs to equal real cost plus a return.

            So a $400K house needs to rent at $800? $900? a week?

            100% of capital at bank rates plus rates and insurance plus depreciation plus wear and tear which is huge plus management plus an actaul profit margin! yippee!

        • blue leopard 20.3.2.4

          Monique Watson says: “Weeel. If you actooally read my fucking blog post, you’d realise that the average bog standard investor isn’t the “rich”. It’s someone who invested rationally under the fifth Labour government.
          If you were to “get rid of them”, the state has to pay employees to manage the properties and pay for the repairs and maintenance. It could end up costing the taxpayer a lot more if you get rid of private development.”

          Monique Watson, again, you miss the point.
          If the “unwealthy” people who speculate on property decided the was no longer sufficient profit in buying and selling houses due to a percentage being taken off them through a capital gains tax, the prices of houses would go down, which would create a larger number of people who could afford to buy them.

          Alternatively if the “unwealthy” people who speculate on property did their calculations and decided that despite the CGT, the activity was still profitable for them, then the Government would at least have a source of income to provide for the increasing number of people, both with jobs and without, who require accommodation supplements, due to the high property prices caused by the speculators.

          It is simple really.

      • David C 20.3.3

        When “the people” get off their collective arses and do a large scale property development it will really be something to see.

        in the mean time “the rich” putting their money on the line deserves a return for risk involved.

        Lots of chaps have been thru bankruptcy court recently on the downside of that risk.

        • Colonial Viper 20.3.3.1

          Safer and cheaper for all then if the Govt became the main player.

          • David C 20.3.3.1.1

            Your hi on crack if you think that bunch of twunts in the beehive can do a development close to as well as a chap who has done it for a living for a long time and lays awake at nights thinking about the drainlayer that might be sneaking in a extra half a hours charge beacuse of an unforseen hiccup.

            Good residential developers tend to be closely held companies with fingers on the pulse. Look at Carrus Corp for a good one.

            • Colonial Viper 20.3.3.1.1.1

              Government can do it better and cheaper. Government can borrow money cheaper and doesn’t need to lift a profit from the project so it will be cheaper for home buyers.

              And of course, Government has built a couple of hundred thousand houses over the decades.

              Easily done.

          • pete 20.3.3.1.2

            Yeah, Colonial Viper, a 9-5 state servant is going to make a great property developer, huh. It’s high risk. Give it a try, sometime.

            Most property developers end up broke. Why? The costs move on them quickly. The same happens to a state pen pusher – but he’s got even less incentive to keep it on budget. He just goes back to the taxpayer for mo’ cash. Result: your tax increases.

            • Draco T Bastard 20.3.3.1.2.1

              Yeah, Colonial Viper, a 9-5 state servant is going to make a great property developer, huh.

              Probably better than the private guy.

              Most property developers end up broke. Why? The costs move on them quickly.

              Nope, because they fuck-up by under quoting and then having to cut corners resulting in leaky homes…

              Oh, wait, we’re paying for those.

              The reason why the state servant is going to be doing it better is because that’s what he’s paid for and, often, they actually believe in doing a good job because it benefits the community.

              The private developer, on the other hand, is incentivised to do the job badly. Low wages to boost profit, cut corners to boost profit, and to do it as fast as possible (not the same as fast as practical) to boost profit. It’s all about profit and profit is a negative motivation.

              • Colonial Viper

                I agree, these fellas seem to have really quickly forgotten what a shit multi-billion dollar mess PRIVATE DEVELOPERS did up to the early 2000’s.

              • pete

                “Probably better than the private guy”

                Why? They have no skin in the game. Much easier to just sign the account, take the tradesman’s word for it. Makes life easy, less grief. A private developer with their own money on the line needs to be directly involved, else they’ll lose their shirt.

                “Nope, because they fuck-up by under quoting and then having to cut corners resulting in leaky homes…”

                Just once, perhaps you could listen, rather than just reacting.

                It’s difficult to keep on top of costs because there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of suppliers. If one schedule shifts, if one delivery gets delayed, if the council decides to be difficult – none of which might be your fault – you’ve got problems further down the chain. That drives up cost. Another delay, and there goes your profit.

                Sure, you could build in a lot of margin in to cover it, which will be exactly what a public servant will do.

                End price: not cheap.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s difficult to keep on top of costs because there are a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of suppliers. If one schedule shifts, if one delivery gets delayed, if the council decides to be difficult – none of which might be your fault – you’ve got problems further down the chain. That drives up cost. Another delay, and there goes your profit.

                  Houses are a social good; they don’t have to be built at a profit.

                  Plus it’s easier to co-ordinate the build of houses on the scale of 10,000 to 20,000 units pa. Only Government can do that.

                  A private developer with their own money on the line needs to be directly involved, else they’ll lose their shirt.

                  Most developers are highly leveraged. That means its OTHER PEOPLES MONEY which is on the line.

                  A public service ethos is all which is needed to do an excellent job without “skin in the game”.

                  • pete

                    “Houses are a social good; they don’t have to be built at a profit.”

                    Sure, but consider what “profit” means. You’re making out that if the developer doesn’t make any profit, the total cost must come down. I contend it can cost you more if you remove a profit incentive, as your production cost will likely rise.

                    Let’s say you have a 9-5 state employee managing a large development. They have no personal cash on the line. Their motivation is to bring the project in, of course, but they have an incentive to make life easy for themselves, rather than hard. That’s just human.

                    It is hard to confront tradesmen who often like to create problems where there aren’t any. Much easier just to sign their invoices. It’s hard to reorganise projects around schedule failures. Much easier just to let the cost blow out and add it at the end. Why not? It’s not your money. Cost blow outs are “inevitable”, eh. Easy to explain away. And next time, make sure your budgets include this “blow out insurance margin” when you’re costing the job. The benchmarks creep up.

                    See how the production cost can rise if you don’t have a personal stake in the outcome?

                    It happened in the USSR.

                    “Most developers are highly leveraged. That means its OTHER PEOPLES MONEY which is on the line.”

                    It’s still their debt. If you blow it, you’ll lose your line of credit for future projects.

                    “A public service ethos is all which is needed to do an excellent job without “skin in the game”.”

                    I think that is Utopian and unrealistic. Again, the USSR demonstrates that the public servant may not act in the interests of “the people” when it comes to production.

                    Which explains the Trabant….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Why? They have no skin in the game.

                  And how many of those developers that lumped us with all those leaky homes are actually losing money from doing so? I’ve heard of at least one getting off scot free and there will be others.

                  This is the problem with private developers – they don’t actually lose.

                  Sure, you could build in a lot of margin in to cover it, which will be exactly what a public servant will do.

                  End price: not cheap.

                  May come as a surprise but we don’t actually want cheap housing – we want good housing that is affordable to live in.

                  • pete

                    Why keep going off on tangents? The leaky homes question is a different issue.

                    “May come as a surprise but we don’t actually want cheap housing – we want good housing that is affordable to live in.”

                    It means the house costs you more than it should due to project mismanagement. There is no increase in quality in this scenario.

                    Bob Jones, who I’m sure you’ll admit knows *something* about property, is of the opinion all developers eventually go broke, which is why he’s not interested in being one. The reason is due to the cost control problem as you scale up.

                    I’m not sure why you think someone who is very skilled in development would take a public service job doing development, unless the pay matches what they’d make doing it privately. In which case, it’s a zero sum game.

                    And how does one benchmark costs? Do you do so against private developers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Private sector developers drove the leaky homes issue. Of course its related. The private sector is shit at doing things without cutting corners. This is to be expected as they want to keep that extra profit for themselves, and to walk away from problems which might only appear 3 or 4 years down the track, leaving Councils and Govt to pick up the bill.

                    • pete

                      It’s a tangent.

                      Leaky homes was a problem created by bureaucracy. The councils created jeopardy by assuming the risk. They thought they were getting into a lucrative ticket-clicking game.

                      They vastly underestimated the risk. They did not monitor builds correctly, and dictated stupid building standards, some of which were political i.e. the use of untreated timber. State knows best, eh. The environmental lobby remains very quiet on this topic up until this day…..

                      Look at the houses of the 1930’s. Very little regulation back then. Still solid as a rock.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      State Houses were designed by government engineers who knew what they were doing. The private sector did not.

                      Councils got suckered in by the private sector push for deregulation and self-regulation, and private developers walked away with windfall profits cutting corners and dropping quality.

                      Leaving Councils and Government with the billion dollar private sector bill.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Pete, it’s time for your reality check.

                      “…a problem created by bureaucracy..” – nice attempt to rewrite history. It was created by deregulation, as your comment tacitly acknowledges when you say that Councils “…did not monitor builds correctly…”

                    • pete

                      “nice attempt to rewrite history. It was created by deregulation”

                      It wasn’t. You’ve swallowed a party line. If it really was deregulated, you’d have no public liability as the risk would sit with the owner and developer.

                      The problem was the liability was SHIFTED to councils. It was shifted BY REGULATION. This increased jeopardy.

                      See:

                      http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/leaky-homes-part-1-myth-of-deregulated.html

                      “FOR A START, JUST think about this: there was a much more light-handed regulatory regime in the early 1910s and 1920s, when most of the villas and bungalows were built for which people now pay huge money – even for “original” examples. Things couldn’t be more light-handed then, but the disastrous systemic problems now being experienced weren’t in evidence then – not even for the many stucco (solid plaster) buildings like these two on the right still decorating some of our leafiest suburbs.

                      In fact, even in 1982 when I started building, a relatively light-handed regulatory regime was still in existence – even in those Muldoonist times.

                      The ‘Bible’ on site was a document called NZ Standard 3604, which back then was about forty pages long; permits took around two weeks at most to process; council inspectors were seen on site around three times maximum – and the thing called a Code Compliance Certificate didn’t even exist. “

                    • lprent []

                      If it really was deregulated, you’d have no public liability as the risk would sit with the owner and developer.

                      The problem was the liability was SHIFTED to councils. It was shifted BY REGULATION. This increased jeopardy.

                      Essentially you’re talking crap. The liability was always with the council and always has been. You can see cases all the way back into the 19th century. What changed was how tight the building regulations got with different materials and systems and the slow reassessment of the earthquake risks.

                      The less redundancy there is in a building system, the more regulation there is to ensure that it is allowed to be built in the first place.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ah pete I see you are a building industry shill

                      Since Councils and Govt end up paying for Private Sector blunders in housing, they should just do the whole job like they used to and tell the private sector developers to F-OFF

                    • pete

                      No, I’m not.

                      The councils and government should not pay for it. The matter is between three entities – the builder, the buyer, and their insurance company.

                      The state should **** off, except when it comes to earthquake standards, safety and utility connection issues.

                    • lprent []

                      What – no building regulations?

                      Who pays for the provision of the courts?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why keep going off on tangents? The leaky homes question is a different issue.

                      I was using it as an example to show that the risk isn’t what the privateers say it is. I could have used the banks and the bank bailouts just as well.

                      It means the house costs you more than it should due to project mismanagement. There is no increase in quality in this scenario.

                      That’s an unfounded assertion especially considering that evidence is showing the exact opposite.

                      The reason is due to the cost control problem as you scale up.

                      Actually, that would be a result of stupid management.

                      I’m not sure why you think someone who is very skilled in development would take a public service job doing development, unless the pay matches what they’d make doing it privately.

                      A) Because having a secure job is actually worth something
                      B) Because working to help and improve the community is worth something
                      C) Because they like the challenge

                      Money isn’t the prime motivator that economists think it is.

                      And how does one benchmark costs?

                      Use of real resources.

                      They did not monitor builds correctly, and dictated stupid building standards, some of which were political i.e. the use of untreated timber. State knows best, eh.

                      IIRC, BRANZ had more industry personnel on its board than state employees. Guess who were making the recommendations about the materials and codes.

                      the builder, the buyer, and their insurance company.

                      And the best insurance company and builder is the state.

                    • pete

                      “Actually, that would be a result of stupid management”.

                      It’s a very difficult process to manage well, which is why so many developers get into trouble.

                      “A) Because having a secure job is actually worth something
                      B) Because working to help and improve the community is worth something
                      C) Because they like the challenge

                      Money isn’t the prime motivator that economists think it is”.

                      Uh-huh. I can pretty much count long-time profitable developers in NZ on one hand. Yet you’ll find hundreds of them willing to work for a state salary for the seemingly altruistic benefit of “helping people”.

                      Good luck with that. What you’ll most likely get is low-level middle managers who fancy themselves, inflated pricing, and inevitable cost over-runs.

                      The state would be better off staying away from bespoke projects and focus on industrial-scale modular house building.

    • millsy 20.4

      Increasing the state housing stock, buy either building or buying houses can probably do most things that a CGT does, including pushing out the fly by night slumlords, and leaving only the private landlords who are a more businesslike and professional in their dealings (ie dont see their tenants as something that they would scrape off their boot).

  21. millsy 21

    The Standard should invite Josie Pagani on to guest post about what her vision of social democracy/socialism is, and what policies she would implement if she became PM? (And if she would oppose homosexuality like her mate JT).

    What changes would she make to the welfare system?
    Does she support the building of more state housing?
    Does she support privatisation and contracting out?
    What changes will she make to our health and education system?

    So far I have heard meaningless Blairite rhetoric from her but nothing about actually policies she supports (whining “I support free education and healthcare” doesnt cut it darling).

    Come on Pagani? What do you stand for?

    What would **YOU** do?

  22. PlanetOrphan 22

    The Government needs to float the economy properly, plain and simple Karol.

    That’s the new policy required, not a new idea, but desperately required for our country.

    A Trillion dollar float.

  23. prism 23

    When housing was being given the neo lib makeover it was pointed out that paying beneficiaries accommodation supplements would have a long term effect of boosting rental prices. If there was a sensible government in at any time we could have tried multiple ways to advance people’s housing.

    One would be – People saving for a minimum of two years to a level that a financial advisor say with Kiwibank, would consider affordable for them. That would establish their financial competence, on a fairly low wage. There were 3% and 5% 25 year loans available in the 1960s for first home buyers. The amount of loan money might be low, but there would be the opportunity of buying a modular house chosen by them that would suit their section and the direction of the sun, starting off with the basics and one and a half bedrooms that would provide adequate living space for a few years. There would be a planned suburb on a bus route that would go past a shopping centre with supermarket and other services.

    Then if they had children they would be paid a weekly child allowance which they could choose to take in a lump sum and interest free build onto their house, or along with this make an addition to their mortgage on top of the allowance.

    It worked well years ago. There is no reason why we have to hark back to 1840 when NZs were gulled by land speculators right at the beginning. But going back to the future with 1960 ideas would provide current policies that are relevant. But no way should anyone get an interest free holiday on mortgages or overvaluation. Everything would be done prudently and simply and effectively.

    Mr Micawber would approve. “Mr Macawber said – ‘Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20 shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings, expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness’.”

  24. Ron 24

    Why do we keep on talking of developers. I do not think they are the problem, What we need to investiaget is why people feel the need to own multiple houses. I read recently of a politician who had 5 houses that he rented out. Why does he need 5 houses. Is the mp salaray and pension scheme not sufficent for him to live on.
    If he did not purchase those 5 houses there would be 5 houses for people to buy and own and live in.
    I said before allowing people to buy and make money of ou a basic need such as housing is socially iorresponsible. We should discourage such actions and have a firm policy to enable housing all New Zealanders.
    We should also discourage people hidding their assets in trusts. I think that any party that claims to support New Zealander’s social concerns that has MP’s with trusts should seriously think if it wants such people as its politicians.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Its greed and rentier capitalism mate. To these people its not a matter of what they “NEED” to be reasonably comfortable, it’s a matter of acquiring and collecting AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A mix of ego building and empire building.

    • prism 24.2

      Ron
      To be fair – if a pollie has houses rented out, they are likely to be full because people are looking for a place to live even while they save for a house. And pollies need to have a basic income because of the possibility of not keeping his or her seat and so being without that handy salary. I am inclined to think that all should step down after nine years, three terms, anyway.

      • Ron 24.2.1

        For goodness sake Pollies get a housing allowance and if they are cabinet ministers they get free accomodation. If they did not try to make money by buying houses and renting them there would be more houses for people to buy.
        I dont really care what other political persussions do but I want a left political party to behave with proper care and not use their service in parliament to be seen as s good way to make money on the side

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    2 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    24 hours ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    3 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    3 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    4 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    5 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    5 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    5 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    6 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    7 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    7 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago